Open Access, Innovation, and Research Infrastructure

Authors : Benedikt Fecher, Gert G. Wagner

In this article we argue that the current endeavors to achieve open access in scientific
literature require a discussion about innovation in scholarly publishing and research infrastructure.

Drawing on path dependence theory and addressing different open access (OA) models and recent political endeavors, we argue that academia is once again running the risk of outsourcing the organization of its content.

URL : Open Access, Innovation, and Research Infrastructure

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Économie et bibliothèques : Une dialectique au long cours numérique

Auteurs/Authors : Chérifa Boukacem-Zeghmouri, Sami Mabrak

Économie et bibliothèques », «  Économie des bibliothèques », «  Économie en bibliothèques » sont autant d’expressions utilisées pour qualifier les travaux qui posent à la bibliothèque la question de sa valeur économique.

La réponse à cette question a varié et varie encore selon les contextes et les époques. Le web a projeté les bibliothèques dans un univers où elles doivent composer avec de nouvelles régulations.

Notre propos s’attachera à aborder cette question sous l’angle des bibliothèques académiques qui, plus que toutes autres, rencontrent le défi d’un univers de plus en plus ouvert, soumis aux régulations de l’économie numérique.

Les bibliothèques, dans la pluralité de leur typologie, ont accompagné et participé à la transition de nos sociétés vers le numérique.

Par l’intégration des contenus numériques dans leurs collections, par la formation des usagers, par la transformation de leurs bâtiments et de leurs espaces de travail et d’enseignement, par leur engagement dans le mouvement du libre accès, et plus récemment par leur implication dans les données de la recherche, elles ont été d’infatigables chevilles ouvrières de cette transition.

Ce faisant, elles ont participé à des initiatives, des expérimentations et/ou des projets de recherche qui ont contribué à faire évoluer leurs équipes et leurs missions.

Il serait d’ailleurs intéressant qu’un travail de recherche et d’analyse puisse un jour se pencher sur cette période extraordinaire qui a vu des organisations séculaires se transformer et se réinventer de manière si significative en si peu de temps.

Pour les bibliothèques académiques, qui sont au centre de notre propos, les transformations qu’elles ont connues (et qu’elles connaissent encore) sont intimement liées à celles de la communication scientifique sur le web et de l’édition scientifique.

Leur défi aujourd’hui consiste à continuer à exister dans un univers numérique, de plus en plus ouvert, où le nombre et la nature des intermédiaires n’ont jamais été aussi diversifiés.

Plus fondamentalement, la question de leur valeur et de leur poids économique, qui leur a été posée dès les années 1970 par leurs tutelles, se réactive aujourd’hui dans une économie numérique de l’accès.

Aux côtés des tutelles, les usagers, par leurs pratiques culturelles et sociales, posent indirectement la question de la valeur économique de la bibliothèque.


Stepping up Open Science Training for European Research

Authors : Birgit Schmidt, Astrid Orth, Gwen Franck, Iryna Kuchma, Petr Knoth, José Carvalho

Open science refers to all things open in research and scholarly communication: from publications and research data to code, models and methods as well as quality evaluation based on open peer review.

However, getting started with implementing open science might not be as straightforward for all stakeholders. For example, what do research funders expect in terms of open access to publications and/or research data?

Where and how to publish research data? How to ensure that research results are reproducible? These are all legitimate questions and, in particular, early career researchers may benefit from additional guidance and training.

In this paper we review the activities of the European-funded FOSTER project which organized and supported a wide range of targeted trainings for open science, based on face-to-face events and on a growing suite of e-learning courses.

This article reviews the approach and experiences gained from the first two years of the project.

URL : Stepping up Open Science Training for European Research

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Open access – the rise and fall of a community-driven model of scientific communication

Author : Joachim Schöpfel

In 25 years, open access, i.e. free and unrestricted access to scientific information, has become a significant part of scientific communication. However, its success story should not conceal a fundamental change of its nature.

Open access started, together with the Web, at the grassroots, as a bottom-up, community-driven model of open journals and repositories. Today the key driving forces are no longer community-driven needs and objectives but commercial, institutional and political interests.

This development serves the needs of the scientific community insofar as more and more content becomes available through open journals and repositories. Yet, the fall of open access as a community-driven model is running the risk of becoming dysfunctional for the scientists and may create new barriers and digital divides.


Looking for the Impact of Open Access on Interlibrary Loan

Authors : Collette Mak, Tina Baich

The purpose of this paper is to analyze interlibrary loan (ILL) article requests for evidence of a decrease that could be attributed to the spread of open access. The authors collected and analyzed the interlibrary loan data of two Indiana academic libraries for requests submitted during October and November (peak ILL months) from 2006-2015.

The requests were assigned to one of four categories: general, humanities, social sciences, and sciences based on Library of Congress classification, and the relative age of each article was calculated, where the relative age is the difference between year of publication and year of request.

Assuming an embargo period of 12-18 months for traditional publications, a change in articles of relative age 0-2 would suggest that scholars were obtaining that material from other sources.

The authors then looked for trends that might indicate the impact of open access on interlibrary loan requests. This paper will present the results and discuss the other environmental factors that may influence the number of requests placed within a field of study.

URL : Looking for the Impact of Open Access on Interlibrary Loan

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Small scholar-led scholarly journals: Can they survive and thrive in an open access future?

Author : Heather Morrison

This article presents early results of a research project designed to further our understanding of how to ensure that small scholar-led journals can survive and thrive in a global open access knowledge commons.

This phase of the research focuses on generation of ideas through interviews and focus groups with 15 participants involved in producing small scholar-led journals that either are or would like to become open access.

Although a couple of journals reported that they could survive in an open access future based on existing resources, most were concerned about survival and none expressed confidence that they could thrive in an open-access future.

These journals are far more diverse than one might imagine. Comparing the costs of article production from one journal with another might not make sense. A number of avenues for further research are discussed.

URL : Small scholar-led scholarly journals: Can they survive and thrive in an open access future?

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Can we use altmetrics at the institutional level? A case study analysing the coverage by research areas of four Spanish universities

Authors : Daniel Torres-Salinas, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, Evaristo Jiménez-Contreras

Social media based indicators or altmetrics have been under scrutiny for the last seven years. Their promise as alternative metrics for measuring scholarly impact is still far from becoming a reality.

Up to now, most studies have focused on the understanding of the nature and relation of altmetric indicators with citation data. Few papers have analysed research profiles based on altmetric data.

Most of these have related to researcher profiles and the expansion of these tools among researchers. This paper aims at exploring the coverage of the database and its potential use in order to show universities’ research profiles in relationship with other databases.

We analyse a sample of four different Spanish universities.First, we observe a low coverage of altmetric indicators with only 36 percent of all documents retrieved from the Web of Science having an ‘altmetric’ score.Second, we observe that for the four universities analysed, the area of Science shows higher ‘altmetric’ scores that the rest of the research areas.

Finally, considering the low coverage of altmetric data at the institutional level, it could be interesting for research policy makers to consider the development of guidelines and best practices guides to ensure that researchers disseminate adequately their research findings through social media.

URL : Can we use altmetrics at the institutional level? A case study analysing the coverage by research areas of four Spanish universities

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