View from a GA, Part 2

I just wanted to provide everyone with several updates about my ongoing work at IU ScholarWorks. October has been an exciting month.  One of the interesting events that happened was Open Access Week, in which librarians reached out to the general academic community to preach the merits of open access. Jen and Naz gave a talk called “Making Your Research Open Access”, directed at researchers interested in learning more about Open Access and the Institutional Repository.  Judging by the turnout, it was a success by any measure.

I was also given an opportunity to give a workshop on the NIH Public Access Policy. The NIH’s policy ensures that the public has open access to the published results of research funded by NIH award grants. While there have been some open access victories in other areas, I considered the NIH’s Public Access Policy to be on the better conceived and executed large open access projects. Not only has it provided millions of scientific work to the public for free, but it has also achieved a sufficient compromise with authors and publishers. With authors, the mandate comes as part of the grant award funding- if the research is “directly” funded by the grant, the author must make the work available to the public within 12 months of publication. Failure to do so will lead to both the PI and Insitutions having problem gaining NIH funding in the future. Perhaps more importantly then just creating abstract mandates for public access (like the NSF currently does), the NIH created a system that is remarkably easy to navigate, find information and submit document in one centralized database.

While general IR submission rates are relatively low, NIH compliance is roughly around 75% according to some studies of the issue, both because of ease of use and incentives created by the need for future funding. Just as importantly, the policy does make compromises not to upset the apple-cart of the current scholarly publishing model. The author still submits to the traditional academic journals in the usual fashion and is given a 12 month buffer between the time of publication and the time in which the article must be posted in pub med central. As it turns out, publishers are still doing just fine under this arrangement, as Elsevier continues to post a decent profit margin. Many journals’ voluntary compliance and submission (via Method A) has made the process extremely easy on authors. Granted, even this generous compromise in the favor of publisher is still being disputed by some large publishers, as clearly displayed by bills like “The Research Works Act” (H.R. 3699) that have attempted (and failed so far) to revoke the public access requirement.

Anyway, librarians should think about NIH Public Access requirement both as a model (for other funding agencies) and in the context of their own attempts to promulgate open access. Thinking about what the NSF might do (as of 2010 they promulgated a data sharing policy, intended to require data management plans as part of all proposals responding to NSF grant funding solicitations) will also be important as researchers look to libraries for assistance in archive large datasets online. I tend to think that such mandate either at funding levels or institutional levels might be a large boon for institutional repositories.


IU Libraries and Open Access

Image 1: Dr. Katy Börner presents a visualization based on open Wikipedia data
Dr. Katy Börner explains a visualization built on open Wikipedia data at the IU Libraries’ Open Data Visualizations for the Sciences and Humanities brown bag on October 24, 2012.

The week of October 22-28 was designated as the sixth annual Open Access Week, during which members of the academic and research community across the globe hosted events to recognize and promote the value of open access publication. For IU Libraries, Open Access Week was an opportunity to introduce researchers and students to our many open access tools and experts, answer questions about these services and technologies, and help scholars discover new ways to engage with and benefit from open access publishing.

Facilitating open access publication is a priority for Indiana University Libraries. The IU Libraries exist to support all aspects of scholarship at IU – from providing materials, tools, and services for research to promoting innovation in teaching and learning. Increasingly, we are also called upon to develop and implement diverse channels for scholarly communications. While traditional publication methods remain essential to many disciplines, these new, highly accessible models offer scholars unprecedented opportunities for sharing their findings and engaging in real-time global discussions that can dramatically enhance their work.

Open access literature, as defined by Peter Suber of the Harvard Open Access Project, is “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” This type of publication can broaden the availability of research findings, forging greater connections among scholars and learners and increasing the pace at which discoveries can build upon one another. These capabilities call to mind the principles outlined in the Intellectual Freedom Manual of the American Library Association:

“Intellectual freedom can exist only where two essential conditions are met: first, that all individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate, and second, that society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of work, and the viewpoints of both the author and the receiver of information.”  (Intellectual Freedom Manual. Introduction. 8th edition, 2010, p. xvii.)

Our continual goals are to uphold these principles of intellectual freedom, respond to the information resource needs of the communities we serve, and preserve information for future generations. To meet these objectives, we have developed a suite of library-based open access publishing services for Indiana University. Gathered under the heading of IUScholarWorks, these services enable researchers to preserve and share their work in a persistent online repository, store and archive their data in searchable formats, and even publish and manage new online journals that remain freely available worldwide.

