A Dartmouth Librarian at the Congress on Peer Review

Pamela Bagley, a Biomedical Librarian at Dartmouth, recently attended the Eighth International Congress on Peer Review, held in Chicago on September 10-12.  Pamela is Coordinator of Biomedical Research Support at the Biomedical Libraries at Dartmouth, and a member of the Open Dartmouth Working Group. In this interview, she shares insights she gained into current concerns with peer review and other topics from presentations and meetings with those researchers, editors, authors and librarians who study scientific publishing processes.

What brought you to the Peer Review Conference?

PB: I co-authored a paper presented at the Conference along with another librarian, Heather Blunt, TDI faculty members, Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz, and Dartmouth student, Brian White.  Our paper presented results of a study aimed at determining if interim clinical trial results tend to be published in higher impact journals than the final clinical trial results. Final results are more important in informing clinical care, so dissemination of final results needs to be effective.  The Biomedical librarians routinely engage in the rigorous, reproducible literature searches for systematic reviews or practice guidelines.

What was your role in this work and what did you find?

PB: We were asked to find a set of studies that were published in interim and final forms, and to rigorously process and present those records.  The lead authors had found one study where that was the case but overall did not find this was a trend. 

What stands out for you as key issues in the Congress on Peer Review?

PB: Key topics in peer review include disclosure of conflicts of interest, comparisons of results of single and double blind review processes, reducing “spin” while still telling a story, and “optimism bias”.  In the session on metrics, I noted that presenters used both traditional journal metrics of the impact factor as well as the more nuanced and current altmetric score.  This affirmed that both are important.  Another major topic is the need to develop processes that forward reporting results while minimizing bias. This meeting brings together people with deep expertise in publishing, a mix of researcher, editors, and publishers, who share the goal to enhance the quality of scientific publishing. People attending are passionate about the accurate reporting of science and aim to work together on problems. 

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FORCE11 2017: Open in Action

I just returned from three days immersed in presentations and discussions of insightful, useful, and smart projects all focused on ways to make the results of research and scholarship open. What a great way to spend Open Access Week 2017, at the FORCE11 Research Communication and e-Scholarship Conference in Berlin, the home of the 2003 Berlin Declaration of Open Access in the Sciences and Humanities!  

The theme of FORCE11 2017 was Changing the Culture, and open source for open access was the foundational principle and approach at play throughout the meeting.  Contributing greatly to the spirit of energetic sharing of ideas from across the globe, FORCE11 sponsors several Fellowships, so we benefited from early career Travel Fellows as well as experienced speakers from locations such as Taiwan, Kenya, the Republic of the Congo, India, Colombia, Canada, and the UK.  They presented their work and their scholarly environments formally and through the many conversations throughout the conference.  Many of the presentations are available. 

Topics included:

A special part of the meeting was hearing about ways organizations in the Berlin and Brandenberg area organize to further open access. 

The theme of Open Access Week 2017 is “Open in Order to…”.  Why making the results of research openly available matters was amply illustrated by Lucy Patterson, an organizer of DIY science events.  She gave examples of the negative impacts on society of corporations owning the output of research and the ways DIY science gets around those barriers, which included lack of access to insulin in refugee camps, the skyrocketing costs of EipPens, and the lack of accurate local environmental data.  

After all this excitement about projects and ideas with potentially positive impacts on the dissemination of knowledge, the closing keynote by Diego Gomez of Colombia, who was charged with a criminal act for sharing a scholarly work, provoked a challenge to us all.  A  senior faculty member in the audience said we need to ask everyone in the research and scholarly enterprise simply “Why DON’T you publish open access?”.



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Open Access Week Essay Competition

International Open Access Week (October 23rd- 29th, 2017) is coming to a close, but opportunities to get involved in the open access movement stretch beyond October 29th.  One such opportunity is an essay competition, which is offered collaboratively by Authorea, Know-Center, Digital Science, ScienceOpen, and OpenCon.  Authorea offers a LaTeX writing tool available to Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff and they are extremely supportive of open science initiatives.  

