Live-blogging the 2009 Vancouver PKP Conference

An Open-Access, Standards-Supportive Publication that Rapidly Disseminates Concise Genome and Metagenome Reports in Compliance with MIGS/MIMS Standards: the Session Blog

Presenters: Oranmiyan W. Nelson

July 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Session Abstract


Dr. Nelson is currently completing his post-doctoral work at Michigan State University, in the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics.  He is also the production editor of Standards in Genomic Sciences (SIGS), an open-access e-journal of the Genomics Standards Consortium (GCS) established in September 2005.

Session Overview

Genomics and metagenomics describes the study of an organism’s complete genetic data set, with emphasis on sequence mapping.  The former is limited to the study of organisms that can be isolated in pure culture, whereas the latter applies to an entire community of microbes in their native environment.  Technological advancements have facilitated a data explosion; genomic maps are now being produced at a faster rate than the existing publication infrastructure can accommodate.  The result is a loss of data, contextual metadata and annotation.  Essentially valuable data is disappearing before it can be interpreted or see the light of publication.


Number of published journal articles per year relating to the complete genome sequences of bacteria and archea

SIGS is a GSC initiative to attempt to bridge this gap, by producing concise peer-reviewed reports that comply with MIGS/MIMS standards, in addition to operation procedures, commentary and review articles.  Minimum Information about a (Meta)Genome Sequence (MIGS/MIMS) is a GCS initiative to expand on core reporting standards already established by the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC).  MIGS/MIMS is characterized by a standardized checklist  that has been published in its entirety in Nature Biotechnology.  SIGS will attempt to keep up with data production by offering an accelerated editorial revision workflow, where copy-editing begins almost immediately after initial acceptance.

Editorial Workflow

Editorial Workflow

The e-journal’s goal is to produce 600 publications by June 2011 (approximately 30 per month), by attracting internationally credible authors under a cost-effective model for an open-access journal.

A sample short genomic report was then described, in conjuction with MIGS/MIMS standards. The anatomy of a report included a abstract and introduction (a), genetic sequencing information (b) genome properties (c) and comparisons with previously sequenced genomes (d).  Lastly, conclusions and references (e).

A short genome report

A short genome report


SIGS project summary poster

July 13, 2009   Comments Off

Open Access CIM Journal Publishing: Editorial Essentials for Policies and Procedures: The Session Blog

July 9, 11:30 AM – Earl and Jennie Lohn Room 7000


Glenn M. Hymel, Professor and former Chair of the Department of Psychology at Loyola University New Orleans

Session Abstract


This session covered the development of an online, open access, peer reviewed quarterly: The International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (IJTMB). The journal is intended to support practitioners in the field of complementary & integrative medicine (CIM).

Session Overview

Glenn Hymel (Source)

Glenn Hymel (Source)

Professor Glenn Hymel began the session by outlining three objectives for his presentation: (1) to address recent developments and the progress to date of the IJTMB (2) to provide a journal editor’s perspective regarding policy decisions and procedural guidelines in the context of open access publishing (3) to provide a potential model that other independent journals could use. Subsequently, the professor described the journal as an open access, peer reviewed quarterly publication that reflects the Massage Therapy Foundation’s (MTF) mission to promote research, education as well as current best practice in the field of massage and bodywork. The MTF is a non-profit charity, but it does charge its members fees to cover operating costs.

Professor Hymel proceeded to discuss the scope of the IJTMB, which encompasses editorials, research, education, practice sections, commentaries, book reviews and announcements that are relevant to the massage profession. The journal’s board of trustees, comprising an e-Journal committee, an editorial board, an editor in chief and a manuscript review board, have final control of the budget, as well as its membership. The board had a number of key decisions to make during the formative stages of the journal, such as the software to use, the peer review process to follow and the stylistic requirements needed. Ultimately, the trustees agreed to use multi-Med (A Canadian Company) for publishing, a double blind review protocol that includes evaluation from a medical review board and style guidelines consistent CIM and allopathic journals. Lastly, the organisation chose to use creative commons licenses as their copyright policy.

Hymel concluded his presentation by discussing the issue of citation and accreditation. The journal uses the Google Analytics service to obtain quantitative input (web stats) that determines the IJTMB’s impact. The credibility derived from frequent web hits has been hampered by a lack of successful manuscript submissions, which demonstrates a need to make the review process more efficient, improved authorship guidelines, reader input through comment features and more extensive use of supplementary, multi-media files to augment entries. It was also suggested that the journal develop a plug-in “to enable continuing education activities related to journal articles”.

The professor answered a few questions at the end of the period. His responses reaffirmed the IJTMB’s intent to improve its effectiveness, as well as its immediacy by being quicker to release submitted articles between quarterly issues. Hymel hoped that this would increase availability. The professor also explained that that they have had to outsource contracting in order to reduce costs.


The point of view of an independent online journal striving to serve its members and gain credibility as a reputable, authoritative resource is a profoundly recurring theme within the open access community. The challenge of balancing costs, yet maintaining a high quality journal is also significant. Furthermore, it is particularly interesting that professor Hymel advocates improved user friendly controls that promote interactivity and a more robust reading experience. The ability of members to possibly change or influence the original document and leave their comments potentially diminishes the reliability of such a publication, which is one of the established goals of the IJTMB. The tension between using the technology in a new and exciting ways, while maintaining traditionally defined authority, is problematic for all online journals. Can this paradox be resolved?

