May 7, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It has been a while since I last posted. December was a pretty crazy month and I've been working on some excellent projects (more to come on the blog in a few weeks). In the meantime, a colleague of mine - the talented @fsayre - and I have been working hard to compile all of the literature on data management that we thought would be useful for librarians.
April 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
As a researcher or scholar under pressure to publish, you may accept solicitations to submit articles for publication even if you are not familiar with the journal or publisher. Some of these offers are legitimate but others turn out to be scams. It is wise to take a few basic steps to learn more about a new or unfamiliar scholarly journal.
The tried and true method for checking out a journal is to visit its website, research associated scholars and the publisher online, and above all talk to colleagues. But you can also look for the following information:
Basic indicators of legitimacy
1. Does the journal have an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)?
2. Does the website provide complete contact information: email, street address, working phone number?
3. Does the website list any fees which authors may be charged for publishing their article (yes, subscription journals can charge fees too)?
Open access scholarly journal
The above, plus:
1. Is the journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)?
The DOAJ vets journals before listing them. However, there is a significant backlog of journals waiting to be listed, and not all legitimate open access journals are listed in the directory.
2. Is the publisher a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)?
Many of the largest open access publishers are members of the OASPA, though there are legitimate open access publishers that do not belong.
While this list isn’t exhaustive, you get the idea. The more ties to well-known organizations and the more a journal follows best practices, the more likely it is to be a legitimate operation.
April 26, 2013 § Leave a Comment
“With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past.” (Aaron Swartz, 2008)
March 29, 2013 § 1 Comment
Only one article from the excellent Nature special edition ‘The future of science publishing’
Buyer beware: A checklist to identify reputable publishers
How to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or publisher.
- Check that the publisher provides full, verifiable contact information, including address, on the journal site. Be cautious of those that provide only web contact forms.
- Check that a journal’s editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. Contact some of them and ask about their experience with the journal or publisher.
- Check that the journal prominently displays its policy for author fees.
- Be wary of e-mail invitations to submit to journals or to become editorial board members.
- Read some of the journal’s published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about their experience.
- Check that a journal’s peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed impact factor is correct.
- Find out whether the journal is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (www.doaj.org) or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (www.oaspa.org).
- Use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution.
March 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Several very interesting articles appeared during the last days:
Wilbanks John; Licence restrictions: A fool’s errand Nature, 495, 440–441 (28 March 2013) doi:10.1038/495440a
Va Noorden, Richard; Open Access: The true cost of science publishing Nature 495, 426–429 (28 March 2013) doi:10.1038/495426a
Update: Nature actually has a Special Issue about the future of scientific publishing. Worth the read: http://www.nature.com/news/specials/scipublishing/index.html
March 27, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Today is Document Freedom Day!
From the website www.documentfreedom.org:
What is Document Freedom Day?
It is a day for celebrating and raising awareness of Open Standards and formats which takes place on the last Wednesday in March each year. On this day people who believe in fair access to communications technology teach, perform, and demonstrate.
What is ‘Document Freedom’?
Documents that are free can be used in any way that the author intends. They can be read, transmitted, edited, and transformed using a variety of tools. Documents that aren’t free are locked to some particular software or company. The author cannot choose how to use them because they are controlled by technical restrictions, like a powerful car that is artificially restricted to 30 km/ph.
Is it just about documents?
No! Freedom to control your creative work is about more than just essays and spreadsheets – Document Freedom is about all forms of data, including artwork, sheet and recorded music, emails, and statistics. These can be stored in ways which empower users, but they can also be stored in formats which constrain and manipulate us at enormous cost.
Why is compatibility important?
Remember when you were sent an important file that your computer couldn’t read properly? Remember having to buy or download a new application just so you could open an attachment that you needed for work? Incompatibilities like this are usually caused by ways of storing information that are secret (‘closed’), and privately owned (‘proprietary’). They cause huge problems for people, companies, and governments, and cost society an awful lot in creativity, productivity, and efficiency. Incompatible standards are used to manipulate markets and allow companies to charge people huge fees simply for the privilege of accessing their own data. Closed standards are also the basis of the worlds worst technology monopolies.
Example: Your usual word processing app can’t open a file made by one of your colleagues. You have to buy or download a new word processor made by the same company as theirs so that you can open the file, even though you’ve already got one that you prefer.
What about protocols?
Standards should be Open during transmission as well as storage, and interfaces and protocols are just as important as data storage formats. Think of a letter – it cannot fulfil its purpose unless its address can be read, and its envelope can be opened. Similarly a message sent online can be read only if it uses a recognised protocol (address) and contains data that can be read (envelope). Often companies use an Open Standard protocol for sending data in a closed format, like Adobe Flash streaming videos in proprietary Flash Video format over the Open HTTP web protocol. Freedom requires both aspects to be Open, however.
What are Open Standards?
They are formats which everybody can use free of charge and restriction. They come with compatibility “built-in” – the way they work is shared publicly and any organisation can use them in their products and services without asking for permission. Open Standards are the foundation of cooperation and modern society: train tracks, power sockets, and natural language are all examples of specifications that we all rely on and take for granted. Imagine if speaking English required permission and a license fee – society would be backward and chaotic. Read more about Open Standards and what defines them.
You can participate by organising activities in your home town, distributing fliers, organising talks, adding a banner on your blog, donating money, and much more. Get involved!
March 26, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Both the ELAG2013 workshop and the OpenAIRE/LIBER and THATCamp pre-conferences might be of interest for #openaccess and #opendata people
ELAG 2013 May 28 – May 31, Ghent, Belgium
ELAG is the annual conference of the European Libraries Automation Group.
ELAG 2013, the 37th ELAG conference, will take place in Ghent, Belgium from May 28th until May 31st 2013.
ELAG is Europe’s premier conference on the application and development of information technology in libraries and documentation centres. The annual ELAG (European Library Automation Group) Conference expects over 200 participants from all over the world (mainly library and IT professionals and researchers).
This year’s tag line will be ‘Inside Out Library’: while ELAG 2013 will still be focused on specific, library related IT issues, we want to expand the aim and target audience by addressing innovative topics such as Open Access. ELAG 2013 will also host two pre-conferences: THATCamp, which focuses on researchers in the digital humanities, and an OpenAIRE workshop.
ELAG 2013 is hosted by Ghent University Library and the Ghent University Faculty Library Arts & Philosophy.