Public Access and Federal Agencies: Staying the Course

Dartmouth’s Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing Program actively supports researchers and scholars to fulfill the requirements from funding agencies, whether federal government or private foundations, to make the results of funded research publicly available to the taxpayers and other stakeholders responsible for the funding. With the dramatic changes in the U.S. federal government agencies, some have wondered about the fate of these public access requirements. It is important to note that the support for tax payer access to the results of funded research has always been a bi-partisan issue,and that governmental public access programs are integrated into policies and procedures at this point, and private funders like the Gates Foundation have asserted the importance of public access. That said, for those who want to follow the developments, here are a few recent posts:

David Wojick, a part time Senior Consultant for Innovation at OSTI, the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, in the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy, has a useful blog called insidepublicaccess. Wojick’s blog has recently featured posts on tracking the movements of the Trump Administration as it pertains to open access to and support of science and technology.

It is difficult to determine the longer term impact of statements and actions because they change so rapidly. Daily changes surrounding these and other federal issues has created a sense of chaos. However, following is a summary of recent ones related to public access, in an attempt to acknowledge the progression of actions and statements.

In November 2016, James Carafano (Heritage Foundation), was identified as a member of the “landing team” for the Department of Homeland Security. Carafano was the lead author of a Heritage Foundation report released during summer entitled “Science Policy: Priorities and Reforms for the 45th President.” While the report covers many issues surrounding science policy reform, one of the report’s strongest recommendations is the elimination of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy(OSTP). The OSTP has been a major source for federal funding for science and technology research.

In December 2016, the head of the Department of Energy transition team was replaced.  The DOE has been a leading developing the Public Access Program, which requires scholarship funded by federal grants to be free and open to the public who pay taxes to support these kinds of grants. The future of the Public Access Program will be determined by the heads of Federals Agencies, some of which have yet to be defined.

Late January 2017, The Office of Science and Technology Policy website was removed. It is now archived on the Obama Administration’s website

Late January 2017, Wojick writes via the Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI) listserv that as of now, the OSTP will remain and notes that science has typically had bipartisan support, and may still do well under the Trump Administration.

Late January 2017, there were “reports of the Trump administration’s attempts to order media blackouts of federal agencies.” The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom posted a statement condemning government agency censorship.

January 29, 2017, Ars Technica published an article noting the chaotic and confusing start to the Trump Administration’s actions surrounding support for science and technology research.  The article points out that decisions made one day have been redacted the next, thereby creating confusion and uncertainty. Of notable concern right now are vanishing webpages, which are now archived on Obama Administration website.

Much work has already been done to create frameworks for new Federal Agency heads to follow as they make decision about open access to research and scholarship.  One of these frameworks is the Federal Agency Open Licensing Playbook

It is important to keep the fundamental principles of public access to funded research in mind! 

Please contact us in the Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing Program with questions! 

Barbara DeFelice and Jen Green

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Making sense from chaos: our global context

Our work in scholarly communication is necessarily global, and the two of us in Dartmouth’s Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing Program are involved with international conferences this year, the Open Scholarship Initiative which is to be held in the U.S. and the Open Repositories meeting which is to be held in Australia. The order from our current government regarding travel has a real impact on both these international endeavors. In addition, a focus of our program is expanding access to the results of Dartmouth scholarship and research, and the role of the federal funding agencies is critical to that work. So we are taking stock of the situation. 

Within the scope of copyright, intellectual freedom, and open access, chaotic statements and actions from government officials have caused librarians and scholars to be concerned. As we watch what develops in the next days and weeks, it is important to know that organizations representing and supporting open scholarship in a global context have clear statements about their core values and mission. These statements and their steady language about working with colleagues, policy makers, and administrators internationally can provide reassuring frameworks to help us all navigate transitional and turbulent times.

Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI)

“OSI is a global collaborative effort between all major stakeholders in scholarly publishing to improve the future of how research information gets published, shared and accessed. The foundation of this effort is a 10-year series of annual meetings where high-level stakeholder representatives work together to solve important issues. Collaboration outside these meetings will also occur.”

SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)

“SPARC is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education.”

Dartmouth is a member institution of SPARC, and we are actively engaged in conversations and developments within that community of scholarly communication professionals.

“SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) works to enable the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials in order to democratize access to knowledge, accelerate discovery, and increase the return on our investment in research and education. As a catalyst for action, SPARC focuses on collaborating with other stakeholders—including authors, publishers, libraries, students, funders, policymakers and the public—to build on the opportunities created by the Internet, promoting changes to both infrastructure and culture needed to make open the default for research and education.”

SPARC’s 2017 Program Plan emphasizes the important role that their organization and their member scholars and information professionals play in the global landscape of scholarly publishing, open scholarship, which is the backbone of efforts to share important research with one another and further society. This statement, in particular, is an important one to consider as we see transitions happening globally:

 “SPARC is a catalyst for action. Supported by 200+ members in the U.S. and Canada, and with international affiliates active in Africa, Europe and Japan, our pragmatic agenda focuses on collaborating with stakeholders in the global community to encourage new norms, practices, and policies that promote equitable access, sharing, and use of scholarship.”

Library Publishing Coalition (LPC)

Melanie Schlosser, the Scholarly Communications Program Leader at the Educopia Institute, on behalf of the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC), expressed concern about the impact on LPC members. Dartmouth is a member of the LPC, and the Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing Program is active in LPC. One of us is presenting at the annual Forum this year. 

“We at the Library Publishing Coalition and our host organization, the Educopia Institute, are following recent political developments in the United States carefully, and we join with our colleagues at ARL and the AAUP in noting the broad implications of recent federal policy for libraries, publishers, and scholarship as a whole. …. We are cognizant of the fact that some of these developments – namely the recent executive order on immigration and refugees – may directly affect our members’ ability to participate in in life of the LPC. Please know that we are committed to representing the needs of our international membership, and to providing a variety of opportunities for participation in the community, and that we will be taking this into account as we plan future events.” 

Core values are in the background of our minds, guiding our major and minor decisions, but it’s true that they should also serve as our stable framework when facing turbulent times. As developments emerge surrounding issue of open scholarship, we will try to provide those we serve nationally and internationally with solid perspectives and facts to help stabilize us within shifting landscapes.

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Open Access Fund Use on the Rise at Dartmouth

Dartmouth supports broader access to the results of the scholarship and research oOAlogo_Lock2f the Dartmouth community in many ways. Just one of these ways is through a fund to support the article processing charges that are used by some completely open access journals to cover costs of publishing, instead of putting up barriers to access through charging subscriptions. The use of this fund has been increasing as the benefits of having one’s work be accessible globally are clearer in the age of digital communications. Access drives awareness which increases use which can result in more immediate measurable impact of the work.  

As important as the Dartmouth Open Access fund is for increasing the reach of Dartmouth scholarship, researchers are publishing many more open access articles than are supported by this fund. There were 22 funded articles in 2016, but based only on   publication data in the Web of Science,  there were 270 open access articles published by Dartmouth authors in 2016. Over the last 3  years, the number of open access articles published by Dartmouth authors increased by 24.4%. The number of articles funded by the Dartmouth Open Access Fund nearly tripled.  The Dartmouth fund serves as a last resort when there is no research grant to fund the publishing of the article. 

The following sample of recently funded articles shows the variety of departments and topics supported by Dartmouth’s Open Access Fund, which has been used by 67 authors in 19 different departments since the inception of the fund. 

