Thursday, March 28, 2013

Open Access is easier than you think

I recently attended a talk by Jill Cirasella, a librarian at Brooklyn College, on open access publishing (check out the slides here: I kind of went as a professional courtesy to my colleague who set up the talk, because I honestly thought I was pretty well-informed on the topic. Turns out I was sadly mistaken on that count. I figured the talk would be about seeking out and publishing in open access journals, but what I didn't realize was that there are actually two types of open access publishing: gold and green.

Gold open access journals are ones that make their articles freely available to the public, and sometimes (often?) require their authors to pay a publishing fee. This funding model puts payment for access to scholarship at the beginning of the publishing process, or the time of submission, not at the end, or time of access. This is also what most of us think about when people talk about open access publishing. 

But it turns out this talk was focused on green open access publishing, or traditional journals that allow their authors to self-archive some version of their work, and make it openly available on the web. Some restrictions can include an enforced embargo period, or only allowing authors to make available the pre-print (article before any editor or peer review comments) or post-print (final version of the article, but not in the format published by the journal.)

Jill gave us some tools to easily find out the copyright rules for specific journals, including the SHERPA/RoMEO website, which allows you to search for a journal title, and view a summary of authors' rights. Turns out, the publisher of the two journals I've written articles for, Taylor & Francis, have a very lenient open access policy for library science journals. They allow you to self-archive the post-print of your article, with no embargo period. (Oh how I wish I knew that earlier! My articles have been languishing behind paywalls all this time!)

Once you find out if you can self-archive your article, (it turns out that 94% of the journals covered in RoMEO allow some form of it. Wow!) you need to find a repository to deposit your article in. You can, of course, self-archive on your own site, but large repositories are far more stable and vastly increase find-ability. (You do want to be cited, don't you?!) If your institution has an institutional repository, that's the best place to start. If it doesn't (as my school does not) you can check out this list of discipline-specific digital repositories:

It turns out there are 2 pretty prominent library science repositories, E-LIS and DLIST. I plan on submitting my papers to both, but have only gotten around to submitting to E-LIS so far. 


and... accepted!
So now you can access the final, peer-reviewed, full-text of my articles here: I'll keep you all posted on whether my citations go noticeably up or not, now that they are out from behind a paywall.

A pro-tip for you, so you can learn from my fail: KEEP SEPARATE COPIES OF ALL VERSIONS OF YOUR PAPER. I cannot stress this enough. When the editors sent me the first round of comments, I opened up the Microsoft Word document and made the changes (without enabling the track changes function.) So when I was told I was free to make my pre-print publicly available, I didn't HAVE a pre-print to make available. 

THEN, because I'm an IDIOT, I had the opposite problem with the post-print. The final round of edits are usually made directly in the publisher's online system, and I didn't bother going back to my word document to mirror the changes I had made in the system. So when they told me I could make the post-print freely available (but not their version of it) I didn't HAVE a post-print to make available. ::headdesk:: For you fine people, I actually went through the final pdf version of the document, copied and pasted it page by page into a text file to remove formatting, and then transferred the whole thing, plus images, back into a Word document. This was monotonous and cumbersome and I DON'T recommend you do it.

So, make sure you have a copy of the article that you originally submit, BEFORE you receive any comments from the editors or peer-reviewers, and make sure you have your own copy of the final version, with all the edits, and make sure they're clearly labelled _preprint and _postprint. You'll thank me later.

PS- Thanks, Jill, for a really enlightening presentation!!! :)
PPS- You can find a list of all the links from the talk (including a link to the slides) here:

Friday, March 8, 2013


Well it's a snowy Friday, and I thought I'd take some time today to compile and post the links I've collected since my last link post. Cuz I'm nice like that. UR WELKUM.

Library Stuff

From Wikipedia to our libraries | Everybody's Libraries
Wikipedia can be a big help in making online readers aware of their library’s offerings. How can libraries facilitate this?