The essay competition is a great opportunity for anyone to share their response to this year’s Open Access Week theme, “Open in order to…”, and have the chance to win a cash prize! Below is a statement from Authorea about the essay competition and how to participate:  

“The theme of this year’s Open Access Week is “Open in order to …” It is an invitation to answer the question: what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly research outputs openly available? Submitted posts should be of no more than 750 words and should tell us what drives you towards open practices. What does openness help you to achieve that you couldn’t do otherwise? The deadline for submission is the November 10 at 17.00 CET. All submissions will be posted online on the OpenCon portal in conjunction with the kick-off of the main OpenCon event.”

Submit your essay

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2017 Open Access Week: October 23-29–Save the dates!

Summer is quickly turning into Fall, the academic term has begun, and transition is in the air. Soon it will be October, which is a big month for those of us engaged in scholarly communication and open access work and conversations. Most of us are preparing now for  International Open Access Week 2017 which happens this year from October 23rd to 29th. The Open Dartmouth Working Group (Librarians dedicated to provided education and outreach about open content and data) are already busy getting ready for exhibits, events, speakers, and informational opportunities that will occur across campus throughout that week. 

Last year’s Open Access Week Exhibit featured our Open Dartmouth posters, which highlights researchers and scholars at Dartmouth and why they choose to share their work openly.  The posters are also available online in Dartmouth’s Shared Shelf Commons.  As the 2017 Open Access Week approaches, we are hoping to build this collection further with new faces and names so that we can host the new and expanded digital exhibition in a variety of locations around campus.  If you are a Dartmouth student, scholar, fellow, researcher, staff or faculty, and are interested in being featured in this exhibit, please contact me! Jen GreenDigital Scholarship Librarian

This year’s Open Access Week activities will include the Dimensions of Open exhibit, which will be on display in the Baker Library main hall exhibit cases starting in October. The exhibit will help visitors understand the global, political, financial, workforce, technological and future dimensions of “open.” Work on this exhibit is still underway, but one dimension of the exhibit to share with you now, is our newly published open access animation, Ideas to Apples: an Open Access Story.  

This animation was created by Lizzy Rogers (former Jones Memorial Digital Media Fellow) in collaboration with members of the Open Dartmouth Working Group.  The animation is perpetually available on YouTube, but it will also be featured in October in Baker’s main hall alongside the Dimensions of Open Exhibit.

There is still much to plan and prepare before you reach October 23rd and the 2017 Open Access Week celebrations. As October approaches, I will share a full schedule of events, speakers, workshops, and other informative opportunities.  Until then, please mark your calendars for October 23rd-29th so that you might join us for portions of that week.

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Open Repositories 2017

Internation Conference on Open Repositories

The annual 2017 Open Repositories Conference, which “brings together users and developers of open digital repository platforms from higher education, government, galleries, libraries, archives and museums” was held  in Brisbane, Australia from June 26th- 30th. This year’s conference theme was Open : Innovation | Knowledge | Repositories.  The program was packed with content about innovation in open repository design, access, system functionality, and user services.  This was my second year attending (the first being in Dublin, Ireland), and both years were extremely beneficial as they’ve allowed me to hear from colleagues internationally about how repository work unfolds within their regions of the world.

One of OR2017’s highlights was a Design Thinking workshop that guided us through a process of “unpacking” or “breaking into parts” our current repository tools and evaluating how each aspect of the tool’s technology helps fulfill our open scholarship goals. In design thinking, you approach your system design through an iterative process (visualized above). Through that process you try to understand your audience and their needs, you watch them interact with the environment you create for them, you take that information and rethink the effectiveness of your design, you come up with new ideas, you test the new idea, and then you implement.  Of course, implementing new ideas will lead you to various parts of the process again in a “rinse and repeat” sort of rhythm.

As we unpacked our repositories from the design thinking perspective, we were also asked to think about whether what we’d constructing in terms of technology and workflow was helping us achieve the project, the institutional, and the user end goals.  Keeping the end goal in sight can be more difficult than it seems because as you develop a product that is intended to appeal to and be used by a wide audience, it can be easy to become so embroiled in the technical aspects of that work that your grasp on the end goal loosens. Although members of my small group represented the USA, Australia, New Zealand, China, England, and Finland, we all felt the same about this phenomenon. Initially, our group’s conversation circled around the idea that our goal was to make as many open access articles available in our repositories as possible.  This is true, but when we stepped back a little further, we all agreed that the real end goal has been and will always be to make it easy for scholars to use the system so that they can share their own work seamlessly within the institution’s open repository and then out to the world.  

