“When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences

Authors: Lemke Steffen, Mehrazar Maryam, Mazarakis Athanasios, Peters Isabella

Abstract: The Social Sciences have long been struggling with quantitative forms of research assessment—insufficient coverage in prominent citation indices and overall lower citation counts than in STM subject areas have led to a widespread weariness regarding bibliometric evaluations among social scientists. Fueled by the rise of the social web, new hope is often placed on alternative metrics that measure the attention scholarly publications receive online, in particular on social media. But almost a decade after the coining of the term “altmetrics” for this new group of indicators, the uptake of the concept in the Social Sciences still seems to be low. Just like with traditional bibliometric indicators, one central problem hindering the applicability of altmetrics for the Social Sciences is the low coverage of social science publications on the respective data sources—which in the case of altmetrics are the various social media platforms on which interactions with scientific outputs can be measured. Another reason is that social scientists have strong opinions about the usefulness of metrics for research evaluation which may hinder broad acceptance of altmetrics too. We conducted qualitative interviews and online surveys with researchers to identify the concerns which inhibit the use of social media and the utilization of metrics for research evaluation in the Social Sciences. By analyzing the response data from the interviews in conjunction with the response data from the surveys, we identify the key concerns that inhibit social scientists from (1) applying social media for professional purposes and (2) making use of the wide array of metrics available. Our findings show that aspects of time consumption, privacy, dealing with information overload, and prevalent styles of communication are predominant concerns inhibiting Social Science researchers from using social media platforms for their work. Regarding indicators for research impact we identify a widespread lack of knowledge about existing metrics, their methodologies and meanings as a major hindrance for their uptake through social scientists. The results have implications for future developments of scholarly online tools and show that researchers could benefit considerably from additional formal training regarding the correct application and interpretation of metrics.V

Citation:   Lemke S, Mehrazar M, Mazarakis A and Peters I (2019) “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00039

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Source: Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics

Future of scholarly publishing and scholarly communication

Author: Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission)

Abstract:The report proposes a vision for the future of scholarly communication; it examines the current system -with its strengths and weaknesses- and its main actors. It considers the roles of researchers, research institutions, funders and policymakers, publishers and other service providers, as well as citizens and puts forward recommendations addressed to each of them. The report places researchers and their needs at the centre of the scholarly communication of the future, and considers knowledge and understanding created by researchers as public goods. Current developments, enabled primarily by technology, have resulted into a broadening of types of actors involved in scholarly communication and in some cases the disaggregation of the traditional roles in the system. The report views research evaluation as a keystone for scholarly communication, affecting all actors. Researchers, communities and all organisations, in particular funders, have the possibility of improving the current scholarly communication and publishing system: they should start by bringing changes to the research evaluation system. Collaboration between actors is essential for positive change and to enable innovation in the scholarly communication and publishing system in the future.

Citation:   Lemke S, Mehrazar M, Mazarakis A and Peters I (2019) “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00039

 

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Source: Publications Office of the European Union

Online Safety and Academic Scholarship: Exploring Researchers’ Concerns from Ghana

Authors: Kodjo Atiso, Jenna Kammer

Abstract: This paper investigates factors, including fears of cybercrime, that may affect researchers’ willingness to share research in institutional repositories in Ghana.

Qualitative research was conducted to understand more about the experiences of Ghanaian researchers when sharing research in institutional repositories. Interviews were conducted with 25 participants, documents related to policy and infrastructure in Ghana were examined, and observations were held in meetings of information technology committees.

The findings indicate that researchers are specifically concerned about three areas when sharing research online: fraud, plagiarism, and identity theft.

This paper adds to research that examines barriers toward using institutional repositories, and highlights the lack of basic preventative strategies in Ghana—such as training, security, and infrastructure that are commonplace in developed countries.

This study draws on findings from Bossaller and Atiso (2015) that identified fears of cybercrime as one of the major barriers to sharing research online for Ghanaian researchers. While several other studies have found that fear of identity theft or plagiarism are barriers toward sharing work in the institutional repository, this is the first study that looks specifically at the experiences researchers have had with cybercrime to understand this barrier more fully.

Citation: Atiso, K. and Kammer, J., 2019. Online Safety and Academic Scholarship: Exploring Researchers’ Concerns from Ghana. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 7(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2263

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Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

The effect of publishing peer review reports on referee behavior in five scholarly journals

Authors: Giangiacomo Bravo, Francisco Grimaldo, Emilia López-Iñesta, Bahar Mehmani, & Flaminio Squazzoni

Abstract: To increase transparency in science, some scholarly journals are publishing peer review reports. But it is unclear how this practice affects the peer review process. Here, we examine the effect of publishing peer review reports on referee behavior in five scholarly journals involved in a pilot study at Elsevier. By considering 9,220 submissions and 18,525 reviews from 2010 to 2017, we measured changes both before and during the pilot and found that publishing reports did not significantly compromise referees’ willingness to review, recommendations, or turn-around times. Younger and non-academic scholars were more willing to accept to review and provided more positive and objective recommendations. Male referees tended to write more constructive reports during the pilot. Only 8.1% of referees agreed to reveal their identity in the published report. These findings suggest that open peer review does not compromise the process, at least when referees are able to protect their anonymity.

