Be inspired, be creative. Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Just in time for National Poetry Month – find open access poetry journals all in one place in a new, custom e-collection at the University Libraries!

Fountain Pen, by Antonio Litterio is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 US / lightened from original

From Abalone Moon to Valparaiso Poetry Review, you can now enjoy over sixty (60) open access poetry journals anyplace, anytime.  Open access (OA) means that no paid subscription is required and typically no login restriction is imposed.  While there may be no subscription cost, please be assured that these journals are part of EBSCO’s database of thousands of OA journals not only because of their commitment to the OA sharing model of publication but also because they operate under the same rigors of research and scholarship as other academic journals.

While these journals were previously available in our EBSCOhost database of OA journals, they were not easy to locate by subject until our cataloging department worked with our e-journal management vendor (EBSCO) to make this easy, custom collection of poetry titles possible.  Alternatively, you can also find OA poetry journals by doing this search in our catalog.

Take some time out from studying today to enjoy browsing these journals!  You may even find an opportunity to submit a work of your own.

For more on poetry, please visit our English Literature LibGuide.


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!

“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

Free “Copyright in Academia” Webinar: Sept. 27

(Hat tip to Mulford Library Blog:)

Register today for the free webinar, Copyright in Academia, offered by the Copyright Clearance Center.  The webinar will be held on Wednesday, September 27, from 2-3pm.

It will cover the basics of copyright (what is it?; fair use; public domain, etc.) in the context of the academic world, and may be of particular interest to faculty using course management systems for online and web-assisted classes.

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.

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For further reading:

Swan, A. (2010). The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date. University of Southampton.

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.

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.


OA at UT: A Snapshot (Part 1 of Several Reports)

OA logo orange 1

Last fall, the university’s open access steering committee distributed a survey to faculty, researchers and teaching assistants on both campuses to gauge their interest in and understanding of open access (OA) scholarly communication and publishing.  Survey results indicated that there is a wide range of both experience and views at The University of Toledo regarding OA.

“I currently serve on 2 OA editorial boards …” –Professor, Main Campus.

“The whole point of publication is to reach a wide audience.”   -Professor, Health Science Campus.

“I have not had any experiences with OA, but I do believe in its purpose.” — Lecturer, Main Campus.

“No personal experience, but peers do use this.” –Assistant Professor, Health Science Campus.

“I don’t know anything about open access.” -Associate Professor, Main Campus.

Both those who had previous experience with OA as an author, referee, or editor and those without such first-hand experience were in surprising agreement on most attitudes toward OA, except when it came to their preferred publishing model: traditional or OA.

As shown in the graph below, active OA participants (in blue) largely agree with those aware of OA but who have not actively participated (in red).   They seem to differ only in their agreement with the following statements:  “OA is the preferred method of scholarly communication” and “Publishing in traditional subscription-based journals is the preferred method”.

OA views active vs non-active

~~~~~~~~ Researchers are largely in agreement about OA ~~~~~~~~ OA Active = blue / OA Non-Active = red

So, except for Non-Active preference for traditional publishing methods, proportionate rates of views about OA are very similar.

Other elements of agreement are reflected in the statistics below.

Of ALL respondents (both campuses, all ranks, categories), a majority considered the following to be very important:

  • The “indexing or discoverability” of their work (55%)
  • Their work needs to be “available to a wide audience.”(54%)
  • The citing of their work by other researchers (52%)

blue open access logo horizontal

However, there remain some critical areas of concern that may influence the viewpoint on OA for some.  Of ALL respondents:

  • 70% are very concerned about the “formal recognition of their work as a scholarly product” (i.e., for promotion and tenure purposes) with 77% reporting that being published in a “peer-reviewed journal” is very important.
  • 53%  are very concerned about the permanence of their published work.
  • 53% are concerned about the individual financial aspects associated with publishing
  • 51% consider it very important to be published in the most highly ranked journal(s) in their field.
  • and 46% reported a very critical concern over the protection of their intellectual property.

These are all legitimate concerns that can be addressed by learning more about OA.  One of the biggest misunderstandings that lingers is the notion that OA publishing means not peer-reviewed.  For a list of helpful FAQs regarding OA, please see our LibGuide.

“The problem for scholars needing tenure is that sometimes these journals are not respected.”   –Professor, Main Campus.

“I don’t like to have to pay to publish.”  –Professor, Health Science Campus.

“sounds like an excellent venue for the dissemination of scholarly information.”  –Associate Professor, Main Campus

“…all journal [publishing] should be open access if the research has been carried out with tax-payer money.”  –Assistant Professor, Health Science Campus.

Overall the campus survey revealed some clear demarcations.  While more than one third (35%) of respondents reported having no experience with OA, nearly half (47%) reported having published articles in OA journals and a quarter (24%) indicated using OA publications in their research.  One third of respondents reported knowing colleagues who have participated in OA and approximately one quarter of respondents indicated at least an awareness of OA.  Furthermore, more than a quarter (28%) of respondents currently involved in research would consider publishing in OA journals.  Some of the notable differences in responses correlated to the campus and academic rank of the respondents.

OA  logo orange 2

The complete survey results set is available for viewing.

to be continued …

An Open Access Invitation for Faculty!

open access logo

This week (October 24-30) marks the fifth annual Open Access Week, sponsored by The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).  It will be celebrated in a number of ways worldwide.

The UT Libraries and Open Access Steering Committee would like to take this opportunity to poll UT faculty, research professors, clinical professors, lecturers, postdocs and others about their experiences, perceptions and views of open access.  You can help us by participating in Open Access – A Survey for UT Faculty.

Open Access. OA. You may have heard this term popping up more and more in your academic surroundings lately. But do you know exactly what it is?

OA is sometimes confused with open source which is a practice of sharing software code. Open Access, on the other hand, is a philosophy growing in acceptance and practice — that of communicating and sharing scholarly information, research and knowledge with few or no limitations or restrictions. A concise definition of OA can be found in the Budapest Open Access Initiative which emerged out of a meeting of the Open Society Institute in December 2001.

“By open access to … literature, we mean its immediate, free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose…”

For a more detailed explanation, see “What is Open Access?” by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

A small group of interested UT faculty have gathered together this fall to begin to investigate how the university might move in the direction of OA. Many faculty who have National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants are already familiar with the open access experience through the NIH Public Access Policy which “requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.” PubMed Central is just one example of a subject-specific open access repository.

Many faculty, however, are not familiar with the process or philosophy of open access. We hope that Open Access Week can begin to help those who are unfamilar catch up. A recent Chronicle of Higher Education blog post mentions the headway made by at least one early adopting institution, The University of Kansas, and the obstacles it still faces. However, The University of Kansas is now joined by nearly two dozen institutions who have taken up the call to address the crisis in journal publishing costs by implementing open access policies.

Watch for more updates on open access during Open Access Week and beyond!