We analyzed 100 academic library websites. To select the libraries, we used the U. S. News & World Report‘s Best Colleges National University Rankings. For those 100 prominent universities, we found the website of the main library and looked at its homepage navigation, organization, terminology, and search tools.
We looked at trends in these areas:
Navigation menu items to understand terminology and site organization.
Sometimes, when evaluating your library’s website or services, you’d like to see how things are done at other institutions. Why reinvent the wheel? Maybe you just need some inspiration; seeing another’s layout or reading alternative wording can spark a brilliant idea. Or you might just copy something that works.
If you find yourself wanting to browse other academic websites but don’t know where to start or how to choose them, this list of links can help. This is not a list of the top 100 academic library websites. Rather, it is a list of the library websites for the top 100 institutions in the U. S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges National University Rankings. Use it to check a handful of sites or all 100.
International Open Access Week runs from October 23–29, 2017. For all of the details, visit www.openaccessweek.org.
This year’s theme is “Open in order to:” with a blank line to highlight what open access enables your library or institution to do.
Open in order to:
Your library or institution is probably utilizing open access resources. For Open Access Week this year, promote them to show how they can benefit your users. Here are just a few of the ways.
Promote Institutional Repositories
Many institutions are publishing open access resources in institutional repositories, often administered by library staff. Whether using paid proprietary platforms such as bepress’s Digital Commons or open source products CONTENTdm, DSpace, and Omeka, institutions can publish open access scholarly articles, journals, books, and data.
Does your institution have an institutional repository? If so, promote it to your users—both creators and consumers. Show faculty and staff how they can extend the reach of their published research and increase citation counts. Teach users to find relevant open access resources written by their own professors and others in their field.
Also, help scholars extend their reach by helping them register for an ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID), a unique 16-digit number which distinguishes them from other researchers in online resources.
Extend Electronic Resources Budgets
We all subscribe to must-have research databases. But as subscription prices rise and library budgets are stretched thin, supplementing your list of paid databases with free, open access databases and journals makes sense. Important scholarly works are now being published exclusively in major open access databases such as arXiv, HathiTrust Digital Library, and PLOS ONE.
Increasingly, traditional publishers and database vendors are joining the trend of open access and providing some free content. Even if you don’t subscribe to their paid content, you can link to open access from publishers and databases.
Offer Free Textbooks and Other Educational Resources
Along with higher journal and database costs, students and libraries are faced with increasing costs of textbooks. Librarians have led the push towards expanding the use of open educational resources (OER). Encourage your faculty and staff to use open access textbooks when possible.
Visit the Official Site
Visit the official Open Access Week website to see 2017 events and read their blogs to learn about what others are doing. Download resources & media such as posters, handouts, stickers, and logos to promote the event.
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.