Don's Conference Notes--NASIG at 30: Building the Digital Future
Strasser C. (2014) Recommendations
for the Role of Publishers in Access to Data.
PLoS Biol 12(10): e1001975. doi:10.1371/journal.
Don's Conference Notes--NASIG at 30: Building the Digital Future
Donald T. Hawkins 0
Wheaton College 0
0 by Guest Columnist Steve Oberg, Assistant Professor, Electronic Resources and Serials, Wheaton College , Wheaton, IL , USA
Don’s Conference Notes
NASIG at 30: Building the Digital Future
Column Editor’s Note: Because of space limitations, this is an abridged version of Steve’s
report on this conference. You can read the full article at http://www.against-the-grain.
com/2015/09/v27-4-dons-conference-notes/. — DTH
TNorth American Serials Interest
he 30th anniversary meeting of the
Group (NASIG) was held May 27-30,
2015 in Arlington, VA. One of the highlights of
the meeting was a joint session on May 27 with
the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP).
Joint NASIG-SSP Session
The joint session featured five speakers
discussing information policy issues: open
access (OA), grant funder submission and
publication requirements, management and
preservation of data sets, access for the print
disabled, intellectual property, copyright law,
and fair use. About 150 librarians, publishers,
and vendors attended. “You can’t herd cats,
but you can move the cat food!” was the most
memorable quote from this all-day session.
The session began with a publisher per
spective by Jayne Marks, Vice President of
Publishing, Wolters Kluwer, who noted that:
• Print is not dead;
• People do not want one format (e.g.
print) or another (e.g. electronic),
they want multiple formats;
Adoption of (and attitudes toward)
OA vary across disciplines;
• Publishers face enormous pressures
on costs and revenues, while at the
same time demand for content in
multiple formats is increasing;
• Publishers are not sure what is
expected of them in the area of
data management, especially in the
healthcare market, because of
Marks feels that it important for publishers
to listen, respond, be engaged, question,
experiment, be user focused, and adapt. In the Q&A
session that followed, audience members asked
questions such as:
How do we better describe and
How do traditional publishers re
spond to new publishers (some of
whom may be predatory)?
How sustainable is long-term pres
ervation of journal content by
publishers? (Marks noted that this issue
is particularly worrisome in the case
of OA content.)
T. Scott Plutchak, Director, Digital Data
Curation Strategy, University of Alabama
at Birmingham (UAB), offered a librarian’s
view on information policy. Declaring that
“data is the new bacon,” Plutchak asked his
audience to think of how infrastructure, policy,
and services can best be marshalled to manage
research data. In his view, research data
management is just as important and perhaps a more
complex problem to solve than OA. He also
pointed out that libraries are taking the lead
in providing research data management
guidance and highlighted the Journal of EScience
edu/jeslib/) as an excellent, librarian-led venue
for discussion and research on this topic.
Caitlin Trasande, Head, Research Policy,
Digital Science, and Nature Senior Strategy
Editor, introduced us to a vendor perspective
with a summary of Digital Science. She
outlined the research lifecycle in an interesting,
simplified way: track research, view funding,
read about discoveries, plan experiments,
conduct experiments, manage data, publish
discoveries, share data, and measure attention. These
concepts drive the services that Digital Science
developed, for example, Altmetric (http://
which addresses the need to measure attention,
and ReadCube (http://www.digital-science.
com/products/readcube/), a tool to read about
discoveries. She defined research information
management as “the capture, linking, and
dissemination of information associated with the
research lifecycle, usually with an institutional
focus,” which is very challenging to do and to
resource properly, and it was in this context
that Trasande declared, “You can’t herd cats,
but you can move the cat food!”
A panel discussion on intellectual property
and copyright moderated by October Ivins
featured Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law, American
University Washington College of Law, and
Michael J. Remington, a lawyer at Drinker
Biddle & Reath, LLP. Their subject was
“The Importance of Constructive Cooperation
in the Copyright Policy Process,” and their
wide-ranging discussion addressed
international first sale; fair use, licensing, and mass
digitization; the implications of the Georgia
State University (GSU) decision1; library
exceptions (possible revisions of Section 108);
and accessibility and copyright. Both panelists
discussed the Kirtsaeng case (Kirtsaeng v.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.2) extensively, noting
surprise that there has been no legislation yet as
a result. They also believe that the circuit court
ruling in the GSU case solves nothing because
it is too provisional and causes copyright
owners to incur enormous transaction costs. They
suggested that the ultimate solution should be
a best practices approach like that published by
the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
for course reserves. Regarding the future of
Section 108 (Photocopying by Libraries and
Archives), panelists felt that it does not really
have a great deal of relevance anymore because
of today’s realities. And they noted that Section
107 (Fair Use) explicitly cannot be contravened
as noted in the language for Section 108.