Related Links

The International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

The Massage Therapy Foundation

Loyola University New Orleans

July 13, 2009   Comments Off

On Open Humanities Press: A Panel Presentation by Members of the OHP Steering Group: The Session Blog on the Ensuing Question Period

July 9, 11:00 AM – Fletcher Challenge Room 1900


Barbara Cohen, Director of Humanitech, University of California, Irvine.  Steering Group, The Open Humanities Press.

Gary Hall, Professor, Media and Performing Arts, Coventry University, UK.  Co-founder of The Open Humanities Press.

Marta Brunner, Librarian for English and American Literature and Comparative Literature at the Charles E. Young Research Library at UCLA

Shana Kimball, Publications Manager in the Scholarly Publishing Office (SPO) at the University of Michigan Library

Session Abstract (Not Applicable)

Logo (source)Logo (source)


This question period followed a series of presentations related to the Open Humanities Press and two libraries that are supporting their new endeavours of producing single monograph titles. The questions from the audience have been quoted as exactly as possible with the condensed responses from the panel provided underneath.

Relevant Sessions

Part 1 – On Open Humanities Press: A Panel Presentation by Members of the OHP Steering Group

Part 2 –  On Library Publishing and the Open Humanities Press: A Panel Presentation by the UCLA Library and the University of Michigan Library’s Scholarly Publishing Office

Session Overview

Question 1: How is the OHP dealing with the lack of representations of many cultures and the issue of concentration of media control, such as Thomson Scientific?

Hall replied that he has “huge problems with Thomson Scientific” because all journals have to be registered with them. Younger, less established researchers, or those who are marginalised, cannot publish due to the prohibitive cost. The high price for translating work into English is also impeding academics of other cultures from gaining their due recognition.

Question 2: How do you establish accreditation when the OHP is creating decentralising and destabilising force? Furthermore, if we are in a stage of transition how do we reassure our scholars about the credibility and reliability of open access journals?

Cohen lead the response of the panellists by asserting that we that we have to cope in times of change. We are still retaining some traditions as we move forward, which Bolter refers to as remediation when one media uses the prestige of another to gain credibility (Bolter, 2001). Cohen further asserts that the goal of OHP was to match print quality online: Now it is to surpass it. Kimball then added that experimental works, such as the liquid novel, provided authors with a wider range of options, which benefits everyone. Brunner contended that we need to enthusiastically embrace these trends in order to ensure innovation. Hall argued that the Press is conscious of forging ahead, but that “it also needs to bring people along with it”. Hall stated that there is a tension that exists between being innovative and reassuring scholars that online journals are credible, authoritative sources.

Question 3: How do we give credit and attribution to original authors? How is the author being redefined?

Hall answered that Wikis are collaborative, but there is software that can track input. Hall is actually disappointed in this scenario given that this is a regression of sorts to old traditional authorship. Academics are becoming increasingly involved in open access because it leads to greater prestige for authorship, but again this aligns with old customs that don’t suit the goals of new media.

Question 4: What are the business models for open access monographs? Is grant money part of this equation?

Cohen agreed that grants are important and that as the OHP moves to the monograph series they will be made available. Kimball answered that Michigan State is exploring new revenue streams, but they are operating on the traditional model of rewarding authorship. Hall added that authors are now paying in many cases. Kimball clarified that new alternatives, such as teaching relief, are needed to be offered to reward “gifts of labour” in this new era. Another idea would be to create graduate fellowships or scholarships to do valuable research assistant work. This would work well in libraries because many unknown collections still haven’t been processed. Hall suggested that we “could shift the library model” so that each one publishes its own work and then freely shares it. He concluded that there is no easy access.

Question 5: What are liquid books?

Hall re-established that liquid books are actually referring back to their original status as conglomerations of knowledge. A liquid is fluid and constantly moving, which is why it is an appropriate description for what books really are.


The seminal question during this period exposed the issue of how the OHP has to negotiate the contradictory pressures to succumb to traditional models of academic endorsement in order to gain credibility, as well as to provide a vehicle for innovation, originality and modernisation. Furthermore, a press such as the OHP needs to have a business model in order to cover the costs accrued, which is anathema to the ideals of open access proponents. This tension between open and restricted access, or market oriented and non-profit motives, are creating a dialectic series of synthesises that will eventually lead to the pervasiveness of open access content (Schmidt et al., 2005); however, these changes will likely need to retain some features of the old models in order to maintain legitimacy.

