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Archive for the ‘Journals’ Category

Open Access Publishing Options: American Chemical Society (ACS)

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Although known for its high quality subscription journals, the American Chemical Society (ACS) offers a number of open access (free-to-read) publishing options for its authors.

But first, why should researchers care about open access?

  • Many studies show that open access articles are downloaded twice as much and on average cited 8-50% more than equivalent articles locked behind subscription “pay-walls.” This can translate to higher citation metrics for tenure and promotion.
  • A U.S. Law passed in January 2014 mandates that virtually all federally funded research articles be openly available within 12 months of publication.
  • The social good of reaching (and the extra readership by) scholars and educators associated with smaller institutions and those in poorer countries that cannot afford expensive journal subscriptions should not be underestimated.

Although it is true that federally funded research articles must now have a free-to-read version available after 12 months, there are advantages to eliminating that embargo period via immediate open access including getting timelier, enhanced worldwide exposure for your research accomplishments.

ACS provides four main avenues for open access publication:

1)      The new ACS Central Science, a highly selective, peer-reviewed journal that is fully open access with no embargo.

2)      ACS Author Choice permits authors to pay a one-time article processing charge (APC) to make their article openly available upon publication.

3)      ACS Author Rewards, a fairly new program whereby the corresponding author of every ACS peer-reviewed article receives a credit of $1,500 that can be used in the subsequent year to pay the APC for any newly submitted or make any previously published subscription article open access.

4)      ACS Editors’ Choice, a composite on-line journal created by ACS editors picking one article to be made permanently open access each day of the year from across all ACS journals.

Details of these programs as of April 2, 2015 were published in a Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters viewpoint article, “ACS is Open”. However, the parameters of these programs may change in the future so scholars are encouraged to visit the ACS Author & Reviewer Resource Center for the most up-to-date information.

In addition, all publishers, including the American Chemical Society, must allow authors to comply with the new funding agency open access policies rapidly being implemented over the next few years.

American Chemical Society New Mobile App

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The American Chemical Society (ACS) recently released a mobile app, ACS2Go, for their highly used journal web site. The key feature is that, once a user accesses the journal site on campus, it automatically authenticates the device for use off-campus for 4 months, giving researchers the ability to read any subscription-based content without the need for an additional log-in step. ACS2Go can be accessed at on a tablet or smartphone.

Other features of ACS2Go include:

  • Compatibility with gestural commands to swipe and advance between articles and issues.
  • Ability to browse, search, and download journal articles.
  • Configurability tailored to the research interests and reading habits of the reader.
  • Share articles and links via email.
  • Compatible with devices running iOS, Android and Blackberry.

ACS2Go complements the previously introduced ACS Mobile app.

Database Snapshot: ACM Digital Library

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The ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Digital Library provides access to bibliographic information, abstracts, reviews, and selected full-text for articles and papers appearing in ACM publications including journals/transactions, magazines, conference proceedings and newsletters for 1947-present. It also provides access to selected works published by affiliated organizations.

Tips for using ACM Digital Library

Enter your terms in the upper search box. In the results list, full-text is noted with PDF or HTML icons. Refine your search using the left column of refine options. Bibliometric information is given for each item.

Open Access Publishing – Major Worldwide Study

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The European Commission recently released the most comprehensive study of open access (OA) publishing in peer reviewed journals ever done, an analysis of over 1 million articles indexed in Scopus from 1996-2013.  Open access articles are free for anyone to read. This massive study is filled with data that includes the growth of OA, the proportion of various types of OA articles, the availability of OA articles by discipline, and the citation advantage OA papers have over articles requiring a subscription to read.  It is the only study to our knowledge that includes a breakdown of OA articles by country, region, discipline, publication year, and type of OA (Gold: published directly in an OA journal; Green: made freely available by the author via an official institutional or disciplinary repository; Other: Freely available on the Internet via some other means).

A few of the main findings are:

1) More than 50% of articles published between 2007-2012 are freely available as of April 2014.

2) OA articles overall are cited 40.3% more than non-OA articles, ranging from 26% to 64% based on discipline.

3) The proportion of Gold OA articles (published directly in OA journals) is currently doubling every 4.1 years.

At a minimum, the 7-page executive summary is worth a careful read.  See: Archambault, E., Amyot, D., Deschamps, P., Nicol, A., Provencher, F., Rebout, L., & Roberge, G. (2014). Proportion of Open Access Papers Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals at the European and World Levels: 1996-2013 (D 1.8 version 11p ed., pp. ix, 41): Science-Metrix.


Older papers are increasingly remembered—and cited

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Recently a study done by Google Inc. researchers indicates that older papers are increasingly being found and cited by researchers. The November 4, 2014 paper is freely available at and is entitled On the Shoulders of Giants: The Growing Impact of Older Articles. John Bohannon wrote an interesting Science magazine news report about the study that same day. He notes that the Google researchers used Google Scholar data and “analyzed scientific papers published between 1990 and 2013. They divided the papers into nine broad research areas and 261 subject categories. Then they compared the publication dates of the papers cited in all those papers.”

The study authors hypothesize this may be the effective of mass digitization and the increasing cumulative body of born-digital scholarship.  In the news report, a commentator offers a different hypothesis, that the growth of the scientific literature is slowing, but offers no evidence for that surprising statement (at least to us librarians who see the growth of open access journals and prices/page counts for subscription journals).  A darker hypothesis is that the average quality of papers is decreasing requiring scholars to look further back in time for citable material. However, this last hypothesis is predicated on scholars being particularly diligent in citing only high quality research.

