Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers

Authors: Alex Humphreys, Christina Spencer, Laura Brown, Matthew Loy, Ronald Snyder

Abstract: Scholarly books are increasingly available in digital form, but the online interfaces for using these books often allow only for the browsing of PDF files. JSTOR Labs, an experimental product-development group within the not-for-profit digital library JSTOR, undertook an ideation and design process to develop new and different ways of showing scholarly books online, with the goal that this new viewing interface should be relatively simple and inexpensive to implement for any scholarly book that is already available in PDF form. This paper documents that design process, including the recommendations of a working group of scholars, publishers, and librarians convened by JSTOR Labs and the Columbia University Libraries in October 2016. The prototype monograph viewer developed through this process — called “Topicgraph” — is described herein and is freely available online at https://labs.jstor.org/topicgraph.

Citation: Alex Humphreys, Christina Spencer, Laura Brown, Matthew Loy, Ronald Snyder (2017) Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers. JSTOR Labs White Paper. Available online: https://labs.jstor.org/download/JSTORLabsMonographJune2017.pdf

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Source: Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers

Live Discussion on Open Access — Cultural Anthropology

Author: Grant Jun Otsuki

Abstract: These are the questions and comments from the March 20th, 2013, discussion on Open Access with SCA President Brad Weiss, and CA Editor Charles Piot.

Citation: Otsuki, Grant Jun. “Read the Transcript of our March 20th Live Discussion on Open Access.” SCA News, Cultural Anthropology website, March 21, 2013. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/151-read-the-transcript-of-our-march-20th-live-discussion-on-open-access

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Source: Live Discussion on Open Access — Cultural Anthropology

Untangling Academic Publishing: A history of the relationship between commercial interests, academic prestige and the circulation of research

Author(s): Fyfe, Aileen ; Coate, Kelly; Curry, Stephen; Lawson, Stuart; Moxham, Noah; Røstvik, Camilla Mørk

Abstract: Since the Second World War, academic publishing practices have had to cope with enormous changes in the scale of the research enterprise, in the culture and management of higher education, and in the ecosystem of scholarly publishers. The pace of change has been particularly rapid in the last twenty-five years, thanks to digital technologies. This has also been a time of growing divergence between the different roles of academic publishing: as a means of disseminating validated knowledge, as a form of symbolic capital for academic career progression, and as a profitable business enterprise.
This briefing paper aims to provide a historical perspective that can inform the debates about what the future of academic publishing should look like. We argue that current policy regarding open access publishing, and many of the other proposals for the reform of academic publishing, have been too focused on the opportunities and financial challenges of the most recent changes in digital communications technologies and have given undue weight to commercial concerns.
We show that the business practices and the cultural significance of academic publishing have been significantly transformed since the late nineteenth century as increasing government funding drove the expansion and professionalization of the research community, a process that accelerated rapidly after the Second World War. We examine how academic publishing practices have responded to the increasing number of researchers and publications worldwide, the changing expectations of academic workloads and outputs in the higher education sector, and the new business models in the publishing industry.
A key phenomenon has been the growing importance of published works as career-defining tokens of prestige for academics. Although the new technologies that emerged in the late twentieth century offer great potential for improving the speed and efficiency of scholarly communication, the publishing model has been relatively slow to change.
The key themes of this briefing paper are:

  • the business of academic publishing
  • the role of publishing in academic careers
  • and the tangled and changing relationship between them

Citation:Fyfe, Aileen, Coate, Kelly, Curry, Stephen, Lawson, Stuart, Moxham, Noah, & Røstvik, Camilla Mørk. (2017, May 25). Untangling Academic Publishing: A history of the relationship between commercial interests, academic prestige and the circulation of research. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.546100

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Open Science: One Term, Five Schools of Thought

Authors: Benedikt Fecher & Sascha Friesike

Abstract: Open Science is an umbrella term encompassing a multitude of assumptions about the future of knowledge creation and dissemination. Based on a literature review, this chapter aims at structuring the overall discourse by proposing five Open Science schools of thought: The infrastructure school (which is concerned with the technological architecture), the public school (which is concerned with the accessibility of knowledge creation), the “measurement school”(which is concerned with alternative impact measurement), the “democratic school”(which is concerned with access to knowledge) and the “pragmatic school” (which is concerned with collaborative research).