For an increasing number of IU scholars, these and other open access tools represent a new frontier for scholarly communication. By removing restrictions in research availability and hastening the publication process, open access models capitalize on new technologies to create a thriving global network of interconnected scholars who can quickly respond to advancements within and beyond their fields.

 Image 2: IU Office of Scholarly Publishing logo

 

Judge Dismisses Hathi Trust Law Suit

Earlier this month, a judge in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan threw out  a law suit brought against Hathi Trust, Indiana University, and four other R1 university libraries by the Authors Guild, Inc. and other author rights organizations and individuals. The lawsuit alleged that by digitizing millions of works that the universities owned–many of which are considered orphan works or are no longer under copyright–the rights of authors were violated.

The judge’s decision found that the digitization project falls squarely under the Fair Use provision of copyright law, and described the Hathi Trust project as an “invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts” and a boon for the visually impaired and others who are considered print-disabled.

Read more about the ruling over at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

View from a GA, Part One

My name is Nick Farris and I’m the new GA at IUScholarWorks.  I will be assisting ScholarWorks through 2013 with supporting data services on dspace and providing OJS support. Rather than give a standard, book report sounding post- I think Stacy’s post below is great jumping off point into my brief experience here at IUScholarWorks. Salo’s Innkeeper at the Roach Motel, while provocative, still seems to be as relevant today as it was in 2008.

Some of the hurtles mentioned in Salo’s article still seem to be around. It seems like the IRS were first created with the expectation that faculty would just come by and quickly provide content. This strikes me as the primary reason that IRs with broad goals have failed to quickly provide a great deal of open access content. In economics, we constantly told to think about incentives that are created by certain policy decisions or institutions. The incentives created by such an open-ended, meandering IR aren’t ideal from the scholar’s prospective- in so far as the scholars considering depositing have little practical upside (beyond perhaps getting their work to the public, the abstract future benefit of helping develop a more efficient, cost-effective method of scholarly communication) but bare the rather concrete downside risks (time investment, being scoped/plagiarized by other people). Of course, I think it is likely that greater open access of academic work would greatly benefit the academic community as a whole- but the individual incentives don’t align in a way that makes such a task easy to carry out.

I think every IR managers dream at this point is to a Harvard or UC like mandate that all works of a certain type must be deposited in the institutional repository at the end of the academic year. After all, this makes the process significantly easier- rather than hounding weary academics for journal articles or attempts to market the term “open access” to 60 year old professors, the school just makes the IR an integral part of the academic reporting at the end of the year.

While perhaps the original concept behind IRs was slightly too optimistic, I think IRs still have the power to be relevant without broad, institution-wide mandates. For example, many large grant funding organizations (such as the NSF or NIH) are now going about the process of creating policies that publicly-funded research must be archived so that the public can make use of it. ScholarWorks has been at the forefront of creating personalized, individual plans to help researchers archive large amounts of their datasets into the scholarworks and then help with the compliance paperwork. I suspect that these types of projects will become increasingly common and important over the next decade.

One last note- and not a particular well-thought out one at that- but last week’s EconTalk (which along with NPR’s Planet Money are the best economics/finance podcasts around) dealt with the closely associated topic of the problems of academic incentives in scientific research and publishing. While I often hear librarians complain about publishers for financial reasons, Professor Nosek brought up a whole host of reasons that the entire journal-based scholarly communication method is troublesome for its most fundamental goal of producing robust, reproducible science (ie the incentives to publish bombastic positive results but few to publish negative ones, the file drawer effect, and the lack of interest in publishing verifications).  He recommended services like Open Science Framework and the PsychFileDrawer that has many similarities to IRs (posting pre-prints, allowing the general community to review and discuss articles and data, etc ). I wonder to the extent that university IRs could assist or promote this practice. Could an IR provide the tools to help this conversation along? Maybe next month’s post can highlight this theme in more depth.

Sources: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012/09/nosek_on_truth.html

Archiving Conference Works in IUScholarWorks Repository

The IUScholarWorks Open Access Research Repository can be an excellent archive for IU conference and workshop presentations in whatever form they take.  Often times these types of materials are difficult,  perhaps impossible, to locate after the event.  If there is value in preserving these materials and making them available at a permanent Internet location, please contact us.

