As noted elsewhere in this blog, the publication record of Smithsonian scholars includes a growing portion of open access (OA) articles. During 2012, nearly 14% of scientific papers authored by Smithsonian scientists were published in OA journals. This is up from 7% in 2008 and it is expected to grow.
In case you missed the news last week, a Smithsonian scientist has identified a new mammal species, one that is particularly fuzzy and cute. Meet the olinguito! We are pleased to tell you that the paper describing the species, first published in the open access journal ZooKeys, can be found in the Libraries’ Digital Repository .
One common problem with the Internet is that hyperlinks become outdated without web page editor awareness. Websites change URLs for a host of reasons and unfortunately when third parties link to them users end up encountering “page not found” and other dead-link errors. For this reason, many academic publishers use a system of unique identifiers for their online content to act as permanent links to articles thereby avoiding these errors.
The open access (OA) movement has a lot of moving parts. For example it has led some research funding agencies to mandate that research publications resulting from grants should be made publicly available. A recent memo from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy requires federal science agencies to prepare a policy for making the published results of scientific research available to the public. The Smithsonian Institution is now working to formalize its policy.
This past week, you might have noticed the many news stories about killer cats. The research study about domestic cats’ impact on nature concluded that cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds and 20.7 billion mammals every year. Did you happen to pick up that the senior author on the paper was Peter Marra of the Migratory Bird Center, a research unit of the National Zoo, and one of his cowriters was Scott Loss, also of the MBC? While we are always excited by and proud of the research output of the Smithsonian, this is an example of a scholarly article having an impact in the public sphere—i.e. beyond just the scientific community. Does that matter? How does it matter? Is there a way for the organization sponsoring that research to measure impact of research output like this? These are the kinds of questions we can finally begin to tackle with the use of altmetrics.
Several years ago the National Museum of Natural History hosted a visitor from Science magazine who gave a presentation for authors on strategies for getting published in that journal which boasts a low 7% acceptance rate. The session contained some helpful tips and the speaker ended his talk with some humor by speculating (somewhat facetiously, perhaps) on the top 10 future trends in scientific publishing. Referring to the recent growth in co-authorship, one of his “predictions” was that someday the list of co-authors for an article would exceed the length of the article itself. While that may have seemed amusing, few realized that within a short time the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) database of scholarly publications would add an article which includes over 3000 co-authors and approximately the same number of words in the article’s body of text.