The European Commission (EC) has adopted a Communication that sets out open access (OA) policy objectives for the research funded by the Commission through the "Horizon 2020" initiative. An accompanying recommendation sets out a complete policy framework for improving access to, and preservation of, scientific information. Together these two initiatives feed into the wider context of achieving a European Research Area. This builds on a 2007 communication on scientific information in the digital age (see IP/07/190) and on Council conclusions of that same year.
EC’s measures are aimed to improve access to scientific information produced in Europe. Broader and more rapid access to scientific papers and data is expected to make it easier for researchers and businesses to build on the findings of public-funded research. This will boost Europe's innovation capacity and give citizens quicker access to the benefits of scientific discoveries. This in turn is projected to give Europe a better return on its €87 billion annual investment in R&D.
As a first step, the Commission will make OA to scientific publications a general principle of Horizon 2020, the EU's Research & Innovation funding programme for 2014-2020. As of 2014, all articles produced with funding from Horizon 2020 will have to be accessible. The Commission has also recommended that member states take a similar approach to the results of research funded under their own domestic programmes. The goal is for 60 percent of European publicly-funded research articles to be available under OA by 2016.
The Commission will also start experimenting with OA to the data collected during publicly funded research (e.g. the numerical results of experiments), taking into account legitimate concerns related to the fundee's commercial interests or to privacy.
STM publisher Elsevier, Netherlands, has announced the highlights of its journal Impact Factor performance in 2011. According to the 2011 Journal Citation Reports (JCR) published by Thomson Reuters, Elsevier saw 58 percent of its journal Impact Factors increase from 2010 to 2011, compared to 54 percent for non-Elsevier journals.
Elsevier journals top the rankings in 57 subject categories. Nearly 40 percent of Elsevier’s 1,600 journals in the JCR are in the top 10 of their subject category, with 188 journals ranked in the top 3. Five Elsevier journals have seen a decade of continuous Impact Factor increases. These are: Journal of Ethnopharmacology; Journal of Materials Processing Technology; Carbon; Electrochemistry Communications; and Renewable Energy.
All journals in The Lancet family reached their highest Impact Factor yet. The Lancet rose from 33.633 to 38.278, remaining the second-highest ranked journal in the Medicine, General & Internal category. The Lancet Infectious Diseases and The Lancet Neurology retained their number one rankings in their respective categories, while The Lancet Oncology saw its Impact Factor soar from 14.470 to 17.764.
Cell, the flagship journal of Cell Press, an Elsevier imprint, saw its Impact Factor remain stable at 32.403 and continues to be the top primary research journal in the Cell Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology subject categories. Among Cell Press’s more recent suite of journal launches, Cell Stem Cell (Impact Factor 25.421) had the highest percentage growth in citations in its field. More than 70 percent of the Trends review journals had an increased Impact Factor this year.
Of the 383 journals in the JCR that Elsevier publishes on behalf of societies, 64 percent saw increases in their Impact Factors. Nine of these are number one in their subject category, with four achieving that top position in 2011: PAIN (International Association for the Study of Pain); Annals of Emergency Medicine (American College of Emergency Physicians); Combustion and Flame, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry which now also ranks number one in the Pediatrics category.
The Impact Factor helps evaluate a journal’s impact compared to others in the same field by measuring the frequency with which recent articles in a journal have been cited in a particular year: the 2011 Impact Factor takes into account citations in 2011 to papers published in 2009 and 2010.
Science magazine Scientific American has launched its monthly tablet edition available for iPad, www.ScientificAmerican.com/mobile. The Scientific American Tablet Edition is the latest in a number of digital offerings from Scientific American. It is available from the Apple App Store and is priced at $5.99 per issue, or $34.99 for an annual subscription.
Each issue combines the award-winning features and articles from the print edition with enriched content including videos, audio interviews, interactive graphics and slide shows. The Tablet Edition also provides daily updates from the world of science and technology, written by the Scientific American editorial staff and blogging network. Scientific American Digital and print subscribers have access to the Tablet Edition included with their subscription.
The Scientific American Tablet Edition allows readers to bookmark pages and swipe between articles and sections for easy navigation. The issues are downloaded to the iPad for easy reading off-line, anytime. The Tablet Edition is designed in-house by the same team that produces the print magazine.