Related Links

Liquid Books

Human Tech (Barbara Cohen)

University of Michigan Scholarly Publishing Office

Open Humanities Press

YouTube Preview Image
Gary Hall Discusses His Philosophy with regards to Online Content


Bolter, J. D. (2001). Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Schmidt, K. D., Sennyey, P., & Carstens, T. V. (2005). New roles for a changing environment: Implications of open access for libraries. College & Research Libraries, September, Retrieved July 9, 2009, from

July 13, 2009   Comments Off

On Library Publishing and the Open Humanities Press: A Panel Presentation by the UCLA Library and the University of Michigan Library’s Scholarly Publishing Office: The Session Blog

July 9, 9:30 AM – Fletcher Challenge Room 1900


Marta Brunner, Librarian for English and American Literature and Comparative Literature at the Charles E. Young Research Library at UCLA

Shana Kimball, Publications Manager in the Scholarly Publishing Office (SPO) at the University of Michigan Library

Session Abstract

Archived Video Stream of Session


This session provided the library perspective as a follow up to the previous discussion on the Open Humanities Press (OHP) and its involvement with digital monographs, or “liquid books” (Hall). UCLA is working in partnership with the Open Humanities Press to fulfil a number of open access ideals, while the University of Michigan Library is working specifically to produce and distribute many of the works housed by the OHP online.

Session Overview

Marta Brunner at the PKP Conference (courtesy J. Miller)

Marta Brunner at the PKP Conference (courtesy J. Miller)

Marta Brunner began the second half of the Open Humanities session by explaining her involvement with the online press. Originally she blogged the OHP and its endeavours prior to being contacted by one its founders, Sigi Jöttkandt, to be part of the body’s steering committee. Brunner has used her association with the OHP to bridge the dichotomous divide between research and library domains, which UCLA library has found to be an enormous asset.

“What future is UCLA library working to achieve?” Brunner asserted that this overarching question is the underlying motivation for the university’s work with the OHP. Furthermore, in light of the financial crisis and reduced budgets, open access issues are at a “watershed moment” where scholars and librarians will be working together to make more research freely available online. Brunner then outlined the library’s six fold vision, which ranges in order from most to least achievable:

1. UCLA seeks to be a flourishing hub of institutional repositories. While this is gaining ground many professors are still distrustful of online sources and perceive them to lack the same credibility as their print counterparts.

2. The library envisions itself as a curator of scholarly records. While this is considered a mandate for most university libraries, the “costs of migration” mean that “much content is overlooked” (Brunner).

3. UCLA hopes to disseminate an increasing amount of new digital media, which “enables semantically enhanced” (Brunner) products. The library has not been able to fulfil this goal on a large scale, but has created digital maps through the Hypercities project.

4. The library anticipates playing a greater role in providing open access content in classrooms. The UCLA library uses “a more liberal policy” (Brunner) towards content, which aligns neatly with the ideals of the OHP. One of the main benefits of this institutional leniency will be the increasing availability of cheaper text books spawned from more widely recognised open access scholarship.

5. The UCLA library hopes to be a paragon of a sustainable business model for housing and distributing open access content. Brunner used the comparison of the cost of a Toyota Corolla and the journal “Applied Polymer Science”: The periodical costs considerably more. Consequently, libraries will be facing economic crises as budgets are cut and journal costs stay high.

6. The most difficult goal to attain will be reducing to restrictive nature of academic tenure on open access scholarship. The generally perceived lack of authority of online sources continues to hinder the open access movement.

Shana Kimball at the PKP Conference (Courtesy J. Miller)

Shana Kimball at the PKP Conference (Courtesy J. Miller)

Shana Kimball began by posing a different question: “How do we scale a liquid book?” The University of Michigan Scholarly Publishing Office (SPO) seeks to provide an answer for this important query. Kimball outlined the role of the publishing branch of the library bOpen Humanities Press Panelefore explaining its core principles. The speaker then elaborated upon how these values guide the publisher’s work towards making research publications more cost effective, as well as elucidating on its partnership with the Open Humanities Press.

The University of Michigan publishing branch currently supports forty predominantly open access online journals, as well as a few print publications. The organisation also runs a “robust” reprint service for its online repositories and has published over 9000 titles on Amazon. Additionally, the SPO is working with the OHP to develop its online monograph (single subject books) endeavour as part of a pilot project whereby the university will “convert, host, provide access to, and archive” the series.

The University of Michigan Scholarly Publishing Office also operates with a set of six main beliefs to guide its aim of making scholarly publishing “more sustainable and scalable” (Kimball):

1. The SPO works at the peripheries of mainstream library services by providing copyright counsel in the copyright arena, cataloguing metadata, maintaining digital library functions and financing complicated transactions.

2. The SPO forms partnerships with other organisations to provide supplementary services, such as content sharing or publication conversions into digital forms amongst other enterprises.

3. The SPO believes strongly in protecting the rights of authors to use their own material as they see fit.

4. The SPO takes small, calculated risks that focus on perpetuating and promoting experimental texts, such as producing scholarly works within Comment Press that can be freely annotated.

5. The SPO provides a myriad of services that range from electronic publication to print on demand to content preservation.

6. The SPO is working cooperatively with the Open Humanities Press to extend its number of published series, as well as further enhance its reputation for high quality academic work. Authors will be able to choose to use a creative commons license while retaining copyright protection.

Ultimately, the SPO cannot attain the goal of supporting the OHP without creating partnerships with other bodies. Furthermore, the task of producing single monograph publications is a daunting one because the library / publisher relationship has been traditionally weak. Kimball concluded her presentation by welcoming interested parties to inquire about future collaborative endeavours and reaffirmed her organisation’s commitment to building the reputation of open access content, as well as being an agent of change in the advancement of the Open Humanities Press’ ideals.


