Links to the presentations given at the 14 November workshop on the RIN/DTI/RCUK Evidence-based Analysis of Data on Scholarly Journal Publishing are now at the bottom of the workshop page, along with a crisper and more concise summary of the proceedings than mine (follow these links for parts one, two and three) and the action points. The latter are worth quoting:
" * There is a case for updating the baseline report periodically, so as to chart the development of the evidence base.
* Although there is some knowledge about journal usage, there is much less evidence about usage at the article level – further research would be particularly useful. In this respect, there could be value in analysing how researchers cite material, i.e. whether they read full articles, abstracts, second hand reports or other material as a basis for making citations. This could be interesting in the light of moves towards metrics-based approaches to research evaluation.
* The study pointed to evidence about the difficulties that many researchers experience in accessing material. Therefore there is a case for a detailed analysis about the why researchers experience such difficulties – and as a possible corollary, an examination about whether/how researchers alter their behaviour because of access problems.
* There may be much merit in such further research, but it is important to set up an approach to define an agenda and prioritise the work that is most usefully required. Inevitably, this implies a dialogue and a collaborative approach between all stakeholders. Open sharing of data is also important. Such an approach could be extended to cover the whole of the scholarly communications system, with publishing in the context of this.
* In this respect, identifying the views of researchers themselves poses a big challenge. Who speaks for them? To what extent are they developing new publishing models of their own? And are they interested in the sort of issues raised by the study? Learned societies are likely to have a role in such debates, and the RIN itself can act as a vehicle for highlighting the needs and concerns of the research community."
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