E-Only Scholarly Journals: Overcoming the Barriers

The Research Information Network has released E-Only Scholarly Journals: Overcoming the Barriers.

Here's an excerpt:

This study is prompted by a concern from publishers and librarians that the retention of both printed and e-journal formats adds unnecessary costs throughout the supply chain from publisher to library to user. In view of the many advantages of electronic journals, this report sets out to understand the barriers to a move to e-only provision of scholarly journals in the UK, and to investigate what various players within the scholarly communications system could do in order to encourage such a move.

This study involved a thorough literature review, gathering and analysing information provided by publishers and librarians, and interviews with a range of publishers, librarians and academics. The results are presented in this report, along with some recommendations for action.

| Digital Scholarship |

E-Journal Archiving for UK HE Libraries: A Draft White Paper

JISC has released E-Journal Archiving for UK HE Libraries: A Draft White Paper for comment.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Libraries are facing increasing space pressures and funding constraints. There is a growing interest in wherever possible moving more rapidly to e-only provision to help alleviate these pressures as well as to provide new electronic services to users. One of the most cited barriers and concerns both from library and faculty staff to moving to e-only has been sustaining and assuring long-term access to electronic content.

The aim of this white paper is to help universities and libraries implement policies and procedures in relation to e-journal archiving which can help support the move towards e-only provision of scholarly journals across the HE sector. The white paper is also contributing to complementary work JISC and other funders are commissioning on moving towards e-only provision of Journals.

User Behaviour Observational Study: Scholarly Digital Use and Information-Seeking Behaviour in Business and Economics

JISC has released User Behaviour Observational Study: Scholarly Digital Use and Information-Seeking Behaviour in Business and Economics.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The report covers the digital usage and information seeking behaviour of tens of thousands of business/economics/management students, researchers and academic staff. The intention was to inform and provide a context for the small-scale but detailed observational and interview studies undertaken by Middlesex University researchers for a JISC funded User Behaviour Observational Study (Business and Economics). Much of the data were mined from CIBER’s Virtual Scholar research programme and has not been previously published in this form. New data was also obtained from the studies CIBER are currently conducting, especially from the JISC national E-book Observatory project and the RIN funded E-journals study. Log data, the main source of information on usage and information seeking, covers a period of more than five years and the questionnaire data represents more than 5000 people so this probably represents the biggest and most comprehensive usage data set ever assembled on the subject. E-books and e-journals are covered and usage at the three JISC User Behaviour Observational Study case study institutions—LSE, Middlesex and Cranfield, are highlighted A whole variety of analyses are featured including: volume and, patterns of use (in terms of visits and page views), dwell time (session and page times), type of content viewed (PDF, abstracts etc), number of pages viewed in a session, methods of navigating towards content, age of material viewed, and number of searches conducted, names of titles used, user’s organization, age and gender, hardcopy v digital preferences, viewing/reading behaviour.

Directory of Open Access Journals Tops 5,000 Journal Records

The Directory of Open Access Journals now contains records for more than 5,000 journals.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Directory of Open Access Journals reaches new milestones—now 7 years of operation, now more than 5,000 journals, now more than 2,000 journals searchable on article level, very soon more than 400,000 articles searchable! . . .

Ensuring That 'E' Doesn't Mean Ephemeral: A Practical Guide to E-Journal Archiving Solutions

JISC has released Ensuring That 'E' Doesn't Mean Ephemeral: A Practical Guide to E-Journal Archiving Solutions, which discusses CLOCKSS, Portico, and the UK LOCKSS Alliance.

Here's an excerpt:

This booklet provides a starting point for institutions interested in investigating e-archiving options. It gives a practical guide to the solutions offered by three of the main long-term preservation schemes and provides an overview of the distinguishing features of each solution.

"A Survey of the Scholarly Journals Using Open Journal Systems"

Brian D. Edgar and John Willinsky have self-archived "A Survey of the Scholarly Journals Using Open Journal Systems" on the Public Knowledge Project website.

Here's an excerpt:

A survey of 998 scholarly journals that use Open Journal Systems (OJS), an open source journal software platform, captures the characteristics of an emerging class of scholar-publisher open access journals (with some representation from more traditional scholarly society and print-based titles). The journals in the sample follow traditional norms for peer-reviewing, acceptance rates, and disciplinary focus, but are distinguished by the number that offer open access to their content, the growth rates in new titles, the participation rates from developing countries, and the extremely low operating budgets. The survey also documents the limited degree to which open source software can alter a field of communication, as OJS appears to have created a third path, dedicated to maximizing access to research and scholarship, as an alternative to traditional scholarly society and commercial publishing routes.

