Publication speed under ALPSP spotlight | The Bookseller

“Kiley, speaking in a panel titled Shifting Sands: What’s Affecting Your Business?, urged academics and publishers to embrace the use of preprints (versions of articles circulated ahead of publication) “as a fast way to disseminate outputs”. He added: “We need to change [academic] culture by encouraging researchers to cite preprints, and to [persuading] publishers to accept that preprints don’t constitute ‘prior publication’.” Kiley noted the speed of his institution’s new platform Wellcome Open Research, which publishes articles online in just a week. During that time it checks for “hygiene” issues, such as plagiarism. It offers researchers the ability to publish across all their research outputs (including datasets), and works on an author-led, open review system. It is one of several initiatives by Wellcome aimed at changing the dynamics of scholarly communication, another being Open Access journal eLife, to which it has just given a further five years of funding….”

The Library as Publishing House

“The academic library has taken on the new role of institutional publishing house, using institutional repository (IR) services to enable journal publishing and manage conference planning. Librarians taking on this new role as publisher must know the journal publishing work flow, including online article submission, peer review, publishing, marketing, and assessment. They must understand international identifiers such as the electronic International Standard Serial Number (eISSN) and Digital Object Identifier (DOI). To manage conference planning functions, librarians need to understand event functions such as presentation submission, program scheduling, registration and third-party payment systems, proceedings publishing, and archiving. In general, they need to be technologically savvy enough to configure and manage a specialized content management system, the institutional repository….”

The Open Innovation Research Landscape: Established Perspectives and Emerging Themes across Different Levels of Analysis by Marcel Bogers, Ann-Kristin Zobel, Allan Afuah, Esteve Almirall, Sabine Brunswicker, Linus Dahlander, Lars Frederiksen, Annabelle Gawer, Marc Gruber, Stefan Haefliger, John Hagedoorn, Dennis Hilgers, Keld Laursen, Mats Magnusson, Ann Majchrzak, Ian P. McCarthy, Kathrin M. Moeslein, Satish Nambisan, Frank T. Piller, Agnieszka Radziwon, Cristina Rossi Lamastra, Jonathan Sims,

Abstract: “This paper provides an overview of the main perspectives and themes emerging in research on open innovation. The paper is the result of a collaborative process among several open innovation scholars — having a common basis in the recurrent Professional Development Workshop (PDW) on “Researching Open Innovation” at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. In this paper, we present opportunities for future research on open innovation, organized at different levels of analysis. We discuss some of the contingencies at these different levels, and argue that future research needs to study open innovation — originally an organizational-level phenomenon — across multiple levels of analysis. While our integrative framework allows comparing, contrasting, and integrating different perspectives at different levels of analysis, further theorizing will be needed to advance open innovation research. On this basis, we propose some new research categories as well as questions for future research — particularly those that span across research domains that have so far developed in isolation.”

The first Open Access Repository in Malta: two years of challenges and experiences

Two years after the launch of the first open access repository in Malta, some thoughts and observations on the evolution of this project can be made. Unfortunately, disseminating information and speaking at local conferences was not enough to persuade academics to upload material. In consequence, the University started working on an OA policy to mandate submissions onto the repository.**

In September 2014, the University of Malta (UM) launched its Open Access (OA) Institutional Repository (IR) –OAR@UoM. In line with other institutional repositories of higher education institutions, the repository’s primary goal is to collect, preserve and disseminate the research output of the University. Subsequently, OAR@UoM is an online platform, which supports UM academics and researchers to publish their research output in OA asdelineated by Leslie Chan, “the set-up of an institutional repository should be the primary means that each institution has for making the research output of their faculty openly accessible” and thus eliminating the hefty recurrent expenditures for licensing online journals hosted by commercial publishers.

This, however, presents a number of challenges. Since OAR@UoM is the first and only online institutional repository on the Maltese Islands, it also serves as an opportunity to expand partnerships with other institutions. This pushes the boundaries of traditional IRs and creates new sets of challenges.

Promoting green OA in Malta

One such challenge, is promoting the idea of uploading research in OA to a number of academics who are unaware of OA or are bound by copyright obligations and restrictions. For this reason, awareness is crucial and thus the UM Library is actively promoting OAR@UoM to academics as a platform where research created by the UM is preserved and also showcased online in OA. This highlights the value of having research created at the UM available on the repository both for preservation purposes and also to make research available on an international level without any restriction.

