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Why Discovery is a Mess

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A talk by Simon Inger at the STM Digital Publishing Seminar, London, 6th December 2016. This talk looks at the state of discovery of journals and books online through a range of discovery options, some issues facing hybrid open access publishing, and why complex and incomplete discovery and authentication is driving readers to simpler, pirate sites, such as SciHub.

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Why Discovery is a Mess

  1. 1. Simon Inger Consulting Why Discovery is a Mess STM Digital Publishing
  2. 2. Me:
  3. 3. www.simoningerconsulting.com 1996  Springer had RedSage  Elsevier had completed TULiP program  CatchWord had its launch clients  HighWire had its launch clients  Wiley contracted with a division of Mitsubishi to build its first platform  Bill Gates said “Content is King” – Which got a lot of publishers excited
  4. 4. www.simoningerconsulting.com Content is King vs Context is King Content Every publisher Both EBSCO, ProQuest, Elsevier (Scopus), ACS (CAS), NIH (PMC/PubMed) Context Google / Scholar PubMed Libraries
  5. 5. www.simoningerconsulting.com Multiple incarnations Then  Primary incarnation on publisher platform  Maybe secondary incarnation (embargoed) in aggregator database Now  Primary incarnation on publisher platform  Aggregator  Institutional repository  Subject repository  ResearchGate  SciHub
  6. 6. www.simoningerconsulting.com Incarnations Downloaded 7
  7. 7. www.simoningerconsulting.com Over half of downloads are free!
  8. 8. www.simoningerconsulting.com With some variation by country
  9. 9. www.simoningerconsulting.com The Rise of Library Technology  Libraries want to be the starting point – fear of deskilling and disintermediation – perhaps best qualified on content selection  If not the starting point, then link server technology guides along the way – manages multiple incarnations
  10. 10. Discovery and Delivery Library Web Pages RDS, A&I Link Server/Resolver Target Google ToC Social Media
  11. 11. Articles: discovery options Delivery Discovery Durham Research Online
  12. 12. www.simoningerconsulting.com Discovery Survey
  13. 13. www.simoningerconsulting.com Librarians are different
  14. 14. www.simoningerconsulting.com
  15. 15. www.simoningerconsulting.com
  16. 16. www.simoningerconsulting.com The Game so far (level 1)  End users don’t have the same discovery tool preferences as librarians – But librarians control much of the navigation and buy the target resources  It’s often harder to find Gold OA than Green OA articles if you are operating within a library environment – Making something free on a publisher site often means it becomes no more discoverable by the majority of readers
  17. 17. www.simoningerconsulting.com What about books? Delivery Discovery Durham Research Online
  18. 18. www.simoningerconsulting.com Major Players in Discovery  Library Technology – Resource Discovery Services  Google Scholar / Google  A&Is – Clarivate Analytics – Elsevier – EBSCO – ProQuest
  19. 19. www.simoningerconsulting.com Discovery Options  Comprehensive but complicated  Fast, simple, free, but not guaranteed  Library-focussed but less comprehensive
  20. 20. www.simoningerconsulting.com Sci-Hub  High % of current articles now in Sci-Hub – > 58,000,000  Simple interface, no log-in barrier means it is used by individuals even within subscribing institutions  Are big aggregations the answer?
  21. 21. www.simoningerconsulting.com What to do (the easier stuff)  Keep up good relations with major discovery organisations (A&I, Google Scholar, Library RDS vendors)  Act on poor download statistics!  Work with library technology companies (especially ProQuest and EBSCO) to make sure libraries know how to include OA journals in their indexes – Tell libraries that these journals exist!
  22. 22. www.simoningerconsulting.com What to do (the bigger stuff)  Library tech companies need to cooperate more  Need solution to hybrid OA problem  Need to improve selection and marketing of OA journals  Benefit from more standardised access control  Remove barriers not add to them!
  23. 23. www.simoningerconsulting.com The Problem is Evolving Faster than the Solution

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