Image from ‘Illustrated Battles of the Nineteenth Century. [By Archibald Forbes, Major Arthur Griffiths, and others.]’, 001266335. Via the Mechanical Curator, British Library
Image from ‘Illustrated Battles of the Nineteenth Century. [By Archibald Forbes, Major Arthur Griffiths, and others.]’, 001266335. Via the Mechanical Curator, British Library

Session 9 is taking place today. As every week our lecture will be divided in two segments.

The first one will cover researcher-led open access publishing, and the second one will concentrate on tools for online reference management. I see open access publishing and online reference software, including altmetrics or alternative metrics, as important components of the scholarly publishing landscape and research cycle, working closely together.

Paywalls create friction as they require scholars from different institutions (and those not working at  academic institutions) to subscribe to the same journals at the same time in order to successfully share publications. A reference without access to an output’s full text and/or resources is like an empty signifier, a roadsign leading to a wall. For online reference managers to fulfill their function fully, openness is required, not only for successful sharing amongst individuals but for successful metadata sharing. This often means going beyond the PDF…

So for the first segment of today’s session we will be honoured to have a guest lecture from Brian Hole, a researcher and publisher working within the humanities and information science, with a focus on ethics and inclusive systems.

He is the founder of a researcher-focused publishing company called Ubiquity Press, which specialises in open access academic journals and open data. He will talk to us about how they work on different ways to break down barriers to publishing, and the several interesting projects they have underway.

Ubiquity Press in on Twitter @ubiquitypress.  Brian is on Twitter @brian_hole.

In the second section of the lecture we’ll take a closer look at online reference managers, and why they matter for publishers, libraries and the research process, including funding and research assessment. As we are on the days in which you are getting ready to start working on final coursework and dissertations, I am hoping greater awareness of what you can achieve with these tools will be helpful. Though we will mention software like EndNote and RefWorks, we will be focusing on Zotero and Mendeley, and particularly the latter, which is currently my personal favourite.*

*I know this is controversial as Mendeley was bought by Elsevier. That didn’t make me happy either. I use Zotero too, as I know I’ll want to stop using Mendeley eventually. However, so far Mendeley works very smoothly online and I really like that.