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Interesting Articles on Altmetrics

Two thought-provoking articles on altmetrics were published last week.

The following two blog posts published in 2012 are also interesting. Make sure to check out the comments, which are equally interesting.

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A ‘Federated System’ for Public Access to Research

Universities and Libraries Envision a ‘Federated System’ for Public Access to Research, Chronicle of Higher Education, by Jennifer Howard

June 7, 2013

Excerpt:

As federal agencies scramble to meet an August 22 deadline to comply with a recent White House directive to expand public access to research, a group of university and library organizations says it has a workable, higher-education-driven solution. This week, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and the Association of Research Libraries are offering a plan they call the Shared Access Research Ecosystem, or Share.

Share would expand on systems that universities and libraries have long been building to support the sharing and preservation of research. The groups behind Share have been circulating a document, dated June 7, that lays out the basics behind the idea.

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Chronicle: Publisher threatens to sue blogger

Following up on a lawsuit attempt by Edwin Mellen Press to quiet its’ critics, Jeffrey Beall has been threatened with a $1 billion lawsuit from an Indian publisher, OMICS Publishing Group. Beall has achieved notoriety for creating and maintaining Beall’s list and popular blog Scholarly Open Access. Both attempt to assist scholars assess the credibility of Open Access publishing organizations, and identify publishers that authors should avoid.

See the full story at: http://chronicle.com/article/Publisher-Threatens-to-Sue/139243/

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The Real Digital Change Agent: Institutional Open Access Policies

Jason Mittell, an associate professor of film and media culture at Middlebury College, has written an interesting opinion piece on Institutional Open Access Policies (there is a coalition of them called Coapi) that are making the much of the scholarly output at participating institutions freely available online.  He ponders why these OA Policies are not making the news more often, while MOOCs (massive open online courses) are consistently discussed in the media, and viewed as a revolutionary way to extend the reach of scholars.

He writes: “Odds are that you haven’t read much about Coapi as a revolutionary, democratizing force within higher education, especially compared with its high-profile contemporary, MOOCs (massive open online courses). While it’s quite rare to read about open-access policies in the popular news media, celebrations of MOOCs as the Great Revolution About to Overturn Higher Education As We Know It litter newspapers’ opinion pages—for instance, Thomas Friedman’s recent celebratory gloss in The New York Times.”

Read more of his opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Launch of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

The DPLA announced on Tuesday that Daniel J. Cohen, a leading digital-humanities scholar, will be the project’s founding executive director.

Cohen sketched out a vision of the DPLA as both a gatherer of information and a gateway to it. It will be “an important nationwide collaboration of state and regional digital libraries who will bring together all the local content and bring it upstream to this giant ocean that will be the DPLA,” he said. “The DPLA, in turn, will redirect the general public and scholars and teachers” to digital collections and cultural resources across the country.

“The idea that we can bring all this content to Americans and people all across the world is tremendously compelling,” Mr. Cohen said.

Read more at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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More on PeerJ

Following is an edited press release from PeerJ which has quite a bit of detail about the journal:

PeerJ (https://peerj.com), a new academic journal publisher, founded on the principles of affordability, innovation, and Open Access, published its first articles today.

PeerJ, launched by Jason Hoyt (formerly at Mendeley and Stanford University) and Peter Binfield (formerly at PLOS ONE), has been shaped from the premise that ‘if society can set a goal to sequence a human genome for just $99 then why shouldn’t academics be given the opportunity to openly publish their research for a similar amount?’. By publishing its first 30 peer-reviewed articles today, PeerJ moves one step closer to realizing that vision.

PeerJ aims to establish a new model for the publication of all well reported, scientifically sound research in the Biological and Medical Sciences. To achieve that, the organization has built an economical and efficient peer review and publication system and assembled an Editorial Board of 800 esteemed academics, including an Advisory Board of 20 (five of whom are Nobel Laureates). A rigorous peer review process is operated, and the journal strives to deliver the highest standards in everything it does.

Uta Francke, an author on one of the launch day articles, PeerJ Advisory Board member; Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics, Emeritus, Stanford University School of Medicine; and Past President of both the ‘American Society of Human Genetics’ and the ‘International Federation of Human Genetics Societies’ said that she was “excited about the launch of PeerJ, which represents much more than just another Open Access publishing venture.

The innovative membership model, including a commitment to review the work of one’s peers, will ensure an interactive relationship of equals – authors, editors and reviewers – all striving for high quality research reports published in a totally transparent fashion after rigorous constructive peer review.”