To participate in the Repository, the rightsholder (in all likelihood, the presenter) needs to be able to accept the Repository’s non-exclusive license.  While it is best to have the license accepted before the event, it is possible to track down presenters from past events in order for their materials to be archived.

It is not necessary to have every presentation from a conference or workshop archived in the Repository.  It is possible to deposit the event program so that users may understand the full scope of the event when all presentations are not available.  It is also possible for rightsholders to opt for a Creative Commons license to their work when they elect to archive them in the Repository.

If this service could extend the value of a conference or workshop, please contact IUScholarWorks staff.   We will help devise a workflow for the responsible group that will result in a collection similar to the Latin American Music Center’s 50th Anniversary Cultural Counterpoints conference.

Welcome to a new year! IUScholarWorks Services

Welcome back for the 2012-2013 school year!  We’d like to remind our faculty and students of the services provided by IUScholarWorks, the open access publishing program of the IU Libraries:

  • New this year: Data Services: Indiana University Bloomington’s Data Management Service provides consultations on funding agency mandated data management plans, and data storage, access, and preservation options offered free-of-charge to campus researchers. Visit the IU Bloomington Data Management Service webpage for more information.
  • Journal Publishing:  We support IU faculty and graduate students who run electronic journals with their editorial needs such as author submissions, peer review, and journal website.  Please visit the IUScholarWorks Journals website or our recent blog post that showcases our publishing services.
  • Scholarly Research Archive:  Faculty can use our free, secure storage as a place for their Open Access research materials. The archive supports working papers, technical reports, media files, published articles, book chapters, and data: large and small.  Visit the archive, check it out, and contact us to learn more.
  • Graduate student theses and dissertations:  We actively collect PhD and EdD theses in the scholarly research archive.  A variety of departments also use the archive to showcase their masters theses.
  • Teaching: The Libraries Scholarly Communication department staff is available to lead workshops and guest lectures regarding our services, scholarly communication issues relative to the disciplines, and topics related to intellectual property and author rights.  Checkout our workshops pages (here and here) to see the latest offerings.

Visit the IUScholarWorks website to learn more about our services or to contact our staff

New Google Scholar Research Alert Functionality: “Scholar Updates”

Google Scholar recently released a new functionality to their service called Scholar Updates. It builds upon the existing research alerts offered by Google Scholar, which are similar in nature to those offered by ISI Web of Science and other academic databases.

Google Scholar alerts require manual set up, where a user defines a specific query relevant to their research interests using Boolean terms. While advanced users relish the flexibility of Google Scholar alerts, those who do not have the time or know-how to set up queries don’t find much value in the service.

Scholar Updates, on the other hand, has enhanced the existing alerts service by automating it for users who have a Google Scholar Citations profile. As evolutionary biologist, Jonathan Eisen, explains on his blog, Citations profiles are scraped by the Scholar Updates service in order to determine authors’ research interests and relevant keywords, based on their publication history. The service then returns relevant articles from the web  by “determin[ing] relevance using a statistical model that incorporates what [an author’s] work is about, the citation graph between articles, the fact that interests can change over time, and the authors [that a researcher] works with and cites” (Connor, 2012).

According to Eisen, Scholar Updates are surprisingly relevant to his interests. Other researchers are not so sure that the service is ready for prime time.

Have you started using Scholar Updates? What do you think of the service so far?

Open Access gains critical mass with two new petitions

Two recently launched petitions have called attention to important issues in scholarly publishing: cost and access.

The Cost of Knowledge petition, sparked by a frustrated mathematician’s blog post, was launched earlier this year to call attention to what researchers believe are unfair and opaque journal pricing practices, as well as support for American anti-Open Access (OA) legislation by the Dutch publisher, Elsevier. The petition, which now has nearly 12,000 signatories, allows supporters to indicate their discipline, institutional affiliation, and whether they plan to boycott Elsevier by refusing to publish in, referee for, or do editorial work for their journals.

