Academic papers should be made free to access within six months of publication, according to a draft policy from Research Councils UK (RCUK). They should also have a permissive licence (Creative Commons CC-BY), which would make their content free to use commercially if properly attributed.
Why your new ejournal or website should not look too slick…
“When we watch people try to complete tasks on websites we notice that often the more visually appealing something is, the more they ignore it. If it looks like marketing or an ad, then people dismiss it as having low value or credibility. In the eyes of many customers, ugly equals authentic and credible. Ugly helps you get the task completed quickly without any fuss or distraction. Ugly is going to give you the details. Ugly is not hiding anything. Ugly does not waste your time on surface images and trivial jargon and hype.”
And yet, on the other hand, any Web design that shrieks “generic old-school blog template” will trigger the preconceptions arising from the over-use of such templates on spam blogs. The ideal is perhaps to be relatively plain/simple on the landing page, but also to tweak the template so as to display small carefully-crafted human touches in the design and layout.
Many open ejournals do pretty well on the ugly/authentic score. But some loose points with visitors by saying “here’s a naff 400px picture of this issue’s journal cover, click on it to see the table of contents”. That’s an annoying time-waster and means it can take as many as four clicks to get from the front page to an actual article. If you really must inflict a picture cover on readers, then stick it at the side of — or even behind — the table-of-contents.
Anvil Academic is a new “fully digital, non-profit publisher for the humanities”…
“Anvil will focus on publishing new forms of scholarship that cannot be adequately conveyed in the traditional monograph.”
All its content will be Creative Commons, and the first Anvil title is set for “late 2012″.
Incidentally, Open Reflections has a new long article from someone who’s actually gone through the risky process of using… “digital tools to explore open access, collaboration, remix” as part of creating a work titled The Future of the Scholarly Monograph and the Culture of Remix.
A report on JISC Discovery 2012 (11th Jan 2012).
Omeka: a complete WordPress-like digital collections management system, for academics. It’s free, from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. It’s easy to install and use, and has themes, and plugins, and media support, just like WordPress.
* Allow users to add a comment and rating to any record. Also add social media buttons.
* Add Library of Congress Subject Headings to your records
* Have your collection records be readable for Zotero users
David Shotton proposes The Five Stars of Online Journal Articles…
“I propose five factors — peer review, open access, enriched content, available datasets and machine-readable metadata — as the Five Stars of Online Journal Articles.”
From a search perspective, I might suggest we need to add another star for “Googlyness”, when all the following factors are present…
* search-engine friendliness (i.e.: make sure the article title shows up as the clickable link in search results, not something like “43w94.taryyt.indd”)
* RSS feeds for linked tables-of-contents
* embedding of the journal title and home URL in each individual PDF or HTML article page (so they can be easily tracked back, after they get casually downloaded to a hard-drive)
Just published, details of the number of open access ejournals in the state-controlled Chinese National Knowledge Information (CNKI) database…
“We identified and analysed the 147 journals offering open access (OA) among the 2960 scholarly journals indexed by the Chinese National Knowledge Information (CNKI) database in the humanities and social sciences”
Dehau Hu. “The availability of open access journals in the humanities and social sciences in China“. Online at the Journal of Information Science, 4th January 2012.
In 2009 it was reported there were “1,856 print journals in the humanities” in the CNKI. It indexes journals from 1915 onwards. The pages were apparently until recently ‘hard’ scanned images of pages, in order to prevent keyword searches of full-text. No journal publication outside of the CNKI is permitted. PDFs are now available via this service.
Previously on JURN blog…
List of Society Publishers With Open Access Journals, second edition (Dec 2011). There are about 50 listed in the arts and humanities.
An interesting new Nov 2011 journal article…
Sian Evans, Hilary Thompson, and Alex Watkins. “Discovering Open Access Art History: A Comparative Study of the Indexing of Open Access Art Journals” (PDF full-text link).
The researchers found 30 art history titles listed in the DOAJ directory. They then looked for the presence of these in Art Full Text, ARTbibliographies Modern, Art & Architecture Complete, and Bibliography of the History of Art / International Bibliography of Art. They found that only 6 of the 30 DOAJ titles were being indexed by these commercial databases. But half the time the actual full-text article was still inaccessible…
“50% of the time [in the commercial databases] there was no indication that the article could be read for free, nor was the full text provided”
By contrast, Google Scholar indexed 15 of the 30 DOAJ art history titles, and provided handy click-through links to full-text articles, albeit at the price of jumbling them in among results from a host of paywalled results drawn from commercial databases, Google Books, and the like.
Of course, JURN indexes all 30 — and the JURN Directory currently links to more than 60 titles in the art history category. Plus journals in museology and heritage conservation, and also the wider collection of history journals.
It was also interesting to read in the article that…
“No study regarding the indexing of open access journals has yet been conducted in the arts”.
Is there really not a single librarian, or even an OA advocate, in the entire world who is or has been interested in such matters?
Sadly, the authors find that…
“the vast majority of open access art scholarship remains undiscoverable for specialists in the field.”
Annotum is now available. First mooted in March 2011, it’s now a new WordPress theme that aims to deliver a….
* simple, robust, easy-to-use authoring system to create and edit scholarly articles
* an editorial review and publishing system that can be used to submit, review, and publish scholarly articles
An open-source, open-process, open-access scholarly authoring and publishing platform based on WordPress, built on the Carringon Theme framework. Annotum provides a complete, open-access scholarly journal production system including peer-review, workflow, and advanced editing and formatting features such as structured figures, equations, PubMed and CrossRef reference import, and structured XML input and output compatible with the National Library of Medicine’s Journal Article DTD.
Could be especially useful for university librarians who have journal management foisted on them?
A summary of the Open Access Journal Publishing in the Arts and Humanities workshop, held at the SaS in London on 20th October 2011.
Open Spires, open podcasts from the University of Oxford. Started in 2009, and now seemingly getting up more of a head of steam. Such a pity that there’s no unified RSS feed, though. The feeds are all for the individual departments and schools. Oxford, please remember that there’s an “In Our Time” audience out there that doesn’t much care about disciplinary boundaries. On the credit side, MP3 downloads are allowed.
The famous Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, are now permanently free online. The London-based Royal Society is offering this great resource in the history of science (1665-1887) to the whole world — you don’t have to be in the UK to access it.
In the UK, the Universities and Science Minister is reported as saying that the research excellence framework (the national assessment exercise coming in from 2014) will seemingly take no notice of which journal an academic publishes in..
“Individual universities may have a different perspective on the journals you should have published in when it comes to promotion and recruitment, but the REF process makes no such judgements,” he said.
It will apparently also…
“encourage departments to “look beyond publication in a peer-reviewed journal as the be all and end all of academic life”.
Open Access Africa 2010 conference — full video coverage now online, for free.
From the Media Commons Press, New School in New York City, the free Learning through Digital Media : essays on technology and pedagogy (2011)…
“This collection of essays is a project in preparation for Mobility Shifts, an international summit about the future of learning that will take place at the New School, October 10-16, 2011.”
A new January 2011 issue of the Open Access Newsletter, providing a useful round-up of what has been a boom year for open access. The DOAJ added 1,401 new ‘pure’ OA titles in 2010, and as a regular tracker of these I’d guesstimate that perhaps 8 to 10 percent of these were arts and humanities titles (about 120 to 140 titles?). Not all of these were newly launched, since the DOAJ also sometimes retrospectively indexes established titles from previous years. In the arts and humanities the DOAJ currently lists 944 titles. So combining these figures might very roughly suggest a 14% increase in DOAJ arts and humanities titles during 2010?