by A. Ben Wagner, Sciences Librarian
The Charleston Conference focuses on electronic resources and collection issues such as open access, MOOC’s, altmetrics, citation metrics and management, and copyright. Many of the presentations are freely available by going to the online program, hovering one’s mouse over the session title until the abstract pop-up window appears and then clicking on the “Slides” button, or in cases of multiple files, embedded links within the abstract text. There are some extraordinary presentations, and most of the slides clearly convey much of the content. http://2013charlestonconference.sched.org/
A) Open Access is developing an air of inevitability what with the Federal funding agencies having submitted open article and open data proposals now under internal (confidential) review per the February 2013 White House directive and the major announcement by the American Chemical Society of 4 new/enhanced open access programs including a brand new open access (OA) journal, ACS Central Science.
B) I was disappointed that there is no timetable for finishing the review of federal funding agencies OA proposals to provide open access. Nor is there any guarantee or indication of what, if any, public review will eventually take place.
C) There is a lively, continuing debate over if libraries should maintain a fund to pay article processing charges (APC’s) for open access publication. And if they do, what conditions should be place on it such as a cap on the fee, embargo period, and publications funded per author per year. One interesting criteria was a requirement that the item be deposited in the institutional repository. Much of the debate focuses on sustainability, given library budgets, and good will/tangible support for OA vs. administrative headaches. Fundamental issues include:
- Library forced into supporting two systems (subscriptions & APC’s).
- Will this just be the same publishers making more money?
- Are we biasing authors towards the minority of OA journals that charge APC’s vs. the majority that do not?
- Researchers are not taking ownership of the costs of dissemination so have we really changed the system. How can we encourage decisions based on price and bring competitive forces into play?
D) Lots of talk about article level metrics (so-called altmetrics). More and more publishers and database vendors are setting up licenses with altmetrics firms such as ImpactStory, Plum Analytics, and Altmetric.com. Public Library of Science, Highwire Press, and the American Institute of Physics are just three of a rapidly increasing number of publishers now showing article-level metrics of some type, even if it is only downloads and reads.
E) No surprise that MOOC’s (massive open online courses) were discussed. Some observations that were made:
- The only reason our reference services work is that so few of our patrons take advantage of them. Scale is an old problem, but MOOC’s could instantly overwhelm our services.
- Obvious problems with copyright/use of materials. Although permissions are sometimes possible, MOOC content understandably gravitates towards public domain/Creative Commons licensing material. This is especially true when students may come from scores of countries with varying copyright and fair use laws, or having no fair use recognized at all.
- MOOC’s will destroy traditional textbooks before they destroy higher education (the “college experience” is a value-added dimension not easily replicated).
- Educators and librarians who are supporters of open access publishing whereby publishers are threatened, suddenly have a different attitude when it comes to MOOC’s which threaten higher ed and libraries. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander?
- WARNING: Most MOOC platforms treat you (the library/scholar) as publisher requiring you to warrant compliance with all intellectual property/copyright law.
- A tricky and uncertain legal situation where institution is non-profit and course/platform is for profit. Be careful.
F) Fair use strengthened and reaffirmed by recent court cases. There have been some “nuisance” or really picky cases, e.g. use of 9 words in a film, correctly attributed to Faulkner where overzealous copyright holders have been roundly defeated. Often victorious on the grounds of transformative use; this is becoming a key legal argument.
G) A real concern among librarians and publishers that a somewhat recent change in Google Scholar ranking algorithms penalized journal articles behind pay walls. A few studies have indicated that this has a variable, but at times significant effect. JSTOR in particular suffered a significant drop in traffic from Google Scholar.
H) Libraries are seeing a real mix of citation management tools in use on their campus and are trying to figure out how many and how to support all the tools patrons are interested in. Some universities have developed detailed, yet summary, comparison charts such as Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Washington, and Penn State. We should either link to these or develop our own. One presentation indicated:
- Individual work – RefWorks, EndNote, Papers
- Collaborative Work – Zotero & Mendeley
- Multi-language – RefWorks, Zotero
- Compatibility with BibTex – Mendeley
- Multiple OS – Mendeley
I) Study of ILL requests after large journal cancellation projects at 3 North Carolina universities showed minimal impact on ILL operations with only 1%-4% of the requests in the subsequent year being from the cancelled journals.
J) Fifteen new resources/innovations were highlighted in 5-minute presentations in a plenary product showcase:
- ACSESS DL – a digital library back to 1908 created by an alliance of three crop, soil, and environmental societies.
- ISNI – International Standard Name Identifier – real progress on a standard universal number for authors/scholars. ORCID will be a subset of the ISNI database. This is operational (6.4 million individuals & 400,000 organizations), and they are doing retrospective assignments.
- Docuseek2 – streams social issue and documentary film videos.
- Elsevier Reference Modules – bundles reference works, book chapters, and articles by discipline using the ScienceDirect platform.
- Dictionary of American Regional English Digital (Harvard Univ. Press) – e-version greatly enriched with sound recordings, map interface, etc.
- AccessScience – McGraw Hill (not sure why this long-time product made the list)
- Proquest Research Companion – similar to our Research Tips web site, i.e. how to write a paper.
- ArtStor Shared Shelf – organizations can now catalog, upload, manage, and share loca media collections. Neat!
- SIPX – outsourced end-to-end solution for copyright and IP management for learning management systems and MOOCs.
- SPIE Open Access Program – 1/3 of authors now choose open access option at $100 per page.
- New Taylor & Francis Library/Info Science Journal Open Access Policy – full green OA, deposit in IR and use in LMS permitted, 50 tokens for free access that can be given out to anyone.
- ASM Science (American Soc. of Micobiology) – new digital library platform, books free of digital rights management restrictions.
- Thieme e-clinical platforms (Thieme eNeurosurgery, Thieme eOtolaryngology, Thieme eSpine) – comprehensive, multimedia platforms pulling together textbooks, books, videos, procedures, journal articles, and PubMed information.
- Browzine (Third Iron) – organizes both open access and subscription articles into a unified, composite journal which is placed on a common, library-branded newsstand and easily accessible from a tablet.
- Next Gen Web of Science (Thomson Reuters) – new “clean” interface, Google Scholar partnership whereby WOS citations show in Google Scholar results for WOS customers & full-text link to Google Scholar from WOS, more regional content.
K) Readcube is making some waves in the rental/pay-per-article field. 3 levels of access: rental, cloud purchase, and PDF purchase. Currently 110 journals, but includes Nature Publishing Group, and they say they are growing.