Raising Visibility in the Digital Humanities Landscape: Academic Engagement and the Question of the Library’s Role

Authors : Kathleen Kasten-Mutkus, Laura Costello, Darren Chase

Academic libraries have an important role to play in supporting digital humanities projects in their communities. Librarians at Stony Brook University Libraries host Open Mic events for digital humanities researchers, teachers, and students on campus.

 Inspired by a desire to better serve digital humanists with existing projects, this event was initially organized to increase the visibility of scholars and students with nascent projects and connect these digital humanists to library supported resources and to one another.

For the Libraries, the Open Mic was an opportunity to understand the scope and practices of the digital humanities community at Stony Brook, and to identify ways to make meaningful interventions.

An open mic is a uniquely suitable event format in that it embodies a dynamic, permissive, multidisciplinary presentation space that is as much for exercising new and ongoing research (and technologies) as it is for making discoveries and connections.

The success of these events can be measured in the establishment of the University Libraries as a nexus for digital humanities work, consultations, instruction, workshops, and community on a campus without a designated digital humanities center.

The digital humanities Open Mic event at Stony Brook University locates the digital humanities within the library’s repertoire, while signaling that the library is — in a number of essential ways — open.

URL : http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/13/2/000420/000420.html

Perceptions of Educational Leadership Faculty Regarding Open Access Publishing

Authors : Jayson W. Richardson, Scott McLeod, Todd Hurst

There is a dearth of research on the perceptions of faculty members in educational leadership regarding open access publications. This reality may exist because of a lack of funding for educational leadership research, financial obstacles, tenure demands, or reputation concerns.

It may be that there are simply fewer established open access publishers with reputable impact factors to encourage publication by members in the field.

The current study seeks to answer the following question: “What are the perceptions of educational leadership faculty members in UCEA about open access publishing?”

The results are based on responses from 180 faculty members in the field of educational leadership.

URL : Perceptions of Educational Leadership Faculty Regarding Open Access Publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.22230/ijepl.2019v15n5a817

Do Download Reports Reliably Measure Journal Usage? Trusting the Fox to Count Your Hens?

Authors : Alex Wood-Doughty, Ted Bergstrom, Douglas G. Steigerwald

Download rates of academic journals have joined citation counts as commonly used indicators of the value of journal subscriptions. While citations reflect worldwide influence, the value of a journal subscription to a single library is more reliably measured by the rate at which it is downloaded by local users.

If reported download rates accurately measure local usage, there is a strong case for using them to compare the cost-effectiveness of journal subscriptions. We examine data for nearly 8,000 journals downloaded at the ten universities in the University of California system during a period of six years.

We find that controlling for number of articles, publisher, and year of download, the ratio of downloads to citations differs substantially among academic disciplines.

After adding academic disciplines to the control variables, there remain substantial “publisher effects”, with some publishers reporting significantly more downloads than would be predicted by the characteristics of their journals.

These cross-publisher differences suggest that the currently available download statistics, which are supplied by publishers, are not sufficiently reliable to allow libraries to make subscription decisions based on price and reported downloads, at least without making an adjustment for publisher effects in download reports.

URL : Do Download Reports Reliably Measure Journal Usage? Trusting the Fox to Count Your Hens?

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.80.5.694

The Development of the Journal Evaluation Tool to Evaluate the Credibility of Publication Venues

Authors : Nataly Blas, Shilpa Rele, Marie R. Kennedy


A shared concern among librarians who work in an academic environment is finding effective mechanisms to help faculty identify suitable publication venues. Determining the suitability is now also complicated by the need to determine the credibility of the venue itself, to ensure that faculty select a venue that is held in esteem.


At Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a medium-sized, private institution in the United States, three librarians developed a tool to assist faculty in determining the credibility of a publication venue, specifically for open access journals.

This article outlines the development of a tool to evaluate journals, the pilot testing process, and some of the measures taken for the promotion, outreach, and implementation of the tool. The goal of the tool is to inform publishing decisions using an objective measure of credibility and to empower authors to make publishing decisions for themselves.


The authors have released the tool with a Creative Commons CC-BY license in order to enable the broad dissemination, use, and enhancement of it by anyone interested in using or developing the tool further.

It will be valuable to understand the adapted use cases of the tool and learn about experiences from other librarians using this tool at their institutions.

URL : The Development of the Journal Evaluation Tool to Evaluate the Credibility of Publication Venues

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2250

Avoiding the “Axe”: Advancing Affordable and Open Education Resources at a Midsize University

Authors: Jennifer Bazeley, Carolyn Haynes, Carla S. Myers, Eric Resnis


To address the soaring cost of textbooks, higher education institutions have launched a number of strategies to promote the adoption of affordable and open educational resources (AOER).

Although a few models for promoting and sustaining alternative and open educational resources (AOER) at higher education institutions can be found in the professional literature, additional examples are needed to assist the wide of range of universities and colleges in meeting this critical need.


In this article, the authors describe Miami University’s ongoing efforts to reduce college textbook costs for students. These initiatives were instigated in some ways by the state legislature, but were also fueled by factual evidence regarding the impact textbook costs have on the student learning experience.

The authors (university librarians and associate provost) provide a description of the institutional context and the challenges they faced in implementing AOER initiatives and chronicle the steps that their university has taken to address the challenge of rising costs of course materials.


Next steps for growing the programs and recommendations for other institutions looking to develop similar initiatives are also explored.

URL : Avoiding the “Axe”: Advancing Affordable and Open Education Resources at a Midsize University

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2259

Developing a model for university presses

Authors : Megan Taylor, Kathrine S H Jensen

This article presents a model for developing a university press based around three guiding principles and six key stages of the publishing process, with associated activities.

The model is designed to be applicable to a range of business models, including subscription, open access and hybrid. The guiding principles, publishing stages and strategic points all constitute the building blocks necessary to implement and maintain a sustainable university press.

At the centre of the model there are three interconnected main guiding principles: strategic alignment, stakeholder relationships and demonstrating impact.

The publishing process outlined in the outer ring of the model is made up of six sections: editorial, production, dissemination, preservation, communication and analytics.

These sections were based on the main stages that a journal article or monograph goes through from proposal or commissioning stage through to publication and beyond.

The model highlights the overall importance of working in partnership and building relationships as key to developing and maintaining a successful press.

URL : Developing a model for university presses

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.469

The advantages of UK Biobank’s open access strategy for health research

Authors : Megan Conroy, Jonathan Sellors, Mark Effingham, Thomas J. Littlejohns, Chris Boultwood, Lorraine Gillions, Cathie L.M. Sudlow, Rory Collins, Naomi E. Allen

Ready access to health research studies is becoming more important as researchers, and their funders, seek to maximise the opportunities for scientific innovation and health improvements.

Large‐scale population‐based prospective studies are particularly useful for multidisciplinary research into the causes, treatment and prevention of many different diseases. UK Biobank has been established as an open‐access resource for public health research, with the intention of making the data as widely available as possible in an equitable and transparent manner.

Access to UK Biobank’s unique breadth of phenotypic and genetic data has attracted researchers worldwide from across academia and industry. As a consequence, it has enabled scientists to perform world‐leading collaborative research.

Moreover, open access to an already deeply characterized cohort has encouraged both public and private sector investment in further enhancements to make UK Biobank an unparalleled resource for public health research and an exemplar for the development of open access approaches for other studies.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1111/joim.12955