Shareability vs. open access: A summary of the contention around Elsevier’s new sharing policy

Less than a month after the academic publisher Elsevier’s director of access and policy Dr. Alicia Wise posted the company’s new policies for sharing and hosting academic articles at every stage and on every platform, the Coalition of Open Access Repositories (COAR) countered with a statement backed by more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across the globe criticizing Elsevier for creating a policy that “represents a significant obstacle to the dissemination and use of research knowledge, and creates unnecessary barriers for Elsevier published authors in complying with funders’ open access policies,” which has sparked a very public back-and-forth with Dr. Alicia Wise.

COAR originally criticized Elsevier’s policy for masquerading as one to progress sharing capabilities, but instead working to accomplish the reverse. The policy forces embargoes of up to 48 months on some journals, requires authors to apply a “non-commercial and no derivative works” license for every article deposited into a repository, and applies to “all articles previously published and those published in the future.” The policy requires unacceptably long embargoes with 90% of the 286 journals having at least 12 month embargo period, reduces ‘re-use value’ of each article, and could put currently accessible articles under embargoes. The overall complaint was that the policy is a step in the exact opposite direction of the global movement towards open access, works to hinder any benefit of openly sharing research, and is posed as a solution for a policy that did not previously show any evidence of having a negative impact on publisher subscriptions.

Dr. Wise responded just a day later with a rebuttal that was aimed at clearing the air. The publishing company was “a little surprised that COAR has formed such a negative view and chosen not to feedback their concerns directly to us,” especially after Elsevier “received neutral-to-positive responses from research institutions and the wider research community” since the announcement of their new policy. Throughout the response article, Dr. Wise states that the embargo policies have been in place since or before 2004 when the last “refresh” came about and that the other changes have been made based on feedback by their authors and institutional partners. Many complaints in response to this rebuttal by commenters and COAR surround Elsevier’s lack of transparency about the feedback they received and the company’s use of share as a way to avoid the topic of true open access publishing.

COAR’s reply to Elsevier reiterates all of COAR’s original concerns, cites more evidence of the publishing company’s dance around being truly open access, and offers improvements that Elsevier can make to their policy:

  1. Elsevier should allow all authors to make their “author’s accepted manuscript” openly available immediately upon acceptance through an OA repository or other open access platform.
  2. Elsevier should allow authors to choose the type of open license (from CC-BY to other more restrictive licenses like the CC-BY-NC-ND) they want to attach to the content that they are depositing into an open access platform.
  3. Elsevier should not attempt to dictate author’s practices around individual sharing of articles. Individual sharing of journal articles is already a scholarly norm and is protected by fair use and other copyright exceptions. Elsevier cannot, and should not, dictate practices around individual sharing of articles.

The counter concludes with COAR offering to take Dr. Wise up on her ‘offer’ to meet with the company in order to help the publisher better understand what the research community desires, due to the many misperceptions that Elsevier believes are confusing the research community as to the real meaning of the new policy.

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IUScholarWorks Welcomes Primary Source

I am pleased to announce the launch of a new student publication in IUScholarWorks: Primary Source: The Undergraduate Journal of History at Indiana University. The journal was previously published on a standalone website until Vianna Newman, current editor-in-chief, initiated the transition to IUScholarWorks in fall 2014. In the following interview, Newman shares some of her experiences as the editor of an undergraduate publication and the journal’s move to IUScholarWorks:

Shayna Pekala: Tell me a little about Primary Source.

Vianna Newman: A group of undergraduate history students founded Primary Source in the spring of 2011. They wanted to give undergraduates around Indiana and the Big 10 the opportunity to publish their work, which is pretty rare for undergrads. We publish an issue every semester with articles on a wide range of historical topics. The journal has been in its second generation – with none of the original members still on staff – since spring of last year.

How long have you been involved with the journal and in what capacity?

I joined the journal as an editor in January of 2012, and became editor-in-chief in August 2013.

Why did you decide to migrate the journal to IUScholarWorks?

I realized IUScholarWorks would help us with the editing process, specifically in keeping track of our edits and facilitating communication between editors, authors, and myself. Also, since IUScholarWorks hosts so many other journals, I know the website will be a good long-term home for the journal, more so than our previous one. The association with the other journals will also, I hope, increase awareness and readership of Primary Source.

How has the journal benefited since the move to IUScholarWorks?