Before implementing OAR@UoM, a pilot study was conducted and the results were quite positive with regards to academics submitting items in OA. However, in practice most of the academics that showed interest and were keen to upload their research, were concerned mostly about two aspects; copyright issues and not having the time to upload their research. For some reason the idea of OA seems to be a cultural shock for the academic community in Malta. Another common reason for not uploading on OAR@UoM was the fact that a big number of academics had already made their research available in OA through other platforms such as and prior to the implementation of OAR@UoM. These academics argued that uploading their research output on OAR@UoM would be repeating again what they had already done on these social networks. Nevertheless, there were a number of academics who supported the repository and uploaded their papers, book chapters and other items on OAR@UoM., However, they only represented a minor segment of the University of Malta academics.

Library staff organise training workshops on how to upload the research output onto OAR@UoM and highlight the benefits of OA publishing. Librarians also offer direct one-to-one training sessions with academics addressing copyright and plagiarism issues as these might be one of the many issues holding back academics from submitting their research. The Library takes part in events like Science in the City, meetings and discussions on a European level to constantly raise awareness about the repository and also learn new trends in OA. In October the Library also organizes OA week on campus where more in depth training is given and awareness about research in OA is raised. In May 2015, the Library in collaboration with FOSTER hosted a conference, specifically aimed at academics who publish on a regular basis. The goal of the conference was to address main concerns and issues academics have with uploading their research on the repository in OA.

Is mandating needed?

Unfortunately, similar to other institutional experiences, some academics are reluctant to submit their research on OAR@UOM. The initial years are the time when the Library has to overcome various reasons which hinder the submission of material to OAR@UoM by academics. At this stage institutions could consider adopting an exclusive Gold OA policy to mandate research to be published in OA journals but institutions expecting to adopt such an approach can be criticized for not taking into consideration the financial requirement for doing so, especially catering for APCs. This is similar to what happened in the UK when the government tried to implement a national OA policy favoring the Gold model at the expense of the Green model. With the implementation of an OA repository instead of an OA Policy first, the University of Malta promoted the self-archiving route (Green OA) while also recommending and supporting Gold OA Publishing. Unfortunately, disseminating information and speaking at local conferences, was not enough to persuade academics to upload material on OAR@UoM. Since at the University of Malta we do not have the structure to guarantee funding of APCs, the Library started working on an OA policy to mandate submissions onto OAR@UoM (Green OA) while supporting OA publishing (Gold OA). This is also very similar to the model adopted by the UK according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) policy.

The REF is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The REF was undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies, who will use the REF results to distribute research funding to universities on the basis of quality, from 2015-16 onward. This mandates university research to be submitted into university repositories in open access making it easier for universities to be compliant with open access policies. This also changes the nature of submissions from a want to a need in the context of researchers. It creates a competitive environment where a researcher who wants to benefit from research funds must have had his previous research available through open access repositories. Failure in doing so has negative repercussions for him/her and his university. Having research funding and professional review directly connected with depositing articles in the repository in open access has drastically increased submissions and changed the attitudes of academics towards open access.

Technical issues

OAR@UoM offers two methods for submitting such research, mediated or self-deposit. Mediated deposit is used to support academics who might not have the time to upload the material themselves and/or needed some assistance. Academics who want to submit their items individually can use the self-deposit method. The submission methods for academics and students differ; in order to have dissertations available on the repository, students submit an electronic version of their theses, which the faculty administration collects and then sends to the Library as a batch. Library staff uploads the dissertations under their respective faculty’s collection and ensures that the metadata is consistent with Library policies.

When academics upload their research on OAR@UoM, the submission goes through a quality control phase. All submissions are checked by Library staff to ensure that the metadata is correct and the items submitted are the ones described. Most frequent issues at this stage are subject keywords. Replacing author generated keywords with Library of Congress subject headings is usually the most frequent issue as this is usually a time consuming task, especially if the subject of the research is not clear or obscure.

