“This working paper explores the consequences for historians’ research practice of the twinned transnational and digital turns. The accelerating digitization of historians’ sources (scholarly, periodical, and archival) and the radical shift in the granularity of access to information within them has radically changes historians’ research practice. Yet this has incited remarkably little reflection regarding the consequences for individual projects or collective knowledge generation. What are the implications for international research in particular? This essay heralds the new kinds of historical knowledge-generation made possible by web access to digitized, text-searchable sources. It also attempts an accounting of all that we formerly, unwittingly, gained from the frictions inherent to international research in an analog world. What are the intellectual and political consequences of that which has been lost?”
“Cultural heritage institutions are increasingly providing online access to primary source materials for researchers. While the intent is to enable round-the-clock access from any location, few studies have examined the extent to which current web delivery is meeting the needs of users. Careful use of limited resources requires intelligent assessment of researcher needs in comparison to the actual online presentation, including access, retrieval and usage options. In the hopes of impacting future delivery methods and access development, this article describes the results of a qualitative study of 11 humanities faculty researchers at the University of Alabama, who describe and rate the importance of various issues encountered when using 29 participant-selected online databases.”
Trust and Authority in Scholarly Communications in the Light of the Digital Transition: setting the scene for a major study :
“The paper provides the results of the first phase of the research project Trust and Authority in Scholarly Communications in the Light of the Digital Transition. It provides for an examination of the behaviours and attitudes of academic researchers as producers and consumers of scholarly information resources in the digital era in respect to how they determine authority and trustworthiness in the sources they use, cite, and publish in. The first phase of the study utilized focus groups to formulate research questions for the project as a whole. It provided the direction for the literature review, interviews, and questionnaires studies that would follow. Fourteen focus groups were held in the UK and US in order to obtain this information. A total of 66 science and social science researchers participated. The main findings were: (a) researchers play down difficulties of establishing trustworthiness, not because there are none, but because they have well-developed methods of establishing trust; (b) citation-derived metrics are becoming more important in regard to where researchers publish; (c) social media are ancillary to research, but are used for promotion of research and idea generation; (d) researchers are suspicious and confused about open access, but less so if produced by a traditional publisher; (e) there was a uniformity of perceptions/behaviour of researchers irrespective of differences in subject, country, and age; (f) although some early career researchers behave the same as their more senior colleagues this is because of a fear of the system: they actually think differently.”
URL : http://ciber-research.eu/download/20140406-Learned_Publishing_27_2-Trust.pdf
Browsing is an essential component to discovery. Understanding the foundations of browsing patterns and preferences is crucial in developing effective ebrowsing environments.
It’s important to understand how researchers in diverse disciplines have described their discoveries in terms of browsing, searching, and serendipitous encounters. Examining the works of scientists, social scientists, and humanists through the lens of discovery will reveal essential components to be aware of in developing ebrowsing environments.
In turning to a wide range of sources, often outside traditional library literature, we deepen our understanding of what it means to browse in an electronic environment. As librarians, we have an obligation to create physical and virtual spaces that cultivate wonder and curiosity and acknowledge varied paths to discovery.
Electronic browsing options must become more robust if libraries are to be vital to scholarly communication. In this presentation we focus on the language and experience of browsing, with particular attention to serendipitous discovery, in order to encourage librarians, particularly those in public service, to more effectively articulate concerns and opportunities to developers.
Collaborative Improvements in the Discoverability of Scholarly Content : Accomplishments, Aspirations,
and Opportunities :
“The life cycle of academic works is supported by extensive cross-sector collaboration throughout the scholarly communications ecosystem. In recent years, traditional codes of practice have been disturbed. In response, in 2012, SAGE published a white paper that offered conversation starters for reinventing conventions and relationships among libraries, publishers, and service providers. To carry on the investigation of the first white paper, Improving Discoverability of Scholarly Content in the Twentieth Century: Collaboration Opportunities for Librarians, Publishers, and Vendors, this paper explores the latest accomplishments, aspirations, opportunities, and challenges for improved discoverability of scholarly content. As the discovery landscape is rapidly shifting, this paper demonstrates that progress continues to depend on core principles of cross-sector collaboration, taking the form of these actionable recommendations for anyone in scholarly communications:
•Standards: When relevant, all sectors should participate in ratified standards to ensure that cooperation is part of business-as-usual routines.