SPIE Digital Library

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index1.pgWe are pleased to announce that the UB Libraries have begun a subscription to the SPIE Digital Library, focused on optics and photonics research. Our subscription allows us access to the full text of all papers appearing in SPIE conference proceedings and SPIE journals. Please note that our subscription does not include access to the SPIE e-books.

From on campus, you can directly access the full text of proceedings and journals in the SPIE Digital Library via as well as connect to and access this content directly through search engines such as Google Scholar. If you are connecting from off-campus however, you should connect via, which will present you with the opportunity to authenticate within your browser session using your UBITname and password.

SPIE publications cover the science and technology of optics and photonics and their application to all fields ranging from imaging, sensors, biomedicine, manufacturing, and energy to nanotechnology, communications, entertainment, and electronics.

UB BioMed Central Membership

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Thanks to funding provided by our Health Sciences Library colleagues, effective October 2, UB is now is a member of one of the best and largest open access publishers, BioMed Central (BMC).

This membership gives UB authors a 15% discount on the article processing charges with no limit on number of articles per year. If you go to our UB member page, you will see how active UB is on BioMed Central. UB researchers had five articles published in BMC journals last month. BMC’s extensive journal list of over 100 titles has considerable breadth including biochemistry, structural biology and ecology titles, for example.
When you submit your research to any of our journals, it will receive rigorous and rapid peer review. If your article is accepted:

  • It will be accessible to anyone with an Internet connection – open access means no subscriptions or ‘pay-per-view’ charges for original research articles.
  • It is more likely to be cited, as it will be freely available to the entire global biological and medical community
  • It will be listed in PubMed within days of publication and also archived in PubMed Central.
  • You retain the copyright of your work
  • You will be able to view your article’s access statistics, which average over 200 downloads per month per article

Please consider publishing in a BMC journal. By submitting your manuscript from a UB location, you should automatically receive a 15% discount on article processing charges. See more information about the benefits of publishing with BioMed Central.

UB Authors Publish for Free: Electrochemical Society Journals

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The Electrochemical Society (ECS) has just announced that since the UB Libraries support a subscription to their journals, UB authors can publish their articles with the benefits of immediate open access at no charge for the rest of 2014. The open access article processing charge of $800 is completely waived. The full announcement is at:

Open access publishing enhances visibility, readership, and getting cited. This is becoming more and more crucial as citation metrics play an increasing role in the evaluation of scholarship (for better or worse). There is also the satisfaction of knowing that scholars in even the poorest countries in the world can access your research without subscription barriers.

Please contact a faculty librarian in the Science and Engineering Information Center if you have any questions about copyright, reserving rights to your work, open access publishing options, reputation of journals (especially when you receive unsolicited offers from an unfamiliar journal), publisher agreements, and article processing charges.

American Chemical Society Journal Supplemental Data Digitized

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More than a century’s worth of supplemental data and other information from published chemical research is now available from the American Chemical Society (ACS). The society has completed a project to digitize supporting information associated with 40,000 journal articles published by ACS from 1879 to 1995 that previously had only be available on microform, if at all. Material from 1996 forward was born digital and hence already available.

Supporting information can be critical understanding a particular research article by providing additional context, relevance, and a sound basis for comparing results.

Using the ACS Publications web site, the archived ACS data are searchable, can be downloaded for free from the abstract page of each paper, and have metadata associated with them. In total, the archive includes some 800,000 pages of tables, illustrations, diagrams, spectroscopic and crystallographic results, experimental procedures, software code, biological data, mathematical derivations, and other supplementary information

ACS publishes more than 40 chemistry-related journals as well as C&EN. [Information taken primarily from an ACS press release]

Impressions: Charleston Conference 2013

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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.

My impressions:

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:

  1. Library forced into supporting two systems (subscriptions & APC’s).
  2. Will this just be the same publishers making more money?
  3. Are we biasing authors towards the minority of OA journals that charge APC’s vs. the majority that do not?
  4. 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 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. MOOC’s will destroy traditional textbooks before they destroy higher education (the “college experience” is a value-added dimension not easily replicated).
  4. 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?
  5. WARNING: Most MOOC platforms treat you (the library/scholar) as publisher requiring you to warrant compliance with all intellectual property/copyright law.
  6. 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:

  1. Individual work – RefWorks, EndNote, Papers
  2. Collaborative Work – Zotero & Mendeley
  3. Multi-language – RefWorks, Zotero
  4. Compatibility with BibTex – Mendeley
  5. 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:

  1. ACSESS DL – a digital library back to 1908 created by an alliance of three crop, soil, and environmental societies.
  2. 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.
  3. Docuseek2 – streams social issue and documentary film videos.
  4. Elsevier Reference Modules – bundles reference works, book chapters, and articles by discipline using the ScienceDirect platform.
  5. Dictionary of American Regional English Digital (Harvard Univ. Press) – e-version greatly enriched with sound recordings, map interface, etc.
  6. AccessScience – McGraw Hill (not sure why this long-time product made the list)
  7. Proquest Research Companion – similar to our Research Tips web site, i.e. how to write a paper.
  8. ArtStor Shared Shelf – organizations can now catalog, upload, manage, and share loca media collections. Neat!
  9. SIPX – outsourced end-to-end solution for copyright and IP management for learning management systems and MOOCs.
  10. SPIE Open Access Program – 1/3 of authors now choose open access option at $100 per page.
  11. 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.
  12. ASM Science (American Soc. of Micobiology) – new digital library platform, books free of digital rights management restrictions.
  13. Thieme e-clinical platforms (Thieme eNeurosurgery, Thieme eOtolaryngology, Thieme eSpine) – comprehensive, multimedia platforms pulling together textbooks, books, videos, procedures, journal articles, and PubMed information.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.