Both the UCLA Library and the University of Michigan Scholarly Publishing Office acknowledge to importance of the Open Humanities Press and seek to propagate its principles to the wider academic community. However, achieving change and gaining acknowledgment is proving to be difficult due to general academic distrust, high operational costs, a system of reputation based incentives that favour established scholars, as well as an overwhelming amount of content through which to sort. The goals of the OHP are laudable, but there needs to be an economic compromise between open dissemination of information at no cost to the consumer and providing profitable rewards to creators, researchers or artists in order to perpetuate the transmission of knowledge. The University of Michigan SPO appears to be negotiating this difficult dialectic by working with open access supporters, while charging for unique services and publishing traditional print journals, which is referred to as the mixed approach (Schmidt et al., 2005). The UCLA library, on the other hand, is focussing on reducing costs by embracing predominantly open access works. It will be interesting to see which institution offers the more sustainable business model and if other libraries will adopt these new paradigms. Moreover, it illustrates that the new open access ethos is having to coexist with traditional print resources until an alternative, yet effective, system of rewards can be established.

Related Links

Open Humanities Press

UCLA Library

University of Michigan Scholarly Publishing Office


Comment Press


Albert, K. M. (2006). Open access: implications for scholarly publishing and medical libraries. J Med Libr Assoc, 94 (3), Retrieved July 9, 2009, from

Antelman, K. (2004). Do open-access articles have a greater research impact?. College & Research Libraries, September, Retrieved July 9, 2009, from

Schmidt, K. D., Sennyey, P., & Carstens, T. V. (2005). New roles for a changing environment: Implications of open access for libraries. College & Research Libraries, September, Retrieved July 9, 2009, from

July 12, 2009   Comments Off

Open Journal Systems (OJS) software as used by African Journals Online (AJOL) – The Session Blog

Presenters: Susan Murray

July 9, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. SFU Harbour Centre (remote session). Rm. 7000

Susan Murray (Source)


Ms. Susan Murray is a proactive individual working with the African Journals Online (AJOL), a non-profit organization, as the executive director for over two years. Her she academic background is on development economics and she is focused on opening access to information in developing countries such as Africa.

Session Overview

Ms. Murray’s session is a journey from the 1990s to present day focusing on the progression of access to African Journals Online (AJOL) (Session Abstract). She begins with an overview of the journal, followed by the users and stakeholders involved, which she ties in to a comparison of the old and new systems along with the future outlook for AJOL, and  finally she concludes the presentation with a business plan and parting remarks.

(1) Overview of AJOL

Ms. Susan Murray started the presentation with the following quote from Mamphela Ramphele :

“There is no way we can succeed in the eradication of poverty if the developing world is not part of knowledge creation, its dissemination and utilization to promote innovation. Higher education is a critical factor in making this possible and must be part of any development strategy.”

- Mamphela Ramphele (2000)

Ms. Murray goes on to explain the importance of higher education and policies governing such institutes. She indicates that there is a long way to go in terms of sharing and transferring knowledge to the developing worlds, however it must be done and there is harm in not doing so as innovation cannot advance in these developing countries. In Africa the process of dissemination has already begun with AJOL hoping to increase its visibility and accessibility of open journal sources. Currently, AJOL has 350 titles with over 40000 articles (and free metadata) which are a combination of open-access (OA) and subscription based titles that cover majority of the academic spectrum. Ms. Murray pointed out that some of the titles are not found online anywhere else but on AJOL! This shows the exclusivity of some of the titles that are secured by AJOL. In order to join AJOL, Ms. Murray listed the following criteria which must be adhered to – this mostly encourages more of the ‘fringe’ journals to upload their documents for increased visibility:

  • Must be original research
  • Needs to be peer-reviewed
  • All content must be given to AJOL
  • Permission must be granted to AJOL
  • Content must be published in the African continent

(2) The Stakeholders

It is fascinating to know that as of today, Ms. Murray highlighted the 26 African countries with journals on AJOL (See Figure 1a). Figure 1b is a ‘Google Maps mashup’ which highlights the actual journals (with corresponding links) in a particular country. Ms. Murray exclaimed this is an impressive display along with the number of visits by other continents as illustrated in Figure 2. Africa had the highest percentage of visitors at 32% of the total population who accessed the site, while North America, Asia, and Europe had 23%, 21%, and 20% respectively.

Figure 1: Distribution of Journals (received permission from Susan Murray to use image)

Figure 1a: Distribution of Journals in Africa (used with permission from Ms. Murray)


View Map of Africa in a larger map

Figure 2: Visits by continent (received permission from Ms. Susan Murray to use image)

Figure 2: Visits by continent (used with permission from Ms. S. Murray)

Ms. Murray further elaborated that the users comprise mostly of professionals, publishers, researchers, librarians, professors, and teachers. Since moving to the new open journal system 2.2.2 (OJS 2.2.2) platform there has been a significant increase in the number of users over a period of three months. In April 2009 the number of users was 57123 while in June 2009 there were an astounding 81852 users accessing the journals on AJOL – an increase in approximately 38%. During the discussion of the users, Ms. Susan Murray brought up an important issue related to the key stakeholders involved in the journal dissemination and access regime. This involves the researchers who need access to the scholarly journals to advance ideas in a particular field of study, and the journal editors want increased visibility in the public domain to encourage wide readership of their documents. This give and take is successfully propelled by the joint involvement of AJOL and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). Ms. Murray explained how AJOL reduced costs and increased the quality of the journal in order to publish the full text documents online. These two factions, AJOL and PKP, attempt to meet the needs of both the researcher and the journal editors to ensure a balance in the system by providing quality journals to the masses.

