Search where you will find most: Comparing the disciplinary coverage of 56 bibliographic databases | SpringerLink

Abstract:  This paper introduces a novel scientometrics method and applies it to estimate the subject coverages of many of the popular English-focused bibliographic databases in academia. The method uses query results as a common denominator to compare a wide variety of search engines, repositories, digital libraries, and other bibliographic databases. The method extends existing sampling-based approaches that analyze smaller sets of database coverages. The findings show the relative and absolute subject coverages of 56 databases—information that has often not been available before. Knowing the databases’ absolute subject coverage allows the selection of the most comprehensive databases for searches requiring high recall/sensitivity, particularly relevant in lookup or exploratory searches. Knowing the databases’ relative subject coverage allows the selection of specialized databases for searches requiring high precision/specificity, particularly relevant in systematic searches. The findings illustrate not only differences in the disciplinary coverage of Google Scholar, Scopus, or Web of Science, but also of less frequently analyzed databases. For example, researchers might be surprised how Meta (discontinued), Embase, or Europe PMC are found to cover more records than PubMed in Medicine and other health subjects. These findings should encourage researchers to re-evaluate their go-to databases, also against newly introduced options. Searching with more comprehensive databases can improve finding, particularly when selecting the most fitting databases needs particular thought, such as in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. This comparison can also help librarians and other information experts re-evaluate expensive database procurement strategies. Researchers without institutional access learn which open databases are likely most comprehensive in their disciplines.

 

Recommendations for Discipline-Specific FAIRness Evaluation Derived from Applying an Ensemble of Evaluation Tools

Abstract:  From a research data repositories’ perspective, offering research data management services in line with the FAIR principles is becoming increasingly important. However, there exists no globally established and trusted approach to evaluate FAIRness to date. Here, we apply five different available FAIRness evaluation approaches to selected data archived in the World Data Center for Climate (WDCC). Two approaches are purely automatic, two approaches are purely manual and one approach applies a hybrid method (manual and automatic combined).

The results of our evaluation show an overall mean FAIR score of WDCC-archived (meta)data of 0.67 of 1, with a range of 0.5 to 0.88. Manual approaches show higher scores than automated ones and the hybrid approach shows the highest score. Computed statistics indicate that the test approaches show an overall good agreement at the data collection level.

We find that while neither one of the five valuation approaches is fully fit-for-purpose to evaluate (discipline-specific) FAIRness, all have their individual strengths. Specifically, manual approaches capture contextual aspects of FAIRness relevant for reuse, whereas automated approaches focus on the strictly standardised aspects of machine actionability. Correspondingly, the hybrid method combines the advantages and eliminates the deficiencies of manual and automatic evaluation approaches.

Based on our results, we recommend future FAIRness evaluation tools to be based on a mature hybrid approach. Especially the design and adoption of the discipline-specific aspects of FAIRness will have to be conducted in concerted community efforts.

Determinants of research output submission in institutional repositories by faculty members in Nigerian universities | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This paper aims to determine and analyze the rate of content submission by lecturers in relation to type of university, discipline, academic qualification, rank and teaching experience and identified the determinants of research output submission by faculty members in Nigerian varsities.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey was conducted in six universities with functional institutional repositories in Southern Nigeria. Data collated through questionnaire from the university lecturers were analyzed using frequency distribution, percentages and regression analysis.

Findings

Results showed that submission of research output was higher for lecturers in Social Sciences than for those in the Sciences; the highest among those with doctorate degree, senior lecturers and those with 6–10?years of teaching experience. The rank of faculty members and the type of university were significant determinants of research output submission.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was limited to universities in Southern Nigeria with functional institutional repositories. There should be further investigations on same study in universities with functional institutional repositories in other regions in Nigeria.

Practical implications

Increased submission rate by faculty members will sustain the institutional repositories.

Social implications

Faculty members get in contact, make friends and engage in collaborative research.

Originality/value

This report contributes to the global knowledge and communication’s field through the provision of empirical evidence on the determinants of content submission in open access institutional repositories.

Recommendations for Discipline-Specific FAIRness Evaluation Derived from Applying an Ensemble of Evaluation Tools

Abstract:  From a research data repositories’ perspective, offering research data management services in line with the FAIR principles is becoming increasingly important. However, there exists no globally established and trusted approach to evaluate FAIRness to date. Here, we apply five different available FAIRness evaluation approaches to selected data archived in the World Data Center for Climate (WDCC). Two approaches are purely automatic, two approaches are purely manual and one approach applies a hybrid method (manual and automatic combined).

The results of our evaluation show an overall mean FAIR score of WDCC-archived (meta)data of 0.67 of 1, with a range of 0.5 to 0.88. Manual approaches show higher scores than automated ones and the hybrid approach shows the highest score. Computed statistics indicate that the test approaches show an overall good agreement at the data collection level.

