June 2008 Archives

myLibrary now saves citations

I just wanted to let all of you know that myLibrary now has new functionality: the ability to create a list of "My Saved Citations!" Learn how to save citations or just try it anytime you are in the "Find It" menu from our databases and website.

If any of you have any suggestions for how to improve this please let me know.

Speaking of Impact Factors, the May issue of Epidemiology has several short articles questioning the use of Impact Factors in response to a social experiment presented in the same issue. Personally, I like IF's. They are useful and interesting tools to track, evaluate, and visualize scientific endeavors. But then again, I'm a librarian and this is an interesting hobby for us. We don't risk our jobs on them...

Rise and Fall of the Thomson Impact Factor.
Epidemiology. 19(3):373-374, May 2008.
Allen J. Wilcox

The Impact Factor Follies.
Epidemiology. 19(3):372, May 2008.
Richard Rothenberg

How Come Scientists Uncritically Adopt and Embody Thomson's Bibliographic Impact Factor?
Epidemiology. 19(3):370-371, May 2008.
Miquel Porta; Carlos Ă?lvarez-Dardet

Impact Factor: Good Reasons for Concern.
Epidemiology. 19(3):369, May 2008.
Moyses Szklo

Referee Compensation?


Recently the Journal of High Energy Physics announced on a listserv that will start giving “token compensation� to their reviewers. The SISSA rep. wrote to a library listserv: “Given that peer review is the most valuable asset of journals, in the spirit that scientific work should be remunerated, we have decided to allocate funds for this purpose and to pay a token fee for every referee report beginning in 2008. We strongly feel that this new practice in the policy of scientific journals is the right step on the way to further improve the quality of our peer review process. “

Shortly after, an American Physical Society person replied with a response re-announcing their efforts to acknowledge “outstanding� referees through their new award program (info and a full list of awardees). They argued, “Rather than pay referees, which would increase costs that would increase the price of the journals, the American Physical Society has recently
chosen to give recognition each year to a very small fraction of our 42,000 active referees.� ***Props to UMN winners: Allen Goldman, Alexander Grosberg, Cheng-Cher Huang, and Mikhail Voloshin****.

This raises some interesting questions about the services that researchers render, not only in physics, but in most scientific disciplines. For referees, how much time, effort, and energy is too much? When is a pat-on-the-back required to keep the status quo? And most importantly, as all journal publications go electronic, and some stop print all together, how much does the peer-review process actually cost?

If you, the authors, are writing, formatting, reviewing, and editing nearly all journal content (not to mention “publishing� to the arXiv), how much does it cost to provide access to the final result on the web? The reported $30 million a year, or $2000 an article, APS spends on publishing their nine journals seems outlandish considering most of the scholarly effort is pro bono (and APS is thrifty when compared to journal subscription pricing by Elsevier or Springer). Is there a less expensive way to manage an editorial workflow that could be web-based, partially automated, and accomplish the same thing?

If academic journal referees are cheap, shouldn’t the cost of peer-review be in the same ball-park?

More information:
Cost is not the real issue for most referees, its time. Check out this letter in the Jan 4, 2008 Science, “In Search of peer reviewers�
For a cost analysis of electronic journal publishing with a near-zero cost alternative, read “Fixing the Broken Toaster: Scholarly Publishing Re-Imagined� in a 2007 Science and Technology Libraries.
For a discussion of journal pricing and the SCOAP3 proposal that allows library’s to pay for the work produced in their country read “Free for All� in a 2007 issue of Symmetry Magazine.

Summer 2008 Workshop Series

Sign up for a free library workshop this summer.

Workshops at Walter Library:

May 21 Getting Published... 2:00-3:00
May 28 RefWorks Basics 3:00-4:00
June 4 Research Made Easy 2:00-3:00
June 11 Keeping Up: Web-based Tools 1:00-2:00
June 18 Grant Funding for Grads 12:30-1:45
June 25 SciFinder on the Web 2:00-3:30
July 9 Google for Researchers 1:00-2:00
July 16 Create your Powerpoint Poster 2:00-2:45
July 23 RefWorks Basics 1:00-2:00
August 18 RefWorks Basics 2:00-3:00
August 21 Grant Funding for Grads 9:00-10:15

More workshops held at McGrath and Bio-Med libraries

The Spring meeting of the IT Library Committee was held:4:00 -5:00 PM Thursday May 1 in Room 310 Walter Library

1. Announcements

Two new engineering librarians have been hired

  • Jan Fransen: Aerospace and Civil Engineering, May 19
  • Jon Jeffryes: Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, June 2

SCImagine 2008: Student Robotics Projects Friday, May 9, 3:30 pm, Upson Room, 102 Walter Library

Competitive edge: Workshops for faculty and graduate students
o Grant funding: Search tools and resources
o Getting started: Publishing your science research article

Science Quiz Bowl: Terrific Success!
o 140 IT students participated

SMART Learning Commons, 2nd floor Walter Library
o Opening in May, offering tutoring services, writing assistance, computers for multimedia production, group study

2. Demonstration of New Tools and Services

o Can now attach files (pdf, jpg, tif, etc.) within your RefWorks account

Citation Linker
o Quick way to find the full text of a specific citation
o http://tc.liblink.umn.edu/sfx_local/cgi/core/citation-linker.cgi

E-Journal lists by subject
o Now available from the Libraries' main web page
o http://www.lib.umn.edu/

"Get It" delivery service
o Click one button in MNCat to request delivery of books and journals
o http://www.lib.umn.edu/site/getit.phtml

MyLibrary/MyU Portal
o Customized interface of key journals, databases, items checked out
o Link from http://www.lib.umn.edu

3. Update on author's rights

NIH mandate went into effect April 7. Learn more at Bio-Med library blog.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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