(3) Comparison of old and new systems

After the overview and elaboration of the users and stakeholders of AJOL, Ms. Murray went into the details of the AJOL on OJS 2.2.2. She expressed the benefits of such a partnership with PKP led to better upgrading of the system. She found  that more advanced versions could also be complied and were easier to upload which allowed for more capabilities in the platform that were not possible before. Figure 3 shows flowchart of the software and resources used ending with final product of the Open Journal Systems coded through the PHP scripting language using MySQL as the database management tool in the APACHE web browser run from the Linux operating system.

Figure 3: Software and Hardware (created by Pam Gill)

Figure 3: Software and Resources (created by Pam Gill)

A comparison of the new and old system is shown in Figure 4. The new approach is useful for all parties involved and is an excellent search tool with a new look and feel. Currently, as of July 2009, journals now manage their own AJOL pages in terms of the workflow management. In the future, Ms. Murray envisions that journals will be able to host their own versions of OJS on the PKP harvester which acts as a metadata aggregator. The newer versions will include a statistics package and offline plug-ins when connectivity is interrupted. The offline plug-in option will be crucial for users living in remote areas. Eventually, Ms. Murray envisions all journals being independent and managing their own pages.

Figure 3: Comparison Chart (created by Pam Gill)

Figure 4: Comparison Chart of Old and New Systems (created by Pam Gill)

(4) Final remarks

To conclude her presentation, Ms. Murray placed great emphasis on the need for the flow of global information from the North to the South (Evans and Reimer, 2009). She stressed the implementation of a new business plan that would allow journals to consider OA as a more viable possibility via AJOL/PKP. The full OJS functionality on AJOL has already made a huge difference as discussed earlier as open source software (OSS) has matured considerably. To summarize Ms. Murray ended her presentation one two key points to promote and continue the dissemination of literature in developing countries. First she brought forth the importance of carefully selecting the best tool that will take into account the needs of the users. Next, she advised to carefully align yourself with partners that you trust and who will support your initiatives for the right reasons. The following quote from Ms. Susan Murray herself summarizes these points:

“Relationships and communication are still the drivers of success, the technological tools are just the vehicle.”

- Susan Murray (2009)

This quote from Ms. Murray is used to illustrate that the technology can help propel the dissemination process in varying capacities. Technology depends on the specifications and limitations of the  hardware and software. Yet, at the end of the day, relationships with others are the most important in terms of communicating, working collaboratively sharing ideas, which will ultimately lead to the success (or failure) of your goals and aspirations.

Questions from the audience asked at Ms. Murray’s session:

Question: Is AJOL published in other languages (referring to Figure 1 of African map from Susan’s PowerPoint slide)? Does AJOL have plans to bring more non-English journals to the portal?

Answer: Yes, we are hoping to introduce this to Francophone countries by starting the process of translating to French. So there will be an English/French option. We have a few journals published in Portuguese, Arabic. If we have a journal that is online (and space is NOT a problem) then we can publish in a local, indigenous and international language. Then at the same time research can be read by the local community and broadly by the rest of the world. This will increase readership and the journal will have met the needs to satisfy the best of both worlds.

Related Links

Conference attended by Susan Murray



Evans, J.A, & Reimer, J. (2009). Open Access and Global Participation in Science . Science. 323, 1025

Murray, S. (2009). Open journal systems (OJS) software as used by African journals online (AJOL). PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-09, from

July 11, 2009   1 Comment

Who knows what, when? Current and desired capacities for online journal statistics gathering and dissemination: The Session Blog

Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 9:30
SFU Harbour Centre (Earl & Jennie Lohn Rm 7000)


Andrea Kosavic (Digital Initiatives Librarian at York University)

James MacGregor (PKP Associate)

Session Overview

Session Abstract

James MacGregor and Andrea Kosavic outline their efforts to provide a suitable recommendation to Synergies Canada on what they should provide in terms of statistics and to whom based on a survey of current and desired practices in online journals. Kosavic explained that her interest in participating in this study stemmed from having multiple statistics requests at once at York and being overwhelmed by the lack of a streamlined method of reporting this information.


In trying to establish a recommendation to Synergies Canada regarding what statistics should be collected and shared, Kosavic and MacGregor proceeded to:

1) establish what is currently supported or lacking.
2) survey journals and repository holders to see what they actually need.
3) draw up recommendations.
Using Open Journal Systems (“OJS”) and Erudit Consortium as targets for recommendations, the following was initially noted:

-    they do not share common statistics collection;
-    both can capture the number of items viewed per month (with the help of external software);
-    other statistics are difficult to capture; and
-    both have reporting functionalities.

Key questions were asked of respondents in order to frame findings with 75% of respondents claimed that their current statistics collecting solution was not satisfactory.

