Open Access: the Dutch Consortium – publishers deal

From Science Guide I found out that, as more contracts of the Dutch Consortium with their publishers were made public by Leo Waaijers in 2016, the resistance put up by Elsevier and Springer to the exposure of their individual contracts raised a question mark about their real intentions, especially related to the Open Access policy.

Two weeks ago, due to the leak of Elsevier’s contract, the publisher came under scrutiny because of the terms of its three years Open Access pilot (2016-2018) that seems set up to fail.

Image from Science Guide’s article “Leaked Elsevier contract reveals pushback”

Science Guide says that the deal shows restrictions imposed to the researchers, the raise of collective fees and the short range of publications from their portfolio where the researchers could publish Open Access – a rather “disheartening picture of the so called ‘Golden deal’ reached by the Dutch universities with their major publisher: Elsevier” [1].

Still, one has to look at a broader picture: the business case for these deals and the win-win situation for both universities and publishers.

The contracts’ descriptions are available – for anyone interested – on the openaccess website where, for every publisher, one can find listed the Terms & Conditions of their deal, links to the publishers’ websites with More information and, in four cases, details over their Workflow [2].

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2017 Library Trends from the NMC Horizon Report

Last week, New Media Consortium published its annual Library Edition report [1].
See below the trends, challenges and developments related to the technology adoption in the academic libraries.

Image capture from page 3 of the NMC Horizon Report – 2017 Library Edition

While eager to read the details, don’t jump over the executive summary that identifies ten themes in the academic library’s landscape – wherein lays the foundation of the 18 topics presented above.

More in depth reading on the NMC website (or click on the image above).


For a quick introduction to the report you can watch the video summary on the NMC YouTube channel [2].

 


Sources

[1] NMC Horizon News, https://www.nmc.org/nmc-horizon-news/announcing-the-nmc-horizon-report-2017-library-edition/, accessed 31 March 2017
[2] NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Library Edition, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2vaVeyg8Dc&feature=youtu.be, accessed 31 March 2017

Content break-down and its impact

A month ago I came across an article that looked at content in a completely different way. Dominik Grau, the Chief Innovation Officer of Ebner Group, writes about the transformation of his company from a 200 old year “print-centric publisher into a content and services company with a large e-commerce engine as one of the bases of the future monetization”. [1] Dominik Grau draws a clear cut: “Ebner Group is not making magazines but content”. He says “we care deeply about excellent content. Formats and channels come second”. ​ He enumerates the channels: the paper, the website, the video’s, the books.

Well, nothing new for us here. What intrigued me was his “dissection” theory of the content in “Minimal Information Units” or MIUs and their allocation per article part (title, introduction, paragraph, photo, video, interview, infographic and list of facts) [2]. To each of these parts he gives a weight in MIU and distributes them on different delivery channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) for maximum impact. He sees the traffic of content to the user as a matrix and every touchpoint in the matrix counts to the total impact for an article.
He goes further than that and calculates the impact of an event if set up for exposure on the right channels: it is what he calls “an event package”.

With no further consideration, this model provides us, the library, with a simple mechanism to help researchers – both content producers and followers – maximise the impact of their work, be it a scientific article or not.

[1] Exclusive insights into the transformation of 200-year old Ebner Media Group, LinkedIn – Pulse, published 12 December 2016, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/exclusive-insights-transformation-200-year-old-ebner-media-grau
[2] How to maximise the impact of your content, FIPP, published on 13 December, 2016, http://www.fipp.com/news/features/how-to-maximise-the-impact-of-your-content

Open Access articles rush: oaDOI and Google Scholar

Finding open access article versions of the ones behind the paywall seems pretty easy with Google Scholar. Yet, with a new identifier, the oaDOI (https://oadoi.org), Impact Story promises going beyond Google Scholar for articles with a DOI.

oaDOI.orgShort history: last summer Impact Story, one of the main players in altmetrics, challenged everyone to make a profile on their website and check out their “openness” by introducing a new OA badge.
In their effort to complete the profiles with open access output, Impact Story made a workaround Google Scholar in order to find any free full-text for a paper with a DOI. They search in specific sources like DOAJ, DataCite, CrossRef’s database and the BASE OA Search Engine and institutional  repositories, plus in their own list of DOI indexes and even in the articles page itself for a link to a free version [1].
In practice, after testing the oaDOI with multiple articles from behind the paywall, I found out it comes down to luck to find  an open access version which Google Scholar does not find.

