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Oscar A. Silverman Library

Science & Engineering Information News


Archive for the ‘Scholarly Publishing’ Category

Older papers are increasingly remembered—and cited

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 arXiv.org 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.

“Web of Science Day” Re-Cap

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Web of Science Training in the SEIC

Yesterday’s Web of Science Day was a great success, with UB students and faculty in attendance for three sessions on how to effectively search the Web of Science databases for information and citation data.

Some of the things that UB students and faculty learned in the Science & Engineering Information Center yesterday:

  • How to use Boolean logic to construct effective keyword searches.
  • How to create a citation report for individual authors, departments, schools, or sets of reference; these reports include automatically generated graphs and calculate basic statistics about articles in the set, including h-index and average citations per item.
  • How to set it up saved searches which will automatically run against the Web of Science databases on a schedule you set (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly), with the search results e-mailed to you.
  • How to use Web of Science with EndNote to download citations into your own EndNote database to sort, search, annotate, and cite.
  • How to find recent patents as well as data sets.
  • What a journal impact factor is, and how you can use it to decide where to publish.

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: http://www.electrochem.org/oa/#apc.

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.

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. http://2013charlestonconference.sched.org/

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 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:

  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.

October Workshops in the Science & Engineering Information Center

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This October, the UB Libraries’ new Science & Engineering Information Center on the 2nd floor of Silverman Library is offering two hands-on workshops for UB science and engineering students, faculty, and staff.

Workshop #1:  Electronic Books in Science & Engineering

When:  October 23, 2013, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Where:  Science & Engineering Information Center, 2nd floor, Silverman Library, Capen Hall (back by the windows)

What:   There are thousands of electronic books in science and engineering that the UB Libraries have purchased for your use in your coursework and research.  These are not necessarily textbooks, though many of them do offer an introduction to topics as diverse as applied mathematics, finite element method, calculus, Java scripting, and more, while others provide in-depth coverage of specialized topics in chemistry, biology, computer science, all areas of engineering, geology, physics, mathematics, and statistics.  Come and learn how to find, search, print from, download, take notes in, cite, and build personalized virtual bookshelves of electronic books in science and engineering.

What You Need to Do:  Just show up!

Highly Recommended:   Bring your laptop/tablet.  We will start with a short formal presentation and then work with you individually.

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Workshop #2:   Get Cited or Perish:  Citation Metrics for Tenure, Promotions & Grants

When:  October 29, 2013, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Where:  Science & Engineering Information Center, 2nd floor, Silverman Library, Capen Hall (back by the windows)

What:  Increasingly, citations to one’s publications are being used as part of the evaluation of dossiers, departments, and grants. Hence, it is important to not only figure out where to publish, but also how to get cited and accurately count those citations. This workshop will give you insight into tools such as Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar Citations so that you can better understand the contribution your research has made to the scientific literature. You will learn how to find specific metrics like the h-index and journal impact factors.

What You Need to Do:   Just show up!

Highly Recommended:   Bring your laptop/tablet.  We will start with a presentation that includes live demos, which you can follow on your device. Then our staff will work with you individually or in small groups.

Questions?  Contact Nancy Schiller, Engineering Librarian, Science & Engineering Information Center, 2nd Floor, Capen Hall, schiller@buffalo.edu, 716-645-1338

 

New Sci/Tech Resources Acquired

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Thanks to some year-end money, we have been able to acquire nine new journal titles and two collections of electronic books requested by faculty in our departments. Access to all but one (noted below) has been activated. In some cases, the full-text of older volumes was already available to our university, but now we have access right up to the current issue.

  1. American Mathematical Monthly
  2. Cryptography and Communications
  3. Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision (not yet active due to delay in publication of current volumes)
  4. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  5. Nanoscale (Royal Society of Chemistry)
  6. Systems and Synthetic Biology
  7. The two most recent collections of Synthesis (Morgan and Claypool) books; these are “born-digital” books, ranging from 50 to 100+ pages in length, written by experts which synthesize important research and development topics in engineering and science.

