Predatory Publishers and IUScholarWorks

My name is Brianna Marshall and I am the Scientific Data Curation Assistant in the Scholarly Communication Department. While my responsibilities primarily pertain to helping researchers manage their data, I also work with IUScholarWorks (IUSW) quite frequently. Making your work available in IUSW ensures that it is preserved and made available to researchers around the world. Unfortunately, individuals submitting work to IUSW and other institutional repositories may find themselves targeted by predatory open access publishers.

What is a predatory publisher?

Often, predatory publishers do not offer traditional editorial services, such as peer review (although they may claim that they do). Many of these journals will accept an article then let the author know that they owe an exorbitant publication fee.

These predatory publishers can seem legitimate – they may have fully functional websites and authors rights statements that are similar to those of well-respected publishers, but this is no guarantee of their quality. The rise of online publishing has made it easier for these groups to masquerade as legitimate publishers.

How can I identify a predatory publisher?

Predatory publishers don’t serve any risk to researchers if you can identify and discount them as an option for disseminating your work.

Predatory publishers are seeking to make a large profit, so they are known to aggressively seek out new authors or editors. Receiving a form email that requests your submission to a particular publisher should be your first clue. Some publishers are bold enough to find authors who have submitted to institutional repositories: a librarian within our department experienced this firsthand after submitting her work into IUSW.

Don’t be fooled by these publishers. If you have any suspicions about the publisher, we recommend that you consult Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers. Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado-Denver, publishes a list of “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers” on his website. If after consulting his list you still have questions or concerns, consult your local librarian.

How can I avoid unwanted reuse of my work?

Clearly licensing your work with a non-commercial Creative Commons license is a possible way to thwart unwanted reuse of your work, but it’s not fool-proof. The rise of predatory publishers means that scholars need to be more vigilant than ever about researching where they choose to publish and what rights they have over that work.

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Analytics for IUScholarWorks is now here!

Hi, I am Pallavi Murthy and I will be working for IUScholarWorks under Scholarly Communications as a Graduate Assistant through fall 2013 and spring 2014. This is my first blog and I am very excited to start off my job with multiple duties at hand! Well, let me put it this way- I am very happy to work on something I really love- Data and Analytics!

To say that data analysis is important to business will be an understatement. In fact, no business can survive without analyzing available data. Data analysis is the lifeline of any business. Whether one wants to arrive at some marketing decisions or fine-tune new product launch strategy, data analysis is the key to all the problems. What is the importance of data analysis – instead, one should say what is not important about data analysis. Merely analyzing data isn’t sufficient from the point of view of making a decision. How does one interpret from the analyzed data is more important. Thus, data analysis is not a decision making system, but decision supporting system. Data analysis can offer the following benefits:

  • Structuring the findings from survey research or other means of data collection
  • Break a macro picture into a micro one
  • Acquiring meaningful insights from the dataset
  • Basing critical decisions from the findings
  • Ruling out human bias through proper statistical treatment. [1]

Libraries can use data analysis for many of the same functions that businesses do. My first project for IUScholarWorks was to perform such an analysis on their website.

Said and done, I am using Google Analytics to analyze the Libraries Website, specifically website traffic related to Data Management. I am also analyzing web traffic for Journals under IU Libraries, including JoSoTL and JoTLT, which  the IUScholarWorks team has put a great deal of time and effort into maintaining.

Stacy asked me to review the data management guide so she can better understand which parts of her guide are the most accessed. The Data Management Guide has seen significant improvement since it was created. Describing Data with Metadata ranks highest as the most accessed sup-page under Data Management at IU, followed by Storage and preservation and Funder Requirements and Data Management Plans.

Next, Stacy asked me to run the analytics for Publication and Data Services webpage, so she could understand if people were using that webpage to find their way to IUScholarWorks. The report shows that IUScholarWorks Repository, Journal Publishing and Data Management Services is one of the most popular link on that page.

It is interesting and delighting to know how IUScholarWorks is trying very hard to make scholarly research and journals open access. I feel as important the efforts for making open access is, so important it is to know the whereabouts of the efforts actually reaching to its users. I would like to analyze more and more reports and bring in some valuable data wonder (as I call it!) in my next upcoming blogs.

To know more about IUScholarWorks, Depositing your scholarly research, Publishing an online journal and Archive and increasing availability of your research data visit http://scholarworks.iu.edu/.

For more information contact the IUScholarWorks team.

Sources:  [1]* http://www.migindia.biz/data.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations at IU

My name is Shayna Pekala and I am thrilled to have joined the Scholarly Communication Department this fall as the IUScholarWorks Assistant. I would like to use this post to highlight one of the IUScholarWorks services I have worked with extensively over the last month: open access publishing of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).

What is this service and why is it important?