Key findings include:

-    51% of OJS users utilize the built in reporting tool.
-    30% of respondents use 2 or more tools.
-    Identifiying the number of “unique visitors” was deemed the most important statistic.
-    Web pages accessed and page clicks were identified as the most collected statistics.
-    RSS feed information was identified as the least collected statistic.
-    Statistic collection ranged from monthly to quarterly to yearly with no significant majority.

In regards to the sharing of statistical information, the survey indicates that a significant gap exists between who journals are currently sharing statistics with and who they anticipate sharing statistics with.

Kosavic and MacGregor learned that there appeared to be no ideal statistical management system. The speakers were asked by someone in the audience about whether or not it will be possible to tell whether or not an end user is actually reading an article and if so, how much and what is being cited (if anything). MacGregor explained that this statistic was not collected and that there is currently no way to track this information; another member of the audience compared it to trying to be able to track how much of a book a library patron read. Ultimately this would be ideal to be able to track but unrealistic in the near future. It was also noted that referrer statistics were not included in the survey, that is, information related to how viewers came to find a journal site/article.

Recommendations for statistical gathering and disseminating:

-    should standardize on 3rd party reporting across all nodes;
-    use SUSHI protocol to collect statistics;
-    implement COUNTER protocol to collect statistics;
-    extend COUNTER to cover other Synergies items.

At different points in the presentation, MacGregor showed a different visual representation based on his gradually refining understanding of current and desired capabilities and the flow of statistical dissemination. This was helpful in demonstrating that initially there were many complicated methods of statistic collection and possibilities but eventually, with greater understanding, MacGregor was able to illustrate an easy to understanding model for statistic management.


(Figure 1.0 – Final visual representation representing a steamlined view of the dissemination of statistical information)

Stakeholders, statistics desired and relevant protocols have been identified and the final report is in the process of being completed.

Related Links

Synergies Canada

Erudit Publishing Consortium

OJS – Journal List

July 10, 2009   Comments Off

Understanding Impacts and Implementations of New Knowledge Environments: The Session Blog

Dr. Ray Siemens presents at PKP 2009

Dr. Ray Siemens presents at PKP 2009. Photo by C. Gratham

PresenterDr. Ray Siemens, Director, Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Project. Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing and Professor of English, University of VictoriaBio

July 10, 2009, 2:30 pm-3:00 pm. SFU Harbour Centre. Rm 1900


The INKE project  represents the interdisciplinary work of researchers with specialties spanning humanities, text analysis, information studies, usability, and interface design. The team consists of 35 researchers, 20 institutions, and 20 other partners. Their SSHRC funded work takes a scholarly approach and cast an eye back on the history of the print medium to help understand the roles digital books might play in the future.

Session Overview

After providing an over-view of the team and project, Dr. Siemens summarized the motivation for the study by stating that e-books and e-textuality have “an exciting future … but an inconvenient present”. The exciting future can be illustrated by how pervasive various digital forms of text have already become in society today. But the inconvenient present lies in how little we actually know about this new media form and how the gaps we need to fill  before we can make decisions about how to best use this “new knowledge machine”.

We still have a long way to go. As Dr. Siemens reminds us, “the e-book is still just a pale representation of it’s paper counterpart.” He suggests that one of the main reasons for this is that we still model electronic documents to mimic their print based forms and in doing so we import the same conceptual models from the print world. To achieve the benefits of e-books and documents, Dr. Siemens says that we need to reconceptualize these core critical and textual models.

The team’s research is clustered around the following four interdisciplinary areas: textual studies, user experience, interface design, and information management. And through these clusters they have identified a number of gaps in the existing knowledge leading to the following research questions:

  1. Has the way we read and experience information changed since the rise of the Internet, and, if so, how?
  2. How do different knowledge environments influence the way we engage and use information?
  3. What new features can we design to improve digital information environments and their interfaces?
  4. How can we better design the data that underlies and serves the needs of those using such digital information environments?
  5. How does this interdisciplinary team work together to achieve our research objectives given the multiple lenses through which they approach the same questions?

Dr. Siemens closed his presentation with three “Rubber hits the road” impact questions:

  • Can the humanities find this problem worth engaging with?
  • Can the interdisciplinary cores yield something tangible?
  • If so, will the results be socially applicable, embraceable, and ubiquitous?


Time limitations did not allow questions for Dr. Siemens

Related Links and References

July 10, 2009   Comments Off

Socializing and Disseminating the Academic and Intellectual Creation: Experiences from La Plata National University: The Session Blog

Date: July 10, 2009

Presenters: Gonzalo Villarreal, Marisa Raquel De Giusti

s13610, “Feet” January 27, 2009 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.

s13610, “Feet” January 27, 2009 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution. La Plata has a sandbox for OJS and OCS users to get a "feel" with templates!

Session Overview


This presentation was delivered by Gonzalo in real time through Skype.

Background on La Plata National University (UNLP)

He described UNLP as a major university in Argentina and Latin America. It has more then 90 000 students and 10 000 employees, including staff and administration.

About UNLP:

They produce journal articles, degree essays and theses, multimedia production, books and e-books and other products.

