Ensuring Discoverability of OA Articles in Hybrid Journals

My talk at NASIG 2014

Consultancy Work

When I was offered the job as Innovation Advocate at Cetis with the agreement of the director I decided to work part-time so that I would have some flexibility for consultancy work.

I have just completed the first significant consultancy work, which was to give a presentation  on “Hybrid journals: Ensuring systematic and standard discoverability of the latest Open Access articles on behalf of the JEMO project at the NASIG 2014 conference.

The NASIG 2014 Conference

NASIG is an “[American] organization that promotes communication and sharing of ideas among all members of the serials information chain“. NASIG 2014, the 29th annual conference, which had the theme “Taking Stock and Taming New Frontiers“, took place in Fort Worth, Texas on 1-4 May 2014 and attracted about 360 delegates.

I gave my talk on Friday 2 May from 1.10-2.10.  In this post I will give a brief summary of the talk and the preceding talk which also addressed the issue of the discoverability (and management) of open access articles.

The Challenges of Finding Open Access Articles in Hybrid Journals

Articulating the Problem

Chris Bulock and Nathan Hosburgh gave a talk on “OA in the library collection: The challenges of identifying and managing open access resources” in a session which preceded my talk. Their slides are available on Slideshare and I have embedded them in this blog post. Their talk was based on a survey which sought to investigate current practices in the management of open access resources; identify the challenges librarians face and areas for improvement.

Hybrid OA is a nightmareI was particularly interested to note the comment they received in response to their survey that “Hybrid OA is a nightmare“.

They went on to summarise the responses they received to the question “What would make the management of OA resources easier?” The suggestion:

Harry Potter, the Elder wand and the help of Dobby – the free elf

brought a smile to the faces of audience. But this also provided me with an opportunity to use Harry Potter as a metaphor for describing the solution which has been developed by the JEMO project team to the nightmare problem of open access articles in hybrid journals.

Providing a Lightweight Solution

NASIG tweetsThe slides I used in my presentation are available on Slideshare and embedded at the bottom of this post. I will not attempt to summarise the entire presentation. Rather I will summarise the proposed solution in a single sentence: “The JEMO team propose a solution based on providing Creative Commons licence information for Open Access articles which is made available in RSS feeds for hybrid journals”.

I was able to give a live demonstration of the JournalTOCs service which has provided a proof-of-concept of the value of this approach.

It should be noted that the slides provide screenshots of the steps used in discovering an open access article included in a hybrid journal.

After the presentation I captured the tweets made during that talk in a Storify summary, as illustrated.


I was pleased to carry out this work on behalf of the JEMO team and to renew contact with Roddy MacLeod. My attendance at the conference also provided an opportunity to hear more about developments in the Web archiving world in a particularly  interesting plenary talk on “From a System of Journals to a Web of Objects” given by Herbert Van de Sompel. I also found  Richard Wallis’s talk on The Power of Sharing Linked Data: Giving the Web What It Wants providing a useful update on Linked Data developments in the library world.

View Twitter conversations and metrics using: [Topsy] – [bit.ly]

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