Global survey of scholarly communication tool usage

101Innovations_website image

The availability and use of digital tools supporting the research workflow—tools for discovery, analysis, writing, publication, outreach and assessment—has exploded in recent years. Several major companies involved in publishing, distribution, and discovery have entered the “research services” space, along with numerous start-ups, large and small.

Here at George Mason University, for example, tools such as Zotero, Omeka, and PressForward have been developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media to help researchers organize, cite, curate, and publish research and collections.

Bianca Kramer and Jeroen Bosman, researchers at Utrecht University Library, are conducting a global survey on the use of digital tools in the research workflow. Kramer and Bosman have developed the “101 Innovations in Scholarly Communications” website, blog, database, examples of workflows, presentations, and posters supporting this project. Kramer and Bosman provide an excellent launching pad to explore the changes underway in research and scholarly communication; their database now includes more than 575 tools.

There are some advantages to participating in the survey:

  • You’ll be able to benchmark yourself against your peers—after completing the survey you can opt in to be provided with a visualization of your use of digital tools compared to your peers.
  • Institutions/universities can receive a customized URL that will allow them to see digital research tool usage within their institution/university.
  • You’ll contribute to the international effort to chart the evolving landscape of scholarly communication.

Anyone carrying out research (from Master’s students to professors), or supporting research (such as librarians, publishers and funders) can participate.

Faculty and students from George Mason University should take the survey from our custom survey ULR, which will allow Mason Publishing and the University Libraries to compare (anonymous) data from Mason peers.

The survey will run until February 2016.

It takes about 10 minutes to complete and you can opt to receive a visual characterization of your workflow compared to that of your peer group via email.

Kramer and Bosman’s report on the survey’s preliminary results indicate that through October 31, 2015, the survey has generated more than 5,373 responses, primarily from faculty and PhD students. Disciplines are fairly well distributed although Life Sciences has taken the lead with 1,903 responses. Kramer and Bosman also reported on the differences, to date, between librarians and researchers (Faculty/PhD students/Postdocs) regarding the use of tools to measure impact, such as Altmetric, Impactstory, Scopus, JCR, and others. Researchers are using traditional impact factor tools while librarians are using or recommending altmetric tools at a higher rate than their researcher counterparts.

For more information on this survey and its results so far:

From free, open source tools like Zotero, to Thomson Reuters’ EndNote, from to Google’s Ngram Viewer, the availability of new digital tools is changing the way students, faculty, and other researchers are creating, sharing, and processing information. This revolution is not being televised.


University Press Week:

This post is part of the #UPWeek blog tour.

Visit the other University Press blog posts on today’s topic, The Future of Scholarly Publishing:

Indiana University Press

Oxford University Press

University Press of Colorado

University Press of Kansas

University of North Carolina Press

University Press Week and the #UPWeek Blog Tour

University Press Week kicks off today with several University Presses participating in the #UPWeek blog tour. (Mason Publishing/George Mason University Press will participate in the blog tour tomorrow.)


First, essential reading is University Press of California’s Alison Mudditt’s guest post on the Scholarly Kitchen blog, discussing the important contributions made by University Presses. Alison interviews luminaries such as Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communication, Modern Language Association; Niko Pfund, President and Academic Publisher, Oxford University Press; Jon Cawthorne, Dean of Libraries, West Virginia University; and Leila Salisbury, Director, University Press of Mississippi, to gather insights on the contributions that university presses make to scholarship and scholarly communication. As Alison mentions, its not hard to find articles about the decline or perceived obsolescence of University Presses, but regarding UPs, there is more than meets the eye: more University Presses have opened than closed in recent years, for examples, but it’s the closures (or near closures), that get the attention).

(If you missed Alison’s first post on Scholarly Kitchen, discussing open access and monographs, you can find it here.)

The University Press of Florida takes readers on a brief food tour of Florida and some of the marvelous cookbooks they have published over the years. University Presses are known, and should be known, for their fine publications of academic monographs, but often overlooked are other fine publications by UPs, such as novels, poetry, childrens books, and cookbooks. Here we’ve got such delectable treats as Mango and the Versailles Restaurant Cookbook. This certainly whets our appetite for more University Press books!

The University Press of New England talks about the amazing success of author Marc Solomon and his book, Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits—and Won. Here’s an author with a great book, great timing, and the willingness and ability to tirelessly publicize the book. Yes, we love authors like this!

Speaking of meeting the press, the University of Mississippi Press writes about the surprising results of their collaboration with an independent bookstore and a daily newspaper.

