Perceptions regarding academic social networks for scholarly communications | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose This study aims to investigate the perceptions of academics regarding the use and usefulness of academic social networks (ASNs) in the scholarly communication practices of faculty members in Kuwaiti Universities. Design/methodology/approach The study was conducted through a survey. In total, 100 faculty members from the disciplines of business administration, humanities and social sciences from three universities in Kuwait filled in an online questionnaire. The statistical feature of the Web-based tool was used for data analysis. Findings The results show that most faculty members are aware of the importance of ASNs. They perceive that these networks are useful, as more publications have become available, it has become easier for scholars to connect with colleagues who share similar research interests. Research limitations/implications The study is descriptive and restricted to a specific country (Kuwait). It also only covered faculty members from three academic disciplines. Furthermore, the use of a questionnaire, while appropriate for descriptive research, restricted us from conducting probing designed to gain deeper insights regarding participants’ motivations and explanations for not realizing the potential of these networks. Practical implications Future research should expand the scope of this study to cover faculty members from other disciplines (e.g. science, engineering and medicine), while also including more universities from other countries in the Arabian Gulf region. Future research should also examine how academics’ information-finding practices are changing as a result of the availability of information sources through ASNs. Originality/value No similar study has been conducted previously in Kuwait. This study provided useful information regarding the use and perceptions of ASNs in the context of faculty members of Kuwaiti universities. This information is of interest to scholars, information providers and those who design such networks.

Open access availability of Catalonia research output: Case analysis of the CERCA institution, 2011-2015

Abstract:  The open access availability of publications by Catalonia’s CERCA research centres was analysed to determine the extent to which authors use open access journals, repositories, social networks and other websites to disseminate their research results. A sample of 3,730 journal articles published by authors from CERCA research centres between 2011 and 2015 and available on Web of Science (out of a total output of 44,423) was analysed to identify how many were available in open access, full-text format. The results revealed that 75,8% of the total (2,828 articles) had at least one version available in open access, but just 52% (1,940 articles) had at least one version available in either journals (whether pure or hybrid open access journals or those with embargo periods) or repositories, a finding that highlights the powerful role played by academic social networks in the sharp increase in open access availability. Of the 2,828 articles for which at least one open access version was found, a total of 9,868 copies were located. With respect to versions, the publisher’s final version, i.e. the type formatted for publication by journal publishers, was found in 75,3% of cases. The number of articles published in open access journals (567) was very close to the number of articles published in hybrid journals or journals with embargo periods (624). Only 40,4% of the articles in the sample were located in repositories, being the subject repositories the heaviest used. Fifty percent of the articles (1,881 publications) were posted on academic social networks, the most popular of which were ResearchGate and Academia. According to thematic areas, all six areas (science, life sciences, medical and health sciences, engineering and architecture and humanities) exceeded 70% of articles in open access.