Building off a similarly titled blog post, I gave this presentation this week at the North Dakota-Manitoba ACRL Chapter 2018 Symposium.
If you want to use/cite this presentation, it is also in the LIS Scholarship Archive with a DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/XGMYP
I don’t usually meme on here, but I’m proud of this one:
Florida State announced today they are cancelling their Big Deal subscription with Elsevier. The list of libraries cancelling keeps growing.
I’ve been talking to a few librarians of late who have, or who are actively trying, to cancel big deals and it’s become more and more clear to me how immensely hard a thing this is. Cancelling a Big Deal involves a lot of work and staff-power on behalf of the library. There’s the outreach to researchers about what is happening and managing individual ejournal packages can actually be a lot more work from a cataloging and electronic resource management perspective.
As one librarian quoted another librarian as saying, “You can’t cancel your way out of a budget crisis”. It’s not as easy as just cancelling and saving all that money. A large amount of that money will have to go toward building the infrastructure and filling the resource gap Big Deals cancellations create. Continue reading
Quick post here. 1science just released a new journal article and open access search tool, 1findr, today and I thought it be interesting to compare it to another similar search tool that launched a couple months ago, Dimensions.
Richard Poynder shared the below graph on twitter, but I wanted to get a look at the real numbers:
Mita Williams published a blog post this week entitled Bret Victor, Bruno Latour, the citations that bring them together, and the networks that keep them apart. It’s an interesting piece that critiques the use of citations as a performance measure and gives some alternative ways to look at citations. It’s well worth the read.
I’ve been working a lot with citation analysis lately and I’ve been having some conceptual problems with it that Mita’s piece helped me think more carefully about. Mita talks about Bruno Latour’s theory of citations which, as i understand it, argues that citations are used to support claims an author is making and there are many ways for an author to use a document to do this. References to other documents do not necessarily give positive assessments of a cited document or indicate that it’s special or unique. There are multiple reasons why an author might cite a work. For example, to argue against it, to point to it as diving into an interesting area of study, or just to say “somebody else once looked at this and this is what they found”. Why something is cited is situational and depends on the context of how and when it appears in the author’s paper. A citation of a document is rarely a claim that this document is important.
Now this idea doesn’t sound particularly novel, or even that interesting, in my rephrasing. What really kinda threw me off is – despite having already read the DORA declaration, the Leiden Manifesto, and the Metric Tide where similar points about the limits of citation metrics are made – whenever I had compiled citation metrics on an article, journal, or researcher, I never really understood what I was compiling. I had a number, but what did this number mean? What did it show?
The Serials Crisis has always made the future of journal subscriptions unstable and headed for disaster. 6% yearly price increases, at a rate higher than inflation, with one party in the scholarly publishing process – the publishers – often pulling in 30% profit margins? Nope.
What makes this all the more shocking is that these price increases and profit margins are still happening today, when the percentage of journal articles that are Open Access (OA) is hovering around 50%. 45% of journal articles published in 2015 are now OA and the rate of OA is increasing every year.
Around mid-2017 a preprint by Michelle Wu, Law Library Director and Professor of Law at Georgetown University, was published: Piece by Piece Review of Digitize-and-Lend Projects Through the Lens of Copyright and Fair Use.
What this article is proposing got me a bit excited. It argues that there are sufficient copyright provisions and court decisions to allow libraries to begin to digitize print copies that are still under copyright and make the full version of these digital copies available to patrons and other libraries.
This sounds like an explicit copyright violation, but Wu argues that if the library only allows one version of the digital or print book to be accessible to users at a time, that this use will fall under fair use. E.g. The print book will be stored in archive accessible to users only by request, while the digital version will be accessible via the library website. If a user does require the print book, then access to the digital version will be blocked for everybody while they use it.