We don’t know how long it will take Google Scholar to take over, but the great news about the oaDOI is that, unlike Google, it’s open: it has a versioned open API to build upon it.

oadoi widget Wayne State University Library
By now, Zotero is searching by oaDOI, Max Plank Digital Library is experimenting with its SFX lookup service for DOI using an oaDOI and Wayne State University Library has introduced a widget to search oaDOI [2].

Try it yourself at oadoi.org.


See also http://impactstory.org/u/someones_orcid and see the number of OA publications that someone has, with a percentage of “openness” added to his Impact Story profile.

References:

[1] Introducing oaDOI: resolve a DOI straight to OAhttp://blog.impactstory.org/introducting-oadoi/, accessed on 31st October 2016
[2] oaDOI APIhttps://oadoi.org/api, accessed on 31st October 2016

A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher

How would you design a research library to respond to the preferences and needs of today’s researchers?” were the librarians of Cornell University asking, in their quest to envision the future Research Library.

To answer to this question, the librarians had to hear from researchers themselves. They realised they had to accept the evidence and understand what research means for a researcher. Finding the researchers’ work patterns and their main struggles could be the key to finding what kind of responsibilities could the future research library assume in order to serve its purpose.

With no precedent for such an approach, the librarians had considered the following:

The evidence: it was obvious that today’s researchers work differently than twenty years ago (for example) because of the “unpredictable change in the way information is created, stored, transmitted and used”. They had to look at their new practices, places & spaces, resources and tools, wires and equipments.
What research requires: the research library is expected to respond to the needs and pressures of three “stakeholdes”: the common good (the research partners and the society) – knowledge flow, the institution – role in the campus and budget distribution and the individual researcher – faculty members, graduate students and undergraduate students.
Towards the model of the Future Research Library: there are clear core practices that have to stay, like access to information – organised and findable and new services, like an increasing role in publishing or new specialties, like designing and developing new information technologies, all emerging for the library of the future.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.36.35The librarians interviewed 21 researchers and used a mapping and logging method for their study “A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher”. They focused in the interviews on different aspects of a researcher’s professional life:

– academic activities
– seeking information
– library resources
– self management
– space
– circum-academic activities
– obstacles
– brainwork
– technology

The findings of their study and their insights bring us to one conclusion: there are so many ways the researchers do research that there is no way the library could serve all their individual needs. Instead, the analysis of all the work patterns resulted into three main spheres of practice:

  • the process of research
  • academic networking
  • managing self

The way Cornell University Library imagined they could approach the researchers needs in these spheres of practice and empower the researchers to achieve their academic research goals lead to a model of the future Research Library as an academic hub and an app store.

You can read all about it in A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher – Envisioning the Future of the Research Library.

 

Citizen Science closing knowledge gaps

Washington Post tells us: “Three superplayers of an addictive online puzzle game have done something that Stanford University Medical School believes is unprecedented: They’ve become the first authors on a paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal based on their discoveries in playing the large-scale, online video game EteRNA.”

The Journal of Molecular Biology is a peer-reviewed scientific journal where authors with solid scientific reputation publish their works. The scientific article in question was published last month by the three “citizen scientists” authors, considered amateur scientists. How is this possible?

Who gets to publish scientific articles has to go through the regular channel of working with authorities in the scientific field and then becoming a scientific authority: it’s the thread of trust in the creation of knowledge. This is the traditional way to develop one’s own expertise and get recognised by the scientific community. However, this way changed over the last decades: new educational pathways grew inside the traditional academic environment via the MOOCs but also outside them via citizen science projects.

The MOOCs are educational models that approach a large audience, with a huge impact on the global education, where the knowledge, structured in various subjects is given away: it flows from universities to people.

In the citizen scientist project model, the knowledge flows the other way around. The universities need help, they have huge projects working with big data that ask for too much money and infrastructure or too many people, all in all too much for a university to handle by itself. They need help not only in the form of funding (level 1) and distributed computer processing power (level 2) but also through crowdsourcing human-processing power – fresh, non-biased input – to analyse complex problems, images or samples (level 3) [2]. So the universities created frameworks for people to learn and challenge them to help solve problems with great impact for the whole society.

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Crowdfunding for academia

Every university wants to encourage the entrepreneurship of its students and at the same time, increase its visibility through their output. One new way is via the social supporting models of crowdfunding (financial support from an online community) and the crowdsourcing (support with services, ideas or content from an online community). Both were a hype in 2013 but they stayed around and they were adopted by universities around the world or by non-profit organisations as valuable alternative tools for the benefit of academia.

How does this parallel fund raising track works for universities now?

