Ebook: New Avenues for Electronic Publishing in the Age of Infinite Collections and Citizen Science: Scale, Openness and Trust
Research and scholarly communication is increasingly seen in the light of open science, making research processes and results more accessible and collaborative. This brings with it the chance to better connect research and society by introducing new avenues for engagement with citizens.
This book presents the proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Electronic Publishing (Elpub), held in Valetta, Malta, in September 2015. This year’s conference explores the interplay of two dimensions of electronic publishing – the ever growing volume of digital collections and the improved understanding of the widest user group, citizens. This exciting theme encompasses human, cultural, economic, social, technological, legal, policy-related, commercial, and other relevant aspects.
Echoing the conference agenda, the book covers a wide range of topics, including engagement with citizens and professionals, enhanced publishing and new paradigms, discovery and digital libraries, open access and open science, as well as the use and reuse of data. Addressing the most recent developments in these areas, the book will be of interest to practitioners, researchers and students in information science, as well as users of electronic publishing.
The International Conference on Electronic Publishing (Elpub) is just one year away from its 20th anniversary. Elpub 2015, the 19th edition of the conference, will continue its tradition of bringing together a wide range of stakeholders: academics, publishers, lecturers, librarians, students, developers, entrepreneurs, and users interested in issues regarding electronic publishing in diverse contexts. Three distinguishing features of this series of conferences are: a broad scope of topics creating a unique atmosphere of active exchange and learning on various aspects of electronic publishing; the combination of general and technical tracks. Lastly, a streamlined submission, revision and proceedings publication process guarantees the inclusion of current and cutting edge research in the programme.
Twenty years is a commendable lifespan for a conference in such a volatile area. Elpub has contributed to the ever-changing environment every year by focusing on a special theme. Elpub 2015 will explore the interplay of two dimensions of electronic publishing – the ever growing volume of digital collections, and the improved understanding of the widest user group: that of citizens. This exciting theme encompasses human, cultural, economic, social, technological, legal, policy-related, commercial, and other relevant aspects.
Are we currently facing the dawn of the age of citizen science? Not quite yet. However, open science is clearly on the horizon – not least through both the dedication of a growing group of researchers and the incentives set out by the European Commission and other research funders world-wide. The rationale for this approach is manifold: from promoting free access to all kinds of outputs resulting from publicly-funded research; a clear need to address data management, sharing and reuse; and open e-infrastructures for research to new forms of collaboration, publishing and user engagement. All this sets the foundations for a much wider interaction of researchers with their own community as well as professionals, industry representatives and citizens.
Citizen engagement will be by nature diverse. For example, communication via social media, or joint cultural heritage projects which explore the participation of citizens, e.g. patients and carers, in the effort to create better ways to discover, enrich and select information. The conference will present a range of results in this area, and explores opportunities for participation in old and new publishing paradigms.
The conference theme will be introduced by three inspiring keynotes: The main program on 1–2 September 2015 features Prof. Gowan Dawson (Leicester University, UK) who will deliver a keynote on “Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries”. Prof. Gail Feigenbaum (Getty Research, USA) will explore “Electronic Publication: Intended and Unintended Consequences”. Finally, a special intervention within the conference panel session will be offered by two local speakers from the publishing industry in Malta, Donald Tabone and Adrian Hillman.
Similar to previous conferences, Elpub offers a combination of themed sessions and a poster session. In addition, the discerning participants have a chance to follow satellite events focusing on topics which enjoy a great interest in the professional community.
Two pre-conference workshops will be held on 31 August 2015: “The evolving scholarly record: library stewardship roles in a fast changing multi-stakeholder ecosystem”, presented by Titia van der Werf, Senior Program Officer at OCLC Research, and “Upskilling for Research Data Management: How do you train the Data Librarian?” which will be delivered by Andrew Cox (University of Sheffield) and Anna Maria Tammaro (University of Parma). This is also co-organised with the Maltese Library and Information Association (MaLIA). Post-conference events feature a workshop organised by the EC-funded CRe-AM project entitled “Shaping the future for e-Publishing” the launch of the DARIAH in Malta a workshop on “The role of knowledge maps for access to Digital Archives” organised by the KNOwESCAPE COST action.
The conference takes place as one of the academic facets of VIVA – the Valletta International Visual Arts Festival, which reinforces the creative edge of electronic publishing and strengthens the prominence of the electronic publishing domain in the host country, Malta. It is co-organised by the St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity which offers its unique premises to the 19th edition of Elpub, and by the Department of Library Information and Archive Sciences of the University of Malta.
