E-print depositing behavior in physics and astronomy

Hamid R. Jamali and David Nicholas, E-print depositing behavior of physicists and astronomers: An intradisciplinary study, Journal of Academic Librarianship, forthcoming. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:

This article investigates the e-print depositing behavior of physicists and astronomers. Fifty-six PhD students and staff at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University College London were interviewed. A survey was also carried out (47.1% response rate). The study investigates the relation between variables such as research area, type of research (theoretical, experimental and so on), and the amount of reading on the patterns of e-print depositing. The findings showed that clear intradisciplinary differences exist among different subfields of physics and astronomy.

Virginia releases open “flexbook” on physics

Virginia Releases Physics Flexbook for Public Review, press release, February 27, 2009.

Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra and Secretary of Education Tom Morris today announced the release of a beta (preliminary) version of 21st Century Physics FlexBook: A Compilation of Contemporary and Emerging Technologies. This early release version of the physics FlexBook is a piece of the quality assurance process and will give the public approximately two weeks to provide feedback on the content and website in advance of the official release in mid–March.

The Virginia Physics FlexBook project is a collaborative effort of the Secretaries of Education and Technology and the Department of Education that seeks to investigate the use of open education resources to elevate the quality of information available for high school physics instruction across the Commonwealth. The FlexBook is a compilation of supplemental materials relating to 21st century physics in an open–content format that can be used to strengthen existing physics content. The Commonwealth is partnering with CK–12 on this initiative as they are the creators of the FlexBook concept and have provided the free, open–content technology platform for the publication. The FlexBook — defined simply as an adaptive, web–based set of instructional materials, is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike (CC–BY–SA) and thus can be used as is, used in part, or enhanced by teachers based on their curriculum and classroom needs. …

The Virginia Physics FlexBook, written and compiled over the past several months, was authored by thirteen volunteer members of Virginia’s K–12 physics teacher community as well as industry and university faculty from Virginia and surrounding states. In order to ensure the quality of the content, each chapter has already received three reviews: a technical review by College of William and Mary physics professor, David Armstrong, a peer review by other authors, and student reviews by high school and college–age students. The fourth and final review begins today with this release seeking public feedback. …

See also coverage at:

See also our past post on the flexbook.

U. Salamanca’s IR launches

GREDOS (Gestión del REpositorio DOcumental de la Universidad de Salamanca) is the new IR at the University of Salamanca. The IR is divided into four sections:

  • Digital library: Historical documents and documents digitized at USAL
  • Scientific repository: Research conducted or published at USAL
  • Teaching repository: Educational resources produced at USAL
  • Institutional archive: Administrative and institutional documents of USAL

The repository launched with more than 125,000 documents. GREDOS is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license.

See also coverage (in Spanish) from Europa Press or Salamanca 24 Horas.

See also our past posts on USAL:

Report on national data sharing policies

Raivo Ruusalepp, A Comparative Study of International Approaches to Enabling the Sharing of Research Data, report for the Digital Curation Centre and JISC, November 30, 2008.

… JISC has commissioned this study to survey the different national agendas that are addressing variant infrastructure models, in order to inform developments within the UK and for facilitating an internationally integrated approach to data curation. …

This study found no evidence of either a universal model or agreement on what a data sharing policy should include.

On an international level, the key players (organisations like OECD, UNESCO, EU and interest groups like CODATA, ESFRI) have concentrated their policy statements around the principle of open access to publicly funded research outputs. While OECD, UNESCO and CODATA have policies explicitly for data sharing, the European Commission is looking at data sharing issues in the broader context of open access to public domain information.

No national level policies or strategic documents that explicitly mandate the sharing of research data were found. Nevertheless, the provision of access to research data is seen as a vital element of the general research infrastructure, and all research infrastructure development strategies acknowledge the need to develop the means for accessing data. Applying Open Access principles to data is discussed at the national level in Germany.

The main burden of developing and implementing data sharing policies is currently being carried by research funding agencies, with an expectation (but not a mandate) that individual research institutions and departments will follow these up with their own policy statements. Measures to motivate researchers into sharing their data incorporate conditions being attached to funding schemes or the provision of data sharing policies backed up by services offered to recipients of funding. The prospect of a more pro?active stance in mandating the sharing of data is evidenced in the recent initiatives of funding agencies to agree on common principles for data sharing.

Typically, but not in all cases, the funding agency policies draw on the following incentives and enablers: [Note: omitting table.] …

The emerging institutional policies still remain ad hoc and do not appear to be well coordinated. To develop uniform data sharing policies and put them into practice, the institutions will currently require significant help and guidance. …

New OA marine science image library

NOAA Offers New Online Media Library Featuring Ocean-Related Photos and Videos, press release, February 11, 2009. (Thanks to ResearchBuzz.)

[The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]â??s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has launched a new online multimedia library offering public access to thousands of high-resolution, ocean-related photos and videos taken by NOAA scientists, educators, divers and archaeologists.

â??This robust online library offers thousands of images from all 14 marine protected areas managed by NOAA,â? said Michiko J. Martin, national education coordinator for NOAAâ??s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. …

The National Marine Sanctuaries Media Library is a comprehensive database containing a collection of high-quality still images and video footage featuring all 13 national marine sanctuaries and the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument. The database is fully searchable by keyword, category and location, and all the images are tagged with relevant information including resolution and usage rights. …

See also our past posts on NOAA.