Digital Scholarship @ The Libraries

Inspiring innovative digital scholarship at the OSU Libraries and beyond

Month: April 2013

Digital Scholarship and the Faculty Rewards System

Tenure-track faculty aspiring to achieve the highest academic ranks are often hesitant to explore creative and innovative modes of scholarship. While there are several possible reasons for their reluctance,  one may be the fact that alternative scholarship still does not carry as much weight during promotion and tenure reviews as traditional scholarship does.

Stephen Nichols, professor of medieval French literature at Johns Hopkins University, highlights this concern in Digital Scholarship in the University Tenure and Promotion Process: A Report on the Sixth Scholarly Communication Symposium at Georgetown University Library:

“… disincentives are so powerful as to discourage experimentation. Young scholars are counseled that they need solid print dossiers before they attempt digital scholarship and that, even then, they are still at some risk.”

A University of California, Berkeley report entitled The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices acknowledges that while faculty members realize that it is important to experiment with using alternative methods of scholarly communication, the challenge may be the inability to have those works properly evaluated by tenure review committees:

“There is presently a somewhat dichotomous situation in which electronic forms of print publications are used heavily, even nearly exclusively, by performers of research in many fields, but perceptions and realities of the reward system keep a strong adherence to conventional, high-stature print publications as the means of record for reporting research and having it evaluated institutionally.”

Review committees have a difficult time understanding the significance of digital scholarship, let alone knowing how to assess its impact. Review committees understand citation indexes and journal impact factors or book reviews as the evidence of impact of traditional scholarship. How does one determine the impact of a blog post, a web site, a YouTube video, or a slide deck posted on Slideshare? As a result, emerging forms of digital scholarship are often not defined in criteria documents and therefore not fully valued the faculty rewards system.

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Introducing Conference Publishing at the Libraries

The Libraries publishing program is introducing a new service to the OSU community – conference publishing. We will work with OSU faculty, staff, and students as they organize academic conferences on campus to increase the impact of the conference scholarship. The end result will vary based on the needs and goals of the conference organizers, but could include an open archive of presentations in the Knowledge Bank, or a formal, online proceedings. This is an important strategic initiative for the Libraries, and will provide a valuable service to conference organizers on campus.

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Open Scholarship (link)

450,000 Early Journal Articles made freely available

I wanted to call attention to a digital scholarship-related post by Terry Reese over on the IT blog. In it, he talks about the importance of open scholarship, and the roles played by libraries and organizations such as the Internet Archive.  At the risk of giving away the ending, here’s a brief snippet:

I personally think that this is a very exciting time to be part of the academic community, because you can feel the sea change…scholars are pushing for more open scholarship.  And in the library, we need to stand with our faculty, advocate for them, and celebrate our partners successes as we continue to champion for the widest possible access to academic scholarship and discoveries.

Cross-post from the Copyright Corner

The First Sale Doctrine and the Sale of Digital Goods in Light of Kirtsaeng and ReDigi, Inc.

A recent decision has attempted to clarify the scope of the first sale doctrine: Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi, Inc. In Kirtsaeng, a Thai graduate student, attending school in the United States, purchased foreign editions of textbooks in Thailand, shipped them to the United States, and then resold the books for profit.  The Supreme Court held that the first sale doctrine would apply, as the doctrine extends to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad. The Court’s decision in Kirtsaeng is limited to the sale of tangible or physical items. In our advancing technological world, questions remain in how far the first sale doctrine extends to the sale of digital goods. In other words, can a consumer resell songs purchased on iTunes or eBooks they have downloaded to their Kindle? A Company called ReDigi, Inc. believes that consumers should be able to resell digital music, unsurprisingly Capitol Records, LLC disagrees……..

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The Ohio Journal of Science Moves to Open Access

Late on a Friday afternoon in January, I got an e-mail message from Dr. Lynn Elfner, CEO of the Ohio Academy of Science and Acting Editor of The Ohio Journal of Science. Lynn has been an enthusiastic and long-time supporter of the digital archive of OJS in Knowledge Bank. I knew that he was interested in digital publishing, but I wasn’t expecting the great news that had just dropped into my inbox:

By unanimous vote on December 17, 2012, the Executive Committee approved moving The Ohio Journal of Science to a hybrid model: Rapid publication, Open Access online articles plus an annual, single printed volume and an April Annual Meeting Program Abstracts issue in print and online.

open-access-logoAttached to his message was a statement for subscribers bearing the familiar orange Open Access logo. I have been involved with Open Access Week activities on campus in the past, so reading this statement describing the logic behind the decision gave me goosebumps — the good kind. With such a long history of promoting science and science education in Ohio, it is no real surprise that the Academy chose to move in this direction.

Under a handful of titles, The Ohio Journal of Science has been publishing peer-reviewed articles in natural science, engineering, technology, and education for well over 100 years. Since 2006, OJS has been available to the world through Knowledge Bank. Before, the most recently published volumes were held back for two years. Now, articles will be transferred to KB and made available as soon as they are approved in page form.

So what will this mean for authors, researchers, and students? Articles from OJS have been included in major subscription-based indexing/abstracting databases for many years, but articles in Knowledge Bank are also discoverable through Google/Google Scholar. For the authors, fewer barriers to access will mean more readers for their work. Since 2008, more than 3.6 million OJS articles have been downloaded from KB by readers in more than 150 countries. Without a doubt, the audience is out there.

Conference publishing pilot

Currently, conference organizers at OSU have few tools for building conference websites, accepting and reviewing submissions, and posting the scholarship online. To help address this gap, the publishing program was tasked by library leadership with investigating the possibility of providing conference publishing services to the campus community.  This post shares the results of our pilot project and our plans for going forward.

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