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San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment: Time to Dump Impact Factor

ScienceInsider has an interesting article about the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) posted online last week. The declaration recommends that institutions and agencies "eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations." The declaration also has specific recommendations for funding agencies, institutions, publishers, organizations that supply metrics, and researchers.

Here is the ScienceInsider article: In 'Insurrection,' Scientists, Editors Call for Abandoning Journal Impact Factors.

Also take a look at the response published in eLife: "It is time for the research community to rethink how the outputs of scientific research are evaluated... ."

Based on a recent post in the UCB Science & Engineering Libraries News blog.

May 20, 2013 | Categories: Scholarly Communication | msholinb

Summer hours have begun: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

Have a great summer! And, please feel free to come visit us during our summer hours, Monday-Friday 10am - 5 pm.

Our Reference Desk is open M-F, 2-4 pm.

May 20, 2013 | Categories: News | msholinb

Embase Classic (1947-1973 citations) Now Available at UCB

We are happy to announce that the library now provides access to Embase Classic, consisting of over 1.8 million older (1947-1973; a small number of pre-1947 citations are also included) citations in Embase. All Embase searches will automatically include these older citations, as well as the 1974 to present citations, unless you specifically exclude them, which can be done in 2 ways:

  • Adding a date range limit to your search;
  • UN-checking "Embase Classic" on the advanced search screen


Embase, including Embase Classic, is a primary resources for evidence-based medical research. Coverage is especially strong in drug, pharmaceutical, and toxicological research including economic evaluations. More details on Embase Classic:

As always to locate full-text articles, please click on the UC-eLinks icon.

If you have any questions, please let us know!

May 16, 2013 | Categories: New Resources | msholinb

Available on a trial basis: PolicyMap

PolicyMap is an online data and mapping tool with applications for students and faculty. Useful for folks in sociology, urban studies, community and economic development, public administration, public health, policy and political science, education, business (real estate and marketing), and geography, among others.

Leverage over 15,000 US data indicators in PolicyMap to perform demographic and socioeconomic analysis, from a neighborhood census block up to a national level, as well as by creating custom regions, for their research and studies. The indicators are related to demographics, neighborhood conditions, real estate markets, money and income, jobs and economy, education, crime, health, and more. PolicyMap data can be presented as maps, tables, charts and reports that can be incorporated into papers, presentations, blogs and websites. In addition, students can upload unlimited amounts of their own address-based data for use in PolicyMap, and can share these maps with others.

Trial runs through mid-May. Feedback appreciated!

Apr 26, 2013 | Categories: New Resources | msholinb

Beware of predatory "open access" journals! (and other thoughts)

Open Access (OA) is good for science, good for the library, good for authors. The UCB libraries will help pay the author fees if you want to publish your article in an OA journal. However, a world of pseudo-journals, sometimes labeled "predatory journals," awaits your author payment check. These are journals, with nice sounding titles like Global Journal of Medicine and Public Health or American Journal of Social Issues and Humanities, that are often sham titles. Their major purpose is to collect the author fees, and their content lacks quality. Often they list editorial boards consisting of non-existent people or include scholars on an editorial board without their knowledge or permission. Sometimes they use made-up measures (such as "view factor") to feign standing.

The Scholarly Open Access blog maintains a list of individual journal titles that meet their criteria for determining predatory open-access publishers. It is recommended that you not accept an offer to be on their editorial board, nor pay their author fees to publish in one of these titles! In the most concise terms, if you've never heard of the journal, best to avoid it.

Much has been written on this, including articles in The New York Times, Nature, and The Scholarly Kitchen blog.

BUT - it's easy to pick on these predatory journals (fake conferences also exist). It's also relatively easy to avoid them. Perhaps more important to get upset over is "the $10 BILLION DOLLARS of largely public money that subscription publishers take in every year in return for giving the scientific community access to the 90% of papers that are not published in open access journals - papers that scientists gave to the journals for free! This ongoing insanity not only fleeces huge piles of cash from government and university coffers, it denies the vast majority of the planet's population access to the latest discoveries of our scientists." This quote is from a response by Michael Eisen to the predatory journals fiasco. I think the argument boils down to, let's spend our (limited) energy on the more significant problems in scholarly publishing.

Apr 15, 2013 | Categories: Scholarly Communication, Tips and Updates | msholinb

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