It must be noted that our review is not solely built upon traditional scholarly publications but, due to the nature of the topic, also includes scientific blogs and newspaper articles. It is our aim in this chapter to present a concise picture of the ongoing discussion rather than a complete list of peer-reviewed articles on the topic. In the following, we will describe the five schools in more detail and provide references to relevant literature for each.

Citation: Fecher B & Friesike S. (2014). “Open Science: One Term, Five Schools of Thought”. In Opening Science. Amsterdam: Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-00026-8_2

 

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Open Access: A Collective Ecology for AAA Publishing in the Digital Age

Authors: Alberto Corsín Jiménez, Dominic Boyer, John Hartigan and Marisol de la Cadena

Abstract: Just over a year ago Cultural Anthropology went Open Access. It has been an exhilarating experience, which has seen the journal engage new publics and conversations as well as explore new intellectual and editorial possibilities. For those involved in the running of the journal, it has also demanded a steep learning curve. We, as members of the board of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, thought it would be a good idea to put some of these lessons down in writing while responding to a recent memorandum (5/4/15) to section presidents, journal editors, and section treasurers, which recapitulated the AAA’ history of scholarly publishing. As we write, Michael Chibnik (the editor-in-chief of AA), has published an editorial expressing his hesitation about an open-access solution for American Anthropologist.1 We take this opportunity to reply to Chibnik’s text too.

We offer here three brief reflections on why our experience with Cultural Anthropology has reassured us that Open Access is the future of scholarly publishing. First, we draw attention to the fact that Open Access offers perhaps the most robust model for managing the AAA journals’ portfolio in accordance with its history of collective responsibility. Second, we offer some insights into the changing landscape of scholarly publishing in the digital age. Last, we remind readers that Open Access is, perhaps above all other things, a moral and political decision.

Citation: Corsín Jiménez, Alberto, Boyer, Dominic, Hartigan, John and de la Cadena, Marisol . “Open Access: A Collective Ecology for AAA Publishing in the Digital Age.” Dispatches, Cultural Anthropology website, May 27, 2015. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/684-open-access-a-collective-ecology-for-aaa-publishing-in-the-digital-age

 

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Source: Open Access: A Collective Ecology for AAA Publishing in the Digital Age

Looking into Pandora’s Box: The Content of Sci-Hub and its Usage

Author: Bastian Greshake

Abstract: Despite the growth of Open Access, potentially illegally circumventing paywalls to access scholarly publications is becoming a more mainstream phenomenon. The web service Sci-Hub is amongst the biggest facilitators of this, offering free access to around 62 million publications. So far it is not well studied how and why its users are accessing publications through Sci-Hub. By utilizing the recently released corpus of Sci-Hub and comparing it to the data of  ~28 million downloads done through the service, this study tries to address some of these questions. The comparative analysis shows that both the usage and complete corpus is largely made up of recently published articles, with users disproportionately favoring newer articles and 35% of downloaded articles being published after 2013. These results hint that embargo periods before publications become Open Access are frequently circumnavigated using Guerilla Open Access approaches like Sci-Hub. On a journal level, the downloads show a bias towards some scholarly disciplines, especially Chemistry, suggesting increased barriers to access for these. Comparing the use and corpus on a publisher level, it becomes clear that only 11% of publishers are highly requested in comparison to the baseline frequency, while 45% of all publishers are significantly less accessed than expected. Despite this, the oligopoly of publishers is even more remarkable on the level of content consumption, with 80% of all downloads being published through only 9 publishers. All of this suggests that Sci-Hub is used by different populations and for a number of different reasons, and that there is still a lack of access to the published scientific record. A further analysis of these openly available data resources will undoubtedly be valuable for the investigation of academic publishing.

Citation:  Greshake B.Looking into Pandora’s Box: The Content of Sci-Hub and its Usage.” F1000Research 2017, 6:541. (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11366.1) .

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The Open Access Movement and Activism for the “Knowledge Commons”

Author: Jackie Smith

Abstract: Over the last 25 years, the publication industry has seen a more than 70 percent growth in its scholarly content. Yet today, far fewer companies control the bulk of publication. By continuing to publish in traditional ways, sociologists are participating in the enclosure of the knowledge commons, whether we intend to or not. As the American Sociological Association begins its own OA journal, members need to be informed about the issues at stake. Many scholars may be attracted to the ideas and values behind OA. Yet, this means a fundamental re-thinking of the publishing industry and groups like the American Sociology Association that rely on revenues from publishing.

