The European Research Council (ERC), one of Europe’s biggest funders of scientific research, has announced that it will be joining UK PubMed Central (UKPMC), the online information service which provides biomedical and health researchers free access to millions of resources at the touch of a button. The ERC joins 18 existing funders of UKPMC and, in recognition of the increased representation from Europe, the service will be renamed Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) from November 1, 2012.
Like all existing funders of the service, the ERC will require any publications resulting from the life sciences research it supports to be made freely available in Europe PMC. These articles will add to the 2.2 million full text items already available, as well as over 26 million PubMed abstracts, and international patents from the European Patent Office, all easily searchable via an integrated full text and abstract search tool. The grant lookup tool, which provides information on 40,000 grants awarded by existing funders, will also expand to include ERC funding details. This service will enable researchers to gain a comprehensive picture of the life sciences funding landscape.
The British Library, one of three development partners in UKPMC since its inception in 2006, welcomes the new potential for innovation and collaboration that this development will bring to the global life sciences research community.
It is expected that the ERC’s decision will encourage other European funders to follow suit and thus expand the Europe PMC resource even further, building new potential for the life sciences community across the globe.
The UK government is reportedly set to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014. Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world. The move is viewed as the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the Internet.
In an interview with the Guardian, before the announcement, David Willetts, the universities and science minister, has said he expected a full transformation to the open approach over the next two years. According to him, the move reflects a groundswell of support for "open access" publishing among academics who have long protested that journal publishers make large profits by locking research behind online paywalls. Though many academics are expected to welcome the announcement, some scientists contacted by the Guardian were reportedly dismayed that the cost of the transition, which could reach £50 million a year, must be covered by the existing science budget and that no new money would be found to fund the process. That could lead to less research and fewer valuable papers being published.
British universities now pay around £200 million a year in subscription fees to journal publishers, but under the new scheme, authors will pay "article processing charges" (APCs) to have their papers peer reviewed, edited and made freely available online. The typical APC is around £2,000 per article. Tensions between academics and the larger publishing companies have risen steeply in recent months as researchers have baulked at journal subscription charges their libraries were asked to pay. More than 12,000 academics have boycotted Dutch publisher Elsevier, in part of a broader campaign against the industry that has been called the "academic spring".
The government's decision is outlined in a formal response to recommendations made in a major report into open access publishing led by Professor Dame Janet Finch, a sociologist at Manchester University. The Finch report strongly recommended so-called "gold" open access, which ensures the financial security of the journal publishers by essentially swapping their revenue from library budgets to science budgets.
Open access publisher BioMed Central has announced that its OA journal BMC Medicine has published an article which compares the scientific impact of open access with traditional subscription publishing and has found that both of these publishing business models produce high quality peer reviewed articles.
The debate about who should pay for scientific publishing is of continuing importance to the scientific community but also to the general public who not only often pay for the research though charitable contributions, their taxes, and by buying products, but are also affected by the results contained within these articles. Many publically funded agencies, such as the Wellcome Trust and NIH require that scientific research sponsored by them be made freely available to the public. However the issues are not as simple as just putting the results of research on line. Scientific research goes through the quality control filter of peer review and journals act as gatekeepers performing quality-assuring peer review, and who provide web-based repositories. Scientists currently rely on publishing in peer reviewed high quality journals to show that their research itself is of good quality, is of importance to their field of research, and consequently improves their chances of obtaining funding to continue their work.
One way of measuring quality is by impact factors calculated from citation data. Bo-Christer Bjork from Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, and David Solomon from Michigan State University compared the impact factors of 610 open access journals and over 7000 subscription journals.
The citation rate for subscription journals was overall 30 percent higher than for open access ones but this difference was largely due to a high share of older OA journals, particularly from regions like Latin America in the citation indexes. When like was compared with like, for instance, journals founded after 2000 from difference regions or disciplines, the differences disappeared.
BMC Medicine is the flagship medical journal of the BMC series. It publishes original research, commentaries and reviews that are either of significant interest to all areas of medicine and clinical practice, or provide key translational or clinical advances in a specific field.
Information services provider EBSCO is sponsoring a $1,000 scholarship for a qualifying librarian or paraprofessional to attend the 32nd Annual Charleston Conference: Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition. The event is scheduled for November 7-10, 2012, in Charleston, S.C.
In keeping with the conference’s 2012 theme, ‘Accentuate the Positive,’ this year’s essay topic is ‘Looking for the Silver Lining: Positive Outcomes from Troubled Times.’ Applicants are asked to submit short essays detailing how a potentially negative situation ultimately yielded a positive outcome as a result of implementing resourceful strategies. Some examples: adopting new models of collection development; streamlining technical services processes in response to staffing or resource changes; embarking on collaborative projects that led to enhanced services with other departments or institutions; or developing new offerings to better serve users, such as providing enhanced mobile applications, deploying patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) or a discovery service.
Each applicant must currently work as a librarian or paraprofessional and provide the following information: one professional recommendation; a curriculum vitae; and a short essay described above (up to 1,000 words).
All application documents should be sent electronically to Rossi Morris at EBSCO (email@example.com) by September 17, 2012. The winner will be notified by October 8, 2012. Scholarship money must be used to attend the 2012 Charleston Conference.
The new Digital Library, developed on Publishing Technology’s pub2web platform, is designed to improve the speed and ease with which academic and corporate users can access the IET’s 3,000 eBook chapters and 185,000 journal articles, which stretch back to 1872. The redevelopment kick-starts the IET’s major digital strategy and is the first of a number of platform improvements to be announced over the coming months.
