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January 9, 2020

New Year’s Retrospective: Top 5 Topics of 2019

Posted by: Leah Rodriguez

Happy New Year! As we gear up for the new decade, we thought we'd take a quick look back at some of the industry topics and emerging trends that interested us in 2019.

From new developments in research technology to the heated debate over affordable article access, we've compiled a list of the five topics that garnered the most attention from our blog readers last year. 

Our Top 5 Hot Topic Countdown

#5 - Navigating shifts and conflicts in the world of scholarly publishing 

At times the rhetoric between publishers, librarians, and researchers can be confrontational and heated, particularly about Big Deal subscription renewals...or cancellations.  And yet, all the stakeholders really want the same thing - publication, distribution, and access to quality peer-reviewed research. 

Read more: Research at a Tipping Point?

#4 – Leveraging advances in reference management software

Reference management software, which has been around for decades, has automated the process to make it a whole lot easier than it used to be. Before reference management software existed, researchers had to manage their citations manually, with index cards and makeshift filing systems.

In recent years, these modern solutions have improved by leaps and bounds. Today’s multipurpose reference management solutions go beyond the basics of collecting and organizing bibliographic references to automate and simplify related tasks as well.

Read more: Mastering the Art of Modern Reference Management

 #3 – Using Google Scholar for content discovery

Because [Google Scholar] lets you search an array of disciplines and sources in a single list, you can quickly get a feel for the scholarly discussion around a specific topic. As such, Google Scholar is an excellent resource for performing high-level, preliminary research. It’s also useful for uncovering authors and publications relevant to your research.  

For precisely targeted, comprehensive searches, however, Google Scholar falls short…

Read more: Key Facts Researchers Should Know About Google Scholar (Note: Published in 2018, this post held on to a top spot among our readers in 2019.)

#2 - Evolving approaches to contract negotiations 

In the scholarly publishing sector, business models have evolved by journal. While some journals are funded primarily by subscriptions (usually from libraries), others are funded primarily by publication fees (i.e. authors and their funding institutions pay for Open Access). Still other journals use a hybrid model, which involves both subscriptions and APCs (article processing charges for Open Access).

 A more recent development, which has emerged over the past two years, is based on the idea that contracts between institutions and publishers might change over time. Increasingly, institutions are demanding a sustainable shift to global open access to research. And that's where Read & Publish and Publish & Read agreements come into the picture…

Read more: The Lowdown on Read & Publish 

 #1: Saving money on article access

Accessing the full-text PDF of a scientific research paper is not always easy. If it's not available from the place where you found the citation, you'll have to dig deeper. That means hopping around from various search engines and publisher sites until you find a place where you can access the full-text document.

But don't break out the champagne just yet!

Next, you need to decide how you want to access the article. Do you want to rent or purchase? Might you already have access to the paper through a subscription? Is there an Open Access version available? Buying research papers can get costly. To avoid spending a whole lot of money purchasing every article you find, these are all critical factors to consider.

Read more: How to Obtain Peer ‑ Reviewed Articles Without Breaking the Bank

We’re excited to see what 2020 has in store for the research community—and we look forward to sharing any valuable information, insights and analysis on the things that matter to you! If you’d like to suggest a topic for us to cover this year, we welcome your input! Contact us to share your ideas.

Topics: research google scholar scholarly publishing article access reference management software

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