The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing

Co-Action Publishing and Lund University Libraries have released The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The online guide is directed to small independent teams and provides practical information on planning, setting up, launching, publishing and managing an open access scholarly journal. Users can take advantage of additional resources in the form of links to related information, samples of applied practices and downloadable tools that can be adapted. The guide seeks to be interactive, allowing users to share their own best practices, tips and suggestions through a comment field. Although the guide contains some information that is specific to the Nordic region, most of its content can be applied internationally.

Peter Suber on "Ten Challenges for Open-Access Journals"

Peter Suber has published "Ten Challenges for Open-Access Journals" in the latest issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Here's an excerpt:

I start with three disparities:  the gap between journal performance and what prevailing metrics say about journal performance (#1); the gap between the vision of OA embodied in the Budapest, Bethesda, and Berlin statements and the access policies at 85% of OA journals (#2); and the gap between a journal's quality and its prestige, even when the quality is high (#3).  Then I move on to seven kinds of doubt:  doubts about quality (#4), preservation (#5), honesty (#6), publication fees (#7), sustainability (#8), redirection (#9), and strategy (#10).

Nature Publishing Group Will Publish New Open Access Journal, Nature Communications

The Nature Publishing Group has announced that it will publish a new open access journal, Nature Communications, starting in April 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Nature Communications will publish high-quality peer-reviewed research across the biological, chemical and physical sciences, and will be the first online-only Nature-branded journal.

"As a born-digital publication, Nature Communications will provide readers and authors with the benefits of enhanced web technologies alongside a rapid, yet rigorous, peer-review process." says Sarah Greaves, Publisher of Nature Communications. "Nature Communications will offer authors high visibility for their papers on the nature.com platform, access to a broad readership and efficient peer review with fast publication. For readers, the journal will offer functionality including interactive browsing and enhanced metadata to enable sorting by keywords."

Nature Communications will publish research papers in all areas of the biological, chemical and physical sciences, encouraging papers that provide a multidisciplinary approach. The research will be of the highest quality, without necessarily having the scientific reach of papers published in Nature and the Nature research journals, and as such will represent advances of significant interest to specialists within each field. A team of independent editors, supported by an external editorial advisory panel, will make rapid and fair publication decisions based on peer review, with all the rigour expected of a Nature-branded journal.

To ensure Nature Communications responds to changes in journal publishing, authors will be able to publish their work either via the traditional subscription route, or as open access through payment of an article processing charge (APC).

Authors who choose the open-access option will be able to license their work under a Creative Commons license, including the option to allow derivative works. Authors who do not choose the open-access option will still enjoy all of the benefits of NPG's self-archiving policy and manuscript deposition service.

"Developments in publishing and web technologies, coupled with increasing commitment by research funders to cover the costs of open access, mean the time is right for a journal that offers editorial excellence and real choice for authors." said David Hoole, Head of Content Licensing at NPG.

"The York Digital Journals Project: Strategies for Institutional Open Journal Systems Implementations"

College & Research Libraries has released a preprint of "The York Digital Journals Project: Strategies for Institutional Open Journal Systems Implementations" by Andrea Kosavic.

Here's an excerpt:

Embarking on a university-wide journal hosting initiative can be a resource-intensive undertaking. Providing such a service, however, can be equally rewarding as it positions the library as both partner and colleague in the publishing process. This paper discusses ideas and strategies for institutional journal hosting gleaned over two years by the York Digital Journals Project. Suggestions for startup including policy considerations and service models are discussed. Ideas for advertising and networking are explored as well as the question of project sustainability.

Early Open Access Journal, the PACS Review, Established 20 Years Ago Today

On August 16, 1989, I announced the establishment of The Public-Access Computer Systems Review. If it was published today, this e-journal would be called a "libre" open access journal since it was freely available, allowed authors to retain their copyrights, and had special copyright provisions for noncommercial use.

Here's the announcement:

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages regarding the possibility of starting an electronic journal. There was a very favorable response to this idea, and I am willing to give it a try.