The session concluded with a recap mod
erated by Bob Boissy, Manager, Account
Development & Strategic Alliances at Springer,
posing questions to the panelists:
What constitutes an author’s “best effort”
in finding orphan works?
Remington: It’s unclear. Some best
practices have been issues, but in the
photo industry, there has been no
litigation when they were followed, which is
very good news.
What is the real goal of an institution’s
data curation effort? How will it advance the
mission of the institution?
Plutchak: At the most basic level,
the goal is compliance with funding
mandates. More generally, though, we
believe curation is a social good, and we
get involved because of all the things
we care about.
Is the OA world starting now a softer,
kinder, gentler world?
Marks: Do you care about your
business model when you are looking for
content? The mission of an editor is
to get good content. OA journals can
compete with other journals, and they
are all competing for the work of the
same author. Every editor wants the best
for their journal, so competition will not
be weakened by OA.
Are universities worried about filling out
their freshman class? Are institutions
Trasande: Many universities have an
opportunity to have deep roots with
their host city. With the advent of
MOOCs, universities need to
demonstrate “why us?” or “why here?” There
is a very good opportunity for smaller
universities, but it requires selling
Is all the data produced by faculty
members preservable? What do the federal
mandates require us to do? What are we obligating
ourselves to do?
Plutchak: It is an insoluble problem!
Federal mandates require that grantees
have a data management plan that will
describe what data they are collecting,
where it will be stored, and how it might
be shared later. None of that obligates
the library to be the manager.
What happens during a regulatory review
when two big publishers merge?
Remington: They hire antitrust lawyers!
continued on page 73
Don’s Conference Notes
from page 72
Jaszi: There are concerns about the
preservation of the competitive environment.
How do libraries, publishers, and the
academic community work together on the
issue of digital preservation?
Marks: We store everything in one place
once and then everybody can access it.
Jaszi: Libraries are likely to take the
lead in the active digitization of unique
Plutchak: No single entity can figure
out how to preserve digital data over
centuries. What needs do the different
components have? Nobody is thinking
about what happens when somebody
goes to an article 20 years from now
and clicks on a link. Will the data be in
a format they can read?
What is the status of international ILL?
Jaszi: A structural legal problem
interferes: the laws of nations regarding the
limitations of copyright can be radically
different. As long as countries have
different legal standards, there will be
Has the reward system changed in a
context of shrinking resources and how we expect
people to publish?
Plutchak: There are some glimmers of
change and an increasing interest in
altmetrics. The notion that we are looking
at other ways to measure impact is useful.
Trasande: More professors are
practicing applied research at major
universities. Altmetrics have become
more mainstream, and there is a general
desire to measure what the impact of
Plutchak: We have spent just over 300
years in developing the scholarly
publishing world, and we have been trying
to reform it for about 30 years. It is a
long process and patience is a virtue!
In closing, Ivins noted that SSP and
NASIG have many good things in common,
including a desire to provide a neutral place
for discussing mutual problems and issues
among all parties.
Somewhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide
Stephen Rhind-Tutt, President and
co-founder of Alexander Street Press (ASP),
began the second day of the NASIG conference
in his vision session entitled, “Somewhere
to Run to, Nowhere to Hide,” in which he
shared his insights into the future. Although
his perspective comes from primary sources,
including streaming video and audio, he had
many interesting and relevant observations
about serials and academic publishing. In his
research preparing for this talk, he found the
following predictions about the Web in 2020,
which he believes will contain:
• 90% of works published prior to
• The majority of works published to
More than one trillion photos, and
More than 30 million audio files.
