Hidden Inequities of Access. Document Accessibility in an Aggregated Database

Authors : Amanda Hovious, Congwen Wang

Despite ongoing efforts to improve database accessibility, aggregated database vendors concede that they do not have complete control over document accessibility. Instead, they point to the responsibility of journal publishers to deliver articles in an accessible format. This may increase the likelihood that users with disabilities will encounter articles that are not compatible with a screen reader.

To better understand the extent of the problem, a document accessibility audit was conducted of randomly selected articles from EBSCO’s Library & Information Source database. Full-text articles from 12 library science journals were evaluated against two measures of screen reader compatibility: HTML format (the optimal format for screen readers) and PDF accessibility conformance.

Findings showed inconsistencies in HTML format availability for articles in the selected journals. Additionally, the entire sample of PDF articles failed to meet the minimum standard of PDF Universal Accessibility of containing a tagged structure. However, all PDF articles passed accessibility permissions tests, so could be made accessible retroactively by a third party.

URL : Hidden Inequities of Access. Document Accessibility in an Aggregated Database

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5860/ital.v43i1.16661

To preprint or not to preprint: A global researcher survey

Authors : Rong Ni, Ludo Waltman

Open science is receiving widespread attention globally, and preprinting offers an important way to implement open science practices in scholarly publishing. To develop a systematic understanding of researchers’ adoption of and attitudes toward preprinting, we conducted a survey of authors of research papers published in 2021 and early 2022. Our survey results show that the United States and Europe led the way in the adoption of preprinting.

The United States and European respondents reported a higher familiarity with and a stronger commitment to preprinting than their colleagues elsewhere in the world. The adoption of preprinting is much stronger in physics and astronomy as well as mathematics and computer science than in other research areas. Respondents identified free accessibility of preprints and acceleration of research communication as the most important benefits of preprinting.

Low reliability and credibility of preprints, sharing results before peer review and premature media coverage are the most significant concerns about preprinting, emphasized in particular by respondents in the life and health sciences. According to respondents, the most crucial strategies to encourage preprinting are integrating preprinting into journal submission workflows and providing recognition for posting preprints.

URL : To preprint or not to preprint: A global researcher survey

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24880

Enquête sur l’organisation des services à la recherche en bibliothèque

Auteur.ices/Authors : Karine Bacher-Eyroi, Vincent de Lavenne, Renaud Delemontez-Sage, Madeleine Géroudet, Anthony

L’enquête sur l’organisation des services à la recherche dans les bibliothèques de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, menée à grande échelle pour la première fois en 2021 par l’ADBU, a été renouvelée selon une méthodologie constante en 2023. Elle livre de premières tendances éclairantes, détaillées dans ce rapport, sur l’évolution de ces services, leurs périmètres et leurs moyens.

URL : Enquête sur l’organisation des services à la recherche en bibliothèque

HAL : https://normandie-univ.hal.science/hal-04493313

Societal and scientific impact of policy research: A large-scale empirical study of some explanatory factors using Altmetric and Overton

Authors: Pablo Dorta-González, Alejandro Rodríguez-Caro, María Isabel Dorta-González

This study investigates how scientific research influences policymaking by analyzing citations of research articles in policy documents (policy impact) for nearly 125,000 articles across 434 public policy journals. We reveal distinct citation patterns between policymakers and other stakeholders like researchers, journalists, and the public.

News and blog mentions, social media engagement, and open access publications (excluding fully open access) significantly increase the likelihood of a research article being cited in policy documents. Conversely, articles locked behind paywalls and those published under the full open access model (based on Altmetric data) have a lower chance of being policy-cited. Publication year and policy type show no significant influence. Our findings emphasize the crucial role of science communication channels like news media and social media in bridging the gap between research and policy.

Interestingly, academic citations hold a weaker influence on policy citations compared to news mentions, suggesting a potential disconnect between how researchers reference research and how policymakers utilize it. This highlights the need for improved communication strategies to ensure research informs policy decisions more effectively.