Citation: Smith, Jackie. (2014) “The Open Access Movement and Activism for the Knowledge Commons.” American Sociological Association Footnotes, May/June 2014.

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Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers

Authors: Laura Brown, Alex Humphreys, Matthew Loy, Ron Snyder, Christina Spencer

 

Abstract: Scholarly books are increasingly being made available in digital form, joining in the print-to-digital transition that scholarly journals began well over a decade ago. Ten years of innovation have produced tremendous benefits for authors and readers of journal literature, and certainly some of this innovation is applicable to the digital migration of monographs. But the long-form scholarly argument presents some very different challenges, and its online migration is still in many ways in its infancy. The platforms that make monographs available to users often offer little in the way of specialized functionality for the different ways that scholars and students use these books. The JSTOR Labs group, an experimental product development team at JSTOR, undertook a user research and design process in order to better understand the wide variety of needs, behaviors, frustrations, and ambitions users bring to the task of reading scholarly books online, and to explore possible new paths to unlocking the value of the long-form argument in a digital environment. This paper is intended to do three things. First, we discuss the kinds of uses that readers have for scholarly books, and the opportunities for improving the usefulness of books for those purposes in a digital environment. These emerged from ethnographic research we carried out with a variety of readers of digital monographs and with a small working group of scholars, publishers, librarians, engineers, data scientists and user experience designers that we convened in partnership with the Columbia University Libraries in late 2016. Second, we discuss the design thinking process that we used to explore the landscape, how the group identified problems to solve, and how together we selected one opportunity ripe for new feature development that the JSTOR Labs team could prototype. Third, we describe the process we used to develop that prototype, and introduce the tool that we built, which we are calling “Topicgraph.”

 

Citation: Brown, L, Humphreys, A, Loy, M, Snyder, R, Spencer, C. (2017) Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers, A JSTOR Labs Report – DRAFT FOR COMMENT http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M62G8M

 

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When is an article actually published? An analysis of online availability, publication, and indexation dates

Authors: Stefanie Haustein, Timothy D. Bowman, Rodrigo Costas

Abstract: With the acceleration of scholarly communication in the digital era, the publication year is no longer a sufficient level of time aggregation for bibliometric and social media indicators. Papers are increasingly cited before they have been officially published in a journal issue and mentioned on Twitter within days of online availability. In order to find a suitable proxy for the day of online publication allowing for the computation of more accurate benchmarks and fine-grained citation and social media event windows, various dates are compared for a set of 58,896 papers published by Nature Publishing Group, PLOS, Springer and Wiley-Blackwell in 2012. Dates include the online date provided by the publishers, the month of the journal issue, the Web of Science indexing date, the date of the first tweet mentioning the paper as well as the Altmetric.com publication and first-seen dates. Comparing these dates, the analysis reveals that large differences exist between publishers, leading to the conclusion that more transparency and standardization is needed in the reporting of publication dates. The date on which the fixed journal article (Version of Record) is first made available on the publisher’s website is proposed as a consistent definition of the online date.

Citation: Stefanie Haustein, Timothy D. Bowman, Rodrigo Costas. (2015). When is an article actually published? An analysis of online availability, publication, and indexation dates. In Proceedings of the 15th International Society of Scientometrics and Informetrics Conference (pp. 1170–1179). Istanbul, Turkey.

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‘Total cost of ownership’ of scholarly communication: managing subscription and APC payments together

Author: Lawson, Stuart

Abstract: Managing subscription journals and open access charges together has created challenges which may in part be dealt with by offsetting the two revenue streams against each other. In order to do this, it is necessary to have reliable financial data about the extent of the two interacting markets. Jisc Collections has been undertaking data collection regarding universities’ article publication charge (APC) expenditure. This process is difficult without a standardized way of recording data, so Jisc Collections has developed a standard data collection template and is helping institutions to release data openly. If available data become more comprehensive and transparent, then all parties (libraries, publishers, research funders, and intermediaries) will have better knowledge of the APC market and can more accurately predict the effects of offsetting.

Citation: Lawson, S. (2015). ‘Total cost of ownership’ of scholarly communication: managing subscription and APC payments together. Learned Publishing, 28(1). doi: http://doi.org/10.1087/20150103

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