He shared results of a review of NASIG’s
Website, in particular the topics covered in
past conferences. Noting that topics covered
25 years ago are remarkably similar to what
we’re doing now, Rhind-Tutt highlighted
the fact that they focus on fears of publishers
as well as fears of librarians: everyone fears
being made redundant. His advice is to focus
on what the user wants, and he referenced
Karen Schneider’s blog post on Free Range
Librarian entitled “The User Is Not Broken: A
Meme Masquerading as a Manifesto” (http://
freerangelibrarian.com/2006/06/03/the-useris-not-broken-a-meme-masquerading-as-amanifesto). “We need this more now than
ever,” he said. We are transitioning from data,
to information, to knowledge, and finally,
wisdom. He believes we should focus on function
rather than form. For video, the underlying
purpose is not simply to watch the video but
rather to get the needed information it contains.
Declaring that “the future is clear enough
to act on,” he believes, for example, that
information will indeed eventually be free, i.e. OA.
There is no way for the commercial sector to
avoid giving customers what they want, and
they want free. He also stressed the vital
importance of interlinking of content and felt that
too few people recognize how important the
work of linking technologies really is and will
continue to be. Linking speeds research and
learning, lowers costs, maximizes usage, and
increases functionality. He encouraged
everyone to think about content at the atomic level,
rather than thinking of it in a linear or packaged
fashion (articles, rather than journal issues).
Finally, Rhind-Tutt described what ASP
is doing in light of these predictions. For
example, they are developing an “Open Music
Library” that will be fully OA, because they
believe that interactions with music academics
will be infinitely richer because of this
openness, as compared to what they could get if
their product was behind a paywall. He also
mentioned Digital Science as an impressive
pioneer and a company to watch, because “the
process we are all engaged in is discovery.”
Slides from all presentations are available
on NASIG’s Slideshare site:
http://www.slideshare.net/NASIG/tag/nasig2015. The 2016
NASIG conference will be in Albuquerque, NM on June 9-12.
Steve Oberg is Assistant Professor,
Electronic Resources and Serials at Wheaton
College in Wheaton, IL. A past president of
NASIG, Steve has written and presented
extensively on technology, electronic resources,
and serials issues for the past 25 years. He
also teaches courses on technical services,
e-resources, and serials management at the
University of Illinois Graduate School of
Library and Information Science as well as
Dominican University’s Graduate School
of Library and Information Science. He has
worked in a wide variety of settings including
a large academic research library, library
systems vendor, liberal arts college
libraries, and a Fortune 100 healthcare company.
His M.S.L.I.S. and undergraduate degrees
are from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. Connect with him on Twitter
(@TechSvcsLib), his blog (Family Man
Librarian – http://familymanlibrarian.blogspot.
com), or via his Flipboard magazine, Family
Man Librarian Daily (http://flip.it/JBYzc).
1. The case was about fair use of electronic
documents in the university’s e-reserve
system. (See http://libguides.law.gsu.edu/
2. A Supreme Court decision in favor of
Kirtsaeng, in which the Court held that the
first-sale doctrine applies to copyrighted
works imported from other countries. See
The New Big Picture: Connecting Diverse Perspectives—The 2015
Column Editor’s Note: Because of space limitations, this is an abridged version of my
report on this conference. You can read the full article which includes descriptions of additional
sessions at http://www.against-the-grain.com/2015/09/v27-4-dons-conference-notes/. — DTH
The Society for Scholarly Publishing
(SSP) met in Arlington, VA on May 27-29,
2015 for its 37th annual meeting, which drew
a near-record attendance of 910. Its theme
was “The New Big Picture: Connecting
Diverse Perspectives.” The meeting featured the
traditional mix of plenary keynote and
concurrent sessions, a vibrant exhibit hall, as well
as a new event: a joint session with attendees
at the NASIG (formerly known as the North
American Serials Interest Group) meeting,
which took place concurrently with SSP at
a nearby hotel. (See the previous article by
guest columnist Steve Oberg.)
Among the interesting features of the
meeting were several large and engaging
posters drawn on the spot by Greg Gersch,
a freelance artist, like the one shown on the
continued on page 74
Photo reproduced with the permission of Greg Gersch.
Publishing in the Digital
Age” by Charles
University Librarian for
Publishing at the
Charles Watkinson U n i v e r s i t y o f
Michigan and Director of the University of
Michigan Press, was one of the highlights
of the meeting. He began by noting that a
previous SSP keynote address had coined the
terms “pubrarians” and “liblishers” to describe
the intersection of librarians and publishers as
producers of content, and John Thomson,
author of Books in the Digital Age (Polity, 2005),
said in his book that publishing is a complex
industry that is structured into fields, each
with its own distinct properties. Watkinson
illustrated this concept with this diagram and
said that we live in small fields distinguished
by market type or competition.
