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Articles                                                                                                  TOP

Pre-search to Research: How One Library is Using Credo as 'Academic Google'

Niketha McKenzie branded Credo Online Reference Service as 'Academic Google' to help change the way students interacted with the library website, and to give them a process that made sense to them. The response was overwhelmingly positive. 'Students have been less frustrated during the process once Credo became our background research platform.' To them, Credo felt 'like Google, but on a more academic platform.' Professors also noticed a difference. They liked seeing that there was a process students would actually use, and a tool that improved their research assignments. After years of trying to persuade students of the shortcomings of open web resources like Wikipedia, they had a tool they could point to that gave students the same level of convenience, but with vetted and appropriate resources.
   
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Giving People What They Paid For

Many scholars are becoming aware of a change in the tide of public support for their work, reflected in proposed budget cuts for many federal science funding agencies, and are struggling to decipher the reason for this shift. Some researchers feel that political groups are targeting their work for its inconvenient truths, while others resort to thinking, 'If people only knew how important my work is.' Either or both of those views could be true, but researchers in the academic community have no one to blame but themselves for waning public enthusiasm and financial backing.
   
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The Evolution of the MLA International Bibliography

The MLA International Bibliography covers literature, language and linguistics, folklore, film, literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts, as well as the historical aspects of printing and publishing. Listings on rhetoric and composition and the history, theory and practice of teaching language and literature are also included. Citations in the MLA International Bibliography represent scholarly materials published in more than 70 languages and originating in over 100 countries. The MLA's multilingual subject specialists index more than 75,000 new documents each year; 40 percent are in languages other than English. The search interface is available in 30 languages.
   
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South Africa: How to Fix the Academic Peer Review System

Peer review has long been a holy cow in the academic publication process. The idea of peer review is to hold academics' feet to the proverbial fire, ensuring that we publish only work of reasonable quality. But in fact, what the global academy has been clinging to for more than a century is largely anonymous, off-the-record, pre-publication peer review. Every academic knows the frustration of trying to satisfy or rebut reviewers who contradict each other or who demand revisions that miss the point and dilute the results. The original intention and lifeblood of peer review - opening the doors of scholarly journals beyond the old boys' clubs - has been squeezed out by the forces of over-commitment, financial gain, careerism and raw jealousy.
   
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Bogus academic journals undermine science in SA

Predatory publishing, in which bogus journals publish academic research for a fee, threatens to undermine science in SA. This is the warning from academics at Stellenbosch University‚ who say Blade Nzimande's Department of Higher Education and Training has wasted up to R300m on research grants to scientists whose work ended up in sham journals. Between 2005 and 2014, more than a quarter of the research output at three universities ended up in bogus journals. They are Mangosuthu University of Technology in Durban; the University of Fort Hare in Alice; and Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha.
   
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White Papers                                                                                      TOP

What might peer review look like in 2030?

This report examines how peer review can be improved for future generations of academics and offers key recommendations to the academic community. The report is based on the lively and progressive sessions at the SpotOn London conference held at Wellcome Collection Conference centre in November 2016. It includes a collection of reflections on the history of peer review, current issues such as sustainability and ethics, while also casting a look into the future including advances such as preprint servers and AI applications. The contributions cover perspectives from the researcher, a librarian, publishers and others.
   
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Increasing the Value of Scholarly Books

Publishers wanting to develop long-term content strategies to increase the value of their scholarly book programs must consider chapter-level metadata, particularly abstracts, to stay competitive. The long-term benefits of investing in abstracts for the backlist and building production workflows into new releases are supported by publishers, aggregators, librarians, and researchers alike. As technology rapidly changes, and publishers face increased pressure to grow revenue, abstracts are a clear opportunity for publishers to meet these demands. This white paper examines the return on investment publishers in humanities and social science fields may gain by adding chapter-level abstracts and curated keywords to their metadata.
   
