Libraries care about “discovery” and usage statistics to justify the high costs of scholarly resources. Libraries also deeply care that these scholarly resources can be discovered and used for generations to come. The Internet has made the art of curation much more complex. CUA Archivists have elegantly written about their new dark arts of digital curation:
Libraries care about “discovery” and usage statistics to justify the high costs of scholarly resources. Researchers need to find sources that are available and use and attribute them ethically. Faculty researchers want to do their research, but need to get grants, publish research and be cited. In this age where “Google rules,” student researchers want access to everything now. Government agencies and funders want to track return on investment for public funding of research. Businesses and citizens benefit from products of scholarly research. We all benefit from life saving drugs and procedures of medical research. We should all care about research. All of these entities are intertwined in our increasingly complex scholarly ecosystem.
In this age of digital scholarship, the scholarly ecosystem involves players, systems and tools that need to be interoperable and machine-readable. Finding and accessing and reporting on research involves:
Understanding this ecosystem – and where researchers and librarians fit – is no easy task.
If we think about a single scholarly article, the metadata that explains that piece of work and makes it discoverable and accessible and accountable may have identifiers that include the author(s), the format, the institution, the funder, the publisher, any restrictions to access, and the repository or web site where it resides. These pieces of metadata are all persistent identifiers of that piece of work.
This slide (provided from ORCID which is fast becoming a persistent name identifier for researchers and acts as a hub for all the other parts of the ecosystem) gives you a picture of how the interconnected players work in this ecosystem.
What is ORCID?
ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors, and national boundaries and its cooperation with other identifier systems.
Next time you want to check Wikipedia for basics – try Wolfram Alpha to see how much more you get! Wolfram Alpha isn’t just for math anymore, it generates word clouds of song lyrics, and is pushing the limits of computation and art and music.
Summer is a good time to up your digital game – try new things or re-visit digital tools you haven’t used lately. Our suggestion today is Wolfram Alpha and the new cool things it can do. Wolfram Alpha is NOT a search engine. Think of it as your geekiest librarian friend.
Wolfram Alpha is an engine for computing answers and providing knowledge. [Source]
Projects across US Federal funding agencies are now searchable for the past 10 years. This tool, begun at NIH and now expanded across other agencies searches awarded grants. The value added for Universities is that we can now see all publications (and patents and citations) associated with a grant project.
In the future, datasets associated with grants will be found here.
Are we worried about too much Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) or the death of the humanities – or both? At many universities, including ours, we are having the conversations about making science more accessible to undergraduates in exploratory courses; and we are having the conversations about how science researchers can be better at communicating and creativity. We are also having a troubling conversation about how often a web site needs to be redesigned – yes, six years is way too long!
The following articles from many perspectives highlight the dichotomy between the humanities and sciences in higher education today that, hopefully, will inform higher education in the future.
Two excellent articles outline out the case for the importance of both humanities and sciences.
“A broad general education helps foster critical thinking and creativity. Exposure to a variety of fields produces synergy and cross fertilization. Yes, science and technology are crucial components of this education, but so are English and philosophy.”
“Turning to events internal to the intellectual world, we notice that during the last 150 years the humanities became radically eclipsed, even delegitimized, by the phenomenal success of their great intellectual rival, the hard sciences. The latter have rapidly built up an unprecedented edifice of knowledge. It is not only intellectually or theoretically superior to everything before — precise, systematic, and empirically verifiable — but also superior in its practical utility, generating unimagined new technologies for the improvement of human life. Today scientific knowledge is equated with real knowledge, all the rest seeming like folklore. All modern intellectuals suffer from physics envy. But even the extraordinary rise of modern science cannot adequately explain the current fate of the humanities. Empirical science is competent in the realm of measurable facts, but not in the realm of values. The wisdom of life and knowledge of the self that we desperately need come, not from scientific data, but from reflective accounts of the inner experience of being alive as a human being, and especially of being most fully, intensely, and authentically alive. The sciences eclipse the humanities in one way, but render them more necessary in another. By vastly expanding our power for good and ill, the rise of modern science greatly increases our need for self-knowledge and moral clarity.”Continue reading “Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Humanities or Sciences?”→
Notable in the STM trends analysis is the emphasis on research data. They also highlight the need for reputation management, both for individual researchers and institutions as they reply to mandates from funding entities. The trend of the changing research product (or the research article +) will impact researchers, publishers and libraries.
“… the developing form of the scholarly article as published output encompasses a variety of non-textual forms of content (video, data, software methods, other media, etc.). Those elements will ultimately be packaged, presented, and preserved in a smart network of connections that more effectively meet the needs of specific communities. In such a smart network, is the traditional article still recognized as in the print environment? Not necessarily, and even the term “article” may be a misnomer of sorts. But whatever those packaged elements may be called, it is clear that STM publishers are thinking about what form the evolving scholarly record may take in science and in academia.”
Newly Published will periodically highlight research produced at The Catholic University of America. These entries are indexed from the Web of Science (Arts & Humanities Index; Social Science Index; and Science Citation Index.) The entries below were indexed from April 1 – April 16, 2015.
The University Libraries at The Catholic University of America provides access to digital scholarship in multiple forms. This month, we are pleased to announce the acquisition of additional access to Web of Science back files! This expands access to the Arts & Humanities Index, the Social Sciences Index and the Science Index to more than 20 years of connected research.
Find new routes to discovery by tracing research backward in time and explore citing and cited articles that have influenced foundational research.
Calculate an accurate h-index by ensuring the full extent of an author’s past research is taken into account.
Open your institutions’ intellectual vault and increase the visibility of your full text collection and the value of your investment. [Source]
Web of Science collectively indexes … the world’s most influential scholarly journals, providing users with complete bibliographic data, searchable author abstracts, and cited references. The unique Web of Science feature–cited reference searching–allows users to navigate forward, backward, and through the multidisciplinary literature to uncover all the information relevant to their work. Cited reference searching also allows researchers to learn who is citing their work, and the impact they, or their colleagues, are having on the global research community. [Source]
The scholarly ecosystem gets more complicated every day. As this graphic depicts- click for larger size – there are new tools being used by researchers every day to discover, access, and use scholarly research.
Until the Open Access movement gains ground, most researchers are beholden to content providers, services, and academic libraries for their access to scholarly research in e-content form. And that access could be better!
To adapt, publishers, libraries, and intermediaries need to examine not only the usability of their own platforms and how they can continue to be improved, but also how they are in practice used in scholarly research alongside other platforms and services. To do so, they cannot bring researchers into their usability labs, but instead they must engage researchers in their workplaces, in campus offices, labs, libraries, and dorms, and equally in off-campus homes and housing.
At the main information desks of research libraries, desktop workstations are used to test access and services to e-resources; while our researchers are living in a multi-device digital world of mobile, laptop, and tablet access. We will be examining parts of this scholarly ecosystem in the coming months and its impact on our users.