History of Development

In 2003, UNLP launched the Intellectual Creation Dissemination Service, SeDiCi, for 2 purposes:
- to provide authors a means to publish
- to benefit society for all it has invested in the university

The original plan of the university was to receive, digitize, catalog and upload documents to the SeDiCi website, but software was needed. After an extensive worldwide search, the team felt they had to design their own software. Celsius-DL was the answer to complete the service to scholars. It has since been recognized as the OEA’s award in 2005 as the best Digital Library in America.

Celsius-DL supports a free scheme and is used to configure a wide range of  materials. It exports to Dublin-Core or Marc21, is a data and service provider and it is built on open source technologies.

Since 2007, UNLP has recognized the importance of disseminating academic and intellectual creations. Journals also were seen as crucial to disseminate, so SeDiCi was expanded to include them. In October, 2008, UNLP launched the Journals Portal. Pre-existing and new publications are both accepted. Authors publish through a review process, easily communicating with other authors, reviewers and editors. OJS was chosen as the platform for them to use.

They then decided to create the Congresses Portal. This helps groups and others organize meetings. PKP’s OCS was selected to supply the service. SeDiCi’s team offers user, systems and technical support to users, but they had to overcome some obstacles and learn how to use it.

Obstacles and Solutions

  1. Obstacles included many words or phrases in Argentina that were different from Spain. Corrected translations are now complete. In service to others, they are also available on PKP’s website for download.
  2. In addition, some OCS users needed to use some LaTex in their abstracts. None were available, but they are now available as a plugin.
  3. Next, the UNLP main website was comfortable for users, so the Journals and Congresses websites have been adjusted to look similarly. A comparison may be seen on-screen to show the similarities.
  4. Further, templates are available for users uncomfortable with changing them, but wanting to meet their own needs. OCS and OJS is fully customizable by editing a CSS file. Many CSS styles were made for publishers to choose from because not all had web designers to make changes.
  5. Finally, workshops online have been offered. Users can see an overview to see what the software is capable of and what it won’t do. There are workshops for users and workshops for managers. They have a “sandbox” area where users can try things without affecting the real system.

Note: the voice link with Gonzalo was lost in the last 2 minutes of his presentation. We hope all essential concepts were conveyed.

Blogger’s Thoughts:

The workshops sound tremendously helpful for users and managers. The sandbox feature is very practical and should be of interest to many. A great deal of work has been done to provide leadership in Argentina and its metron of influence. While the audio feed accomplished the task, it would have been good to see them in person to be able to ask questions and benefit from their experience. I was particularly interested in how their design of Celsius-DL provided benefits not found in software as a result of their worldwide search.

In light of the work so many other libraries and institutions are doing to promote the dissemination of scholarly knowledge and research, through either the use of OJS and OCS, one thought seems to echo through the workshops. It is a “cry” for collaboration and communication. From sharing experiences and collaborative problem-solvingj, to establishing some form of index standard are common issues shared by Mexico, the U.K., Canada and others. I hope a leader emerges and this is actualized.

While this is recognized as a technically-themed presentation, I wondered how much use of open journals resulted from their work. While I couldn’t access this information, I was able to view a page on their website that revealed how many “hits” they’ve had at SeDiCi and how many registered users they have. I was surprised that the vast majority originated in the United States! Journal numbers, particularly open journal numbers would be of interest to many at the next conference.

Presentation Link to be provided by conference organizers.

Presenter Links:

Gonzalo Villarreal [The blogger lacked the language to translate, but has listed some found on the SeDiCi repository!]

A Linux publication

Co-authored, in Portugese:  Manuscript Character Recognition Overview of features for the Feature Vector

Marisa Raquel De Giusti

Simulation framework for teaching in modeling and simulation areas

Storage of Simulation and Entities History in discrete models

Article by both outlines the history of their work at La Plata in more detail.

Related Links

PrEBi at La Plata National University

July 10, 2009   Comments Off

Building content and community: digital publishing services at the University of Kansas: The Session Blog

July 10th, 2009 at 2:30pm


Presenters: Brian Rosenblum and Scott Hanrath




Brian Rosenblum is Scholarly Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University of Kansas Libraries, where he has administrative, production and outreach responsibilities in support of a variety of digital initiatives and scholarly communication activities, including KU’s institutional repository and digital publishing services. Prior to joining the Kansas digital initiatives program in 2005, Brian worked at the Scholarly Publishing Office at the University Library, University of Michigan, where he helped develop numerous electronic journals and digital scholarly projects.

Scott Hanrath
(Source: Paul Klintworth, PKP Conference, 2009)
Scott Hanrath is Technical Lead, University of Kansas.

Session Overview

Brian Rosenblum outlined that in 2006 the University of Kansas (KU) library looked at new roles to support scholarship on campus. A survey was undertaken to determine campus needs. The university comprises some 28,000 students and 2,300 faculty.

Initially it was hard to ascertain which journals were asscociated with faculty research. The library is still encountering new journal activities. Local journal editors were interviewed to discuss needs, and a forum was formed to build relationships with editors.

New roles for the library included stewardship of scholarship production at Kansas, as well as working directly with faculty in terms of metadata tools and tagging systems. A mandate was established for the digital publishing services, including supporting faculty in all forms of digital publishing, exploring new publishing models, and promoting increased visibility and access. In 2005 the KU Scholarworks Repository was launched; however this does not have author submission  or peer review tools that OJS has.

