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Libraries and Open Journal Systems: Hosting and facilitating the creation of Open Access scholarship

There is a growing availability of free tools and software for academic publishing. How might libraries leverage existing platforms? Anna R. Craft describes one experience of an academic library hosting locally-produced open access journals through Open Journals Systems (OJS). But even “free” software is not without costs in relation to time and expertise. Care should be taken in facilitating a supportive environment to meet an institution’s journal-hosting needs.  Read more…


Reviewer Fatigue? Why Scholars Decline to Review their Peers’ Work

This is the original article published in the journal  – PS: Political Science & Politics, October 2015, and of which the below post came about.

ABSTRACT: As new academic journals have emerged in political science and existing journals experience increasing submission rates, editors are concerned that scholars experience “reviewer fatigue.” Editors often assume that an overload of requests to review makes scholars less willing to perform the anonymous yet time-consuming tasks associated with reviewing manuscripts. To date, there has not been a systematic investigation of the reasons why scholars decline to review. We empirically investigated the rate at which scholars accept or decline to review, as well as the reasons they gave for declining. We found that reviewer fatigue is only one of several reasons why scholars decline to review. The evidence suggests that scholars are willing to review but that they also lead busy professional and personal lives.

Read more…

Is Reviewer Fatigue a Real Thing?

Posted by Angela Cochran on 4 November 2015. Indeed extracurricular activity for which no real credit is given.

Cape Town Declaration (2015)

Cape Town, South Africa—14 August 2015

Ministers and country representatives from Angola, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Lesotho, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan and Swaziland met to discuss the status of libraries and implementation of access to information agenda at a meeting on 14 August 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa—just ahead of IFLA WLIC 2015.

IFLA President Sinikka Sipilä, African Library Associations & Institutions (AfLIA) President and national librarians were also present.

The group deliberated on the status of libraries on the African continent and the progress required to meet the global sustainable development goals. Read more …

The resulting document is the Cape Town Declaration. PDF read

Wrong Number: A closer look at Impact Factors

This was posted By sjroyle7 on May 5, 2015.

A JIF for 2013 is worked out by counting the total number of 2013 cites to articles in that journal that were published in 2011 and 2012. This number is divided by the number of “citable items” in that journal in 2011 and 2012.

There are numerous problems with this calculation that I don’t have time to go into here. If we just set these aside for the moment, the JIF is still used widely today and not for the purpose it was originally intended. Eugene Garfield, created the metric to provide librarians with a simple way to prioritise subscriptions to Journals that carried the most-cited scientific papers. The JIF is used (wrongly) in some institutions in the criteria for hiring, promotion and firing. This is because of the common misconception that the JIF is a proxy for the quality of a paper in that journal. Use of metrics in this manner is opposed by the SF-DORA and I would encourage anyone that hasn’t already done so, to pledge their support for this excellent initiative. Read more…

Differences between ORCID and DataCite Metadata

One of the first tasks for DataCite in the European Commission-funded THOR project that started in June was to contribute to a comparison of the ORCID and DataCite metadata standards. Together with ORCID, CERN, the British Library and Dryad we looked at how contributors, organizations and artefacts – and the relations between them – are described in the respective metadata schemata, and how they are implemented in two example data repositories, Archaeology Data Service and Dryad Digital Repository. The focus of our work was on identifying major gaps. Our report was finished and made publicly available via http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.30799 last week . The key findings are summarized. Read more…

White House Ditches University Rankings, Launches New Website To Offer Open Data To Help Students Choose Their College

In a bid to increase the number of citizens who are college degree holders and can help boost the U.S. economy, the White House is introducing a new tool to help students and families search for the ideal college.  With this new tool, an individual can assess higher education institutions based on a variety of factors, including the size and location of schools and also the types of programs or degrees offered. Moreover, the site presents comprehensive and reliable data related to the college’s student outcomes, which include the student debts of graduates, earnings of students, and repayment rates of borrowers.

By launching the website, reports say, Washington seems to be abandoning efforts to create a system that will give ratings to the country’s colleges and universities. The primary objective of the original plan was to shame schools with low ratings.

This rating system of the government was opposed by various institutions, saying it could allow some institutions to prioritize money-making degrees, such as accounting, over courses related to history, philosophy, and others.  Read more…

Who are you? Recognising researchers with ORCID identifiers

The Wellcome Trust are happy to announce that they are about to start mandating ORCID as part of their grant application process. Starting in August 2015, they will ask all applicants to provide an ORCID iD when they sign up with their grant application system.

The simplicity of a single profile, however, belies its true power: as plumbing. By allocating and centralising the identities of researchers, systems which previously could not exchange flows of data now can. By moving from full names to unique identifiers (referring to Dr Craig Roberts as 0000-0002-9641-6101, rather than “C. Roberts”) different interested parties can start reliably talking about the same people, which is a vital first step toward any deeper understanding of researchers, artists, and their activities.

Read more…

DHET (South Africa) Communiqué 2 of 2015 – August 2015 – Research Output Policy (2015)

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) recently published Research Output Policy (2015) in the government gazette (Vol. 597 11 March 2015, No. 38552). This policy is a newly revised version of the Policy and Procedures for Measurement of Research Output of Public Higher Education Institutions of 2003.

The revised policy will be effective from 1 January 2016, and will therefore be applicable to the 2016 research outputs that will be evaluated in 2017 and onwards. The purpose of this communication is to explain the key amendments incorporated in the revised policy and their implications thereof.

This new report includes the Norwegain List as well as Conference proceedings. Get PDF

Open access is a development issue – the status quo needs to be challenged

Access to information is a basic human right entrenched in the South African Constitution. Yet there are many barriers restricting or preventing access to information.  What needs to be done to lift the impossible restrictions currently in place? The solution, Open Access.

South Africa is doing some amazing research but cannot share it globally because of restrictive copyright laws or unreasonable policies and embargo periods set by publishers. South African authors cannot become known and cited if their works are locked up behind expensive paywalls, accessible only to a limited audience.

South African students and researchers also need access to the best international and local up-to-date journals, books and other research to be able to contribute new knowledge in their fields.

This is the reason open access is so crucial for South Africa and other developing countries. Read more …

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