Tag Archives: scientific communication

The public impact of Latin America’s approach to open access

« This study explores the extent to which research published in Latin America—where the vast majority of which is made freely available to the public—has an impact and reach beyond the academic community. It addresses the ways in which the study of research impact is moving beyond the counting citations, which has dominated bibliometrics for well over the last 50 years. As more of the world’s research is made freely available to the public, there is an increasing probability that the impact and reach of research extends beyond the confines of academia.

To establish the current extent of public access, this study explores who the users of Latin American research are, as well as their motivations for accessing the work by using a series of simple pop-up surveys, which were displayed to users of the two largest scholarly journal portals in Latin America.

The results, after thousands of responses, indicate that traditional scholarly use makes up only a quarter of the total use in Latin America. The majority of use is from non-scholar communities, namely students (around 50% of the total use) and from individuals interested for professional or personal reasons (collectively around 20% of the total use). By linking the survey responses to the articles being read, it was also possible to identify points of convergence and divergence in student, faculty, and public interest groups.

Finally, this study employed methods from a new field of inquiry, altmetrics, in an attempt to capture engagement with research on the social Web. The success of such methods for the Latin American case were limited due to low coverage levels, but the research nevertheless contributes to the understanding of nascent field of altmetrics more broadly. The study concludes with a discussion of the conceptual, political, curricular, and methodological implications of this new approach to scientific communication. »

URL : http://microblogging.infodocs.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/AlperinDissertationFinalPublicImpact-augmented.pdf

Related URL : http://purl.stanford.edu/jr256tk1194

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26 juin 2015 · 18 h 33 min

Amplifying the Impact of Open Access: Wikipedia and the Diffusion of Science

« With the rise of Wikipedia as a first-stop source for scientific knowledge, it is important to compare its representation of that knowledge to that of the academic literature. This article approaches such a comparison through academic references made within the worlds 50 largest Wikipedias. Previous studies have raised concerns that Wikipedia editors may simply use the most easily accessible academic sources rather than sources of the highest academic status. We test this claim by identifying the 250 most heavily used journals in each of 26 research fields (4,721 journals, 19.4M articles in total) indexed by the Scopus database, and modeling whether topic, academic status, and accessibility make articles from these journals more or less likely to be referenced on Wikipedia.

We find that, controlling for field and impact factor, the odds that an open access journal is referenced on the English Wikipedia are 47% higher compared to closed access journals. Moreover, in most of the worlds Wikipedias a journals high status (impact factor) and accessibility (open access policy) both greatly increase the probability of referencing. Among the implications of this study is that the chief effect of open access policies may be to significantly amplify the diffusion of science, through an intermediary like Wikipedia, to a broad public audience. »

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1506.07608

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26 juin 2015 · 18 h 24 min

The Changing Publication Practices in Academia: Inherent Uses and Issues in Open Access and Online Publishing and the Rise of Fraudulent Publications

« Open access and online publishing present significant changes to the Australian higher education sector in a climate demanding increasing research outputs from academic staff. Today’s researchers struggle to discern credible journals from a new wave of ‘low credibility,’ counterfeit, and predatory journals. A New York Times article on the issue resulted in hundreds of anonymous posts, having a whistleblower effect. An analysis of reader posts, examined in this paper, demonstrated that fear and cynicism were dominant, and that unscrupulous publishing practices were often rewarded.

A lack of quality control measures to assist researchers to choose reputable journals and avoid fraudulent ones is becoming evident as universities’ funding and workforce development become increasingly dependent on research outputs. Online publishing is also redefining traditional notions of academic prestige. Adapting to the twenty-first century online publishing landscape requires the higher education sector to meet these challenges with a combination of academic rigour and innovative tools that support researchers, so as to maintain quality and integrity within changing academic publishing practice. »

URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0018.308

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20 juin 2015 · 19 h 18 min

Donations as a Source of Income for Open Access Journals: An Option To Consider?

« Online open access journals allow readers to view scholarly articles without a subscription or other payment barrier. However, publishing costs must still be covered. Therefore, many of these publications rely on support from a variety of sources. One source of funds not commonly discussed is donations from readers.

This study investigated the prevalence of this practice and sought to learn about the motivation of journal editors to solicit donations, and also to gather input on the effectiveness of this strategy. Results show that very few open access journals solicit donations from readers, and for those that do, donations represent only a very small portion of all support received. »

URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0018.307

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20 juin 2015 · 19 h 13 min

Data journals: A survey

« Data occupy a key role in our information society. However, although the amount of published data continues to grow and terms such as data deluge and big data today characterize numerous (research) initiatives, much work is still needed in the direction of publishing data in order to make them effectively discoverable, available, and reusable by others. Several barriers hinder data publishing, from lack of attribution and rewards, vague citation practices, and quality issues to a rather general lack of a data-sharing culture. Lately, data journals have overcome some of these barriers. In this study of more than 100 currently existing data journals, we describe the approaches they promote for data set description, availability, citation, quality, and open access. We close by identifying ways to expand and strengthen the data journals approach as a means to promote data set access and exploitation. »

URL : http://www.niso.org/apps/group_public/download.php/14938/DataJournalsSurvey%20%281%29.pdf

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15 juin 2015 · 19 h 48 min