What we read this week (19 July)

Welcome to Things we read this week, a weekly post featuring articles from around the internet recommended by BMJ Labs.


  • Although the terminology is awkward (many publishers use syndication, aggregation, etc in a slightly different way) Diverting Leakage to the Library Subscription Channel is worth a read for a librarian perspective on Springer Nature’s approach to ResearchGate. As Mark Johnson comments: “If you want your content to be read as widely as possible, put the content where the readers are”.
  • Tables 8 and 9 in Do Download Reports Reliably Measure Journal Usage? Trusting the Fox to Count Your Hens? contain some interesting publisher platform comparison data which could be used as a measure effectiveness. BMJ, like many publishers, switched from taking Institutional users to an abstract page by default to automatically taking them to a full-text page a couple of years ago – whilst this does have the effect of triggering an HTML download it also greatly improves user experience and has proved popular with readers. The new COUNTER 5 standard probably addresses main concern of this paper.
  • Interesting perspective on the history of peer review in Managing the Growth of Peer Review at the Royal Society Journals, 1865-1965 “Our findings reveal interesting parallels with current concerns about the scale and distribution of peer review work and suggest the strategic importance of the management of the editorial process to achieve a creative mix of community commitment and professional responsibility that is essential in contemporary journals.”
  • Also on the theme of peer review Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke (using the principles of poker to make decisions) has an interesting section on peer review. When peer reviewers were asked to make a monetary bet on whether the research could be replicated they were far more accurate then when asked if they thought the research would replicate – unfortunately the audio book doesn’t have links to the original research on this.
  • Figshare have put together a useful webinar, led by Iain Hrynaszkiewicz from Springer Nature,  on ensuring your data policies are up to date and cover the FAIR principles .
  • How Faculty Demonstrate Impact: A Multi-Institutional Study of Faculty Understandings, Perceptions, and Strategies Regarding Impact Metrics  looks at what researchers think about research impact measures across disciplines and institutions. Be interesting to find out how location-specific this kind of research is.

Product development and innovation

And finally…

For those insanely hot summer afternoons when focusing on work is simple too much why not try Netflix Hangouts, a Chrome extension that disguises Netflix as a fake four-person conference call. During the “call,” your show of choice will appear in the bottom right grid, while three fake coworkers will appear in the other feeds.[H/T: Product Hunt]

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