Five principles for community altmetrics data

Author: Joe Wass

Abstract: These five principles are my answer to some of the difficulties and problems I have observed in the past couple of years. In that time I have been collecting the kind of data that altmetrics are built from, and talking and working with researchers. Altmetrics data is derived from the community. I think that community should continue to be at the heart of every step.

Citation: Wass, T. (2018). Five principles for community altmetrics data. Joe’s Blog.


Source: Joe’s Blog

Collections as data: Implications for enclosure

Author: Thomas Padilla

Abstract: In recent years a growing amount of interest has been dedicated to collections as data. A collections as data paradigm seeks to foster an expanded set of research, pedagogical, and artistic potential predicated on the computational use of cultural heritage collections. Collections as data raises the question of what it might mean to treat digitized and born digital collections as data rather than simple surrogates of physical objects or static representations of digital experience.

Citation: Padilla, T. (2018). Collections as data: Implications for enclosure. College & Research Libraries News, 79(6), 296. doi:


Source: College & Research Libraries News

JLSC Board Editorial 2018

Authors: Gail Clement, Nicky Agate, Samantha Searle, Danny Kingsley, Micah Vandegrift

Abstract: The current scholarly communication landscape is populated by a variety of actors and powered by an ever-increasing array of complementary and competitive systems for the production, publication, and distribution of scholarship. Recent years have also seen increasing numbers of proposals to recast these systems in ways that better align with the needs and values of the academy and its scholars. In this editorial, members of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication consider the present environment and contemplate the future of academy-owned and -supported scholarly communication, as well as the role of libraries in that future.

Citation:Clement, G. et al., (2018). JLSC Board Editorial 2018. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 6 (1), p. None. DOI:


Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services

Authors: David Walters and Christopher Daley

Abstract: The UK open access (OA) policy landscape simultaneously preferences Gold publishing models (Finch Report, RCUK, COAF) and Green OA through repository usage (HEFCE), creating the possibility of confusion and duplication of effort for academics and support staff. Alongside these policy developments, there has been an increase in open science services that aim to provide global data on OA. These services often exist separately to locally managed institutional systems for recording OA engagement and policy compliance. The aim of this study is to enhance Brunel University London’s local publication data using software which retrieves and processes information from the global open science services of Sherpa REF, CORE, and Unpaywall. The study draws on two classification schemes; a ‘best location’ hierarchy, which enables us to measure publishing trends and whether open access dissemination has taken place, and a relational ‘all locations’ dataset to examine whether individual publications appear across multiple OA dissemination models. Sherpa REF data is also used to indicate possible OA locations from serial policies. Our results find that there is an average of 4.767 permissible open access options available to the authors in our sample each time they publish and that Gold OA publications are replicated, on average, in 3 separate locations. A total of 40% of OA works in the sample are available in both Gold and Green locations. The study considers whether this tendency for duplication is a result of localised manual workflows which are necessarily focused on institutional compliance to meet the Research Excellence Framework 2021 requirements, and suggests that greater interoperability between OA systems and services would facilitate a more efficient transformation to open scholarship.

Citation: Walters D, Daley C. Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services. Publications. 2018; 6(2):23.


Source: Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services

Conceptualizing Data Curation Activities Within Two Academic Libraries

Authors: Lafferty-Hess, S., Rudder, J., Moira, D., Ivey, S., & Darragh, J.

: A growing focus on sharing research data that meet certain standards, such as the FAIR guiding principles, has resulted in libraries increasingly developing and scaling up support for research data. As libraries consider what new data curation services they would like to provide as part of their repository programs, there are various questions that arise surrounding scalability, resource allocation, requisite expertise, and how to communicate these services to the research community. Data curation can involve a variety of tasks and activities. Some of these activities can be managed by systems, some require human intervention, and some require highly specialized domain or data type expertise.

At the 2017 Triangle Research Libraries Network Institute, staff from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University used the 47 data curation activities identified by the Data Curation Network project to create conceptual groupings of data curation activities. The results of this “thought-exercise” are discussed in this white paper. The purpose of this exercise was to provide more specificity around data curation within our individual contexts as a method to consistently discuss our current service models, identify gaps we would like to fill, and determine what is currently out of scope. We hope to foster an open and productive discussion throughout the larger academic library community about how we prioritize data curation activities as we face growing demand and limited resources.

Citation: Lafferty-Hess, S., Rudder, J., Moira, D., Ivey, S., & Darragh, J. (2018, May 29). Conceptualizing Data Curation Activities Within Two Academic Libraries.

