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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2018

Simon Wakeling, Valerie Spezi, Jenny Fry, Claire Creaser, Stephen Pinfield and Peter Willett

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into publication practices from the perspective of academics working within four disciplinary communities: biosciences…

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3390

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into publication practices from the perspective of academics working within four disciplinary communities: biosciences, astronomy/physics, education and history. The paper explores the ways in which these multiple overlapping communities intersect with the journal landscape and the implications for the adoption and use of new players in the scholarly communication system, particularly open-access mega-journals (OAMJs). OAMJs (e.g. PLOS ONE and Scientific Reports) are large, broad scope, open-access journals that base editorial decisions solely on the technical/scientific soundness of the article.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus groups with active researchers in these fields were held in five UK Higher Education Institutions across Great Britain, and were complemented by interviews with pro-vice-chancellors for research at each institution.

Findings

A strong finding to emerge from the data is the notion of researchers belonging to multiple overlapping communities, with some inherent tensions in meeting the requirements for these different audiences. Researcher perceptions of evaluation mechanisms were found to play a major role in attitudes towards OAMJs, and interviews with the pro-vice-chancellors for research indicate that there is a difference between researchers’ perceptions and the values embedded in institutional frameworks.

Originality/value

This is the first purely qualitative study relating to researcher perspectives on OAMJs. The findings of the paper will be of interest to publishers, policy-makers, research managers and academics.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Claire Creaser

Library impact and how to evaluate it has been debated for a number of years. While the activity – the busy-ness – of the library is now routinely measured and described…

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615

Abstract

Purpose

Library impact and how to evaluate it has been debated for a number of years. While the activity – the busy-ness – of the library is now routinely measured and described, the difference the library makes is less tangible and harder to measure. Libraries in all sectors and worldwide are grappling with this issue, and the purpose of this paper is to summarise international standards available to support them.

Design/methodology/approach

The first international standard concerning library impact, ISO 16439 Information and documentation – methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries, was published in 2014 after several years in development.

Findings

The standard describes a range of methods for assessing library impact which have been used across the world in a variety of libraries in all sectors.

Originality/value

This paper summarises the key methods described in the standard, and gives references for further reading.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 119 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Valerie Spezi, Simon Wakeling, Stephen Pinfield, Jenny Fry, Claire Creaser and Peter Willett

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the theory and practice of peer review in open-access mega-journals (OAMJs). OAMJs typically operate a “soundness-only”…

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3680

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the theory and practice of peer review in open-access mega-journals (OAMJs). OAMJs typically operate a “soundness-only” review policy aiming to evaluate only the rigour of an article, not the novelty or significance of the research or its relevance to a particular community, with these elements being left for “the community to decide” post-publication.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports the results of interviews with 31 senior publishers and editors representing 16 different organisations, including 10 that publish an OAMJ. Thematic analysis was carried out on the data and an analytical model developed to explicate their significance.

Findings

Findings suggest that in reality criteria beyond technical or scientific soundness can and do influence editorial decisions. Deviations from the original OAMJ model are both publisher supported (in the form of requirements for an article to be “worthy” of publication) and practice driven (in the form of some reviewers and editors applying traditional peer review criteria to OAMJ submissions). Also publishers believe post-publication evaluation of novelty, significance and relevance remains problematic.

Originality/value

The study is based on unprecedented access to senior publishers and editors, allowing insight into their strategic and operational priorities. The paper is the first to report in-depth qualitative data relating specifically to soundness-only peer review for OAMJs, shedding new light on the OAMJ phenomenon and helping inform discussion on its future role in scholarly communication. The paper proposes a new model for understanding the OAMJ approach to quality assurance, and how it is different from traditional peer review.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Valerie Spezi, Simon Wakeling, Stephen Pinfield, Claire Creaser, Jenny Fry and Peter Willett

Open-access mega-journals (OAMJs) represent an increasingly important part of the scholarly communication landscape. OAMJs, such as PLOS ONE, are large scale, broad scope…