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  1. The future of global health education: training for equity in global health by Lisa V. Adams, Claire M. Wagner, Cameron T. Nutt and Agnes Binagwaho in BMC Medical Education DOI 10.1186/s12909-016-0820-0
  2. Coevolution of Cooperation and Partner Rewiring Range in Spatial Social Networks by Tommy Khoo, Feng Fu & Scott Pauls in Nature Scientific Reports DOI  10.1038/srep36293
  3. Dark shadow of the long white cloud: Neighborhood safety is associated with self-rated health and cortisol during pregnancy in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand by Zaneta Thayer in SSM-Population Health DOI 10.1016/j.ssmph.2016.11.004
  4. Developing and pilot testing a Spanish version of CollaboRATE for use in the United States by Rachel C. Forcino, Nitzy Bustamante, Rachel Thompson, Sanja Percac-Lima, Glyn Elwyn, Diana Pérez-Arechaederra, and Paul J. Barr in PLOS ONE DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0168538
  5. Sarcopenia and Sarcopenic Obesity: Do They Predict Inferior Oncologic Outcomes After Gastrointestinal Cancer Surgery? by Kimberly L. Mei, John A. Batsis, Jeannine B. Mills and Stefan D. Holubar in Perioperative Medicine DOI 10.1186/s13741-016-0052-1

Please consult Jen Green and Barbara DeFelice in the Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing Program at Dartmouth with questions about open access publishing and the Dartmouth Open Access Fund.  

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Your Research Identity: a Thayer Winterim Short Course

Your Research Identity: a Thayer Winterim Short Course

During the December 2016 break (Winterim), the Thayer School of Engineering offered a series of 5 non-credit, skills-based short courses. Librarians from Dartmouth’s Feldberg Library and the Scholarly Communication Program submitted a proposal for a course titled Your Research Identity, which was included in this year’s Thayer Winterim Short Course offerings. The goal of the course was to build students’ understanding of how to manage their identity as academic researchers in a fast-evolving publishing landscape. Your Research Identity was held on December 6 and 7, 2016 and was co-taught by Emily Boyd, Barbara DeFelice, Jim Fries, Jen Green, and Janifer Holt. Eleven students participated, each representing diverse departments and varied stages of their academic careers, with most working towards a PhD. 

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Image provided for reuse at Wikimedia Commons

 
A key message throughout the two days circled around the idea that we each have a digital identity–whether or not we’ve spent time thinking about it or maintaining it. Information about us, observations about us, conversations about us, are all likely happening online whether or not we are participating in them. Students, professionals, scholars, and others should be knowledgeable about what the vast number of online tools and resources are saying about them and how they and their professional work are being presented online. To help illustrate this point, we asked the students to perform a search of their own names and the share with the group the variety of places they found mention of themselves. Of course, the usual suspects emerged, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and one student was surprised to find that she had a Twitter account of which she was not aware. Some were surprised to find outdated information about their current institutional affiliation.

Since our personal computers respond to our previous search behaviors and prioritize results that are personal to each user’s searching patterns, we asked students to partner up and search for each other’s names. One issue that the students discovered when they searched their partner’s name was: how can you tell which scholar is the one you are looking for when the search results produce many scholars with the same name? Through these two exercises, the students understood that there is more than one side to managing one’s research identity. Not only should we be aware of what a Google search produces, we need to also ensure that the information about us is accurate, easily found, and distinctly and uniquely connects us with the work that we do.

ORCID

Logo provided for reuse by ORCID.org

There are many ways to accomplish all of this. An important step that scholars can make is to create and populate an ORCID, which each of the students to during the session. ORCID is “an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.” Unique identifiers like ORCID help:

  • make sure that you get credit for your work
  • reduce time in identifying your scholarly output
  • enable your ability to keep track of and report your work with funders, publishers and institutions
  • make it easier for you and colleagues to accurately find your scholarly work

Beyond disambiguation, establishing a website is a good idea since it allows the scholar to lead the conversation and take some control over how and what to communicate about themselves and their work. A website can also be a good place to leverage social media services because it provides a place to which sources like LinkedIn and Facebook can be linked. This is important because Google innovation centers around the idea that it is not so much the page itself that tells you what it’s about, but all the pages that link to it. So, a personal/professional website should be a home base to which every other source pertaining to one’s identity or work links. From Google’s perspective– the more sites that link to a page, the more authoritative it is, and the higher it rises on search results.

