Full article: The Buyback Dilemma: How We Developed a Principle-Based, Data-Driven Approach to Unbundling Big Deals

Abstract:  [University of Saskatchewan] is a publicly funded, medium-sized research intensive medical doctoral university in Canada. Like other academic libraries, we have been coping with the rising costs of Big Deal journal packages in the context of shrinking budgets and variable currency fluctuation between the Canadian and American Dollar. When faced with a need to cancel two Big Deal packages in order to balance our budget, we undertook a data-driven, principles-based approach. We discuss the context at [University of Saskatchewan], and the principles and steps we used to successfully determine which packages to cancel, and how to determine titles for re-subscription within a limited budget. We discuss how we compiled and used data that addresses scholarly (citation), pedagogical (downloads), and reputational (survey responses) concerns, and share the formula we developed. We also share some lessons learned and recommendations and ideas for future Big Deal assessment.

 

Sci-Hub downloads show countries where pirate paper site is most used

“Download figures for Sci-Hub, the popular but controversial website that hosts pirated copies of scientific papers, reveal where people are using the site most. The statistics show that users accessing Sci-Hub from China are by far the most active — and that with more than 25 million downloads, usage in China outstrips the rest of the top ten countries combined (see ‘Global resource’).

Perhaps surprisingly, the figures also show that the United States, in second place, has about one-third as many downloads, at 9.3 million. “There is a widespread opinion that Sci-Hub is of no use in the United States, because universities have money to pay for subscriptions, but that is not true,” says Alexandra Elbakyan, the site’s founder.

The statistics are updated daily and show the number of downloads from each country over the past month — but they are not normalized for the size of the research population….”

Guest Post: What Can We Learn from One Million Open Access Articles? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Overall I believe the transition is going well. From a slow start, as a sector we have now reached the point where, in 2020, a third (33%) of articles were published OA.

Looking however at our 1m, this does, though, mask quite a variation amongst different academic disciplines. From our data, medical research is overwhelmingly driving the transition, with Medicine accounting for 44% of our 1m articles. The next highest discipline is Life Sciences, which accounts for 17%. This trend of Medicine outperforming the other disciplines so strongly has barely changed from 2015.

We are starting to see some strong growth in social science and humanities. As has been documented elsewhere, these disciplines are finding transitioning to OA and meeting Plan S’s requirements more challenging than those in the medical, applied and physical sciences. This is for a variety of reasons, but mainly because of the lack of available funding. It is therefore encouraging to see that, even though this was from a low base, between 2015 and 2020 social science and humanities doubled their OA share.

Our data also brings up some interesting geographic differences. For example, Europe and Asia are strong generators of OA content, accounting for 40% and 33% respectively in 2021. Conversely, North America accounts for 18%, perhaps demonstrating the relatively low engagement with Gold OA amongst US funding bodies to date.

More broadly, in the last 5 years, these 1m articles were downloaded 2.6 billion times. That’s an average of 2,600 downloads for each article, a strong demonstration of the value being derived from OA. Translating that into something institutional librarians might appreciate, that’s a cost of less than Euro 1 per download based on all their one-time APCs….”

Scientists are Working Overtime and at the Weekends: Comparison of Publication Downloading from Copyrighted and Pirated Platforms

In this study, we track and analyze publication downloads from both copyrighted and pirated platforms to reconstruct scientists’ activity patterns from a holistic perspective. Scientists around the world are working overtime, but scientists in different countries have different working patterns. Scientists’ preferences for different platforms are influenced by a variety of factors such as working times and workplace arrangements. There are variations by country in terms of whether scientists prefer to work overtime at night, at the weekend, or both at night and on the weekend. When scientists are working overtime, they prefer to use Sci-Hub rather than copyrighted platforms to access scholarly publications This may be because of the transition in their working scenarios as they move from the office to home outside of work hours.

The OAPEN Library and the origin of downloads – libraries & academic institutions – OAPEN – supporting the transition to open access for academic books

On a regular basis, we look at the download data of the OAPEN Library and where it comes from. While examining the data from January to August 2021, we focused on the usage originating from libraries and academic institutions. Happily, we found that more than 1,100 academic institutions and libraries have used the OAPEN Library.

