Supporting Open Access at Kent—New Staff Roles

Authors : Rosalyn Bass, Sarah Slowe

Open Access has been supported at the University of Kent from an early stage with the establishment of the Kent Academic Repository in 2007.

Initially, this work was accommodated within the existing library staff structure, but the pace of change, funder requirements, and a new university plan meant that support for Open Access needed to become explicit.

Therefore, a research support team was established using a matrix working system. This article details this new structure and reflects on the benefits and challenges it brings.

URL : Supporting Open Access at Kent—New Staff Roles

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Digital Publishing: A Home for Faculty in the Library — Exercises in Innovation from Harvard Law School

Authors : Claire DeMarco, Kyle Courtney

This article highlights specific examples of desire by faculty at Harvard Law School to push legal scholarship beyond the constraints of traditional commercial publishing. Harvard Law School Library, like any other academic library, is navigating the expansion of scholarly formats to the digital realm, as well as the demand by faculty to support new, and evolving, approaches to scholarship.

Analysis of these examples will focus on the unique role that the library has in stimulating, supporting, and sustaining, faculty publishing efforts, in addition to the challenges presented by the new, and potentially uncomfortable, proposition of library as a digital publisher.


The World’s Approach toward Publishing in Springer and Elsevier’s APC-Funded Open Access Journals

Authors : Hajar Sotudeh, Zahra Ghasempour


The present study explored tendencies of the world’s countries—at individual and scientific development levels—toward publishing in APC-funded open access journals.


Using a bibliometric method, it studied OA and NOA articles issued in Springer and Elsevier’s APC journals‎ during 2007–2011. The data were gathered using a wide number of sources including Sherpa/Romeo, Springer Author-mapper, Science Direct, Google, and journals’ websites.


The Netherlands, Norway, and Poland ranked highest in terms of their OA shares. This can be attributed to the financial resources allocated to publication in general, and publishing in OA journals in particular, by the countries.

All developed countries and a large number of scientifically lagging and developing nations were found to publish OA articles in the APC journals. The OA papers have been exponentially growing across all the countries’ scientific groups annually.

Although the advanced nations published the lion’s share of the OA-APC papers and exhibited the highest growth, the underdeveloped groups have been displaying high OA growth rates.

Practical Implications

Given the reliance of the APC model on authors’ affluence and motivation, its affordability and sustainability have been challenged.

This communication helps understand how countries at different scientific development and thus wealth levels contribute to the model.


This is the first study conducted at macro level clarifying countries’ contribution to the APC model—at individual and scientific-development levels—as the ultimate result of the interaction between authors’ willingness, the model affordability, and publishers and funding agencies’ support.

URL : The World’s Approach toward Publishing in Springer and Elsevier’s APC-Funded Open Access Journals


Comparing scientific and technological impact of biomedical research

Author : Qing Ke

Traditionally, the number of citations that a scholarly paper receives from other papers is used as the proxy of its scientific impact. Yet citations can come from domains outside the scientific community, and one such example is through patented technologies—paper can be cited by patents, achieving technological impact.

While the scientific impact of papers has been extensively studied, the technological aspect remains largely unknown. Here we aim to fill this gap by presenting a comparative study on how 919 thousand biomedical papers are cited by U.S. patents and by other papers over time.

We observe a positive correlation between citations from patents and from papers, but there is little overlap between the two domains in either the most cited papers, or papers with the most delayed recognition.

We also find that the two types of citations exhibit distinct temporal variations, with patent citations lagging behind paper citations for a median of 6 years for the majority of papers. Our work contributes to the understanding of the technological, and societal in general, impact of papers.


Tweet success? Scientific communication correlates with increased citations in Ecology and Conservation

Authors : Clayton T. Lamb​, Sophie L. Gilbert, Adam T. Ford

Science communication is seen as critical for the disciplines of ecology and conservation, where research products are often used to shape policy and decision making. Scientists are increasing their online media communication, via social media and news.

