“As part of our ‘open culture’ blog mini-series, we talk to Franky Abbott, Curation and Education Strategist for the Digital Public Library of Americica”
“One of the most exciting data projects we [Elsevier] are working on at the moment is with a UK based charity, Findacure. We are helping the charity to find alternative treatment options for rare diseases such as Congenital Hyperinsulinism by offering our informatics expertise, and giving them access to published literature and curated data through our online tools, at no charge.
We are also supporting The Pistoia Alliance, a not-for-profit group that aims to lower barriers to collaboration within the pharmaceutical and life science industry. We have been working with its members to collaborate and develop approaches that can bring benefits to the entire industry. We recently donated our Unified Data Model to the Alliance; with the aim of publishing an open and freely available format for the storage and exchange of drug discovery data. I am still proud of the work I did with them back in 2009 on the SESL project (Semantic Enrichment of Scientific Literature), and my involvement continues as part of the special interest group in AI….”
Quoting Chris Bourg: “I think the fundamental role of research libraries will always be to provide enduring, abundant, equitable, and meaningful access to knowledge. Certainly, the tools and platforms for doing that will continue to evolve, as the forms by which scholars express, consume, and analyze knowledge move from static, physical forms to dynamic, interactive, networked digital forms.
In today’s environment, for example, providing access to knowledge includes having a licensed drone pilot on the MIT Libraries staff, who accompanies an EAPS [Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences] class on a research trip to Death Valley to obtain 3-D images of terrain the students could not access on foot. Another change is that modern research libraries must ensure that our collections are accessible not just to human readers, but also to text- and data-mining applications, algorithms, and machine-learning tools. And at the MIT Libraries, we are responsive to our community’s desire to interact with our content in more active, innovative, and participatory ways—through annotation, mashups, and other creative uses and reuses. This is what we mean in the Future of Libraries report when we call on MIT and the world to “hack the library.” …”
“Why is so much research being published in this format? What exactly is Open Access research and why is it important to research institutions and researchers? How have traditional journal publishers responded to Open Access? What are universities and other research institutions doing to curate and collect Open Access research? Can we rely on for-profit Open Access publishers to preserve research when their profit motives change? Peter Suber sits down with Digi*Pub host Jack Cashman of the Harvard Alumni Association to talk through these questions in light of the Harvard Open Access Project’s goal to encourage the growth of open access to research at Harvard and beyond….”
“We have reached peak subscription (Jan Velterop coined the term during an SSP panel I moderated a few years ago). I subsequently wrote a piece in the Scholarly Kitchen on this topic. What I mean by this is that library budgets are stagnant and there are no new markets left—publishers have already sold into all the major research institutes in China, India, South American, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. The Big Deal is a mature product. This means that publishers must come up with new sources of revenue. Open access (OA) is part of this equation, but the OA market has not grown as fast as many predicted. This would ordinarily lead to a spate of acquisitions, but there are not many independent publishers left other than societies, and they are not selling their publications (though they are increasingly licensing them)….”
“In the longer-term future, one could envision a system where researchers post their scientific contributions; a paper, a single figure, a method, a hypothesis; where we have the potential to make smaller contributions to the global knowledge base and get credit for those contributions in a manner that is more rapid and incremental. This would allow multiple scientists to collaborate and contribute to what we now know of as a single paper. Part of the challenge of the next 10 years is the problem of increasing information overload. Journals in the life sciences are aware that preprints have been around in physics for 25 years, and that the existence of preprints do not diminish the need for journals in that field. It is already impossible for a person to read all the relevant literature in their area, and this will only get harder. We need better tools to read and comprehend the literature, and a lot of these tools will be given by innovations in software and machine learning. My hope is that more of the literature is accessible to text and data mining, which will enhance our ability to understand the literature beyond that of a single human reader….”
In 2014, University of California, Davis University Library and the California Digital Library collaborated on an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant-funded project to explore costs associated with moving scholarly journal subscriptions in the U.S. market entirely to an Article Processing Charge business model, known also as ‘Gold Open Access.’ We contacted MacKenzie Smith, one of the principal investigators, in order to get her reflections on the process of gathering the data, and to discuss some implications of the findings. The interview suggests that the ‘Pay It Forward’ model could be successful over time, following a necessarily complex transition period.