Of course, we do not actively track individual users. Instead we use a more general approach: we look at the website from which the download from the OAPEN Library originated. How does that work? For instance, when someone in the library of the University of Leipzig clicks on the download link of a book in the OAPEN library, two things happen: first, the book is directly available on the computer that person is working on, and second, the OAPEN server notes the ‘return address’: https://katalog.ub.uni-leipzig.de/. We have no way of knowing who the person is that started the download, we just know the request originated from the Leipzig University Library. Furthermore, some organisations choose to suppress sending their ‘return address’, making them anonymous.

What is helpful to us, is the fact that aggregators such as ExLibris, EBSCO or SerialSolutions use a specific return address. Examples are “west-sydney-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com” – pointing to the library of the Western City University – or “sfx.unibo.it”– coming from the library of the Università di Bologna. And in this way, many academic libraries can also be identified from their web address. Some academic institutions only display their ‘general’ address.

[…]

The OAPEN Library and the origin of downloads – libraries & academic institutions

On a regular basis, we look at the download data of the OAPEN Library and where it comes from. While examining the data from January to August 2021, we focused on the usage originating from libraries and academic institutions. Happily, we found that more than 1,100 academic institutions and libraries have used the OAPEN Library.

Of course, we do not actively track individual users. Instead we use a more general approach: we look at the website from which the download from the OAPEN Library originated. How does that work? For instance, when someone in the library of the University of Leipzig clicks on the download link of a book in the OAPEN library, two things happen: first, the book is directly available on the computer that person is working on, and second, the OAPEN server notes the ‘return address’: https://katalog.ub.uni-leipzig.de/. We have no way of knowing who the person is that started the download, we just know the request originated from the Leipzig University Library. Furthermore, some organisations choose to suppress sending their ‘return address’, making them anonymous.

The “Sci-Hub effect” can almost double the citations of research articles, study suggests

“Scientific articles that get downloaded from the scholarly piracy website Sci-Hub tend to receive more citations, according to a new study published in Scientometrics. The number of times an article was downloaded from Sci-Hub also turned out to be a robust predictor of future citations….”

Optimizing the use of twitter for research dissemination: The “Three Facts and a Story” Randomized-Controlled Trial – Journal of Hepatology

Abstract:  Background

Published research promoted on twitter reaches more readers. Tweets with graphics are more engaging than those without. Data are limited, however, regarding how to optimize a multimedia tweets for engagement

Methods

The “Three facts and a Story” trial is a randomized-controlled trial comparing a tweet featuring a graphical abstract to paired tweets featuring the personal motivations behind the research and a summary of the findings. Fifty-four studies published by the Journal of Hepatology were randomized at the time of online publication. The primary endpoint was assessed at 28-days from online publication with a primary outcome of full-text downloads from the website. Secondary outcomes included page views and twitter engagement including impressions, likes, and retweets.

Results

Overall, 31 studies received standard tweets and 23 received story tweets. Five studies were randomized to story tweets but crossed over to standard tweets for lack of author participation. Most papers tweeted were original articles (94% standard, 91% story) and clinical topics (55% standard, 61% story). Story tweets were associated with a significant increase in the number of full text downloads, 51 (34-71) versus 25 (13-41), p=0.002. There was also a non-significant increase in the number of page views. Story tweets generated an average of >1,000 more impressions than standard tweets (5,388 vs 4,280, p=0.002). Story tweets were associated with a similar number of retweets, and a non-significant increase in the number of likes.

Conclusion

Tweets featuring the authors and their motivations may increase engagement with published research.

University of Westminster Press celebrates one million views and downloads | University of Westminster, London

“The University’s open access publisher, University of Westminster Press (UWP), has reached an impressive milestone of one million views and downloads of its published titles….

 

The UWP is an open access publisher of peer-reviewed academic books and journals. Launched in 2015, the publisher exists to provide global public access to academic work in multiple formats, including books, policy briefs and journals. Over one million views and downloads have been achieved by the publisher since publishing its first journal in September 2015….”

Open access book usage data – how close is COUNTER to the other kind?

