Tracking the popularity and outcomes of all bioRxiv preprints

Authors : Richard J. Abdill, Ran Blekhman

Researchers in the life sciences are posting their work to preprint servers at an unprecedented and increasing rate, sharing papers online before (or instead of) publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Though the popularity and practical benefits of preprints are driving policy changes at journals and funding organizations, there is little bibliometric data available to measure trends in their usage.

Here, we collected and analyzed data on all 37,648 preprints that were uploaded to bioRxiv.org, the largest biology-focused preprint server, in its first five years. We find that preprints on bioRxiv are being read more than ever before (1.1 million downloads in October 2018 alone) and that the rate of preprints being posted has increased to a recent high of more than 2,100 per month.

We also find that two-thirds of bioRxiv preprints posted in 2016 or earlier were later published in peer-reviewed journals, and that the majority of published preprints appeared in a journal less than six months after being posted.

We evaluate which journals have published the most preprints, and find that preprints with more downloads are likely to be published in journals with a higher impact factor. Lastly, we developed Rxivist.org, a website for downloading and interacting programmatically with indexed metadata on bioRxiv preprints.

URL : Tracking the popularity and outcomes of all bioRxiv preprints

Alternative location : https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2019/01/13/515643

Scholarly Communication Practices in Humanities and Social Sciences: A Study of Researchers’ Attitudes and Awareness of Open Access

Authors: Bhuva Narayan, Edward J. Luca, Belinda Tiffen, Ashley England, Mal Booth, Henry Boateng

This paper examines issues relating to the perceptions and adoption of open access (OA) and institutional repositories. Using a survey research design, we collected data from academics and other researchers in the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) at a university in Australia.

We looked at factors influencing choice of publishers and journal outlets, as well as the use of social media and nontraditional channels for scholarly communication.

We used an online questionnaire to collect data and used descriptive statistics to analyse the data. Our findings suggest that researchers are highly influenced by traditional measures of quality, such as journal impact factor, and are less concerned with making their work more findable and promoting it through social media.

This highlights a disconnect between researchers’ desired outcomes and the efforts that they put in toward the same. Our findings also suggest that institutional policies have the potential to increase OA awareness and adoption.

This study contributes to the growing literature on scholarly communication by offering evidence from the HASS field, where limited studies have been conducted.

Based on the findings, we recommend that academic librarians engage with faculty through outreach and workshops to change perceptions of OA and the institutional repository.

URL : Scholarly Communication Practices in Humanities and Social Sciences: A Study of Researchers’ Attitudes and Awareness of Open Access

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2018-0013

Creating a Library Publishing Program for Scholarly Books: Your Options Are Limited

Author : Kevin Scott Hawkins

Publishing programs in academic libraries vary in their scope, offerings, and business models. Despite the many forms that these programs take, I have argued in the past that various factors constrain the design of a start-up publishing operation.

In this commentary, I discuss in greater depth the key questions to be addressed before establishing a library publishing program for scholarly books, arguing that the viable options are in fact quite limited.

URL : Creating a Library Publishing Program for Scholarly Books: Your Options Are Limited

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2262

Data Discovery Paradigms: User Requirements and Recommendations for Data Repositories

Authors: Mingfang Wu, Fotis Psomopoulos, Siri Jodha Khalsa, Anita de Waard

As data repositories make more data openly available it becomes challenging for researchers to find what they need either from a repository or through web search engines.

This study attempts to investigate data users’ requirements and the role that data repositories can play in supporting data discoverability by meeting those requirements.

We collected 79 data discovery use cases (or data search scenarios), from which we derived nine functional requirements for data repositories through qualitative analysis.

We then applied usability heuristic evaluation and expert review methods to identify best practices that data repositories can implement to meet each functional requirement.

We propose the following ten recommendations for data repository operators to consider for improving data discoverability and user’s data search experience:

1. Provide a range of query interfaces to accommodate various data search behaviours.

2. Provide multiple access points to find data.

3. Make it easier for researchers to judge relevance, accessibility and reusability of a data collection from a search summary.

4. Make individual metadata records readable and analysable.

5. Enable sharing and downloading of bibliographic references.

6. Expose data usage statistics.

7. Strive for consistency with other repositories.

8. Identify and aggregate metadata records that describe the same data object.

9. Make metadata records easily indexed and searchable by major web search engines.

10. Follow API search standards and community adopted vocabularies for interoperability.

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2019-003

Do altmetrics work for assessing research quality?

Authors : Andrea Giovanni Nuzzolese, Paolo Ciancarini, Aldo Gangemi, Silvio Peroni, Francesco Poggi, Valentina Presutti

Alternative metrics (aka altmetrics) are gaining increasing interest in the scientometrics community as they can capture both the volume and quality of attention that a research work receives online.

Nevertheless, there is limited knowledge about their effectiveness as a mean for measuring the impact of research if compared to traditional citation-based indicators.

This work aims at rigorously investigating if any correlation exists among indicators, either traditional (i.e. citation count and h-index) or alternative (i.e. altmetrics) and which of them may be effective for evaluating scholars.

The study is based on the analysis of real data coming from the National Scientific Qualification procedure held in Italy by committees of peers on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.11813

Open access medical journals: Benefits and challenges

Authors : Jenny Z.Wang, Aunna Pourang, Barbara Burrall

The world of medical science literature is ever increasingly accessible via the Internet. Open access online medical journals, in particular, offer access to a wide variety of useful information at no cost.

In addition, they provide avenues for publishing that are available to health care providers of all levels of training and practice. Whereas costs are less with the publishing of online open access journals, fewer resources for funding and technical support also exist.

A recent rise in predatory journals, which solicit authors but charge high fees per paper published and provide low oversight, pose other challenges to ensuring the credibility of accessible scientific literature.

Recognizing the value and efforts of legitimate open access online medical journals can help the reader navigate the over 11,000 open access journals that are available to date.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2018.09.010

Exploring PubMed as a reliable resource for scholarly communications services

Authors : Peace Ossom Williamson, Christian I. J. Minter

Objective

PubMed’s provision of MEDLINE and other National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources has made it one of the most widely accessible biomedical resources globally. The growth of PubMed Central (PMC) and public access mandates have affected PubMed’s composition.

The authors tested recent claims that content in PMC is of low quality and affects PubMed’s reliability, while exploring PubMed’s role in the current scholarly communications landscape.

Methods

The percentage of MEDLINE-indexed records was assessed in PubMed and various subsets of records from PMC. Data were retrieved via the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) interface, and follow-up interviews with a PMC external reviewer and staff at NLM were conducted.

Results

Almost all PubMed content (91%) is indexed in MEDLINE; however, since the launch of PMC, the percentage of PubMed records indexed in MEDLINE has slowly decreased.

This trend is the result of an increase in PMC content from journals that are not indexed in MEDLINE and not a result of author manuscripts submitted to PMC in compliance with public access policies. Author manuscripts in PMC continue to be published in MEDLINE-indexed journals at a high rate (85%).

The interviewees clarified the difference between the sources, with MEDLINE serving as a highly selective index of journals in biomedical literature and PMC serving as an open archive of quality biomedical and life sciences literature and a repository of funded research.

Conclusion

The differing scopes of PMC and MEDLINE will likely continue to affect their overlap; however, quality control exists in the maintenance and facilitation of both resources, and funding from major grantors is a major component of quality assurance in PMC.

URL : Exploring PubMed as a reliable resource for scholarly communications services

DOI : dx.doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2019.433