Elsevier journals — some facts

Author: Timothy Gower
Blogpost April 24, 2014

Comment: This long blog post discusses the author’s attempts, successful in many cases, to obtain the costs of Elsevier journal subscriptions at the UK Russell Group of universities. It includes some amusing detailed correspondence with JISC and the universities. Also  related discussion around APCs and their impact on subscription costs, Elsevier costs in some US universities, Brazil. Also in the post and related comments are some useful data sources and related analysis.

Introduction: A little over two years ago, the Cost of Knowledge boycott of Elsevier journals began. Initially, it seemed to be highly successful, with the number of signatories rapidly reaching 10,000 and including some very high-profile researchers, and Elsevier making a number of concessions, such as dropping support for the Research Works Act and making papers over four years old from several mathematics journals freely available online. It has also contributed to an increased awareness of the issues related to high journal prices and the locking up of articles behind paywalls….

I  have come to the conclusion that if it is not possible to bring about a rapid change to the current system, then the next best thing to do, which has the advantage of being a lot easier, is to obtain as much information as possible about it. Part of the problem with trying to explain what is wrong with the system is that there are many highly relevant factual questions to which we do not yet have reliable answers.

Elsevier journals — some facts

Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity) | Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies

comments

A critique of the aims/achievements of OER in the context of openness and inclusion, equity debates. The author argues that OER is still part of and replicates neo-liberal educations systems and is not yet disruptive. This may be possible if OER can be developed at local levels involving students and educators and those who do not currently have an opportunity to produce knowledge for educational purposes.


Author: Nora Almeida,
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Keywords: Open Educational Resources, Social Justice, Neoliberalism, Pedagogy, Information Access, Digital Education

Abstract

As a phenomenon and a quandary, openness has provoked conversations about inequities within higher education systems, particularly in regards to information access, social inclusion, and pedagogical practice. But whether or not open education can address these inequities, and to what effect, depends on what we mean by “open” and specifically, whether openness reflexively acknowledges the fraught political, economic, and ethical dimensions of higher education and of knowledge production processes. This essay explores the ideological and rhetorical underpinnings of the open educational resource (OER) movement in the context of the neoliberal university. This essay also addresses the conflation of value and values in higher education – particularly how OER production processes and scholarship labor are valued. Lastly, this essay explores whether OER initiatives provide an opportunity to reimagine pedagogical practices, to reconsider authority paradigms, and potentially, to dismantle and redress exclusionary educational practices in and outside of the classroom. Through a critique of neoliberalism as critically limiting, an exploration of autonomy, and a refutation of the precept that OER can magically solve social inequalities in higher education, the author ultimately advocates for a reconsideration of OER in context and argues that educators should prioritize conversations about what openness means within their local educational communities.

Author Biography

Nora Almeida, New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Source: Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity) | Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies

A new methodology for comparing Google Scholar and Scopus

Authors: Henk F.Moed, Judit Bar-Ilan & Gali Halevi

Comments: This article is a small sample case study comparing meta data from Google Scholar and Scopus. Although the study only covers 36 articles in 12 journals (and the resulting ~7000 citations), it proposes some interesting methodologies. In particular, the methods for dealing with match-merging, citation duplicates and indexing speed may be of interest.

Abstract: A new methodology is proposed for comparing Google Scholar (GS) with other citation indexes. It focuses on the coverage and citation impact of sources, indexing speed, and data quality, including the effect of duplicate citation counts. The method compares GS with Elsevier’s Scopus, and is applied to a limited set of articles published in 12 journals from six subject fields, so that its findings cannot be generalized to all journals or fields. The study is exploratory, and hypothesis generating rather than hypothesis-testing. It confirms findings on source coverage and citation impact obtained in earlier studies. The ratio of GS over Scopus citation varies across subject fields between 1.0 and 4.0, while Open Access journals in the sample show higher ratios than their non-OA counterparts. The linear correlation between GS and Scopus citation counts at the article level is high: Pearson’s R is in the range of 0.8–0.9. A median Scopus indexing delay of two months compared to GS is largely though not exclusively due to missing cited references in articles in press in Scopus. The effect of double citation counts in GS due to multiple citations with identical or substantially similar meta-data occurs in less than 2% of cases. Pros and cons of article-based and what is termed as concept-based citation indexes are discussed.

Cite as: Moed HF, Bar-Ilan J & Halevi G (2016) A new methodology for comparing Google Scholar and Scopus. Journal of Informetrics 10(2): 533-551.

Source: A new methodology for comparing Google Scholar and Scopus

On impact factors and university rankings: from birth to boycott

Authors: Konstantinos I. Stergiou & Stephan Lessenich

Comments: This is a short article giving a quick literature review and a summary of criticisms on impact factors and university rankings.