Take a POP QUIZ about University Presses and their books, courtesy of the University Press of Kentucky‘s blog. Their quiz reveals surprising facts about members of the Association of American University Presses . I’m not sure if I did good or bad, I guess it all depends, but I answered 7 out of 10 correctly.

University of Nebraska Press, one of those UPs with a great track record of publishing literature, publishes some facts about their staff. Yes, indeed, real people work at University Presses!

University of California Press mentions some of the surprising facts about University Presses, such as their open access books and journals. What, Open Access?! That is surprising!

University of Wisconsin Press talks about some of their mystery fiction. talks about some of their mystery fiction. If you think it’s a mystery why University Presses are publishing murder fiction, you haven’t been paying attention.

The Open Media (R)Evolution

The theme for this year’s International Open Access Week was “Open for Collaboration,” highlighting the ways in which Open Access enables new avenues for collaboration and creativity among and between scholars, researchers, and innovators in all disciplines. Broadening the Open Access movement’s traditional focus on scientific disciplines, Mason’s nationally ranked Forensics Team explored how these themes of collaboration and “openness” have revolutionized the entertainment industry and fundamentally altered the ways in which we create, share, and experience media.

This roundtable discussion, entitled “The Open Media (R)Evolution,” was hosted by the University Libraries on October 22, 2015, as part of George Mason’s seventh annual observance of International Open Access Week.  The students covered topics such as entertainment revenue models in a collaborative world, Open Access and contemporary theater, the curation of online media, and issues of ownership in musical mashups. Forensics Team members leading this discussion were Nathan Leys, government and international politics major; Samuel Abney, communications major; Natalia Castro, integrative studies major; and AK Komanduri, government and international politics major.

George Dresses Up for Open Access Week!

Since 1995, when the statue was first brought to campus, Mason students and organizations have decorated George’s statue to share school spirit and promote events. On Monday, October 19, the Mason Publishing Group dressed up George to kick start Mason’s celebration of International Open Access Week. Many thanks to PLoS, Frontiers, and BioMed Central for providing George with all his Open Access Week finery!

International Open Access Week (October 19-25, 2015)

It’s that time of year again – International Open Access Week, October 19-25, 2015, is almost upon us! This will be Mason’s 7th year of celebrating Open Access Week, which began as a student-led national day of action in 2007. See below for our exciting line-up of workshops, presentations, and activities and join us at any or all of these events!


MARS “Deposit-a-thon”

Jeri Wieringa and Claudia Holland (Mason Publishing Group)

Do you have scholarly items that you would like to upload to MARS but just haven’t had the time to start the process? To kick off International Open Access Week (October 19-25), Mason Publishing Group is hosting a MARS “deposit-a-thon” to help you get your scholarship into our institutional repository.

On Monday, October 19, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, we will be in the Fenwick 2nd Floor Conference Room, ready to guide you through the process of setting up an account (if you don’t have one) and uploading content to MARS. Drop by with your CV and, if possible, a laptop, to get advice on your publishers, identify which versions of your published articles you can upload, and start entering those items into MARS. Start International OA Week by releasing your scholarship beyond the paywall!

We will have cookies but BYOD.

Monday, October 19, 1 to 3 p.m., Fenwick Library, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Fairfax Campus


Tips and Tricks for Sharing Your Research

Wendy Mann (Data Services) and Jeri Wieringa (Mason Publishing Group)

Is your grant funder or publisher requiring that you openly share your data and/or research findings? Are you interested in making versions of your scholarship and data available online with no pay barrier, but are not sure how? Join us on Tuesday, October 20, for “Tips and Tricks for Sharing Your Research.” Presenters will provide an overview of the services offered by the George Mason University Libraries to support researchers in preparing and openly distributing their scholarship.

Topics discussed will include: an overview of the repository services, how you can get your research (manuscripts, data, etc.) into our repository, and guidance on best practices for sharing research. There will be time for Q&A and discussion.

Tuesday, October 20, 3 to 4 p.m., Johnson Center, Gateway Library Instruction Room, Fairfax Campus

Info Table

Come pick up some free swag and ask one of our librarians about Open Access to research and open educational resources! The info tables will also feature materials about ORCID (, a free service that provides researchers with a unique identifier to distinguish their research activities from those of others with similar names.