8,000 contributing authors

After nearly two years, the Library managed to populate the repository with a number of important research resources. There are over 8,000 different authors who have items deposited on OAR@UoM with over 16,000 different subject classifications. These items are also the result of the Library’s own initiative to find content appropriate for OAR@UoM and upload it on behalf of the creators. On a first impression 8,000 authors might sound impressive but at least half of them are students and their dissertations. Subsequently, from the remaining half, a forth are voluntary submissions from academics (self deposited or mediated), the rest are a result of the Library’s initiative to digitize Melitensia items (papers and articles about Malta or written by Maltese authors). As of the end of August 2016, there are a total of 9,885 items available on OAR@UoM, over 2,000 articles, 1,500 recordings, 165 books, over 3,100 undergraduate dissertations and nearly 1,700 postgraduate dissertations. This is just a fraction of the total research output produced by University staff.

University published journals such as the International Journal of Emotional Education (IJEE), Journal of Malta College of Family Doctors (JMCFD), Images in Paediatric Cardiology (IPC), Xjenza, Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Malta, Antae Journal, Malta Journal of Health Sciences, Malta Medical Journal, Think Magazine and Symposia Melitensia upload their issues on the IR as a means to reach a bigger audience. Since OAR@UoM is OpenAIRE compliant, all uploads are to be OCR compatible and the IR is indexed by Google, anything uploaded on OAR@UoM is getting a boost in visibility online.

Another way to increase the visibility of the repository in general and to demonstrate the interest to the materials uploaded on the IR, can be to encourage other entities to upload material in special collections. An example of such is the University Campus FM, which see OAR@UoM as a means to archive their programs and also benefit from the visibility boost. Electronic dissertations uploaded on OAR@UoM are not available in OA, however, the metadata of these dissertations, is. In fact, the Library receives a number of requests from various researches from different countries, to gain access to these dissertations. After receiving a request, the author of the dissertation is contacted and if he/she gives permission, such requests are granted.

Another project linked with OAR@UoM is the digitization of Melitensia pamphlets (material related or talking about Malta, by Maltese authors or of Maltese heritage importance). This material is uploaded on OAR@UoM as part of the development of the IR into a National Repository.

UoM Library’s goal is to bring together the Maltese research community by enhancing their awareness on OA; however due to the reluctance of academics to upload, in order to guarantee that researchers will submit material onto OAR@UoM in OA, the UoM has to issue a mandate that clearly outlines the responsibly involved with such an obligation. This may further impact the country as a whole due to the fact that research produced will be internationally visible and can result in foreign entities investing in local research.

– Ryan Scicluna, Outreach Librarian at the University of Malta Library since June 2011. Interested in Open Access, institutional repositories and the promotion of library services. Ryan actively promotes literacy through the use of comics as chairperson of the NGO Graphic Novels Library Malta (GNLM).

** – This blog post was originally posted on

Freier Zugang schafft mehr Wissen – BMBF

English Translation (Google): Free access creates more knowledge

“Das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) startet heute eine umfassende Open Access-Strategie.”

English Translation (Google): “The Federal Ministry of Education and Research ( BMBF ) to start a comprehensive open access strategy today.”

Fossils preserved by Kansas chalk for eons will be digitized and shared via new NSF grant | The University of Kansas

“Not only will the digitization work make the Western Interior Seaway fossils more useful to scientists, but the grant will open up access to the fossil treasures for the public at large. “We’re going to be creating images and providing information about where fossils come from,” Lieberman said. “The public can look at the same resources as a museum researcher, to expand science out to the public more.” The public outreach will center on a new “Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life” intended as an open-access textbook of paleontology. The atlas will feature an online Cretaceous Atlas with at least 800 species from the Western Interior Seaway to be added to the existing Digital Atlas of Ancient Life for the web and an iPhone app. In addition to open-access resources, the researchers will develop K-12 curricular materials from the digitization project as well as providing 3-D scans of the fossils and 3-D models for some classrooms. Additionally, exhibitions based on the grant work are planned at the associated institutions….”

Architectural Histories Abandons APCs Through OLH Partnership | Open Library of Humanities

“We are extremely pleased to announce that the journal Architectural Histories, published by Ubiquity Press, is to remove its Article Processing Charges (APCs) through a partnership with the Open Library of Humanities.”