At Dartmouth, we are at the beginning phases of implementing our open repository in that we are working with a new system that will allow us to (later this Fall 2017) share Dartmouth scholarship openly under the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access policy. As one of the key administrators of the system, my number one goal in this development stage is to get as many open access articles as I can into the system now so that people have something to browse once it is available. Participating in the Design Thinking workshop reminded me that while this goal is important, it is short term.  The end goal is to have a systems that will allow us to support and encourage faculty participation so that, if they want to and need to, they can share their scholarship with the world within a repository tool that is inviting, convenient, easy to find, and easy to use.

The great thing about these international conversations is the exposure it gives me to innovative and inspiring ideas from a broad range of cultures, perspectives, and community practices. There’s usually a moment in these conversations where I think, “well, that’s an interesting idea, but I don’t know if it could work in the US.” Then, my next thought is always, “but, what if we tried, and what if it did?”  I appreciate how exposure to different practices and approaches from around the world stretches my concepts of what our boundaries are when it comes to making research and scholarship available openly. It’s also nice to be reminded that despite our varied cultures and practices, we all have the same end goal in mind.


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Copyright and Contracts: Thoughts on the 4th of July

Summer is bringing us an interesting range of questions from faculty, students and staff about the copyright transfer that often happens when they sign publishing contracts, and of course it also brings us the 4th of July holiday. As we encourage authors to think about their roles and rights as copyright owners, it is also good to think about the formal start of copyright in the United States as represented in the Constitution of the United States. It is listed as one of the powers of Congress in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, and reads “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”.  In today’s language, this covers all kinds of creative, scholarly and research output, as well as inventions. Copyright law as we know it now grew out of this idea, and as much as it has developed in different and sometimes controversial directions, it still is fundamentally supposed to support both users and creators of content in the advancement of creativity and knowledge.

At Dartmouth, we in the Library’s Scholarly Communication Program support teaching, learning, creativity, and the dissemination of new knowledge through offering students and faculty information about contemporary options for retention of author’s rights. We offer authors the use of the Dartmouth author’s amendment, which can be customized or serve as a guide for authors and creators to make their own decisions on the rights they want to retain. We encourage consideration of Creative Commons licenses so the copyright owner can make decisions about allowing others certain uses of the work.

So although you do not need to read all the books on contemporary copyright, it is good to know the fundamental goal of copyright in the U.S., to read your publishing contract or license, and to think about the ways you want to use your work or have your work used. For help, advice and conversation about copyright and author rights, just contact us early and often!

Dartmouth Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing Program

Barbara DeFelice and Jen Green


Image credits:

  1. “[4th of July]” by Tanya is licensed under CC BY 2.0
  2. Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco” by Timothy Vollmer is licensed under CC BY 2.0
  3. “Copyright Books” by Casey Fiesler is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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Inside the 2017 Northeast Student Publishing Conference, by Kevin Patrick Warstadt

This post was written by Kevin Patrick Warstadt, MALS’17 and the 2017 Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Program Fellow.  He offers his inside view of a dynamic and unique conference focused on developing skills and knowledge for students involved in publishing.  Thanks Kevin for all your work on this event and your insights on the benefits to the participants!  Barbara DeFelice

The 2017 Northeast Student publishing conference was held on April 29th in the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning at Dartmouth College. The event, which aimed to provide students opportunities to learn about publishing and network with peers, had representatives from Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern, Plymouth, and even the University of Georgia. My hope, as a representative of Clamantis: The MALS Journal here at Dartmouth, was to connect with students from other schools, increasing readership of my own journal and potentially setting up collaborations in the future. The PubCon provided these opportunities and more.

