The movement toward open access databases and journals hasn’t been lost on traditional publishers and database vendors.
One problem for startup open access journals is their lack of reputation and prestige due to their inherent newness. They have no established reputation or credibility except that of the sponsoring organization: an academic society, institution, or university. Established traditional publishers can somewhat overcome this problem by lending their name, reputation, and credibility to their journals.
More and more traditional publishers are experimenting with the open access journal publishing model. Very few journals are converted from the traditional subscription model to open access, most are new journals developed as open access from the start.
Generally, the publishers are separating their open access journals from their subscription journals and creating new databases to aggregate and provide access to them. Database vendors may integrate subscription and open access journals with a search filter for open access titles.
Here are some major publishers and databases and their current open access offerings.
Giant academic publishing company Elsevier offers over 550 peer-reviews open access journals published under the gold open access model. In addition, Elsevier provides free access to archived material in more than 100 paid Elsevier journals.
ProQuest doesn’t generally support open access. It does offer one service, called PQDT Open, providing open access dissertations and theses. Graduate students pay a one-time fee of $95 through the Open Access Publishing PLUS service.
SpringerOpen contains “200+ peer-reviewed fully open access journals” and an interdisciplinary open access journal titled SpringerPlus. Most of the journals are indexed in Scopus and some SpringerOpen titles are searchable in Web of Science.
Authors pay “an article-processing charge (APC)” to get articles published in SpringerOpen.
The ALA 2017 Annual Conference is just one week away. The conference covers a myriad of library topics and sorting through the program sessions to find the ones focused on library technology takes effort. Let us do the work for you.
Here is our list of programs related to library technology. You’ll find interest groups and sessions on data and metadata, makerspaces, UX, Linked Data, ILS and LMS, websites, mobile apps, emerging technologies, and more. Committee meetings were not included.
A look at global browser market share data will show that Google’s Chrome browser commands more than half of the browser market (61.2% for April 2017, to be specific). The market share might be even higher among librarians (who have a choice at work). If you’re not a Google Chrome user, these additional six browser extensions might make you switch.
If you’ve never considered browser extensions, they are plugins or small applications that add functionality to your browser. Sometimes they work in the background (like Unpaywall, below) but usually they work when you click on a small icon that gets added to the browser’s toolbar.
Throughout your professional library reading, you will occasionally come across esoteric library technology acronyms. It’s annoying to have to stop reading to look up their meanings. To help prevent that, we present our list of more common library technology acronyms.
A proxy server is a service that provides authentication and mediation between database or publisher websites and the end user by routing Internet traffic through its system.
Why learn about proxy servers?
A proxy server is a service that libraries use to authenticate their users to provide access to many online databases and publisher websites. Using a proxy service allows library resource vendors to authenticate users from a single point-of-access regardless of where they are located, on-campus or from their home computer.
For our examples, we’ll use the popular EZproxy product from OCLC.
To avoid having to provide users with an individual or institutional login and password, most database and publisher websites authenticate users by IP address. Sometimes vendors will limit access to a range of IP addresses—on a single campus, for example. But for users outside of the physical campus, you must provide a known IP address (or set of IP addresses). This is accomplished by routing users through a proxy server so that the access requests come from its IP address(es) which are recognized by the vendor. The content is then returned to the proxy server and routed back to the original user.
Because libraries can’t let everyone access their resources via EZproxy, they must authenticate their users before access. EZproxy allows user login itself, but EZproxy also provides a method of authentication using your institution’s single sign-on (SSO) server.
EZproxy is accessed using an HTTP request. To access a website via EZproxy, you must prepend the EZproxy server URL to the database or publisher’s website address. A typical EZproxy URL looks like this:
To this proxy URL, we add the URL for the website we wish to access through EZproxy. For example:
As you perform a search or click on links on a database or publisher site, you are submitting your requests to your EZproxy server which passes them on to the original website. Data is returned to the EZproxy server which sends it back to your browser. That is why the post-proxy URL ends with .ezproxy.yourlib.org (ignoring the path).
You might notice some post-proxy URLs use hyphens instead of dots between parts of the original website’s address.
The short explanation is that the EZproxy server uses a wildcard security (SSL) certificate for *.ezproxy.yourlib.org which allows one subdomain before the EZproxy server domain (ezproxy.yourlib.org). The hyphens “trick” the server into seeing the original website as a single subdomain. This is done only for original websites that use HTTPS.
EZproxy has many settings that are configured during initial installation (using hyphens with HTTPS, for example). You also set the maximum number of virtual hosts (typically from 5,000 to 20,000).
Title SPIE Digital Library
Here is a more advanced database stanza:
Title Engineering Village
OCLC publishes a list of recommended database stanzas for many of the most popular databases. Of course, websites are frequently updated and these changes often require revised or completely new stanzas. These stanzas are found in the config.txt file.
Here are some resources to learn more about EZproxy.
Learn EZproxy – OCLC’s official site with documents and links to the EZproxy community.