We would like to express our gratitude to all members of the Elpub Executive Committee who, together with the Programme Committee, helped to put in motion an impressive range of ideas which allowed us to offer such a diverse and exciting programme. We also would like to thank our sponsors – Emerald, ProQuest, Copernicus, and Springer at the time of writing – for their support and interest in reinforcing the connection between academic discourse and the professional publishing community.
We wish you all an inspiring conference and look forward to the anniversary 20th occasion of Elpub in Göttingen!
Birgit Schmidt and Milena Dobreva
1 July 2015
The Patients Participate! project explored the feasibility of a citizen science approach to writing lay summaries for research articles. It involved a range stakeholders: funders of research (medical charities), service providers (the British Library), researchers and patients. Informed by practices within medical charities and the experiences of other citizen science projects, different methods were used to investigate trust, the skills required to produce a good lay summary, and the benefits of citizen science. A literature review into human factors was carried out and platforms for service delivery were analysed. The project was able to synthesise guidelines on participation in citizen science projects and the writing of lay summaries, and to identify challenges. This paper summarises the outcomes and lessons learned.
The CIVIC EPISTEMOLOGIES project investigates citizen science and crowdsourcing in the domain of the research in Digital Cultural Heritage and Humanities (DCHH). The ultimate aim is to produce a validated Roadmap indicating the suggested direction that the deployment of services and infrastructures should take, in order to support the participation of citizens in the research processes and the participation of creative industries in the exploitation of digital cultural content. The case of DCHH is particularly relevant because of the major cross-cutting role that the humanities play in European research and innovation, recently acknowledged in a clear way in the Horizon2020 Community Programme for Research and Innovation. Cultural heritage and humanities also represent a subject area in which citizens are particularly active, counting several – still spread - experiences of their involvement in recording, annotating and cataloguing activities on an individual or group basis, as volunteers and amateurs. The case of broadening e-Infrastructure deployment to support the participation of citizens to DCHH research, even if holding a strong impact potential for social cohesion and job development, is not yet fully explored. The paper discusses about the multidisciplinary approach to citizen science and how this method can contribute to the benefit of many scientific domains, research communities, and technology advancements as well as delivering novel social and economic impact.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library, BHL
How may we best evaluate an open access e-journal that is not intended to be cited in rank “A” scientific journals? In this study, we took the example of a journal that connects research and professionals workers in the environmental sciences. We compared information from downloads with readership surveys. The main finding was that readers remember the best articles from a given issue and classify the issues based on this memory. A clear dichotomy can be observed: some readers are particularly interested in the management of biodiversity and pollution and others reject all that links to it.
In the context of Open Science, almost every ‘traditional’ research activity and output has been affected and transformed by means of web based technology. New forms of research output have emerged, among them software as an important means and method for data driven science. But how can software be treated as scholarly work, and how can it be integrated into a digital research infrastructure? The paper depicts software development related to Open Science and points out some future directions for software to become part of a sustainable research infrastructure.
This article is an excerpt of the outcome of a two-year research and development project on hybrid publishing. The DPT Collective  developed a Toolkit which consists of the publication From Print to Ebooks: A Hybrid Publishing Toolkit for the Arts  and an online software kit  – which is meant for publishers who publish visually oriented books in mostly smaller print runs. This Toolkit focuses particularly (but not exclusively) on EPUB3 as an electronic publication format, and on Markdown  as a word processing format. The recommendations stem from our practical experience in collaborating on electronic publication projects with four Dutch art, design and research publishers: BISPublishers, Valiz, nai010 uitgevers and the Institute of Network Cultures.
This paper describes research-funder and research assessment policies in the UK and assesses the impact that these policies are having in the transition towards research outputs being made available on an open access basis.
The paper analyzes some current trends of research and development in the field of digital libraries. The presentation is focused on the main features of two new generations of digital libraries – the so-called semantic digital libraries and social semantic digital libraries. The design characteristics, principles of functioning and some implementation details of a particular academic digital library have been discussed as an illustration of the suggested ideas.
