Since the earliest days of the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO), we have sometimes thought of the program as a distinct branch library just like any other. The notable exception is that SRO items are not printed materials but rather digital, and we use a different catalog or finding aid for the items. But other than that, the SRO processes materials in much the same way as a typical library by selecting, acquiring and cataloging items as the program has grown.
The Smithsonian Libraries salutes Dr. Nancy Knowlton, the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the National Museum of Natural History and senior scientist emerita at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, who has received the 2016 Secretary’s Distinguished Scholar Award. The award celebrates excellence in all branches of Smithsonian scholarship by honoring the sustained achievement of one outstanding Smithsonian scholar each year.
During the 2016 fiscal year, the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) program achieved several goals to ensure that publications authored by Smithsonian researchers were more easily discoverable and reused. This blog entry is meant to list some of those accomplishments and describe their significance.
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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