Library & Research
Like nearly everyone in the publishing industry these days, the publishing professors at SFU have plenty going on. For example, take Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin, who teaches PUB802: Technology & Evolving Forms of Publishing, is the Public Knowledge Project’s Associate Faculty Director of Research, is the recent recipient of the Open Scholarship Award from the Canadian Social Knowledge Institute, and on top of all of that is also the man behind many research projects at the Scholarly Communications Lab, which he co-directs.
While not all of them are directly related to the trade industry, almost everything they do is about scholarly publishing. We wanted to highlight some of the interesting things he and his team have been working on lately.
Cancer in the News
Alperin’s team is looking at news coverage of government-funded papers in biomedical research (specifically cancer) by analyzing how many times each study is mentioned in the news, and where. More specifically, they are looking at how the news is shared based on the 4 tiers of news coverage in both traditional and non-traditional outlets—a hierarchy that editors often use when determining the value of a story.
Open Source Altmetrics
They’re also working on building a tool for academic journals to have article-level metrics. Altmetrics are alternative ways of measuring scholarly impact, such as references in online news media and social media, as opposed to more traditional measures that identify things such as number of citations.
RPT (Review, Promotion, and Tenure) Project
Alperin and his team investigated the review, promotion, and tenure (RPT) process in the U.S. and Canada. Their goal was to deliver recommendations to universities and colleges that would encourage behavioural change towards a greater opening of access to research results.
They began by collecting RPT guidelines from over 100 institutions and assessed the degree to which they included Open Access (OA) recommendations.
“Despite countless policies and mandates promoting open access, as well as the development of tools and resources that facilitate it, and despite years of advocacy work, the majority of researchers are still not compelled to make their research outputs publicly available because the incentive structures that drive faculty’s research dissemination strategies remain unchanged,” says the team.
They found that only five (1%) of the RPT guidelines they studied explicitly mentioned OA, and in four of the five cases it was only “done to call attention to the potential problematic nature of these journals (which are seen as potentially of lower quality than subscription journals).”
The team is continuing on to Phase II of the project, where they will be studying faculty perceptions and beliefs regarding the RPT process, how RPT documents influence perceptions of the process, and the factors outside of RPT guidelines that influence how faculty disseminate their research.
Social Media Use by Researchers
In April, the team hosted a roundtable discussion about using social media to share science stories. Invited were: a YouTuber, an Instagram biologist, a traditional science journalist turned freelancer, and a journalist from Hakai Magazine (which specializes in citizen science).
Science Writers and Communicators of Canada
Similar to the roundtable discussion on how scientists are sharing science stories via social media, this project also looks at how science communicators are using untraditional methods to share their message (such as vlogging, instagramming, etc.).
As Science Writers and Communicators of Canada recently added “communicators” to their focus, Alperin’s team wanted to look at who and where these communicators are and how to best support them. They also wanted to look at how they differ from conventional science communicators in terms of standard ethics, accuracy, and practice; how they see themselves, and how they reach their audiences.
The findings will help identify the goals and challenges of science communication in Canada, and how to best support, train, and create outreach activities that will improve the quality of public engagement with science.
The team combed the social web to identify public concerns about diabetes to direct academic research on the disease. This method of harnessing public engagement to directly impact research helps connect and involve the general public in academia, and vice versa.
Measuring Facebook Engagement
Many people share things over social media privately, such as through direct message or email. This sharing, known as dark social, currently cannot be accurately tracked. So the team looked at how altmetrics measure dark social, and found that there is a considerable amount of sharing done out of the public sphere that is captured by altmetrics.
And some of their work has been recently published in papers:
Zika and Language Use on Social Media
In this paper, they looked at how during the Zika virus outbreak there was an uptick in Zika research. Although the purpose of sharing research was to communicate with and inform the general public, the team used a language detection algorithm and “found that up to 90% of Twitter and 76% of Facebook posts are in English” despite English not being the first language of those at the centre of the epidemic.
Among other things, their paper says, “Our results suggest that Facebook is a more effective channel than Twitter, if communication is desired to be in the native language of the affected country.” They also explain that altmetrics favour English-language communication, large Western publications, and Twitter, meaning we need to build nationally relevant metrics in order to more accurately measure social impact.
Looking at Networks on Twitter
This paper looks at how primary research literature affects the public’s understanding and engagement with science; and how knowledge diffuses using social media. In their small case study, they found that Open Access articles shared tended to stay within small communities comprised of mainly researchers and did not generally reach the outside community.
The DH Café series for Spring and Summer 2018 begins this month! The DH Café presents a series of short introductory workshops and informal discussions on topics relevant to the basic theories and methods behind digital research in the humanities. This semester, our theme is, “How Do You Put the Digital in a Humanities Project,” which will introduce you to the questions you need to consider and the challenges you might face when developing a DH project.
The first workshop will be held on January 24, with a workshop entitled Collecting, Organizing, and Describing Archival Research at 1:30–3:30 in the Wosk Seminar Room (W.A.C. Bennett Library 7100). If you are interested in attending, please register here.
You can also submit a project proposal to work with the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL). The deadline is February 1 and you can find more information on the Work with the DHIL page.