Source: Conceptualizing Data Curation Activities Within Two Academic Libraries


Source: LIS Scholarship Archive

Factors influencing Open Educational Practices and OER in the Global South: Meta-synthesis of the ROER4D project

Authors: Hodgkinson-Williams, C., Arinto, P. B., Cartmill, T. & King, T.

Abstract: This chapter provides a meta-synthesis of the findings from the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) empirical studies based on the 13 sub-project chapters in this volume as well as other sub-project research reports. It does so by analysing how three phases of Open Educational Resources (OER) adoption – OER creation, use and adaptation – are observed in the studies as forms of Open Educational Practices (OEP), identifying where there are most likely to be disjunctures that inhibit optimal OER adoption processes and their longer-term sustainability. It compares the open practices reported in the ROER4D sub-project studies to an idealised or maximal set of open processes, modelled as the Open Education cycle framework. It draws upon social realist theory to uncover agential decision-making about OER creation, use and adaptation in relation to structural and cultural environments, and seeks to answer the ROER4D project’s overarching research question: Whether, how, for whom and under what circumstances can engagement with OEP and OER provide equitable access to relevant, high-quality, affordable and sustainable education in the Global South?

This chapter interrogates findings from the ROER4D empirical studies using a metasynthesis approach. Following a review of sub-project research reports (including, in some cases, primary micro data), the authors used a literature-informed set of themes to create the meta-level conceptual framework for claims about OER and OEP in relation to access, quality and affordability; the Open Education cycle; and structural, cultural and agential influences on the potential impact on access, quality and affordability.

Nvivo software was used to help reveal literature-informed and emergent themes in the studies, identifying the most frequently occurring themes to provide a more comprehensive and classified interpretation of the findings across the empirical studies. Insights and recommendations were then distilled according to Archer’s (2003; 2014) social realist theoretical framework which assesses social change – and its counterpart, stasis – according to dynamically interactive and structural, cultural and agential factors. The authors used these three factors to guide their analysis of the ROER4D findings, as understood in relation to the three broad phases of OER adoption (creation, use and adaptation) proposed in the Open Education cycle.

Findings show that in the Global South contexts studied, the ideal or maximal Open Education cycle is incomplete in terms of optimising the benefits of OER adoption. There are five key points of disjuncture: (1) the dependence on copying of existing OER and the corollary failure to localise; (2) the adaptation of OER, but with inconsistent curation and rehosting of derivative works on publicly available platforms or in repositories, limiting access to the derivative OER; (3) limited circulation of derivative OER due, in part, to the absence of a communication strategy; (4) inconsistent quality assurance processes; and (5) a weak feedback loop for continuous improvement of the original or derivative work.

The chapter concludes with a critical exploration of the range of influences of OER and associated practices on access to educational materials, the quality of educational resources, educators’ pedagogical perspectives and practices, and student performance as well as the overall affordability and sustainability of education in the Global South. It argues that full participation in the OER movement in the Global South requires that certain structural factors be put in place – including a minimum level of infrastructural support, legal permission to share materials and OER curation platforms – to curate curriculum-aligned OER in local languages. However, these structural adjustments alone are insufficient for the full value proposition of OER to be realised. While individual educators and some institutions are sharing OER, this willingness needs to be bolstered by a much stronger cultural change where communities of educators and students are given technical and pedagogical support to enable OER uptake – especially the creation and adaptation of OER produced in the Global South.

Citation: Hodgkinson-Williams, C., Arinto, P. B., Cartmill, T. & King, T. (2017). Factors influencing Open Educational Practices and OER in the Global South: Meta-synthesis of the ROER4D project. In C. Hodgkinson-Williams & P. B. Arinto (Eds.), Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South (pp. 27–67). Retrieved from


Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature

Authors: Himmelstein, D. S., Romero, A. R., Levernier, J. G., Munro, T. A., McLaughlin, S. R., Tzovaras, B. G., Greene, C. S.

Abstract: The website Sci-Hub enables users to download PDF versions of scholarly articles, including many articles that are paywalled at their journal’s site. Sci-Hub has grown rapidly since its creation in 2011, but the extent of its coverage has been unclear. Here we report that, as of March 2017, Sci-Hub’s database contains 68.9% of the 81.6 million scholarly articles registered with Crossref and 85.1% of articles published in toll access journals. We find that coverage varies by discipline and publisher, and that Sci-Hub preferentially covers popular, paywalled content. For toll access articles, we find that Sci-Hub provides greater coverage than the University of Pennsylvania, a major research university in the United States. Green open access to toll access articles via licit services, on the other hand, remains quite limited. Our interactive browser at allows users to explore these findings in more detail. For the first time, nearly all scholarly literature is available gratis to anyone with an Internet connection, suggesting the toll access business model may become unsustainable.

