Live-blogging the 2009 Vancouver PKP Conference

Providing an Incentive: Developing Publishing Services for Researchers: The Session Blog

Presenter: Sara Fuchs, Digital Initiatives Library, Department of Scholarly Communication & Digital Services, Georgia Institute of Technology

Sara Fuchs

Sara Fuchs

Time: 4-5pm, July 9th, 2009

Place: SFU Harbour Centre, Sauder Industries Room 2270

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Abstract

Session Overview

Background

The Georgia Tech Library Department of Scholarly Communication & Digital Services set up an institutional repository in 2004 in hopes that faculty members could self-submit. Although they had always had a repository, it was usually set up after conferences had occurred. The department later decided to provide more support and began to help faculty create, store and view their papers, especially since nobody else on campus was offering similar services. The service provides both conference and journal support, as well as the uploading of any video recordings (of lectures as well), and digital archiving on the centralized repository for Georgia Tech authored materials, known as SMARTech. Submission onto SMARTech requires that the authors grant a non-exclusive license to Georgia Tech for non-commercial uses– mainly to raise awareness about open access to graduate students and supporting scholarly collaboration. SMARTech is now one of the largest institutional repositories in the United States and 35th in the world according to the Ranking Web of World Repositories, a project by the Spanish public research body Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientĂ­ficas (CSIC).

Lessons Learned with Open Conference Systems (OCS)

OCS works well for what it is supposed to do. It was a low pressure situation for the department because there was no need to maintain the OCS software, as everything was eventually going to end up in the repository. They found that clients enjoyed using OCS much more than the normal email workflow.

However, there were still challenges. With OCS, the process of accepting and rejecting proposals was more difficult– conference calls seemed to be much easier, and there is always a time lag in uploading presentations. Another challenge surfaced while setting up the Open Repositories 2009 Conference, mainly because they were working with two different websites. It made it very difficult to collect and retrieve conference papers. The Access Services Conference was the first time the payment function of OCS was used. Again, it was difficult to synchronize across two websites and this required going through multiple steps.

Customization

Clients wanted something more slick and streamlined, and wanted to use the more interactive parts of OCS, such as giving comments directly to authors, etc. In order to do this, all .css and template files had to be modified. New headers needed to be created, as well as modification of some menus, journal layout, and downloading of specific plug-ins. This proved to be very time-consuming, and this took design changes out of the hands of journal managers/editors. That being said, clients were highly satisfied and this became a showpiece of the department’s collaboration with faculty.

Questions

(Ran out of time)

Comment: Some of the difficulty in syncing between two websites might be easier if you upload/download directly from OCS instead of another location.

Related Links

July 13, 2009   Comments Off on Providing an Incentive: Developing Publishing Services for Researchers: The Session Blog

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.

Abstract

Session Overview

Sely Costa PKP2009

Sely Costa PKP2009, with permission

Presentation:

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

New Ground for Research Libraries: Conference Management Systems: The Session Blog

Presenters:

(From left to right: Helle Damgaard Andersen, Heidi Drasbek Martinussen, Kirsten Suhr Jacobsen)

(From left to right: Helle Damgaard Andersen, Heidi Drasbek Martinussen, Kirsten Suhr Jacobsen)

Time: 2:30-3:30 pm, July 9th, 2009

Place: SFU Harbour Centre, Earl & Jennie Lohn Room 7000

Abstract

2008 Paper (.pdf, in Danish)

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Session Overview

Beginnings

Denmark’s Electronic Research Library (DEFF) began a project in 2008 to review twenty open source and proprietary conference management systems and to test out the three that were best suited for research libraries (i.e. includes functionalities such as registration/payment, review process, etc.) This project was carried out collaboratively by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Aalborg University, and Copenhagen Business School (CBS); each institution was to test out seven systems, respectively.

The following diagram represents the various characteristics of the systems, such as those that only support review or registration/payment functionalities, as well as pricing – red denotes that the system was VERY EXPENSIVE.

conference management systems comparison diagram

(source)

Following the preliminary testing stages, the three institutions each chose one of their seven conference management systems, and carried out pilot projects on the selected system:

1) Proceedings Central tested by Aalborg University

Proceedings Central (now ScholarOne Proceedings) was a proprietary system developed by Thomson Reuters. While it had many benefits, its major downfall was that it was expensive and only supported review functionalities, much more like the Open Journal Systems (OJS) publication system. In addition, it was frustrating to use outside of North America because the system was configured to follow US time only.

2) Indico tested by the Technical University of Denmark

The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has been using the Indico system for several years now. It is an open source system that was originally developed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and supported by the European Union. Its greatest advantage is that it makes registration very easy– setting up registration forms can take as little as half an hour. The major challenge with Indico is that the system is not aesthetically pleasing, but they are currently working on developing a better looking version that is expected to be available in the fall. The presenters likened Indico to the ‘little brother’ of Open Conference Systems (OCS) as its functions are very comparable to the latter.

3) Open Conference System (OCS) tested by the Copenhagen Business School

The Open Conference System (OCS) was developed from OJS system and thus has inherited characteristics that are not always best suited for the needs of a conference management system. An example of this is that it is difficult to set up individual conferences– they must be set up as annual conferences.

Conclusions

While there are still many items on the presenters’ wish-list for OCS, the system seems to be the best so far in terms of designs, the building of the conference site, and multilingual support. It also has a large community of users behind it, and includes a wiki, as well as a support and user discussion forum.

Future Directions – a further look into the systems

The goal for the current project is to have DTU run fourteen conferences with Indico in 2009, and CBS run seven conferences with OCS to further develop and examine the respective systems. DTU and CBS also hope to collaboratively develop a ‘light’ version of OCS, that has fewer functions to better:

  • provide for a quick set up for registration,
  • support a conference that already has its own webpage, but requires payment and review functions,

The Role of the Library

The presenters also highlighted the role of the library in relation to the use of conference management systems. The library can serve as technical/user support, act as a central solution and housing for conferences, as well as provide payment system integration so that users are not limited to using PayPal.

Questions

Comment: Fantastic work. It is exciting to see someone to push forward OCS. Major problem with both OJS is that everyone is going in different directions. The more institutions pick up OCS, the more polish and fine-tuning it is going to get. Good to get feedback. This is the advantage to open source– this is how the software improves! And an obvious sign that the community works effectively.

Question: What is the volume for abstracts, attendees, etc. (that is provided by OCS)? Answer: Very wide range.

Question: How did you come down to deciding on Indico and OCS? Did you use a checklist for all the technical requirements for the 20 systems? Answer: Yes.

Question: Is there any proprietary system that has similar functional abilities of OCS and at reasonable price range? Answer: It is very difficult to get prices out of proprietary systems and functionality is usually very unclear-“this system does it all” seems to be the standard response.

References

Martinussen, H., Damgaard, H., Jacobsen, K., & Pedersen, J. (2008). Nye veje for forskningsbibliotekerne? conference management systems. DF Revy, 31(8), 21-23.

Related Links

July 10, 2009   Comments Off on New Ground for Research Libraries: Conference Management Systems: The Session Blog