I’ve been able to keep closer tabs on the progress that’s being made, and it’s been easier to look at and compare edits at various stages. I’ve been more in touch with how the editors are doing, which helps smooth the process.

What do you find most challenging/rewarding about being a journal editor?

The most challenging thing is keeping all the balls in the air. Every semester I’ve worked with anywhere from four to eight editors and five to seven authors. The most rewarding thing is being able to present these students’ great work to the world, even better than when they sent it to us, and knowing that you’ve helped turn something from an essay for a class into a published piece of scholarship.

What advice do you have for students who are interested in becoming involved with the editorial functions of a journal?

Find an existing student publication that really grabs your interest, for example Primary Source if you’re into history, and apply for an editorial position. Or start such a publication if there isn’t one! There are other university journals as well that will take on students as assistants and interns. But in order to secure such a position, the most important thing is to be a skilled writer and to have some experience with peer editing, or tutoring, or helping others with writing in any way.

What advice do you have for authors who are interested in submitting an article to Primary Source?

History is a very broad subject, and we encourage breadth in submission topics! In addition to well-written papers, we are looking for a good amount of analysis, and not just summarization of facts. Authors should take the time to make sure they’ve really developed a good argument. We receive a lot of papers that have great ideas or start well, but don’t quite go as far as we’d like them to. Finally, if authors have any questions, they shouldn’t hesitate to email at primary@indiana.edu.

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XML Publishing in OJS

Journal publishers are increasingly using XML to improve the discoverability and long-term accessibility of their content. At IUB Libraries, the Digital Collection Services and Scholarly Communication departments have helped two open access journals, Indiana Magazine of History and The Medieval Review, establish and maintain XML workflows. Recently, we migrated one of these journals (and are in the process of migrating the other) to our Open Journal Systems (OJS) platform and have been using the XML galley plugin to streamline the XML publishing process. My colleague Nick Homenda and I presented on these efforts last week as part of the Digital Library Brown Bag Series. A recording of the presentation is available here: http://hdl.handle.net/2022/19773.

If you edit an open access journal at IUB and are interested in integrating XML into your workflows, please contact us – we’d love to work with you!

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Workshop recap: Should I embargo my dissertation?

Last week, The IU Scholars’ Commons sponsored a workshop on the hotly contested topic of whether or not soon-to-be PhD’s should embargo their dissertations. Attendees learned the many ways that this seemingly minor decision may have significant implications for their academic careers. The workshop brought together panelists representing a variety of stakeholder groups to share their viewpoints, which are summarized below.

Dissertation Panel

Celestina introduces the panelists for the workshop, “Should I embargo my dissertation?”

Introduction

At Indiana University, graduate students are required to submit their dissertations to ProQuest, a commercial database provider, where they have a choice of two publishing options: Traditional or Open Access. With the Traditional Publishing option, only those with access to ProQuest through a library subscription or who purchase an individual copy of the dissertation will be able to view the full text. With the Open Access Publishing option, anyone with an internet connection will be able to read the entire dissertation. To avoid the $95 fee for Open Access Publishing in ProQuest, students can submit their dissertations to IUScholarWorks, a free service provided by the IU Libraries.* In addition to choosing between Traditional and Open Access Publishing, students may also select an embargo length of up to two years (or more, with special permission from the Graduate School). Placing an embargo on a dissertation means that no one in the world will be able to able to view its contents for the specified length of time. So, to embargo or not to embargo?

*Submitting to IUScholarWorks alone does not fulfill the requirements for graduation; the dissertation must also be submitted to ProQuest. Students who wish to make their dissertation Open Access are advised to select the Traditional Publishing option in ProQuest and then submit to IUScholarWorks. Learn how at http://scholarworks.iu.edu/dissertations.shtml.

Reasons to embargo

  • Your dissertation contains patentable intellectual property for which you have not yet received a certificate.
    • While you automatically own the copyright to your dissertation upon its creation, copyright only protects the fixed expression of your work as a whole, NOT any of the ideas or facts presented within it.
  • You want to avoid getting “scooped.”
  • Your dissertation contains sensitive data.
  • Your dissertation contains work that is still in copyright that belongs to a third-party who has not given permission to redistribute it and your use in the dissertation is not a fair use.
  • A publisher is interested in turning your dissertation into a book and has expressly told you they will not do so if the dissertation is available online. Read more about future publication concerns.

