23 Apr 2024

IOAP Inaugural Diamond Open Access Publishing Awards 2024

Jane Buggle, Co-Manager, IOAP, and Institute Librarian, IADT.

The importance of Diamond Open Access globally is underlined by some key developments and reports including:  the Science Europe Diamond OA Action Plan and Report of the 2nd Diamond Open Access Conference; the DIAMAS Landscape Report and Sustainability Report; the CRAFT-OA Diamond Discovery Hub, and the NORF Action Plan and ensuing NORF-funded projects.

In January, I posted a call for nominations for the inaugural IOAP Diamond Open Access Publishing Awards. Submissions were invited in the following categories:

= Best Peer-Reviewed Open Access Journal
= Best Peer-Reviewed Open Access Monograph
= Best Open Educational Resource
= Outstanding Contribution to Diamond Open Access Publishing in Ireland

The response was phenomenal.  Almost 50 submissions were received across the categories, most being for the Journal and Outstanding Contribution categories.  Unfortunately, there were no qualifying nominations for the OA Monograph category.

The Judges

  • Judith Barnsby (Head of Editorial, DOAJ)
  • Jane Burns (Director of Education and Public Engagement, Technological University of the Shannon)
  • Dr Catherine Cronin (Independent Open Educator and Researcher)
  • Jan Erik Frantsvag (Open Access Advisor, UIT Arctic University of Norway, and WP Lead EU Project DIAMAS)
  • Mark Huskisson (Senior Consultant, PKP, and Co-Chair of the Commons, OPERAS)
  • Dr Lai Ma (Assistant Professor, School of Information and Communications Studies, UCD)
  • Dr Graham Stone (Subject Matter Expert OA Monographs, Jisc, and Lead on the EU Project DIAMAS)

The judges were very impressed with the standard of the submissions and the decisions were close calls with just one point separating some of them.  The winners of the awards were announced at the Inaugural IOAP Annual Conference held online on 12th March and the winners each were afforded the opportunity to discuss their projects.







The Winners

Best Peer-Reviewed Diamond Open Access Journal        

Alphaville Journal of Film and Screen Media
Alphaville is published by the Department of Film and Screen Media at University College Cork and is archived in CORA, the Cork Open Research Archive, UCC Library. The judges were impressed by the high quality of the content, the engaging design features, the adherence to the highest publishing standards which have earned it the DOAJ Seal, and by the consistency of its publication over many years. Dr Laura Rascarolli, Editor-in-Chief, accepted the award for the Alphaville Team.

Best Open Educational Resource

MTU Assignment Toolkit
The MTU Assignment Toolkit was designed by the Library Team at Munster Technological University. The judges commented on its ease of use and its comprehensiveness across all areas of information skills, and the awarding of digital badges up completion. Sinead Hanrahan accepted the award on behalf of MTU Library.

Outstanding Contribution to Diamond Open Access Publishing in Ireland

The judges had a particularly difficult time adjudicating this category because of the high calibre of submissions. In the end, they could not differentiate between two exceptional submissions.  They also felt that a third submission should receive an Honourable Mention.

  • Joint Winners

Yvonne Desmond
The judges were highly impressed by the sterling work that Yvonne Desmond did over a 15-year period to champion Diamond Open Access Publishing at Technical University Dublin. Yvonne built up Arrow@TUDublin over this period to be one of the most successful open repositories in the country, with over 11m downloads and some 14 Diamond OA academic journals. The judges commended Yvonne’s significant contribution to Diamond OA at the EU level through the EUt+ project.

The SCENARIO Project

The judges applauded the work of Dr Manfred Schewes and Dr Susanne Even in establishing the SCENARIO Project which comprises the SCENARIO Journal, the Scenario (E-)Book Series, and the Scenario Forum, the SCENARIO Correspondents Initiative, and the SCENARIO Archive. The Project is run by the Department of Theatre and the Department of German at University College Cork. SCENARIO Journal was founded in 2007. Dr Manfred Schewes and Dr Susanne Even accepted the award.

  • Honourable Mention

The judges unanimously agreed that Professor Peter Coles, Maynooth University, should be awarded an Honourable Mention. This award recognises Professor Coles’ tireless advocacy of Diamond OA scientific publishing and, in particular, his founding of the influential Open Journal of Astrophysics, published by MU Library.