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Founders Hall Lobby, Arlington Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Gateway Library and Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Mercer Library, Prince William Campus


Workshop: How to Make Your Published Articles Open Access

Stephen Robertson (RRCHNM/History & Art History), Jeri Wieringa (Digital Publishing Production Lead, Mason Publishing Group, University Libraries), and Claudia Holland (Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office, Mason Publishing Group, University Libraries) 

Regardless of what journals you publish in, you can make your articles freely available online in Mason’s institutional repository, MARS. Making publications open access in this way can raise the visibility of your research, and allow it to be shared with audiences without access to university libraries able to afford to subscribe to the journals in which you publish. In this workshop Claudia Holland (Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office, Mason Publishing Group, University Libraries) and Jeri Wieringa (Digital Publishing Production Lead, Mason Publishing Group, University Libraries) and Stephen Robertson (RRCHNM/History & Art History) will take you through the process of making your publications open access, addressing:

  • What versions of your articles you can make open access
  • When you can make your articles open access
  • How you deposit your open access articles in MARS, GMU’s institutional repository
  • What you can do with open access articles in MARS

Wednesday, October 21, 12 to 1 p.m., Johnson Center Conference Room A, Fairfax Campus

Info Table

Come pick up some free swag and ask one of our librarians about Open Access to research and open educational resources! The info tables will also feature materials about ORCID (, a free service that provides researchers with a unique identifier to distinguish their research activities from those of others with similar names.

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Founders Hall Lobby, Arlington Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Gateway Library and Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Mercer Library, Prince William Campus


The Open Media (R)Evolution

George Mason University Forensics Team

Online access to media has revolutionized how consumers experience music, television, film, and games. Free or low cost distribution and production models allow us to expand our appreciation for new genres and create exciting new material to share.

Join us on October 22 when student members of the nationally ranked GMU Forensics Team discuss how open media models have changed our role as consumers and as creators of new content. How have they sparked collaboration among established and new partnerships? What does the entertainment industry gain from making their material ‘free’? What are the barriers to this explosion in digital content?

Share your opinions and questions during this free discussion! Light refreshments will be served.

Featured speakers are Samuel Abney, communication major; Natalia Castro, integrative studies; AK Komanduri, government and international politics major; and Nathan Leys, government and international politics major.

Thursday, October 22, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Alan and Sally Merten Hall, Room 1202, Fairfax Campus

Info Table

Come pick up some free swag and ask one of our librarians about Open Access to research and open educational resources! The info tables will also feature materials about ORCID (, a free service that provides researchers with a unique identifier to distinguish their research activities from those of others with similar names.

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Founders Hall Lobby, Arlington Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Gateway Library and Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Mercer Library, Prince William Campus


Create a Dynamic Classroom Experience Using Open Educational Resources: a workshop for curious educators

Jane Rosecrans, Karyn Pallay, and Josh Watson (J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College) and Claudia Holland (George Mason University Libraries)

Online access to free learning materials has allowed educators, like you, more freedom and creativity than ever to tailor their courses. You have the freedom to reuse all types of media, to modify content to suit your pedagogy and your students’ learning styles, and to create completely new material. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to reduce textbook costs for your students!

But how do you know when content on the web can be modified and reused? Can you rely on the purported quality of, for example, open textbooks? What can you do to share materials you create with a broader audience and still get credit for the time and effort you put into them? Why consider using anything but the traditional textbook you have selected for a course? You might already be using open resources in your courses. Are you making this cost-savings known to potential enrollees?

The Virginia Community College System is a nationally recognized leader in using and building open educational resources. Join this experienced team of faculty in an interactive two-hour workshop to explore answers to these questions and learn more about the following topics:

  • Why OER?
  • Defining OER Terms and Concepts
  • Finding and Evaluating OER and free course materials
  • Building an OER Course
  • Understanding Creative Commons Licenses and Applying them to your own course materials
  • Evaluating the Quality and Effectiveness of OER materials in your course
  • OER and Student Success and Retention

The University Libraries wants to hear how your use of open resources can be supported. Please register for this workshop today and save your place! There are only 35 seats available.

Friday, October 23, 1 to 3 p.m., Johnson Center, Gateway Library Instruction Room, Fairfax Campus

Participate in the International “101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication” Survey

What tools do you use in your research workflow? Web of Science or Google Scholar? Zotero or Papers? ORCID or ResearchGate? JCR or Altmetric?


Diagram of the steps of the research workflow: "Discovery, Analysis, Writing, Publication, Outreach, and Assessment"


George Mason University faculty and graduate students are invited to take this graphical survey—101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication—about research tool use. It takes about 10 minutes to complete and you can opt to receive a visual characterization of your workflow compared to that of your peer group via email.

