Thursday, May 9, 11:15am-12:15pm
Room: Canfor Policy Room (1600)

What We Can Learn from the Online Graveyard of Inactive Undergraduate Student Journals

Robyn Hall, MacEwan University

Description: Undergraduate open access journals provide a valuable opportunity for students to disseminate their work online and begin to establish an academic footprint, while learning about academic peer-review and publishing processes first-hand. At the same time that these publications give direct benefit to students, however, many of these venues have come and gone over the last two decades, raising questions as to what it takes to keep a student journal going consistently long-term, as well as what to do with these publications once they have ceased production. Drawing on findings from an analysis of student journals that have been inactive for at least two years and that are hosted by North American university publishing services, this presentation investigates common reasons why student journals become defunct. In light of these findings, it provides insights into how current university journal hosting service providers and publishers can help ensure the continued existence of student publications moving forward. It also discusses best practices around what to do when a student journal is discontinued in terms of communicating to users that the journal is no longer accepting submissions, and strategies for providing long-term access and digital preservation of these works.

Journal Interface Design: How Does It Impact the User Experience?

Israel Cefrin, Public Knowledge Project

Description: If “every book has a reader”, it is reasonable to say that every journal has a reader/user. Customizing, and assessing, a digital interface is a simple movement towards improving user experience and the content using, reusing and sharing as well. Furthermore, Open Access journals should also consider the following question: how friendly is my content to be reused?

Nowadays there are a variety of platforms to publish scientific content. Likewise, there is a large number of journals available, especially in Open Access mode. A simple search with tools like Google Scholar may list Journals, however, be listed in Google resulting page is the very first part of the user experience process concerning digital products.

According to the customization level, and the journal manager awareness, it is possible to offer a unique experience with a customized user interface. Hence, personal computers, tablets and, even more, mobile devices are able to access the public front-end without restrictions and with a possible better sense of it.

Giving attention to a Journal interface complies with recommendations from Ranganathan’s Laws of Library Science. A well organized, easy to use, recognizable and reliable interface may bring and keep users and foster the reuse of the Journal content as well.

The Weaknesses of Automated Taxonomy, A Case Study

Alexa Colella, Marketing Manager for Journals, University of Illinois Press; Steffanie Cain, Strategic Taxonomy Lead, University of Illinois Press

Description: We recently discovered that the automated technology used by a major content hosting and subscription platform was inappropriately categorizing our journal articles. After some investigation and collaboration with the platform, we were able to identify some solutions to fixing this problem. However, it illuminated a rather major shortfall of automated taxonomy; automated taxonomy systems do not possess the discursive nuance of the academy (or humans in general), nor do they have the ability to learn it.

We discovered that this weakness exists on a spectrum. Though this observation is fairly anecdotal, the technology seemed to perform well in scientific articles (ones with fewer uses of creative, colloquial, or metaphorical use of language) and performed poorly in the humanities.

In this presentation we will present our case study detailing the discovery, methodology, challenges, and solutions in correcting inappropriately placed topics in a major content hosting platform. We will also discuss what this study illuminated for us about the use of automation in scholarly communication on a larger scale: its strengths, weaknesses, and the challenges it poses for us in the future.