ATG Caught My Eye 7/13/15

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  • 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.”

* 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…”

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