The Calgary-based author of numerous books of poetry, conceptual fiction, and criticism has also been active for two decades as a literary publisher with his acclaimed micro-press housepress (1997-2004) and its successor, no press (2005-present).
His talk will focus on this aspect of his literary work — the poet as publisher.
Get in touch with DHIL
Propose a digital research project
DH Café : Digital Pedagogy
KEY, SFU’s Big Data Initiative Events
SFU Library now has a subscription to Quill & Quire Omni, the online news service for book trade professionals in Canada. The site is updated frequently with current industry news.
Quill & Quire Omni also sends out a twice-weekly email newsletter with excerpts of the latest industry news. Faculty, staff, and graduate students in Publishing can contact Adena Brons (firstname.lastname@example.org), the liaison librarian for Publishing to be added to the email list.
Please note that this subscription DOES NOT include access to the Digital Edition of the Quill & Quire magazine. The Library has print subscriptions to Quill & Quire at Belzberg Library downtown.
The DHIL is pleased to bring our DH Skills workshop series back for the summer semester with three workshops: Intro to Preparing Character Data in R, Data Management Planning with SSHRC in mind, and Tableau for Humanists (the Tableau workshop will cover the same information as our previous Spring 2017 offering). The workshops are free and open to to all, but registration is required. See below for more details.
Intro to Preparing Character Data in R
June 29, 2017
SFU Burnaby (Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons)
In this workshop, we will focus on importing to R and preparing data for subsequent analysis. We will also learn how to organize files into a working directory and use scripts to replicate our work. Students will learn the different types of data-structures supported within R, different file extensions compatible with R, and some of the caveats of working with real-world text files. At the conclusion of the workshop students will be able to import text documents, strip metadata from texts embedded within larger data files, convert words to lower case, and separate words from full-line character strings. No R experience is necessary to participate in this workshop.
Note: Please bring your own laptop with the latest version of R and RStudio installed.
Data Management Planning with SSHRC in mind
July 11, 2017
SFU Burnaby (Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons)
Since the Tri-Agencies released their Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, there have many questions about researcher responsibilities for data management and data sharing. This hands-on workshop will guide participants through the research data lifecycle and data management planning using DMP Assistant, an online data management tool. We will also explore avenues for data deposit including SFU’s Research Data Repository, Radar.
Tableau for Humanists
July 21, 2017
SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre, Room 1505)
How do humanists visualize their data? In this workshop you will be introduced to a variety of visualizations of humanities’ data created in Tableau, one of the world’s leading software packages. After a demonstration of how researchers use Tableau, participants will be offered hands-on instruction in how to use Tableau to create a range of visualizations, including interactive displays. In the last half hour, participants will be given free time, to experiment their own visualizations and to consult with the instructors about their own data visualizations.
Note: Please bring your own, fully charged laptop with the latest version of Tableau or Tableau Public installed.
Don’t know who we are yet? Learn more about the the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab through our website: http://www.lib.sfu.ca/dhil. The site profiles current projects, provides information and registration for lab events, and details the ways the lab can support researchers.
If you have a project or an idea and are wondering how the lab can help, you can book a consultation through the website with a DHIL consultation request form. The lab also holds office hours on Tuesday mornings (10am-11am) in Burnaby (Room 724, Bennett Library) and at least once a month in Vancouver (times and locations vary). Updated office hours and locations can be found on the Contact Us page of the website.
16th International Conference on Books, Publishing & Libraries, University of Pennsylvania, 7 July 2018
Call for Papers
We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the Sixteenth International Conference on Books, Publishing & Libraries, held 7 July 2018 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA.
Founded in 2003, the International Conference on Books, Publishing & Libraries brings together scholars and practitioners around a common shared interest in exploring the histories, traditions, and futures of books, publishing, and libraries.
We invite proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, and colloquia. The conference features research addressing the annual themes.
For more information regarding the conference, use the links below to explore our conference website.
Submit your proposal by 3 July 2017.
We welcome the submission of proposals at any time of the year. All proposals will be reviewed within two to four weeks of submission.
Currently on display outside Special Collections and Rare Books is a selection of recently arrived material from a major collection of modern literary first editions. The collection was donated to Simon Fraser University Library by the former City Librarian of Vancouver, Paul Whitney, a lifelong collector.
The Whitney donation consists chiefly of numerous in-depth collections of the works and various editions of leading modern British, Canadian, American and world writers, including Martin Amis, J.G. Ballard, William Boyd, William Burroughs, Peter Carey, Angela Carter, J.M. Coetzee, Mavis Gallant, B.S. Johnson, Malcolm Lowry, Cormac McCarthy, Ian McEwan, Alice Munro, Haruki Murakami, Rohinton Mistry, Michael Ondaatje, Carol Shields, William Vollmann, David Foster Wallace, and many others.
The collections are comprised of rare and valuable volumes and first editions, including signed and advance copies, as well as more common books. In addition, the donation includes a smaller number of works in translation, plus in-depth collections of several leading literary and fine presses, including McSweeney’s (San Francisco), Gaspereau (Nova Scotia), and Blackfish (Vancouver).
The display will run until May 5, at Special Collections and Rare Books, Room 7100, W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby).