Alternative Publishing Models Category

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ResearchGate – Social Media for Scientists

Referred to as Facebook for scientists, ResearchGate (http://www.researchgate.net/) is a new way for scientists to communicate. Created by Ijad Madisch, this resource allows scientists to create profile pages, comment, join groups, find job listings, link and follow other scientists and pose and answer scientific questions. Many open access articles are also shared within this resource. It is a great place to stay on top of research in a specific topic area.

In 2011, over 1.5 million connections were made between experts on a variety of fields from medicine to physics to biology to engineering to psychology to religious studies to economics to computer science and more. It helps people connect worldwide on like subject areas and in many cases they end up collaborating on projects and papers. To read more about ResearchGate and the idea of looking at the scientific process in a new light visit their website and also read Tomas Lin’s article in the New York Times “Cracking Open the Scientific Process” published on January 16, 2012.

 
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Response filed to the Authors Guild lawsuit over Hathi Trust

A brief story in the Chronicle reports on the response of defendants to the Authors Guild suit against Hathi Trust and several universities for copyright infringement. See http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/hathitrust-defendants-respond-to-authors-guild-lawsuit/38805?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en for more.

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Berlin 9 Open Access Conference held in Bethesda.

The ninth Berlin Open Access Conference, and the first to be held in the US, concluded last week in Bethesda, Md. See http://www.berlin9.org/ for details on the program. The Conference follows on the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, “issued in 2003 by international research, scientific, and cultural institutions, to promote the Internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge.”

Some interesting quotes from the meeting from Jen Howard’s coverage in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

“One or two people in this room will die in the next five years because of research that didn’t make its way to clinics fast enough,” one presenter, Cameron Neylon, told the crowd. Mr. Neylon, a biophysicist, is a senior scientist at Britain’s Science and Technology Facilities Council. He spoke at a session on how open access can create new opportunities for business as well as for scholarship. “This is not about ideology anymore,” it’s about creating the best, most efficient mechanisms for getting research to those who need it, he said.

“To me this is a design challenge,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. In an ideal world, knowledge would be as evenly distributed as sunlight, he said, recommending that universities need to be redesigned so they don’t work on exclusivity.

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Open access might not be the real issue issue for the future of research communication

Dr. David Rosenthal, engineer and co-creater of LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) recently spoke on the topic of Open Access at the University of British Columbia.

He choseto look at five audiences where OA may have an effect: general public, researchers, libraries, publishers, and software developers.  He discusses his thoughts on peer-review or in his opinion bad peer-reviewing and whether or not open access increases or decreases bad research publishing; the creation of the big deal journal bundling by publishers to fight off the cost decrease due to the transition to Web publishing and lack of library initiative to fight off the big deals; and how the increase of OA data versus OA articles might be more beneficial for researchers.  Essentially, he believes a combination of reducing publication costs, finding new technology driven publishing models, less restrictions on intellectual property and publishing of better quality articles may be the issues that face the future of research and that OA may just be a way to work on those real issues.

The full transcript of this talk can be found on his blog: http://blog.dshr.org/2011/10/what-problems-does-open-access-solve.html.

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Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) plans move forward.

At a meeting at the National Archives last Friday “representatives from top cultural institutions and public and research libraries expressed robust support for the proposed library, which would create a portal to allow the public to get easy online access to collections held at many different institutions.” Announcements included additional pledges of financial support from donors and foundations and a linkage with Europeana, a related project in Europe.

David Ferreiro, Archivist of the United States, is quoted as stating  “My reason for being so passionate about the DPLA is that I want every stinking piece of this collection digitized … I want it available to the world 24 hours a day.”

See Jennifer Howard’s article on the meeting  in the Chroncle of Higher Education

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OA week continues: Michael Eisen on PLoS One’s success

PLoS One, an author-pays open access journal, has achieved great success while offering a new model for peeer review and rapid publication. It is tied for second among journals in frequency of publication by Iowa authors, and comes in third for number of citations to articles published by Iowa researchers. Michael Eisen in this blog post comments on its success and the imitators it has spawned in its wake:

“So it has given me considerable pleasure to watch, over the past year or so, as one traditional publisher after another has responded to the smashing success of PLoS One by launching direct ripoffs that seek to capitalize on the business model we have established.”

See “PLoS Won” http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=686 

Clones mentioned by Eisen include:

 

 

 

 

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Open Access Week begins today–take a quiz (courtesy of CUNY)

Today marks the beginning of Open Access Week. Open Access publishing is in part a response to the high cost of scholarly journals published by traditional means. To test your knowledge of journal publishing economics, try this quiz posted by CUNY:  https://sites.google.com/site/cunyoaccess/

When you get to question 4 you may not realize that the example cited there of a reasonably priced journal–Medieval Feminist Forum–is published for the Society that issues it by the University of Iowa Libraries.

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Princeton joins Harvard, MIT with open access mandate

As widely reported online, Princeton’s faculty recently voted unanimously to adopt an open access policy for work by faculty published in scholarly journals. The faculty committee recommending the measure declared that  “[t]he principle of open access is consistent with the fundamental purposes of scholarship.”

Princeton joins Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kansas and others who have approved and implemented policies that seek to have faculty and other researchers post copies of their articles in open digital repositories, usually institutional repositories such as Iowa Research Online. Like the other policies, Princeton’s allows authors to request a waiver, and does not cover unpublished drafts, books, lecture notes and the like.

See this Chronicle of Higher Education article for more details.

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Do ‘the Risky Thing’ in Digital Humanities

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, the director of scholarly communication at the Modern Language Association, recently wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education called Do ‘the Risky Thing’ in Digital Humanities.  She recounts a story where she encouraged a graduate student to do the risky thing and pursue an innovative project rather than a traditional dissertation. Fitzpatrick added  “Make sure that someone’s got your back, but do the risky thing.” She adds:

“That is not to push experimentation for experimentation’s sake, but it is to say that reining in a project a graduate student really wants to do to conform with a traditional structure is counterproductive, deflating both the student’s passion and the thing that makes her work distinctive.”

Fitzpatrick continues by identifying the support from an adviser as more critical. This support continues through helping graduates in their first jobs explain to senior faculty about their work.

“Too many young digital humanists find themselves cautioned away from the very work that got them hired by well-meaning senior colleagues, who now tell them that wacky digital projects are fine on the side, or once the work necessary for tenure is complete.

“In giving that advice, we run the risk of breaking the innovative spirit that we’ve hoped to bring to our departments. And where that spirit isn’t broken, untenured digital scholars run the risk of burnout from having to produce twice as much—traditional scholarship and digital projects—as their counterparts do.”

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New York Times article on scholarly journals & open access publishing

An article in the New York Times of September 18th describes growing resistance to high-cost, commercially produced journals. It opens with the following: 

After decades of healthy profits, the scholarly publishing industry now finds itself in the throes of a revolt led by the most unlikely campus revolutionaries: the librarians.

Primary focus is the pushback in the UK to package deals with Elsevier and similar publishers, and the growth of open access publishing. The article quotes Sir John Daniel, president of the Commonwealth of Learning:

“I’ve seen it from both sides,” said Sir John, who was once briefly on the board of Blackwell. “I saw the vast industry built up from publicly funded research, and it was never clear to me what value was being added. But if you needed the material, they had you over a barrel.”

His view that open access scholarly publishing is a matter of international justice has become increasingly influential.

The UI Libraries plan to observe open access week, which this year begins on October 24th.