Abstract:  In April 2020, the OAPEN Library moved to a new platform, based on DSpace 6. During the same period, IRUS-UK started working on the deployment of Release 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice (R5). This is, therefore, a good moment to compare two widely used usage metrics – R5 and Google Analytics (GA). This article discusses the download data of close to 11,000 books and chapters from the OAPEN Library, from the period 15 April 2020 to 31 July 2020. When a book or chapter is downloaded, it is logged by GA and at the same time a signal is sent to IRUS-UK. This results in two datasets: the monthly downloads measured in GA and the usage reported by R5, also clustered by month. The number of downloads reported by GA is considerably larger than R5. The total number of downloads in GA for the period is over 3.6 million. In contrast, the amount reported by R5 is 1.5 million, around 400,000 downloads per month. Contrasting R5 and GA data on a country-by-country basis shows significant differences. GA lists more than five times the number of downloads for several countries, although the totals for other countries are about the same. When looking at individual tiles, of the 500 highest ranked titles in GA that are also part of the 1,000 highest ranked titles in R5, only 6% of the titles are relatively close together. The choice of metric service has considerable consequences on what is reported. Thus, drawing conclusions about the results should be done with care. One metric is not better than the other, but we should be open about the choices made. After all, open access book metrics are complicated, and we can only benefit from clarity.

 

Web analytics for open access academic journals: justification, planning and implementation | BiD: textos universitaris de biblioteconomia i documentació

Abstract:  An overview is presented of resources and web analytics strategies useful in setting solutions for capturing usage statistics and assessing audiences for open access academic journals. A set of complementary metrics to citations is contemplated to help journal editors and managers to provide evidence of the performance of the journal as a whole, and of each article in particular, in the web environment. The measurements and indicators selected seek to generate added value for editorial management in order to ensure its sustainability. The proposal is based on three areas: counts of visits and downloads, optimization of the website alongside with campaigns to attract visitors, and preparation of a dashboard for strategic evaluation. It is concluded that, from the creation of web performance measurement plans based on the resources and proposals analysed, journals may be in a better position to plan the data-driven web optimization in order to attract authors and readers and to offer the accountability that the actors involved in the editorial process need to assess their open access business model.

 

 

Article-Level Metrics

Abstract:  In the era of digitization and Open Access, article-level metrics are increasingly employed to distinguish influential research works and adjust research management strategies. Tagging individual articles with digital object identifiers allows exposing them to numerous channels of scholarly communication and quantifying related activities. The aim of this article was to overview currently available article-level metrics and highlight their advantages and limitations. Article views and downloads, citations, and social media metrics are increasingly employed by publishers to move away from the dominance and inappropriate use of journal metrics. Quantitative article metrics are complementary to one another and often require qualitative expert evaluations. Expert evaluations may help to avoid manipulations with indiscriminate social media activities that artificially boost altmetrics. Values of article metrics should be interpreted in view of confounders such as patterns of citation and social media activities across countries and academic disciplines.

 

An analysis of use statistics of electronic papers in a Korean scholarly information repository

Abstract:  Introduction. This study aimed to analyse the current use status of Korean scholarly papers accessible in the repository of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information in order to assess the economic validity of the maintenance and operation of the repository.

Method. This study used the modified historical cost method and performed regression analysis on the use of Korean scholarly papers by year and subject area.

Analysis. The development cost of the repository and the use volumes were analysed based on 1,154,549 Korean scholarly papers deposited in the Institute repository.

Results. Approximately 86% of the deposited papers were downloaded at least once and on average, a paper was downloaded over twenty-six times. Regression analysis showed that the ratio of use of currently deposited papers is likely to decrease by 7.6% annually, as new ones are added.

Conclusions. The need to manage currently deposited papers for at least thirteen years into the future and provide empirical proof that the repository has contributed to Korean researchers conducting research and development in the fields of science and technology. The benefit-cost ratio was above nineteen, confirming the economic validity of the repository.

The open access effect in social media exposure of scholarly articles: A matched-pair analysis – ScienceDirect

“Highlights

 

• The paper examines OA effect when a journal provides two types of link to the same subscription article: OA and paid content.

• OA links perform better than paid content links. When not indicating the OA status of a link, the performance drops greatly.

• OA benefits all countries, but its positive impact is slightly greater for developed countries.

• Combining social media dissemination with OA appears to enhance the reach of scientific information….”