A longitudinal study of independent scholar-published open access journals

Author: Bo-Christer Björk, Cenyu Shen, & Mikael Laakso

Abstract: Open Access (OA) is nowadays increasingly being used as a business model for the publishing of scholarly peer reviewed journals, both by specialized OA publishing companies and major, predominantly subscription-based publishers. However, in the early days of the web OA journals were mainly founded by independent academics, who were dissatisfied with the predominant print and subscription paradigm and wanted to test the opportunities offered by the new medium. There is still an on-going debate about how OA journals should be operated, and the volunteer model used by many such ‘indie’ journals has been proposed as a viable alternative to the model adopted by big professional publishers where publishing activities are funded by authors paying expensive article processing charges (APCs). Our longitudinal quantitative study of 250 ‘indie’ OA journals founded prior to 2002, showed that 51% of these journals were still in operation in 2014 and that the median number of articles published per year had risen from 11 to 18 among the survivors. Of these surviving journals, only 8% had started collecting APCs. A more detailed qualitative case study of five such journals provided insights into how such journals have tried to ensure the continuity and longevity of operations.

Citation: Björk, B.-C., Shen, C., & Laakso, M. (2016). A longitudinal study of independent scholar-published open access journals. PeerJ, 4, e1990. https://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1990

Copyright and the Use of Images as Biodiversity Data

Authors: Willi Egloff, Donat Agosti, Puneet Kishor, David Patterson, Jeremy A. Miller

Abstract: Taxonomy is the discipline responsible for charting the world’s organismic diversity, understanding ancestor/descendant relationships, and organizing all species according to a unified taxonomic classification system. Taxonomists document the attributes (characters) of organisms, with emphasis on those can be used to distinguish species from each other. Character information is compiled in the scientific literature as text, tables, and images. The information is presented according to conventions that vary among taxonomic domains; such conventions facilitate comparison among similar species, even when descriptions are published by different authors. There is considerable uncertainty within the taxonomic community as to how to re-use images that were included in taxonomic publications, especially in regard to whether copyright applies. This article deals with the principles and application of copyright law, database protection, and protection against unfair competition, as applied to images. We conclude that copyright does not apply to most images in taxonomic literature because they are presented in a standardized way and lack the creativity that is required to qualify as ‘copyrightable works’. There are exceptions, such as wildlife photographs, drawings and artwork produced in a distinctive individual form and intended for other than comparative purposes (such as visual art). Further exceptions may apply to collections of images that qualify as a database in the sense of European database protection law. In a few European countries, there is legal protection for photographs that do not qualify as works in the usual sense of copyright. It follows that most images found in taxonomic literature can be re-used for research or many other purposes without seeking permission, regardless of any copyright declaration. In observance of ethical and scholarly standards, re-users are expected to cite the author and original source of any image that they use.

Citation: Willi Egloff, Donat Agosti, Puneet Kishor, David Patterson, Jeremy A. Miller,  2017. “Copyright and the Use of Images as Biodiversity Data” 


Laying the Groundwork for a New Library Service: Scholar-Practitioner & Graduate Student Attitudes Toward Altmetrics and the Curation of Online Profiles

Authors: Kathleen Reed, Dana McFarland, Rosie Croft

Abstract: Objective – In order to inform a library service related to creating and maintaining online scholarly profiles, we sought to assess the knowledge base and needs of our academic communities. Participants were queried about use, issues, and attitudes toward scholarly profile and altmetric tools, as well as the role librarians could play in assisting with the curation of online reputation. Methods – Semi-structured interviews with 18 scholar-practitioners and 5 graduate students from two mid-sized universities.

Citation: Reed, K. McFarland, D. Croft, R. (2016). Laying the Groundwork for a New Library Service: Scholar-Practitioner & Graduate Student Attitudes Toward Altmetrics and the Curation of Online Profiles. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. 11(2) 87-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.18438/B8J047



Plans and Performances: Parallels in the Production of Science and Music

Authors: David De Roure, Graham Klyne, Kevin R. Page, John Pybus, David M. Weigl, Matthew Wilcoxson, Pip Willcox

Abstract: Whether in the science lab or the music studio, we go in with a plan, we perform, and we make a record of that performance for distribution, consumption, and reuse. Both domains are increasingly data-intensive, with the adoption of new technology, and also socially intensive with democratised and growing citizen engagement. The music industry has embraced digital technology throughout the lifecycle from composition to consumption; scientific practice, and scholarly communication, are also undergoing transformation. Is the music industry more digital than science? We suggest that comparing and contrasting these two systems will provide insights of mutual benefit. Our investigation explores the notion of the Digital Music Object, analogous to the Research Object, for rich capture, sharing and reuse of both process and content.

Citation: de Roure, D, Klyne, G, Page, KR et al., (2016). Plans and performances: Parallels in the production of science and music.


Toward the Geoscience Paper of the Future: Best practices for documenting and sharing research from data to software to provenance

Authors: Gil Yolanda, Cedric H. David, Ibrahim Demir, Bakinam T. Essawy, Robinson W. Fulweiler, Jonathan L. Goodall, Leif Karlstrom, Huikyo Lee, Heath J. Mills, Ji-Hyun Oh, Suzanne A. Pierce, Allen Pope, Mimi W. Tzeng, Sandra R. Villamizar, Xuan Yu

Abstract: Geoscientists now live in a world rich with digital data and methods, and their computational research cannot be fully captured in traditional publications. The Geoscience Paper of the Future (GPF) presents an approach to fully document, share, and cite all their research products including data, software, and computational provenance. This article proposes best practices for GPF authors to make data, software, and methods openly accessible, citable, and well documented. The publication of digital objects empowers scientists to manage their research products as valuable scientific assets in an open and transparent way that enables broader access by other scientists, students, decision makers, and the public. Improving documentation and dissemination of research will accelerate the pace of scientific discovery by improving the ability of others to build upon published work.

Citation: Gil, Y., et all (2016). Toward the Geoscience Paper of the Future: Best practices for documenting and sharing research from data to software to provenance. Earth and Space Science, 3, 388-415. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015EA000136 


Managing an Open Access Fund: Tips from the Trenches and Questions for the Future

Authors: Heidi Zuniga, Lilian Hoffecker

Abstract: The authors describe the process and results of an ongoing Open Access Fund program at the Health Sciences Library of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  The fund has helped students and other early career researchers pay for the article processing charge or APC to publish their articles in an OA journal since 2013.  In the three years since, the fund has paid the APC for 39 applicants with a total expenditure of $37,576.  Most applicants were students as intended, however the fund supported a surprisingly large number of medical residents and junior faculty.  Individuals associated with the School of Medicine overwhelmingly represented the awardees compared to other units, and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals were the most common journal they published in.  While acknowledging the undeniable benefit of the fund to the awardees, the authors also pose challenging questions about the future role of libraries in subsidizing open access journals.

Citation: Zuniga, Heidi, & Lilian Hoffecker. “Managing an Open Access Fund: Tips from the Trenches and Questions for the Future.” Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship 1.1 (2016). DOI: 10.17161/jcel.v1i1.5920.