We find that while neither one of the five valuation approaches is fully fit-for-purpose to evaluate (discipline-specific) FAIRness, all have their individual strengths. Specifically, manual approaches capture contextual aspects of FAIRness relevant for reuse, whereas automated approaches focus on the strictly standardised aspects of machine actionability. Correspondingly, the hybrid method combines the advantages and eliminates the deficiencies of manual and automatic evaluation approaches. Based on our results, we recommend future FAIRness evaluation tools to be based on a mature hybrid approach. Especially the design and adoption of the discipline-specific aspects of FAIRness will have to be conducted in concerted community efforts.

Data sharing practices across knowledge domains: a dynamic examination of data availability statements in PLOS ONE publications

Abstract:  As the importance of research data gradually grows in sciences, data sharing has come to be encouraged and even mandated by journals and funders in recent years. Following this trend, the data availability statement has been increasingly embraced by academic communities as a means of sharing research data as part of research articles. This paper presents a quantitative study of which mechanisms and repositories are used to share research data in PLOS ONE articles. We offer a dynamic examination of this topic from the disciplinary and temporal perspectives based on all statements in English-language research articles published between 2014 and 2020 in the journal. We find a slow yet steady growth in the use of data repositories to share data over time, as opposed to sharing data in the paper or supplementary materials; this indicates improved compliance with the journal’s data sharing policies. We also find that multidisciplinary data repositories have been increasingly used over time, whereas some disciplinary repositories show a decreasing trend. Our findings can help academic publishers and funders to improve their data sharing policies and serve as an important baseline dataset for future studies on data sharing activities.

 

More journal articles and fewer books: Publication practices in the social sciences in the 2010’s

Abstract:  The number of scholarly journal articles published each year is growing, but little is known about the relationship between journal article growth and other forms of scholarly dissemination (e.g., books and monographs). Journal articles are the de facto currency of evaluation and prestige in STEM fields, but social scientists routinely publish books as well as articles, representing a unique opportunity to study increased article publications in disciplines with other dissemination options. We studied the publishing activity of social science faculty members in 12 disciplines at 290 Ph.D. granting institutions in the United States between 2011 and 2019, asking: 1) have publication practices changed such that more or fewer books and articles are written now than in the recent past?; 2) has the percentage of scholars actively participating in a particular publishing type changed over time?; and 3) do different age cohorts evince different publication strategies? In all disciplines, journal articles per person increased between 3% and 64% between 2011 and 2019, while books per person decreased by at least 31% and as much as 54%. All age cohorts show increased article authorship over the study period, and early career scholars author more articles per person than the other cohorts in eight disciplines. The article-dominated literatures of the social sciences are becoming increasingly similar to those of STEM disciplines.

News & Views: Breaking Out Open Access License Types – Delta Think

“Overall, the Permissive licenses (CC0, CC BY – the paler colors) are most commonly used, outnumbering more restrictive ones by around 3:2.

Within fully OA journals, the ratio is similar to the overall average, compared with an even split in hybrid publications.
Long-term trends (not shown here) suggest that fully OA output and the use of permissive licenses is slowly gaining share.
The underlying data has changed since last year. This year’s data shows greater numbers of fully OA journals, with a slightly greater prevalence of permissive licenses….

The data support what many of us know from anecdotal discussions. The majority of OA output is published under more permissive licenses. In particular the CC BY license dominates, especially in fully OA journals, and especially by OASPA members. It’s useful to see this confirmed across the market, and also to see how the figures differ for the large publishers.

However, licenses that allow sharing with some restrictions remain significant and show no signs of collapsing. Many publishers continue to make use of them. In fact, restricted licenses cover the majority of output in some disciplines….”

The Value of Data and Other Non-traditional Scholarly Outputs in Academic Review, Promotion, and Tenure in Canada and the United States | The Open Handbook of Linguistic Data Management | Books Gateway | MIT Press

“This leaves us to ask: What role do activities and outputs beyond those that appear in traditional publication channels such as journals, books, and academic conferences play in review, promotion, and tenure processes? To investigate this topic, we focus on three related sub-questions:

1. What activities and outputs are mentioned in documents related to RPT?

2. How do the activities and outputs mentioned in documents related to RPT vary across institution types and disciplines?

Finally, and more specifically, given the topic of this handbook, we examine the following third sub-question:

3. To what extent and in which ways are data-related outputs mentioned in RPT documents? ”

News – Five things you need to know to support reproducible publication practices – News – Knowledge Exchange

“The KE activity “Publishing Reproducible Research Output” has published its final report “The art of publishing reproducible research outputs – Supporting emerging practices through cultural and technological innovation.” The report represents the culmination of a 12-month project aiming to investigate current practices and barriers related to publishing reproducible research outputs and to determine how infrastructure (technical and social) can support progress in this area. 

