Media Stories (May 2019)

Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2018

M. Blankstein, C. Wolff-Eisenberg, Ithaka S+R, April 2019

More than 10,000 faculty members responded to a survey put in the field in late 2018. This report documents trends in higher education as seen by those faculty members. Key findings relevant to the Newsline readership include:

  • Discovery starting points are shifting towards Google Scholar and other general search engines. While specific scholarly databases remain the most frequent starting point for research, faculty are increasingly beginning their exploration of scholarly literature with Google Scholar and other general-purpose search engines.
  • The role of the library in archiving materials is increasingly important. While faculty maintain that the library’s most important function is as the buyer of resources they need, they are finding the library’s ability to serve as a repository of resources increasingly important.
  • While faculty are increasingly interested in an open access publication model, traditional scholarly incentives continue to motivate their decision-making. Approximately two-thirds of respondents in this survey cycle indicated they would be happy to see the traditional subscription-based publication model replaced entirely by an open access system, which represents a greater share of respondents compared to the previous survey cycle. However, only four in ten faculty indicate open access characteristics of journals as highly influential in publication decisions.

A follow-up posting to the ITHAKA blog responded to questions arising from the community.

Go to Story

Five Essential Factors for Data Sharing

M. Lucraft; G. Baynes; K. Allin; I. Hrynaszkiewicz; V. Khodiyar, Springer-Nature, April 2019

This white paper investigates “how much needs to be done to make good research data practice as routine and commonplace as the publication of research articles and monographs.” The “five essential factors” laid out in this report include:

  • Clear policy: from funders, institutions, journals/publishers, and research communities themselves.
  • Better credit: to make data sharing worth a researcher’s time.
  • Explicit funding: for data management and data sharing, as well as data 
  • Practical help: for organising data, finding appropriate repositories, and 
provision of faster, easier routes to share data.
  • Training and education: to answer common questions from researchers on 
data sharing and to help build skills and knowledge. 

The white paper notes that a cross-sector approach is necessary to achieving the objective, specifically that “funders, institutions, publishers, and the wider research community, including researchers themselves, all have a role to play”.

Press Release

Go to White Paper

User Tracking on Academic Publisher Platforms

C. Hanson, Text Prepared for CNI Spring Meeting, April 8, 2019

Hansen's presentation investigates:

 “the page source from fifteen different publisher platform sites and found that publishers of library resources use technology on their platforms that actively undermine patron privacy. This advertising and marketing technology makes it impossible to ensure that the use of electronic library resources can be private.”

The page includes links to the presentation slides as well as to a YouTube recording of his CNI presentation.

Go to Story

It’s Complicated: Mozilla’s 2019 Internet Health Report

Mark Surman, Mozilla Blog, April 23, 2019

This is the third Internet Health report published by Mozilla, the community that supports free software and open standards for the Internet. The graphics- and link-heavy report synthesizes views from more than 200 experts and focuses on a variety of facets of the global Internet.

In particular, the 2019 report suggests that artificial intelligence, data collection and the Internet ecosystem in urban environments are areas most deserving of consideration. The report is divided into five specific sections: decentralization, web literacy, digital inclusion, privacy and security, and openness.

Surman notes that the objective of the report is:

“…to offer technologists and designers inspiration about what they might build; to give policymakers context and ideas for the laws they need to write; and, most of all, to provide citizens and activists with a picture of where others are pushing for a better internet, in the hope that more and more people around the world will push for change themselves.”

Go to Blog Post

A data citation roadmap for scholarly data repositories

M. Fenner, M. Crosas, J. Grethe, D. Kennedy, H. Hermjakob, P. Rocca-Serra, G. Durand, R. Berjon, S. Karcher, M. Martone, T. Clark; Scientific Data, Volume 6, Article number: 28 (10 April 2019)

Eighteen months after the introduction of the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles, this article presents a practical roadmap for scholarly data repositories to use in implementing those principles. The paper consists of 11 specific recommendations – required steps needed to support the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles; recommended steps that facilitate article/data publication workflows; and optional steps to improve data citation support provided by data repositories.  The work is openly accessible to all.

Go to Publication

ARL White Paper on Wikidata: Opportunities and Recommendations

S. Allison-Cassin, A. Armstrong, P. Ayers, MIT; T. Cramer, M. Custer, M. Lemus-Rojas, S. McCallum, M. Proffitt, M. Puente, J. Ruttenberg, A. Stinson, Association of Research Libraries, April 2019

This white paper was created by a “task force of expert Wikidata users” with the intent of informing ARL membership “about GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) activity in Wikidata and highlight opportunities for research library involvement, particularly in community-based collections, community- owned infrastructure, and collective collections”.  Those recommendations that are included are “based upon use cases in cultural heritage documentation, open scholarly communication, archival and bibliographic discovery...” and are targeted to both the individual library professional as well as library leadership and organizations.

Go to White Paper

SPARC Landscape Analysis: The Changing Academic Publishing Industry — Implications for Academic Institutions

C. Aspesi, N. Allen, R. Crow,
S. Daugherty, H. Joseph, J. McArthur, N. Shockey; SPARC, March 2019,

In response to the shifts in research service infrastructure for institutions of higher education (IHE), SPARC commissioned this overview of critical providers of scholarly and educational materials to those institutions. The report looks at seven major commercial players serving the academic marketplace -- Cengage, Clarivate Analytics, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson, Springer Nature Group, and Wiley. These providers have been adapting to changes in their businesses, and SPARC suggests that new strategies will continue to hold institutions hostage economically while posing privacy concerns for those required to use the licensed software systems.

The authors of the report state:

 “...these companies can invisibly
and strategically influence, and perhaps exert control, over key university decisions
– ranging from student assessment to research integrity to financial planning. Data about students, faculty, research outputs, institutional productivity, and more has, potentially, enormous competitive value. It represents a potential multi-billion-dollar market (perhaps multi-trillion, when the value of intellectual property is factored in), but its capture and use could significantly reduce institutions’ and scholars’ rights to their data and related intellectual property. A set of companies is moving aggressively to capitalize on this data, often by exploiting the decentralized nature of academic institutions.”

Go to story