Open Access Week 2017

Open Access Week

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 Access Week 2017

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.

Learn More

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.

TwitterFollow on Social Media

Follow and use the Twitter hashtags #OAWeek and #OpenInOrderTo.

 

Past Open Access Weeks

Get more ideas from our previous Open Access Week 2016 and Open Access Week 2015 articles.

Open Access from Publishers and Databases

Open Access LogoThe 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.

Elsevier

ElsevierGiant 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.

See Elsevier Open Access Journals.

JSTOR

JSTORJSTOR, a database of journals and ebooks, offers over 500 open access ebooks with no restrictions on chapter downloading or printing.  Librarians can access free MARC records for these titles.

See about.jstor.org/open-access.

ProQuest

PQDT OpenProQuest 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.

See and search PQDT Open.

SAGE Open

SAGE OpenSAGE Open is a peer-reviewed open access journal from SAGE Publications.  Coverage spans “the full extent of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities”. The publishing fee is $395.

See sgo.sagepub.com.

SpringerOpen

SpringerOpenSpringerOpen 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.

See www.springeropen.com/journals.

Wiley Open Access

Wiley Open AccessWiley Open access offers 80+ open access journals.  It is a subset of Wiley Online Library.  Journal articles are accessible at PubMed Central.

Wiley also offers the partially-open access platform OnlineOpen with over 1,300 journals with a mix of pay and OA articles.

Wiley charges an Article Publication Charge (typically $800-$2,500) to authors or their institutions.  Authors can choose the type of Creative Commons license to publish under.

See www.wileyopenaccess.com.

Library Technology at the ALA 2017 Annual Conference

ALA 2017 Annual Conference

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.

For official descriptions, speakers, and final schedule, please check the conference Full Schedule page.
Continue reading “Library Technology at the ALA 2017 Annual Conference”

6 More Chrome Browser Extensions Every Librarian Needs

Google ChromeA 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.

We previously posted 6 Chrome Browser Extensions Every Librarian Needs.

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.

Chrome browser extension icons

Google has a huge Chrome Web Store for browser extensions, most of them are free.  They offer help to install and manage extensions but for the most part, a single click will install an extension.  Sometimes additional configuration options are available.

Here are six more Chrome browser extensions every librarian needs.

Continue reading “6 More Chrome Browser Extensions Every Librarian Needs”

Proxy Servers: Basics and Resources

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.

The Basics

For our examples, we’ll use the popular EZproxy product from OCLC.

Authentication

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.

EZproxy process
Source: http://www.oclc.org/support/services/ezproxy/documentation/learn/overview.en.html

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.

Resource Access

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:

http://ezproxy.yourlib.org/login?url=

To this proxy URL, we add the URL for the website we wish to access through EZproxy. For example:

http://ezproxy.yourlib.org/login?url=http://www.credoreference.com

The above URL is referred to as a “pre-proxy” link.  Once a website is accessed via EZproxy, the address changes to a “post-proxy” URL.  For example:

http://search.credoreference.com.ezproxy.yourlib.org

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.

https://refworks-proquest-com.ezproxy.libproxy.db.erau.edu.

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 Configuration

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).

For each resource you access through EZproxy, you must configure it separately in a block of code called a stanza.  In the stanza for a database or publisher website you must specify at the minimum a Title (T) and starting URL (U).  Other basic stanza directives are Host (H), HostJavaScript (HJ), Domain (D), and DomainJavaScript (DJ).  Below is a basic database stanza:

Title SPIE Digital Library
URL  http://www.spiedigitallibrary.org
DJ   spiedigitallibrary.org

The Title directive is used to identify the resource (and is used for the link text on the default EZproxy list page).  The URL is used to match the EZproxy request link with the appropriate stanza to apply.  Once accessed, any further links on the resource site will be compared to any D or DJ lines and if there is a match, will be proxied and given access (including any JavaScript if a DJ line is encountered).

If a database or publisher website includes multiple domains or subdomains or uses both HTTP and HTTPS, you need to add Host (H) or HostJavaScript (HJ) directives to account for them.  More advanced directives are used to manage website cookies, set domains that should never be proxied, find and replace HTML code, and many others.  OCLC publishes an EZproxy Reference Manual to list these directives.

Here is a more advanced database stanza:

Option DomainCookieOnly
Title Engineering Village
URL http://www.engineeringvillage.com
HJ https://www.engineeringvillage.com
HJ engineeringvillage.com
HJ www.engineeringvillage.com
HJ www.engineeringvillage2.org
HJ www.ei.org
HJ acw.elsevier.com
DJ ei.org
DJ engineeringvillage.com
DJ referexengineering.elsevier.com
Option Cookie

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.

Resources

Here are some resources to learn more about EZproxy.