The Public-Access Computer Systems Review will contain short articles (1 to 7 single-spaced pages), columns, and reviews. PACS Review will cover all computer systems that libraries make available to their patrons, including CAI and ICAI programs, CD-ROM databases, expert systems, hypermedia systems, information delivery systems, local databases, online catalogs, and remote end-user search systems. All types of short communications dealing with these subjects are welcome. Articles that present innovative projects in libraries, even those at an early stage of their development, are especially welcome. Proposals for regular (or irregular) columns will be considered on an ongoing basis. There will be a section for reviews of books, journal articles, reports, and software. As a style guide, use Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers (5th edition). If you are in doubt about whether your topic falls in the purview of PACS Review, consult my article: "Public-Access Computer Systems: The Next Generation of Library Automation Systems." Information Technology and Libraries 8 (June 1989): 178-185.

The initial editorial staff of the PACS Review will be as follows:

Editor: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., University of Houston

Editoral Board: Nancy Evans, Carnegie Mellon University
David R. McDonald, University of Michigan
Mike Ridley, McMaster University
R. Bruce Miller, University of California, San Diego

The PACS Review will come out on a regular schedule. I will determine the schedule based on the interest you show in submitting articles. If desired, authors can retain copyright to their works by notifying the editor. The logistics of distribution of the Review will be worked out at the release of the first issue. Either individual articles will be sent as PACS-L messages [PACS-L was a LISTSERV mailing list] or a table of contents will be sent and users will retrieve articles from the file server (at this point we do not have full documentation for the file server aspect of PACS-L). The PACS Review will have a volume and issue enumeration. It will be paginated.

I hope PACS Review will be timely, lively, and thought provoking. I hope that it will complement the PACS-L conference, potentially resulting in a unique interaction between formal and informal electronic communications. I welcome your contributions to this experimental electronic journal. Please send all articles to me at LIB3@UHUPVM1. Your contributions will determine whether this journal gets off the ground or not. Let's see if electronic publishing of library journals has a future!

The first issue of the PACS Review was published in 1990 and the last in 1998, for a total of 42 issues.

The following articles discuss the PACS Review:

  • Bailey, Charles W., Jr. "Electronic (Online) Publishing in Action . . . The Public-Access Computer Systems Review and Other Electronic Serials." ONLINE 15 (January 1991): 28-35. (Preprint)
  • Ensor, Pat, and Thomas Wilson. "Public-Access Computer Systems Review: Testing the Promise." The Journal of Electronic Publishing 3, no. 1 (1997).

Also see my "A Look Back at Twenty Years as an Internet Open Access Publisher."

Scholarly and Research Communication Established

A new open access journal, Scholarly and Research Communication, has been established.

Here's an excerpt from the journal's home page:

Scholarly and Research Communication is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, Open Access, online journal that publishes original contributions to the understanding of production, dissemination, and usage of knowledge. It emphasizes the dynamics of representation and changing organizational elements, including technologically mediated workflows, ownership, and legal structures. Contributions are welcomed in all media and span formal research and analysis; technical reports and demonstration; commentary, and review.

Also see Rowland Lorimer's presentation "Scholarly and Research Communication: A Journal and Some Founding Ideas."

Overlay Journal Infrastructure for Meteorological Sciences (OJIMS): Final Report

JISC has released the Overlay Journal Infrastructure for Meteorological Sciences (OJIMS): Final Report.

Here's an excerpt:

The Overlay Journal Infrastructure for Meteorological Sciences (OJIMS) project developed the mechanisms that could support both a new on-line Journal of Meteorological Data and an Open-Access Repository for documents related to the meteorological sciences. The project had three fundamental aims:

  • Creation of overlay journal mechanics.
  • Creation of an open access subject based repository for Meteorology and atmospheric sciences.
  • Construction and evaluation of business models for potential overlay journals. . . .
  • The proposal for the Journal of Meteorological Data is that it would be an on-line, peer-reviewed data journal. It would extend the scientific discipline of peer review to data, providing recognition for the work of creating data. The rigorous, but manageable, standards for metadata and documentation prescribed will facilitate re-use of the data, encourage appropriate application of the data to scientific problems and enable experiments to be repeated. A review process was proposed which encompasses three elements: a data description document, metadata and the data themselves. All three elements would be reviewed, but citation would be of the text article


University of California Systemwide 2008 Use Statistics for Databases, E-Books, and Journals

The California Digital Library has released University of California systemwide 2008 use statistics for selected databases, e-books, and journals.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

One of the observations from reading the 2008 usage reports is that there are wide variations in some reported statistics. Some of the changes may reflect actual usage trends and some may result from anomalies in the data. Below are some possible reasons for the usage changes:

  • New content or backfiles have been added
  • New features or links implemented on the interface associated with full-text access
  • Data mining activities
  • More external entry points for the full-text content, e.g., Google Scholar
  • Greater use of Google Scholar and other search engines instead of A&I databases, resulting in usage declines for those databases
  • Research interest changes on the campuses

In addition, some publishers are now providing and end-users have begun using software that allows users to easily download multiple full-text articles simultaneously.  For example, since September 2008, Elsevier has partnered with Quosa, a document download software company, to allow users to download up to 20 PDF versions of full-text research with only a few clicks.  CDL will be monitoring the effect these new tools may have on UC usage reports.

African Journals Online Migrates to Open Journal Systems Platform

African Journals Online has migrated all of its journals to Open Journal Systems.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

At 346 journals from 26 countries, AJOL is the world’s largest online collection of African journals, but until now, has included only tables of content, abstracts, and journal information on the website. As of the beginning of May, 60% of the 40,000 plus articles on AJOL will be available for immediate download. By the end of 2009, AJOL aims to have 100% of its growing collection fully full-text online.

The updated site and the new functionality are possible due to a close collaboration between AJOL and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), developers of Open Journal Systems (OJS)—the open source software which powers the AJOL service. AJOL is also supported by its donor partners, INASP and the Ford Foundation.

AJOL receives an average of 60,000 visits per month, 30% of which are from the African continent and over 15% from other parts of the developing world. The global researcher community and the authors and institutions whose work is published in the portal benefit from this increased access and visibility of African knowledge provided by AJOL. The new portal helps AJOL achieve its greater goal of shifting global flows of scholarly information, so that the importance of research published from the global south is more equitably represented.

AJOL allows for both Subscription-based and Open Access journals to be hosted for free on the site, with article downloads to toll journals being processed by AJOL and income sent on to the originating journals, less AJOL cost-recovery. In the future, AJOL will begin providing access to journal management functions of OJS to its partner Open Access journals, as a way to improve editorial quality and lower production costs.


Presentations from UK Serials Group’s 32nd Annual Conference Are Available

Presentations from UK Serials Group 32nd Annual Conference are now available (plenary sessions and breakout sessions).

Here's a quick sample:

Columbia’s Center for Digital Research and Scholarship Launches Harm Reduction Journal Companion Site for Supplemental Materials

The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University Libraries/Information Services has launched a companion site for the Harm Reduction Journal, an open access published by BioMed Central.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Professor Drucker partnered with CDRS to build a site that would allow HRJ authors, editors, and readers to share supplemental materials—such as datasets, commentaries, and translations—and respond to newer articles published on the journal's dot com home. The new dot org site accomplishes this by transforming every article published on HRJ dot com into its own blog. HRJ dot org also provides a forum for announcements, links, and discussion on harm reduction trends and efforts. "This approach enables HRJ to take full advantage of the rapid publication, secure and authoritative archiving, and the powerful dissemination and reach inherent in the medium of open access publishing, while simultaneously creating an open space for 'the long tail' of post-publication possibilities that make internet publications living documents," explained Professor Drucker.

BioMed Central's Director of Journal Publishing, Sarah Cooney, elaborated, "The open-access platform ensures the swift and unrestricted communication of scientific information to researchers. This new companion site will prove hugely significant for encouraging future advances and lead to an increased level of data sharing within the scientific community." CDRS Director Rebecca Kennison noted, "This new site demonstrates in very practical terms the possibilities inherent in open-access publications, which in addition to free access also allow for creative reuse of articles, such as we actively encourage on this companion site."

E-Journals: Their Use, Value and Impact

The Research Information Network has released E-Journals: Their Use, Value and Impact.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The report was undertaken by the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER) at University College London for the RIN to provide a detailed analysis of how academic researchers in the UK have responded to the provision of e-journals, and how this has shaped their information seeking behaviour and their usage of e-journals. The project looked at:

  • investigating researchers behaviour: looking at levels and patterns of use, the content viewed and how they navigate to it
  • finding out how researchers' behaviours may vary by subjects and disciplines, and the type of university they study at
  • gathering and analysing evidence of relationships between researchers' behaviour and institutional spending on e-journals, and
  • gathering and analysing evidence of relations between researchers' behaviour and research productivity, outputs, including number of publications produced, citations attracted and the results of research evaluation.