Reasons not to embargo

  • The more accessible your dissertation is, the more likely it is to be cited.
  • Making your dissertation accessible allows it to be scrutinized by others in the field, promoting collegiality.
  • You don’t want to be plagiarized.
    • If you’re worried about copyright infringement and/or plagiarism, then you should get your idea out there as soon as possible so that it’s publicly documented and accessible. That way, you have proof that the idea originated from you and that the alleged infringer had access to your work. While copyright protection is automatic, people who are concerned about copyright infringement can also register a copyright in it with the U.S. Copyright Office. ProQuest will do this for you for an additional fee of $55, or you can do it yourself for $35 at http://copyright.gov/eco/. Registration provides statutory damages and attorneys’ fees in the event of infringement.
  • Having dissertations available helps teach future scholars about the process of scholarship.
  • You do not intend to pursue a tenure-track position.

A note about future publication

Many students and their advisors have unfounded fears that publishers will not publish a book that is based on a dissertation, yet there are no facts to support this. When a dissertation goes through the publication process, at least 50% of the information changes in some shape or form. Dee Mortensen, Senior Sponsoring Editor at the IU Press, compares the relationship between a dissertation and a book to that of a chrysalis and a butterfly. Furthermore, Ellen McKay, Associate Professor of English, relates that faculty are now expected to be able to statistically describe the difference between their dissertation and book, and less than a 50% difference is considered an insufficiently edited work. Because of the substantial alteration involved in the transformation of book to dissertation, there is no commercial disadvantage in having the original dissertation available. The study “Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities?” supports this claim, finding that most publishers (93% of university presses) do not consider an ETD a prior publication that would completely disqualify the revised version from publication.

Final thoughts

Deciding whether or not to embargo your dissertation is an extremely personal decision that should not be taken lightly. In the end, the question really comes down to what you want to do with your dissertation. Many of the reasons to embargo assume that the author intends to turn it into a book to fulfill the requirements of tenure and promotion. If this is not your intention, then by all means free your dissertation and let it be unembargoed. The topic of dissertation embargoes also brings into question whether the current system of tenure and promotion should place so much value on the book, when new technologies afford alternative possibilities that permit broader and more efficient knowledge dissemination.

A big thank you to all of the panelists: Judith Allen (Professor, Department of History), Ellen McKay (Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English), Dee Mortensen (Senior Sponsoring Editor, IU Press) Nazareth Pantaloni (Copyright Librarian, IU Libraries), and Shayna Pekala (Open Access Publishing Manager, IU Libraries). Thank you also to Shelly-Gerber Sparks and Celestina Savonius-Wroth for their contributions to the event.

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Reflections on 2014 and What’s to Come in 2015

With 21 journals and over 11,000 digital items published in its own iterations of Open Journal Systems (OJS) and DSpace, respectively, IUScholarWorks (IUSW) has led a crusade to cultivate the progression of erudition through the preservation and diffusion of academic studies conducted by the scholars of Indiana University.

In 2014, IUSW built new services and partnerships, and continued to strengthen its existing programming. Early in the year, IUSW introduced the option for editors and authors to obtain Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for works in both OJS and DSpace. Collaborations with the Avalon Media System team enabled IUSW to streamline the process for integrating multimedia into journal publications through the use of the Avalon Media Player. During the internationally celebrated Open Access Week in October, representatives from across the Libraries, IU Press, and the School of Informatics and Computing led discussions on topics related to open access and the scholarly publishing enterprise, including author’s rights, data management, and electronic publishing platforms.

IUSW has high hopes for what it will be able to accomplish during 2015, especially in regard to expanding its services. In response to requests from journal editors, IUSW has been working with the IU Press to be able to provide supplemental print copies of online journal issues. IUSW also aims to extend the ability to add Altmetric badges to journal articles in OJS, which is currently implemented in DSpace. Finally, IUSW will continue testing software solutions for an open access approach to conference management. With a successful beta run by the Indiana University Undergraduate Research Conference (IUURC20), IUSW hopes to be formally offering this service in the near future. Check back on the blog for reports on our progress!

To learn more about all things open access, feel free to stop by the consultation rooms in the Scholars’ Commons on Wednesdays 3-5pm to ask Shayna Pekala any questions you may have. Check out another open access project IUSW is working on: OpenFolklore.