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Image provided for reuse at Wikimedia Commons

  • A note about social media — we spent a bit of time talking with the students about how to manage their Facebook privacy settings to benefit their professional identity. Many of us are hesitant to share our Facebook profiles with our colleagues, but the reality is that if you have a Facebook profile, your colleagues and others are likely to search for you there. Many of the students were not aware that there is a tool within Facebook that allows you to view your profile as a public user. Doing this helps you understand what exactly is shared beyond your circle of friends and then modify your privacy settings accordingly.

A key point throughout this conversation was that every type of social media one might use should be reinforcing the place that you want people to go (a personal website, department website, etc.). Therefore, we should all be involved in prioritizing the things that we want people to know about us.  

So, there is a conversation happening about us and our work somewhere, and the question is, are we engaged in the conversation? The answer should be yes. It’s easy to say that we don’t have time to manage our online presence (too many places, too many passwords) in a way that puts us in control of our own story, but it’s more important than it is difficult, especially as it pertains to one’s research identity. The end goal of the course was to set the students on a path towards creating the kind of digital identity and web presence that they want.

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Open Access Distribution Model Extended to Engineering, Psychology and Social Sciences

The highly successful and long running arXiv.org model of open distribution of scholarly research papers in various forms from “preprints” to “postprints” is being extended to Engineering, Psychology and the Social Sciences. The open source technology is provided by the Center for Open Scosf_iconience through the Open Science Framework.  It is well worth watching to see if researchers in these fields develop PsyArXiv, SocArXiv, and engrXiv to be as critical to their work as arXiv.org is to those in physics, astronomy, mathematics, and computer science.  Dartmouth researchers in these fields make heavy use of arXiv.org to make their work known, to get credit for their findings, to get input on their work, and to share that work broadly.

Librarians can help raise the awareness of these open repositories as options for researchers to share their work and have that work be more easily discovered. As public access to the results of funded research becomes an enforced requirement from funding agencies and foundations, open repositories to help meet those requirements are key components of the research ecosystem. A benefit of the aggregated service from OSF, called OSF Preprints, is that the information about the materials is distributed and therefore searchable through the metadata sharing architecture of SHARE. share_icon

Let us know if you are interested in knowing more about how to participate in these approaches to sharing your work using open repositories in your field. 

Scholarly Communication Program at Dartmouth

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OpenCon 2016: a post-attendance interview with Emily Boyd

OpenCon2016_SignUpForUpdatesEmily Boyd is a Business, Economics, and Engineering Librarian at Dartmouth College in the Feldberg Library. She attended OpenCon2016 on behalf of Dartmouth College through a scholarship offered by the Dartmouth College Library.  OpenCon is a gathering for next generation professionals to learn about open access, open education, and open data. This can encompass anything from scholarly and scientific publishing to educational materials to digital research data. OpenCon2016 took place in Washington, DC, November 12-14. To help us engage with Emily’s experience attending OpenCon2016, she has agreed to respond to some before and after interview questions.  The following is a transcription of Emily’s responses to the post-attendance interview questions.

What was your overall impression of OpenCon2016? How do you think it went?

I think it went well overall.  It was well-organized, on track, there were many presenters, and it was overall very good.  There were several panels featuring six people who each spent two to three minutes presenting an open access project they are working on. That was very interesting because it gave me a sense of different projects happening all over the world in a quick and engaging way. I was actually expecting the meeting to be a bit more hands-on than it was.  The first day consisted entirely of listening to a series of presentations, which was very interesting, but a lot of information to absorb at once.  The second day also involved lots of listening, but the second half of day two was an “unconference” format, this involved opportunities of participants to gather, decide on topics, and discuss. I found this to be very productive and engaging and wished more of the conference would have been like that. Before going to OpenCon, I assumed that all of the participants would be first-time attendees, but I discovered that about 80% were first-time attendees, and the remaining  20% were returning attendees.  I really hadn’t been to a conference like OpenCon before.  The last conference I went to was a tradeshow, so it was more about walking around, looking, and talking with vendors. OpenCon was a much more immersive experience for me.

