An interesting report has just been issued by COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories ) providing best practices and strategies for populating and sustaining an institutional repository. A must read for those just getting started with IRs…Preliminary Report – Sustainable Best Practices for Populating Repositories
A summary of selected COAR findings below. I find many of these consistent with my experience as an IR manager.
- Populating repositories remains a challenge and as a result many institutions are using a multi-faceted strategy to actively recruit content.
- Most content recruitment practices are fairly resource intensive and involve staff resources.
- OA mandates do not result in high deposit rates without support for depositing content.
- It is apparent that many repositories are expanding their scope to collect a much wider range of content including data and digitized collections.
- So far, there are no “magic bullets” for fast and easy populating of repositories.
- There are a few sustainable practices for populating repositories
- Researcher advocacy
- Using usage statistics to increase deposits
- Rights checking and content submission services
- Automated downloading of citation data (from citation databases or institutional publication lists)
- Full text harvesting (from institutional web sites or disciplinary repositories)
- Repositories and Research Assessment Exercises (REAs)
- Direct deposit by publishers
Let’s face it: most of us fall short of perfection when it comes to managing our personal digital materials. Even us digital propellerheads don’t follow proper best practices when dealing with our own personal digital photos, music, and other media.
What is there to do about this? Library of Congress has just announced resources for libraries and cultural institutions (such as toolkits) that can assist these institutions in sponsoring and hosting local personal archiving workshops. Cool!
A development in “open education” in California…
From The Chronicle of Higher Ed:
It first started “when Washington State announced its Open Course Library initiative in October,” but since then others have joined the bandwagon. “The University of Massachusetts at Amherst awarded 10 teaching faculty $1,000 grants this spring as a part of its Open Education Initiative.” And perhaps more significantly, “Darrell Steinberg, the leader of California’s Senate, proposed a bill to establish the online California Digital Open Source Library, which if enacted “will allocate $25-million in state funds to create 50 free online college textbooks.”
“Predatory, open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally exploit the author-pays model of open-access publishing for their own profit. Typically, these publishers spam professional email lists, broadly soliciting article submissions for the clear purpose of gaining additional income. Operating essentially as vanity presses, these publishers typically have a low article acceptance threshold, with a false-front or non-existent peer review process. Unlike professional publishing operations, whether subscription-based or ethically-sound open access, these predatory publishers add little value to scholarship, pay little attention to digital preservation, and operate using fly-by-night, unsustainable business models.”
View the list of predatory publishers, as identified by Jeffrey Beall, at Beall’s List of Predatory, Open-Access Publishers.
A few months ago, Google Scholar Citations released their tool, but only to a lucky few. After some tweaking, Google has finally released the tool for the rest of us to use!
Google Scholar Citations makes it easy for authors to compute their citation metrics and track them over time. A shortcoming of this tool: it assumes that all scholarship is digitally available on the web.
In any case, it will be interesting to see how this tool and its use in academe evolves.
Fight for the Future has cooked up the “Free Bieber” campaign to raise awareness about a bill in Congress that would make it a felony for posting videos that contain copyright-infringing music.
As we all know, the phenom known as Justin Bieber started his career by posting videos of himself performing copyrighted tunes. Does that mean “the Biebs” should go to jail too?
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a study that investigates if textbooks are too expensive. Interestingly, 7 out of 10 students report that they’ve not purchased a textbook at least once, due to the high cost. This study and the comments left by Higher Ed readers is quite interesting.
Figshare, created by and for researchers and scientists worldwide touts itself as a permanent research data storage and sharing platform.
But, most interestingly, “FigShare offers full search and browse, all data is citable with handles for persistence, and the upload function is amazingly quick and simple. The interface is clean and intuitive with everything that users need to know provided up front. Data is visualised and everything is clickable.” [Thanks to the DCC blog]
Not to mention that they have incorporated CreativeCommons licensing into the upload proces. Cool.
In this day and age, one would assume that most webpages with dynamic, newly updated content would provide RSS feeds. But, alas, sometimes this is not true. To avoid the hassle of needing to check the webpage daily, ChangeDetection.com and GoogleAlerts are two free services that will alert you when new content is available on the URL in question.
Google now offers a cool data sharing and visualization tool called Google Fusion Tables.
- Upload small or large data sets from spreadsheets or CSV files.
- Visualize your data on maps, timelines and charts.
- Pick who can access your data; hide parts of your data if needed.
- Merge data from multiple tables.