Scientific American became part of Nature Publishing Group (NPG) in 2009, after many years as a sister Holtzbrinck organisation. The publication claims to be the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media.
Technical professional organisation IEEE has announced that it is continuing to develop its strategy on open access publishing. The IEEE Board of Directors recently approved the creation of a rapid-publication, open access mega journal spanning all IEEE fields of interest. Several other topical open access journals are also planned as part of this phase of the rollout.
Dr. Michael Pecht, founder and director of the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering at the University of Maryland, has been named the journal’s first editor-in-chief. A Fellow of IEEE, ASME, and SAE, Pecht was formerly editor of IEEE Transactions on Reliability for eight years as well as an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology. He also has served on the editorial advisory board of the IEEE Spectrum magazine.
Pecht will spend the next several months assembling an editorial advisory board and developing guidelines and procedures for prospective authors to follow.
The new megajournal, the hybrid option, and other forthcoming specialised open access titles are part of IEEE’s efforts to provide authors with alternatives to traditional publishing.
Knovel, provider of a Web-based application integrating technical information with analytical and search tools, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have announced a new publishing partnership. The deal is projected to expand the ASCE publication footprint globally and offer Knovel customers a richer content base.
Knovel will initially add 43 ASCE titles, including guides to working with ASCE 7-10 and over 20 recently updated or released Manuals of Practice, to its current offering of engineering content. In addition, Knovel will integrate selected ASCE committee reports and ASCE Press titles and make them available to engineers across the globe.
Many of Knovel’s 29 subject areas will be enriched by ASCE content. ASCE content will be of particular importance to environmental, structural and geotechnical engineers, providing them with authoritative information on site remediation, water and wastewater treatment, forensic engineering, pipeline design and installation, designing with steel, and more.
Knovel partners with more than 90 societies and publishers worldwide to ensure engineers have access to trusted sources of technical content across 29 engineering subject areas.
Dr. Robert Parker, the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), has welcomed the Open Access (OA) proposals announced earlier in the week by Research Councils UK (RCUK). However, he has opined that the estimated £50 million annual transition costs would mean a bumpy ride ahead for the nation’s researchers and institutions.
Dr. Parker said the RSC had always supported a move towards Gold Open Access, but warned that money diverted from the already frozen science budget could hit research projects. He added that no new money was being found to help with the significant transition costs to the new OA publishing model, so the RSC was ready to work with the government to work out how this hole could be plugged. He further hoped that the £50 million to fund the transition would not come from research budgets.
RCUK stated that all peer reviewed papers that resulted from research wholly or partially funded by the councils must be published in journals that are compliant with RCUK’s OA policy. It would provide block grants to institutions to fund the Author Processing Charges (APCs) required under the new system. There is reportedly no clarity yet on the level of funding RCUK would provide, nor how it would be distributed.
Dr Parker stressed that all RSC journals would be compliant with RCUK requirements for Gold Open Access. However, he expressed concern over the shorter six-month embargo period the RCUK has adopted for journals that do not offer a Gold Open Access option. According to him, this does not align with the government's recommendation of an up to 12 month embargo period for science, technology and engineering publications.
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), part of Wolters Kluwer Health, US, has announced that 11 LWW published journals have won 17 highly regarded awards in the 24th annual APEX Awards for Publication Excellence Competition.
Notable achievements were awarded to LWW-published journals - Emergency Medicine News and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Emergency Medicine News was awarded the Grand Award for Excellence for the third consecutive year. The award recognises outstanding work in the category of Magapapers & Newspapers. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery won in the multimedia category for its journal iPad app edition and website.
APEX Awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence. Grand Awards honour the outstanding works in each main category, while Awards of Excellence recognise exceptional entries in each of the individual subcategories. Of the more than 3,400 entries in the competition, just 100 Grand Award Winners were selected.
The Apex Annual Awards for Publication Excellence Competition is open to communicators in corporate, nonprofit and independent settings. Sponsored by the Editors of Writer’s Web Watch, an e-newsletter on print, Web, electronic and social media, and the Writing That Works Archives, a resource for business communicators, the APEX Awards programme has been recognising publishing excellence since 1988.
