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Poster abstracts from the Stanford University Colloquium on Scholarly Communications.

Poster Abstracts

  1. Cultural models for knowledge distribution: wine, bottles, loaves & fishes
    Glen Worthey (, Humanities Digital Information Service, Stanford University Libraries

    In this poster I propose a few cultural models and metaphors for new modes and methods of knowledge distribution, in order to understand them not so much in terms of economics or publishing or librarianship, but rather as human and humanistic phenomena. We begin briefly with the Biblical parable of new wine in old bottles, in order to shed light on some of the consequences of the digital format itself. From there we move to the public square to illustrate the idea of knowledge as common property and public good; the “Creative Commons” project realizes this metaphor. Re-imagining this public space slightly, we examine the famous “Open Source” metaphors of the cathedral and the bazaar, and then their extension to the world of “Open Access.” The Stanford “LOCKSS” program is one successful incarnation of the conjoined ideas of Open Source and Open Access, and its central principle of “lots of copies” leads us to a different Biblical myth: that of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, to illuminate some of the near-miraculous possibilities inherent in the digital distribution of knowledge — as well as of some of its rather unexpected consequences.

  2. Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t — Building the Digital Library with Packages
    Grace Baysinger, Head Librarian and Bibliographer, Swain Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library

    Electronic journals, reference titles, and books are sold in packages. What are the advantages and disadvantages of acquiring items in packages versus one title at a time? This poster will highlight the types of packages available, pricing models used, plus licensing and access conditions for acquiring digital content in packages. Become informed and help shape the information landscape as it will affect your access to scholarly information.

  3. Identifying and Evaluating Author-Friendly Journals
    Susan Payne (, Engineering Librarian, Engineering Library

    Copyright ownership has long been cited as a problematic issue in the scholarly communications debate. Authors frequently sign away complete publishing rights to journal publishers, even though this is not always in the best interest of disseminating their work. Giving sole copyright to the authors, on the other hand, would presumably create problems in terms of gaining future copyright permissions. In order to find a balanced solution, copyright issues must be addressed from the perspective of both the authors and the publishers. By publishing in author-friendly journals, researchers can have a greater determination regarding access to and dissemination of their intellectual work. Tools for identifying and evaluating author-friendly journals are explored in this poster.

  4. Making MathSciNet Work Harder for You!
    Linda Yamamoto (, Head Librarian and Bibliographer, Mathematical and Computer Sciences Library

    MathSciNet is a core index of the mathematical sciences literature, indexing books, journals and conference proceedings published since 1940. An interesting feature not well known about this online index is that the assignment of standard Institutional and Mathematics Subject Classification Codes combined with the powerful searching capabilities of MathSciNet make possible the compilation of detailed demographic data about mathematical publishing. These codes can be used to compare the output between specific academic departments, institutions, or even countries over a period of time. Using Institutional Codes associated with each author affiliated with a particular department at an institution, one can obtain a list of publications satisfying variables of interest. If the search is done in conjunction with a specific Mathematics Subject Classification Code assigned to each item reviewed, one can further narrow the result to determine the output within a specific area of study.

  5. (Non-) Publishing Habits of Particle Physicists
    Travis Brooks (, SPIRES Scientific Databases Manager, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center; and Abraham Wheeler (, Research Librarian/Public Services Manager, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

    The SPIRES database, a comprehensive bibliographic database of particle physics literature, was used to investigate the communication behaviors of particle physicists. A study of the SPIRES citations accumulated by theoretical particle physics papers reveals a short time lag between appearance on, a repository of eprints, and first citation.

    This quick time to first citation is compared with an average of 6 months before a paper is published in a journal. The peak citation time is well before the median time of print publication. Furthermore, no evidence is found for increased citation after the time of publication.

    This demonstrates that eprints on, rather than peer reviewed journal literature are the primary mode of communicating results within this community.

    Peer reviewed literature, while not a major communication medium, still serves a purpose in the field, as evidenced by the large percentage of eprints that are eventually published in journals.

  6. Physics: Major Journals and Prices
    Stella Ota (, Head Librarian and Bibliographer, Physics Library

    In annual price surveys in the library literature, physics and chemistry journals are often ranked as having the most expensive average cost. But the average academic reader may not realize that a library’s subscription cost for a scientific serial is much higher than the newsstand’s cover price, which for example is $10 for Science (20 October 2006). To help broaden understanding of the serials crisis and of the costs to support physics research at Stanford, data on where Stanford authors publish and what journals Stanford authors cite was reviewed and supplemented with price information. From Faculty Senate Resolution SenD#5540, “It is ironic that many Stanford scholars like scholars throughout higher education volunteer their articles and labor in the production, review and editing of journal content, only to have the final product sold back to Stanford, sometimes at exorbitant prices.” This poster helps to provide some perspective on those prices.

  7. Publishing Trends in the Earth Sciences
    Samantha Teplitzky (, Earth Sciences Librarian & Bibliographer, Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections; Jane Ingalls (, Assistant Map Librarian, Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections; and Julie Sweetkind-Singer (, Head Librarian, GIS & Map Librarian and Bibliographer

    Although publishing trends in the Earth Sciences reflect the changes that have taken place in the sciences overall, differences specific to the discipline are also apparent. Like other sciences, our subject has faced skyrocketing subscription fees, but it has also maintained a commitment to small society publications. Prices for commercially published Earth Science journals have increased dramatically in the past ten years, while in comparison the cost of society, government and foreign publications have risen more slowly. As big name publishers purchase many of these noncommercial sources, their prices balloon and the ability of libraries to maintain broad collections falls. Ultimately, the future of research in the Earth Sciences will depend in part upon the continued availability of such diverse sources of information.


Last modified: November 13, 2006

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