The final report, delivered by Research Consulting in partnership with the Knowledge Exchange Task and Finish group, includes a literature review of over 130 sources and engagement with over 50 individuals from 12 different countries through focus groups and interviews. To practise what we preach, we have sought to work in a reproducible way ourselves: you can find all project outputs in our Zenodo Community! …”

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic productivity

Abstract:  ‘Publish or perish’ is an expression describing the pressure on academics to consistently publish research to ensure a successful career in academia. With a global pandemic that has changed the world, how has it changed academic productivity? Here we show that academics are posting just as many publications on the arXiv pre-print server as if there were no pandemic: 168,630 were posted in 2020, a +12.6% change from 2019 and +1.4? deviation above the predicted 162,577 ± 4,393. However, some immediate impacts are visible in individual research fields. Conference cancellations have led to sharp drops in pre-prints, but laboratory closures have had mixed effects. Only some experimental fields show mild declines in outputs, with most being consistent on previous years or even increasing above model expectations. The most significant change is a 50% increase (+8?) in quantitative biology research, all related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these publications are by biologists using arXiv for the first time, and some are written by researchers from other fields (e.g., physicists, mathematicians). While quantitative biology pre-prints have returned to pre-pandemic levels, 20% of the research in this field is now focussed on the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating a strong shift in research focus.

Open Access Books – Part II – Delta Think

“If a publisher decides to implement an OA books program, what does it do with older titles? Does it make its backlist retrospectively OA? Or reserve OA for frontlist titles only? (Or both?)….

The chart above analyzes the lead times in indexing books. It shows how many years after publication books were added to the index (the DOAB) and deemed to be made OA.

If titles are made OA in their year of publication (deemed to be frontlist titles), the lead time will be zero. Just over 25% of DOAB titles are frontlist.
If titles were made OA after their year of publication (deemed to be backlist titles), then the lead time will be a positive number. Around 16% of titles were made OA the year after publication. The remaining 69% or so of titles are deep backlist.
Although not shown above, the oldest titles in the DOAB date back decades. Earlier years (before 2000) typically have a handful of titles per publication year, with annual numbers increasing significantly in more recent years. The oldest title in the index was published in 1787….

Patterns in license usage are different if analyzed by publication year (left) compared with the year they were made OA or added to the index (right). We can clearly see license use by publication year shows distinct patterns, but license use by indexed year appears more random….

 

We see that the proportion of CC BY licenses (colors at the bottom of each bar) is significantly lower in books (32%) than in journals (51%). Likewise, CC BY-NC (2nd from bottom) – books (4%) vs. journal articles (15%). But CC BY-NC-ND licenses show the opposite: books have a greater proportion (29%) than journals (18%)….”

Lessons from arXiv’s 30 years of information sharing | Nature Reviews Physics

“Since the launch of arXiv 30 years ago, modes of information spread in society have changed dramatically — and not always for the better. Paul Ginsparg, who founded arXiv, discusses how academic experience with online preprints can still inform information sharing more generally….”

Data sharing practices and data availability upon request differ across scientific disciplines | Scientific Data

Abstract:  Data sharing is one of the cornerstones of modern science that enables large-scale analyses and reproducibility. We evaluated data availability in research articles across nine disciplines in Nature and Science magazines and recorded corresponding authors’ concerns, requests and reasons for declining data sharing. Although data sharing has improved in the last decade and particularly in recent years, data availability and willingness to share data still differ greatly among disciplines. We observed that statements of data availability upon (reasonable) request are inefficient and should not be allowed by journals. To improve data sharing at the time of manuscript acceptance, researchers should be better motivated to release their data with real benefits such as recognition, or bonus points in grant and job applications. We recommend that data management costs should be covered by funding agencies; publicly available research data ought to be included in the evaluation of applications; and surveillance of data sharing should be enforced by both academic publishers and funders. These cross-discipline survey data are available from the plutoF repository.

 

ARL and Six Universities Awarded National Science Foundation Grant to Study Discipline-Specific Models and Costs for Public Access to Research Data – Association of Research Libraries

“The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and six universities involved in the Data Curation Network a $297,019 grant to conduct research, develop models, and collect costing information for public access to research data across five disciplinary areas. The project, Completing the Life Cycle: Developing Evidence-Based Models of Research Data Sharing, will start in August 2021….

This research seeks to answer the following questions:

Where are funded researchers across these institutions making their data publicly accessible and what is the quality of the metadata?
How are researchers making decisions about why and how to share research data?
What is the cost to the institution to implement the federally mandated public access to research data policy? …”