Expanded access to JSTOR and Artstor further extended: a letter from Kevin Guthrie and Rebecca Seger – ITHAKA

“The challenges faced by the higher education community due to COVID-19 are deep and lasting. We are all affected and need to respond. At ITHAKA, our not-for-profit mission is to make access to knowledge and education more accessible for all. We have asked ourselves what it means to fulfill that mission during these difficult times and have discussed with our trustees creative ways we can respond. Through these discussions we decided to establish a $4 million fee relief program and to develop a range of expanded access offerings to help schools and universities that have had to rapidly pivot to online instruction.

Our expanded access offerings for JSTOR-participating institutions in response to COVID-19 include access to unlicensed JSTOR Archive and Primary Source collections as well as Artstor at no cost. Participation in these programs has been remarkable; to date this content has been accessed more than 24 million times by users at nearly 12,000 institutions….”

The open-access availability of criminological research to practitioners and policy makers | Matt Ashby

Abstract:  Criminology produces policy-relevant research and criminologists often seek to influence practice, but most criminological research is confined to expensive subscription journals. This disadvantages researchers in the global south, policy makers and practitioners who have the skills to use research findings but do not have journal subscriptions. Open access seeks to increase availability of research, but take-up among criminologists has been low. This study used a sample of 12,541 articles published in criminology journals between 2017 and 2019 to estimate the proportion of articles available via different types of open access. Overall 22% of research was available to non-subscribers, about half that found in other disciplines, even though authors had the right to make articles open without payment in at least 95% of cases. Open access was even less common in many leading journals and among researchers in the United States. Open access has the potential to increase access to research for those outside academia, but few scholars exercise their existing rights to distribute freely the submitted or accepted versions of their articles online. Policies to incentivise authors to make research open access where possible are needed unlock the benefits of greater access to criminological research.

New Downtown Eastside Research Access Portal takes collaborative approach to Open Access – About UBC Library

“Community members living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) have been the focal point of countless scholarly research studies and surveys over the years. Up until recently, this research has remained largely out of reach to participants and community organizations, locked away in journals and other databases that require paid subscriptions to access. Community members have said they would benefit from access to that data for evaluating program and service effectiveness, for example, or for grant writing….

The recently launched Downtown Eastside Research Access Portal (DTES RAP), a project led by the UBC Learning Exchange in partnership with UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, is designed to change that.

The DTES RAP provides access to research and research-related materials relevant to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside through an easy-to-use public interface. The portal was developed in consultation with DTES residents and community organizations through focus groups and user experience testing, and in collaboration with a number of university units.  …”

University of North Carolina Studies in Germanic Languages and Literature – UNC Press

“The Press and its partners, UNC Chapel Hill’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and the UNC Library, are pleased to make available 124 monographs, translations, and critical editions. This is the first time these works will be available as ebooks, which will be accessible in open access PDF and EPUB (with a few exceptions) formats, as well as in new paperback editions. The digital editions will be hosted on the Carolina Digital Repository, Project MUSE, JSTOR, OAPEN, and a number of other open access platforms….”

#bropenscience is broken science | The Psychologist

“As a jocular retort to one of a few cases of strange and aggressive behaviour from some open science people towards others online, one of us (Olivia) coined the expression #bropenscience in a June 2017 tweet. This was after a discussion with other women within the open science movement, who had noticed this phenomenon, but were looking for a concise description. #bropenscience is a tongue-in-cheek expression but also has a serious side, shedding light on the narrow demographics and off-putting behavioural patterns seen in open science. The phrase is a necessary rhetorical device to draw attention to an issue that has been systematically underappreciated. It evokes a visceral reaction. By design. Labelling broblems allows us to tackle them. As a field, psychology is well-equipped to self-reflect on patterns of behaviours and rhetorical devices – most of us are used to analysing complex social dynamics. However, #bropenscience has also been misunderstood and misrepresented, not least because Twitter has a tricky interface and people love drama!