Launching later this summer, the Digital Library is part of the IET’s mission to facilitate access to essential engineering intelligence worldwide. All of the IET’s research content will be available on the new platform, including the IET’s newly announced open access journal which will contain articles from some of the world’s leading academics, free of charge. The platform will shortly incorporate access to IET.tv and its archive of 3,500 videos.
New features of the Digital Library will include easier navigation and quicker access to relevant content. It will also allow for greater discoverability, improved librarian and customer support and communication, plus increased authentication options for the user.
Technical professional organisation IEEE has announced that the organisation has maintained its position as one of the top publishers of science and technology journals. According to the 2011 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports (JCR) released in June 2012, IEEE journals sustained their status as premier scholarly publications, earning high rankings in the Impact Factor report.
Seven IEEE publications ranked number one in their respective categories. These include: IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials (Telecommunications and Computer Science, Information Systems categories); IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics (Automation & Control Systems); IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence); IEEE Transactions on Systems Man and Cybernetics Part B—Cybernetics (Computer Science, Cybernetics); IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (Computer Science, Hardware & Architecture); IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (Engineering Manufacturing); IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems (Transportation Science & Technology)
According to the 2011 report, IEEE publishes 17 of the top 20 journals in Electrical & Electronic Engineering; 8 of the top 10 journals in Telecommunications; 4 of the top 5 journals in Computer Science, Hardware & Architecture; 4 of the top 5 journals in Automation & Control Systems; 4 of the top 5 journals in Computer Science, Cybernetics; 3 of the top 5 journals in Robotics; 2 of the top 5 journals in Computer Science, Theory & Methods; 2 of the top 5 journals in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence; and 2 of the top 5 journals in Imaging Science & Photographic Technology.
The report also found that IEEE publishes all of the top 10 journals in the Telecommunications and Electrical & Electronic Engineering categories based on the Eigenfactor score, a scale that measures the number of times articles from a journal are published in the last five years.
The JCR offers a systematic, objective means to critically evaluate the world's leading journals. By compiling articles' cited references, the JCR helps to measure research influence and impact, and shows the relationship between citing and cited journals.
AIP Publishing, a division of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), has reinforced its commitment to deliver world-class content, accessibility and outreach. It has stated that it recognises that the STM publishing landscape is evolving due to scientists' changing information needs, technological advancements and emerging trends. These are seen to impact the way that content is gathered, enriched, disseminated and made discoverable. AIP is well aware of the factors driving these changes, including the proliferation of mobile devices and their increasing use to acquire scholarly information, open access publishing models, semantic search engines and the explosion of social media for informal communication among scientists.
AIP seeks to provide quality, reliable content to the scientific community and advance the science of physics as a publisher of leading research journals, magazines and conference proceedings. Its purported commitment to value underlies its continued investment in peer-reviewed content, new tools for authors and editors, and numerous projects that enhance its offerings. Its current tiered pricing model was reportedly established to offer equitable prices for online access to institutions of varying size and research intensity. The publisher’s 2013 online journal pricing represents a 4% increase, which applies to every title, across every tier.
Beginning November 2012, AIP’s online journals will be hosted via Publishing Technology's pub2web, which is said to offer industry-proven architecture combined with powerful semantic web technology to deliver an optimal user experience. AIP is collaborating with Publishing Technology in a bid to ensure that the migration from Scitation to the pub2web platform will proceed as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.
ebrary, a ProQuest business, has added thousands of relevant e-books across acquisition models, which provide libraries with the highest return on investment when combined. With this initiative, the company seeks to help government libraries acquire e-books more strategically. Diversifying acquisition models is a key component of ebrary's three-step approach: Transition, Diversify, Streamline.
Government Complete, ebrary's affordable subscription database, has been updated with thousands of new e-books from renowned publishers such as American Water Works Association, Cardiotext Publishing, and Urban Institute Press. The database now includes a growing selection of more than 76,000 titles with unlimited, multi-user access. Additionally, ebrary has added over 9,000 new titles from publishers such as American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), and Karger Publishers, that can be purchased outright or through its patron driven acquisition programme where titles are only purchased if used.
To make it easier for military libraries to purchase essential titles, ebrary's on-staff librarians have created two new packs in Traumatic Brain Injury and Prosthetics Research. ebrary's new Traumatic Brain Injury pack covers TBI from both a physical and psychological point of view and includes publishers such as Oxford University Press, Wiley-Blackwell, Cambridge University Press, Guilford Press, CRC Press and Springer.
The Prosthetics Research pack encompasses topics such as biomedical materials, amputation, and robotics. Participating publishers include Cambridge University Press, Springer, Elsevier, and F.A. Davis. Both packs feature over 20 titles, with the majority published in the past three years.
ebrary is demonstrating its solution for government libraries in the ProQuest booth #600 at the ongoing SLA in Chicago, IL.
The latest edition of Blogspeak is now online. Featured are: Mike Shatzkin (Publishing in the Cloud is the next big important subject); Stevan Harnad (Overselling the Importance and Urgency of CC-BY for Peer-Reviewed Scholarly and Scientific Research); Mark Carrigan (Do ‘prestigious’ journals make academics lazy? An unlikely parallel with the art world); and Martyn Daniels (So How Will Digital Growth Impact Physical Decline?). Blogspeak includes blog posts relevant to the publishing industry, particularly STM publishing. Subscribers are invited to participate in the latest edition of Blogspeak Here.