22/02/2013 § 6 Comments
Last week Nicole discussed getting political, and the very next day an opportunity came. On February 14, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced in both the House and Senate. As a library school student who is passionate about open access and interested in scholarly communications, this bill is exciting!
This bi-partisan bill has the potential to have a great impact for access. No matter what type of librarianship you pursue, this bill could significantly help your future patrons. Maybe it will be an adult patron wanting to read a study, a high schooler doing his first research paper, or a university student working on her honors thesis—all needing articles from a journal that your library cannot afford to subscribe to. Sometimes when I think of open access I hear Oprah’s voice shouting, “You get articles! And you get articles! Everybody gets articles!” All right, maybe that is a bit weird… but for librarians, information becoming more accessible is kind of like a dream come true.
17/09/2012 § 12 Comments
Being more than a month into my second year at Pratt SILS, I’m trying not to drown in the load of reading that comes with the classes. A majority of my readings are from scholarly journals, and I’d like to give a run down of some of the journals that are prevalent in my library school syllabi, but most importantly make note of the journals that are Open Access and FREE for you to browse and access. If you are a current student in library school, I urge you to take advantage of the databases of your school library. Aside from various blogs that exist on the web, this is where you can find the latest news in the profession that’s sure to keep you aware and prepared for future job interviews. They are:
24/02/2012 § 16 Comments
Author’s note: My interests within the LIS field are data curation and e-science librarianship. This is a hot topic that is growing every day, and skilled e-science librarians are needed to fill the gap. If you’re interested in learning more about data curation librarianship as a future career, leave a comment here, and I’ll follow up with more information.
Back in the Fall, Micah wrote a post about Open Access Week. In it he discussed open journals, open data, and the ALA Code of Ethics. Open data is what today’s post is about. An important ongoing question in the world of data curation today is how to get scientists to share their data by placing it in a data repository. There are many scientists who are unaware of the fact that their data has value to anyone but them and their research team. On the other hand, there are scientists who are very possessive of their data and don’t want to release it for fear that they will lose control of it and not be credited for its creation. There are also those who want to suck every drop of publishing potential out of a data set before releasing it to anyone else.
Last November, there were two requests for information (here and here) put out by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. One asked if peer-reviewed journal articles resulting from federally funded research should be accessible to the public. The other asked if data from federally funded research should be accessible to the public. OSTP has released the comments from that RFI here. I have not read all the responses, but the ones I have read seem to indicate that the support of open-access is high among those not affiliated with a publisher and cautious, at best, from those affiliated with a publisher. The questions, concerns, and issues I see raised generally deal with how journals can remain profitable for the value they add and how researchers can receive due credit for their efforts.
But let’s set aside the questions of whether scientists and researchers should be required to share their data and articles or even if it’s a good idea that they do it. I think an even larger issue here is whether or not our current crop of scientists and researchers has the data management skills necessary to make the research data usable to anyone but themselves and their immediate research group. Data management practices of researchers are not exactly stellar. Infrequent or nonexistent backups, inadequate metadata on variables and research background, and loose standards all contribute to a set of data that is basically useless to anyone not involved with the project from the beginning.
Do you think that the data generators know how to manage their data properly? What can be done to improve the situation? How can librarians help?
16/03/2011 § 24 Comments
Publish Or Perish. Ever heard that phrase before? It echos through the halls of the university and hearts of grad students around the world, prompting many-a-late night in the library and archives (which is a good thing!) researching, writing, writing, writing. And to what end? Potential recognition for publishing in a journal, a new line on your resume, or respect as a “leader” in the field? How and where does this sort of academic rigor fit into the common experience of the library, museum or archives student? Does it?