•Transparency: Standards compliance is critical for successful discovery, and the development, implementation, and enforcement of these standards require open relationships across the industry
focused on reaching our shared goals.
•Metadata: Quality metadata, observing ratified standards, enables successful discovery of scholarly
content, products, and services.
•Partnerships: Opportunities exist for new discovery innovations across the industry, such as linked open data and cross-publisher discovery tools.”
URL : http://www.sagepub.com/repository/binaries/pdf/improvementsindiscoverability.pdf
The Digital Public Domain : Foundations for an Open Culture :
“Digital technology has made culture more accessible than ever before. Texts, audio, pictures and video can easily be produced, disseminated, used remixed using devices that are increasingly user-friendly and affordable. However, along with this technological democratization comes a paradoxical flipside: the norms regulating culture’s use — copyright and related rights — have become increasingly restrictive. This book brings together essays by academics, librarians, entrepreneurs, activists…”
URL : http://books.openedition.org/obp/513
Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2012 :
“Key Findings :
••The role of internet search engines in facilitating discovery of scholarly resources has continued to increase. The perceived decline in the role of the library catalog noted in previous cycles of this survey has been arrested and even modestly reversed, driven perhaps to some degree by significant strategic shifts in library discovery tools and services.
•• Respondents are generally satisfied with their ability to access the scholarly literature, not least because freely available materials have come to play a significant role in meeting their needs.
•• While respondents continued to trend overall towards greater acceptance of a print to electronic transition for scholarly journals, they grew modestly less comfortable with replacing print subscriptions with electronic access. Monographs, although widely used in electronic form, present a mixed picture for any possible format transition. While some monograph use cases are quite strong for electronic versions, others – especially long-form reading – are seen to favor print by a decisive share. Even so, a growing share of respondents expects substantial change in library collecting practices for monographs in the next five years.
•• Respondents’ personal interests are the primary factor in selecting research topics, but junior faculty members report that tenure considerations play an important role, as well. Collaboration models vary significantly across scholarly fields. While humanists are less likely than scientists or social scientists
to conduct quantitative analyses, nevertheless some 25% of humanists report gathering their own data for this purpose.
•• Small but non-trivial shares of respondents use technology in their undergraduate teaching. But while most recognize the availability of resources to help them do so, many respondents do not draw upon resources beyond their own ideas or feel strongly motivated to seek out opportunities to use more technology in their teaching.
•• Respondents tend to value established scholarly dissemination methods, prioritizing audiences in their sub-discipline and discipline, and those of lay professionals, more so than undergraduates or the general public. Similarly, they continue to select journals in which to publish based on characteristics such as topical coverage, readership, and impact factor. Finally, respondents tend to value existing publisher services, such as peer review, branding, copy-editing, while expressing less widespread agreement about the value of newer dissemination support services offered by libraries that are intended to maximize access and impact.
•• Respondents perceive less value from many functions of the academic library than they did in the last cycle of this survey. One notable exception is the gateway function, which experienced a modest resurgence in perceived value. A minority of respondents sees the library as primarily responsible for teaching research skills to undergraduates. And, though still a clear minority, the share of respondents who wish to see substantial change to library staff and buildings has increased. There are large differences in perceptions between disciplinary groups: for example, a smaller share of scientists views many
library roles as very important.
•• Conferences remain at the heart of respondents’ perceptions of the role and value of the scholarly societies in which they participate. Conferences are valued for both the formal function of discovering new scholarship and informal role of connecting scholars with peers.”