Fields of Publishing
Most of the time we graze in the middle of
our own field, but by doing so, our outlook will
be narrow, causing us to miss some of the most
interesting things happening at the junctions
or edges of the fields. The “edge effect” is
important in sharing innovation across fields.
For example, monographs and journals share
an edge, and there is an amazing persistence of
format between them. Revenues from
monographs have been gradually declining over the
past ten years, which has put a lot of pressure
on sustainability. Approaching the academic
monograph from the “edge” of journal
publishing might stimulate new thinking. For
example, new literature sources such as samplers
or summaries of longer works may look like
books (for example, Palgrave’s Pivot – http://
www.palgrave.com/page/about-us-palgravepivot/) or MIT Press’s BITS – https://mitpress.
mit.edu/BITS/index.html), but they have
different content and require publishers to increase
the speed of publication.
Although monographs have
long been recognized as a field
of scholarly publishing, the
emphasis has traditionally been
on journals. Now, new
technologies are being applied to book
publishing, and the book field
is receiving a new emphasis.
There are now many more
sales channels than previously,
and open access (OA) business
models for books are raising
questions like these:
• Are there aspects of using a book
that require a different approach to
• How much should the book
processing charge be?
• Where should the money come
• How much of the charge should be
allocated to authors?
Watkinson urged the audience to look
across the edges and see what your neighbors
are doing; it is well worthwhile.
The second day
structured as a
conversation with Ken
Auletta, a writer
for The New
Yorker and well-known
author of Googled:
T h e E n d o f t h e Ken Auletta
World as We Know
It (Penguin, 2009) and other books. He made
the following points:
• The publishing industry is going
through a disruption similar to that
of the TV industry when cable
• The digital edition of The New
Yorker has not affected authors’ writing.
Articles are still edited and fact
checked with great care, and we still
need curators and intelligent agents
to sort out the news that interests us.
• Even though digital publishing has
increased, the print is being
protected. Profits from newspapers and
magazines still come from the print
editions. For example, the average
reader of the printed New York Times
spends up to 35 minutes a day
reading it, but the average online reader
does not spend that much reading
time in a month.
• The average age of The New
Yorker readers has been significantly
lowered by introducing photos and
digital articles appealing to younger
• Google has become both a
technology and media company, especially
since they bought media
organizations like YouTube and Zagat.
Lawton, former CEO of
Industries, spoke on
Leadership and Success,”
in which she said
that it is important
to know who you Jennifer Lawton
are, what makes you
happy, and what you want to do. MakerBot
was a failure-driven company; after a failure,
learn and go on to the next level of
Closing Plenary: Lessons Learned
in the Past Five Years
The following panel of society publishing
professionals was asked to discuss their recent
successes and failures.
Brandon Nordin, American Chemical
Society; Nancy Rodnan, Endocrine
Society; Angela Cochran, American
Society of Civil Engineers; Stephen
Welch, American College of Chest
Physicians (CHEST); Robert
Harington, American Mathematical
Society; and Kenneth Heideman,
American Meteorological Society.
Here are some of the accomplishments they
are most proud of and issues that were solved
and worked particularly well:
• Welch: The app for the iOS and
• Harington: Developed Math Jacks
com/), which is a major repository
of open-source information funded
by a professional society as well as
a book, Really Big Numbers, for
children, which recently won an award
from the Children’s Book Council.
• Nordin: Managing the
print-to-digital transition. In 2006, the electronic
version of ACS’s journals was
declared the version of record, and
since 2008, all journals are electronic
only (except in the Asian market, for
which printing was outsourced to a
• Rodnan: Working with people:
assessing staff, figuring out technology
needs, and hiring the proper people
to meet them.
• Heideman: Decreasing production
time of journals while maintaining
quality. Consolidation of editorial
assistants from 37 to 8.
• Cochran: Engaging with editors,
asking their opinions, attending
editorial board meetings, and creating
an annual editors’ workshop.
Here are some things that did not go well
and the lessons learned from those experiences:
• Cochran: The amount of time to
get an article published was long,
so moving to electronic submission
and reporting helped to shorten the
time. But the human issues were
continued on page 75
Don’s Conference Notes
from page 74
not addressed initially, which caused
problems with the editors who had
to change their workflows.