Publishing in academic journals and conferences has become faster, and easier with the ability to edit and submit documents electronically. With the increase of publications also come negative effects such as that of information overload and elevated discovery time of relevant resources. An information seeker often wades through several documents in order to find relevant publications having to either select known repositories for their search or utilizing generic search sources which network to several online repositories. Even with the advances in interactive systems, information seekers still carry out a mostly textual search from input to returned results. Several tools have been created by researchers in order to assist the seekers in their visual academic document triage activities but very few have been successfully implemented in actual discovery of electronic publications. With electronic publishing increasing dramatically, we recognize the paramount importance for these tools to be improved and integrated within environments to assist the seekers. In this work, we present an overview of key bespoke tools purpose built for achieving this document selection tasks. Using this work as a reference we hope to encourage structured and novel approaches to creating triage tools and improve the discovery process of electronic academic document publications.
Many educational institutions have repositories for research outputs. The number of items available through institutional repositories is growing, and is expected to continue to do so due to requirements for outputs from public-funded research to be open access. But how much usage are institutional repositories and their individual items getting? The Jisc-funded service IRUS-UK is designed to help institutions understand more about the usage of their institutional repositories. IRUS-UK collects raw usage data from participating repositories and processes these into COUNTER-compliant statistics. This provides repositories with comparable, authoritative, standards-based data and opportunities for profiling and benchmarking. It enables institutions to run reports at both repository level (e.g. total download figures) and at item level. IRUS-UK utilises a robust, multistage ingest process, validating data, stripping out robot and unusual accesses, and filtering out double clicks, to transform raw usage data into COUNTER-compliant statistics. IRUS-UK currently has data from 83 UK institutional repositories (using Eprints, DSpace and Fedora software) and has recorded over 35 million downloads since July 2012. The data from IRUS-UK can be used to provide information for management reporting, for usage monitoring, and for external reporting. Data can be viewed within the online portal, downloaded for further analysis, or harvested using the SUSHI service (NISO Z39.93). IRUS-UK is also working with and contributing to other groups and initiatives involved in a range of activities relating to usage statistics. These include: the Distributed Usage Logging/CrossRef DOI Event Tracker Working Group, OpenAIRE2020 and COAR Working Group.
The following report aims to examine the current tendencies in the field of Open Access (OA) publishing. Ever since its inception in the 1990s, Open Access has been a topic of interest in regards to its potential to be viable alternative to more traditional publishing models for scientific information and communication. This report examines OA within the context of both international practices (with a focus on European experience in the Open Access field), as well as looking at the current tendencies regarding this publishing model in Bulgaria.
The rapid growth of hybrid journals in the last few years has seen an unfortunate side effect: the majority of Open Access (OA) articles published in those journals cannot be recognized as OA beyond the publishers' websites, or by the discovery services used by researchers to access full-text articles. This reality has been demonstrated in the literature and solutions have been proposed. This paper explains the causes behind the problem, examines each of the proposed solutions, discusses the few implementations made with those solutions, and estimates whether the potential benefits merit the efforts required to implement the available solutions. Each of the solutions is analyzed from standardization and pragmatic perspectives. In particular, we critically analyze the solution proposed by NISO (RP-22-2015), and compare it with the solution offered by the JEMO project, which is based on using metadata elements from namespaces and XML schemas already being used by publishers. The contribution presents a number of case studies which show that research published as OA ends up erroneously being labelled as non-OA on the electronic services used by the end-user, when one of the components of the supply and delivery chain for e-journals fails to include OA information in its metadata. Furthermore, the case studies demonstrate that publishers of hybrid journals should not be the only ones being answerable for the problem. In fact, during the study, some publishers were actually not allowed to enable OA identification, at the article level, by key components of the supply chain. In those case studies, we worked with a sample of publishers that implemented the JEMO solution. From those experiences we draw answers to the main question of this presentation: which solution should be used to enable OA discovery from hybrid journals? What becomes apparent is that publishers are prepared and willing to implement any of the available solutions in their publishing workflow. The paper proposes that the simplest option is the best solution to provide standardized means to identify OA at the article level.
The growing number of publications presenting research findings, the pressure on scientists to produce publications in great quantity, and the shift in the business models of many journals increased importance of journals' editorial practices, which are well represented in guidelines for preparing the manuscript for submission. Journals have a special responsibility to protect research integrity and to keep trust in journal publishing. This study looked at information on editorial practices in the instructions for authors of Croatian Open Access journals. 283 instructions for authors from all disciplines were examined according to the broad range of publishing issues grouped in hierarchically organized categories. Mostly addressed issues were manuscript layout (276/283) and journal language (269/283). The most common ethical issues among journals from all disciplines were responsibility of author (73/283), funding (52/283), and accuracy (51/283). There are several ethical issues addressed significantly more often by biomedical journals, like responsibility of authors (14/30), publishing ethics (14/30), conflict of interest (12/30), funding (11/30), and authorship (11/30). In comparison with ethical issues common publishing issues like manuscript layout, manuscript elements, and type of paper were richly represented in journals from all disciplines.