Thank You, Librarian - a Tumblr of love notes to the people who inspire us

Cracking the Code: Librarians Acquiring Essential Coding Skills | The Digital Shift

Tech News + Protips

15 Tips + Tricks To Get More Out Of Google Drive |

10 Tips for Conference Presentations That Rock | iLibrarian

New research sheds light on 13 ways to gain followers on Twitter | Big Think

5 Best Websites To Send Fax For Free |

Download Project Gutenberg ebooks to your Dropbox | digital inspiration

Responsive Design Framework Foundation Goes Mobile-First, Switches From jQuery To Zepto | TechCrunch

Cool Job Postings

Director, Scholarly Communications and Copyright
VCU Libraries, Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA

Copyright and Digital Access Librarian
Washington University
St. Louis, MO

Instruction Librarian (classroom + web-based)
Western Oregon University
Monmouth, OR

Web Front End Developer, Archives
New York Public Library
New York, NY

Director/System Administrator
Montgomery County Library + Information Network Consortium
Conshohocken, PA 19428

Supervisory Librarian
Executive Office Of The President
Washington, DC


Online Education and Jazz | Marginal Revolution

Other Interesting Stuff

Why We May Never Beat Stigma | the fix
Using the word 'addiction' to apply to any bad behavior gives jerks a free pass, and hurts real addicts.

Dove sneaks revert-to-original Photoshop plugin into art directors' toolkits | BoingBoing
Dove tricks photoshoppers into facing the effect of manipulating the female image of beauty.

Screw The Postal Service. I Hope Your Cute Indie Clothes Chafe You All Summer Long | Reverb
Watch the fake Postal Service audition video first. Then read Duff McKagan's reply. Hysterical.

French Designer Pixel Glasses | Sprite Stitch


I'm into Vine now. Vine is cool.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Crappy image maps messing with my mind

Please, for the life of Brian, give adequate thought to creating image maps (images that contain multiple links, mapped to different areas of the image.) While they can be useful, and even creative, they can also be confusing. (The one in the linked Wikipedia entry is a good example of a creatively-designed image map, that has some functional issues.)

In web design, you rely on certain conventions to indicate to the user what can be clicked on (ie-a link.) If you use an image as a link, users can see the image is click-able by mousing over it, and seeing if the pointer changes from an arrow to a hand. However, if you make an image into an image map, but divide the entire image into click-able sections, it can be hard to tell the different areas of the image link to different places. You can help alleviate this problem by restricting the click-able areas to distinct areas, separated by some non-click-able space, and also by using tool-tips or title tags to describe the link hidden in that part of the image.

My motivation for this post? My own damn library's website. Check out the header on this page: It took me a moment to realize that the entire header didn't link back to our website, but also contained a link to the school's website. After much clicking and confusion, I realized that the bottom part of that image not only contains a link to the *school's* website, but also the school *system.* Now, maybe you got that at first glance, but I honestly didn't, and I highly doubt I'm the only one to make that mistake. Part of the problem is that the site was created years ago, and as I mentioned in the Harvard Library website post, alt tags are no longer rendered as tool tips by all browsers (I'm using Chrome, and they don't show up when you hover over the links in it.)

I opened the page in Dreamweaver to be able to visualize where the links were mapped to (see below,) and I can honestly say that they tried to keep the links tight to the text, but I think that the bottom two links are just too close together for it to be quickly apparent to the user that they link to two separate places.

How would I have done it? I would have probably made the "CSI" part link to the school, and the rest would link to the library. I'd probably add the "City University of New York" as a regular text link, underneath the header image, or possibly just in the footer.

Just remember when creating image maps: unless the user hovers over various areas of the image to find the links/tool tips, there is no external indicator as to what part of the image links to what (ie-you can't tell just by looking at it.) You have to rely on visual cues and web design standards to cue the user in to the fact that the image contains a.) a link and/or b.) multiple links. They may not take the time to wave their cursor across the whole image to discover just how many links there are, and what they link to.*

*Some cues that there are multiple links are:

  • Scrolling over the image and noticing that the entire image is not click-able. Many developers will not bother creating an image map to insert a single link in an image, unless they have a good reason to; they'll just make the entire image the link.
  • Patterns... If it's a picture of the solar system, and the first two planets are links, the user will guess that the rest of the planets are too. Same thing with maps where more than one location is linked, or groups of people where more than one person is linked. (etc, etc...)
  • Added visual cues such as numbers, letters, or symbols that indicate where the user might find a link. (Example: