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Comparing Published Scientific Journal Articles to Their Pre-print Versions

Submitted by Blake on Mon, 04/25/2016 - 17:12
Academic publishers claim that they add value to scholarly communications by coordinating reviews and contributing and enhancing text during publication. These contributions come at a considerable cost: U.S. academic libraries paid $1.7 billion for serial subscriptions in 2008 alone. Library budgets, in contrast, are flat and not able to keep pace with serial price inflation. We have investigated the publishers' value proposition by conducting a comparative study of pre-print papers and their final published counterparts. This comparison had two working assumptions: 1) if the publishers' argument is valid, the text of a pre-print paper should vary measurably from its corresponding final published version, and 2) by applying standard similarity measures, we should be able to detect and quantify such differences. Our analysis revealed that the text contents of the scientific papers generally changed very little from their pre-print to final published versions. These findings contribute empirical indicators to discussions of the added value of commercial publishers and therefore should influence libraries' economic decisions regarding access to scholarly publications.
From [1604.05363] Comparing Published Scientific Journal Articles to Their Pre-print Versions

KU Libraries adds nearly 1,000 zines to radical lit collection

Submitted by Blake on Wed, 04/13/2016 - 16:45
By their very nature, zines were almost meant to be enjoyed briefly, then fade away. The University of Kansas Libraries is now home to a substantial collection of fan-made, self-published magazines — better known simply as zines — that provide a window into politics, fandom, music, community, history and the idea of “do it yourself” communications both before and after the Internet became a dominant vehicle for communication and expression.
From KU Libraries adds nearly 1,000 zines to radical lit collection | The University of Kansas

The importance of teaching online privacy at the college

Submitted by Blake on Mon, 04/11/2016 - 13:50
I really like the closing paragraph here! I might replace "The College" with "The College Library" :-)
If the College’s mission truly is to mold us into informed citizens and consumers, an excellent place for it to start would be with this issue of data security and online privacy. Even a brief session during orientation would be an improvement; if not to teach us how to be fully secure in our data, then simply to let us know that it is not, by itself, fully secure. An even better option, as suggested by Tracy Mitrano — an academic dean at the University of Massachusetts Cybersecurity Certificate Programs — would be a GER course in information literacy. Only then could the College say it produces truly informed citizens.
From The importance of teaching online privacy at the college | Flat Hat News

A spiritual successor to Aaron Swartz is angering publishers all over again

Submitted by Blake on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 14:53
But suddenly in 2016, the tale has new life. The Washington Post decries it as academic research's Napster moment, and it all stems from a 27-year-old bioengineer turned Web programmer from Kazakhstan (who's living in Russia). Just as Swartz did, this hacker is freeing tens of millions of research articles from paywalls, metaphorically hoisting a middle finger to the academic publishing industry, which, by the way, has again reacted with labels like "hacker" and "criminal." Meet Alexandra Elbakyan, the developer of Sci-Hub, a Pirate Bay-like site for the science nerd. It's a portal that offers free and searchable access "to most publishers, especially well-known ones." Search for it, download, and you're done. It's that easy. "The more known the publisher is, the more likely Sci-Hub will work," she told Ars via e-mail. A message to her site's users says it all: " remove all barriers in the way of science."
From A spiritual successor to Aaron Swartz is angering publishers all over again | Ars Technica

How to Make Psychology Studies More Reliable

Submitted by Blake on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 16:41
There’s another way, says Eric Luis Uhlmann from INSEAD: Get your own studies independently replicated before they are published. He is leading by example. In August 2014, he asked 25 independent teams to repeat all of his group’s unpublished experiments, before he submitted them to academic journals.
From How to Make Psychology Studies More Reliable - The Atlantic

The Future of Academic Style: Why Citations Still Matter in the Age of Google

Submitted by Blake on Wed, 03/30/2016 - 07:50
Academic style, however, is another thing entirely. This is not to say that there is not “style” in academic writing, contrary to both popular belief and a lot of self-skewering academic jokes. Academic style is dull, jargon-filled, overly ornate, hubristic, timid, and generally bad, and no one says so more than academics themselves. Eric Hayot dug into this reflexive disdain in a recent essay in the journal Critical Inquiry, exploring the oddities of the ways that literary scholars seem to think about scholarly writing, pointing out that “it’s weird for a profession to have one theory of language for its objects and another for its products.” If scholars genuinely care about academic writing, Hayot suggests, we might begin by giving up our contempt for the aspects that make it uniquely our own.
From The Future of Academic Style: Why Citations Still Matter in the Age of Google - The Los Angeles Review of Books

Library Leadership for the Digital Age

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 03/29/2016 - 17:51
To understand the demands for digital leadership, they conducted a comprehensive study of successful digital organizations, as defined by the extent to which they met their mission and achieved profitability. They found ten surprisingly consistent practices among these digital leaders, and for purposes of making the case for digital leadership in libraries; I am borrowing their ten descriptors of successful digital organizations as my headings and adding some interpretation to connect these practices from a broader context of organizational types specifically to academic libraries. . So what are these successful digital organizations doing? 1. Building a comprehensive digital strategy that can be shared broadly and repeatedly across the organization. 2. Embedding digital literacy across the organization. 3. Renewing focus on business fundamentals 4. Embracing the new rules of customer engagement. 5. Understanding global differences in how people access and use the Internet. 6. Developing the organization's analytical skills. 7. Focusing on the customer experience. 8. Developing leaders with skill sets that bridge traditional and digital expertise. 9. Paying close attention to cultural fit when recruiting digital leaders. 10. Understanding the motivations of top talent.

Publicly Funded Research Should Be Publicly Available #FASTR

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 03/29/2016 - 08:01
When you pay for federally funded research, you should be allowed to read it. That’s the simple premise of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (S.779, H.R.1477), which was just passed out of a major Senate committee. Under FASTR, every federal agency that spends more than $100 million on grants for research would be required to adopt an open access policy. Although the bill gives each agency some flexibility to develop a policy appropriate to the types of research it funds, each one would require that published research be available to the public no later than 12 months after publication.
From Tell Congress: It’s Time to Move FASTR | Electronic Frontier Foundation

San Jose State University library attack highlights safety issues

Submitted by Blake on Fri, 03/18/2016 - 09:08

“Academic libraries, in particular those that are at public institutions, want to allow walk-in access, certainly,” said Ann Campion Riley, president of the Association of Research and College Libraries and acting director of libraries at the University of Missouri at Columbia. “But we do have to balance that with security concerns for students and other users.”

From San Jose State University library attack highlights safety issues

Handful of Biologists Went Rogue and Published Directly to Internet

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 03/15/2016 - 14:08

It was a small act of information age defiance, and perhaps also a bit of a throwback, somewhat analogous to Stephen King’s 2000 self-publishing an e-book or Radiohead’s 2007 release of a download-only record without a label. To commemorate it, she tweeted the website’s confirmation under the hashtag #ASAPbio, a newly coined rallying cry of a cadre of biologists who say they want to speed science by making a key change in the way it is published.

From Handful of Biologists Went Rogue and Published Directly to Internet - The New York Times