What were your objectives during your time at OpenCon? Did you feel that you were successful in meeting these objectives?

I really wanted to move past just thinking of open access is a good idea–which I believed going in and coming out—and move towards understand the bigger picture.  I think I achieved that, but I also came away feeling like the open repository effort is fragmented and fractured.   That’s something that I’d still like to understand better now that I am back from OpenCon.  Also, I went into OpenCon wanting to know more about who pays for open access.  How is this publishing model financially feasible?  I don’t feel I came away from OpenCon with a better understanding of that.  I got the sense that maybe I shouldn’t worry about the cost of it, but I am still interested in trying to have a better understanding of the financial side of open access.

One major achievement for me was that I now feel like I have a better understanding of how open access is tangible and beneficial the researcher. I went to a presentation by a psychologist who talked about the pressure in his field to publish results that are interesting and groundbreaking when, in fact, the reality is that that groundbreaking work doesn’t always happen.  He felt that we should all be publishing openly, regardless of whether the work is groundbreaking, so that we can learn as much as possible and not waste time and money doing the same experiments over and over. This was an interesting discussion for me to be a part of, and as a result of this conversation, I felt I gained a better way of articulating that now and strongly believe that it is really important to have a broad range of information open and available to the public.  People can learn from it all.

 

Was the OpenCon community of participants what you had expected?

Not exactly. As I mentioned, I was expecting all people would be attending for the first time. There were also more librarians than I thought there would be.  But, unlike me, they were all scholarly communication librarians.  I wasn’t expecting to make as many cool international connections I did. I had dinner with professionals from Austria, Beijing, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.  It was really cool to make these connections and have opportunities to talk about global education and politics.

What did you learn from participating in OpenCon?

I realized that we tend to get a little silo-ed in our various disciplines and areas of expertise.  We think in these silos as the academic, versus the librarian, versus the student, versus the lay person.  I think this poses challenges, and that was apparent at OpenCon too.  I think this is something to be mindful of as we continue to work on open access and other important goals with academia. Attending OpenCon and listening the levels of information access that exists around the world, re-affirmed for me that, at Dartmouth, we have access to amazing resources.  This helped me realize that it’s not really a good use of our time to talk about what we don’t have access to, but more about what we can access and how we can help users access information beyond their life at Dartmouth. Watching a presentation from a Cambodian woman who has access to nothing (by comparison) because the government restricts that access put perspective on the privileges we have here at Dartmouth. Will we get to a point where access is an international standard? 

What did you learn in talking with other OpenCon participants?

The library field is very different in different places.  In talking to people about what they published, I realized that the pressure to publish as a varies depending on where you are.  One interesting conversation was about how librarians are expected to publish, but the Masters in Library Information Science really helps us understand how to help others do research rather than conduct our own research experiments. I always thought I missed something with my own education, but I found through OpenCon that other librarians feel similarly. It raises interesting questions for me about scholarship and the librarian’s role in that as both one who supports it and one who creates it.

What will you remember about OpenCon in two years?

I will absolutely remember time spent at dinner with a group of very interesting and global women. That left a lasting impression. I think this concept of the silos of academics, librarians, students, and lay people will also stick with me.  The challenges this creates in communication, etc. and how we should be aware of that.

