ETDplus Toolkit [Tool Review]

Abstract:  Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) have traditionally taken the form of PDFs and ETD programs and their submission and curation procedures have been built around this format. However, graduate students are increasingly creating non-PDF files during their research, and in some cases these files are just as or more important than the PDFs that must be submitted to satisfy degree requirements. As a result, both graduate students and ETD administrators need training and resources to support the handling of a wide variety of complex digital objects. The Educopia Institute’s ETDplus Toolkit provides a highly usable set of modules to address this need, openly licensed to allow for reuse and adaption to a variety of potential use cases.


HighWire at 25: Richard Sever (bioRxiv) looks back – Highwire Press

“10 years later I ended up working at Cold Spring Harbor myself, and continuing my relationship with HighWire from a new perspective. The arXiv preprint server for physics had launched in 1991, and my colleague John Inglis and I had often talked about whether we could do something similar for biology. I remember saying we could put together some of HighWire’s existing components, adapt them in certain ways and build something that would function as a really effective preprint server—and that’s what we did, launching bioRxiv in 2013. It was great then to be able to take that experiment to HighWire meetings to report back on. Initially there was quite a bit of skepticism from the community, who thought there were cultural barriers that meant preprints wouldn’t work well for biology, but 7 years and almost 100,000 papers later it’s still there, and still being served very well by HighWire.

When we launched bioRxiv we made it very explicit that we would not take clinical work, or anything involving patients. But the exponential growth of submissions to bioRxiv demonstrated that there was a demand and a desire for this amongst the biomedical community, and people were beginning to suggest that a similar model be trialed for medicine. A tipping point for me was an OpEd in the New York Times (Don’t Delay News of Medical Breakthroughs, 2015) by Eric Topol (Scripps Research) and Harlan Krumholz (Yale University), who would go on to become a co-founder of medRxiv….”

The broken promise that undermines human genome research

“Data sharing was a core principle that led to the success of the Human Genome Project 20 years ago. Now scientists are struggling to keep information free….

So in 1996, the HGP [Human Genome Project] researchers got together to lay out what became known as the Bermuda Principles, with all parties agreeing to make the human genome sequences available in public databases, ideally within 24 hours — no delays, no exceptions.


Fast-forward two decades, and the field is bursting with genomic data, thanks to improved technology both for sequencing whole genomes and for genotyping them by sequencing a few million select spots to quickly capture the variation within. These efforts have produced genetic readouts for tens of millions of individuals, and they sit in data repositories around the globe. The principles laid out during the HGP, and later adopted by journals and funding agencies, meant that anyone should be able to access the data created for published genome studies and use them to power new discoveries….

The explosion of data led governments, funding agencies, research institutes and private research consortia to develop their own custom-built databases for handling the complex and sometimes sensitive data sets. And the patchwork of repositories, with various rules for access and no standard data formatting, has led to a “Tower of Babel” situation, says Haussler….”

UNESCO launches new publication on accessible documentary heritage

“Marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2020, UNESCO has released a new publication aiming at assisting stakeholders in the preparation of documentary heritage in accessible formats for persons with disabilities.


The publication, Accessible Documentary Heritage, offers a set of guidelines for parties involved in the digitization of heritage documents, including librarians, archivists, museums workers, curators, and other stakeholders in carefully planning digital platforms and contents with a view to incorporating disability and accessibility aspects….”

Containers, genres, and formats, oh my: Creating sustainable concepts by connecting theory, research, practice, and education – Brannon – 2020 – Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This interactive panel brings together researchers, practitioners, and educators to explore ways of connecting theory, research, practice, and LIS education around the issue of information format. Despite a growing awareness of the importance of information format to information seeking, discovery, use, and creation, LIS has no sound, theoretically?informed basis for describing or discussing elements of format, with researchers and practitioners alike relying on know?it?when?they?see?it understandings of format types. The Researching Students’ Information Choices project has attempted to address this issue by developing the concept of containers, one element of format, and locating it within a descriptive taxonomy of other format elements based on well?established theories from the field of Rhetorical Genre Studies. This panel will discuss how this concept was developed and implemented in a multi?institutional, IMLS?grant?funded research project and how panelists are currently deploying and planning to deploy this concept in their own practice. Closing the loop in this way creates sustainable concepts that build a stronger field overall.


DAISY Publishes White Paper on the Benefits of EPUB 3 – The DAISY Consortium

“The DAISY Consortium has published a white paper encouraging the use of Born Accessible EPUB 3 files for corporate, government and university publications and documents. This important piece of work recognizes the work of the publishing industry who have embraced EPUB 3  as their format of choice for ebooks and digital publishing and focuses on how this same approach should be used for all types of digital content, both online and offline….”

New business models for the open research agenda | Research Information

“The rise of preprints and the move towards universal open access are potential threats to traditional business models in scholarly publishing, writes Phil Gooch

Publishers have started responding to the latter with transformative agreements[1], but if authors can simply upload their research to a preprint server for immediate dissemination, comment and review, why submit to a traditional journal at all? Some journals are addressing this by offering authors frictionless submission direct from the preprint server. This tackles two problems at once: easing authors’ frustrations with existing journal submission systems[2], and providing a more direct route from the raw preprint to the richly linked, multiformat version of record that readers demand and accessibility standards require….

Dissemination of early-stage research as mobile-unfriendly PDF is arguably a technological step backwards. If preprints are here to stay, the reading experience needs to be improved. A number of vendors have developed native XML or LaTeX authoring environments which enable dissemination in richer formats….”

EOI: South Asian Journals Editors for AmeliCA

“Supported by UNESCO, CLACSO & Redalyc, this AmeliCA XML is compliant with JATS standards and helps all the scholarly journals that promote a non-profit publishing model to preserve the scholarly and open nature of scientific communication.

The AmeliCA XML helps to produce HTML, ePUB, PDF etc versions which the scholarly societies can use and make their journals more visible worldwide over internet. And also get their publications preserved and communicate with other platforms.

With this background, I am proposing that lets all join together in building not for profit scholarly publishing ecosystem. The journals in South Asia which are traditional print only are not slowly moving towards online and open access but their native publications are only in PDF formats.

I am sure and confident that the journals when adopt and use the AmeliCA XML, the journal articles will be better formatted and are available for interoperable and sharing.

The journal of Horticultural Sciences (JHS) ISSN 0973-354X from India had recently joined AmeliCA and is now in the process of publishing its articles using AmeliCA XML markup language.

Similarly, if the journal editors from South Asia are willing to use AmeliCA XML may please express their interest by filling the form at We may get offline or online meeting/workshop and capacity building for the same.”