Monday, April 28, 2008

New report: Key Concerns Within the Scholarly Communication Process

A report to the JISC Scholarly Communications Working Group has recently been announced.

The main findings regarding concerns about accessibility (thanks to Peter Suber blog) were:
Availability does not equal accessibility: researchers’ top concern about scholarly communication is that they cannot access all the content they wish to access...

The main problem with discovery is coming up against an access barrier

Researchers do not always know how to seek out a freely-available copy of an article that they want and which they have discovered behind a toll barrier...

Discovering research datasets can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Accessing them once discovered can also be difficult, requiring specialised software tools

e-journals are extremely popular and researchers would like all their journals delivered digitally.

Access problems occur when digital backfiles are not available, when the subscription to a journal is cancelled and access to the backfile ceases or when site licence terms debar some users

Site licences may debar certain constituencies of user, such as remote workers, off-campus workers or visiting faculty not normally based on campus

Access to research monographs is a concern. Researchers in the arts and humanities, where monographs are the most important literature type, perceive that access is reducing and that this is because the purchase of monographs is suffering because the science journal budget is taking an increasing proportion of the library’s funds....

Accessing intrinsic data – facts that reside in the text of an article – is made difficult by the preponderance of PDF as an output format. XML is the optimal format for authoring and specialised mark-up languages can be built upon that

Researchers remain poorly informed about Open Access. Awareness is growing but still only slowly and there remain many misconceptions. Researchers are eager to maximise their own impact and reputation but do not understand what means and opportunities are available to them...

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