In USA, the University of Oregon took an active role in hosting a website, DuckFunder, for crowdfunding their students projects. Experiment.com is crowdfunding scientific research with a team behind the scenes that examines and approves an experiment before going public.

In UK there is an non-profit organisation, Hubbub, created for students, hosting a crowdfunding website for academia, colleges and schools. They defined the Sponsors and the Creators. The Creators (at least 16 years old) offer generic small rewards to the Sponsors – the “friends of the university” – to help the process of crowdfunding and get them involved in the projects of their interest. (Learn more)

In the Nederlands, University of Maastricht is busy with offering support to its students who want to find resources to realise their ideas. Both their crowdfunding and crowdsourcing projects can be found on their page on the Pifworld (Pay It Forward World).

University of Groningen supports its researchers and students via two websites made by/with the “social enterprise” Kentaa, who says it’s working with 9 of 13 Dutch universities to help raise funds for academic research projects. There one can find the webpages of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Wageningen UR, Radboud University and Twente University.

At TU Delft, somehow the students managed to (crowd)fund their projects via different and elsewhere available platforms. Among their initiatives, the following got a well deserved attention:

  • the Ocean Cleanup by Bojan Slat completed a fundraiser in 2014 that used the ABN AMRO platform SEEDS.
  • the Leg Bank for Colombia via the 1%Club platform – completed in 2014
  • Nuna 8 closed in the summer of 2015, via Zonnepanelendelen platform, crowdfunding specifically for systems based on sun energy.
    A picture of each sponsor was placed on the Nuna 8 solar car, which ended up winning the World Solar Challenge 2015 in Australia.
  • the EcoRunner – the hydrogen powered vehicle, still fighting to raise money on Indiegogo

What if we, as a library, step in as well to support our own gifted entrepreneur students? We could give them the channel they need for getting help with funds and resources from people who care in exchange for bringing TU Delft in the news with their great ideas.

Trends 2016: Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With all the technological developments from the last year IamWIRE says that if 2015 was the year of the sensors (products), 2016 will be the year of user experiences due to the release of high tech devices in the consumer market. They are referring to three of the most important technological developments that will emerge as trends for this year: Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Trends:
  • Looking back at the last year’s developments in Virtual Reality, we saw in 2015 the headsets Gear VR, Oculus VR and Google Jump platform appear, the last one with the 16 GoPro camera’s that can create 360 degrees videos, a new type of content, now already popular on YouTube.

    All of them open new possibilities for Virtual Reality new experiences in gaming, training, and simulations. In the beginning of this year is scheduled the launch of Oculus Rift (already here for a price of $599), Sony’s PlayStation VR and HTC – Vive headset with VR technology. According to TrendForce, the expectations are as far as 43mil. users this year with 14 mil. VR devices to be sold, most of them to be used in gaming. Quirk’s is talking about Virtual Reality as of a democratising technology, but warns that its adoption by the industries and consumers will go far beyond 2016. It predicts that the economical sectors that are mostly based on experience – like tourism and health care – will adopt this technology faster than others.

  • In 2015 the investments in Augmented Reality went up to $700mil. (1). Its timeline didn’t begin with Google Glass (launched in 2013 and stopped in 2015), but it was surely considered well ahead of its time. The next generation, Google Glass 2 is expected in May 2016 (2). What else did Google do in 2015? They backed-up a startup company, Magic Leap, that raised a huge amount of investments for its 3D mapping system integrating real objects with interactive graphical “objects” (3). Let the race begin!

    In the spring of 2016 are announced as well the Microsoft’s HoloLens and ASUS’s AR headset.
    There is no promise yet for the consumer market, but everyone expects a serious name taking a stand in AR: Apple. Its interest in AR became visible through its moves (in acquiring in 2015 three AR companies) that suggest a long term goal. Latest news: Apple just hired beginning 2016 a top tech specialist in AR/VR (4).

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Artificial Intelligence at work for website building

Would you like to design a website whiteout having to think to much? The people behind The Grid think that building a website should be as easy as feeding the website with text or photo’s.
The Grid is a website creation and hosting platform that uses AI to learn from you, the website creator. It learns about you, your habits and preferences, it adapts to you and evolves with you. How? Templates are replaced with layout filters, the algorithms pick up your color preferences from your online posts, and crops main figures from your photos for easy design. Just try it!

Elsevier and Snowball Metrics

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Scopus has recently changed its metrics when displaying an article. Take a look at the extended metrics (fig. 1): you’ll see categories like Citation measurements, Scholarly Activity or Social Activity. The metrics themselves – read Engagement Highlingts – are enriched … Continue reading