     The day began with an opening panel, featuring guest speakers Meredith Adinolfi, director of Cell Press, Francine A’Ness, Dartmouth assistant dean of undergraduate students, and Amanda “Spo!” Spoto, former editor of Clamantis. These opening speeches were an excellent start to the day, providing both practical insight into the workings of professional publications and abstract topics to contemplate throughout the day. After this opening panel, members of the conference were able to choose from two different workshops, to learn about a topic of their choice. I went to a workshop led by Meredith Adinolfi, in which we discussed management of staff and communicating with contributors. The workshop was informative and thought provoking, and has inspired the implementation of some new policies at Clamantis

     Following the first workshop sessions, we had a networking lunch. Students broke off into groups based on topics of discussion. I joined a discussion based on literary publishing. At this lunch, I was able to talk at length with some of the students from BU, and we’ve begun to plan a potential event in Boston in the future.

There were two more workshops after lunch. I attended one led by Professor Cynthia Monroe called “Deciding What to Publish.” We began the workshop with a discussion of professional publications and what made them successful. This discussion revealed the importance of developing an identity for one’s publication and demonstrating that identity clearly and consistently to readers and contributors alike. We then broke into groups and designed a journal theme based on example article prompts and images.

     The conference ended with a discussion of the events of the day and a raffle. Two publications were awarded memberships to publishing organizations. We all parted ways, new journals in hand.

     As I have said, my greatest hope for the Student PubCon was to make connections with students from other schools and improve circulation of student journals. Why is this important? There are a number of reasons. For one, it gets the work of contributors to a wider audience. Publishing in student journals, especially smaller journals, can sometimes be dis-incentivized by lack of impact. A wider readership makes publishing in journals more worthwhile.

     Student publishing also provides an important service for writers going into the professional world. There can sometimes be apprehension publishing, but sharing material is an important part of the creative process for any artist. Student journals provide a lower stress entry into the world of publishing.

     Beyond the concrete benefits, making connections between different publishing centers allows for art to flourish and more successfully do what it is meant to do. Publishing allows for the writer to spread his or her message and begin a conversation. These conversations through art allow for the expression of ideas in ways that often can’t be expressed through direct conversation. With this free flowing of ideas, we can all gain exposure to different views of the world and, in doing so, approach a greater understanding of the human experience.

     This first student publishing conference was a great step in the direction of forming a robust and interconnected community in the northeast, but there is still much work to be done. Discussion for a future event has already begun, and if we can maintain the connections made at the Student Publishing Conference, the benefits may be even greater in the future.

Kevin Patrick Warstadt


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Gear Up for Research

Periodically, the Dartmouth College Library organizes and hosts an event called “Gear Up for Research.” This is an event that showcases departments and programs across campus and the resources that they have available for students, faculty, and staff engaged in the research cycle (from “snout-to-tail” or in research terms, from proposal to publication). Gear Up events have occurred at the Life Sciences Center, the Thayer School of Engineering, the Arts and Humanities Resource Center, and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC). The most recent Gear Up happened earlier this week in the Baker Library’s Main Hall. This one was coordinated by Lora Leligdon, Physical Sciences Librarian, with the help of members of the Open Dartmouth Working Group. The events move around the campus so that we can reach researchers across many different disciplines. This week’s Gear Up was focused on reaching scholars within the Arts and Humanities, but the event still attracted presenters from a wide range of disciplines including medicine, biology, digital humanities, scholarly communication, research computing, technology transfer, and sponsored projects.

What’s interesting and wonderful about Gear Up is that it is a quick and social way for Dartmouth researchers to become aware of the many resources (lab spaces, assistance with grant writing, consultations about copyright, guidance on the use of technology, and more) that exist. But, more importantly Gear Up visitors learn that these resources may be open to them regardless of department affiliation or academic focus. 

Gear Up happens in different places and at different times throughout the year, so there is a good chance that it will appear near you in the future, if it has not already. If you’d like Gear Up to come to your department, school, or disciplinary unit, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and ask!

Barbara DeFelice, Program Director
Jen Green, Digital Scholarship Librarian
Our offices are located in Berry Library, Room 180

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Twitter as part of your professional identity

Free images from pixabay.com. CC0 Public Domain. Free for commercial use. No attribution required

I have to admit that I wasn’t much of a Twitter user until recently. I created an account in 2009–probably a year or so after I started using Facebook. I think I posted three things and then my Twitter profile lay dormant for about eight years. At the time, due diligence is what motivated me to join Twitter. I’d just been to a national library conference where I’d listened to a panel of librarians talk about “meeting patrons where they are” whether that be in the library or Twitter. Getting a Twitter account seemed like the right thing to do, and I would figure out how it might be useful to me over time…eight years of time to be exact.