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12436

Abstract

Purpose

Open-access mega-journals (OAMJs) represent an increasingly important part of the scholarly communication landscape. OAMJs, such as PLOS ONE, are large scale, broad scope journals that operate an open access business model (normally based on article-processing charges), and which employ a novel form of peer review, focussing on scientific “soundness” and eschewing judgement of novelty or importance. The purpose of this paper is to examine the discourses relating to OAMJs, and their place within scholarly publishing, and considers attitudes towards mega-journals within the academic community.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a review of the literature of OAMJs structured around four defining characteristics: scale, disciplinary scope, peer review policy, and economic model. The existing scholarly literature was augmented by searches of more informal outputs, such as blogs and e-mail discussion lists, to capture the debate in its entirety.

Findings

While the academic literature relating specifically to OAMJs is relatively sparse, discussion in other fora is detailed and animated, with debates ranging from the sustainability and ethics of the mega-journal model, to the impact of soundness-only peer review on article quality and discoverability, and the potential for OAMJs to represent a paradigm-shifting development in scholarly publishing.

Originality/value

This paper represents the first comprehensive review of the mega-journal phenomenon, drawing not only on the published academic literature, but also grey, professional and informal sources. The paper advances a number of ways in which the role of OAMJs in the scholarly communication environment can be conceptualised.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Rachel Spacey, Louise Cooke, Adrienne Muir and Claire Creaser

The purpose of this paper is to review current knowledge, research and thinking about the difficulties facing public libraries offering internet access to their users in…

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7434

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review current knowledge, research and thinking about the difficulties facing public libraries offering internet access to their users in ensuring legally compliant and non-offensive use of this facility whilst still adhering to the professional value of freedom of access to information.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of recently published sources (1997-2013) relating to the technical and organisational measures used to manage public internet access primarily in public libraries in the UK with some limited international examples were reviewed and analysed. This work was undertaken as the underpinning research for an AHRC-funded project, MAIPLE (Managing Access to the internet in Public Libraries).

Findings

The provision of public internet access is a well-established component of the role of public libraries, but is seen as a potential problem due to the possibility of misuse, and it appears that simplistic technical solutions have disappointed. Legislation increases the need for more effective solutions that can provide a balance between the need for legal compliance, a welcoming environment for users, and the protection of key freedoms. A range of measures are being adopted worldwide in response to this dilemma.

Originality/value

Research exploring internet access in public libraries and its management in the UK is numerically small and much of it dates back to the start of the twenty-first century. This review presents a comprehensive analysis of the available literature and is of relevance to practitioners and academics in the fields of public librarianship.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 70 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2013

Valérie Spezi, Jenny Fry, Claire Creaser, Steve Probets and Sonya White

This paper aims to report on the findings of the second phase of the Behavioural strand of the EC‐funded PEER project (http://www.peerproject.eu/). The paper seeks to…

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1364

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on the findings of the second phase of the Behavioural strand of the EC‐funded PEER project (http://www.peerproject.eu/). The paper seeks to explore authors' and readers' behaviours in relation to authors' peer‐reviewed accepted manuscripts in open access repositories.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was undertaken using a mixed‐method approach, involving the distribution of a survey by the 12 participating publishers to their authors in selected journal titles and a participatory workshop with European researchers from selected disciplinary areas.

Findings

Researchers' attitudes towards versions of published journal articles made open access via open access repositories may vary depending on whether researchers report behaviours from the perspective of an author or a reader. The research found that disciplinary cultures, norms and traditions shape authors' self‐archiving behaviour and readers' use of those versions of journal articles held in repositories.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations of the research is that it was impossible for the research team to gauge the representativeness of the survey compared to the actual disciplinary distribution of the population of EU researchers, as such population information is not available in an aggregated and consistent format.