Citation:   Lemke S, Mehrazar M, Mazarakis A and Peters I (2019) “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00039


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The Radical Collaboration of RDA and What It Means for Developing Institutional Data Management Services

Author: Amy Nurnberger

Abstract: The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is an organization dedicated to
reducing barriers to data sharing and exchange. While there are many
technical barriers that must still be surmounted, it is a core principle of
RDA that technical impediments are not the only ones. Often the more
challenging barriers are the less visible social roadblocks and those
blockades constructed at the intersections of the technical and the
social. In my experience in developing and working in institutional data
management services, these services are also dedicated to easing the
way to data sharing and are likewise subject to a similar set of barriers.
The connections between how RDA works, how data management
services develop in institutions, and how radical collaboration happens
may map out a route to more successful service development practices.

Citation: Amy Nurnberger. “The Radical Collaboration of RDA and What It Means for Developing Institutional Data Management Services.” Research Library Issues, no. 296 (2018): 23–32. https://doi.org/10.29242/rli.296.3.

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Source: Research Library Issues

Preprints in Scholarly Communication: Re-Imagining Metrics and Infrastructures

Authors: B. Preedip Balaji, M. Dhanamjaya

Abstract: Digital scholarship and electronic publishing among the scholarly communities are changing when metrics and open infrastructures take centre stage for measuring research impact. In scholarly communication, the growth of preprint repositories over the last three decades as a new model of scholarly publishing has emerged as one of the major developments. As it unfolds, the landscape of scholarly communication is transitioning, as much is being privatized as it is being made open and towards alternative metrics, such as social media attention, author-level, and article-level metrics. Moreover, the granularity of evaluating research impact through new metrics and social media change the objective standards of evaluating research performance. Using preprint repositories as a case study, this article situates them in a scholarly web, examining their salient features, benefits, and futures. Towards scholarly web development and publishing on semantic and social web with open infrastructures, citations, and alternative metrics—how preprints advance building web as data is discussed. We examine that this will viably demonstrate new metrics and in enhancing research publishing tools in scholarly commons facilitating various communities of practice. However, for the preprint repositories to sustain, scholarly communities and funding agencies should support continued investment in open knowledge, alternative metrics development, and open infrastructures in scholarly publishing.

Citation: Balaji BP, Dhanamjaya M. Preprints in Scholarly Communication: Re-Imagining Metrics and Infrastructures. Publications 2019; 7(1):6. DOI: 10.3390/publications7010006

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SourcePublications

 

Creating a Library Publishing Program for Scholarly Books: Your Options Are Limited

Author: Kevin Hawkins

Abstract: Publishing programs in academic libraries vary in their scope, offerings, and business models. Despite the many forms that these programs take, I have argued in the past that various factors constrain the design of a start-up publishing operation. In this commentary, I discuss in greater depth the key questions to be addressed before establishing a library publishing program for scholarly books, arguing that the viable options are in fact quite limited.

Citation:   Lemke S, Mehrazar M, Mazarakis A and Peters I (2019) “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00039

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Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly CommunicationS

Software Curation in Research Libraries: Practice and Promise

Authors: Alexandra Chassanoff, Yasmin AlNoamany, Katherine Thornton, John Borghi

Abstract: Research software plays an increasingly vital role in the scholarly record. Academic research libraries are in the early stages of exploring strategies for curating and preserving research software, aiming to facilitate support and services for long-term access and use.

In 2016, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) began offering postdoctoral fellowships in software curation. Four institutions hosted the initial cohort of software curation fellows. This article describes the work activities and research program of the cohort, highlighting the challenges and benefits of doing this exploratory work in research libraries.

Chassanoff, A., AlNoamany, Y., Thornton, K. and Borghi, J., 2018. Software Curation in Research Libraries: Practice and Promise. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 6(1), p.eP2239. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2239

 

Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Using Static Site Generators for Scholarly Publications & Open Educational Resources

Author: Diaz, Chris

Abstract: Libraries that publish scholarly journals, conference proceedings, or open educational resources can use static site generators in their digital publishing workflows. Northwestern University Libraries is using Jekyll and Bookdown, two open source static site generators, for its digital publishing service. This article discusses motivations for experimenting with static site generators and walks through the process for using these technologies for two publications.

Citation: Diaz, C. (2018). Using Static Site Generators for Scholarly Publications and Open Educational Resources. Code4Lib Journal, 42, 2018-11-08.

Source: Code4Lib Journal

Open Science MOOC: Open Research Software and Open Source

Authors: Jon Tennant; Simon Worthington; Tania Allard; Philipp Zumstein; Daniel S. Katz; Alexander Morley; Stephan Druskat; Julien Colomb; Arfon Smith; inacsmith; Tobias Steiner; Rutger Vos; Konrad Förstner; Heidi Seibold; Alessandro Sarretta; Abigail Cabunoc Mayes

Abstract: Software and technology underpin modern science. There is an increasing demand for more sophisticated open source software, matched by an increasing willingness for researchers to openly collaborate on new tools. These developments come with a specific ethical, legal and economic challenges that impact upon research workflows. This module will introduce the necessary tools required for transforming software into something that can be openly accessed and re-used by others.

Learning outcomes:

  1. You will be able to define the characteristics of open source research software, and the ethical, legal, economic and research impact arguments for and against it.
  2. Based on community standards, you will be able to describe the quality requirements of sharing and re-using open code.
  3. You will be able to use a range of research tools that utilise open source software.
  4. You will be able to transform code designed for your personal use into code that is accessible and re-usable by others.

Citation: Jon Tennant, Simon Worthington, Tania Allard, Philipp Zumstein, Daniel S. Katz, Alexander Morley, … Abigail Cabunoc Mayes. (2018, December 4). OpenScienceMOOC/Module-5-Open-Research-Software-and-Open-Source: Third release (Version 3.0.0). Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1937708

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Source: Zenodo