Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Better Serving the Needs of Chemists — A New Ithaka S+R Study

With funding from the Jisc, Ithaka S+R researchers spent the last year interviewing chemists and science librarians across the UK, asking about their thoughts and experiences on everything from how they keep up with developments in their field and sharing and preserving their data, to reviewing the work of the students in their laboratories. A report on the findings, Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Chemists, was released and is rich in detailed insights and specific, market-tested concepts for new services that could have a big impact.

This is the second study by Ithaka S+R in one of the most significant efforts undertaken to date to understand the changing landscape of scholarly practices and to identify ways to more effectively serve faculty and their students across disciplines. A first report, Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Historians,  was released in December 2012, and an additional study is underway in Art History.

Posted by K. Jane

Monday, February 25, 2013

Obama + OA = ObamA!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     Contact:          Ranit Schmelzer
February 22, 2013                                                                  202-538-1065

Ensures that Taxpayer-Funded Research Available to Public Washington, D.C. – The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) today applauded President Obama for issuing a landmark Directive to ensure that the results of taxpayer-funded research – both articles and data – are made available to the general public to freely access and fully use.

The action today comes about after a ten-year campaign by the “Open Access” movement – scientists, universities, libraries, technology leaders, patient advocates, entrepreneurs, students, and every-day Americans – aimed at making taxpayer-funded scientific research freely accessible and fully reusable in a digital environment.

“This is a watershed moment.  The Administration’s action marks a major step forward towards open access to scientific research,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, which works to broaden public access to scholarly research.  “The Directive will accelerate scientific discovery, improve education, and empower entrepreneurs to translate research into commercial ventures and jobs.  It’s good for our nation, our economy, and our future.”

“Knowledge is power.  It’s the power to innovate, to advance scientific discovery, to promote economic growth, and to create jobs.  In 2013, we should be taking full advantage of the digital environment to disseminate the results of publicly funded research, not keep this knowledge locked away.”

Every year, the federal government uses taxpayer dollars to fund tens of billions of dollars of scientific research that results in thousands upon thousands of articles published in scientific journals.  The government funds this research with the understanding that it will advance science, spur the economy, accelerate innovation, and improve the lives of our citizens.  Yet most taxpayers – including academics, students, and patients – are shut out of accessing and using the results of the research that their tax dollars fund, because it is only available through expensive and often hard-to-access scientific journals.

The potential economic benefits of opening up access to this research are estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  In instances where this kind of open access has already been enabled, remarkable examples demonstrate how powerful open access can be.  Placing the Human Genome Project in the public domain, for example, enabled scientists everywhere to access the data.  The $3.8 billion investment in the project has had an estimated economic impact of almost $800 billion.

Details of the White House Directive

The White House Directive affirms the principle that the public has a right to access the results of taxpayer-funded research and calls on all federal agencies with annual research and development budgets of $100 million or more to provide free and timely online access to the results of that research.  Articles reporting on the results of publicly funded scientific research must be made available after a 12 month embargo period.

The Directive builds on the progress made by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the first federal agency to require public access to taxpayer-funded research.  Since its implementation, the NIH policy enabled more than 90,000 new biomedical manuscripts to be made publicly available each year, resulting in millions of Americans having access to vital health care information.  Demand for this information is extremely high, with more than 700,000 unique users accessing material from this repository each weekday.

The Directive comes as the bipartisan Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), is making is way through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

“The Directive is a major achievement for both open access and open government.  We should now take the next step and make open access the law of the land.  We commend Senators Cornyn and Wyden and Representatives Doyle, Lofgren, and Yoder for introducing FASTR and call on Congress to pass it without delay,” said Joseph. 

To follow the conversation on Twitter use the hashtags #openaccess or #OA.  Media questions can be directed to @SPARC_NA or

SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.  Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change.  Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries.  More information can be found at           

To see the new policy memorandum, please visit:

Posted by K. Jane

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Data Management Plans

Another reason to think about creating a data management plan when starting a research project....

The case of the missing data

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Call for Nominations from the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
 Call for Nominations - NDLTD ETD Awards 2013.

Deadline for Nominations: April 15, 2013.

The awards include several categories of appreciation:
  • The Innovative ETD Award recognizes student efforts to transform the genre of the print dissertation through the use of innovative software to create multimedia ETDs;
  • The Innovative Learning through ETDs Award recognizes a student whose professional life has been enhanced by the ETD process;
  • The ETD Leadership Award recognizes members of the university community whose leadership and vision has helped raise awareness of the benefits of ETDs and whose efforts have improved graduate education and research through the use of ETDs.
The awards will be presented at the ETD 2013 Symposium, to be held September 23 - 27, 2013 at the Hong Kong Central Library auditorium in Causeway Bay located on Hong Kong Island.

Read more on the NDLTD website:

Let's see a nomination from Guelph!!!!

and don't forget about the Office of Graduate Studies  3Minute thesis contest,  a university wide competition for graduate students in which participants present their research and its wider impact in 3 minutes or less:

- If you would like to discuss your electronic thesis please contact Jane Burpee, Research Enterprise and Scholarly Communication Team, Library (

 - Posted by K. Jane

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Open Library of Humanities (OLH)

Earlier this year, a new company called Open Library of Humanities (OLH) was announced. Basing itself in the style of Public Library of Science (PLOS) and, it will be an open access “megajournal” that will publish thoroughly peer reviewed humanities and social science research under Open Access conditions at a financially fair rate.
The OHL mission is to provide a platform for Open Access publishing that is:
• Reputable and respected through rigorous peer review
• Sustainable
• Digitally preserved and safely archived in perpetuity
• Non-profit
• Open in both monetary and permission terms
• Non-discriminatory (APCs are waiverable)
• Technically innovative in response to the needs of scholars and librarians
• A solution to the serials crisis

This is exciting news. The humanities need a journal just like this one.

There are differences among the disciplines relevant to the realization of open access. The fields of Science, Technology, and Medicine have been early adopters of open access. Clearly OA options are beginning to expand in the Humanties and Social science fields. Peter Suber, OA guru, identifies several reasons for the slower advance of Open Access in the Humanties and Social science fields, including:
  • lower journal pricing;
  • less availability of federal funding;
  • higher peer review costs; and
  • the prevalence of the book as a format.
To learn more about the issues, here are a few interesting websites:
Follow the OLH project on Twitter @openlibhums and Like the Facebook page

To learn more about OLH go to the following sites:
- If you would like to discuss the value of Open Access in your discipline please contact Jane Burpee, Research Enterprise and Scholarly Communication Team, Library (

 - Posted by K. Jane

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Spotlight on Open Access at the Smithsonian Libraries

James Smithson bequeathed his fortune to the people of the United States with the clear impetus for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” The Smithsonian Libraries takes that message to heart by striving to connect ideas and information to you, and all whom we serve. Consider this an overview of Open Access (with capital O and A) and open access (lowercase o & a) here at the Libraries. Long story short: if you have access to the internet, you have access to an increasing number of quality, peer-reviewed journals and scholarly publications (as long as you know where to look).

Open Access can be best described as ...

Read on:

- If you would like to discuss the value of Open Access please contact Jane Burpee, Research Enterprise and Scholarly Communication Team, Library (

-posted by K.  Jane