Editor’s Choice: Scholarly publishing is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Source: Scholarly publishing is broken. Here’s how to fix it | Aeon Ideas

By Jon Tennant on Aeon, 7/18/2018

Excerpt: “The world of scholarly communication is broken. Giant, corporate publishers with racketeering business practices and profit margins that exceed Apple’s treat life-saving research as a private commodity to be sold at exorbitant profits. Only around 25 per cent of the global corpus of research knowledge is ‘open access’, or accessible to the public for free and without subscription, which is a real impediment to resolving major problems, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals…”

Read full article: https://aeon.co/ideas/scholarly-publishing-is-broken-heres-how-to-fix-it

Jon Tennant is a palaeontologist and independent researcher and consultant, working on public access to scientific knowledge. He is based in Berlin, Germany.

Editor’s Choice: Using Google’s Custom Search Engine Product to Discover Scholarly Open Access and Cost-Free eBooks from Latin America

Source: Using Google’s Custom Search Engine Product to Discover Scholarly Open Access and Cost-Free eBooks from Latin America

Author: Melissa Gasparotto, Assistant Director, Research Services. New York Public Library

Paper delivered at SALALM 2018 conference


“Many Latin American scholarly monographs are available for free to read and download in a scattered fashion across the web, hosted on educational, institutional and government websites as well as commercial websites and publishing platforms. There is as of yet no single way to identify all of this content at once, but web-based discovery leveraging existing search engine indexing would seem to be a likely option. This case study suggests and evaluates one such method for discovery of open access and other cost-free scholarly monographs produced in Latin America. One possible configuration of Google’s Custom Search Engine product is proposed and evaluated, and findings suggest its usefulness for a variety of applications, including for collection development, the preparation of thematic research guides with open content, and the enrichment of existing lists of open access eBook sources from Latin America. Unlike existing open access eBook portals, which search across known collections of such materials, search portals such as the one proposed allow users to search across the entire web to uncover scholarly free eBook sources that were previously unknown to them alongside known content sources, a key advantage to this method of discovery. The results further suggest the importance of pursuing discovery of these monograph titles outside established known collections, as an astonishing 45 % of all monographs identified through the Custom Search Engine portal were not discoverable in any edition, print or electronic, through WorldCat, and only 27 % were indexed by Google Books. Additionally, the low number of these eBook titles hosted in preservation-worthy repositories raises cause for concern about their long-term digital availability.”

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Gasparotto, M. (2018). Using Google’s Custom Search Engine Product to Discover Scholarly Open Access and Cost-Free eBooks from Latin America. Revista Interamericana de Bibliotecología, 41(2), 153‑166. doi: 10.17533/udea.rib.v41n2a04


Editor’s Choice: The Types, Frequencies, and Findability of Disciplinary Grey Literature within Prominent Subject Databases and Academic Institutional Repositories

Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 

There are many known issues with the structure, implementation, and support of IRs that may impact inclusion and findability of grey literature. The first is that the time required for dedicated repository work can be substantial; librarians can invest a significant amount of time acquiring or soliciting grey literature from various content creators throughout their institution, whether it is eventually self-deposited or uploaded by IR staff (Childress, 2003).

For some institutions these time requirements can be a significant challenge. In the Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository (LASR), a shared repository for several small liberal arts institutions,staff sizes are small, and repository duties are in addition to their current responsibilities (Costanza et al., 2009). Examples like this could explain why some repositories used several broad categories instead of allowing users to search by document type. This could also explain the variation we saw in how the same repository software was utilized in different ways by different institutions. Another factor at many institutions is technology support. Server space or the support of a digital assets management system may not be among the top priorities for some institutions (Costanza et al., 2009).

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