Abstract: In this essay we explore parallels in the birth, evolution and final ‘banning’ of journal impact factors (IFs) and university rankings (URs). IFs and what has become popularized as global URs (GURs) were born in 1975 and 2003, respectively, and the obsession with both ‘tools’ has gone global. They have become important instruments for a diverse range of academic and higher education issues (IFs: e.g. for hiring and promoting faculty, giving and denying faculty tenure, distributing research funding, or administering institutional evaluations; URs: e.g. for reforming university/department curricula, faculty recruitment, promotion and wages, funding, student admissions and tuition fees). As a result, both IFs and GURs are being heavily advertised—IFs in publishers’ webpages and GURs in the media as soon as they are released. However, both IFs and GURs have been heavily criticized by the scientific community in recent years. As a result, IFs (which, while originally intended to evaluate journals, were later misapplied in the evaluation of scientific performance) were recently ‘banned’ by different academic stakeholders for use in ‘evaluations’ of individual scientists, individual articles, hiring/promotion and funding proposals. Similarly, URs and GURs have also led to many boycotts throughout the world, probably the most recent being the boycott of the German ‘Centrum fuer Hochschulentwicklung’ (CHE) rankings by German sociologists. Maybe (and hopefully), the recent banning of IFs and URs/GURs are the first steps in a process of academic self-reflection leading to the insight that higher education must urgently take control of its own metrics.

Cite As: Stergiou KI & Lessenich S (2014) On impact factors and university rankings: from birth to boycott. Ethics Sci Environ Polit 13:101-111.

Source: Inter Research » ESEP » v13 » n2 » p101-111

The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles [PeerJ]

Authors: ​, , , , , , , ,

Notes: Study from Unpaywall founders to identify OA status in three samples of articles. While estimating 28% (to 2015) of the scholarly literature is OA and growing, they also identify the complexities of the OA scholarly publishing landscape, finding a large proportion in the category of Bronze, articles free/open to read but lacking reuse or license data.

Abstract

Despite growing interest in Open Access (OA) to scholarly literature, there is an unmet need for large-scale, up-to-date, and reproducible studies assessing the prevalence and characteristics of OA. We address this need using oaDOI, an open online service that determines OA status for 67 million articles. We use three samples, each of 100,000 articles, to investigate OA in three populations: (1) all journal articles assigned a Crossref DOI, (2) recent journal articles indexed in Web of Science, and (3) articles viewed by users of Unpaywall, an open-source browser extension that lets users find OA articles using oaDOI. We estimate that at least 28% of the scholarly literature is OA (19M in total) and that this proportion is growing, driven particularly by growth in Gold and Hybrid. The most recent year analyzed (2015) also has the highest percentage of OA (45%). Because of this growth, and the fact that readers disproportionately access newer articles, we find that Unpaywall users encounter OA quite frequently: 47% of articles they view are OA. Notably, the most common mechanism for OA is not Gold, Green, or Hybrid OA, but rather an under-discussed category we dub Bronze: articles made free-to-read on the publisher website, without an explicit Open license. We also examine the citation impact of OA articles, corroborating the so-called open-access citation advantage: accounting for age and discipline, OA articles receive 18% more citations than average, an effect driven primarily by Green and Hybrid OA. We encourage further research using the free oaDOI service, as a way to inform OA policy and practice.

https://peerj.com/articles/4375/

Source: The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles [PeerJ]

Growth of hybrid open access, 2009–2016

Author: Bo-Christer Bjork

Notes: This 2017 article estimates the growth in hybrid OA journals and articles published within from 2009 to 2016. from 20 publishers Most interesting is the difficulty experienced in obtaining data because the hybridity of a journal is not always indicated. The author used previous studies and more recent data from 15 publishers who agreed to share, plus 5 big publishers. However data are not itemised for each publisher.

Abstract

Hybrid Open Access is an intermediate form of OA, where authors pay scholarly publishers to make articles freely accessible within journals, in which reading the content otherwise requires a subscription or pay-per-view. Major scholarly publishers have in recent years started providing the hybrid option for the vast majority of their journals. Since the uptake usually has been low per journal and scattered over thousands of journals, it has been very difficult to obtain an overview of how common hybrid articles are. This study, using the results of earlier studies as well as a variety of methods, measures the evolution of hybrid OA over time. The number of journals offering the hybrid option has increased from around 2,000 in 2009 to almost 10,000 in 2016. The number of individual articles has in the same period grown from an estimated 8,000 in 2009 to 45,000 in 2016. The growth in article numbers has clearly increased since 2014, after some major research funders in Europe started to introduce new centralized payment schemes for the article processing charges (APCs).

https://peerj.com/articles/3878/

open-research-data-report.pdf

TItle: Open Research Data: Report to the Australian National Data Service (ANDS)

Authors:John Houghton. Nicolas Gruen

Summary:
An interesting  2014 report assessing the value of data in Australia’s public research. Estimates for Australia extrapolated and scaled from UK studies. Staffing makes up more than 50% and up to 90% of the cost.

Main points:

Research data are an asset we have been building for decades, through billions of dollars of bublic investment in research annually. The information and communication technology (ICT) revolution presents an unprecedented opportunity to ‘leverage’ that asset. Given this, there is
increasing awareness around the world that there are benefits to be gained from curating and openly sharing research data (Kvalheim and Kvamme 2014).
Conservatively, we estimate that the value of data in Australia’s public research to be at least $1.9 billion and possibly up to $6 billion a year at current levels of expenditure and activity. Research data curation and sharing might be worth at least $1.8 billion and possibly up to $5.5 billion a year of which perhaps $1.4 billion to $4.9 billion annually is yet to be realized. Hence, any policy around public funded research data should aim to realise as much of this unrealised value as practicable.

http://www.ands.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/393022/open-research-data-report.pdf

Source: open-research-data-report.pdf

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

 

Summary:

The IPEDS integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (US) provides data from more than 7,500 US institutions that receive federal student aid, including:
Student enrolment data: race/ethnicity; gender; enrollment status; student retention, graduation; Information on collections, expenditures, and services for libraries; revenues, expenses, 

Enables comparison of institutions, trend graphs, individual institutional data and more.

 

https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/use-the-data

 

 

 

Source: The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

Community Engagement – Building Bridges between University and Community by Academic Libraries in the 21st Century : Libri

Author: Jack hang Tat Leong

Notes:

Analyses 18 North American and European university mission statements for evidence of community engagement and outreach and reviews how their libraries engage the community with outreach activities: connecting universities, people, resources and knowledge.

Abstract

This article examines different outreach strategies in academic libraries in Canada, the United States and China. It analyzes the possibilities and concerns of community outreach and argues that community outreach by libraries is the best approach to respond to the increasing significance of community engagement in academic environment. Drawing on the outreach program at the University of Toronto Libraries, this paper demonstrates that academic libraries can effectively connect resources and enable interactions between scholars and the public. These connections and interactions ultimately lead to the preservation and generation of knowledge and understanding. Available outreach examples are investigated and classified into four major categories: 1) community access, 2) information literacy, 3) cooperation, exchange and partnership, and 4) exhibitions and scholarly events. In each category the trends and values are illustrated by representative cases discussed in literature and the activities organized by the author in his capacity as the Director of the Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library, and the Chair of the International and Community Outreach Committee at the University of Toronto Libraries. The discussion and analysis of the diverse outreach activities in this article provide guidance and suggestions for academic librarians who are interested in outreach and community engagement of any scale and nature. Cases are draw from a wide spectrum and are particularly strong in the setting of large academic libraries, special collections and programming for multicultural populations.

About the article

Published Online: 2013-09-25

Published in Print: 2013-09-24


Source: Community Engagement – Building Bridges between University and Community by Academic Libraries in the 21st Century : Libri

Scholarly publications beyond pay-walls: increased citation advantage for open publishing

Author: Susanne Mikki

Comments: This article suggests clear citation advantage for OA publishing, though the analysis was restricted to scholarly articles and ignored the legal status of full-texts.

Abstract: First, we aim to determine the total amount of scholarly articles freely available on the internet. Second, we aim to prove whether there exists a citation advantage for open publishing. The total scholarly publication output of Norway is indexed in Cristin, the Current Information System in Norway. Based on these data, we searched Google Scholar by either DOIs or titles and denoted a document as open available (OAv), when a link to a full-text was provided. We analysed the extracted data by publishing year, citations, availability and provider. Based on additional information indexed in Cristin, we furthermore analysed the data by year, institution, publisher and discipline. We find that the total share of freely available articles is 68%. Articles not available belong to prestigious publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, Routledge and Universitetsforlaget (the largest Norwegian academic publisher), which may be particularly essential for scholars worldwide. The largest provider, according to Google Scholar’s main link provision, is ResearchGate. In addition, institutional repositories play a major role in posting free article versions. Articles belonging to natural sciences and technology, and medicine and health were more likely to be open than articles belonging to the social sciences and humanities. Their respective OAv-shares are 72, 58 and 55%. We find a clear citation advantage for open publishing; on average, these documents received twice as many citations, indicating that open access is the future in publishing. This study is limited to scholarly articles only. Books and book chapters, which are usual publication formats for the humanities and social sciences, are excluded. Results do therefore not adequately reflect the situation for these disciplines. Furthermore, this study is limited to documents freely available on the internet, independent of the “legal” status of the posted full-text. With the data at hand, we were not able to distinguish between gold, green, hybrid, purely pay-walled and illicitly posted documents. Usually, articles indexed in Web of Science or SCOPUS are objects of investigation. However, these databases do not sufficiently cover the humanities and social sciences, and therefore cannot be representative of the total scholarly article output. This study captures the total article output of a country, independent on discipline and provides new insight into open publishing.

Mikki, S. (2017) Scholarly publications beyond pay-walls: increased citation advantage for open publishing. Scientometrics, 113(3): 1529-1538.

Source: Scholarly publications beyond pay-walls: increased citation advantage for open publishing | Springer for Research & Development