Why participate? You will learn how your use of digital research tools compares to that of your peers, and you may discover some new tools. You’ll inform Mason’s University Libraries about what you use so that we can optimize library services and resources to suit your needs. By taking this survey, developed by librarians at Utrecht University, you are also contributing to a global effort to chart the evolving landscape of scholarly communication. The survey will investigate how tool usage varies by discipline, country, and research role. The survey will run until February 2016.

Preliminary results of this international survey, as well as the final dataset, will be posted on the 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication site. The University Libraries will also share our community’s dataset and produce a publicly available report.

The survey link above is unique to the George Mason Community. If you wish to promote the survey to scholars outside of George Mason, please direct them to


Publish your conference proceedings with Mason Publishing

Screen shot of the Innovations in Teaching & Learning Conference Proceedings.Mason Publishing Group recently partnered with the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (CTFE) to publish the proceedings from this year’s Innovation in Teaching and Learning Conference. The event, which was sponsored in part by the University Libraries and Mason Publishing Group, was very successful, bringing in over 300 attendees and featuring the scholarship of many of our colleagues in the library.

Built using our journal publishing platform, Open Journal Systems, the Conference Proceedings served as an online guide to the conference, providing access to session information and presentation abstracts in a mobile-friendly format. It will continue to serve as a place for presenters to share their papers and presentation materials with colleagues locally and across the broad academic community. The publication has been very successful, with 71 unique visitors to the site during the two days of the conference and pre-conference workshops, many of whom returned to the site multiple times.

We invite you to browse the Conference Proceedings and learn more about the excellent panels and posters presented at

Publishing conference proceedings is a priority for the Mason Publishing Group. There is an abundance of innovative research taking place and being shared on the George Mason campuses, but that research is at risk of being ephemeral without mechanisms to publish, share, and preserve. As you plan for upcoming conferences, consider publishing the proceedings with Mason Publishing.

To learn more about publishing conference proceedings with the Mason Publishing Group, contact John Warren at

Public Access Plans for Federally Funded Research

In the “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research” policy memorandum released in February 2013, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Holdren directed Federal agencies with more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication. The memorandum also required researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.

The final policy reflects substantial inputs from scientists and scientific organizations, publishers, members of Congress, and other members of the public—over 65 thousand of whom recently signed a We the People petition asking for expanded public access to the results of taxpayer-funded research.

Click here to see the list of agencies that have made their implementation plans public.

The Scholarly Communication Program at Columbia University has also put together brief summaries of the agencies’ proposed solutions for providing public access to articles and digital data sets.

Get recognized with ORCID

To assist you in your research, from the grant writing phase through publication of your results, the University Libraries encourages you to register with ORCID to generate a unique identifier that can be tied to all your scholarship throughout your professional career.

What is an ORCID identifier and how does it help you? Once registered (only takes about 30 seconds), you are assigned a persistent identifier (16-digit URI; e.g., that distinguishes you from every other researcher, including individuals with the same or a similar name. That is, ORCID serves as a registry that disambiguates names, specifically for researchers. Your unique identifier ensures that the research objects you produce (or have already produced), such as articles, reviews, datasets, media, experiments, lab notebooks, and more, are affiliated with your name and your name only.

For more detailed information, please see or this short video “What is ORCID?” from ORCID on Vimeo.

Increasingly, an ORCID ID is required when submitting grant and patent applications, and it is useful at the outset of submitting manuscripts and peer reviews to a publisher. It can be affiliated with items and research data you deposit in the Mason Archival Repository Service (MARS) (or, for large data files, Dataverse) for long-term access and preservation. There is no limit to the records you create—ORCID is free.

ORCID uses APIs to support system-to-system communication and authentication, both to upload and export citation data. You may use your ORCID account as your digital research profile, with updated records pushed into ORCID by trusted individuals on your behalf. You have the option to make your profile as open or private as you like.

As a proponent of research stewardship, the University Libraries encourages the Mason community to create and use an ORCID ID.


Coming Soon: The Five George Masons

Together with Gunston Hall, George Mason University Press is pleased to announce the publication of a new edition of The Five George Masons: Patriots and Planters of Virginia and Maryland, by Pamela C. Copeland and Richard K. MacMaster, to be released Fall 2015.

First published in 1975, this work tells the history of the George Mason family, from George Mason (I) who arrived in the Colony of Virginia around 1652 through George Mason (V), son of the revolutionary patriot. In tracing the family history of the Masons, Copeland provides important context for understanding the life and work of George Mason (IV), drafter of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and vocal proponent of state and individual rights.