Rosenblum gave some examples of KU digital publishing. The Biodiversity Informatics journal was launched by a single professor using OJS. This would not have been possible within the standard printing process. Several journals are available as back issues online (subject to a 3 year lag), enabling much wider access, of particular relevance to South America. Other journals are in traditional print, but also available online with immediate access. Rosenblum showed some download statistics, but these are coarse measures at present, needing more informatics for detailed records.

KU is the first public US university to have an open access research policy, announced in June 2009.

Scott Hanrath, as technical lead, outlined the technical aspects of digital publishing at KU. Technical roles have been split up between different departments, so there is a need for careful communication , planning, and identification of who does what. Customization of OJS has been mainly cosmetic, altering the look and feel of sites. Un-needed options have been stripped out. IT support staff have created the ‘KUdifier’ plug-in to personalize OJS. For the import process it’s been found to be better to work in smaller chunks, either 2 – 4 years of a journal or less than 400 articles at a time.

Rosenblum outlined the following points for the future: a more sustainable workflow, a need to outline the value of this service (especially in the light of budgetary cuts), improved OJS training, editorial advisory board meetings, and hosting a larger editors’ forum.


A member of the audience asked about the process that led to the university adopting open access. Rosenblum replied that the tenured librarians encouraged the initiative to originate from the education department. There was a small, but vocal opposition. A visit from John Willinsky for consultation in February encouraged the process. The motion was passed with 22 in favour, and one abstention.


Brian Rosenblum Scientific Commons

Digital Initiatives at the University of Kansas

Journals at KU

News release (KU open access)

July 10, 2009   Comments Off

Making a University Library a Real Support for Research Dissemination: The Contribution of OJS and OCS: The Session Blog

Date: July 8, 2009

Presenter: Sely M.S. Costa, University of Brasilia

  • Senior Lecturer, Department of Information Science
  • Chief Librarian, Central University Library, University of Brasilia-DF

Interests: scholarly communication, open access, electronic publishing, institutional repositories, organisation communication, and information science theory.


Session Overview

Sely Costa PKP2009

Sely Costa PKP2009, with permission


Sely Costa Pkp2009

Powerpoint provided by Sely Costa

As Chief Librarian, she has started many projects to use a number of different programs to support research dissemination. Repositories now offer a simple step in the publishing process for librarians. The role of librarian has changed to become a more active participant in scholarly publication process. She works with journals, books, conferences, learning, articles, proceedings, and learning objects. They use OJS and have begun publishing. They have a project with a repository that is still in development. They have tested the use of OCS for conferences. It is under discussion for inclusion in the library system of Information Policies, Information Units and Information Services and Products. The draft of their Open Access policy is also under discussion.

PKP offers help in Conference Organizing and Proceedings, as well as e-books and e-journal publishing. They will update to the OJS Suite when it is possible. OCS has been used for both international and national conferences, has worked well and has been well received.

As librarian, her role is to highlight the new roles of these technologies. Librarians are major actors in the scholarly communication process. The University library is an essential element in the scholarly communication system.

They are the first academic library to be able to help others run conferences, etc. There is some resistance to OJS in Brazil, but the researchers at her university are in full support of it. Understanding the process makes all the difference. The activities done by the libraries now make them essential in the process.

Concluding Discussion and Questions:

(shared between Sely Costa, Brazil and the preceding workshop presenter Alberto Apollaro, Argentina)

1. <Question not heard> Sely: We are doing a project investigating over 700 uses of OJS use. People are not aware of the business models that need to be defined, nor are they aware of defining the strategic access policies to consider before creating a journal. You work with journals that already exist…but, who looks after this for CONICET? Sely: CONICET itself. We are thinking of using OJS to create journals from scratch, but we do not have clear policies of access and we need to define these policies. (See blogger’s Links of Interest near the bottom of the page)

2. (To Alberto Apollaro, Argentina ) Have you had 10 journals that have gone through the review process? Not yet. We are in the information stage with the journals. But there are journals interested in this? Yes. Comment from attendees: Libraries have lost a lot of their power, but with technologies, they are gaining new popularity. The universities are very fond of PKP software. I assume SciELO was a digital library and not a publishing agent. Sely: Yes. We think not all our publications will be in SciELO, so we need to create another collection. In the end, we need to create a bridge between SciELO and this website.

3. Sely, how do you work with your University Press, because it sounds like there could be some synergies there. (Answer summarized) We just changed our administrator. I offered to create a digital journal. He is concerned about losing subscribers. I need to talk to him about this. We have 6 or 7 African countries who speak Portugese, so if we can have these journals available for access, it is great for our university. We have Master’s dissertations that have had many, many downloads. I am a researcher and a librarian and I know what a researcher needs from the library. PKP has really helped me.

4. How do you see this playing out at other university libraries in Brazil? There are already some libraries doing it. I call myself the Open Access Evangelist. I feel so good that I have been able to influence people in my country.

Links of Interest:

CONICET is the Argentinian government agency established to organize and direct research that is publicly funded.

CONICET also has been listed on an open source portfolio (OSP) site, called OpenEd Practices, that uses SAKAI, an environment that complements the OSP software. No contributions appear from CONICET to date.

SciELO is a scientific, electronic, online library containing selected Brazilian journals.

July 10, 2009   Comments Off