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Newsletter n° 53 April 2017


Focus Open Access in India

This month, the Open Access section will focus on India. Far from pretending to establish a complete panorama on such a vast subject, this focus is simply a snapshot, through 5 recent press articles and papers, of different aspects of the OA publishing issues specific to this country.

S. C. Lakhotia, Editor-in-Chief of the Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, gives some historical context to the arising of open access publications, highlighting the pros and cons of OA publishing, and concluding that it is time to change the system in order to get out of  the ‘publish-or-perish’ scenario. This scenario is also questionned in three articles from Current Science showing that despite OA policies that mandate researchers to deposit their papers in repositories, too many scientists forget to do so, while the grants provided for research should not be used for paying APC. G. Mahesh, Head of ISSN Indian Centre, goes in the same direction, explaining the phenomenal increase in the number of journals seeking ISSNs, and how to check the veracity of information provided by questionable publications. At last, the University Grants Commission’s white list may be a good way to curb researchers from publishing in predatory journals.




Revision of ISO 3297 – International Standard Serial Number voted by members of ISO TC46 /SC9

The Committee internal ballot on the revision of ISO 3297 was closed on April 9th, 2017 and the revision was approved by 17 members. WG5, the Working Group that will conduct any revision of ISO 3297, Information and documentation — International standard serial number (ISSN), thus has the permission of this committee to go ahead with a revision of the standard based on the results of the systematic review ballot. The scope of the standard remains unchanged. Ms. Gaëlle Béquet, Director of the ISSN International Centre, will be the project leader. The timeline for the revision is 36 months.


A new ISSN Regional Centre to be set up in Eurasia

ISSN Regional Training and Information session, Almaty, KazakhstanGaëlle Béquet, Director of the ISSN International Centre, and Zhanat Seidumanov, Director of the National Library of Kazakhstan, Almaty, April 2017

A meeting was organized on April 3rd and 4th, 2017 at the National Library of Kazakhstan in Almaty between representatives of the ISSN International Centre, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation to discuss the terms under which a Regional Centre could be set up at the Russian ISSN Centre with the Book Chamber of Belarus and the National Library of Kazakhstan signing agreements with the Russian ISSN Centre. The Book Chamber of Belarus and the National Library of Kazakhstan have been attempting for several years to join the ISSN network but the two organizations have faced some administrative issues preventing them to be officially appointed by their governments. The Book Chamber of Russia became the 89th ISSN National Centre in 2015 after the official accession of Russia to the statutes of the ISSN International Centre. The Book Chamber of Belarus and the National Library of Kazakhstan are both convinced that serial publications published in their countries need to be better identified at the international level. They would like to enhance and speed up ISSN assignment to their national publications which are dealt with by the ISSN International Centre by getting more involved in the process. A formal agreement should be signed before September 2017.


ISSN IC institutional website in Spanish

Further to the ISSN Directors’ meeting that was held in Brasilia in November 2016, the ISSN International Centre decided to publish a Spanish version of its own website. The Spanish version of the institutional website is now online, thanks to the cooperation of our colleagues from the Spanish speaking National Centres.

  >> ISSN International Centre, March 2017  

The ISSN International Centre at a meeting with the Institut de l’Information scientifique et technique (INIST) on 14 March 2017

The ISSN International Centre team met with the director of INIST, Ms Dominique Wolf, and her colleagues to discuss about future cooperation. The first step is to involve INIST with the testing of the new Corporate extranet the ISSN International Centre is currently developing. The next steps could include joint participation in conferences to inform publishers about the operations of the ISSN network as well as greater cooperation regarding ISTEX and CONDITOR projects which are conducted by INIST and other French organisations.


Regina Romano Reynolds, Director of the U.S. ISSN Center, made a presentation at the 26th North Carolina Serials conference

As the growth of content is almost certain to continue to outpace control by traditional bibliographic practices, handcrafted cataloging for widely available publications must give way to “semi-automated” and other bulk processes. New partnerships with data providers must be forged, library data must become connected with data produced by other expert communities, and even one-by-one handcrafted access to rare and unique items must be aided by more fully exploiting machine intelligence. For a linked data future, we must break our monolithic records and build the links, including ISSN, that will be keys to connecting users to good content.

Download Beyond Google: Transforming the Bibliographic Environment to Connect Users to Good Content

  >> 26th NC Serials Conference, March 2017  

RDA for serials: Nordic workshop at the National Library of Sweden

On the 6th April, 2017, ISSN Sweden hosted a Nordic workshop on the topic RDA for Serials.

RDA for Serials Nordic Workshop 2017

Participants left to right: Hanna-Elise Hansen, ISSN Norway, Marja-Liisa Seppälää, Development manager RDA,The National Library of Finland, Carin Anell ISSN Sweden, Katrine Schröder National Library of Denmark, Anna Wallin ISSN Sweden, Ola Alm ISSN Sweden, Katarina Synnermark RDA-development, National Library of Sweden.

