July 26, 2006
Read Worldwide Newspapers in Their Original Format
The Library just subscribed to a newspaper resource, Library PressDisplay, that allows you to view 250 newspapers from 55 countries in their original format, language, layout and pagination -- as if you were holding the newspaper in your hands!
You may select a newspaper by country of publication, by language, or by title. Texts are searchable (e.g., search for Apis mellifera, or Condoleezza). The file for each newspaper is for the current day's issue and back 60 days. RSS feeds are provided for all the newspapers. We currently have a licence for 6 simultaneous users... so if you get turned away, please try again later! (For this reason, please be sure to close your browser when you're finished, so someone else can get in.)
Many of the papers (e.g., LA Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Le Figaro (France), Daily Telegraph (UK), El Mundo (Spain), The Wall Street Journal Europe, Daily Telegraph (Sydney), Handelsblatt (Germany), Izvestiia (Russia), Toronto Star, Jerusalem Post, Times of India, La Stampa (Italy), etc.) have enhanced features ("SmartNavigation") for easy reading or cutting and pasting. Some of the newspapers with "SmartNavigation" offer the option to get an instant translation into one of ten languages or to have an audio feed that will allow you to hear the text of selected articles in the native language. To identify the newspapers with SmartNavigation look for the circle with the arrow in it next to the newspaper's name.
Posted by Katie Newman at 1:48 PM
July 18, 2006
BioMed Central Membership Cancelled at UIUC
Recently the University of Illinois Library chose not to continue its membership in BioMed Central (BMC) http://www.biomedcentral.com/. This decision was made in consultation with the then-Acting Provost and the Vice-Chancellor for Research. The discussion with the campus administration was precipitated when BMC changed its membership plan. Formerly, there was one type of membership: member institutions paid a modest fee and in return, authors were given free publishing rights in BMC journals. Waiving of the article processing charge is no longer a benefit of the standard 'supporter’ membership.
The discussion with the Provost and Vice-Chancellor revolved around the following questions:
- If the University were to support the costs of individual scholars to publish in peer reviewed venues, how would we distribute our limited funds?
- Where would these funds come from, if not from Library collection funds?
- Would we pay page charges for faculty who don't have grants to cover these costs, whether or not the journals are open access?
- Would we support subventions for faculty to have monographs published?
- How would we ensure that we wouldn't run out of money before the end of the year? Would we really tell a junior scholar that she has to wait for the next fiscal year to pay her costs?
- How many "memberships" are we willing to support? BMC was one of the first to offer the membership option. Public Library of Science (PLOS) and Nucleic Acids Research have followed. How many of these can we afford to support?
- If we provide such support, should we require that the authors retain their copyrights and deposit a copy of their work in our institutional repository, IDEALS < http://ideals.uiuc.edu > ?
What would we get were we to continue our membership in BMC?
- 'Supporter Membership' in BMC (about $5,500/yr) would give UIUC researchers a 15% discount on the Article Processing Charge (APC) when publishing in BioMed Central's journals. The majority of BioMed Central journals charge an APC of around $1300. This means that, after discount, an author at a member institution might have to pay $1100 per published article. The end result is that the research becomes universally accessible.
- The institution receives a 20% discount when purchasing subscriptions to any of the BMC products. Currently we subscribe to the Faculty of 1000 Biology database and the journals, Arthritis Research & Therapy, Breast Cancer Research: BCR, and Genome Biology; with a membership we would save about $2153.
Some faculty have erroneously concluded that a Library membership in BMC would grant them cost-free publishing rights in BMC journals. Although this used to be the case, the new Supporting Membership model does not provide this feature.
BMC offers another type of BMC 'membership' called 'PrePay Membership', which gives individual authors free publishing rights. Under this model, the University would pre-pay the article processing charges upfront, based on the number of successful submissions it expects its authors to make. The more the institution pre-pays, the lower the APC that is charged against the pre-paid account. Under this plan, the individual researcher would pay nothing; the University would pick up the APC bill ahead of time. So, for example, if the University estimates that there might be 30 submissions to BMC from UIUC, it would pre-pay around $30,000 to BMC. We do not feel this is a sustainable model, and are not considering becoming a 'prepay member' of BMC. To learn more about the types of BMC memberships, see:
There are a handful of other BMC-published journals for which we don't hold subscriptions -- the research articles in most of these are open access, but the reviews and commentaries are not. See this page for a list of the titles that UIUC has access to from BMC:
In 2004 Nature held a forum on the issue of Open Access. Don King and Carol Tenopir analyzed the pros and cons of the open access system as well as its long-term sustainability. See: http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/accessdebate/26.html
Ultimately, if we are to have 'open access', someone has to pay. This is just the opening salvo of a conversation that will surely span many months, and occur in many venues. We welcome hearing your comments on this issue.
A final word...
If you are interested in making your research more accessbile -- more widely read and cited -- consider putting a copy of it in the UIUC scholarly respository, IDEALS. Or, if appropriate, put it in the NIH respository, PubMed Central or some other subject-based resource. Over 90% of the "traditional" publishers will allow you to do this, so go ahead and publish where you like, but later consider putting the final version of the articles in one of these publically accessible repositories. If you do this, the whole world will be able to read and profit from your research!