My time to rediscover Twitter began a little over a year ago when I stepped into the role of Digital Scholarship Librarian at Dartmouth. I became involved in conversations with authors about how to measure the impact of their scholarship. One way that an author’s  impact has been traditionally measured is with an h-index. H-index ratings are determined when certain databases capture information about the number of times an article within that database is cited. This results in a calculation that intends to say something about the impact the article has had on the scholarly community. The problem with this method is that the article citation must live in (be indexed by) the database, and depending on the author’s discipline or type of published work (e.g., books) the work might not be indexed by that database and therefore remains unmeasurable by an h-index.  For some authors, the h-index is not an accurate depiction of the importance or the impact of their work. Alternative ways of measuring scholarly impact have emerged through altmetrics. Altmetrics allow us to measure scholarly impact through non-traditional sources such as social media and news media mentions. An example of a tool that does this is Plum Analytics, which tells the story of scholarship and its impact through a variety of journal, social media, and news media lenses. This is where Twitter becomes relevant.

So, what if you’re not a fan of Twitter? Do you need to be on Twitter for tools like Plum Analytics to capture mentions? No, people can and will talk about your work whether you are there or not, which may be a good reason to be on Twitter. Like a water cooler, Twitter is a place to gather, and when people gather they talk about (among many other things) tv, news, art, and scholarship. Tools like Plum Analytics can show up at that water cooler and capture mentions of an author’s work on social media (e.g., Twitter and Facebook), produce data about those mentions and share that with an author who might not be present at the cooler. This is useful information, especially if your work is not represented well to your peers and administrators through the h-index. And, if you’re like me, you probably didn’t know that people are talking about your work on Twitter, but once you do know, your enthusiasm for Twitter re-emerges. Over the past year, I’ve discovered that many faculty are like me in that when they discover that people are talking about their work on social media, they are surprised and delighted. Sometimes they are more excited about that than when it’s been cited, more traditionally, in someone else’s publication. This may be because on Twitter, people don’t HAVE to mention your work; they do it because it made impact on them and they are inspired to share it with others. As creators, this is exciting to discover.

When we talk with scholars about their professional identity, we address the importance of establishing a professional website that highlights professional or scholarly achievements and areas of expertise. We want them to know that if they don’t tell their own story online, someone else may do it for them, which can be inaccurate and harmful. We also talk about the importance of tools such as ORCID that will help establish them as a unique author, even if their name is John Smith. And then, we talk about the important role that social media plays in one’s identity (whether or not they are present in those social spheres).

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ResearchGate.net and Your Professional Identity

ResearchGate.net is a very popular platform among researchers for advancing their reputations and often for sharing copies of their papers, whether allowed by publishers or not. It is the product of a start-up company that has received financing from some of the main funders of ways to provide open access to the results of funded research such as the Wellcome Trust, as recently described in this article in TechCrunch.

It is widely used by people who want to be known for their scholarship and research.  Frequent updates via email about people using or wanting your papers, or new papers by your co-authors of past papers, are either welcome or annoying, depending on your viewpoint at the time! 

The system prompts researchers to upload the PDF of articles, and frequently authors are not aware of that publishers forbid such sharing via the author contract. However, many do, and ResearchGate.net is a major source of full text found via GoogleScholar.

Dr. Hamid R. Jamali did a study about full text found in ResearchGate.net, titled “Copyright compliance and infringement in ResearchGate full-text journal articles”, which was published by Springer in Scientometrics in February 2017, and is available for a fee. The author’s version of this article is posted in ResearchGate.net, which is allowed by the author’s contract with Springer.  He found that 51.3% of the articles in the study should not have been posted on ResearchGate.net based on publishers’ policies. 

We discuss appropriate use of a variety of tools, such as ResearchGate.net, for advancing your professional identity in our workshops on managing your professional or research identity, and are always happy to consult on questions regarding use of services like ResearchGate.net. 

Barbara DeFelice and Jen Green

Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing Program at Dartmouth

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