Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Last volume 4 issue of IJDC just published

On Monday this week, we published volume 4, issue 3 of IJDC. From one respect, this was a miracle of speed publishing, as 7 of the peer-reviewed articles had just been delivered the previous week as part of the International Digital Curation Conference. But we also included an independent article, plus 1 peer-reviewed paper and 3 articles with a rather longer gestation, originating in papers at iPres 2008! There are good and bad reasons for that too lengthy delay.

I wrote in the editorial that I would reproduce part of it for this blog, to attract comment, so here that part is.
"But first, some comments on changes, now and in the near future, that are needed. One major change is that Richard Waller, our indefatigable Managing Editor, has decided to concentrate his energies on Ariadne. Richard has done a grand job for us over the past few years, in his supportive relationships with authors, his detailed and careful editing, and in commissioning general articles. To quote one author: “I note that the standard of Richard’s reviewing is much better than [a leading publisher's]; they let an article of mine through with very bad mistakes in the references without flagging them for review, and were not so careful about flagging where they had changed my text, not always for the better”. The success of IJDC is in no small way a result of Richard’s sterling efforts over the years. I am very grateful to him, and wish him well for the future: Ariadne authors are very lucky!
"Looking to the future of IJDC, we will have Shirley Keane as Production Editor, working with Bridget Robinson who provides a vital link to the International Digital Curation Conference, and several other members of the DCC community. We are seeking to work more closely with the Editorial Board in the commissioning role and to draw on the significant expertise of this group.

"In parallel, we have been reviewing how IJDC works, and are proposing some changes to enhance our business processes and I shall be writing to the Editorial Board shortly. For example, we expect to include articles in HTML- as well as PDF format, to introduce changes to reduce the publishing lead times, and a possible new section with particular practitioner orientation. As part of reduced publishing lead times, we are considering releasing articles once they have been edited after review, leading to a staggered issue which is “closed” once complete. I’m planning to repeat this part of the editorial in the Digital Curation Blog [here], perhaps with other suggestions, and comments [here] would be very welcome."
Oh, we then did a little unashamed puffery...
"We are, of course, very interested in who is reading IJDC, and the level of impact it is having on the community. In order to find out, Alex Ball from UKOLN/DCC has been trying several different approaches in order to get as full a picture as possible.
One approach we have used is to examine the server log for the IJDC website. The statistics for the period December 2008 to June 2009 show that around 100 people visit the site each day, resulting in about 3,000 papers and articles being downloaded each month. It was pleasing to discover we have a truly global readership; while it is true that a third of our readers are in the US and the UK, our content is being seen in around 140 countries worldwide, from Finland to Australia and from Argentina to Zimbabwe. As one would expect, we principally attract readers from universities and colleges, but we also receive visits from government departments, the armed forces and people browsing at home.

"The Journal is also having a noticeable impact on academic work. We have used Google Scholar to collect instances of journal papers, conference papers and reports citing the IJDC. In 2008, there were 44 citations to the 33 papers and articles published in the Journal in 2006 and 2007, excluding self-citations, giving an average of 1.33 citations per paper. Overall, three papers have citation counts in double figures. One of our papers (“Graduate Curriculum for Biological Information Specialists: A Key to Integration of Scale in Biology” by Palmer, Heidorn, Wright and Cragin, from Volume 2, Issue 2) has even been cited by a paper in Nature, which gives us hope that digital curation matters are coming to the attention of the academic mainstream."
OK, so we're not Nature! Nevertheless, we believe there is a valuable role for IJDC, and we'd like your help in making it better. Suggestions please...

(I made this plea at our conference, and someone approached me immediately to say our RSS feed was broken. It seems to work, at least from the title page. So if it still seems broken, please get in touch and explain how. Thanks)


  1. RSS feed came through fine on Google Reader yesterday.

  2. Please, don't pass on criticism of someonelse about a well known and respected publisher.

  3. Apologies, I guess you can see that we meant "Richard did well" rather than the other way around. I've amended the blog post, not much I can do about the editorial I'm afraid.


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