Making the Move to Open Journal Systems 3: Recommendations for a (mostly) painless upgrade

Abstract:  From June 2017 to August 2018, Scholars Portal, a consortial service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries, upgraded 10 different multi-journal instances of the Open Journal Systems (OJS) 3 software, building expertise on the upgrade process along the way. The final and the largest instance to be upgraded was the University of Toronto Libraries, which hosts over 50 journals. In this article, we will discuss the upgrade planning and process, problems encountered along the way, and some best practices in supporting journal teams through the upgrade on a multi-journal instance. We will also include checklists and technical troubleshooting tips to help institutions make their upgrade as smooth and worry-free as possible. Finally, we will go over post-upgrade support strategies and next steps in making the most out of your transition to OJS 3. This article will primarily be useful for institutions hosting instances of OJS 2, but those that have already upgraded, or are considering hosting the software, may find the outlined approach to support and testing helpful.

Repository optimisation & techniques to improve discoverability and web impact : an evaluation – Strathprints

Abstract:  In this contribution we experiment with a suite of repository adjustments and improvements performed on Strathprints, the University of Strathclyde institutional repository powered by EPrints 3.3.13. These adjustments were designed to support improved repository web visibility and user engagement, thereby improving usage. Although the experiments were performed on EPrints it is thought that most of the adopted improvements are equally applicable to any other repository platform. Following preliminary results reported elsewhere, and using Strathprints as a case study, this paper outlines the approaches implemented, reports on comparative search traffic data and usage metrics, and delivers conclusions on the efficacy of the techniques implemented. The evaluation provides persuasive evidence that specific enhancements to technical aspects of a repository can result in significant improvements to repository visibility, resulting in a greater web impact and consequent increases in content usage. COUNTER usage grew by 33% and traffic to Strathprints from Google and Google Scholar was found to increase by 63% and 99% respectively. Other insights from the evaluation are also explored. The results are likely to positively inform the work of repository practitioners and open scientists.

Public Access Submission System on Vimeo

“Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, MIT, and 221B have developed the Public Access Submission System (PASS), which will support compliance with US funding agencies’ public access policies and institutional open access policies. By combining workflows between the two compliance pathways, PASS facilitates simultaneous submission into funder repositories (e.g., PubMedCentral) and institutional repositories. We intend to integrate a data archive so that researchers can submit cited data at the same time. PASS also features a novel technology stack including Fedora, Ember, JSON-LD, Elasticsearch, ActiveMQ, Java and Shibboleth (with an eye toward multi-institutional support). This talk will include a demonstration of PASS in action. The talk will also outline the steps by which we have engaged the university’s central administration (including the president’s office and the provost’s office) to provide funding, sponsorship for PASS and access to internal grants databases (e.g., COEUS) and engaged US funding agencies including the National Institutes of Health who have offered access to APIs for tracking and correlating submissions, and the National Science Foundation which discussed ways to integrate PASS and their reporting system in the future.”

If Software Is Funded from a Public Source, Its Code Should Be Open Source | Linux Journal

“If we pay for it, we should be able to use it….

But it’s important not to overstate the “free as in beer” element here. All major software projects have associated costs of implementation and support. Departments choosing free software simply because they believe it will save lots of money in obvious ways are likely to be disappointed, and that will be bad for open source’s reputation and future projects….

Moving to open-source solutions does not guarantee that personal data will not leak out, but it does ensure that the problems, once found, can be fixed quickly by government IT departments—something that isn’t the case for closed-source products. This is a powerful reason why public funds should mean open source—or as a site created by the Free Software Foundation Europe puts it: “If it is public money, it should be public code as well”.

The site points out some compelling reasons why any government code produced with public money should be free software. They will all be familiar enough to readers of Linux Journal. For example, publicly funded code that is released as open source can be used by different departments, and even different governments, to solve similar problems. That opens the way for feedback and collaboration, producing better code and faster innovation. And open-source code is automatically available to the people who paid for it—members of the public. They too might be able to offer suggestions for improvement, find bugs or build on it to produce exciting new applications. None of these is possible if government code is kept locked up by companies that write it on behalf of taxpayers….”

Free software/free science | Kelty | First Monday

Over the last few years, as the Open Source/Free Software movement has become a constant in the business and technology press, generating conferences, spawning academic investigations and business ventures alike, one single question seems to have beguiled nearly everyone: “how do you make money with free software?”

If the question isn’t answered with a business plan, it is inevitably directed towards some notion of “reputation”. The answer goes: Free Software programmers do what they love, for whatever reason, and if they do it well enough they gain a reputation for being a good coder, or at least a loud one. Throughout the discussions, reputation functions as a kind of metaphorical substitute for money – it can spill over into real economies, be converted via better jobs or consulting gigs, or be used to make decisions about software projects or influence other coders. Like money, it is a form of remuneration for work done, where the work done is measured solely by the individual, each person his or her own price for creating something. Unlike money, however, it is also often seen as a kind of property. Reputation is communicated by naming, and the names that count are those of software projects and the people who contribute to them. This sits uneasily beside the knowledge that free software is in fact a kind of real (or legal) property (i.e. copyrighted intellectual property). The existence of free software relies on intellectual property and licensing law (Kelty, forthcoming; Lessig, 1999).

In considering the issue, most commentators seem to have been led rather directly to similar questions about the sciences. After all, this economy of reputation sounds extraordinairily familiar to most participants [1]. In particular two claims are often made: 1) That free software is somehow ‘like’ science, and therefore good; and, 2) That free software is – like science – a well-functioning ‘gift economy’ (a form of meta-market with its own currency) and that the currency of payment in this economy is reputation. These claims usually serve the purpose of countering the assumption that nothing good can come of system where individuals are not paid to produce. The assumption it hides is that science is naturally and essentially an open process – one in which truth always prevails.

The balance of this paper examines these claims, first through a brief tour of some works in the history and social study of science that have encountered remarkably similar problems, and second by comparing the two realms with respect to their “currencies” and “intellectual property” both metaphorical and actual….”

Intractable? – Adam Hyde

Scholarly publishing loves intractable problems. Building publishing platforms is often argued to be such a thing.

I think there’s a reasonable amount of skepticism here toward any claims to have solved what has been, for decades, an intractable set of problems. We’ve watched Wiley pour (estimated) tens of millions of dollars into building a platform, only to give up and purchase Atypon. We’ve watched Elsevier pour similar (estimated) amounts of money into building Evise, only to give up and purchase Aries. We’ve watched PLOS pour similar (estimated) amounts of money into building Aperta, only to give up and sign on with Aries.

David is talking to a belief in the scholarly publishing sector that publishing workflow platforms are an intractable problem. And yet, so the belief goes, Aries and others, have apparently ‘solved’ this problem.

Well, intractable problems aren’t ones that have been previously solved. So whats going on with this argument?….”

Inventor says Google is patenting work he put in the public domain | Ars Technica

“When Jarek Duda invented an important new compression technique called asymmetric numeral systems (ANS) a few years ago, he wanted to make sure it would be available for anyone to use. So instead of seeking patents on the technique, he dedicated it to the public domain. Since 2014, Facebook, Apple, and Google have all created software based on Duda’s breakthrough.

But now Google is seeking a patent that would give it broad rights over the use of ANS for video compression….”

Guest Post: Open Source and Scholarly Publishing – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Today’s guest post is by Adam Hyde, co-founder of the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (Coko) where he leads technical projects, building platforms, methodologies, and communities to support open source collaborative knowledge production and publication as part of the academic process….”