Saturday, November 20, 2010

Do People Want Open Access to Research?

If you post a peer reviewed article on your blog, will anyone care?

Apparently, emphatically yes.

In an experiment earlier this week I decided to post my recent article about Social Media use by Archives and Archivists (see my previous entry) and made a quick announcement on Twitter. The response was far greater than I expected, with over 700 people in just a few days taking the time to visit and read the abstract or access the PDF and I received messages from several archivists thanking me for sharing the article.

As you can see from the graph of my recent traffic on this oft-neglected site, the results weren't typical.

So what does this mean? Well I think we can infer a few things from this.

Firstly, that people want to read research. Secondly, if authors retain copyright of their work, that access becomes possible.

The only reason I was able to - legally - offer this article to readers was because of Archivaria's very forward-thinking rights assignment policy in which I retain the copyright for the work but grant Archivaria all the rights they need to publish as many copies as they like in as many forms as they like. In return, I have been asked to always provide a full citation whenever I reproduce the article to acknowledge the work of Archivaria.

As an author, this rights assignment policy was the most influential single factor I took into consideration when choosing a journal in which to publish. In this case I overlooked larger journals who demand authors assign full rights, because I believe the whole point of me doing research is to share the results.

Arbitrarily assigning all rights doesn't achieve that goal if the article then sits behind a paywall that may or may not be heavily subscribed.

So what can we do to promote this open-access attitude?

I think the first thing is to start telling editors that you want it.

For writers:
  • Email editors before you submit and tell them you have an article idea but you are a supporter of open access and you would like to know the journal's policy.
  • Protect your copyright. Negotiate your copyright assignment so that both the editor and you can benefit. There is absolutely no need for you to give away your copyright. And if you are going to give it away, insist that everyone has access: license it under Creative Commons.
For readers:
  • Let editors of publications know that you want to cite material in their publications but you do not have access and will have to overlook their contributions.
  • Let authors know you would like to cite material they wrote but you do not have access and will have to overlook their contributions.
  • Thank editors who have formulated forward-thinking copyright policies that promote open access to research.
On that last note, I'd encourage anyone who accessed my article over the past week to contact Archivaria (Contact Info) and let them know that you appreciated being able to read their material. Sometimes a little thank you goes a long way to driving change.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Analysis of Twitter and Facebook Use by the Archival Community

I have recently published an article in Archivaria, the journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) that looks at how Archives around the English-speaking world have used Facebook and Twitter as a form of social outreach.

I hope this work will be of interest to those outside the archival community and amongst those who may not have access to Archivaria, so I have decided to share a copy freely in PDF format.

Crymble, Adam. "An Analysis of Twitter and Facebook Use by the Archival Community" Archivaria 70 (Fall 2010): 125-151 [PDF]

: This paper discusses how the archival community is using social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook as outreach tools. The study analyzes the usage patterns of 195 individual and institutional users over a thirty- two-day period during the summer of 2009. By focusing on the 2,926 outbound links posted to the services during the period, the author shows that use is dramatically different between the three test groups: archival organizations using Facebook, archival organizations using Twitter, and archivists using Twitter. The study shows that archival organizations overwhelmingly use the services to promote content they have created themselves, whereas archivists promote information they find useful. In all cases, more frequent posting did not correlate to a larger audience. By examining how others have applied social networking, archivists and archival organizations can determine a social media outreach platform that is suitable to their institutional needs. This study may serve as a starting point toward a greater understanding of outreach in the digital age.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Easy, Effective Event Homepage for Your Academic Event

Last year I wrote a blog post about How to Archive a Conference. Since then, I've been hired by several academics to build conference websites. Now, I'm pleased to offer a simpler, more affordable solution :

From upcoming conferences to past workshops. Academic News is your affordable, stable, simple solution - no website experience necessary. Be up and running in minutes.

Web designers are expensive: $40 to $100+ per hour. And building a website isn't just a matter of cutting and pasting. Design takes time, and that adds up. A small website with just a few simple pages can cost well over $1000.

Academic News recognizes your funding is precious. So I've developed an alternative: a one page Event Homepage hosted on the Academic News website, configured to effectively showcase your event - no web designing experience necessary.

All webpages share the clean, professional look and feel of the Academic News website. The easy to use form lets you customize your page by adding text and images. There's even space (20MB) to upload readings, schedules, maps, forms and more.

Focus on what matters. Leave the website to Academic News.

Use the site to attract potential participants, or as a deliverable to funding bodies.

You’ll get:

  • A professional looking, easy to edit webpage

  • Configured specifically for academic events

  • A customizable web address (URL)

  • 20MB storage for PDFs (schedules, maps, readings, etc)

  • Email support

  • Maintainance of copyright ownership

  • 5 year guarantee

All for a simple one-time fee – no subscriptions, no hidden costs. Do-it-yourself or full services packages available.

View a Sample Homepage

Reaching a Popular Audience - Vancouver 2010

Have questions? Check out the FAQ or Contact me at .