Edinburgh Research Explorer • www.research.ed.ac.uk • ERdata: Jan. – June 2019
The first six-months of 2019, as now seems inevitable, have proved to be the busiest six-months in Edinburgh Research Explorer’s brief history, with 543,152 downloads. This is not only the first time that the half-a-million milestone has been breached within such a short period, but represents a 35% increase on the previous best. As the chart below indicates, this rate of growth is unprecedented following a full 6-months:
This report aims to offer an overview of the last six-months of download activity on Edinburgh Research Explorer. The data generated through the IRUS-UK download statistics portal is somewhat limited, it won’t tell us much about the users, in terms of who is downloading what, but it will offer up a few broad clues. This report will investigate those clues under the following headings:
On 27th March the Scholarly Communications Team at the University of Edinburgh were delighted to host the 6th regular meeting of the Open Access Scotland Group at the impressive Paterson’s Land building (pictured above).
The Group aims to provide a voice for open access in Scotland, allow the sharing of best practice, facilitate opportunities for networking between stakeholders, and lobby on behalf of Scottish organisations. It is an open group and comprises members from Scottish HE institutions and other allied organisations, like academic publishers, software vendors, local and national government agencies and research funders. The group also has honorary members from Iceland and Northern Ireland.
The event on 27th March was attended by 40 people representing over 20 organisations.
The first speaker was Pauline Ward who gave a well received talk on Open Science Approaches – including the fantastic Research Data Service at the University of Edinburgh.
During the main session we had a facilitated discussion around issues such as the use of research notebooks, how to do open access for Practise-led Research, and updates on Plan S, UK-SCL and Jisc Support.
The draft notes from the event are available online here:
If you are interested in Open Access and are based in Scotland then I would heartily recommend joining up to the Open Access Scotland Group. The next meeting is pencilled in for September and will probably be hosted by the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness. Hope to see you there!
As pointed out to me a number of times the use of ORCID.org IDs is rapidly growing:
Oct 16, 2012: 0
Nov 21, 2014: 1,011,557
March 4, 2016: 2,014,645
(stats via Martin Fenner @mfenner)
Which I don’t need to point out is a good thing. But…..
After a tip off by @generalising (Andrew Gray) on Twitter – I don’t believe all this growth reflects actual bona fide researchers. Want some proof? Try searching for ‘laywers’ and you’ll see that there are a LOT of spam accounts:
Each of the spam accounts looks to be a real business with URLs – something strange is definitely going on. It’s not just lawyers, but Taxi firms, Pizza restaurants, Plumbers. Try it for yourself. Dry cleaning? Sure ORCID has it covered:ORCID is turning into the Yellow Pages.
If I didn’t know any better then I’d say that ORCID is being used as a link farm for Search Engine Optimisation. Which is not really a good reflection on ORCID.org at all. I’ve pointed out a dozen spam accounts to email@example.com, but other than remove these specific accounts they don’t seem to be tackling the underlying problem. I’ve not looked at how prolific the problem is, but just a visual inspection shows that it is very widespread. So how many of those 2 million IDs are genuine? I really don’t know, and unless ORCID care to comment we’ll never find out.
If I was ORCID.org I’d be a bit more bothered about being used like this and made to look unprofessional, but to borrow a brilliant Polish phrase – ‘Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys’.
Last week I attended the CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OAI9) in Geneva, a workshop looking at developments in scholarly communication, it was a diverse programme and attracted people from all sectors of scholarly communication, here are some of my highlights from each day;
Day One – Beginning the first day were a choice of tutorials, I elected the institution as publisher: getting started presented by UCL who are the first fully Open Access University Press in the UK. This offers a real alternative to commercial publishers, at the moment the majority of UCL Press authors are internal, external authors are liable to pay an APC.
The Keynote by Michael Nielsen, Beyond Open Access, looked at how open access policies should be crafted so they don’t inhibit innovation by constraining experimentation, new media forms and different types of publication. Following this was the session Looking at Barriers and Impact, Erin McKiernan, who is an early career researcher talked about her own experience and barriers she has faced in accessing research, she has made a pledge to be open, her opinion was early career researchers are in a position to be game changers in terms of making their research open. Finally Joseph McArthur, talked about the Open Access button helping readers find open access versions of research outputs, this is a tool created by young people who frequently faced barriers to accessing research.
Day Two – The second day of the workshop was held at the Campus Biotech
The first session looked at Open Science Workflows, CHORUS and SHARE, Jeroen Bosman and Bianca Kramer from Utrecht gave a really interesting presentation on the changing workflow of research – they had three goals for science and scholarship – Open, Efficient, Good. We should be supporting open science instead of just open access leading to diminishing traditional journals. This was highlighted using a diagram they created – 101 innovations in scholarly communication, highlighting the patterns and processes of innovation in this field. This is an ongoing survey of scholarly communication tool usage – part of an ongoing effort to chart the changing landscape of scholarly communication.
Following this session was Quality Assurance, focusing on researchers and reforming the peer review process. Janne-Tuomas Seppanen from Peerage of Science stated that some peer reviews are excellent – some are not, Peerage of Science tries to address this by the scoring of peer reviews, the idea being that peer reviewers are themselves peer reviewed increasing and quantifying the quality of peer review. This service is free for academics and publishers pay. Andrew Preston from Publons is looking at speeding up science by making peer review faster, more efficient, and more effective. The incentive for reviewers? Making peer review a measurable research output.
I also attended the break out session on Copyright in Data and Text Mining which gave an overview of the legal framework and an introduction to The Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age launched in May this year which ‘aims to foster agreement about how to best enable access to facts, data and ideas for knowledge discovery in the Digital Age. By removing barriers to accessing and analysing the wealth of data produced by society, we can find answers to great challenges such as climate change, depleting natural resources and globalisation.’
The second day of the workshop ended in style at the Ariana, the Swiss museum of glass and ceramics which opened its doors especially for attendees of OAI9.
Day Three – The focus of the first session was the Institution as Publisher, a new theme for OAI. Catriona Maccallum from PLOS focused on the need for transparency, publishing is a cycle, not just about content provision. The services an institution can offer include; Open Access, Open Access Presses, transparency, assessment, rewards and incentives, she went on to say the institution should be driving changes. Rupert Gatti, Open Book Publisher talked about bringing publishing to a research centre level, open access allows direct dissemination to a different audience and would allow authors to disseminate not just books and articles but other types of scholarly output.The Final speaker in this session, Victoria Tsoukala from National Documentation Centre, National Hellenic Research Foundation talked specifically about open access publishing in the Humanities and gave an overview of University led publishing within her institution looking at the various challenges (funding, outputs being perceived as poorer quality) and the opportunities (ability to regain control, innovation, transparency and fairness and assuming new roles for libraries).
If you’re interested in finding out more, all the presentations are available online by clicking through the programme.