Heideman: When data was being
transferred to a new server, the
process crashed. Lack of backups
resulted in a loss of about 6 months
of data, affecting 1,500 papers.
Rodnan: “If you build it, they will come” does not always happen!
It is important to assess ideas and
make sure they will be relevant to
customers. Recognize the amount of
time, effort, and maintenance that is
required in developing new systems.
Nordin: Understand how to control
and value the ecosystem of text and
data mining. Failing to recognize
market trends led to several wasted
years; it is necessary to take decisive
action even if it is painful.
Harington: You need to have the
experience of trying things, even
if it means failing. Cultivate
wonderful relationships with librarians.
Attempting to sell eBooks to
individuals through Google Play was a
Welch: Declining to become a
content provider for the UpToDate
medical decision support system
was a failure because that system
became very widely used. It is
important to discern market reactions
to products. Another failure was an
attempt to sell eBooks through the
Open Access Monographs from the
Perspective of Publishers and Librarians —
Institutional repositories have not performed as
expected, so the focus is now on monographs.
Palgrave Macmillan was one of the first pub
lishers to offer OA books and hybrid chapters.
Authors are charged an Access Publishing
Charge (APC) of $12,000 to $17,000, and all
online editions of the book are OA. The
decision to publish the book as OA is left up to
the author. OA has been positively received;
usage of OA books is significantly higher than
non-OA books, but OA has had a negative
effect on print sales.
• It is important to clearly state license
terms in the book.
• OA titles must be easily found and
available on a variety of platforms.
• Funders and authors should be
encouraged to share and review their
books as widely as possible.
• Funding, permissions (especially
for cover designs), and production
workflows are challenges.
Luminos (http://www.luminosoa.org/), part
of the University of California’s OpenPress
program, now has 12 titles committed to OA.
The same standards for selection, review,
approval, production, and marketing are used for
both OA and printed books. OA is an important
author’s choice. The baseline publication
costs are about $15,000; authors’ institutions
are expected to contribute $7,500; libraries
and the UC Press subsidize the remaining
costs. Luminos does not replace the traditional
monograph program; it extends it.
Publishers Communication Group
(PCG, http://www.pcgplus.com/) did a large
market survey of several hundred librarians
from the U.S., UK, and Western Europe and
found that OA books are treated similarly to
journals. Librarians hear about OA
monographs by word of mouth, emails from
publishers, or industry newsletters. It was interesting
to see that library funding for OA monograph
publishing frequently comes from new sources
and not from existing budgets. Librarians are
embracing OA monographs, but no consensus
on their exact role has emerged.
The Evaluation Gap: Using Altmetrics
to Meet Changing Researcher Needs — The
“Evaluation Gap” refers to the difference
between using traditional metrics such as citation
counts and Impact Factors (IFs) and alternative
metrics (“altmetrics”) in the evaluation of
scientific research output.
Terri Teleen, Editorial Operations and
Communications Director at John Wiley,
reviewed a pilot project on six journals in which
an “Altmetric Badge” (a visual representation
developed by Altmetric, LLP, http://www.
altmetric.com/, showing how much and what
kind of attention an article has received — see
below) was displayed for each article in the
Altmetric Badge Example
67% of readers said that the displayed article
metrics were helpful to them, and about 50%
said they would be more likely to submit a paper
to a journal that supported article-level metrics
like blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, and
mentions in national news media. The results
of the survey were positive, so Wiley has begun
displaying altmetric badges on all articles.
Wiley is also helping authors promote
their works; 59% of them see themselves
as primarily responsible for promoting their
published research. A partnership with Kudos
(https://www.growkudos.com/) is available to
help them explain, enrich, and share articles
for greater impact. ORCID (http://orcid.org/)
and ReadCube (https://www.readcube.com/)
make it easier for researchers to discover,
access, and interact with published work.
Wiley has created a self-promotion kit for
authors; almost all of them said they would
be likely to use it.
Cassidy Sugimoto, Assistant Professor at
Indiana University, said that the best criteria
we currently have for evaluating science are
promotion and tenure documents, which are usually
based on citation counts and IFs, but they suffer
from the limitation of measuring only a person’s
publication record. Article-level metrics capture
many other types of data and are beginning to
be used by scientists in reputation-management
systems. Some academic librarians have begun
to support altmetrics by teaching their users how
to use them to promote their research.
