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.
There should be a course for this! Open Access does not mean free. The Public Library of Science (PLoS) defines Open Access as “unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse.” The Open Access movement founding is often attributed to the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) and Peter Suber has written and presented in detail about Open Access. For the most informative and concise overview please read Open Access Overview by Peter Suber.
…if future publications are open access it could save us all a lot of anguish and (even better) knowledge could spread much more easily and widely. The money, and the future, is already here. It’s just distributed badly. We can do better, and we will, slowly but surely.
For many years, ICPSR has hosted several public-access research data archives that are sustained by federal and foundation funding. ICPSR’s 2014 Data Fair will feature webinars about many of these archives and collections, including an introduction to the National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture; the R-DAS collection at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive; two Gates Foundation-funded collections at the Resource Center for Minority Data; an orientation to the National Addiction and HIV Data Archive Program; and a Q & A about the Gates Foundation-funded Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database. You will find descriptions of these webinars in the Data Fair program. Other offerings will include a presentation about ICPSR’s current efforts to fund and achieve sustainable public-access data sharing models, including its newly launched collection known as openICPSR.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has implemented their own Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science (DOE PAGES – Beta) as a repository for federally funded research.
In US Department of Energy Announces Public Access Plan (David Crotty, Aug. 4, 2014), copyright issues, text and data mining access, and use of data management principles are discussed. These issues and more will need to evolve through communication and practice.
Will the DOE Public Access Plan constitute “major shift in the scholarly publishing landscape” as Crotty writes?
Update: From DOE/Office of Scientific and Technical Information