Editorial Introduction to Issue 72
Change Is the Only Constant
Issue 72 is the product of a long period of almost constant change. In the last issue, Richard Waller waved adieu as the outgoing editor, explaining the circumstances around the change in the Editorial for Issue 71 . Richard has left some very large shoes to fill in terms of the quality of articles and the guidance for authors in producing readable and relevant material. The change is apparent when we look at the context in which Ariadne is now operating: the University of Bath Library has taken the reins, well aware of the regard in which the publication is held by its readers - a wide community with the unifying theme of information use, management and dissemination at its heart.
'Change' is also a constant theme flowing through each article in this issue, from transformations in open data; a revolution in measuring impact with altmetrics; the growth of Japan’s repository network and the development of thesis delivery online. This issue is short but well formed, and we trust there is something to snag your interest.
In their article on Digitisation and e-Delivery of Theses from ePrints Soton, Julian Ball and Christine Fowler outline their experiences around the programme of moving theses from print to digital and the ongoing processes surrounding the delivery of e-theses. First and foremost in discussions are authors’ rights, particularly for theses within the retrospective mass digitisation programme. The issues in addressing copyright and obtaining the consent of authors are outlined, as are considerations of the digitisation methodology, including scanning specification, digitisation from unbound copies and restrictions on access. As evidenced, a reader-focused approach to finding material was paramount, with work on the consolidation of platforms, catalogue entry and master copy to ensure metadata visibility to users. All in all, this article provides an invaluable insight for institutions looking at their own conversion programmes.
In their opening remarks on LinkedUp: Linking Open Data for Education, Marieke Guy, Mathieu d’Aquin, Stefan Dietze, Hendrik Drachsler, Eelco Herder and Elisabetta Parodi warn that while OERs are the first things we think of at the mention of Open Education, there is a wider variety of issues associated, which the LinkedUp Project is examining with its partners. The authors demonstrate how projects in the Higher Education sector have already begun to make use of linked and open data to the benefit of staff and students alike. They explain how the LinkedUp Project is encouraging greater engagement through a series of competitions that encourage innovation in the use of Web data and give an account of the first competition or Challenge held over May to June 2013.
At the same time, the project is developing the LinkedUp Dataset Catalog to provide not only Challenge entrants but the community as a whole with easily accessible datasets. Furthermore, the LinkedUp team provides entrants with advice on legal, exploitation and dissemination issues, as well as ensuring they are not hindered by technical difficulties. The authors describe how LinkedUp activity is designed to promote a diverse community that will sustain itself beyond the LinkedUp Project's duration.
In their article on Realising the Potential of Altmetrics within Institutions, Jean Liu and Euan Adie explain that altmetrics, or alternative metrics as indicators of non-traditional forms of research impact, are growing in significance amidst current criticism of possible misuse of the Journal Impact Factor. Having entered into the mainstream only recently, altmetrics are now being used in research assessment, faculty promotion, and even in the matter of tenure. The authors warn against making assumptions about altmetrics at their current stage of development or about the scope of their effectiveness. Furthermore, they remind us they are an indicator of the attention paid to published material, not its quality.
They go on to explain that while Altmetric's data and tools were originally geared to serve scholarly publishers, institutional use began in February 2013, and which it intends to strengthen. The authors explain how altmetrics are already saving individual researchers a lot of time by aggregating mentions and discussions of their output and building a useful picture of the interest it attracts. Moreover, and crucially for researchers, the attention is attracted at the article level, not the journal level. Finally, they also explain how altmetrics tools can support postgraduate training. They describe the different research outputs as well as Altmetric's involvement with open access institutional repositories, including Opus, the repository here at the University of Bath.
Our fourth feature article takes us to Japan, with Shared Repositories, Shared Benefits: Regional and Consortial Repositories in Japan. We are indebted to Takeo Ozono, Daisuke Ueda and Fumiyo Ozaki for their patience with the production and publication of their interesting story of the development of shared IRs across Japan which modestly underplays the degree of resourcefulness and teamwork involved. In their article, in which they recognise the precedents set by the UK projects White Rose Research Online and SHERPA-LEAP, they describe how Japanese institutions have managed to set up consortial repositories across 14 regions. They explain how this project facilitated the establishment of institutional repositories among 92 different bodies, despite the fact they possessed no institutional hardware themselves.
Our event report continues the international flavour, with a report on the Open Access and Research Conference held at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia (November 2013). To round out Issue 72 we have a comphrensive book review on Tara Brabazon's latest offering Digital Dieting: From Information Obesity to Intellectural Fitness.
Going forward, Ariadne will see some decisions made to shape the future of the publication. In particular, we'll be introducing an 'Articles available ahead of publication' section so authors don't need to wait for the entire issue to be produced to see their work online. We would very much value the input of our reader community, particularly to continue the work of sharing experiences and innovation on the information scene. Please do get in touch with comments via our webform.
I trust you will enjoy Issue 72.
- Richard Waller. Editorial: Ariadne Carries On. Ariadne, 17 July 2013.
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