Posted by Katie Newman at 3:23 PM
UIUC Library Catalog Enhancements
Library users will notice several updates to the UIUC Online Catalog since Spring 2006. One of the most exciting is that you now can use non-Roman scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, and Russian to search for library materials published in a non-Roman language. This is accomplished by choosing the desired language from the language toolbar on the library's public terminals. These scripts display better with the Firefox browser than they do in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Note that non-Roman searches may produce incomplete search results; at this time, not all catalog records for non-Roman publications include information in the non-Roman script.
Another change is that title searches can provide results for search terms found in chapter titles as well as in book titles. Note that not all records in the catalog include table of contents information, thus some searches will not include results from chapter titles.
Please also note that UIUC users can no longer use the I-Share statewide catalog to request items from the UIUC Library, unless they want to pick them up at an off-campus library. Rather, we suggest starting your searches in the UIUC Online Catalog (http://www.library.uiuc.edu/catalog), where you can request items from UIUC - and then move to the I-Share catalog from the I-Share Catalog link, which is located at the top of the UIUC Catalog screen, if you need more items than you can find locally. Requesting items from other Illinois libraries through the I-Share catalog and requesting UIUC items through the UIUC Online Catalog both are unchanged: the only change pertains to requesting UIUC items through the I-Share catalog.
As always, feel free to contact the Library by phone (333-2290), online (http://www.library.uiuc.edu/askus/), or in person at the Information Desk on the second floor of the Main Library if you have any questions about these changes or any problems searching for or requesting items.
Assistant Government Information Librarian
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1408 W. Gregory
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone (217) 333-2472
Fax (217) 244-2058
Posted by Katie Newman at 10:27 AM
Barriers to Open Access in the Bio-pharmaceutical Field
FLOSS Methods in Biotechnology, by Andrea Glorioso
from First Monday, volume 11, number 7 (July 2006)
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2002) Key issues in biotechnology urged that knowledge created in the realm of biotechnology should remain in the open access arena. This discussion in First Monday is "limited to a specific subfield — namely, the bio–pharmaceutical field — and to a limited set of players, i.e. profit–maximizing firms, with the desire to understand what are the obstacles and the options for a firm in use a “FLOSS model” in its research, development and commercialization processes".
According to Wikipedia, FLOSS stands for Free/Libre/Open-Source Software.
Posted by Katie Newman at 10:24 AM
Buy a Book...Help the Library!
The University Library has created a web page with links to various booksellers -- local, electronic, and otherwise -- to help you with your book purchases.
If you purchase your books through one of the options listed (Amazon), the library will receive a modest referral fee. So if you're buying from Amazon anyway, please consider using the link provided on the Book Purchase Referral Site!
ps.. if you'd like to bookmark the link to Amazon, here is a short link to it:
Posted by Katie Newman at 8:44 AM
July 6, 2006
2005 Journal Citation Reports Available
The Journal Citation Report for 2005 is now available.
Among other things, this report gives the ISI Impact Factor for 6088 science journals and 1747 social science journals. You may search by journal title, publisher, subject category, or country.
The Impact Factor (IF) of a journal is often taken as a measure of the "worth" of a journal; the higher the impact factor, the more prestigious the journal. Journal publishers and editors are often very interested in IFs, and tout their journal's IF if it is high. Those going up for tenure / promotion are also interested in publishing in journals with high impact factors.
How the Impact Factor is Calculated:
The impact factor is calculated by dividing the number of citations in the JCR year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years. An impact factor of 1.0 means that, on average, the articles published one or two year ago have been cited one time. An impact factor of 2.5 means that, on average, the articles published one or two year ago have been cited two and a half times. Citing articles may be from the same journal; most citing articles are from different journals. Caveat: only citations from journals indexed within the ISI database are counted.
For example, searching by publisher, I found the following 25 titles from the open access publisher, BioMed Central.
GENOME BIOL 9.712
BMC DEV BIOL 5.412
BMC STRUCT BIOL 5.000
BMC BIOINFORMATICS 4.958
BMC MOL BIOL 4.485
BMC EVOL BIOL 4.447
BMC GENOMICS 4.092
BREAST CANCER RES 4.026
GEOCHEM T 3.727
BMC BIOTECHNOL 3.054
ARTHRITIS RES THER 2.965
CRIT CARE 2.932
BMC NEUROSCI 2.733
RESP RES 2.682
BMC CELL BIOL 2.652
BMC MICROBIOL 2.176
BMC CANCER 1.992
BMC INFECT DIS 1.956
BMC GENET 1.769
BMC PUBLIC HEALTH 1.658
BMC HEALTH SERV RES 1.625
BMC GASTROENTEROL 1.455
BMC MUSCULOSKEL DIS 1.316
MALARIA J 0.547 0.377
CURR CONTR TRIALS C 0.231
Usually journals are compared within a particular subject category. For example, Genome Biology is listed in the BIOTECHNOLOGY & APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY category as well as the GENETICS & HEREDITY category. In the BIOTECHNOLOGY & APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY category, Genome Biology has the 4th highest IF out of 139 journals; in the GENETICS & HEREDITY category, it is 10th out of 124.
Posted by Katie Newman at 10:36 AM