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Critical study of the new ways of "editorialising" open access scientific journals

This report, commissioned by BSN 4 and BSN 7, is concerned with the new ways in which open access journals can be editorialised. The transition to open access has accelerated in recent years. Several countries have established a legal framework to secure the depositing of articles in open archives (in France, a provision of this type is included in the Digital Bill). In May 2016, the Council of the European Union called for open access to be made a "default option" in all Member States by 2020.
   
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Pragmatic scenario for transitioning the publication system towards open access

A study has developed scenarios for transitioning Switzerland's scientific publication system towards Open Access (OA). It recommends a model that proposes a pragmatic and flexible way of making publicly funded research freely available at no charge and with no delay. The study was initiated by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in collaboration with the funding programme 'Scientific Information' (SUC P-2) run by swissuniversities. In 2015, the libraries at Switzerland's higher education institutions paid a total of 70 million Swiss francs in licences and subscriptions to publishing houses in order to make more than 2.5 million scientific articles available. Researchers spent a further 6 million Swiss francs on article processing charges so they could have their results published in open access mode in a scientific journal. These figures were generated by an initial analysis of financial flows in the Swiss higher education system.
   
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Open access to research publications

Open Access to research is a public benefit which enhances transparency, scientific integrity and rigour, stimulates innovation, promotes public engagement, and improves efficiency in research. The UK is widely recognised as being the leading nation in the Open Access and Open Data movements. This is both underpinned by, and underpins, the UK's position as second only to the USA as a leading research power. This document presents the background, evidence base and details of advice from Professor Adam Tickell, Provost and Vice-Principal, University of Birmingham and Chair of the Universities UK Open Access Coordination Group, to the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP, following his letter of request dated 22 July 2015. This paper does not cover Open Access monographs, other than to note that the UUK OA Coordination Group will convene a working group to make progress and further recommendations.
   
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Presentations                                                                                     TOP
Where Digital is Going? E-book adoption by the numbers

What can sales data tell us about e-book adoption and digital reading habits? In this presentation Len Vlahos, Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), takes a close look at book industry statistics from the publisher's perspective, identifying trends related to global e-book adoption, and answering questions about where digital reading is going, to help publishers and libraries prepare for the future.
   
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Around the publishing technology world in 45 minutes

At the annual Project Muse Publishers Meeting held in Baltimore, Todd Carpenter, Executive Director of NISO (National Information Standards Organization), shared a presentation with attendees about his organization and current projects and initiatives they're working on. Following what NISO is up to is a useful (and interesting) way to monitor emerging and current trends/technology as well as seeing how current standards are being adapted for the changing landscape.
   
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Open Access Author Survey 2013

The survey is a follow up to Wiley's 2012 open access author survey and is the second such survey conducted by Wiley. Consistencies were seen between the 2012 and 2013 surveys in authors' desire to publish in a high-quality, respected journal with a good Impact Factor, but the survey also shed light on differences between early career researchers (respondents between the ages of 26-44 with less than 15 years of research experience) and more established colleagues in their opinions on quality and licenses. Differences were also seen across funding bodies and in the funding available for open access to different author groups.
   
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Shifts in Scholarly Attention Among World Regions

Dr. Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, presented "Shifts in Scholarly Communications Among World Regions" at the OCLC Research Briefing at UNC Chapel Hill on June 7, 2013. At this event, Dr. Kurzman presented his research on changing academic attention to world regions over the past 50 years, "attention" as measured by analyzing works published about each region of the world and collected in U.S. academic libraries for each year of publication since 1958. The patterns that emerge from this research will help to inform social scientists and educational policymakers about trends and possible gaps in scholarly attention to different regions of the world.
   
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Introduction to Linked Open Data (LOD)

These 201 slides from a pre-con tutorial titled, 'Introduction to Linked Open Data (LOD)' was presented on September 2, 2013 at Dublin Core 2013 (DC-2013) in Lisbon, Portugal. The instructor was Ivan Herman, Semantic Web Activity Lead at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The goal of the tutorial is to introduce the audience into the basics of the technologies used for Linked Data. This includes RDF, RDFS, main elements of SPARQL, SKOS, and OWL. Some general guidelines on publishing data as Linked Data will also be provided, as well as real-life usage examples of the various technologies.
   
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