The IUScholarWorks ETD service allows you to make the full text of your ETD available online for free. The main benefits of using this service can be summed up in two words: preservation and accessibility. If you publish your ETD with IUScholarWorks, we will preserve your work in perpetuity, even as technology changes. In addition, by making your ETD open access in our repository, your work will be exposed to major search engines, rendering it more discoverable. (Fun fact: there have been several studies conducted like this one that show open access articles are cited more frequently than non-open access articles.)

How does the service work?

All graduate students must submit their ETDs through ProQuest via the Graduate School website. These submissions are automatically ingested into a dark archive (one that can’t be accessed by any users) within the IUScholarWorks repository. IU requires that permission from the copyright holder be obtained before these ETDs can be made openly accessible. So, graduate students must give us permission to release their ETD by filling out this form. Once permission has been received, an IUScholarWorks staff member goes into the system, releases the ETD, and poof! the ETD becomes open access.

If I make my ETD open access, will I still be able to publish it later on as a monograph or in a journal?

There is a widely held assumption that the majority of publishers consider openly accessible ETDs to be prior publications, thus precluding them from future publication. However, a study published in July 2013, “Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities?”, found evidence to challenge this belief. The study reports that only 2.9% of journal publishers and 7.3% of university presses will not consider manuscripts derived from openly accessible ETDs under any circumstances. While the study concludes that submissions derived from ETDs are not considered prior publications by publishers, it is still advisable to check specific publisher policies if this is something you are considering.

What if I have more questions?

To learn more about open access publishing of ETDs at IU, check out our ETD webpage or email us at iuswetd@indiana.edu. You might also consult some of these resources:

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October 25th data visualization & management workshop for beginners

Gephi screenshot

Gephi screenshot from https://gephi.org/

Oct 25 2013
9:00am to 12:00pm
Wells Library Information Commons Instruction Cluster 1

Interested in using data visualization to enhance your research but don’t know where to begin? Learn how to use basic data visualization techniques and tools including Voyant, OpenRefine, Gephi, and Sci2 at our workshop, where we’ll give users the chance to test their skills using data from a variety of open data sources. Experts will also cover the best ways to manage your data throughout its lifecycle. No data visualization experience needed, but attendees should have a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel.

Register here: http://libprod.lib.indiana.edu/tools/workshops/workshop-listings/series-view/182/series

This workshop is part of Open Access Week 2013.

 

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17 Essential Altmetrics Resources

As the journal impact factor continues to be challenged by academics, many wonder what measures can take its place if it is indeed eradicated. Surely, we will have to continue to provide objective metrics that measure both the productivity and impact of scholars across the disciplines, won’t we? Some have posited that altmetrics (article-level metrics that measure impact across the social web) may be a good replacement for the impact factor; others contend that altmetrics can serve only as a supplement to existing, more traditional measures of research quality.

I have been asked several times by other librarians to compile a recommended reading list for those who wish to learn more about altmetrics. What I’ve created here is by no means comprehensive; instead, it is intended to be a starting point for further investigation into the field. By including several articles about the impact factor, as well as critiques of the use of research metrics and altmetrics to measure scholarship’s quality, I hope to provide a contextualized view into the field. I also include links to three web services (Altmetric.com, ImpactStory, and PLOS Article Level Metrics) that can be used to track altmetrics.

I’ll soon release a reading list scoped specifically for altmetrics used in the context of academic libraries. Stay tuned!

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Statistics now available in the IUScholarWorks Repository

The IUScholarWorks Repository is now providing usage statistics for all items.  When viewing an item (such as:  http://hdl.handle.net/2022/3253), click on the link:  View Usage Statistics in the bottom left corner of the navigation column.  The data available includes:

  • total monthly views
  • downloads of the files attached to the records
  • information about visitors from geographies: countries and cities

Currently the data provided includes April 2012 to present.  We will soon incorporate the use data from 2006 to April 2012.  Downloading the data is a future feature we hope to develop and provide.

We are excited to bring this new service to the Repository.  Please contact us with any questions:  iusw@indiana.edu.

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White House OTSP creates Open Access policy for federal agencies

OTSP Director John Holdren talks to President Obama in this undated White House photo.

One day after we posted big news about dual Open Access bills in the US and Illinois Senates, the Office of Technology and Science Policy issued a policy memorandum that will essentially enact an Open Access policy similar to the NIH Public Access policy for all federal agencies with more than $100 million in their R&D budget. This policy will not only affect publications, but also the data resulting from funded research.

Many in the Open Access advocacy community are celebrating the announcement as proof of the success of the #OAMonday/Access2Research movement and the resulting “We the People” petition, which solicited a positive (if long-overdue) response from Holdren.

Researcher Joe Hourcle, on the RDAP listserv, has distilled the policy into these essential points:

  • Must give a plan in 6 months on how they’re going to improve public access to publications & data
  • Can have an embargo after publication (baseline is 12 months)
  • No charges for access to the article metadata
  • Grants can include costs for data management & access

The Dryad repository blog explores in a bit more detail exactly what this might mean for data sharing and publication.