While many laud the petition as an example of effective grassroots organizing that led Elsevier to withdraw support for the Research Works Act (a response much appreciated by librarians), critics of the boycott have pointed out that singling out Elsevier is unfair, given similar legislative support shown by other publishers. Some even go so far as to say that Elsevier’s “Big Deal” journal pricing practices are beneficial to libraries, small journals, and societies alike.

Riding the wave of awareness created by the Cost of Knowledge petition, a campaign called “#OAMonday” began on Twitter on May 21. #OAMonday (led by SPARC, Access2Research, and a variety of prominent figures in the OA movement) has drummed up an impressive amount of support in a short amount of time for a White House petition that asks President Obama to implement an access policy, similar to the Public Access Policy of the National Institutes of Health, for all federally funded research. (Pro-Open Access bills such as FRPAA have historically had a hard time making it through Congress; this petition seems to be a way around that. ) As of this posting, the petition is almost at the 22,000 mark.

Even if the petition does reach its goal by the June 19th deadline, it’s hard to say what the outcome will be. We already know that the Obama administration supports Open Access to federally funded research. The “We the People” petitions’ only promise is: “If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.”

Whatever the result, one thing is for sure: this is an exciting time to be a researcher, librarian, or advocate interested in Open Access.

Further reading

Arnold, DN & Cohn, H. (2012). Mathematicians take a stand. Arxiv.org. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.1351

Bambauer, D. (28 May 2012). Support Open Access to Government-Funded Science. Info/Law. Retrieved from http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/infolaw/2012/05/28/support-open-access-to-government-funded-science/

Jha, A. (9 April 2012). Academic spring: how an angry maths blog sparked a scientific revolution. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/apr/09/frustrated-blogpost-boycott-scientific-journals

(#19) Publications, Publishing, Publisher, Public

In full disclosure, I have not (recently) consulted a dictionary regarding these words, but I am going to discuss some thoughts I have on their definition(s).

To make public is how I primarily think about publishing.  That’s a pretty simple view and I am certain it would not hold up in a legal case.  Each day, as digital publishing librarian, I help scholars and researchers (authors) make their publications public (publish) using the technology our team has available within the IUScholarWorks suite of services.

We manage traditional forms of publications, i.e., text, and we work with audio and visual materials too.  We explore and in some cases support new publication trends and forms such as portals, blogs as scholarly serialsmash-ups and alternative metrics.

We engage in open access publishing, but we are not certain that we are a publisher.  Why do we, maybe it is really just I, keep questioning this?

To help me figure this out, I engaged in an exercise to list out the things we provide for journal publications via the IUScholarWorks Journals Service.  We:

  1. Support the journal’s publisher of choice – whether it is IUScholarWorks or another entity such as a society or association.
  2. Support a journal’s copyright policy of choice and consult on intellectual property matters upon request.
  3. Support continuous publishing with no requirements or restrictions on pages or the number of volumes/issues per year.
  4. Publish non-text materials like video, audio, and images – in the article or supplemental to an article.
  5. Provide tools that manage editorial work: blind peer review system, electronic author submissions, communication amongst those doing the work/editing, and various reader tools may be elected to be turned on such as: comments, contacting the author, notify a colleague, how to cite (MLA, APA, Chicago style).
  6. Continue services for a publication once it has moved from Indiana University.
  7. Provide and manage trusted infrastructure and policies for the preservation of digital objects.
  8. Support a journal’s unique URL for their publication if they manage the domain registration.
  9. Train on software and provide technical support.
  10. Supply article-level use statistics – currently annually.
  11. Supply announcements and table of contents feeds to readers.
  12. Import back-files if rights can be transferred (if necessary).
  13. Update library cataloging records supplied to OCLC – so that records across libraries can be updated.
  14. Support harvestable metadata for discovery by various search engines.
  15. Supply metadata and articles to indexing/abstracting services (such as Ebsco or Proquest).
  16. Manage or help apply for an ISSN (international standard serial number).
  17. Provide limited design work as student staff expertise permits.  If a journal is migrating to our platform, we will endeavor to keep the design as similar as possible within our framework constraints.
  18. Are genuinely helpful and supportive to our scholars and researchers.

It’s an impressive list of what IUScholarWorks services and staff can do for a journal publication. Perhaps, upon review, IUScholarWorks Journals is a publisher, publishing various publications and making them publicly accessible to the world-wide public. I also came up with a shorter list of things we do not do, and I will write about them soon.