Here we will clarify the important points for those who might not have been following these discussions. We will explain why having a hashtag like #bropenscience, or at least having this dialogue, is useful as part of the process of achieving openness in scholarship. Along the way we will explain what open science and open scholarship are, why we care about them, and finally, we will describe specific actions that readers can take to help promote equity and inclusion, the fundamentals for openness.

We offer our opinions as open science advocates, albeit with different priorities and expertise. Just as it is important for scientists to criticise the scientific process, so too must open science advocates critically engage with the suggested reforms….”

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.

Role of social networking services for scientists in promoting scientific output on example of Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This paper aims to answer the question of how the Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences communicate the most recent scientific findings in the media space, i.e. what types of publications are shared, what activities do they exemplify (sharing information about their own publications, leading discussions, formulating opinions), what is the form of the scientific communication created by them (publication of reference lists’ descriptions, full papers, preprints and post prints) and what is the audience reception (number of downloads, displays, comments).


The authors present the results of analysis conducted on the presence of the most recent (2017–2019) publications by the Polish representatives of the widely understood social communication and media sciences in three selected social networking services for scientists: ResearchGate, Google Scholar and Academia.edu. The analyses covered 100 selected representatives of the scientific environment (selected in interval sampling), assigned, according to the OECD classification “Field of Science”, in the “Ludzie nauki” (Men of Science) database to the “media and communication” discipline.


The conducted analyses prove a low usage level of the potential of three analysed services for scientists by the Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences. Although 60% of them feature profiles in at least one of the services, the rest are not present there at all. From the total of 113 identified scientists’ profiles, as little as 65 feature publications from 2017 to 2019. Small number of alternative metrics established in them, implies, in turn, that if these metrics were to play an important role in evaluation of the value and influence of scientific publications, then this evaluation for the researched Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences would be unfavourable.


The small presence of the Polish representatives of the communication and media sciences in three analysed services shows that these services may be – for the time being – only support the processes of managing own scientific output. Maybe this quite a pessimistic image of scientists’ activities in the analysed services is conditioned by a simple lack of the need to be present in electronic channels of scientific communication or the lack of trust to the analysed services, which, in turn, should be linked to their shortcomings and flaws. However, unequivocal confirmation of these hypotheses might be brought by explorations covering a larger group of scientists, and complemented with survey studies. Thus, this research may constitute merely a starting point for further explorations, including elaboration of good practices with respect to usage of social media by scientists.

Sustaining the Commons

“Humanities Commons — now three years old and serving nearly 25,000 users around the world — has become a key piece of online scholarly infrastructure. In order to ensure that the Commons becomes and remains sustainable, we have established some strategic plans for the network’s technical, financial, and governance future. Read our brief overview and visit the areas below for a deeper dive….”

HathiTrust award goes to UMD researcher, team developing digital humanities software – News | UMD Libraries

“Even when the coronavirus pandemic struck, and access to physical library resources came to a halt, Matt Miller and his research team didn’t have to hit pause on their project. Aided by the digital collections and research support available through the University of Maryland Libraries’s membership with Hathitrust, they could continue  moving forward with their work detecting and transcribing Persian and Arabic texts. 

Miller — a professor at the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies in the University of Maryland’s School of Languages, Literatures and Culture —  leads a team of global scholars working to develop a user-friendly software that can create digital text using scans of Persian and Arabic books. Their enterprise is supported by an $800,000 grant Miller received from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation back in 2019. …”

ASU collection of rare, historically significant books made accessible to the public online | ASU Now: Access, Excellence, Impact

““The Federalist Papers,” a collection of short essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay in 1788, is one of the most well-known pro-Constitution writings. A first edition printing of this book, along with 23 other rare books and manuscripts related to significant figures, moments, ideas, debates and movements from American history, can be explored through Arizona State University’s Civic Classics Collection.

The collection, maintained by the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, the Center for Political Thought and Leadership and ASU Library, covers a range of topics including the founding of America, political economy, race and America, civil rights history and activism, and first peoples….”