It remains to be seen how this surprising and groundbreaking new policy will take effect.

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Two new Open Access bills generating buzz

A bill not unlike the NIH Public Access policy has been introduced in the United States Congress, laying a framework for increased access to science and technology research conducted with publicly-funded support.

From Library Journal:

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced on February 14 in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. If passed, FASTR would require government agencies with annual extramural research expenditures of more than $100 million make electronic manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles based on their research freely available on the Internet within six months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Major library advocacy organizations such as the ALA, ACRL, and SPARC (among others) have come out in support of the FASTR Act.

Commercial publishers’ response to the bill has, predictably, been cold. The American Association of Publishers (AAP) is arguing that the policy would be wasteful of taxpayers money, and that it would not serve the need of all scientific disciplines.

A day later, a more general bill that would mandate the creation of Open Access policies at public universities in Illinois was introduced to the Illinois State Legislature. Possible positive outcomes of this bill include:

  • Free online access to all research published at public universities and colleges in Illinois
  • Increased support for Open Access institutional repositories, which will inevitably become the infrastructure that supports the sharing and preservation of research created in Illinois
  • More awareness of, and support for, digital preservation at the university level

Areas for concern include:

  • The granting of “worldwide copyright license granted by the author to the public.” This provision will likely have faculty up in arms, as the bill calls for what is essentially a CC-BY license to be applied to all work produced by faculty–allowing others to use and share their work in nearly any way they see fit, even for commercial gain.
  • Blanket applicability to all disciplines even though there is more resistance to OA from arts and humanities scholars, who do not benefit from the practice in the same way that science researchers do.

Hopefully, at the very least these bills will both engender some much-needed debate in Congress about the mission of universities as creators of knowledge for the public good rather than profit.

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A Guide to Text and Data Mining at Indiana University Bloomington

Kim D, Yu H (2011) Figure Text Extraction in Biomedical Literature. PLoS ONE 6(1): e15338. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015338

Kim D, Yu H (2011) Figure Text Extraction in Biomedical Literature. PLoS ONE 6(1): e15338. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015338

Text and data mining of academic databases are becoming increasingly popular ways to conduct research. They can allow scholars to make connections not previously discovered, or find solutions more quickly and efficiently. Such research has also gotten some researchers into trouble for alleged copyright and contract violations, when practiced without due diligence into existing legal restrictions.

For IU researchers interested in accessing the Libraries’ digital journals, databases, special collections (specifically, HathiTrust), and other subscription content for the purposes of text or data mining, we’ve put together a quick-and-dirty guide to text and data mining at IUB. Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.

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Quality – it’s what we want to publish

Over the summer, IU Bloomington’s Provost, Lauren Robel, announced the creation of the Office of Scholarly Publishing.  The OSP includes the IU Press and IUScholarWorks among other endeavors and is sure to grow.  Since the announcement I have been invited to be a part of many discussions about the OSP’s strategic plan, exploring how the IU Press and IUScholarWorks could coalesce around something new.  Yes, this is very exciting.

This is the first post in which I’ll stress a few points from these converstaions.  I will continue to share as we explore our Press-Library partnership.

At my first meeting, I threw out the question: What is it we want to do together?  And IU Press Director, Janet Rabinowitch threw back a one word answer:  Quality!  We want to continue to publish quality.  Yes!  This was the sort of response we all appreciated.  It’s also something IUScholarWorks has grappled with through innumerable conversations only to fall short of how we can ensure that IUScholarWorks is publishing quality scholarship.

I know it’s not easy to accomplish and that my view here is simplistic, but the Press has a system in place to ensure quality scholarship.  They vet each publication that come to them before they consider publishing it.  Their expert staff is good at judging whether a publication adds value to the field.  If they do publish it, they not only have a team of in-house editors who work to ensure quality, but the Press is also plugged into a/peer reviewing system which sends manuscripts out for review.  How the Press operates in these circles for their monographs and journals may be different, particularly for journals for which the journal editors may play a key role in sending manuscripts out for review.

What do the vetting and credentialing systems look like for IUScholarWorks?  We essentially do not vet publications for quality when they approach of for support.  This is not a particular problem for our journals because the editors of the journals have the primary responsibility for providing reviewing systems for their publications.  But for most every other type of publication that asks for our support, we are simply un-involved.  In most cases, this does not present problems for authors as they too are unconcerned about our involvement.  Rather they are confident that their scholarship has been created in a system by which their peers have been involved at various levels and at significant points along the way.  But for some, particularly in the humanities, they look to us to help them find a way to credential their works so that their originial publicaitons may be published in our open access systems.  More often than we sometimes care to admit, we have to tell them we aren’t able to support this part of the publishing process, yet.

Much work, though, is on the horizon and we intend to take advantage of credentially systems based on crowd concepts.  Commons in a Box and PressForward come to mind as does Open Monograph Press.

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