Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success: Final Research Report

This report briefly presents the findings and recommendations of the “Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success” project which investigated the extent to which publishing has now become a core activity of North American academic libraries and suggested ways in which further capacity could be built.

The research described (consisting of a survey, some case studies, three workshops, and a set of further reading recommendations) was mainly conducted between October 1, 2010, and September 30, 2011.

It was supported by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Libraries Studies, made to Purdue University Libraries in collaboration with the Libraries of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.


Open Access and Scholarly Publishing Opportunities and Challenges…

Open Access and Scholarly Publishing: Opportunities and Challenges to Nigerian Researchers :

“The study examined the extent of researchers’ appreciation of open access scholarly publishing. It discussed the opportunities and the benefits of open access to scholars worldwide. Challenges of OA were discussed and solutions suggested. Four research questions were raised. The population of this study was 140 lecturers from the University of Benin, Nigeria. The study revealed that the respondents had cited open access journals articles and that the major benefit derived from using open access journals is that it provides free online access to the literature necessary for research.”


The Five Stars of Online Journal Articles —…

The Five Stars of Online Journal Articles — a Framework for Article Evaluation :

“I propose five factors — peer review, open access, enriched content, available datasets and machine-readable metadata — as the Five Stars of Online Journal Articles, a constellation of five independent criteria within a multi-dimensional publishing universe against which online journal articles can be evaluated, to see how well they match up with current visions for enhanced research communications. Achievement along each of these publishing axes can vary, analogous to the different stars within the constellation shining with varying luminosities. I suggest a five-point scale for each, by which a journal article can be evaluated, and provide diagrammatic representations for such evaluations. While the criteria adopted for these scales are somewhat arbitrary, and while the rating of a particular article on each axis may involve elements of subjective judgment, these Five Stars of Online Journal Articles provide a conceptual framework by which to judge the degree to which any article achieves or falls short of the ideal, which should be useful to authors, editors and publishers. I exemplify such evaluations using my own recent publications of relevance to semantic publishing.”


Toward Global Open Scholarship – Access to Research…

Toward Global Open Scholarship – Access to Research in Development and Globalization :

“Two centuries after the printing press was invented, the first scholarly journal appeared in 1665. Less than two decades after the journal went online, the digital format is reshaping
scholarly communication rapidly. We are moving quickly towards an open system of scholarship, and from a Western heritage of print scholarship to a future of global knowledge, a shift driven by the communications revolution. This thesis provides data describing the size and growth of the universe of scholarship, its global reach, how much of it is accessible free of charge on the internet and the rate at which that share is growing. Open Access together with development programs aimed at reducing price barriers to subscription journals have vastly increased the possibilities for accessing research in the South. The relevance to globalization and development is explored conceptually and revealed in the results.”


Users narcissism and control – tracking the impact…

Users, narcissism and control – tracking the impact of scholarly publications in the 21st century :

“What is the scientific and social impact of my research publications? This question has been of interest to scientists and scholars since the inception of modern science 400 years ago. But it was hard to answer. This may now be changing. Scholarship is transforming into a variety of digital networked forms. These developments have created new possibilities and challenges in the evaluation of the quality of research. This is of interest to research funders assessing the quality of research. It is also relevant to the individual researchers interested in assessing their career development.

This report explores the explosion of tracking tools that have accompanied the surge of web based information instruments. Is it possible to monitor ‘real-time’ how new research findings are being read, cited, used and transformed in practical results and applications? And what are the potential risks and disadvantages of the new tracking tools? This report aims to contribute to a better understanding of these developments by providing a detailed assessment of the currently available novel tools and methodologies. A total of 16 quite different tools are assessed.

The report concludes that web based academic publishing is producing a variety of novel information filters. These allow the researcher to make some sort of limited self-assessment with respect to the response to his/her work. However, this does not mean that these technologies and databases can also legitimately be used in research assessments. For this application, they need to adhere to a far stricter protocol of data quality and indicator reliability and validity. Most new tools do not (yet) comply with these more strict quality criteria.

The report therefore advises to start a concerted research programme in the dynamics, properties, and potential use of new web based metrics which relates these new measures to the already established indicators of publication impact. Its goal would be to contribute to the development of more useful tools for the scientific and scholarly community. This programme should monitor at least the following tools: F1000, Microsoft Academic Research, Total-Impact, PlosONE altmetrics, and Google Scholar. The programme should moreover develop the following key research themes: concepts of new web metrics and altmetrics; standardisation of tools and data; and the use and normalisation of the new metrics.”


The Influence of the National Institutes of Health…

The Influence of the National Institutes of Health : Public-Access Policy on the Publishing Habits of Principal Investigators :

“The mandatory NIH public-access policy, which became effective on April 7, 2008, requires the NIH-funded principal investigators (PIs) to self-archive to the National Library of Medicine subject repository PubMed Central a manuscript’s electronic version immediately upon publication, which will then be available to the public free of cost the latest after a twelve-month embargo period. The Public Library of Science (PLoS), a non-profit open-access publisher in health sciences, publishes seven journals in the health sciences field (PLoS ONE, PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine, PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics, PLoS Pathogenes and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases) and submits to PubMed Central all the published articles, irrespective of the funder of the research results. The PIs who had published in one of the PLoS journals were chosen based on the journals’ established high impact factor immediately after their creation. The PIs’ motivation to publish in one of the seven PLoS journals was unknown. Whether the NIH public-access policy has affected the PIs’ publishing decisions was also unknown.

A random sample of NIH-funded PIs, who had published in one of the PLoS journals between the years 2005- 2009, was selected from the RePORTER database. During the period
March-May 2011, forty-two PIs were interviewed using SkypeTM software, and a semi-structured open-ended interview protocol was followed. The participants were divided into two groups; the pre-mandate PIs, who had published in one of the seven PLoS journals during the period 2005-2007 and the post-mandate, who had published in the PLoS journals the during period 2008-2009. The publishing habits of these two groups were compared, in order to reach an understanding about their publishing decisions.

Based on the findings, the NIH-funded PIs choose the PLoS journals due to their high impact factor, fast publication speed, fair peer-review system and the articles’ open-access availability. Although the PIs agree with the premise that publicly funded research must be distributed for-free to everyone who has funded it, the steps required to comply with the policy were perceived to be time consuming. Since conformity with the policy is essential, the participants’ goal is to ensure that the manuscripts will appear to PubMed Central, which either can be self-archived by the PIs, by an administrative assistant or by the journal.

The NIH public-access policy did not cause either an increase in the PIs’ open-access awareness or a change in their publishing habits. The open-access advocates were supporters of the immediate free access to scientific information before the policy and provided their manuscripts free-of-cost before the policy’s mandate. The non-open-access advocates choose their publications based on quality criteria such as the journal’s prestige, impact factor, speed of publication and the attracted audience, while the article’s open-access availability is considered to be a plus. Furthermore, since a large number of journals comply with the NIH-policy, the participants did not have to change their publishing habits.”