Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, June 04, 2007

Spring JEP

The Spring issue of the Journal of Electronic Publishing is now online.  Here are the OA-related articles:

  • Hilary Wilder and Sharmila Pixy Ferris, Using a Wiki to Write About Wikis.  Abstract:  Academic writers are used to having their ideas encapsulated and enshrined in printed text (e.g., a journal article or a book), but publishing them in a wiki strips them of this protection. What happens when strangers change our writing? Since the traditional academic publishing paradigm has not caught up with the open-editing, peer-to-peer model, are we equipped to deal with the paradigm shift that wikis represent? These are issues we consider in this short piece.

  • Maria Fillippi, Implementing a Digital Library through National Cooperation.  Abstract:  The author describes the implementation of an innovative digital library that is the result of inter-institutional cooperation. The Mediterranean Coastal Marine Environment Digital Library (MeCME DL) covers scientific documentation in the fields of marine biology, marine microbiology, oceanography, and marine chemistry as they apply to marine pollution monitoring and environmental impact in the Gulf of Taranto, the sea between the front and heel of the boot of Southern Italy. The article explores what MeCME DL offers technically, how it differs from other digital libraries, what difference it makes to scholars in the relevant disciplines, and proposes including it in Italy’s National Science Digital Library.

  • Diane Harley and four co-authors, The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices.  Abstract:  This study reports on five disciplinary case studies that explore academic value systems as they influence publishing behavior and attitudes of University of California, Berkeley faculty. The case studies are based on direct interviews with relevant stakeholders — faculty, advancement reviewers, librarians, and editors — in five fields: chemical engineering, anthropology, law and economics, English-language literature, and biostatistics. The results of the study strongly confirm the vital role of peer review in the choices faculty make regarding their publishing behavior. The perceptions and realities of the reward system keep faculty strongly adhered to conventional, high-stature print publications (and their electronic surrogates) as the means of reporting research and having it institutionally evaluated. Perceptions of electronic-only publications are frequently negative because those venues are considered to lack strong peer review and are, consequently, believed to be of relatively lower quality. There is much more experimentation, however, with regard to means of in-progress communication, where single means of publication and communication are not fixed so deeply in values and tradition as they are for final, archival publication. We conclude that approaches that try to "move" faculty and deeply embedded value systems directly toward new forms of archival, "final" publication are destined largely to failure in the short-term. From our perspective, a more promising route is to (1) examine the needs of scholarly researchers for both final and in-progress communications, and (2) determine how those needs are likely to influence future scenarios in a range of disciplinary areas.

  • Charles Henry, Rice University Press: Fons et origo.  Abstract:  Financial challenges have beset university presses for over a decade. Recent articles describe these financial challenges, particularly the high costs of producing a printed academic monograph. The new digital Rice University Press was conceived as offering a new business model that follows other 21st century corporate practices of unbundling as many aspects of the traditional procedures and processes associated with paper-based print publication. In the new model, nothing is either "in" or "out" of print, there is no press, warehouse, or backlog, while the highest quality of peer reviewed content is replicated in a digital object. The digital object can be printed on demand, for a fraction of the current cost of paperback or hard bound book. This article describes the context of the Rice University Press, and looks ahead to a time when scholarship may be far more innovative, with compelling, perhaps unprecedented narrative arguments arising from new methodologies and intellectual strategies that digital publication may foster.

  • Michael Jensen, The Deep Niche.  No abstract.  Excerpt:  Since 1994, the National Academies Press has opened every page of every recent publication to the world. We currently have more than 3,600 books available for free page-by-page browsing, reading, and even printing. Back in 1999, our Website was somewhat akin to today’s Google Book Search and Amazon's "Look Inside the Book,” and in the following years we have improved readability (with HTML instead of page images), added research tools, and provided more public access options throughout the site.  That makes us unusual, but it also makes us a very interesting case study....

  • Frank Lester, Backlinks: Alternatives to the Citation Index for Determining Impact.  No abstract.  Excerpt:  Hyperlinks are uniquely bidirectional. Links that point forward to other pages are common knowledge, but it is only in the last several years that backlinks, or links that point to a resource rather than from it, have become a subject of study and interest. (Backlinks are defined here as links from other pages to webpage or URL x rather than the links that are contained in, or pointing away from, webpage or URL x.)...Until relatively recently, tracing citations was a unidirectional process — readers could find out where an idea came from, but not much more. Backlinks transform the process into a two-way street, showing not only where an idea comes from, but also where it is going – what level of attention or interest that a resource, an article, or a paper is receiving or generating; what influence it is having on those who encounter it; what intellectual fruit the seed of the idea is germinating; what intellectual ferment the idea is fostering....

  • Bhaskar Mukherjee, Evaluating E-Contents Beyond Impact Factor: A Pilot Study Selected Open Access Journals In Library And Information Science.  Abstract:  Scholarly communication through Open Access (OA) journals has become a global phenomenon. This article reports on a study that measures the value of OA journals based on citation counts (ISI’s Journal Impact Factor). It compares three highly ranked commercial electronic journals to five OA electronic journals. The non-OA journals are MIS Quarterly, Journal of American Medication Informatics Association, and Annual Review of Information Science and Technology; the five OA journals are Ariadne, D-Lib Magazine, First Monday, Information Research, and Information Technology and Disabilities. The criteria are established by ten major databases: Thompson’s ISI, American Psychological Association’s PsycInfo, Latin American and Canadian Health Science’s LILCS, National Medical Library’s MEDLINE, Scientific Electronic Library’s SciELO, The IOWA Guide, CSA’s LISA, EBSCO’s LISTA, H.W. Wilson’s Library Literature and Information Science, and R.R. Bowker’s Ulrich International Periodical Directory. These basic criteria are categorized under 11 broad issues: availability, authority and review policy, scope and coverage, exhaustiveness of articles, page format, availability of hyperlinks, currency, updating policy, search facility, and other miscellaneous issues. Ten years’ growth of Library and Information Science (LIS) OA journals has been measured by counting articles manually. During the last ten years the highest number of articles was published by First Monday, followed by D-Lib Magazine and Ariadne; the average number of articles per issue reported in Ariadne ranks first.

  • Felicia A. Smith, J.A.W.S.: A Historical Perspective.  Abstract:  Sharks in the Library! This article is a historical perspective on librarians’ fight against rising journal prices. Libraries' battle against rising journal prices and the publishing industry is compared to a horror movie. To emphasize this point, the author has revised the script of the movie Jaws so that the horror transpires within a library setting. This article shows how the battle for more affordable journals has empowered librarians and helped make them a more cohesive community. The author’s revised movie script illustrates the parallels between the terrorized islanders in the original movie and the once-fearful librarians warring against rising journal prices. Due to the graphic nature and adult language used in the scripts, reader discretion is advised.