(#14) Lessons from the SPARC OA 2012 meeting, Kansas City

Recently, John Wilbanks, Fellow of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and recent Vice President of Science at Creative Commons, gave a rousing keynote address at the start of the SPARC Open Access Meeting in Kansas City (March 11-13). He made several standout points that all institutional repository managers should consider:

“We are all Veruca Salt.” We all want it NOW.

We seem to believe that scientists’ professional lives are different from their personal lives. In the age of the Kindle, it is any wonder that some scientists are frustrated with the status quo of publishing and libraries, when they can’t effortlessly sync their research across storage solutions, virtual lab benches, repositories, and journal websites as easily as they can sync their e-reader?

Wilbanks drove home the point that we need to build smarter systems immediately that are a) interoperable and b) make researchers’ work as easy as pressing a “Sync” button.

 “Data publication is not the magic answer.”

What good is data that has no context? Or raw data that has context, for that matter? Wilbanks pointed out that publishing all data, without discretion or curation, does not provide a magic answer to the problems we already have with the pace of scientific discovery (and the roadblocks that closed access publishing are thought to contribute to). We need to consider very carefully the points at which we publish data, what we choose to publish, and who edits the data that we do publish.

This has an important lesson for librarians and institutional repository managers, many of whom are currently struggling with how to create a well-formed collection development plan for their data, and how to provide services that researchers need related to data.

What is “true” Open Access?

Wilbanks and many other Open Access advocates point to the so-called “Berlin” definition of Open Access as the “true OA” standard. It is his belief that for-profit publishers have “diluted” the meaning of Open Access by applying restrictive Creative Commons licenses to papers published in their journals. Any license other than CC-BY hinders innovation, according to Wilbanks, by requiring that researchers who wish to repurpose licensed articles, data, etc, gain approval before doing so.

Wilbanks was quick to admit that “restrictive” CC licensing is often done in order to protect the commercial interests of publishers. His solution for this problem is based upon the long tail of use that research sees in its lifecycle: there’s generally a lot of interest in the first few months, but that quickly drops off. What if the license changed, based on where that research was in its life cycle (see slides 86-88)? While this is still just an idea, it is an intriguing one.

The adoption of a lifecycle approach to Open Access licensing by mainstream publishers could have a profound effect on self-archiving at IRs. No longer would we have to consult SHERPA/RoMEO to find the OA policy for an obscure journal; we could ingest items upon publication and know that after 6 months (or 1 year, etc), that embargoed item could go live. Imagine the resources and employee hours saved!

In addition to Wilbanks, there were many excellent speakers at SPARC OA 2012. For those who wish to learn more about the conference, check out these excellent Storify summaries. You can also view all presentation slide decks at SPARC’s website.

(#13) IUScholarWorks Journals

IUScholarWorks includes a service for managing and publishing IU faculty and graduate student edited journals.  If you’re interested in getting a handle on the editorial workflow process (i.e., less email in your personal inbox!) or if you’re interested in pursuing an open access publishing business model for your journal, please contact us to talk about the possibilities.

We support the OJS software platform.  OJS = Open Journal Systems and is a product of the Public Knowledge Project.  The OJS software is a robust content management system for managing the editorial work of the journal.  It includes support for author submissions – including agreement to the journal’s copyright policy, peer review – including reviewer forms, and the editorial work for sections.  At its core is a large database that keeps track of all the communications between the involved scholars as well as all the article versions produced along the way.

OJS can also publish your journal if it is based on an open access publishing model – meaning free and available to the world on the internet. OJS provides RSS feeds for tables of contents to readers and you can allow readers to make comments on the content.

Please review the journals that publish with IUScholarWorks Journals.  Please know that we can support the editorial work if you publish with another publisher.  We can also address archiving open access backfiles if a journal could benefit from such a service.  No matter what option you choose, if you partner with IUScholarWorks Journals your content will be highly discoverable by search engines – including Google Scholar, the IU Libraries along with our partners in the Digital Library Program will take measures to preserve the content for the foreseeable future, and we will provide article level use statistics that are of value to both authors and editors.

(#12) We’re Growing!

We are very happy to have two new employees join our ranks!