Tim O’Reilly, the founder of O’Reilly Media and a thought leader in the Open Source movement, sits on the Governing Board of PeerJ Inc. and brings a wealth of knowledge, and passion, for the promotion of open, unfettered communication in academia. Tim had this to say about PeerJ: “It’s easy to forget that technological revolutions also demand business model revolutions. Open access is transformative for science publishing, not only because it spreads knowledge more efficiently, but because it slashes the cost of producing and consuming that knowledge.”

Authors wishing to experience the future of publishing can now submit their articles at: https://peerj.com/

Essential Features of PeerJ:

* PeerJ is a rapid, peer reviewed, ‘Open Access’ scholarly journal, using a Creative Commons license which means that all articles are entirely free to read, distribute, and reuse provided authors are properly attributed.

* Publication decisions are made only on scientific validity (not on perceived impact).

* PeerJ uses a ‘Membership Model’ whereby authors become lifetime members, giving them the ability to freely publish their articles thereafter. As a result, publication costs for authors are significantly lower than similar publications.

* PeerJ has 800 Academic Editors, including 20 Advisory Board members (of which 5 are Nobel Laureates). Full list at:

https://peerj.com/academic-boards/subjects/ and Advisors at:

https://peerj.com/academic-boards/advisors/

 

* * Learn more about PeerJ here: https://peerj.com/about/how-it-works/

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Open Access journal PeerJ publishes first articles

For a very different approach to scholarly publishing, take a look at the inaugural articles in PeerJ: https://peerj.com/

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Amherst College launches no-cost digital only press.

Be sure to read this news story from Inside Higher Ed about an ambitious new plan from Amherst College.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/06/amherst-college-launches-open-access-scholarly-press

Amherst will emphasize high quality, peer-reviewed monographs in its new endeavor. They are currently hiring a press director and two editors to staff the press. Much of the initiative is coming from the Amherst College Librarian, Bryn Geffert.

“My grand dream — quixotic though may be — is that if enough libraries begin  doing what we’re doing, at some point there is going to be a critical mass of  freely available scholarly literature — literature that libraries don’t have to  purchase. And if they use those savings to publish more material, you reach a  tipping point.”

 

 

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NIH to begin enforcing Open Access Policy

NIH to Begin Enforcing Open-Access Policy on Research It Supports, by Paul Basken

Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 19, 2012

Excerpt:

The NIH, in a statement issued on Friday, said that beginning in about five months, it would block the renewal of grant awards in cases where journal publications arising from the award do not comply with its open-access rule.

The NIH’s online database, PubMed Central, has some 260,000 papers collected under the policy, or about three-fourths of the eligible publicly financed research, an agency official said.

“While compliance to the policy currently stands at 75 percent and continues to edge upward,” said Neil M. Thakur, program manager for the public-access policy in Ms. Rockey’s office, the “NIH believes that four years has been sufficient time for NIH grantees to adjust to the requirement.”

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Open Access Poetry Publishing: John Tranter’s Founding and Editing of Jacket Magazine

Don Share will be at the University of Iowa on Monday, speaking in the afternoon about open access publishing and contemporary literature and the humanities. Poetry, the magazine that Share has a hand in editing, is an open access literary journal,  and it is not the only one: in the past ten years open access has been an increasingly popular publishing model for poetry journals, and the Australian-based Jacket was arguably the first to utilize open access in reaching a global audience with massive, diverse issues that traditional publishing methods were unable to accommodate.

Jacket was founded by the Australian poet John Tranter in 1997, and Tranter has recently published ” ‘The Elephant Has Left the Room’, Jacket magazine and the Internet”, a brief memoir in which he explains how Jacket came about, what kinds of things the internet makes possible in poetry publishing that are impossible with print, and how the unusual success Jacket attained made it difficult to find support among advocates of literature not accustomed to the journal’s approach to poetry:

“[Jacket's] international focus made it ineligible for Literature Board grants. This is not just a peculiar irony; it is a corollary of parochialism. When you publish a parish newsletter in an Australian community, it will not be widely read in that community if most of the articles are about events in Rome or Canterbury. You need to draw your material from the local parish if you want the local parishioners to take an interest in it.

So the greater Jacket’s success on the international stage—and it was successful immediately—the less ‘Australian’ it was, and the less interest it held for Australian scholars and cultural bureaucrats. In the thirteen years of its existence, Jacket never had a grant from the Literature Board, and was never the subject of a paper presented at an Association for the Study of Australian Literature conference, for example. Jacket, however, was the subject of a lively and well-attended panel discussion at the 2011 US Modern Languages Association convention in Los Angeles.”

Read Tranter’s full account of how he managed to produce the world’s most widely-read poetry publication. Jacket2the current incarnation of Jacket produced under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania, provides an introduction to Tranter’s memoir.