Impact of Social Sciences – Academic citation practices need to be modernized so that all references are digital and lead to full texts.
gavinbaker's bookmarks 2014-06-23
" ... Referencing should instead be about directly connecting readers to the full text of your sources, ideally in a one-stop way. Readers should be able to go directly (in a single click and in real time) to the specific part of the full text of the source that is being cited ... Referencing should connect readers as far as possible to open access sources, and scholars should in all cases and in every possible way treat the open access versions of texts as the primary source. Versions of the text that depend upon paid access (buying the book, or subscribing to the journal) should be relegated to the status of secondary sources, supplementary information for status-conscious academics (or their promotion committees), but not forming part of the core information about a text. This may seem revolutionary but it is actually just a reflection and slight extension of the new rules that the British government’s research funding body has already introduced for the next ‘research excellence framework’ (REF) exercise, expected in 2020. For any academic’s or researcher’s journal articles to be considered as part of a university case for REF funding support they will either need to be available in open access form in the journal, or the university must show an immediate pre-publication version of the paper on their e-depository ... So the primary version of a journal article, the version that we should reference first and most prominently in our own work, and that we should always provide links to, should be in one of four forms:  An article in a wholly open-access journal. This is probably the best option because a well-known journal is easy to find, and most readers in the field will already know that in this source they can click through to any paper, maximizing their incentives to do so.  An open-access article within a journal that is generally behind a pay-wall. Those readers who click through to it will still get the full text here, because the authors or their university or grant donor have paid to secure that. But current estimates suggest that less than 5% of articles in paywall journals are open access, so readers may not expect it. This status needs to be clearly communicated e.g. by putting [Open access] at the end of every relevant reference. Otherwise, readers may see this as just another legacy source.  The immediate pre-publication version available on the university e-depository. Essentially this is the author’s final manuscript version, so that the text and Figures etc are completely identical to those in the formally published version — but, of course, the pagination is not the same. Publishers like to claim that their printed version ‘adds value’ compared to a depository version, but for most readers any gain will be imperceptible, while the published diagrams, graphs and charts are often worse than the author’s originals (e.g. in black and white instead of colour).  The immediate pre-publication version available on another widely accessible and well-used access open access site, such as the brilliant Research Gate, or perhaps academia.edu. (If you don’t know about these sites already, please read my post on not being an academic hermit) ..."