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e-Journal

 

Scientific Communication and the Dematerialization of Scholarship
(Released March 2007)

 
  by Douglas Brown  

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Glossary

Editor
 
Glossary

'Big Science': broadly, the massive expansion of scientific research and working scientists post-World War II, especially in the US from the large-scale investment in research and development of the 'Sputnik era' onwards. In information science, associated with Derek de Solla Price, whose groundbreaking Little Science, Big Science (1963) studied the exponential growth of science and founded the sub-field known as scientometrics.

citation impact: an author's formal reference to a fellow writer's work, acknowledging that it has been used and identifying that the work (citation) can be counted and taken as a measure of the usage and importance (impact) of the cited work.

cyberinfrastructure: a strategic orientation supported by the US National Science Foundation, calling for large-scale public investment to encourage the evolution of widely distributed computing via the telecommunications network, deploying the combined capacity of multiple sites, to underpin the advance of current research, initially in science and engineering.

data mining: automated searching of large bodies of data for the extraction of new information and previously unrecognised relationships.

e-print: an electronic version of a research paper, which is stored and accessible in a digital repository. A distinction is usually made between 'pre-prints' (pre-refereed working papers) and 'post-prints' (author's post-peer reviewed final draft).

intellectual property: a legal, generic term for a creation of the mind or intellect which has potential commercial value, and may have a right to protection under law relating to copyright, patents, trademarks, etc.

interoperability: a computer hardware or software system's capability to exchange data effectively with a different type of system and use the shared data.

Journal des Sçavans: initially a weekly periodical, inaugurated by Denys de Sallo (1626-1669), conseillor of the Parlement of Paris, the first issue appearing January 5, 1665. Generally regarded as the first scholarly journal, as well as news items and book reviews it included reports of findings of early scientific experiments and new discoveries in the arts.

mashups: in this context, a mashup is a web application or site mixing content from multiple sources.

metadata: structured data describing, in coded form, characteristics of documents or digital objects to help identify, locate and manage them.

Open Access: free availability of scholarly research literature, without restrictions of price or permissions, on the public Internet. Potentially achievable through researcher self-archiving in a digital repository or publication in an Open Access journal. Open Access developed into a full scale movement in the early 2000s, involving government intervention and moves towards legislation.

overlay journals: journals based on a selection of articles from multiple repositories as a user service, made possible by the development of digital repositories.

peer review: a standard procedure in scholarly publishing, whereby a prospective publisher submits the manuscript of an article to experts in the research field for their critical scrutiny, under conditions of anonymity, with the aim of assuring quality and reliability of findings.

rich media: a generic term for interactive media mixing text, audio, video, etc.

scholarly publishing: Scholars generally receive no direct financial reward for their work. The standard functions of scholarly publishing are: to register the author's intellectual priority; certify quality or validity of research; promote awareness through ensuring accessibility; and archive research for possible future use.

'Serials crisis': long term difficulties experienced by serials acquisitions departments of academic and research libraries in attempting to cover adequately the scholarly literature, due in varying degrees to volume of research, budgetary cuts, and in some fields dramatic rises in journal subscription pricing, particularly from the mid-1990s.

terabytes: a terabyte is a measure of data storage capacity, equivalent to one trillion, or 1012 bytes.

Web 2.0: a term introduced in 2004 to characterize design patterns in a constellation of new generation Web applications which may provide an infrastructure for more dynamic user participation, social interaction and collaboration.

workflows: a formalized representation of the movement of documents or tasks through a process of work. In a research context, workflows are now widely adopted in the life sciences and bioinformatics to address problems associated with, inter alia, very large amounts of data in varying formats.