This study provides valuable insights for researchers, policymakers, and science communicators. Researchers can tailor their dissemination efforts to reach policymakers through media channels. Policymakers can leverage these findings to identify research with higher policy relevance. Science communicators can play a critical role in translating research for policymakers and fostering dialogue between the scientific and policymaking communities.

Arxiv : https://arxiv.org/abs/2403.06714

Benefits of Citizen Science for Libraries

Authors : Dolores Mumelaš, Alisa Martek

Participating in collaborative scientific research through citizen science, a component of open science, holds significance for both citizen scientists and professional researchers. Yet, the advantages for those orchestrating citizen science initiatives are often overlooked. Organizers encompass a diverse range, including governmental entities, non-governmental organizations, corporations, universities, and institutions like libraries.

For libraries, citizen science holds importance by fostering heightened civic and research interests, promoting scientific publishing, and contributing to overall scientific progress. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the specific ways in which citizen science can benefit libraries and how libraries can effectively utilize citizen science to achieve their goals.

The paper is based on a systematic review of peer-reviewed articles that discuss the direct benefits of citizen science on libraries. A list of the main benefits of citizen science for libraries has been compiled from the literature. Additionally, the reasons why it is crucial for libraries to communicate the benefits of citizen science for their operations have been highlighted, particularly in terms of encouraging other libraries to actively engage in citizen science projects.

URL : Benefits of Citizen Science for Libraries

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications12010008

On The Peer Review Reports: Does Size Matter?

Authors : Abdelghani Maddi, Luis Miotti

Amidst the ever-expanding realm of scientific production and the proliferation of predatory journals, the focus on peer review remains paramount for scientometricians and sociologists of science. Despite this attention, there is a notable scarcity of empirical investigations into the tangible impact of peer review on publication quality.

This study aims to address this gap by conducting a comprehensive analysis of how peer review contributes to the quality of scholarly publications, as measured by the citations they receive. Utilizing an adjusted dataset comprising 57,482 publications from Publons to Web of Science and employing the Raking Ratio method, our study reveals intriguing insights. Specifically, our findings shed light on a nuanced relationship between the length of reviewer reports and the subsequent citations received by publications.

Through a robust regression analysis, we establish that, beginning from 947 words, the length of reviewer reports is significantly associated with an increase in citations. These results not only confirm the initial hypothesis that longer reports indicate requested improvements, thereby enhancing the quality and visibility of articles, but also underscore the importance of timely and comprehensive reviewer reports.

Furthermore, insights from Publons’ data suggest that open access to reports can influence reviewer behavior, encouraging more detailed reports. Beyond the scholarly landscape, our findings prompt a reevaluation of the role of reviewers, emphasizing the need to recognize and value this resource-intensive yet underappreciated activity in institutional evaluations.

Additionally, the study sounds a cautionary note regarding the challenges faced by peer review in the context of an increasing volume of submissions, potentially compromising the vigilance of peers in swiftly assessing numerous articles.

HAL : https://cnrs.hal.science/hal-04492274

Science communication objectives and actual practices of science news websites as a showcase for gaps between theory and practice

Authors : Ifat Zimmerman, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Tali Tal

This study contributes to the growing body of science communication research showing gaps between theory and practice objectives, focusing on one particular understudied and emerging science communication innovation.The objectives and practices of four Israeli science news websites were analyzed considering three science communication models: “Dissemination”, “Dialogue”, and “Participation.”

Using concurrent parallel mixed methods, we examined the perspectives of website administrators (n=8) and readers (n=20) through interviews, a content analysis of news items (n=298), discussion threads (n=507), and reader questionnaires (n=89). Findings indicate limited adoption of two-way communication about how science is applied in society. The scant implementation of the dialogue model suggests its promises are not concretized in practice on these science news websites.

URL : Science communication objectives and actual practices of science news websites as a showcase for gaps between theory and practice

DOI : https://doi.org/10.22323/2.23010205