June 25, 2017

Your 12-Month Plan for Research, Presentation, and Publication | From the Bell Tower

For academic librarians, the summer months present a brief window of time for special projects. Start now to plan a research project that could lead to multiple presentation and publication opportunities.

OPeri Publishing Platform | Field Reports

Some time ago, while I was working at a small state university, the library was approached by the English department, asking if we knew of some way of putting their biannual student journal online. This publication had been coming out periodically for approximately 15 years and contained essays, poetry, and short stories written by graduate and undergraduate students. Faculty occasionally assigned articles from it as required reading.

Sci-Hub Controversy Triggers Publishers’ Critique of Librarian

The website repository Sci-Hub, which enables users to freely download scholarly articles that normally require institutional subscriptions or individual payments, has found itself at the center of a series of conflicts over the past year. Many publishers are increasingly angry at the theft of copyrighted material, with the Association of American Publishers (AAP) going so far as to censure an academic librarian for his comments on Sci-Hub during a panel at the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Orlando in June.

Manifold Scholarship Turns Scholarly Books into Iterative Digital Projects | Charleston Conference 2015

During the Charleston Conference session “New Platforms and Discovery Tools: Towards 21st Century University Presses and Libraries”, two Mellon Foundation-funded projects were introduced: UPScope Project, a university press-wide discovery engine based on natural language searches, being developed by the Association of American University Presses, and the Manifold Scholarship project, detailed below.

Martin Eve: Building the Open Library of the Humanities

Martin Eve is in a good position to spread the word about how open access publishing can benefit the humanities. He is a lecturer on 20th- and 21st-century American fiction at the University of Lincoln in the UK, with an impressive list of journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, and professional affiliations. His most recent book, Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future, will be published by Cambridge University Press this November. At the moment, however, he is on research leave in order to concentrate on developing his new venture, the Open Library of the Humanities.

Study: Journal Bundle Discounts Vary Widely Across Institutions

Most academic librarians are familiar with the ‘big deal’ bundles offered by large academic publishers, which grant access to a large number of journals from a particular publisher at a discounted rate. And many will also be familiar with the opacity surrounding those deals, which are often negotiated on a school-by-school basis with confidentiality clauses in place. A new study of the economics of these bundle deals suggests that variations in how these bundles are priced for different institutions mean that they are a better deal for some schools than others.

Can Libraries Help Stop This Madness? | Peer to Peer Review

The business of university press monograph publishing has always been madness, and changing conditions have made it even less sensible than it was. Yet any suggestion that there should be fewer university presses or that they should refocus their missions is greeted with shouts of dismay that are usually reserved for heretics and anarchists. Maybe we should remember that oft-quoted definition of madness—doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Science Enters Open Access Arena with Science Advances

One of the biggest names in scholarly publishing announced it was entering the open access ecosystem on February 14, as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced that it would launch Science Advances, an online only, open access journal covering the same broad range of research topics addressed by the AAAS flagship journal, Science.

Become More Vocal; Improve the Listening | From the Bell Tower

Vendor relations are a mixed bag. They can range from mutual respect and support to contempt and contentiousness. Academic librarians need to exchange experiences and information, but it will really help if someone is listening.

Economics 404: Fixing What’s Broke | Peer to Peer Review

This year, several announcements and blog posts combined to focus my attention on a slightly different question. What problems can open access solve? The answer seems obvious; open access will solve the problem of highly restricted and limited access to scholarship. A somewhat different problem that OA can help solve is the problem of scholarship locked up in the hands of badly run businesses that have come to believe that their inefficient and ineffective ways of doing business must be preserved at all costs.