Colleen Willis, Senior Librarian at the
National Academy of Sciences (NAS), agreed
with Sugimoto and said that metrics are like
breadcrumbs because they consist of data that
inform a publisher’s staff what happened to the
products that they have produced. The NAS
library has created a class called “Motivational
Metrics” which teaches authors and staff what
the numbers mean and provides some examples
of their use.
Jill Rodgers, Journals Marketing Manager
at MIT Press, wondered how a publisher can
determine how users are engaging with its
content. Altmetrics are not a replacement
for citation counts and IFs; they augment
them by measuring numbers of views,
discussions, shares, and recommendations.
The BATCHES service developed by MIT
posts/10152418198014894) consists of
collections of reader-selected articles on a single
topic bundled for downloading to the Kindle
e-reader. They have been well received by
the market; sales of BATCHES are two to
four times higher than sales of single issues
Where to Find Growth in a Crowded
Market — Michael Clarke, President of Clarke
and Company, a management consulting
firm, said that the three engines of growth in
the scholarly publishing industry from 2000
to 2015 are:
1. Site licenses used to establish journal
sales in institutions,
2. The Big Deal of packages of jour
3. Global expansion, especially in
China, India, and the Middle East.
Selling new products and services appears
to be the major avenue for growth; here are
some promising approaches:
Re-establish an individual (“end
user”) market. There will not be an
awakening of a market for personal
subscriptions to journals.
Develop new business models. Tap
into revenues not from the library.
Use the “freemium” business model
(http://www.freemium.org/), in which
a core product is given away to entice
users to pay for value-added services
such as à la carte options, traffic
referrals, targeted ads, and analytics.
Mergers and acquisitions are
common growth strategies and are not
limited to large commercial
continued on page 76
Don’s Conference Notes
from page 75
for products: what the market will bear, gross
margin target, and most significant digit pricing
(i.e., $29.99 instead of $30).
Here are some questions to consider in OA
• What kind of business is scholarly
• Is it different from other kinds of
publishing because of the players or
• Is OA publishing different from
• What do we mean by transparency?
• What products and services are being
Kennison suggested that a “buyer beware”
strategy may apply to OA.
Peter Binfield, Founder of PeerJ (https://
peerj.com/), a low-cost open article
publishing system similar to PLoS, noted that OA
customers typically buy articles, not journals.
So he wondered if we need journals at all.
The marketplace is tied up with the concept
of journal as a brand. In a fully OA world,
publishers and libraries would be freed from
many of their inefficiencies of the systems they
The dark side of the OA publishing model
is that we assume the quality of every article is
equal, which is not true. We also see predatory
journals. Binifeld suggested that removing the
gatekeeping role of peer review in favor of the
PLoS ONE model is to publish all submitted
articles after a technical review to ensure that
the data supports the research conclusions.
Does Data Fit Into Traditional
Publication? Should It? — Mark Hahnel, CEO
of Figshare and Jennifer Lin, PLoS Senior
Product Manager, debated what the role
of publishers should be
and how data can be made
available. PLoS was one
of the first publishers to
establish an open data policy
and to require authors to
make their data available
for publication; Figshare
is a vendor of technology
that helps publishers store and visualize data
without encumbering their existing operations.
The debate addressed the following four is
sues from the viewpoints of data technologists
Here are some of the points discussed in
Business Opportunities — Only
publishers have the infrastructure resources and money
to handle data. They see opportunities because
data represents a new revenue stream. The
other side contends that publishers do not see
business opportunities with data.
Legacy platforms are for sharing articles and
are not suitable for data. Data is a new frontier
and has different characteristics than articles do.
Who is going to pay for processing it?
Some emerging companies are developing
services for publishers which can be
integrated into the services they currently offer. It is
important to have skills to properly manage
data, and many publishers are developing their
Data Characteristics — Data is a
“second-class citizen” that is only important for
writing research articles, but it should be
treated as a new first-class object. However,
research articles represent the result of years
of work in the laboratory.
By the time an article is published, nobody
cares about the underlying data. Many people
see data as the currency of research, and all
they want to do is to publish an article and put
the data somewhere.
Some publishers have the capability to give
authors a print “wrapper” for the data, which
gives authors two articles with double the
impact and two APCs, resulting in more revenue
for the publishers.
The Publisher’s Role — Academics think
that the article is king, but funders are now
saying that the data must also be published.
There is no peer review of data, so articles
are published without the data being checked,
and the data becomes an afterthought.