Citation: Himmelstein, D. S., Romero, A. R., Levernier, J. G., Munro, T. A., McLaughlin, S. R., Tzovaras, B. G., Greene, C. S. (2018). Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature. eLife 7:e32822


Source: eLife

Mashups and Matters of Concern: Generative Approaches to Digital Collections

Author: Mitchell Whitelaw

Abstract: This article discusses two practical experiments in remaking collections. Drifter (2016) and Succession (2014) build on the affordances of machine-readable collections and APIs to harvest large datasets from diverse sources, and show how these sources can be re-deployed to address complex spatiotemporal sites. These projects demonstrate the potential of a mashup-like generative approach based on sampling and recombination. Such approaches generate an expansive range of unforeseeable outcomes, while retaining a highly authored character. Here these projects are analysed through three key constituents: the troublesome trace of data; their extraction of digital samples; and their generative recomposition of samples into emergent outcomes. These techniques remake collections in a way that addresses the intrinsically complex, entangled and heterogeneous nature of what Latour terms ‘matters of concern’.

Citation: Whitelaw, M. (2018). Mashups and Matters of Concern: Generative Approaches to Digital Collections . Open Library of Humanities, 4(1), 26. DOI:


Source: Mashups and Matters of Concern: Generative Approaches to Digital Collections

Open access in ethics research: an analysis of open access availability and author self-archiving behaviour in light of journal copyright restrictions

Authors: Mikael Laakso, Andrea Polonioli

Abstract: The current state of open access to journal publications within research areas belonging to the humanities has received relatively little research attention. This study provides a detailed mapping of the bibliometric state of open access to journal publications among ethicists, taking into account not only open access publishing in journals directly, but also where and in what form ethicists make their journal articles available elsewhere on the web. As part of the study 297 ethicists affiliated with top-ranking philosophy departments were identified and their journal publication information for the years 2010–2015 were recorded (1682 unique articles). The journal articles were then queried for through Google Scholar in order to establish open access status (web locations, document versions) of each publication record. Publication records belonging to the 20 most frequently used journal outlets (subset of 597 unique articles) were put under closer inspection with regards to alignment with publisher copyright restrictions as well as measuring unused potential to share articles. The results show that slightly over half of recent journal publications are available to read for free. PhilPapers and academic social networks ( and ResearchGate) were found to be key platforms for research dissemination in ethics research. The representation of institutional repositories as providers of access was found to be weak, receiving the second lowest frequency rating among the eight discrete web location categories. Further, the study reveals that ethicists are at the same time prone to copyright infringement and undersharing their scholarly work.

Citation: Laakso, M., & Polonioli, A. (2018) Open access in ethics research: an analysis of open access availability and author self-archiving behaviour in light of journal copyright restrictions. Scientometrics, 1-27. 


Source: Scientometrics

Shadow Libraries

Editor: Joe Karaganis

Authors: Balázs Bodó, Laura Czerniewicz, Miroslaw Filiciak, Mariana Fossatti, Jorge Gemetto, Eve Gray, Evelin Heidel, Joe Karaganis, Lawrence Liang, Pedro Mizukami, Jhessica Reia, Alek Tarkowski

Abstract: Even as middle- and low-income countries expand their higher education systems, their governments are retreating from responsibility for funding and managing this expansion. The public provision of educational materials in these contexts is rare; instead, libraries, faculty, and students are on their own to get what they need. Shadow Libraries explores the new ecosystem of access, charting the flow of educational and research materials from authors to publishers to libraries to students, and from comparatively rich universities to poorer ones. In countries from Russia to Brazil, the weakness of formal models of access was countered by the growth of informal ones. By the early 2000s, the principal form of access to materials was informal copying and sharing. Since then, such unauthorized archives as Libgen, Gigapedia, and Sci-Hub have become global “shadow libraries,” with massive aggregations of downloadable scholarly materials.

The chapters consider experiments with access in a range of middle- and low-income countries, describing, among other things, the Russian samizdat tradition and the connection of illicit copying to resistance to oppression; BiblioFyL, an online archive built by students at the University of Buenos Aires; education policy and the daily practices of students in post-Apartheid South Africa; the politics of access in India; and copy culture in Brazil.

Citation: Karaganis, J (Ed.). (2018). Shadow Libraries. Access to Knowledge in Higher Education. Boston, MA: MIT Press.

Source: MIT Press