Access to academic libraries: an indicator of openness?

Authors  : Chun-Kai (Karl) Huang, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Katie Wilson


Open access to digital research output is increasing, but academic library policies can place restrictions on public access to libraries. This paper reports on a preliminary study to investigate the correlation between academic library access policies and institutional positions of openness to knowledge.


This primarily qualitative study used document and data analysis to examine the content of library access/use policies of 12 academic institutions in eight countries. The outcomes were statistically correlated with institutional open access publication policies and practices.


We used an automated search tool together with manual searching to retrieve web-based library access policies, then categorised and counted the levels and conditions of public access. We compared scores for institutional library access features, open access features and percentages of open access publications.


Academic library policies may suggest open public access but multi-layered user categories, privileges and fees charged can inhibit access, with disparities in openness emerging between library policies and institutional open access policies.

Conclusion. As open access publishing options and mandates expand, physical entry and access to print and electronic resources in academic libraries is contracting. This conflicts with global library and information commitments to open access to knowledge.


Factors Influencing Cities’ Publishing Efficiency

Author : Csomós György


Recently, a vast number of scientific publications have been produced in cities in emerging countries. It has long been observed that the publication output of Beijing has exceeded that of any other city in the world, including such leading centres of science as Boston, New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo.

Researchers have suggested that, instead of focusing on cities’ total publication output, the quality of the output in terms of the number of highly cited papers should be examined. However, in the period from 2014 to 2016, Beijing produced as many highly cited papers as Boston, London, or New York.

In this paper, another method is proposed to measure cities’ publishing performance by focusing on cities’ publishing efficiency (i.e., the ratio of highly cited articles to all articles produced in that city).


First, 554 cities are ranked based on their publishing efficiency, then some general factors influencing cities’ publishing efficiency are revealed. The general factors examined in this paper are as follows: the linguistic environment of cities, cities’ economic development level, the location of excellent organisations, cities’ international collaboration patterns, and their scientific field profile.

Furthermore, the paper examines the fundamental differences between the general factors influencing the publishing efficiency of the top 100 most efficient cities and the bottom 100 least efficient cities.


Based on the research results, the conclusion can be drawn that a city’s publishing efficiency will be high if meets the following general conditions: it is in a country in the Anglosphere–Core; it is in a high-income country; it is home to top-ranked universities and/or world-renowned research institutions; researchers affiliated with that city most intensely collaborate with researchers affiliated with cities in the United States, Germany, England, France, Canada, Australia, and Italy; and the most productive scientific disciplines of highly cited articles are published in high-impact multidisciplinary journals, disciplines in health sciences (especially general internal medicine and oncology), and disciplines in natural sciences (especially physics, astronomy, and astrophysics).

Research limitations

It is always problematic to demarcate the boundaries of cities (e.g., New York City vs. Greater New York), and regarding this issue there is no consensus among researchers.

The Web of Science presents the name of cities in the addresses reported by the authors of publications. In this paper cities correspond to the spatial units between the country/state level and the institution level as indicated in the Web of Science.

Furthermore, it is necessary to highlight that the Web of Science is biased towards English-language journals and journals published in the field of biomedicine. These facts may influence the outcome of the research.

Practical implications

Publishing efficiency, as an indicator, shows how successful a city is at the production of science. Naturally, cities have limited opportunities to compete for components of the science establishment (e.g., universities, hospitals).

However, cities can compete to attract innovation-oriented companies, high tech firms, and R&D facilities of multinational companies by for example establishing science parks. The positive effect of this process on the city’s performance in science can be observed in the example of Beijing, which publishing efficiency has been increased rapidly.


Previous scientometric studies have examined cities’ publication output in terms of the number of papers, or the number of highly cited papers, which are largely size dependent indicators; however this paper attempts to present a more quality-based approach.

URL : Factors Influencing Cities’ Publishing Efficiency


Perception of postgraduate students towards open access publication in some selected institutions in Malaysia

Author : James Oluwaseyi Hodonu-Wusu

This article investigates perception of postgraduate students towards open access publication in two research institutions in Malaysia. A descriptive survey was used in the study which involves 121 respondents from 500 sample population sent instrument to from both Universities.

A simple random techniques was used for the study. Data were analyzed using frequency counts, percentages, mean and standard deviation, independent sample t-test and One-way analysis of variance tests (ANOVA) was employed to determine if there is a statistically significant mean differences in perceived usefulness and perceived effectiveness of OA publications between ages of postgraduate students.