Metadata surrounding the
data are important. The raw
data is not valuable without
the metadata. Publishers
can provide some of those
Trust — Even if
publishers can manage the data,
should they? Data belongs in academies.
There is a concern that publishers will take
the data and sell it back again.
continued on page 77
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Some people think that academics cannot be
trusted to store the data persistently; others think
that publishers cannot either.
Should libraries be the disseminators of all
this content? Data is a new area; maybe there is
a role for institutions to play. The bigger question
is: What is the role of publishers with respect to
data? There is no right answer, but there are things
publishers can do, and there are conversations
going on outside of publishers with research data
managers and funders.
In the Q&A period, I pointed out that an
example of a publisher disseminating data is found
in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of
Chemical & Engineering Data (http://pubs.acs.
org/journal/jceaax?&), which has been in
existence for about 60 years. According to its Website,
“The Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data is a
monthly journal devoted to the publication of data
obtained from both experiment and computation,
which are viewed as complementary.” Clearly,
the journal has been successful in its mission, as
evidenced by its long existence.
Jennifer Lin concluded the session with a list
of recommendations for publishers to increase
access to data1:
1. Establish and enforce a mandatory data
2. Contribute to establishing community
standards for data management and
3. Contribute to establishing community
standards for data preservation in trusted
4. Provide formal channels to share data.
5. Work with repositories to streamline data
6. Require appropriate citations to all data
associated with a publication.
7. Develop and report indicators that will sup
port data as a first-class scholarly output.
8. Incentivize data sharing by promoting the
value of data sharing.
Donald T. Hawkins is an information industry
freelance writer based in Pennsylvania. In addition to
blogging and writing about conferences for Against the
Grain, he blogs the Computers in Libraries and
Internet Librarian conferences for Information Today,
Inc. (ITI) and maintains the Conference Calendar on
the ITI Website (http://www.infotoday.com/calendar.
asp). He recently contributed a chapter to the book
Special Libraries: A Survival Guide (ABC-Clio, 2013)
and is the Editor of Personal Archiving, (Information
Today, 2013). He holds a Ph.D. degree from the
University of California, Berkeley and has worked
in the online information industry for over 40 years.
from page 69
Venues. For the first time, we will be
having the main Conference venue
at the Gaillard Center which is
between Calhoun and George Streets,
about four blocks west of the Francis
Marion. The Gaillard Center has a
Performance Hall which seats 1,800
people and six breakout rooms for
Concurrent Sessions. Check out
Sessions will still be held at the Em
bassy Suites, the Francis Marion,
and the Marriott Courtyard as well.
Shuttles will be available to take you
from place to place.
Some important details!
REGISTRATION will be at the Francis
Marion Hotel. The Charleston
Seminars on Monday and Tuesday
will be in the Francis Marion. The
Vendor Showcase will be at
theFrancis Marion. Preconferences will
be held at the Francis Marion, the
Marriott Courtyard, The Embassy
Suites, and the Gaillard Center.
Plenaries and Neapolitans will be held
at the Gaillard Center. Concurrent
Sessions will be held at the Gaillard
Center, the Francis Marion, the
Marriott Courtyard, and the
Embassy Suites. 2015 will be a great
year! See you all here soon!
David Lamb , President of Lamb Group LLC, looked at the outlook for mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in scholarly publishing. The market is a worldwide industry that is financially consistent, attractive, and comparable across products. There is plenty of scope for acquisitions because over 2,000 journal publishers in the market have the potential for growth by combining with others. A variety of participants in the market creates a very healthy environment for M&As because:
$1.3 billion in assets,
How Much Does It Cost ? Vs. What Are You Getting For Or Doing With the Money?: The OA Business Model - Robert Kiley , Head, Digital Services at the Wellcome Trust Library presented an analysis of the Trust's OA spending in 2013 and 2014 and noted that there has been a 20% increase in Trust-funded articles published as OA . APCs have remained static . About 24 % of the research was published in fully OA journals; the remainder was published in hybrid journals. The average APCs of hybrid journals is 64% higher than that of fully OA journals. 40% of the Trust's APC spending goes to Elsevier and Wiley.
Rebecca Kennison, one of the Principals at K|N Consultants (http://knconsultants .org/ about/), listed three main pricing strategies $ 295 .00 for libraries $ 495 .00 for all others Don's Conference Notes from page 76