Top Smithsonian Staff Publications for 2015

The Smithsonian staff publications below are those that have generated the most media and online activity for 2015. Congratulations to those authors whose work has been picked up by news, bloggers and other social media users and whose ideas therefore are propagated beyond readership of the source publication. This group was culled from among 1500 publications tracked by the online service, Altmetric and assigned a score based on online attention paid by interested parties. Those with the top 25 Altmetric scores are shown here.

A proposal to change publishing economics

The staff at the Max Planck Digital Library released a white paper earlier this year called, “Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access.” While the title may be a mouthful, the paper put forth a simple idea: That the total worldwide amount spent by libraries on subscriptions to scientific journals is enough to pay the article processing fees if all journals operated on an open more »

5 Myths about the SRO

Readers of the Sunday Washington Post are familiar with the weekly feature called, ‘5 Myths” where misconceptions about certain timely topics are discussed and debunked. (A recent issue clarified some popular myths about giant pandas, calling on the expertise of Dr. Bill McShea of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute). It may be helpful to point out some things about the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) program that might be misunderstood by researchers and more »

Published Open Access Papers Set to Increase Soon

The Smithsonian will soon develop procedures for complying with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s directive on public access to federally funded research. That means that most papers authored by Smithsonian staff and affiliates will be made available to the public at no charge, some after an embargo period. There are several methods being developed by other federal agencies to meet this requirement and the Smithsonian has kept abreast of these policies. But aside from the White House mandate, it is clear that Smithsonian authors are increasingly making their scholarship freely available via publishing with an open access (OA) publisher. On average, there are about 350* OA papers published each year by Smithsonian scientists. This represents nearly 15% of research output.

Changing Library Services

Organizations which respond to the changing needs of their clients are the ones that survive well.  Here are two examples: Shortly after General Motors began manufacturing cars in the early 1900s it created a unit (GMAC), which loaned money to car buyers and earned interest on these loans. Although known worldwide as an industrial powerhouse, eventually GM began earning far more profit from this money-lending operation than they did from auto sales. more »

Notable Publications from Smithsonian Staff in 2014

The digital age of publishing scholarly journals allows a wider variety of methods to evaluate usage and readership than that of traditional print articles. Online activity can be captured for each article almost immediately after publication, including number of times an article is viewed and downloaded or mentioned in online news outlets, twitter, blogs and other social media sites. (For more on altmetrics, see the earlier Unbound post.)

Publications from the United States National Museum added to SRO

Thanks to support from the National Museum of Natural History,  Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) is adding a large body of legacy publications to its database this year. The source of the data is the annual reports of the United States National Museum (USNM) from the 1870s to the 1960s which often included an appendix listing staff publications. Some years there was no data listed, for example during World War II.

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