recent articles read

I’ve been catching up on some professional reading.

I’ve read a few articles recently that I’ve found quite interesting and would like to share some thoughts on them.

Van de Sompel, Herbert, et. al. “Rethinking Scholarly Communication: Building the System that Scholars Deserve.” D-Lib Magazine. 10:9 (2004), doi:10.1045/september2004-vandesompel [open access]

I was immediately intrigued by what the creator of OpenURL (and his co-authors) might suggest as a technological solution to the current problems with scholarly communication. I couldn’t follow all of the technological details (they lost me at the flow charts and diagrams), but I was pleased to read this in the conclusion: “The NSF has recently recommended funding the authors of this paper to investigate these problems, building on our collective research and development. In a future article we will discuss our current work in moving toward a network overlay that promotes interoperability among heterogeneous data models and system implementations. We will describe our architectural vision for addressing the fundamental technical requirements of a next generation system for scholarly communication.”

Antelman, Kristin. “Do Open-Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?.” College & Research Libraries. 65:5, 372-382. [open access]

The author set out to find data to confirm or debunk the common assumption that open access articles have a greater research impact than those which are not open access. She looks at four disciplines in different stages of open access development, and all of them have had a history with the use of pre-print articles. The data she gathers leads her to conclude that open access articles do have a greater research impact than those which are not freely available. I would like to see these types of studies extended to other disciplines, but I am pleased to see that someone out there is gathering data for the rest of us to share with the teaching/research faculty in the discussions about scholarly communication we should all be having.

Siebenberg, Tammy R., Betty Galbraith, and Eileen E. Brady. “Print versus Electronic Journal Use in Three Sci/Tech Disciplines: What

librarian publication

Can librarians change the publishing model by starting within their own?

I have been working on an article for Serials Review which required me to contact several different consultants who work with libraries, publishers, and vendors. While I was conversing with October Ivins, a thought came to me. We were talking about some of the issues surrounding publishing and pricing, and more specifically about alternative models such as the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the efforts of SPARC. She is of the opinion that alternatives like open access will not happen unless an entire organization or society agrees to follow the new model of publishing.

Her logic makes sense, and it got me thinking about which group should take the initiative and start changing the way they went about scholarly communication. Then it hit me: Why don’t librarians do this first? We’re the ones who are complaining the loudest when publishers like Elsevier dominate the market and dictate pricing. We should be the leaders marching forward to change the way publishing works in the digital age! And then, I realized the irony of my proposal having come from a conversation I had while writing an article for an Elsevier publication.

When I was asked to write this article, I knew who published the journal. It gave me a few twinges, but I couldn’t turn down the offer. Not when this was a chance for a rookie librarian to get published in an internationally recognized journal! However, this is exactly the mentality that perpetuates the problems we are currently facing in scholarly communication. I don’t have a solution, and I don’t know if I ever will. I do know that in the future I will try to be conscientious about where I publish my contributions to the profession, but it won’t be easy.