With the diffusion of digital information technology, data mining (DM) is widely expected to increase the productivity of all kinds of research activities. Based on bibliometric data, we demonstrate that the share of DM-related research articles in all published academic papers has increased substantially over the last two decades. We develop an ordinal categorization of countries according to essential aspects of the copyright system affecting the costs and benefits of DM research. We demonstrate that countries in which data mining for academic research requires the express consent of rights holders, data mining makes up a significantly smaller share of total research output. To our knowledge, this is the first time that an empirical study identified a significant negative association between copyright protection and innovation. We also show that within countries where DM requires express consent by rights holders, there is an inverse relationship between rule of law indicators and the share of DM related articles in all research articles.
How can universities provide good advice about the legal aspects of research data management? At the same time, how can universities prevent that perceived legal risks become barriers to: conducting research, sharing research data, valorisation of research data, and control mechanisms for the purpose of scientific integrity? A Dutch expert group developed a creative approach based on some core ideas
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen or Erasmus University Rotterdam.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen or Erasmus University Rotterdam.
This paper presents selected findings of the Belmont Forum's survey on open data which targeted the global environmental research and data infrastructure community. It highlights users' perceptions of the term “open data”, expectations of infrastructure functionalities, and barriers and enablers for the sharing of data. Respondents also pointed out a wide range of good practice examples and a desire for enhancement and consolidation.
In our paper we summarise the findings of an empirical study in which a sample of 346 journals in economics and business studies were examined. We regard both the extent and the quality of journals' data policies, which should facilitate replications of published empirical research. The paper presents some characteristics of journals equipped with data policies and gives some recommendations for suitable data policies in economics and business sciences journals. In addition, we also evaluate the journals' data archives to roughly estimate whether these journals really enforce data availability. Our key finding is that we are currently not able to determine a new publishing paradigm for journals in economic sciences.
The eTalks are a new digital multimedia editing plaform developed at the University of Lausanne: their application is implemented via an easy-to-use editor interface, designed for the use of researchers themselves, to create and edit original eTalks. This permits the linking together of images, sounds and textual materials with hyperlinks, enriching it with relevant information. The final release of eTalks allows complete ‘citability’ of its contents: each and every portion of the researchers' talks can be precisely referred to and thus cited with a specific identifier, just like any traditional, paper-based scientific publication but with all the potential for plural literacies. It is openly accessible and the code is open source, including guidelines to install the eTalks. It contributes to the development of multiliteracies in the digital academic production of knowledge.
COAR is working towards greater interoperability of systems in a number of areas, with an emphasis on open access metadata elements and vocabularies. This paper presents the outcomes of the recently published roadmap on future directions for repository interoperability as well as an overview of the current status of the associations' work related to this topic, i.e. the initiative “Aligning Repository Networks”.
The success and mainstreaming of e-books is transforming not only the traditional/Gutenbergian idea of the book but also the previous idea of an e-book as mainly an enriched print book. In the new e-book concept, the nature of a book as an artifact is diminishing and disposition as a networked interface to the knowledge is rising. One of the most important emerging concepts is the social reading, which means reading acts while connected to the other people. Social reading is a new and not very well defined area of reading practices. In addition to the traditional reading together and discussing books person to person, social reading includes a large number of networked functions like sharing and receiving shared information. Research of this new phenomena is almost non existent, yet it is expected to be the next big thing in reading and in e-books. This study provides an overview of the history of social reading of printed books and then defines parallel features in the new digital reading activities. Research material consists of popular e-book software and services. The proposed categorization of social reading is based on content analysis of properties that were found in those services. This report claims that social reading functionalities are manifestations of the social needs that have existed during and even before the paper book; digital time enables re-emerging of some of those features, but in a different manner.
During March 2015, the Blekinge Institute of Technology library carried out an interview survey comprising around 36 senior researchers and postdocs mainly in engineering sciences, with the objective to get a picture of how research data is managed at BTH and to find out what the researcher attitudes are to sharing data. The survey showed that most researchers in the study were positive to sharing research data but lacked any experience of making data management plans and had little or no knowledge of data preservation or of sharing open data. Uncertainties about data ownership are also an issue.