The IOAP Committee was delighted to announce such high calibre winners of the inaugural IOAP Diamond Open Access Publishing Awards and sends warm congratulations to all. We are also very grateful to all the nominators and the nominees. We look forward to a receiving a wide selection of submissions in 2025 after which a Winners’ Symposium will be held, giving the IOAP Award Winners an opportunity to share their winning projects and journals. The IOAP Annual Conference will be an in-person event in 2025. Details to follow.

16 Apr 2024

Libfocus Link-out for April 2024

Welcome to the April edition of the Libfocus link-out, an assemblage of library-related things we have found informative, educational, thought-provoking and insightful on the Web over the past while.

Nine images: A woman browses bookshelves, graphic of a woman looking at a hand holding a smartphone, a chat icon on a chain hitting the Google logo, a coloured in image of a dog, a figure standing in a blue tunnel, people sitting in front of a screen showing a chat bot, graphic of linked data, origami birds flying over balled up paper, people studying in a library.
Images featured in this month's link-out articles

New report on the sustainability of Diamond OA in Europe.

A study from DIAMAS, which is led by SPARC Europe, looks at what financial sustainability means for institutional publishing in Europe.

An introduction to library linked data.
Following on from the recent OCLC announcement regarding efforts to bring linked data into cataloguing workflows, this Next article by Jeff Mixter explains what it means and why libraries should be interested.

Passive programming as a wellness strategy for the overworked outreach librarian.
On the Woc+lib blog Ginny Barnes looks at passive programmes as part of Outreach and their potential benefits to both librarians and their communities.

Intersectional Accessibility: Creating Inclusive Spaces, Examining Ebook Accessibility.
In this article from the Library Journal Sossity Chiricuzio and Matt Enis explore the challenges in creating inclusive accessible spaces. They examine how academic publishers are slowing progress towards ebook accessibility.

What Brings Gen Z to the Library?
What do Gen Zers, born between 1997 and 2012, want from their academic library? In this EdSurge article Jennifer Howard highlights the findings of various studies around the library use of the Generation Z cohort.

Here’s why AI search engines really can’t kill Google.
In this piece for The Verge David Pierce writes about AI search tools. He argues that though they are getting better they are not ready to replace Google in most searches any time soon.

Rational Simplicity: Celebrating Rudolph de Harak, an unsung hero of mid-century graphic design.
In this It's Nice That blog post Richard Poulin celebrates the trailblazing graphic designer Rudolph de Harak. His colourful, witty and warm designs appeared on over 350 book covers as well as on record sleeves and magazines. His modernist principles even transformed an office building in New York into 'an unforgettable visual experience.'

Women, academia and the unequal production of knowledge – An LSE Impact Blog review.
Michael Taster draws together articles that explore the gendered nature of research and scholarly communication. Read on to understand the inequalities at play in academia that disadvantage women.

7 AI Tools for internal Communicators.
Patty Rivas looks at how the role of internal communications (IC) has expanded far beyond message creation and distribution as technology advances and workplaces evolve. And AI is entering the field - how is it being used? And what are some tools that you could be using?

What Libraries Risk When They Go Digital.
In this Time: Made by History article, T.C.A. Achintya examines how libraries and archives across the world have worked to digitise their resources over the past few years. The United States, United Kingdom, and India, for instance, have all invested in expanding digital collections for their records. A recent ransomware attack on the British Library, and the many months-long disruption it has caused forces us to ask how safe these digital records are.

Predatory and Questionable Publishing Practices: How to Recognise and Avoid Them.
This guide, written by open access specialists at universities across the Netherlands, provides insight and practical advice for authors on how to avoid questionable and predatory journals.

Transitional Agreements Aren’t Working: What Comes Next?
Alison Mudditt's Scholarly Kitchen article looks at how ten years have passed since the Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc) in the UK launched its first “transitional agreement” (TA) with Springer Nature. Since then, Jisc has negotiated and/or renewed 75 TAs with 47 publishers. Based on the journal flipping rates observed between 2018 – 2022 it would take at least 70 years for the big five publishers to flip their TA titles to OA.

10 Apr 2024

Autism Month and library work: Some introspective and wide ranging thoughts

This article is written by Elaine Chapman, who is a library assistant in Technological University Dublin. 