We are very happy to announce that Stacy Konkiel accepted the E-Science Librarian position effective January 17.  Stacy was formerly a Marketing Associate
for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) in San Francisco where she led efforts
to market PLoS journals to a wide range of international scientific communities,
and supported research and development for Article-Level Metrics and data sharing initiatives.  Prior to working for PLoS, Stacy was the Digital Repository Resident
Librarian for ScholarWorks at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Stacy received her MLS and MIS from IU in 2008.  As the E-Science Librarian, Stacy will be responsible for working with various groups across campus to develop policies, sustainable services, and infrastructure to enable faculty and students to preserve and make available their research data.

We are also very happy to have Ryan Cobine join IUScholarWorks with a temporary half-time assignment that also began in January.  Ryan will focus his efforts and talents on staff and user training and documentation.  He is currently the VIVO Pilot Coordinator in
Library Technologies and Digital Libraries and will continue in that role at half-time. Ryan has a long history of providing excellent instructional services within UITS and other units of IU Bloomington.

Please join us in welcoming our newest members to the team.

(#11) FAR and IUScholarWorks

Have you noticed in the Faculty Annual Report (FAR), there is a check-box labeled ScholarWorks?  This check-box appears when you record your publications, creative activities, conference presentations, and even service activities.  By checking the
ScholarWorks button, you are indicating that you are interested in placing the
corresponding publication, presentation, etc. into IUScholarWorks, the digital
repository hosted by the IU Libraries (see https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/).  By placing your work in the repository, you will gain increased visibility to your research and the work will be assigned a permanent, stable URL for easy linking and dissemination.  In order for a paper, powerpoint presentation, poster, or other material to be deposited into the repository, you must own the copyright to the material or have permission to make it
available.  Note for journal publications, this often means that that the publisher’s PDF copy of the article is generally not allowed, although a pre-print version may be.  If you are interested in increasing access to your work, while having the libraries be responsible for the long-term maintenance to it, then check the ScholarWorks button when you fill out this year’s FAR.  A librarian will contact you to discuss your work and to get copies
of the work for deposit.  If you have any questions regarding this process
or about IUScholarWorks, please feel free to contact us at IUSW@indiana.edu.

 

(#10) View from the GA – A Reading on Copyright

Sherri Michaels and Jennifer Laherty have given me a series of readings about institutional repositories and the issues that affect them. I will be periodically posting my thoughts about these readings.

Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, by Peter Hirtle, Emily Hudson, and Andrew T. Kenyon goes over copyright law as it affects and applies to digitization projects at libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions. This very detailed manual covers all the law’s parts and exemptions, with discussions of how they’ve changed over time. It also touches on trademark and privacy issues, especially as they apply to audio-visual materials. The text contains plenty of examples and case histories throughout, which keeps the discussions grounded in the real activities and problems of cultural institutions and their digitization projects. Hirtle, Hudson, and Kenyon have also included many tables, flowcharts, and checklists to help break down and map out the various steps and issues in dealing with copyright and permissions.
I found Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums extremely illuminating and helpful. The book was very well-organized and the progression through topics and parts of copyright law was logical and elegant. It was very readable, and contained almost no legalese. The authors frame solutions and approaches to copyright issues in terms of risk and its management rather than as a series of inflexible rules. This book gave me a better and fuller understanding of what the requirements, exceptions, and pitfalls are for library digitization projects. In addition, I gained a good perspective on copyright issues in the non-profit and educational environments.

Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums is available for download at http://ecommons.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/14142.

(#9) Re-blog from The Scholarly Kitchen: The White House Calls for Information on Public Access to Publications and Data

I call your attention to this post by The Scholarly Kitchen – the blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing: The White House Calls for Information on Public Access to Publications and Data.

It is a good distillation of the issues and questions being raised by the federal government as they grapple with how to provide open access to certain types of content, namely: “…public access to journal articles from federally-funded research, and the tricky question of how to make the most of the raw data collected in those federally-funded experiments.”

Certainly, if you care to give your thoughts, I urge you to do so.  Please see the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Request for Information.

Specifically, you can read, in the Federal Register, the RFI on public access here (comments due Jan. 2, 2012) and the RFI on digital data here (comments due Jan. 12, 2012).