Originality/value

The PEER Observatory is an unprecedented large‐scale collaboration between publishers, researchers and repositories to investigate the effects of self‐archiving at European level. The paper provides a disciplinary reading of the findings and augments the understanding of how disciplinary culture and norms shape authors' and readers' behaviours in relation to self‐archiving.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 69 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Suzanne Lockyer, Claire Creaser and J. Eric Davies

The purpose of this paper is to describe the methodology used in the 2004 user survey of the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the methodology used in the 2004 user survey of the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS).

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of users of the IBSS was combined with hands‐on sessions with novice users of the system at three UK universities. The online survey was a structured questionnaire aimed at experienced users, whilst the hands‐on sessions sought more qualitative data on the novice users' reported and observed use of the IBSS.

Findings

In addition to data specific to each part of the study, the findings from the online survey and hands‐on survey showed some convergence, strengthening the value of the overall results. In particular, the demand for full text links and the advantage of some user training were features of both parts of the study.

Originality/value

This was neither an in‐house survey nor an academic investigation, but a project undertaken for a client, and thus subject to the client's specifications and a strict time‐scale. The request for hands‐on sessions in addition to the usual online survey required design of an instrument which could elicit the maximum amount of data within the time available (about two hours at each institution).

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1999

Claire Creaser

A number of interesting associations are described between levels of service point use, population information and library inputs, based on data obtained from two London…

Abstract

A number of interesting associations are described between levels of service point use, population information and library inputs, based on data obtained from two London boroughs in respect of individual static service points. Methods of deriving catchment area data using membership information or postcode data from a user survey are outlined. Data for the resident population by age, unemployment rate and ethnicity extracted from 1991 census data, information on levels of stock and acquisitions, opening hours and proximity to shopping facilities were analysed for their relationship to issues, visits and enquiries at each service point. Regression analysis was used to develop mathematical models for predicting levels of issues per capita, visits per capita and stock turnover, depending on the values of the available inputs. No satisfactory model could be developed for enquiries per head of resident population, and that for visits was far from ideal. A method is described for using these models to identify individual service points which are performing particularly well, or badly, on one or more of these indicators, as a diagnostic tool for chief librarians seeking to improve their services.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 55 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Ann Chapman, Claire Creaser and David Spiller

A unique data set, recording a representative sample of the acquisitions of public and academic libraries in the UK between 1980 and 1998, has been analysed for evidence…

Abstract

A unique data set, recording a representative sample of the acquisitions of public and academic libraries in the UK between 1980 and 1998, has been analysed for evidence of trends in acquisitions. Examination of acquisition date relative to publication date revealed public libraries buying little older material, and academic libraries increasing purchases of older titles. Paperback purchase by public libraries has risen, but remained more stable in academic libraries. Public library purchasing reflects current public interest in practical and hobby subjects, but in other areas levels of purchase are at variance with statistics of use. Academic library purchase is dominated by social science material, disproportionate to student numbers. Purchase price analysis suggests a trend to reliance on interlending to satisfy demand for more expensive titles. The findings raise questions about current acquisitions practice and the influence of publishers and suppliers; some further areas for work are identified.

Details

Library Management, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Claire Creaser, Yvonne Hamblin and J. Eric Davies

Online content has largely replaced traditional print‐based resources as the primary tool for literature searching throughout much of the academic and research community…

Abstract

Purpose

Online content has largely replaced traditional print‐based resources as the primary tool for literature searching throughout much of the academic and research community. This paper presents the results of a small‐scale study, commissioned by the JISC in 2004, to assess the potential efficiency gains that may be achieved through the use of online content by researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

Information gleaned from an extensive literature review was combined with recent usage data to calculate broad estimates of the efficiency gains which are being made by the research community through using online searching strategies as opposed to print resources.

Findings

The estimated staff costs in UK universities of literature searching are some £7 million per annum. Manual literature searching can take around five times as long as using relevant electronic resources. The consequent savings from the availability of electronic bibliographic databases are estimated in the region of £25 million per annum.

Originality/value

This paper brings together findings from a number of distinct studies and extrapolates these to the current situation in the UK. It demonstrates the value of investment in electronic bibliographic databases to the funding bodies which provide these to researchers.

Details

Program, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

Keywords

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