Blogs selected for Week February 20 to February 26, 2017 -

1. Who Has All the Content?

Looking across the scholarly publishing sector, there are many delivery platforms, representing a diversity of models, such as ACS Publications, PLOS One, Project Muse, and ScienceDirect. In conducting their research, scholars and students find that the voyage from discovery to access can frequently be tortuous. The need to use multiple content platforms adds to their cognitive burden. In his post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, Roger C. Schonfeld provides a basic overview of the landscape of comprehensive fulltext services.

The blog post says (quote): A decade ago, librarians expressed substantial concern about Google capturing the discovery starting point role from their catalogs. Several vendors responded with services designed to search the library-licensed content beyond just the books in the catalog, providing a "Google-like" search box on the library website. To create these services, the vendors had to index the metadata and, wherever possible, the fulltext of an array of digital resources. As a result, these indices now have the full content of an array of publishers and content providers, including a great deal of the scientific literature, as well as ebooks, digitised books, newspapers, primary sources, images, audio, video, and so forth.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

2. Writing an Effective Abstract: An Audience-Based Approach

Most journals require authors to submit abstracts along with their articles. This requirement has two main rationales: an abstract offers readers a helpful, succinct summary of the longer argument developed in the essay, and it identifies keywords that will make it easier for search engines to find the essay. A bad abstract won't by itself cause journal editors to reject a scholarly article, but it does incline them toward an initial negative answer, note Faye Halpern and James Phelan in their post in the Inside Higher ED Post.

The blog post says (quote): This audience looks at your abstract with their most pressing question in mind: is this article publishable in this journal? A good abstract tilts them toward an affirmative answer by leaving them well-disposed toward the longer argument in the article. A bad abstract won't by itself cause this audience to reject an article, but it does incline the audience toward an initial negative answer. In that way, an ineffective abstract becomes an obstacle that your article needs to overcome. How do you produce a good abstract for this audience? In a process of reverse engineering, the authors have identified a set of recurring questions that underlie the strong abstracts that they have published over the years.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

3. The Forbidden Forecast: Thinking About Open Access and Library Subscriptions

Is there good reason to expect that open access (OA), and particularly OA of the Green variety, is likely to lead libraries and other customers to cancel their paid journal subscriptions? Around the world, and certainly in the US and UK, library budgets are largely flat, some are falling, and in those unusual circumstances in which annual budget increases actually do happen, they are hardly ever sufficient to keep up with price increases levied by publishers, especially journal publishers and especially those publishing in the STEM disciplines, notes Rick Anderson, in his post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog.

The blog post says (quote): The emergence of a new Gold OA journal is a good thing, because it adds to the fund of publicly-available science - not because it saves the library any money. The only OA scenario that can actually save money for the library (and individual subscribers) is one that allows them to cancel subscriptions. If the emergence of new Gold OA journals doesn’t provide us that opportunity, then what does? The answer, of course, would be an OA model that, instead of providing new and additional content on an OA basis, makes existing toll-access content available on an OA basis. What does that? Not Gold OA, but Green OA. By making content from toll-access journals freely available in repositories, Green OA has the capacity to free libraries and other subscribers from the necessity of paying for access to that content.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

4. Big and open data are prompting a reform of scientific governance

Big data is widely seen as a game-changer in scientific research, promising new and efficient ways to produce knowledge. And yet, large and diverse data collections are nothing new - they have long existed in fields such as meteorology, astronomy and natural history, notes Sabina Leonelli, in her post in the Times Higher Education Blog.

The blog post says (quote): The rise of data-centrism highlights the challenges involved in gathering, classifying and interpreting data, and the concepts, technologies and social structures that surround these processes. This has implications for how research is conducted, organised, governed and assessed. Data-centric science requires shifts in the rewards and incentives provided to those who produce, curate and analyse data. This challenges established hierarchies: laboratory technicians, librarians and database managers turn out to have crucial skills, subverting the common view of their jobs as marginal to knowledge production. Ideas of research excellence are also being challenged. Data management is increasingly recognised as crucial to the sustainability and impact of research, and national funders are moving away from citation counts and impact factors in evaluations.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

5. Blacklists are technically infeasible, practically unreliable and unethical. Period.

The removal of the Beall's list of predatory publishers caused consternation and led to calls in some quarters for a new equivalent to be put in its place. Cameron Neylon , in his post in The Impact Blog, explains why he has never been a supporter of the Beall’s list and outlines why he believes the concept of the blacklist itself is fundamentally flawed.

The blog post says (quote): Blacklists are designed to create and enforce collective guilt. Because they use negative criteria they will necessarily include agents that should never have been caught up. Blacklisting entire countries means that legal permanent residents, indeed, it seems, even airline staff, were unable to board flights to the US. Blacklisting publishers seeking to experiment with new forms of review or new business models both stifles innovation and discriminates against new entrants. Calling out bad practice is different. Pointing to one organisation and saying its business practices are dodgy is perfectly legitimate if done transparently, ethically and with due attention to evidence. Collectively blaming a whole list is not.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

6. The value of visualisations

Altmetric team is always looking for new and creative ways to display the data to show its versatility and better meet the needs of the customers. Often these are created as custom visualisations which enable users to take a totally different approach to interrogating the attention insights they have collated. In his post in the Altmetric Blog, Josh Clark discusses some of the previous projects undertaken by Altmetric’s team in London.

The blog post says (quote): Built way back in 2011 to help demonstrate how Altmetric data for a single journal can be displayed, this bespoke database included all titles published by PLoS and tracked by Altmetric. The site featured the Altmetric donut visualisation for each paper, which users could hover over to see a summary of the number of mentions the article had received. Users could also click the donut to be taken through to the details page for each article. The site also had the ability to filter by when the articles were last mentioned, and in which PLoS journal they were published. One of the stand out features of this site was that under each article there was a brief list of the most recent tweets that mentioned each article. The PLoS Impact Explorer is unfortunately no longer maintained but it was a great little experiment in the early days of Altmetric.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

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