- HEFCE, Elsevier, the “copy request” button, and the future of open access is a post from Richard Poynder’s OPEN & SHUT blog that examines some possible ramifications of Elsevier’s recently developed sharing policies. Mr. Poynder starts with an OA primer including discussions of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, APCs, the economics of OA, and the key strategies for making the scholarly literature “freely” available; green OA, gold OA, and hybrid OA. He then focuses on the ongoing struggle between OA advocates and publishers over self-archiving embargoes noting two primary attempts by OA proponents at neutralizing publisher embargoes; the Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) Mandate and HEFCE’s “Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework.” However, Mr. Poynder fears these efforts are falling short. He argues that Elsevier’s recently published “set of new sharing and hosting policies, far from signaling the extinction of publisher embargoes, would seem more likely to set them in concrete.”
- For Students, Textbooks Become Increasingly Optional Purchases is a post By Jeffrey R. Young in the Chronicle of Higher Education that cites a couple of recent surveys that point to decreased spending by students on textbooks and other course materials. “The decrease is due in part to the rise of textbook-rental programs,… But of those students who did not buy textbooks,” one report noted, “a greater percentage than in the past said it was because “they believed them to be unnecessary.” The other survey reinforces these sentiments noting that many students “see the materials as recommendations rather than requirements.”
- The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era is a recent study appearing in PLOS One that examines the share of scientific output published by the major academic publishers. “Based on 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period 1973-2013” researchers found that “combined, the top five most prolific publishers account for more than 50% of all papers published in 2013. Disciplines of the social sciences have the highest level of concentration (70% of papers from the top five publishers), while the humanities have remained relatively independent (20% from top five publishers). NMS disciplines are in between, mainly because of the strength of their scientific societies, such as the ACS in chemistry or APS in physics. The paper also examines the migration of journals between small and big publishing houses and explores the effect of publisher change on citation impact. It concludes with a discussion on the economics of scholarly publishing…”
- A review of the literature on citation impact indicators. This paper is by Ludo Waltman, a researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands. It “provides an in-depth review of the literature on citation impact indicators. First, an overview is given of the literature on bibliographic databases that can be used to calculate citation impact indicators (Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar). Next, selected topics in the literature on citation impact indicators are reviewed in detail. The first topic is the selection of publications and citations to be included in the calculation of citation impact indicators. The second topic is the normalization of citation impact indicators, in particular normalization for field differences. Counting methods for dealing with co-authored publications are the third topic, and citation impact indicators for journals are the last topic. The paper concludes by offering some recommendations for future research.”
- Study Documents Public Domain’s Importance To Innovation And Creativity is a post on the Intellectual Property Watch website that focuses on an academic research project that highlights the value of the public domain and its importance to innovation and creativity.” In particular one empirical study in the project, showed that “use of the public domain boosts crowd-funding efforts by innovators… The research report, “Copyright and the Value of the Public Domain: An empirical assessment,” was presented by Kristofer Erickson, research fellow, School of Law, University of Glasgow, Scotland, one of the report investigators…”
- The Archival Advantage: Integrating Archival Expertise into Management of Born-digital Library Materials is an essay by Jackie Dooley for OCLC Research “that argues for involving archivists in the management of born-digital library materials (i.e., created and managed in digital form). Key highlights include:
* The full array of traditional archival skills is equally relevant in the born-digital context.
* Research data sets, email, websites, blogs and many other born-digital library materials have characteristics similar to analog archival materials.
* It is beneficial for digital librarians, IT experts, curators, library administrators and other research library colleagues who manage digital materials to be aware of archivists’ skills and expertise and their relevance to the digital context.
* Areas of archival expertise that other experts may lack include donor relations, appraisal, context of creation and use, authenticity, transfer of ownership and permanence…”