  >> ISSN International Centre Facebook, April 2017  




The members of the ICEDIS Committee – EDItEUR’s special-interest group for serials standards – met on the final day of the UKSG Conference, on 12th April. ICEDIS is nearing 30, and this will be the opportunity to explore its continued relevance against a vastly changed subscriptions landscape, with business models, processes and stakeholder groups all very different from those in place in the late 80s. Another topic on the agenda: Getting the most out of ONIX-PC. Discussions will address how to encourage producers to create ONIX-PC files and how to add other downstream users of the information.

  >> EDItEUR, April 2017  

Publishing Industry


European Commission considering leap into open-access publishing

The European Commission may follow the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and set up a “publishing platform” for the scientists it funds. The aim is to try to accelerate the transition to open-access publishing in Europe. If the commission is only “considering” the idea, a “decision” to create the platform had already been made. This decision is warmly welcomed by open access experts. The benefits for scientists are outlined, as well as the obstacles set by traditional publishers.

  >> Science, March 2017  



University Futures; Library Futures

OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R have studied and written extensively about the evolution of higher education and the implications of this evolution for the organizational structure and services of libraries. Today, they are announcing a new project, University Futures; Library Futures, in which OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R are joining forces to carry out a collaborative project on the future of academic libraries, in the context of changes in the higher education landscape.

  >> Ithaka S+R, April 2017  

I Don’t Want My Article Next to That

This paper, presented at ACRL 2017, addresses a number of faculty concerns pertaining to “predatory publishers” and the institutional repository. The aim is to discuss in which ways librarians can educate faculty and graduate students to help them in navigating such issues as open access, institutional repositories, and determining the quality of potential outlets for publication.

  >> ACRL 2017 Proceedings, March 2017  

Reference Rot in the Repository: A Case Study of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) in an Academic Library

This study examines ETDs deposited during the period 2011-2015 in an institutional repository, to determine the degree to which the documents suffer from reference rot. The authors converted and examined 664 doctoral dissertations in total. The results serve to emphasize not only the necessity of broader awareness of this problem, but also to stimulate action on the preservation front.

  >> Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) Vol. 36, No. 1, March 2017  

IFLA Library Map of the World

IFLA Library Map of the World is a representative source of basic library statistics and a robust tool for providing a worldwide comparison of different library  performance metrics, mapped by country level data. In March 2017, IFLA launched the Library Map of the World 2017 Survey to collect a basic set of library performance metrics from as many countries as possible and to make a visualisation of the data for all to use. The data visualisation website will be launched at IFLA WLIC 2017 in Wrocław, Poland in August 2017

  >> IFLA, March 2017  

IFLA Journal Special Issue on Research Data Services in Libraries

IFLA Journal dedicates a second volume to how libraries tackle the challenge of research data management. The main goal of this special issue is to gather the latest theory, research, and state-of-the-art practices from libraries that are informing and innovating effective data services.

Both volumes are published in open access on IFLA Journal website.

See volume 42, N° 4, December 2016 about international approaches to research data services in libraries.

  >> IFLA Journal, Volume 43, N° 1, March 2017  

Scholarly Communication


Pyne: Are universities complicit in predatory publishing?

The growth of predatory journals is now impossible to ignore. Some universities have policies against them, but others chose to turn a blind eye to this problem. One of the reasons to explain this behavior could be that authors and universities find some benefits in this situation and, contrary to popular belief, cannot be qualified as “victims” of those journals.

  >> Ottawa Citizen, April 2017  

Critical thinking in a post-Beall vacuum

Jeffrey Beall’s years long and controversial battle against ‘predatory’ publishers seems to have come to a end when his blog was taken offline in January 2017. Andy Nobes, Program Officer for Research Development at INASP, reminds how difficult it is for non-native English speakers researchers, to recognize predatory journals. He highlights the role of Think. Check. Submit. and INASP’s AuthorAID set of initiatives aiming to provide support to researchers from developing countries in preparing academic articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

  >> Research Information, April 2017  

How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative

Academic libraries have been wasting their time trying to change the scholarly communication system on the feeblest of rationalizations. Proper librarians know that the current system is obviously the most sustainable, since it has lasted this long and provided so much benefit to libraries and profit to organizations as diverse as giant publishers and scholarly societies. Moreover, faculties have proclaimed loudly and clearly that they believe libraries’ central role is to be the campus’s collective knowledge wallet, so who are librarians to argue?

  >> Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, April 2017  

Open Access Mega-Journals: the Future of Scholarly Communication or Academic Dumping Ground? A Review

Open-access mega-journals (OAMJs) represent an increasingly important part of the scholarly communication landscape. OAMJs, such as PLOS ONE, are large scale, broad scope journals that operate an open access business model, and which employ a novel form of peer review, focusing on scientific soundness and rejecting judgement of novelty or importance. The purpose of this paper is to examine the discourses relating to OAMJs, and their place within scholarly publishing, and to consider attitudes towards mega-journals within the academic community.

  >> The Idealis, March 2017  

MIT announces new open access policy for all its authors

MIT is launching a new way for authors of scholarly articles to legally hold onto rights to reuse and post their articles, and for others to more easily build on that work. As of April 2017, all MIT authors can opt in to an open access license — a voluntary agreement that an individual MIT author can sign and that applies to scholarly articles written while at MIT.


  >> MIT News, April 2017  

Open Access: Advocacy – Interview with Peter Suber

In an interview with Library Journal, Dr. Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication, summarizes the challenges and misconceptions surrounding OA publishing, and provides some guidance to his fellow advocates.

  >> Library Journal, March 2017  

Open Access


The Fraud of Open Access Publishing

The nature and modalities of scientific research publications have undergone many changes during the past 4-5 decades.  Commercial houses gradually became the major players and this led to research publication system transforming into an industry and reduced to a source of earning. The author suggests the necessity  of changing the actual system, making scholarly outcome available to all instead of having authors paying for publication charges which are mechanically making life harder for researchers with low funds.

  Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, vol. 83, N° 1, March 2017  

Open access: The sorry state of Indian repositories

India may not have a national open access policy in place, but the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and The University Grants Commission (UGC) have open access policies that clearly mandate researchers to deposit their papers in institutional repositories. “Open access institutional repositories are clearly lagging behind despite the mandate,” says Dr. G. Mahesh from the National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), New Delhi, and one of the authors of this article in Current Science.

  Current Science, Vol. 112, N°2, 25 January 2017, cited by The Hindu, January 2017  

Should Indian researchers pay to get their work published?

Paying to publish is an ethical issue. India is potentially spending about US$ 2.4 million annually on APCs paid to OA journals. The amount would be much more if we add APCs paid to make papers published in hybrid journals open access. It would be prudent for Indian authors to make their work freely available through interoperable repositories, a trend that is growing in Latin America and China, especially when funding is scarce. Scientists are ready to pay APC as long as institutions pay for it, and funding agencies are not ready to insist that grants provided for research should not be used for paying APC.

  >> Current Science, Vol. 112, N° 4, 25 February 2017  

The Indian ISSN conundrum

G. Mahesh, Head of Indian ISSN Centre, in the CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), explains the phenomenal increase in the number of journals seeking ISSNs, why ISSNs are being assigned to questionable journals, and NISCAIR’s endeavour to keep questionable journals at bay.

  >> Current Science, Vol. 112, N° 3, 10 February 2017  

India’s white list to curb researchers from publishing in predatory journals

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken up the mammoth task of preparing a white list of approved journals to curb researchers from publishing in predatory journals. The UGC notified on January 2017 a list of journals in different disciplines where researchers, scholars and teachers can publish their papers. Only papers published in the approved journals will be recognised for granting points to teachers in colleges and universities at the time of assessment for promotion.

  >> Science Chronicle, January 2017  



STM Annual US Conference 2017

Topic: The Future Decade of The Researcher
  >> STM, Washington D.C., USA, 25-27 April 2017  

ALA 2017 Annual Conference and Exhibition

Topic: Transforming our libraries, ourselves

The program is online.

  >> ALAAC17, Chicago, USA, 22-27 June 2017  

2017 SSP 39th Annual Meeting

Topic: Striking a Balance: Embracing Change While Preserving Tradition in Scholarly Communications

The Society for Scholarly Publishing will meet to discuss about developing new technologies, business models and partnerships.

The program is online.

  >> SSP 39th Annual Meeting, Boston, USA , 31 May – 2 June, 2017  

4th LODLAM Summit

Topic: How do we expand international adoption of Linked Open Data among Libraries, Archives and Museums?
  >> LODLAM Summit 2017, Venice, Italy, June 28-29 , 2017  

NASIG 2017

NASIG promotes communication, information, and continuing education about serials, electronic resources, and scholarly communication.

Topic : Racing to the Crossroads

The program is online.

  >> NASIG 2017, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, 8-11 June 2017  

Special RDA Event

Topic: Reconstructing RDA in the LRM: aggregations, authorities, and appellations
  >> RDA Steering Committee (RSC), Chicago, USA, 16 May 2017  

COPE European Seminar 2017

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Topic : The changing face and future of publication ethics.

Programme to be anounced soon. Registration will close on 10 May 2017.


  >> COPE, London, UK, 25 May 2017  

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