(#8) Teaching Scholarly Communication

I’ll be on research leave most of November to explore ways to teach and discuss scholarly communication issues with graduate students.  My plan is to develop a workshop that could be delivered in 2-4 hours with the help and support of colleagues such as academic department graduate student advisors, subject librarians, and staff in the IUScholarWorks department.

I will be working to develop lesson plans and exercises that will focus the workshop discussions on the following interconnected scholarly communication issues:

  • budgets
  • libraries
  • author rights
  • open access
  • labor
  • versions
  • digital content
  • preservation

The ultimate goal is to inform students about these issues and give them some tools to help them guide their path forward as authors.  They will have many decisions to make as they progress as researchers in their respective fields and I feel it is important that librarians be a part of their education on these matters.

I will also conduct a literature review and will refer to various projects being led by library colleagues around the United States who are developing similar approaches to teaching scholarly communications to students.

Please look for a progress report I will make in December, and I hope to see you in one of our future workshops.

(#7) A View From the GA, Part 1

IUScholarWorks has a Graduate Assistant, Carol Lubkowski, to help us with many aspects of our work.  Carol’s job description is basically “other duties as assigned.”  We thought it would be interesting and useful to see things from Carol’s point of view occasionally, so this is the first of her posts.  Welcome Carol!

Before coming to IU and joining IU ScholarWorks as a Graduate Assistant, my previous experience with the concept of a digital repository was in a corporate context, at a Boston-based biotech company. I was working in records management there and the term and concept of a digital repository were just getting introduced. However, it was not aligned with the company’s existing corporate library. Thus, when I started as the Graduate Assistant for IU ScholarWorks, I understood the basic concept of a digital repository, but had a lot to discover. Within the academic world, an institutional repository addresses a wide variety of concerns and needs for scholarly communication, reflecting the increasing importance of digital formats and sources both inside and outside of the library. I am particularly excited by the ways in which institutional repositories can help disseminate dissertations and theses, and by the services they provide to researchers and authors.
IU ScholarWorks is working on getting the dissertations of IU doctoral students into our repository, which has exciting potential for both disseminating research and for bringing new researchers into IU. It is often very difficult for researchers to access dissertations – very few of them are available in print format on library shelves. Some are available on microfilm, and many must be requested either through interlibrary loan or directly from the author. Expanded, easier access to dissertations will make the most recent research available to the wider scholarly community. Not only will this help researchers, it also has the potential to attract new researchers to IU through our graduate programs. By having access to recent graduate work, prospective students can get a clearer picture of what IU’s programs can offer them and whether a department’s focus and strengths match their own research interests.
As someone who has several friends in academia, I am also excited by the services an institutional repository can provide to authors and researchers. The repository provides a permanent digital home for their work, accessible via the internet with a stable and permanent URL. This also gives the authors the advantage of using a system and location backed up by established and robust IT services and infrastructure. The repository can thus provide a convenient and reliable way for authors to make their work widely and freely available without forgoing the aegis of official institutional support and authority.

(#6) Searching WorldCat for Open Access Publications

If you’re interested in using one source to find Open Access publications in repositories around the world, I invite you to check out WorldCat.

WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. Perform your searches for books, articles, photographic images, audio, video, etc. in WorldCat and discover materials in libraries worldwide.  You can also discover freely available digital materials found in repositories worldwide.  Repositories such as the HathiTrust, Internet Archive, and institutional repositories like IUScholarWorks.

How?
Once you’ve performed your search, use the refinement tools on the left navigation side bar to narrow your results to ‘Internet Resources.’  From here, you will notice that many of the records come from a database called ‘OAIster‘ (OA meaning Open Access) and have an orange ‘View Now’ link associated.  Certainly take a look at the full record by clicking on the item’s title, but the view now link takes you to a repository that is storing the material openly for the world to access.

Check it out and please ask us or your library’s reference staff for help if you have questions.  WorldCat is a remarkable search engine.  Be sure to take advantage of creating an account and managing your resources within WorldCat.

(#5) NSF Data Plan

Beginning January 18, 2011, proposals submitted to National Science Foundation (NSF) must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan”. This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results.  For full policy implementation, see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.2.j.

The IU Libraries have worked with University Information Technology Service (UITS) and the Pervasive Technology Institute to develop templates and suggestions for completing the data management plan.  For more information, see the knowledge base article here.