I will also remember the feeling that I had throughout the conference which is that institutions like Dartmouth should value the resources to which we have access. It left me motivated to emphasize to students the wide range of resources they have access to while they are here, help them make the most of those resources, and make them aware of how difficult it can be for them to access resources like this once they leave Dartmouth. I think doing this helps to break out of silo-ed mentality because it communicates value to open access beyond one’s life as a student. I realize now, that in the startup I worked for, if we had access to Dartmouth’s resources, we may have made different decisions in how we did things. That’s amazing to think about.

What would you like to share with your colleagues or your patrons after attending OpenCon2016?

I would say that open access is worth exploring and thinking about in any particular life or field. And, it’s important to talk about open access in real world scenarios. To remember that we are at an institution that happens to be a place of great privilege in terms of information access, and wouldn’t it be great if other people had that kind of access as well.  I think it’s also important to remember that there are still problems with open access.  For example, it seems that there are still decisions to make around who pays for open access publishing or the servers that manage it? Open access is a thoughtful endeavor, but it is important to bring it down to real world situations.

Overall, I came away from OpenCon having learned a lot, believing that open access is a great idea and I support it, and I still have questions.

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Paying It Forward Through Article Charges for Open Access

The expression “pay it forward” refers to spreading a benefit that comes from one gift of money, or one good deed, to many by requiring that the first recipient pass the gift or deed on to others. It is also the title of a report on a Mellon funded study on whether open access article charges could be used instead of subscription fees for funding the publishing of scholarly and research journal articles, thus making more of these open access.

Pay It Forward: Investigating a Sustainable Model of Open Access Article Processing Charges for Large North American Research Institutions” comes at Dollar_Signa time of increasing interest in alternatives to subscriptions funding scholarly and research journal articles, since that funding model restricts access to the final published paper. Although the trend in the U.S. is towards access to articles through policies permitting or even requiring sharing of articles that are funded through subscriptions, there is an equally strong trend in Europe and the UK towards immediaOAlogo_Lock2te open access to the final published article, usually for an article processing fee. Authors want to have open access to papers they want to read, but continue to favor journals with traditional marks of quality when submitting  their own articles for publication.

This 184 page report is quite a dense read, so I was glad to hear an excellent presentation at the Charleston Conference this year about the study and the report. One contribution of the report is a realistic estimate of a minimum APC of $1,103.00, and a reasonable maximum of $1,864.00, which allows for a surplus to support technical and system improvements by the publishing company but not the huge profits that some publishing companies have been making.  Some leading publishers currently charge twice this minimum APC. Another valuable contribution of the project is a model that can be used to determine what APC charge would be the “break point” for a library to be able to cover the costs of all article fees for their researchers, given the existing budget for journal subscriptions.

A reason often noted for the rise of subscription prices for journals is the inelastic market, since the authors of scholarly and research articles do not have to pay for those subscriptions, nor do they even know what these cost their own institutions. Price of a subscription is not a consideration in where to publish. Changing to an APC charge where the author has to handle the fee, even if the actual cost is supported by the institution or a funding agency, should help the system evolve to a more elastic market. Within an institution, this could be accomplished by giving each author a subsidy that would cover an APC on the lower end of the price spectrum.

A key outcome of this study is the analysis of the burden on the large research institutions that produce a significant percent of the published research articles, and so who stand to risk the most in a switch from subscription support to article fee support. The model can be used to answer questions for other kinds of institutions such as the “break point” and how sustainable the change would be.

The “Pay It Forward” report and project has potential to benefit many institutions outside of those directly involved in the study, since they can use the model.

OAFundingDiscussion_GraphicContact the Scholarly Communication Program at Dartmouth with your questions about the economics of open access publishing. We are happy to consult with you about your options for open access to your articles.

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OpenCon 2016: a pre-attendance interview with Emily Boyd

 

emily boydEmily Boyd is a Business, Economics, and Engineering Librarian at Dartmouth College in the Feldberg Library. She will be attending OpenCon2016 on behalf of Dartmouth College through a scholarship offered by the Dartmouth College Library.  OpenCon is a gathering for next generation professionals to learn about open access, open education, and open data. This can encompass anything from scholarly and scientific publishing to educational materials to digital research data. OpenCon2016 will take place in Washington, DC, November 12-14. To help us engage with Emily’s experience attending OpenCon2016, she has agreed to respond to some before and after interview questions.  I sat down with Emily last week to ask a few questions about her upcoming OpenCon2106 meeting experience, and I will meet with her again once she returns.

