Scholarly Communications: expanding the campus conversation, developing guidelines, and creating positions.
Engage all campus participants in a conversation about individual and organizational interests and concerns, in order to develop more informed and influencial opinions.
- Radical and disruptive influences are changing the economic and behavioral pillars of traditional scholarly communications.
- Effects are felt in publishing venues and pricing models, required data management plans (DMPs), new types of digital teaching tools, new communication and sharing methods (i.e. blogs, pre-publication reviews, virtual reviews), an emphasis on Return on Investment (ROI) analyses for expenditures, and the expansion of subject network portals (i.e. linking heterogeneous tools via citations and other metadata elements -- i.e. grant funding, specimen relationships, co-author maps, concept maps, visualizations, etc.).
- Researchers will benefit from, and perhaps require, new tools and techniques to remain current and to influence the directions of a stable scholarly network infrastructure.
- The library will coordinate open sessions and panel discussions to discuss various aspects of intellectual rights and Fair Use, differentiate distribution and peer-review processes and requirements, and evaluate various economic publication models.
- The library will distribute posters to promote sessions and fliers to highlight key considerations, and will maintain a web site to serve as an FAQ clearinghouse. We will also explore the viability of an institutional repository as a platform for the free distribution of many types of local products.
- The library will host campus conversations leading to eventual public positions on scholarly communications topics such as Open Access, Creative Commons, Basic Metadata element sets, and Digital Humanities digitization projects and demos.
- The library has implemented an Institutional Repository to brand and distribute locally created material.
- OER Information ... a web site describing our new exploratory initiative intended to reduce costs for students by finding and creating free alternatives to expensive textbooks.
- Freshman OER Challenge: The campus has embarked upon an effort to reduce costs and enhance pedagogy by replacing expensive commercial textbooks with alternative materials whenever possible. The use of OER materials, embedding of already purchased library materials (as permalinks to specific articles and/or embedded links to pre-created searches of our databases), or the creation of local teaching materials, will allow for more customization of teaching materials and better testing. The first target is to review all alternative options, and revise as many Spring 2019 freshman courses as possible. Future plans are to extend this approach to other courses.
Other actions from around the globe include:
- SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship.
SPARC’s role in stimulating change focuses on:
- Educating stakeholders about the problems facing scholarly communication and the opportunities for change;
- Advocating policy changes that advance the potential of technology to advance scholarly communication and that explicitly recognize that dissemination is an essential, inseparable component of the research process;
- Incubating real-world demonstrations of business and publishing models that advance changes benefiting scholarship and academe.
Open Access Discovery Tools
There are several browser extensions or plug-ins you can install that will search compiled collections of open access articles, as well as search the internet for an open access version of a desired article.
- Open Access Button (OA Button): From the OA Button’s website, you can enter an article’s URL, DOI (a unique identifier), title, or other information to check for free and legal open access versions. Even better, the OA Button also offers Chrome and Firefox extensions. Once installed, these extensions will automatically search for an open access copy. When an open access copy is not found, the OA Button can contact the author directly.
- Unpaywall: You can either directly search Unpaywall’s database of millions of open access articles by entering the DOI for an article, or (more easily) install the Chrome/Firefox browser extension, which will point you to any open access versions of paywalled articles you come across online.
- Google Scholar has a button plug-in that locates open access materials. The button can be loaded from the Settings option on the top left of the Google Scholar page -- select the three bars, and then go to Settings. (The button also links to our resolver if you set the Library Links in Settings.)