This tool is saving universities millions of dollars in journal subscriptions | Science | AAAS

“In April, when the State University of New York (SUNY) system canceled a big subscription deal with Dutch publishing giant Elsevier in favor of a smaller, cheaper package of subscriptions, headlines focused on how much money the university would save: about $7 million. But behind the savings was a careful cost-benefit analysis and a software tool, Unsub, that helped SUNY work out how to get the most out of its subscription dollars. Many expect the approach to catch on more widely as cash-strapped universities try to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

SUNY was facing an annual $9 million bill for its subscription to about 2200 Elsevier titles. But Unsub revealed that by spending $2 million a year for just 248 of the journals, the university could give researchers at its 64 campuses immediate access to roughly 70% of the Elsevier papers they are likely to read in the next 5 years. The tool produces its forecasts by analyzing data from each university’s library journal usage, and by scouring the web to see how many of the papers that faculty and students access are already available for free.

Unsub is a “game changer,” says Mark McBride, SUNY’s library senior strategist in Albany, and “I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks that.” Like many universities chafing at high subscription fees and fearing the budget impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, SUNY was looking for savings. And with the help of Unsub, McBride says, it concluded “a big deal is no longer necessary in order for a library to function effectively.” …”

Impactstory is now Our Research – Our Research blog

However, [our many projects] mean that Impactstory name is becoming increasingly confusing. We love helping folks tell Stories about Impact…but that’s not all we do, and hasn’t been for a while now. So it’s time to change our name to reflect that….

“Research” means what it says. “Our” means we want research to belong to 1) humankind and 2) the academic community….”

Get The Research

“There is research of all types on Get The Research. In this early release it specializes in research in biology and medicine (papers indexed by PubMed) — this will be widened further in the future….

How do I know what research I can trust?


This is a great question. Get The Research flags each article with its “level of evidence” when we know it — is the article just a report about a single patient (a “case study”) or a more trustworthy analysis combining the results of many studies (a “meta-analysis”)? Click on the tags above the article titles to learn more. We rank articles with higher levels of evidence higher in the search results to make these easier to find. Reading the news studies about a paper (linked to from the “Learn More” page when we’ve found news articles) is a great way to find out what others think about the results….”


Altmetrics Come to OJS: Announcing the Paperbuzz Plugin | Public Knowledge Project

PKP is pleased to announce the release of the Paperbuzz Plugin for Open Journal System (OJS) versions 3.1.2 and above, built in cooperation with the Paperbuzzteam at Impactstory. This new plugin will bring free altmetrics (an alternative to traditional citation-based metrics) based on open data to thousands of OJS journals….”

I like the new Clarivate-Impactstory partnership for several reasons, but…

“I like the new Clarivate-Impactstory partnership for several reasons….However, the Clarivate PR team…inserted this passage into the press release: “Researchers conducting online searches for scholarly articles frequently get unreliable results that can compromise their work. This is typically because the results omit journal articles behind paid-subscription paywalls or because ‘web-scraping’ utilities return versions of articles that are not peer-reviewed or are in violation of copyright laws.” …

It’s true that search results can be unreliable because they omit paywalled articles. But there are a few problems with the rest of the passage….

* The sentence on web-scraping utilities is obscure. Because it mentions articles that are not peer-reviewed, it seems to be an oblique criticism of preprint repositories. But preprint repositories depend on voluntary author deposits, not web scraping. Moreover, finding preprints in a search is a feature for people who know how to use them, not a bug. It doesn’t make the search less reliable. The criticism misses the target. 

* Perhaps the reference to web scraping is an oblique criticism of Sci-Hub. But Sci-Hub focuses on refereed postprints, indeed versions of record, not unrefereed preprints. Moreover, it depends on downloads, even if illicit, not web scraping. The criticism misses the target.

* The final part implies that finding illegal copies of peer-reviewed articles in a search makes the search unreliable. This is false. The writer probably meant to criticize these copies for infringement, but instead criticizes them for unreliability. The criticism misses the target.”

Clarivate Analytics announces landmark partnership with Impactstory to make open access content

“Clarivate Analytics today announced a novel public/private strategic partnership with Impactstory that will remove a critical barrier for researchers: limited open access (OA) to high-quality, trusted peer-reviewed content. Under the terms of the partnership, Clarivate Analytics is providing a grant to Impactstory to build on its oaDOI service, making open access content more easily discoverable, and the research workflow more efficient from discovery through publishing….The oaDOI service is from Impactstory, a nonprofit creating online tools to make science more open and reusable. It currently indexes 90 million articles and delivers open-access full text versions over a free, fast, open API that is currently used by over 700 libraries worldwide and fulfills over 2 million requests daily. Impactstory has also built Unpaywall, a free browser extension that uses oaDOI to find full text whenever researchers come across paywalled articles….”