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OA Week 2014 Wrap-Up

On October 20-24th, IU Bloomington celebrated Open Access Week 2014 with a series of workshops and events to increase the local research community’s understanding of open access. Moira Marsh and Dee Mortensen kicked off the week with a session on the “Road to Publishing for Students,” where they relayed the steps in the publishing process and shared tips on how to (and how not to) get published.

Tuesday’s events began with a student roundtable discussion on open access moderated by ILS professor Cassidy Sugimoto. The four student panelists shared their thoughts on a variety of issues in open access, including types of OA, quality control, activism, power dynamics of publishers, disciplinary differences, and more. In the afternoon, Nicholas Wyant, Theresa Quill, and Christina Sheley showcased three different tools for finding open access resources in the social sciences: SSRN, American Fact Finder, and Open Street Map.

Shayna Pekala led a workshop on Wednesday morning introducing Open Journal Systems (OJS) software as a tool for publishing your open access journal. Jen Laherty followed on Thursday afternoon with an informative workshop on how to write a data management plan for an NSF grant proposal (for those of you who missed it, a recording is available here). She also explained the various options for storing data at IU and where to go for help with managing your data.

Naz Pantaloni gears up for his presentation on journal publishing agreements.

Naz Pantaloni gears up for his presentation on journal publishing agreements.

Naz Pantaloni wrapped the week up with a session on negotiating journal publishing agreements. He talked about the basics of copyright, what rights are typically negotiable, and how authors can use an Author Addendum to maximize their rights.

Overall it was a successful week with ample learning opportunities for students and faculty alike. A big thank you to all of the presenters, the Scholars’ Commons, and the Libraries for making these events possible!

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IUScholarWorks Journals: More than Just a Hosting Service

The IUScholarWorks journal service helps you, the prospective journal editor, publish your journal in open access. While IUScholarWorks does not identify as the publisher of any of the journals we support, we do so much more than simply host your content. Here are some of the services we provide:

  • Indexing – We’ll make sure your journal articles show up in Google and Google Scholar.
  • ISSN registration – We’ll apply for an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) to uniquely identify your journal.
  • DOI registration – As a member of the DOI registration agency, CrossRef, we will help you assign and register Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to uniquely identify your articles.
  • Editorial workflow management – We’ll train you how to use Open Journal Systems (OJS) software to effectively manage your editorial workflows.
  • Cataloging – We’ll create a record for your journal in IUCAT and WorldCat.
  • Content preservation – We are committed to maintaining the content of your journal in perpetuity, even if ownership of the journal moves outside of IU. All of our journals are archived with CLOCKSS.
  • Copyright & Licensing – We will work with you to draft your journal’s copyright policy and can advise on how to license outside content for reuse in your journal.
  • Multimedia content support – Want to include audio or video content alongside your journal articles? We’ll help you use the Avalon Media System to make this possible.
  • Usage statistics –We’ll provide annual reports on article views for your journal.

As you can see, IUScholarWorks strives to go above and beyond simply providing a home for your journal on our server. If you are thinking about starting a new journal, or are interested in migrating your current journal to an open access publishing platform, please contact us at iusw@indiana.edu.

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When Can I Deposit What? Everything You Need to Know about Permissions and Versions When Submitting to the Repository

Every time you submit an item to the IUScholarWorks repository, you must accept the IUScholarWorks License. By accepting our non-exclusive license, you acknowledge that you either own the copyright to the work you are depositing, or you have been granted permission by the copyright holder to deposit it. If you are depositing material that has already been published, you will first need to find out if you hold the copyright.

When you publish an article in a journal, copyright is typically transferred to the publisher (this will be indicated in your original publishing agreement). If the publisher owns the copyright to your work, you will need to check whether they allow you to deposit it in the institutional repository. Fortunately, most publishers have developed explicit policies that speak to this, so you often won’t need to contact them directly. You can search for a publisher’s copyright policy on their website, or use the Sherpa/Romeo database.

When publishers do allow you to deposit your work in an institutional repository, they frequently impose restrictions, such as an embargo period and/or the type of version permitted.

Embargoes

Publisher embargo periods can range anywhere from 6 to 24 months (and sometimes longer). If a publisher requires you to embargo your work, you can still deposit it in the institutional repository now and designate the amount of time after which it can be made openly available.