Elaine is a white woman with short, curly dark hair. The photograph is a headshot, the background behind her is a large window, and a tree. She is wearing a vibrant green woolly jumper.
Elaine Chapman

I am hoping to cover two things in this blog post:

  • Some thoughts on current issues for autistic or otherwise disabled library workers.
  • The history of World Autism Month, and the change that needs to happen.
I am an autistic library worker. I thought it might be nice to write up a blog for Libfocus on #WorldAutismMonth. I still wonder how accessible our profession, which actively promotes accessibility for its users, is for its own staff. I get the impression that it is quite hit and miss. Speaking to staff in multiple institutions and libraries, some staff, they get great support, whilst others within the same institutions do not. Some get managers who know about reasonable accommodations, others get managers who don’t know but are willing to listen to issues and resolve them, but others still get managers who are resistant to changing how they work with their staff. And staff can only get support if they are in a position to disclose their disability, which many still do not feel safe to do. Some mask incredibly heavily to try and fit into the societal expectation that adults must work full time. This often winds up with people getting heavily burned out and unable to work at all.

For some of us, it’s not possible to fit that narrative, especially with co-occurring conditions like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, ADHD, dyspraxia and more. For some of us, we can only work part time, and within the current system, these people have a hard glass ceiling above their heads. How can they apply for jobs that just are not there? Even looking at the likes of job share for a full-time position; you often have to work the full time hours until a second person can be found. For many of us, not just disabled people, this is not an option. There needs to be better options across the profession. I am happy to see that some institutions and library systems are embracing part-time work, but this is done ad hoc. I feel like there needs to be an investigation done into what we, as colleagues, or perhaps the LAI, can do to embrace adequate career progression paths for all of our colleagues. By this, I mean, how do we ensure that all staff get training on things like reasonable accommodations, working with staff with disabilities, alongside considering how our systems may be restrictive and in need of change. 

Any change should of course be pursued and looked at through an intersectional lens as it’s not just disabled people that these issues impact, but also because our disabled staff may also face societal barriers from the likes of systemic racism, sexism, and much more. This refers to intersectionality, a term coined by the scholar and civil rights activist, KimberlĂ© Crenshaw. To take a quote from her first article on the subject, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics:

Imagine a basement which contains all people who are disadvantaged on the basis of race, sex, class, sexual preference, age and/or physical ability. These people are stacked-feet standing on shoulders-with those on the bottom being disadvantaged by the full array of factors, up to the very top, where the heads of all those disadvantaged by a singular factor brush up against the ceiling. Their ceiling is actually the floor above which only those who are not disadvantaged in any way reside. (1989, p. 151)

Fobazi Ettarh writes a very good article on intersectionality and why representation of differences is important in libraries, with particular focuses on gender and racism: Making a new table: Intersectional librarianship.

Now I get onto the second part of my blog: World Autism Month.

I’m not sure many outside of the neurodivergent and autistic communities realize this, but this month can be quite draining for a lot of us. The old Light It Up Blue campaign, for Autism Awareness Day, was created by a charity called Autism Speaks. This charity has numerous issues and a very negative history within our community. Some examples of why include:

As it is, this month often focuses on us educating others, including through free labour. What I would like to see is the community reclaiming the month to celebrate ourselves, and to fight for our needs. Focus less on educating others, but let them see who we are and the fact that is okay to be happy being autistic, no matter what part of the spectrum you are on. There are 11 other months of the year where people can be educated. If allies are willing to educate during this month, that is fine. But sometimes autistic people need a break from this. So let this be their month, to rest, recuperate and celebrate. Make time, this month, to ask your staff what they need from you for the month. And I say the same for other minorities for their months too - if they need compassion and understanding during their month, they should get that too.

What I’d like to see, during future autism months are things like wellbeing events for neurodivergent staff, sensory and physical access audits of your work environments, neurodivergent staff and external people being paid for their advice, the official recognition of systemic barriers to employment within our profession, and projects looking into the provision of better supports for neurodivergent staff.

And make sure to celebrate Autistic Pride on June 18th, and possibly contact the likes of Neuro Pride Ireland, AsIAm, and AUsome training. It’s worth noting that AUsome training have a conference occurring this month on mental health and supports for autistic people: AUsome Training: Minding Autistic Minds Conference 2024. There is also an international group for neurodivergent library staff: NLISN (Neurodivergent Library and Information Staff Network)

To this end, and the end of supporting all staff from various minorities, I am working on setting up an EDI group within the LAI. If anyone is interested in learning more, please email mailto:laiedicommittee@gmail.com
Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 | Categories: