OA survey results in, analysis soon to follow

Last month the University Libraries conducted an institution-wide OA survey.  We are very pleased with the number of responses received.  At this time we would like to share our preliminary results set with you.  We will offer analysis of some of our findings shortly.

We’d also like to announce the winners of our drawing for several Starbucks gift card/insulated cup packages:  Erin Crawford, Dr. David Nemeth, and Dr. Stephanie Hughes.

And we thank everyone again for their participation!

University Libraries conducting a new survey on “open access”

open access logoAlthough the annual Open Access Week is several months behind us, the University Libraries is interested in keeping the conversation on open access going.

Just over two years ago the University Libraries conducted a survey to gauge UT’s institutional perception of and experience with the open access (OA) publishing environment.  If you are a faculty member or researcher, GA or TA, we would like to invite you to participate in our NEW follow-up survey.

The IRB-approved survey (which takes about 10 minutes to complete) asks first some basic questions about your understanding, views and experiences with open access research and publishing.  The second part of the survey asks your opinions on the best use of an institutional repository.  The “institutional repository” (or IR) has become the preferred scholarly publishing and digital curation tool for researchers at universities worldwide.   It serves both as a storehouse and a showcase of the intellectual and creative output of an institution:  from faculty research articles and data sets, to student theses, dissertations and projects, to media and grey literature, conference presentation files, and more.  The IR can even serve as a publishing platform.  The University Libraries will soon be launching a brand new IR and so we would like to have as much feedback as possible on the best way to maximize its value and impact.  If you would like, you can read more about repositories here.

So if you are a faculty member, GA or TA, please consider taking the survey!  Upon completion of the survey you may opt in for a random prize drawing.  Thanks.

UPDATE [3/2/14]:  Survey is now closed.  Thanks to all who participated!

Guest artist Blocksma to lecture on found and repurposed materials

Please join us Wednesday, January 15 at noon when the Canaday Center in Carlson Library will host an interesting art lecture with the UT Art Department’s visiting artist Dewey Blocksma, a former emergency room physician and local outsider artist who has become renowned for his creative and imaginative work with found objects and repurposed materials.  Learn more about the artist.

The lecture is co-sponsored by Friends of the Library.

Dewey Blocksma Event Poster

 

Reference Assistance over Break

Carlson Library will provide reference and research assistance on a limited basis during the following hours over the holiday break:

December 16 – 20 (Monday through Friday):  10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Please contact us using the phone number, email address or chat box found at the lower left of our main page and a librarian will assist you.  For more information you may also want to check our reference libguide.

Reference hours will return to a full schedule beginning the first week of classes, Spring Semester.

Library System Maintenance – Advance Notice

The University Libraries’ online catalog and remote database access will be unavailable on Monday, December 16th from approximately 11 AM to 5 PM.*           We will be performing critical server maintenance and apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

During this system downtime, you will not be able to request OhioLINK books or access research databases.  If you need help with research or need to check out a book, please see a library staff member for assistance.

*Please check periodically throughout the day to see if systems are back up and running earlier than expected!

NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

Earlier this week some NaNoWriMo participants gathered in Carlson Library’s Dorothy MacKenzie Price Model Classroom to celebrate their month-long achievement:  completing — or attempting to complete — a first draft of a novel.  Although not everyone who set out to “write a novel in 30 days” was successful, many were able to enjoy the satisfaction of having challenged themselves to a month of uncommon and unfettered writing creativity.

Of the approximately 25 participants who initially signed up with the Carlson Library NaNoWriMo group, just a handful reported that they had crossed the finish line – completing the necessary 50,000 words to be considered a “winner” in NaNoWriMo lingo.  Most others completed enough of a story to at least get a taste of the challenge and to obtain a small sense of achievement.  This is no small feat considering how busy the semester gets this time of year.

This year was the library’s first experience with hosting the national event (co-hosted with the UT Writer’s Guild and English Department).  Carlson Library hopes to host future NaNoWriMos.  Do you have a novel in you?

Carlson Library reference and research assistance continues

A reminder that Reference Assistance will continue throughout the holidays* during the following hours:

M-Th   10:00 AM – 5 PM

Friday   12 PM – 3 PM

*(through January 4)

You may contact librarians in person (via the Circulation Desk), or by phone, email or chat (see “General Information” for contact details, left-hand side of page).  If chat is closed or if a librarian is unavailable, please feel free to leave a voice message or an email and we will respond as soon as we can.  The staff at the Circulation Desk will also be happy to assist you with certain requests.

We wish you a happy and prosperous new year!

“Unlock your Data!” (free event: save the date!)

The week of October 22 marks the sixth annual international “Open Access Week”!

You may remember that last October, the UT Libraries participated in the OA Week celebrations by surveying UT faculty and researchers on their knowledge, experience and perceptions of the open access model of publishing.

In May, we distributed results of that survey and in August we followed up with another article spotlighting certain aspects of those results.

Want to learn more about open access publishing?  In person?  For free? 

UT/BG Open Access Week flyerLibrarians from UT and BGSU recently got together to plan an informative day for those who would like to learn more.   Come join us on Tuesday, October 23 in the Driscoll Center (Schmakel Room) on Main Campus to interact in person with colleagues on the challenges and rewards of taking part in an open access publishing environment.  This all-day event will help answer questions for you on what open access publishing is and it will allow you to share stories with other researchers, professors and scholars.  Students are welcome too.

In the spirit of open access, this event is free of charge (and includes a free lunch!)

To attend in person, please RSVP by October 16 to the email posted in the link below.

Because seating is limited, you will also have the option to participate online if you cannot make it through the door.   (instructions forthcoming)

see full schedule

Open Access, Journal Quality and Impact (Part 2 of Several Reports)

by Wade Lee

In May, we wrote about UT faculty perceptions of and experiences with open access (OA) publishing.  As promised, we continue today with our series of special reports on our survey results.  In our October 2011 survey, we asked faculty which of a variety of factors they felt were important considerations when choosing a publishing venue.  Fifty-three percent indicated that being published in the most highly ranked journals in their field was very important (an additional 35% ranked this of medium importance).  Additionally, 77% indicated that the formal recognition of their work as a scholarly product (i.e., for promotion/tenure purposes) was a critical issue.  In their answers to the open-ended questions, several members discussed journal prestige, with one specifically mentioning an Impact Factor threshold necessary before he or she would publish in a journal.

How is journal rank determined in academia?  Journal Impact Factors (calculated by Thomson Reuters) are often used as a proxy measurement for the relative prestige of a journal.  While they were originally conceived as a way for librarians to rank journals for purchasing decisions, they have been (mis)used for the ranking or evaluation of individual authors as well.  An Impact Factor is simply the average number of citations per article in a journal over the previous two-year period.  Thus, a very highly-cited article published within the last two years will increase the Impact Factor of a journal.  Due to the skewed distribution of the citation rates of articles in a journal, most articles receive fewer citations than the Impact Factor would indicate.

OpenAccesslogo blue horizontal

How does this relate to Open Access?  It is perhaps a common misconception that OA journals do not have Impact Factors.  To the contrary, Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science database indexes 1066 Open Access journals, the majority of which have Impact Factors calculated and published in Journal Citation Reports.  (To have an impact factor calculated, the journal must have been indexed by Web of Science for at least 3 years.)  We determined the Impact Factor and relative rank within its subject discipline (by quartile) for the 688 journals that are published solely in English.  As with non-Open Access journals, OA journals appear in the full range of impact quartiles, although as a group slightly more appear in the lower quartiles.  We found that 18.2% are ranked in Q1 (the top 25%) of their disciplinary journals, 23.2% in Q2, 31.7% in Q3, and 26.8% in Q4 (the bottom 25%).  There are 177 journals ranked in the top 25% of their discipline.  Certain Open Access publishers, such as Public Library of Science (PLoS) and BioMedCentral (BMC) are well-represented among these top-tier journals.   See Appendix (opens a 3-page PDF file).

It is important to remember, also, that this analysis is just for journals that are entirely Open Access.  Many commercial and society publishers of subscription-based journals have options for authors publishing in their journals to pay an extra fee to make their individual article available in an Open Access manner — a system sometimes called hybrid or author-choice Open Access.  These articles appear in the same journals (with the same impact factors) that researchers have always published in.

Many OA journals provide ways to assess an article’s impact beyond simply substituting the journal’s Impact Factor as a proxy for influence.  A number of OA journals and OA disciplinary repositories allow authors to see not only how many articles have cited their work, but how many times it was accessed or downloaded, or allow other researchers to comment on the work.  All of these are direct and oftentimes more immediate measures of the interest in and impact of an author’s work.  Thus OA metrics may be more accurate for measuring scholarly output and influence.  Over time, this may even make the prestige ranking of an OA journal more meaningful than one that is based on the traditional Impact Factor alone.

open access logo

For further reading:

Swan, A. (2010). The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date. University of Southampton.  http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/268516/

This paper presents a summary of reported studies on the Open Access citation advantage. There is a brief introduction to the main issues involved in carrying out such studies, both methodological and interpretive. The study listing provides some details of the coverage, methodological approach and main conclusions of each study.

Wagner, A. B. (2010). Open Access Citation Advantage: An Annotated Bibliography. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.  http://www.istl.org/10-winter/article2.html

This annotated bibliography lists studies and review articles that examine whether open access (OA) articles receive more citations than equivalent subscription; i.e., toll access (TA) articles.

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