Version types

There are three types of versions that a publisher may or may not allow you to submit to the institutional repository:

Pre-print – a draft of an article before peer review

Post-print – the final, peer-reviewed article submitted for publication

Publisher PDF – the final, peer-reviewed article in the publisher’s typesetting and formatting

It’s important to note that content-wise, the post-print and the publisher PDF versions are identical. Many more publishers allow authors to deposit the post-print version in the repository than they do the publisher PDF version.

If you are ever unsure about what work you can or can’t deposit, please contact the IUScholarWorks Team.

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IUScholarWorks Journals Now Minting DOIs

An example of an article with a DOI in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

An example of an article with a DOI in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

IUScholarWorks is pleased to announce that we are now offering the ability to mint DOIs for IUScholarWorks journal content in partnership with CrossRef.

A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a string of characters that uniquely identifies an online item and serves as a stable, permanent URL. This functionality makes it easier for online content to be discovered, used, and cited.

As part of IUScholarWorks’s agreement with CrossRef, journals that use this service are required to check for and include existing DOIs for all article citations. Therefore, we encourage journals with back content to issue DOIs only for prospective content (if your needs extend beyond this, please contact us).

Within OJS, the DOI plugin allows journal managers to configure the journal’s DOI settings, and the CrossRef XML Export plugin enables them to export metadata for deposit into the CrossRef database. Additionally, editors have the ability to add DOIs to article PDFs prior to publication.

To start issuing DOIs for your IUScholarWorks journal, please contact us at iusw@indiana.edu. Detailed instructions are also available on the IUScholarWorks wiki.

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Social media metrics for IUScholarWorks content now available

An example altmetric.com report for content hosted on IUScholarWorks

An example report of altmetrics related to Jason Baird Jackson’s “Anthropology of/in Circulation: The Future of Open Access and Scholarly Societies,” uploaded to IUScholarWorks 

For those who want to track metrics for the broader impact of the scholarship they’ve uploaded to the IUScholarWorks repository, we are pleased to announce that altmetrics badges and reports (powered by Altmetric.com) are now available, in addition to usage statistics.

Altmetrics are  social media metrics related to any scholarly output–a journal article, a data set, a working paper, or even a slide deck presented at a conference. The Altmetric.com service currently reports altmetrics for any scholarly content that has a DOI, Handle, PubMed ID, or ArXiv ID.

How it works

On any item record in our repository to which an Altmetric.com badge has been added, you’ll see the badge appear in the bottom of the left-hand navigation bar, under the “Statistics” section. (See an example here.) Hovering over the badge with your cursor, you can see an abbreviated report of the social media attention that item has received, including tweets, scholarly blog posts, and social bookmarks on services like Mendeley. By clicking on the badge, you’ll be taken to a full report on Altmetric.com, which offers a drill-down view into your social media metrics and demographics of those who have tweeted about your work.

If you already have content on IUScholarWorks to which you want to add a badge, email your collection administrator or the IUScholarWorks team. For new content, you’ll be given the option to add a badge during the deposit process; pay careful attention when filling out information during your next deposit.

Badges are publicly displayed. There is not yet ‘depositor-only’ access to the altmetrics for your repository content. Depositors wishing to privately view altmetrics for their research on IUScholarWorks repository can subscribe to Altmetric.com’s paid service or sign up for a free ImpactStory account. (Full disclosure: I am a recent hire of ImpactStory.)

Not interested in altmetrics? That’s fine, too. Badges are by default hidden on all existing and new deposits. The service is opt-in by design.

Why we have implemented this service

In talking with regular users of our service, we’ve learned that faculty and graduate students are keen to track how their scholarship is being consumed and shared, within the Academy and beyond. This service will allow interested users to do so.

We believe that an altmetrics reporting service will help scholars to better understand the nuances of what it means to be “impactful” in an an increasingly networked research environment. Our service surfaces a greater variety of impact measures, and can help scholars understand and connect with new audiences.

On a final note, it is also important to bear in mind that relevant quantitative measures of impact differ from discipline to discipline, and that altmetrics as currently conceived (and reported by Altmetric.com) may not meet the needs of historians as well as they do for biologists. As the field matures, we expect to support and experiment with emerging services in our repository.

To learn more about Altmetric.com, visit their website. More information about our implementation of altmetrics and usage statistics in the IUScholarWorks repository can be found on our website.

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