The findings revealed why postgraduate scholars should embrace Open Access publication for wider visibility and reproducibility of academic research and development.

The results also shows that majority of the respondents were of mean age of 2.67 and highest age bracket was between 26-35 years. However, the sample size of the survey was quite small and further research is needed to determine if similar findings are obtained when other researchers are included in the sample.

URL : Perception of postgraduate students towards open access publication in some selected institutions in Malaysia


Géopolitique de l’open access

Auteur/Author : Ghislaine Chartron

Cette communication commence par rappeler des repères de contextualisation du développement de l’open access. Elle insiste sur le brouillage qui s’est progressivement installé concernant les finalités du mouvement.

La dimension internationale est ensuite considérée comme une entrée majeure, à la fois pour la consolidation de l’open access, pour analyser les déséquilibres potentiels et pour comprendre les stratégies de pouvoir sous-jacentes.

Le texte appuie un renouveau du pilotage par les communautés scientifiques afin de redonner du sens au mouvement. Les principaux enjeux pour la recherche régionale des pays du Sud sont également débattus.


Automatically Annotating Articles Towards Opening and Reusing Transparent Peer Reviews

Authors : Afshin Sadeghi, Sarven Capadisli, Johannes Wilm, Christoph Lange, Philipp Mayr

An increasing number of scientific publications are created in open and transparent peer review models: a submission is published first, and then reviewers are invited, or a submission is reviewed in a closed environment but then these reviews are published with the final article, or combinations of these.

Reasons for open peer review include giving better credit to reviewers and enabling readers to better appraise the quality of a publication. In most cases, the full, unstructured text of an open review is published next to the full, unstructured text of the article reviewed.

This approach prevents human readers from getting a quick impression of the quality of parts of an article, and it does not easily support secondary exploitation, e.g., for scientometrics on reviews.

While document formats have been proposed for publishing structured articles including reviews, integrated tool support for entire open peer review workflows resulting in such documents is still scarce.

We present AR-Annotator, the Automatic Article and Review Annotator which employs a semantic information model of an article and its reviews, using semantic markup and unique identifiers for all entities of interest.

The fine-grained article structure is not only exposed to authors and reviewers but also preserved in the published version. We publish articles and their reviews in a Linked Data representation and thus maximize their reusability by third-party applications.

We demonstrate this reusability by running quality-related queries against the structured representation of articles and their reviews.


Valoriser les publications d’un laboratoire universitaire dans l’environnement de la science ouverte : Retour d’expérience de la collection GERiiCO sur HAL

Auteurs/Authors : Joachim Schöpfel, Hélène Prost, Amel Fraisse, Stéphane Chaudiron

La question de la diffusion des résultats de la recherche et, en particulier, le libre accès aux publications des chercheurs est au cœur de la politique pour la science ouverte. Comment peut se positionner un laboratoire de recherche universitaire ? Comment peut se traduire la politique pour la science ouverte sur le terrain d’un campus universitaire ?

Sous forme d’un retour d’expérience, notre étude analyse la mise en place de la collection du laboratoire GERiiCO de l’Université de Lille sur l’archive ouverte nationale HAL.

L’objectif de l’initiative est double : d’une part, assurer une visibilité maximale et un impact au-delà de la communauté disciplinaire, à travers des médias sociaux et le référencement des moteurs de recherche ; d’autre part, contribuer à l’évaluation de la production scientifique du laboratoire.

Nous présentons les ressources mobilisées et les actions mises en oeuvre, analysons les résultats en termes de dépôts, d’usage et de services, et évoquons les facteurs de succès, les problèmes rencontrés et quelques perspectives pour le futur développement.

En particulier, nous comparons le contenu de la collection HAL avec les résultats de la base de données scientométrique d’Elsevier (Scopus) et du moteur de recherche Google Scholar, et nous montrons le potentiel de la collection pour visualiser les relations au sein du laboratoire (analyse de réseaux) et son rayonnement international.


What about ODTs? Are they grey?

Authors : Joachim Schöpfel, Snjezana Cirkovic, Hélène Prost

The term of grey literature is sometimes applied for older material and special collections, especially in the field of digitization projects of scientific heritage.

The following paper will analyse this term of “grey scientific heritage” and, based on empirical and conceptual elements, contribute to a better understanding of grey literature. Special attention will be paid on older theses and dissertations (OTDs), as a main part of scientific heritage especially from universities.