Library automation solutions provider Ex Libris Group, Israel, has announced that Cardiff University in Wales has added the Syndetics ICE (Indexed Content Enrichment) service to the University’s LibrarySearch installation of the Ex Libris Primo discovery and delivery solution. Syndetics ICE adds tables of contents, summaries, and abstracts to the Primo records. In addition to supporting the search, Syndetics ICE data is displayed to users as part of the search results.
This integration was carried out as part of Cardiff University’s initial Primo implementation and is the result of close collaboration between Ex Libris and the library’s system experts. Detailed instructions on how to index Syndetics ICE data in Primo are now available to all Primo customers on the University’s collaborative platform, EL Commons.
Syndetics ICE enhances library patrons’ search experience by making collections more searchable, retrievable, and relevant. By enabling patrons to search valuable Syndetics content right through a library’s online catalogue, Syndetics ICE streamlines the discovery of titles that are undetectable through traditional MARC data searches. In addition to raising the visibility of library holdings and bringing greater relevance to search results, Syndetics ICE enables patrons to discover a broader span of information in their search results than ever before. Syndetics ICE is a service of Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published Collaborative Teaching and Learning Tools, SPEC Kit 328, which gathers information about what collaborative teaching and learning tools are currently being offered to users in ARL member libraries. It covers questions on which kinds of tools are offered, how many, and why; where they are located; who may use them; the sources of funding; who provides training and support; and what techniques are used to promote and evaluate the tools.
For the purpose of this survey, ‘collaborative teaching and learning tools’ are limited to the equipment, devices, or systems being offered to research library users in a self-service environment including, but not limited to the interactive whiteboards (IWBs, e.g., SMART Board), touchscreen tablet computers (e.g., iPads), classroom/audience response system (e.g., clickers), interactive learning centers (e.g., TouchTables), and Wii gaming systems.
Results and documentation from this survey demonstrate that a variety of collaborative equipment, devices, or systems are available or soon will be available to research library users. Respondents report that offering these tools enhances the users’ learning experiences in and out of the library and also provides improved patron services.
This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describe available equipment and services, loan policies, instructions for using equipment, and materials promoting the services. The table of contents and executive summary from this SPEC Kit are available online at http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/spec-328-web.pdf.
Designed to examine current research library practices and policies and serve as resource guides for libraries as they face ever-changing management problems, each SPEC Kit contains a summary analysis, survey questions with tallies, pertinent documentation from participating libraries, and a reading list and Web site references for further information on the topic.
Publishing-specific software solutions provider Publishing Technology plc, UK, has announced two new appointments designed to lead and consult on the digital publishing strategy of customers on the pub2web platform.
Effective this month, Rebecca Cullen and Toby Plewak each assume the role of Customer Strategist in the Oxford (UK) and Cambridge (US) offices respectively. The new positions will provide strategic consultancy and guidance for the future development and evolution of each pub2web site, specialist sales support, and in-depth knowledge of the technology environment.
Rebecca Cullen brings with her a wealth of publishing and project management knowledge obtained from Oxford University Press in Oxford and New York, as well as from Greenwood and Osprey Publishing. Toby Plewak will apply his publishing, product development and technology experience gained from positions held at the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Massachusetts Historical Society. With Publishing Technology’s expanding worldwide customer base, Rebecca will manage clients in Europe while Toby works closely with US publishers.
The Customer Strategist role was created to support the company’s Perpetual Customer Service solution for helping content providers achieve their digital publishing goals. Each customer strategist will apply intimate knowledge of the custom pub2web hosting platform and the scholarly marketplace to provide advanced training and interpretation of analytics, identify and develop competitive digital revenue streams, and consult on maximizing investments and opportunities. The dedicated initiative will enable publishers to fully leverage pub2web’s unique semantic discovery framework, sophisticated ecommerce, and facilities to experiment with new business models.
pub2web is a customised, multi-content publications platform delivering all the functionality needed to support evolving digital strategies and to satisfy diverse end user and librarian requirements. Publishers benefit from proven, regularly-updated technology while also maintaining full control of their brand, their content and their user relationships.