Clinical research data sharing: what an open science world means for researchers involved in evidence synthesis | Systematic Reviews | Full Text

Abstract: “The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recently announced a bold step forward to require data generated by interventional clinical trials that are published in its member journals to be responsibly shared with external investigators. The movement toward a clinical research culture that supports data sharing has important implications for the design, conduct, and reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. While data sharing is likely to enhance the science of evidence synthesis, facilitating the identification and inclusion of all relevant research, it will also pose key challenges, such as requiring broader search strategies and more thorough scrutiny of identified research. Furthermore, the adoption of data sharing initiatives by the clinical research community should challenge the community of researchers involved in evidence synthesis to follow suit, including the widespread adoption of systematic review registration, results reporting, and data sharing, to promote transparency and enhance the integrity of the research process.”

Open access to the scientific journal literature

Abstract:  None of the advantages of traditional scientific journals need be sacrificed in order to provide free online access to scientific journal articles. Objections that open access to scientific journal literature requires the sacrifice of peer-review, revenue, copyright protection, or other strengths of traditional journals, are based on misunderstandings.

A new era for Italian Journal of Pediatrics | Italian Journal of Pediatrics | Full Text

On behalf of the Editorial Board, welcome to the new Italian Journal of Pediatrics, the official journal of the ISP/SIP (Italian Society of Pediatrics/Società Italiana di Pediatria), now publishing on BioMed Central’s open access publishing platform. The move to BioMed Central will benefit authors by having their manuscripts published faster with rapid global dissemination. Readers will also benefit from free online access to the journal via the website and a range of full text archives.

Water and carbon stable isotope records from natural archives: a new database and interactive online platform for data browsing, visualizing and downloading

Abstract:  Past climate is an important benchmark to assess the ability of climate models to simulate key processes and feedbacks. Numerous proxy records exist for stable isotopes of water and/or carbon, which are also implemented inside the components of a growing number of Earth system model. Model–data comparisons can help to constrain the uncertainties associated with transfer functions. This motivates the need of producing a comprehensive compilation of different proxy sources. We have put together a global database of proxy records….Source records were obtained from the georeferenced open access PANGAEA and NOAA libraries, complemented by additional data obtained from a literature survey. About 3000 source records were screened for chronological information and temporal resolution of proxy records. Altogether, this database consists of hundreds of dated ?18O, ?13C and ?D records in a standardized simple text format, complemented with a metadata Excel catalog. A quality control flag was implemented to describe age markers and inform on chronological uncertainty. This compilation effort highlights the need to homogenize and structure the format of datasets and chronological information as well as enhance the distribution of published datasets that are currently highly fragmented and scattered. We also provide an online portal based on the records included in this database with an intuitive and interactive platform (, allowing one to easily select, visualize and download subsets of the homogeneously formatted records that constitute this database, following a choice of search criteria, and to upload new datasets…..

Mackenzie DataStream: How an open access platform for sharing water data was built and how it is evolving to meet community needs

“This presentation focuses on an effort to manage and make the western scientific results of these programs widely available. It tells the story of how Mackenzie DataStream, an open access platform, was developed and how it is evolving to meet community needs.”

Mackenzie DataStream: How an open access platform for sharing water data was built and how it is evolving to meet community needs

“This presentation focuses on an effort to manage and make the western scientific results of these programs widely available. It tells the story of how Mackenzie DataStream, an open access platform, was developed and how it is evolving to meet community needs.”

Scraping Scientific Web Repositories: Challenges and Solutions for Automated Content Extraction

Abstract: “Aside from improving the visibility and accessibility of scientific publications, many scientific Web repositories also assess researchers’ quantitative and qualitative publication performance, e.g., by displaying metrics such as the h-index. These metrics have become important for research institutions and other stakeholders to support impactful decision making processes such as hiring or funding decisions. However, scientific Web repositories typically offer only simple performance metrics and limited analysis options. Moreover, the data and algorithms to compute performance metrics are usually not published. Hence, it is not transparent or verifiable which publications the systems include in the computation and how the systems rank the results. Many researchers are interested in accessing the underlying scientometric raw data to increase the transparency of these systems. In this paper, we discuss the challenges and present strategies to programmatically access such data in scientific Web repositories. We demonstrate the strategies as part of an open source tool (MIT license) that allows research performance comparisons based on Google Scholar data. We would like to emphasize that the scraper included in the tool should only be used if consent was given by the operator of a repository. In our experience, consent is often given if the research goals are clearly explained and the project is of a non-commercial nature.”