Thanks to our colleagues at the Health Sciences Library, we now have subscriptions to the following additional journals:

  1. Biometals
  2. RNA Biology
  3. Science Signaling

Journal Impact Factors – New Edition Covering 2012 Data

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Thomson Reuters Research Analytics has just released a new edition of its Journal Citation Reports (JCR) providing impact factors and other citation and influence metrics for more than 10,000 journals from 83 countries. The University Libraries provides a site-wide license to this database.  The citation data comes from the Web of Science,  one of the largest and oldest citation databases.  JCR is issued in two editions: Science (& Technology) and Social Sciences.

According to the Thomson Reuters press release,  a total of 379 journals received their first Journal Impact Factor. Additionally, 37 journals were suppressed due to questionable citation activity. Note that Thomson is now referring to the new edition as 2013 (based on the year that it was released), but all the data is from 2012. In the Journal Citation Reports interface, it is still referred to by the year the data was collected; i.e., the 2012 edition.

Alternately, there are now a number of free web sites that evaluate the impact of journals including Eigenfactor, SCImago, and Google Scholar Metrics for Journals. Consulting these sites is useful in order to cross-check to JCR rankings and in cases where a journal is not covered by JCR.

NAS Celebrates 150 Years of Service to U.S. Science

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President Abraham Lincoln signed the legislation creating the U.S. National Academy of Science (NAS) on March 3, 1863, shortly after establishment of the Land Grant Colleges, under the 1862 Morrill Act. These two events provided the U.S. a strong foothold from which American scientific achievements were born. Since then, the National Academy not only promoted excellence in science through its publications (report series and the acclaimed journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences-PNAS) and its elected body of scholars into The Academy; the National Academy elevated the quality of scientific, engineering and medical achievements to the most prestigious places worldwide.

From its humble beginnings, additional entities were spawned and created an even more robust atmosphere celebrating and driving America’s scientific achievements. President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order in 1918 that paired science and public policy through the National Research Council, which works in concert with the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering (created in 1964)and the Institute of Medicine (in 1970).

Among the celebratory remarks about the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Academy, Robert Cicerone, NAS President, elaborated on the goals and mission of the Academy in an editorial in the March 19th issue of PNAS. They include a concise inventory of the Academy’s current mission (read his full editorial):

  • Validate scientific excellence,
  • Enhance the vitality of the scientific enterprise,
  • Guide public policy with sciences, and
  • Communicate the nature, values and judgments of science to government and the public.

The Reports of the National Academies and the National Research Council are published by the National Academies Press (NAP).  NAP publishes roughly 200 reports per year, all of which are entered into the UB Libraries collection of E-book Resources with many of their titles also acquired in their print formats. They are often used as supplemental readings for classes in the sciences, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. It is interesting to note that among publishers, NAP is the first self-sustaining publisher making its reports available on the Web for free, in an open access model.

Celebrating a Milestone in Biology with a New Database

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This announcement comes to you on the “Diamond Celebration” of the 60th Anniversary of one of biology’s greatest accomplishments.  Codebreakers: Makers of Modern Genetics is a new online database offered by the Wellcome Library in London. It provides a historical glimpse into the race to deduce the chemical structure of the DNA molecule. The crux of this resource is the April 25, 1953 landmark paper published by James Watson and Francis Crick in the journal, Nature, where they reported the chemical structure of DNA, a feat that stimulated a biological revolution that is still unfolding.

Codebreakers brings together more than one million photographs, sketches, notes, and essays related to the Watson & Crick investigation of DNA’s chemical structure. Future plans call for adding resources from 20 smaller collections, 650 digitized images and 500,000 additional pages of text. This $5.88 million dollar project is one of the world’s most comprehensive sources for a cross-disciplinary look at one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. Additional information is found at: http://wellcomelibrary.org/using-the-library/subject-guides/genetics/makers-of-modern-genetics.