Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information…

Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information :

« The research blog has become a popular mechanism for the quick discussion of scholarly information. However, unlike peer-reviewed journals, the characteristics of this form of scientific discourse are not well understood, for example in terms of the spread of blogger levels of education, gender and institutional affiliations. In this paper we fill this gap by analyzing a sample of blog posts discussing science via an aggregator called (RB). aggregates posts based on peer-reviewed research and allows bloggers to cite their sources in a scholarly manner. We studied the bloggers, blog posts and referenced journals of bloggers who posted at least 20 items. We found that RB bloggers show a preference for papers from high-impact journals and blog mostly about research in the life and behavioral sciences. The most frequently referenced journal sources in the sample were: Science, Nature, PNAS and PLoS One. Most of the bloggers in our sample had active Twitter accounts connected with their blogs, and at least 90% of these accounts connect to at least one other RB-related Twitter account. The average RB blogger in our sample is male, either a graduate student or has been awarded a PhD and blogs under his own name. »


Examining Motivations behind Paper Usage in Academia …

Examining Motivations behind Paper Usage in Academia :

« We carried out a qualitative study to identify the “missing pieces” in current computing devices and technologies that are preventing people from eliminating paper from their lives. Most of the existing literature has looked into the work practices of businesses, while a few have researched how high school and college students and teaching assistants at universities work with paper. We were specifically interested in analyzing paper use for people in the research side of academia, and seeing how our results compare to existing work. We recruited and interviewed participants from academia to understand what kind of tasks they use paper for, what kind of tasks they use computing devices for and what motivates them to use these two media. We found that, despite having access to at least one personal computing device, the participants preferred to work with paper in many situations. This appears to be attributed to certain intrinsic qualities that paper has, such as open format, easy navigation, readability, and the affordances these qualities provide. In order to eventually replace paper with devices, designers of new technology will have to successfully emulate these qualities. »


Does Tenure Matter Factors Influencing Faculty Contributions to…

Does Tenure Matter? Factors Influencing Faculty Contributions to Institutional Repositories :

« INTRODUCTION : Institutional repositories (IRs) provide colleges and universities a way to ensure stability of access to and dissemination of digital scholarly communications. Yet, many institutions report that faculty willingness to contribute to IRs is often limited. This study investigates faculty attitudes about IR contributions by tenure status and category of material.

IMETHODS: Two focus group interviews were conducted in the spring of 2009 among English department faculty at a large Midwestern university. One group consisted of tenured faculty and the other of tenure-track and adjunct faculty.

IRESULTS: Both groups recognize the benefit of open access to research materials but expressed concern about their intellectual property rights. Untenured faculty spoke more about nonprint research. Both groups also shared concerns about contributing instructional materials, primarily in regard to plagiarism and outdated materials. In regard to faculty service, the tenured group discussed many items they would contribute, while the untenured faculty mentioned very little.

IDISCUSSION: Some minor differences emerged related to experience and tenure status in regard to contributing research and instructional artifacts, but the major variation was the strong support tenured participants gave for contributing service items, compared to the untenured faculty, who did not view this category positively. Tenured faculty viewed the IR as a way to document their own service activities, investigate those of colleagues, and had fewer concerns about plagiarism or other negative effects in the service category.

CONCLUSION: Promoting faculty contribution of service-related items to an IR may be a way to encourage larger numbers to participate. »


Electronic resources usage by postgraduates at the University of Colombo: Identifying the critical success factors

« E-resources have exploded in popularity and usage by helping users in retrieving accurate, relevant and timelyinformation as and when required for their learning and research needs. This case study was carried out at the University of Colombo to investigate the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) on e-resources usage of postgraduates. A questionnaire basedsurvey was carried out using 302 postgraduates belonging to seven faculties. Exploratory factor analysis with Verimaxrotation was employed to identify the CSFs on e-resource usage and multiple regression analysis was carried out todetermine the relationship of those identified factors with overall e-resource usage. Factor analysis identified nine factorswhich affect on e-resources usage. Among the nine factors, postgraduates identified “Technology” as the most critical factorin using e-resources. Library support, information literacy, computer competency, usefulness and user attitudes areidentified as other CSFs for using e-resources for their learning activities. »


The effects of open access mandates on institutional…

The effects of open access mandates on institutional repositories in the UK and Germany :

« Purpose :
This research project explores the effects of institutional open access mandates on institutional repositories in Higher Education Institutions in the UK and Germany. Therefore, it analyses the experiences, opinions, and expectations of institutional repository managers from both countries.

Methodology : A thorough literature review and a questionnaire-based survey were conducted to gain background information regarding open access publishing, institutional repositories, and institutional open access mandates. Semi-structured follow-up interviews provide an in-depth insight into the views of institutional repository managers regarding the effects of institutional open access mandates. The results are presented thematically.

Findings : There is evidence that institutional mandates do have effects on institutional repositories in different ways, e.g. on content deposited and service provision. The effects vary according to the characteristics of repositories and the approach taken by institutions. The research results also indicate that the experiences of institutions with a mandate and the expectations of institutions without one are almost identical across both the UK and Germany, although the developmental context of institutional repositories and institutional mandates in these two countries are very different.

Impact : The findings of the dissertation are of interest for Higher Education Institutions considering the implementation of an institutional open access mandate.

Research limitations : The research was limited in the comparative analysis of the experiences of institutional repository managers as there are almost no mandates implemented in Germany. The limited time did not allow to follow-up further questions after the
interviews were transcribed and analysed. A study of larger scale, for example on European level, should be interesting.

Value : The value of this dissertation is the exploration of the effects of institutional open access mandates on institutional repository services, a neglected field within the vast research about open access publishing and mandates so far. »


Survey on open access in FP7 Open…

Survey on open access in FP7 :

« Open access refers to the practice of granting free Internet access to research outputs. The principal objective of an open access policy in the seventh framework programme (FP7) is to provide researchers and other interested members of the public with improved online access to EU-funded research results. This is considered a way to improve the EU’s return on research and development investment.

The European Commission launched in August 2008 the open access pilot in FP7. It concerns all new projects from that date in seven FP7 research areas: energy, environment, health, information and communication technologies (cognitive systems, interaction, and robotics), research infrastructures (e-infrastructures), science in society (SiS) and socioeconomic sciences and humanities (SSH). Grant beneficiaries are expected to deposit peer-reviewed research articles or final manuscripts resulting from their projects into an online repository and make their best efforts to ensure open access to those articles within a set period of time after publication.

In addition to the pilot, FP7 rules of participation also allow all projects to have open access fees eligible for reimbursement during the time of the grant agreement (1) (‘open access publishing’, also called ‘author pays’ fees).

In May 2011, the Commission identified the 811 projects designated at the time and sent a questionnaire to all project coordinators in order to collect feedback on their experiences of both the implementation of the pilot and the reimbursement of open access publishing costs. A total of 194 answers were received by the end of August 2011. They provide important input for the future of the open access policy and practices in Horizon 2020 (the future EU framework programme for research and innovation), and for the preparation of a communication from the Commission and a recommendation to Member States on scientific publications in the digital age. »