University of Arizona Libraries Collaborate with Faculty Member to Publish New E-Journal

The University of Arizona Libraries and UA Regents' Professor Richard Wilkinson have collaborated to publish a new quarterly e-journal, the Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, or the JAEI, was created by Wilkinson, a UA classics and Near Eastern studies professor, and will be hosted on the UA Libraries' institutional repository site, also known as UAiR.

The digitially-based, peer-reviewed journal explores the relationship between ancient Egypt and its surrounding regions and helps develop an important new trend in Egyptological scholarship by taking an interdisciplinary approach.

The journal publishes full-length articles, which have been subjected to the same peer-reviewed, blind screening process used by traditional scholarly print journals. The JAEI will also include short research notes, reviews of published works, announcements and reports of relevant conferences and symposia.

The journal also examines the relationship between ancient Egypt and its neighbors through different lenses, ranging from history to technology to art and religion. . . .

The journal counts Oxford and Harvard universities among its initial subscribers and subscriptions have already been received from a number of countries. Interest has also been high among scholars wanting to contribute to the journal.

ARL Report: Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication

The Association of Research Libraries has released Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication by Nancy L. Maron and K. Kirby Smith, plus a database of associated examples.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In the spring of 2008, ARL engaged Ithaka’s Strategic Services Group to conduct an investigation into the range of online resources valued by scholars, paying special attention to those projects that are pushing beyond the boundaries of traditional formats and are considered innovative by the faculty who use them. The networked digital environment has enabled the creation of many new kinds of works, and many of these resources have become essential tools for scholars conducting research, building scholarly networks, and disseminating their ideas and work, but the decentralized distribution of these new-model works has made it difficult to fully appreciate their scope and number.

Ithaka’s findings are based on a collection of resources identified by a volunteer field team of over 300 librarians at 46 academic institutions in the US and Canada. Field librarians talked with faculty members on their campuses about the digital scholarly resources they find most useful and reported the works they identified. The authors evaluated each resource gathered by the field team and conducted interviews of project leaders of 11 representative resources. Ultimately, 206 unique digital resources spanning eight formats were identified that met the study’s criteria.

The study’s innovative qualitative approach yielded a rich cross-section of today’s state of the art in digital scholarly resources. The report profiles each of the eight genres of resources, including discussion of how and why the faculty members reported using the resources for their work, how content is selected for the site, and what financial sustainability strategies the resources are employing. Each section draws from the in-depth interviews to provide illustrative anecdotes and representative examples.

Highlights from the study’s findings include:

  • While some disciplines seem to lend themselves to certain formats of digital resource more than others, examples of innovative resources can be found across the humanities, social sciences, and scientific/technical/medical subject areas.

  • Of all the resources suggested by faculty, almost every one that contained an original scholarly work operates under some form of peer review or editorial oversight.

  • Some of the resources with greatest impact are those that have been around a long while.

  • While some resources serve very large audiences, many digital publications—capable of running on relatively small budgets—are tailored to small, niche audiences.

  • Innovations relating to multimedia content and Web 2.0 functionality appear in some cases to blur the lines between resource types.

  • Projects of all sizes—especially open-access sites and publications—employ a range of support strategies in the search for financial sustainability.

Digital Will Be Default Format for Astrophysical Journal Letters in 2009

According to a 7/22/08 message by Michael R. Blake on liblicense-l ("American Astronomical Society Subscription Change"), digital distribution will be the default format for the Astrophysical Journal Letters starting in 2009. Customers who want a print version will need to request it. Print will be available at no extra cost in 2009; however, it is anticipated that there will be a charge at some future point.

Code4Lib Journal Adopts Creative Commons Attribution License

Starting with its just released third issue, the Code4Lib Journal is using the Creative Commons Attribution License for its articles, making this freely available journal an open access journal under the strictest definition of that term (sometimes called "full open access").

Here's an excerpt from the editorial that discusses this change:

In order to facilitate the ability of our readers to build upon the ideas presented in the Journal, beginning with Issue 3 all articles are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. The CC-BY license lets you reuse, share, and build upon the work presented in the article, as long as you credit the author for the original creation. This licensing is required for inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and to receive a SPARC Europe Seal. Code snippets included in the text are included under the CC-BY license. For other code included with an article, we recommend, but don’t require, an open source license. We are contacting all authors with articles published in previous issues to request they license their previously published Code4Lib Journal articles under the CC-BY license.