Such media engagement has been thought to influence or predict traditional metrics of scholarship, such as citation rates. Here, we measure the association between citation rates and the Altmetric Attention Score—an indicator of the amount and reach of the attention an article has received—along with other forms of bibliometric performance (year published, journal impact factor, and article type).

We found that Attention Score was positively correlated with citation rates. However, in recent years, we detected increasing media exposure did not relate to the equivalent citations as in earlier years; signalling a diminishing return on investment.

Citations correlated with journal impact factors up to ∼13, but then plateaued, demonstrating that maximizing citations does not require publishing in the highest-impact journals. We conclude that ecology and conservation researchers can increase exposure of their research through social media engagement and, simultaneously, enhance their performance under traditional measures of scholarly activity.

URL : Tweet success? Scientific communication correlates with increased citations in Ecology and Conservation


Pubpeer: vigilante science, journal club or alarm raiser? The controversies over anonymity in post-publication peer review

Author : Didier Torny

The more journal peer review (JPR) became a scientific topic, the more it has been the subject of criticisms and controversies. Repeated fake reports, confirmed reviewers’ biases, lack of reproducibility, and a recurrent inability to detect fraud and misconduct have apparently condemned JPR in its supposedly traditional form.

In fact, just like previous historical reforms and inventions, JPR has again been the object of many proposals to “fix it” since the beginning of the 21st century. Though these proposals are very diverse, two main directions have been identified: open peer review on one side, post-publication peer review (PPPR) on the other.

These two “fixes” share a common device, the open commenting of published articles, which is both an open peer review practice as it is visible to all readers and PPPR as it comes after the publication and often the certification of articles. At their intersection, it should thus thrive and indeed many journals have proposed this feature, but with no success.

Nevertheless, there is an exception to the disappointment with open commentary in PPPR, which is the empirical case for this presentation: PubPeer, where commentators come in herds and comments flourish. The only explanation given for this peculiar success is the possibility, largely used, to publish anoymized comments on the platform.

So, how can you embrace the openness of discussion and, at the same time, enable anonymous commentators? What kind of PPPR practices is it connected with? Does it inform our views on traditional peer review and how?

To answer these questions, we will first describe how the platform has been built and works, then to what kind of dynamics it leads as far as anonymity is concerned, then typify the arguments used for and against anonymity in PPPR, discuss its effects on published papers, before concluding on the way debates could be organized in PPPR.

These first results are based on the systematic qualitative analysis of both threads on PubPeer, articles on specialized websites on PubPeer and anonymity (Scholarly Kitchen, RetractionWatch…) and on editorials from scientific journals that have commented on anonymity in PPPR.

URL : Pubpeer: vigilante science, journal club or alarm raiser? The controversies over anonymity in post-publication peer review

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Practices of research data curation in institutional repositories: A qualitative view from repository staff

Authors : Dong Joon Lee, Besiki Stvilia

The importance of managing research data has been emphasized by the government, funding agencies, and scholarly communities. Increased access to research data increases the impact and efficiency of scientific activities and funding.

Thus, many research institutions have established or plan to establish research data curation services as part of their Institutional Repositories (IRs). However, in order to design effective research data curation services in IRs, and to build active research data providers and user communities around those IRs, it is essential to study current data curation practices and provide rich descriptions of the sociotechnical factors and relationships shaping those practices.

Based on 13 interviews with 15 IR staff members from 13 large research universities in the United States, this paper provides a rich, qualitative description of research data curation and use practices in IRs.

In particular, the paper identifies data curation and use activities in IRs, as well as their structures, roles played, skills needed, contradictions and problems present, solutions sought, and workarounds applied.

The paper can inform the development of best practice guides, infrastructure and service templates, as well as education in research data curation in Library and Information Science (LIS) schools.

URL : Practices of research data curation in institutional repositories: A qualitative view from repository staff