Posted by sarahw9 on 27 January, 2010
I’ve just been reading about a case study of the University of Westminster who it is claimed could save £1million by using the Google Apps education edition, so all its students and staff use google docs, email etc. At the same time I was reading about a new pay per view approach to accessing research papers launched October 2009 via the search engine Deepdyve (which specialises in scientific, technical and medical papers). Users of this model can read but not download papers as often as they wish for a 24 hour period for $0.99 each. Publishers such as Oxford University Press, Sage, Taylor & Francis, Wiley-Blackwell can be found there. There are also subscription services, so for $9.99 users can get 20 free articles a month and for $19.99 they can read unlimited articles. The search engine also includes open access papers which can be viewed of course for free. The search engine offers the usual services of email alerts / RSS feeds and interestingly you are invited to copy paragraphs of text into the search box “No need to come up with the perfect 2-3 words. Simply paste an interesting article into the search bar and click!”. DeepDyve have recently partnered with CiteUlike so their users can also rent articles directly from DeepDyve.
Whilst this is probably aimed at researchers outside of the conventional channels to accessing research literature, I can imagine that lots of post graduate students and academics might be tempted to pay 61p on an occasional basis just to save the trouble of filling and and signing forms which give them free access to journals via traditional document supply. Then again perhaps signing up for an account is just as much hassle. I wonder what take up they will have, and what new publishing models could be coming soon?
Posted in Digital Strategy & Website, Document Supply, Service Delivery | Tagged: Document Supply, publishing, scholarly publishing | 2 Comments »
Posted by gazjjohnson on 19 October, 2009
This week is Open Access week as declared by SPARC. While we’re not having any formal celebrations this week at UoL, if you are a Leicester student or academic (or indeed any member of the institution) why not celebrate the importance of freely available research makes in all our lives by:
I’ll be making daily posts on aspects of the LRA and open access throughout this week – and as always we warmly welcome comments from everyone.
Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Open Access | Tagged: 2009, celebration, Open Access, open access archiving, open access journals, scholarly publishing, week | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gazjjohnson on 24 July, 2009
I’ve just been reading an article “Basefsky, Stuart. (2009). The end of institutional repositories and the begining of social academic research service: An enhanced role for libraries.“. With such a shocking title you’d expect revlations of a major order, and to be honest the opening page or so does rather continue in that vein. Indeed there’s a slightly superior author style that runs through the whole paper that rather grated on me as I read it. That said Stuart does raise some interesting points on the first couple of pages about the driving forces and assumptions behind the creation of institutional repositories (IR).
The idea behind the paper is that librarians and academics should be working together more closely, using social media and other tools in support of the research process of a whole. I can certainly support that, and hope through the local contacts I have via twitter here at UoL that in some small way I’m already offering that level of service.
He goes on to consider the generally understood paradigm underlying IRs (the shop window/increased exposure to academic research) to be only one opportunity – as he puts it “Is this all the value we can extract from an IR?”. This is a theme I was hoping he’d explore in more detail later in the paper, but this rather seems to disappear as the second half of the paper dissolves into an effective list of “things I am doing”, rather than maintaining this earlier scholastic tone.
He does make some good points along the way nevertheless. When talking about the partnership twixt libraries and institutional repositories he comments
“Libraries welcomed this attention since they were fearful of being marginalised…IR would help the library maintain an important role in academic life in this time of disruptive technological change”
However, he than makes some rather caustic comments about the lack of vision of library services, suggesting their involvement in repositories is merely an attempt to maintain visibility and apparent viability in the new media age; rather than an actualised devotion to enabling further scholastic endeavour. I take issue with these statements somewhat. Perhaps two or three years ago this was a more robust argument, but certainly in the major research universities like Leicester this is not so. The repository is at the heart of the institutions preparations for REF and visibility of research. As the repository manager increasingly my time is spent working with the Research Office, or discussing research visibility issues with our academics, helping them do more with what we have. Not to mention making them aware of the developing scholastic publishing landscape.
The next third of the paper focuses more inwardly on the Catherwood Library, so is of less immediate interest or relevance to the casual reader. However, with this framework the author then extends his views point to wider library scene; pausing only for a barbed comment about library leadership that I shall pass over.
He does have a salient point here that I agree with “too many libraries take the attitude that if they build it users will come”. I think this is an unfortunate truism about the library sector. We have many enthusiasts for new services and resources, and too often we offer them on an already overloaded information platter. As a LIS researcher and project manager at heart, I always believe that we should be answering real needs with our services and making informed decisions based on an strong evidence base. Indeed he spends the next page making his argument, which seems useful if overlong by the end.
As I mentioned earlier the rest of the paper is a guide to services that the author has employed in the deliverance and indeed furtherance of the research support agenda. It seems strangely at odds with the earlier half of the paper, moving to pure practicality from scholastic theory and review. In many regards I would have been interested to read this in some more detail as a paper in its own rights.
Finally he devotes the last page to suggested new directions and possibilities for supporting academic endeavour. However, what he fails to do (IMHO) is explain the challenge of his title. Throughout the work whilst he points out the arguable flaws in IRs and their implementation and exploitation by libraries and institutions, he does not clearly to my mind exposit exactly why IRs days are (in his view) numbered.
Thus this is a flawed but detailed and intriguing article to read that anyone working with research support, IRs or indeed academic libraries should take a few minutes to glance through. You may have other insights that differ to mine, so let me know your thoughts!
Posted in Open Access, Research Support, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: article, future, institutional, library, Open Access, repositories, research, review, scholarly publishing, supporting, trends | 9 Comments »
Posted by gazjjohnson on 8 January, 2009
There’s an interesting blog post from Gerry McKiernan entitled Academic Rank of Authors Publishing in Open Access Journals, where he highlights a recent Elaine Nowick article which states:
Previous research has indicated that some faculty members may have some concerns about publishing in Open Access journals because of a perceived lack of rigor and reputation of Open Access titles…There was no indication that pre-tenured faculty avoided Open Access titles. In fact, there was a slight but significant trend for pre-tenured faculty to publish in Open Access journals.
This study has been published in, of all places, Agriculture Information Worldwide(ref in Gerry’s post). This is a refreshing result to read, even taking into account that the study would only have looked at (I assume, I can’t access the paper itself as it’s not yet available anywhere it seems) US based academics within a smattering of disciplines. However, going on my past experience of encouraging academics to think of publishing in OAJ this is one more piece of evidence that supports that trend.
Does anyone know of any comparator studies performed on UK academics and their attitudes then?
Posted in Open Access | Tagged: academic, blog, choice, decisions, Open Access, open access journals, publishing, scholarly publishing, scholarship 2.0 | 2 Comments »