<3 Figshare


Figshare is becoming my favorite and most trusted scholarly communication service. Just last month I presented at a conference and presented some primarily data regarding Open Access journals. My data, a list of journal titles with additional metadata, was incredibly easy to share–even in the early stages of my research. The data was already publicly available, it was just incredibly clunky to read and use (thanks to giant cvs files). I knew that sharing my data would only increase the amount of feedback that received–and would help others in my research community. All that to say, I decided to upload my data to Figshare.

If you aren’t familiar with Figshare, Figshare is a repository “where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable, and discoverable manner.” Check out their website here:  http://figshare.com/about

Here are some basics about the service:

  • Free to sign up for an account
  • Gives limited space for private data, but lots* of space data you make public
  • Assigns a DOI to uploads
  • Connects with ORCID
  • Gives you statistics on each upload

Check it out today! If you have questions–or want to pass along your uses of Figshare–send an email to openisu@iastate.edu



Summer Plans: research data management at Iowa State University

Yes, the University Library has resources to help you with data management!

This coming Fall 2015 will see the deployment of what I am calling “ISU data management 2.0” (1.0 was during my first 12 months at Iowa State). What will 2.0 include? Well, if I can accomplish all of my goals, it will include a large update to the DMP Guide, new learning materials, a streamlined DMP consultation service, new workshops, and new partnerships.

First, the DMP Guide will be getting a large update this summer to bring it into alignment with the new public access plans that have been released by various funding agencies. I want to emphasize that the advice on the guide is still good – but it may not be able to answer all of your questions. Updating the guide will take time so if you have an immediate question or need help with a data management plan please contact me (my contact info is on the guide).

Speaking of contacting me, the second goal is to develop better ways to request help with data management. I’m hoping to develop a web form that asks a couple of simple questions which will help both researchers and librarians prepare for a consult. Right now I’ve been using a combination of email and phone calls, which works, but is not the most efficient.

Iowa State Library also offers access to the DMPTool which provides advice and templates to help you develop a data management plan. I will be working to customize the DMPTool to include ISU specific details, policies, or advice to mirror the guide content (once it’s been updated). I would really appreciate feedback on what people find helpful or lacking when using DMPTool.

Lastly, I am very happy to share that the University Library and the Grants Hub are working together to develop new content and learning opportunities related to research data management. I can’t provide many details yet because we are still in the planning stage but I am very excited to be working with the VPR Office again (they supported my past data management brown-bags).

Much of my time will be devoted to this effort over the 2015 summer. If you are interested in these projects, or in data and data management, then stay tuned.

– Megan

Stepping back from sharing

This post was originally posted on Scholarly Communications @ Duke on 4 May 2015 and is written by Kevin Smith, J.D. Original post found here: http://blogs.library.duke.edu/scholcomm/2015/05/04/stepping-back-from-sharing/  

The announcement from Elsevier about its new policies regarding author rights was a masterpiece of doublespeak, proclaiming that the company was “unleashing the power of sharing” while in fact tying up sharing in as many leashes as they could.  This is a retreat from open access, and it needs to be called out for what it is.

For context, since 2004 Elsevier has allowed authors to self-archive the final accepted manuscripts of their articles in an institutional repository without delay.  In 2012 they added a foolish and forgettable attempt to punish institutions that adopted an open access policy by purporting to revoke self-archiving rights from authors at such institutions.  This was a vain effort to undermine OA policies; clearly Elsevier was hoping that their sanctions would discourage adoption.  This did not prove to be the case.  Faculty authors continued to vote for green open access as the default policy for scholarship.  In just a week at the end of last month the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Penn State, and Dartmouth all adopted such policies.

Attempting to catch up to reality, Elsevier announced last week that it was doing away with its punitive restriction that applied only to authors whose institutions had the temerity to support open access. They now call that policy “complex” — it was really just ambiguous and unenforceable — and assert that they are “simplifying” matters for Elsevier authors.  In reality they are simply punishing any authors who are foolish enough to publish under these terms.

Two major features of this retreat from openness need to be highlighted.  First, it imposes an embargo of at least one year on all self-archiving of final authors’ manuscripts, and those embargoes can be as long as four years.  Second, when the time finally does roll around when an author can make her own work available through an institutional repository, Elsevier now dictates how that access is to be controlled, mandating the most restrictive form of Creative Commons license, the CC-BY-NC-ND license for all green open access.

These embargoes are the principal feature of this new policy, and they are both complicated and draconian.  Far from making life simpler for authors, they now must navigate through several web pages to finally find the list of different embargo periods.  The list itself is 50 pages long, since each journal has its own embargo, but an effort to greatly extend the default expectation is obvious.  Many U.S. and European journals have embargoes of 24, 36 and even 48 months.  There are lots of 12 month embargoes, and one suspects that that delay is imposed because those journals that are deposited in PubMed Central, for which 12 months is the maximum embargo permitted.  Now that maximum embargo is also being imposed on individual authors.  For many others an even longer embargo, which is entirely unsupported by any evidence that it is needed to maintain journal viability, is now the rule.  And there is a handful of journals, all from Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, as far as I can see, where no embargo is imposed; I wonder if that is the result of country-specific rules or simply a cynical calculation of the actual frequency of self-archiving from those journals.

The other effort to micromanage self-archiving in this new policy is the requirement that all authors who persevere and wish, after the embargo period, to deposit their final manuscript in a repository, must apply a non-commercial and no derivative works limitation on the license for each article.  This, of course, further limits the usefulness of these articles for real sharing and scholarly advancement.  It is one more way in which the new policy is exactly a reverse of what Elsevier calls it; it is a retreat from sharing and an effort to hamstring the movement toward more open scholarship.

The rapid growth of open access policies at U.S. institutions and around the world suggests that more and more scholarly authors want to make their work as accessible as possible.  Elsevier is pushing hard in the opposite direction, trying to delay and restrict scholarly sharing as much as they can.  It seems clear that they are hoping to control the terms of such sharing, in order to both restrict it putative impact on their business model and ultimately to turn it to their profit, if possible.  This latter goal may be a bigger threat to open access than the details of embargoes and licenses are. In any case, it is time, I believe, to look again at the boycott of Elsevier that was undertaken by many scholarly authors a few years ago; with this new salvo fired against the values of open scholarship, it is even more impossible to imagine a responsible author deciding to publish with Elsevier.

– See more at: http://blogs.library.duke.edu/scholcomm/2015/05/04/stepping-back-from-sharing/#sthash.xBg598jC.dpuf