If taxpayers paid for it, they own it

The push for open access in research got a big boost on Friday with the release of a policy memorandum from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren, which has directed Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.  Whew that was a long sentence!  This is a precursor to the hopefully eventual ratification of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act that was introduced both in the house and the senate on February 14th, 2013.  Check out this Wiki from the Harvard Open Access Project for more information on that and to track the progress of FASTR in congress.

Those of us in the know on this issue, which let’s face it should be all of us in academia, have seen the writing on the wall for quite some time.  And it’s thanks to the continued activism, advocacy, and articulate passion of so many in the academic community that we are at this point today.  If you have a moment, please read this joint letter from ARL, ALA, Creative Commons, PLOS, and many others offering support and a simple, but resonating rationale for the open access of scientific research.

http://www.arl.org/sparc/bm~doc/oawg_thanks_fastr_final-copy.pdf

Let’s Face It, No One Can Read Everything

I read.  A lot.  Still I’m constantly amazed at how little of the massive amounts of information available to me I’m actually able to absorb.  It is no surprise that this is an affliction shared by the research community.  Scientific research is available for public consumption in ways that would have seemed unimaginable just a few short years ago and the sheer volume can be overwhelming.

“In growing numbers, scholars are integrating social media tools like blogs, Twitter, and Mendeley into their professional communications. The online, public nature of these tools exposes and reifies scholarly processes once hidden and ephemeral. Metrics based on this activities could inform broader, faster measures of impact, complementing traditional citation metrics.”

http://arxiv.org/html/1203.4745v1

These alternative metrics, or altmetrics as they are commonly referred to, are increasingly gaining credence as a way to track the sphere of influence of social media in the scientific community.  It also serves to help sift the wheat from the chaff so to speak.  What is truly worth your time to read?  What are other like minded folks in your field reading?  What is the…

nmat3485-f1

The new model is starting to look like this.

four-ways-to-measure-impact-copy

Publication in a peer-review journal is not the only way to effectively measure the impact of research, especially now with the push for open access and the quickly becoming outdated model of traditional publication.

Check out IU E-Science librarian Stacy Konkiel’ s great talk on the potential uses of alt-metrics in libraries.

Click through these slides from Heather’s Piwowar’s talk on altmetrics from ALA mid-winter.

And finally some recommended reading just in case you have lots of time on your hands…

-Good intro to ways in which altmetrics are being used and their potential impact

https://blogs.aalto.fi/suoritin/2013/01/22/digging-into-altmetrics/

-Feel like you need a dissenting viewpoint?  Check out this editorial from Nature

http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v12/n2/pdf/nmat3566.pdf

Great article on using social media to explore scholarly impact, by the founders of  Impact Story

http://arxiv.org/html/1203.4745v1

-Tools from PLOS to measure research impact

http://article-level-metrics.plos.org/

-Bibliography of articles on altmetrics from PLOS

http://blogs.plos.org/everyone/2012/11/01/announcing-the-altmetrics-collection/

-Article discussing the new guidelines for grant applications for NSF which asks a principal investigator to list his or her research “products” rather than “publications” in the biographical sketch section.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v493/n7431/full/493159a.html#/author-information

-Quick blog post on altmetrics as a discovery tool

http://inundata.org/2013/01/23/altmetrics-as-a-discovery-tool/