Pre-attendance interview:

What led you to apply for the Dartmouth Library Scholarship to attend OpenCon2016?

I was encouraged by colleagues within Dartmouth Library’s Education and Outreach program to apply.  Since I am new to the library profession, I felt that I needed to know more about open access so that I can form own opinion. In the time that I’ve been at Dartmouth, I have learned that there are a broad range of opinions within the library about open access.

What experiences (professional or personal) have led to your curiosity about or interest in open access, open data, and open education?

In my previous position, I was working for startup where I had no access to lots of information that I had access to as undergraduate and graduate student. I found this to be frustrating.  Since working in the Feldberg Library, I’ve had to explain to alumni seeking information that there are some resources that they could access as students, which they can no longer access as an alumnus.  It can be challenging to maintain a positive reference interaction in these cases when I have to tell someone that information is not accessible to them. We don’t think about it until you don’t have it, and that is interesting to think about. I have been in the education sphere for most of my life and now I realize that access is easily taken for granted.  I’ve also realized from a librarian’s perspective how easy it is to hit limits in terms of how much data can be downloaded at one time within the databases we have.

What have you learned about open access in the time leading up to OpenCon2016?

Something I’ve learned recently is the amount of data we have access to in databases that is funded by the government is mind-boggling, and I was not aware of that before. But, government databases are not always user-friendly. Subscription databases often do a better job expressing data that might be available openly somewhere else, but the open resource can be harder to use and therefore the information can be harder to find.  For example, I recently helped a patron find information on the World Bank website.  I found the same information in another restricted database and the data easier to use because it was prettier and cleaner. One issue that should be addressed within the open access environment is that “open” does not mean “digestible.” Government, tax-funded resources should be open and easy to use. I have been reading Open Access by Peter Suber, and he talks about how open access isn’t about giving everything away for free, and I find that reassuring. One concern I have had is that somebody has to make money and keep the lights on. Being at a startup, I was aware of this then and I am aware of it now as I work with entrepreneurship students.  As an entrepreneur, it is important to work with data and back up your business plan with data.  If you want funding, you need to back that up with information.   Access to good marketing and industry data is important, but the idea of who pays for that access is interesting to me.

What have you learned about OpenCon2016 in the time leading up to next week’s meeting?

I didn’t realize how small the  meeting is and how hard it is to get a spot to attend. There are only 150 people attending, which I find exciting. The last conference I attended was comprised of 30,000 people within the outdoor industry. A small meeting like OpenCon2016 should be a good opportunity to participate. Also glad, that it’s people who are early in their career like I am as we may share similar perspectives and motivations to change.

What questions do you have about open access as they relate to your role as Dartmouth’s Business, Economics, and Engineering Librarian?

I am really interested in open data, particularly as it relates to the field of Economics. Since I have been working with Economics students, I have a better understanding of what data they need.

I am also interested in the big picture of open access.  What is the role of the library? I struggle with that.  I don’t currently have a lot of interaction with professors about open access and I’m trying to understand what role I could have in this conversation. I would like to be able to educate professors, but maintain a good balance in how and whether to advocate for open access.  If I believe in something, then I have no problem talking about it.  Right now I don’t understand the big picture and ramifications to advocate effectively for open access.

What specific OpenCon2016 sessions or events do you think will help you discover the answers to these questions?

I am planning to go to everything and make good use of the Dartmouth Library scholarship that is supporting my attendance.

If you could identify one or two things that you’d like to gain from participating in OpenCon2016, what would they be?

I’d like to get a bigger picture idea of the open access movement outside of Dartmouth and understand who is engaged–what are their thoughts? Will people still be talking about open access in 5 years or will everything be open by then?  I hope to also gain a better sense of the role that I  can play.  At the end of the day, I think that more access to information is good for everyone.  Ideally, only good things can come from open access.  But, I also understanding the practicality. Who pays for open?

Emily returns from OpenCon2016 after mid-November and a follow-up interview of her OpenCon2016 experience will be available soon after that.

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Reflections on Open Access Week 2016

OABeyeglass_200x200Open Access Week 2016 came through Dartmouth College in a flurry of activity, contemplation, discussion, and debate.  If you missed the Dartmouth events from October 24-28th, or you are still in need of more open access engagement, there are opportunities to experience some of what happened around the world through the many videos, blog posts, and images available on the Open Access Week 2016 website, Open in Action. While perusing their site this morning, I discovered that since last week, the SPARC Open Access team just launched a new feature, which allows researchers to request openly available articles directly from their site. It’s designed to be another way to streamline access to open content from your browser. Check out the installation instructions  here!

Dartmouth's Open Access Week 2016 Kick-Off Event and Open Dartmouth Exhibit reception.

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At Dartmouth, we were able to host a variety of open access activities for a diverse audience of students, faculty, and staff.  Monday’s Kick-Off Event launched us into a mindset to consider the importance of open scholarship, open data, and open education throughout the week. Open Access information tables around campus sparked great conversations between students and librarians about what open access is, why it is relevant, and how open access to data, code, and ideas can impact them throughout their scholarly life. The Open Dartmouth poster exhibit celebrated the important and interesting work of Dartmouth scholars, and it is always fun to watch students Snapchat a poster when they recognize one of their professors.  Gregg Gordon (President/CEO of SSRN) was our guest speaker throughout the week, and it was a pleasure to host him. Gregg gave a public presentation on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) and how this openly accessible resource has influenced the practices of sharing social science research over the past two decades.  Gregg offered his perspectives on the complex relationships among authors, publishers, academic institutions such as Dartmouth, and open repositories such as SSRN, and he met with smaller groups of faculty from the Tuck School of Business, the Economics department and the Dartmouth College Library to dig more deeply into these issues and how they impact the life of a scholar.

Thanks to the hard work of many librarians and staff across the system of Dartmouth College Libraries, this year’s open access week was engaging, thought-provoking, and fun!  I look forward to next year’s celebration, but in the meantime, we will continue to support open scholarly communication, copyright, and publishing through our services and outreach with the Scholarly Communication Program.

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Gregg Gordon, President of SSRN, to speak at Dartmouth College

SSRNWhat is SSRN? The acronym stands for the Social Science Research Network and it is the leading open repository that promotes innovation in the social sciences and humanities by providing open access to scholarly work.

On Tuesday, October 25th at 3-4:30pm in Rockefeller 003, Gordon will give a public presentation on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), and how this openly accessible resource has influenced the practices of sharing research over the past two decades.  Gordon’s talk, Open Access and the Social Sciences: Changing rules, roles, & responsibilities, will offer insights into the complex relationships among authors, publishers, academic institutions such as Dartmouth, and open repositories such as SSRN. These roles and relationships are shifting with growing expectations to provide broader, more open access to the scholarly literature. He’ll address what will change and what will remain the same with the acquisition of SSRN by Elsevier. There will be opportunities to engage in a discussion of new directions in the open dissemination of the social science literature after the presentation.

Gregg Gordon speaks around the world and writes regularly about scholarly research.  Most recently, he co-authored The Question of Data Integrity in Article-Level Metrics published by PLOS Biology in August 2016. This presentation is coordinated in conjunction with Dartmouth’s Open Access Week 2016.

This event is sponsored by:

For more information, contact:
Barbara DeFelice
Barbara.DeFelice@Dartmouth.edu
603-646-3565
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