Since this year JournalTOCs has started to move on to a crowdsourcing model to maintain its growing database of journals.
Reaching the 24,000 journals milestone was the turning point. This number practically represents the bulk of relevant journals that have been selected and added by the selection team of JournalTOCs. In May we recognized that the selection process would greatly benefit from the contributions from professionals interested in having all the relevant journals in JournalTOCs.
The decision of using crowdsourcing was mainly based on two facts:
- Our small selection team cannot cope with the hundreds of requests we receive every day, most of them from relatively new Open Access (OA) publishers, asking us to add their journals to JournalTOCs. Very few of those journals pass the selection process.
- We had a growing number of talented and enthusiastic users, principally professional academic librarians, who have been helping us with the discovery and evaluation of new journals. Almost all the journals suggested by those users have passed the selection criteria.
Crowdselection works for JournalTOCs because the selection process relies upon the knowledge and requirements of those who actually need to use or provide access for the missing journals. In some way our approach is inspired in a crowdsourcing strategy used in the investment market, where the average price produced by ‘grey markets’ have demonstrated to be more accurate than the predictions made by the experts.
It was natural then to provide our valued users with the means to add and edit journals. Without realizing we started to use crowdsourcing to expand and update JournalTOCs. Thus gradually, crowdselection is effectively accomplishing the selection process that was once the province of the specialized team. The initial results are very encouraging.
Adding new journals and updating journals involves very few simple steps. The user counts with tools to first verify that both the publisher and the journals are not already registered with JournalTOCs. After this, the journal, and if necessary, the publisher too, can be added to the database. Crowdselection only adds journals that meet the following Selection Criteria:
- The journal is a scientific or academic journal that publishes peer-reviewed research papers.
- The journal must have an editor, an editorial board and a verifiable peer-review system in place.
- The journal must publish TOC RSS feeds for its most recent issues.
- The journal can be a magazine provided that it has a proven record of publishing only technical and professional reviewed material that is relevant to industry, government and research (e.g. Harvard Business Review Magazine)
- The journal is an active journal that has published different issues in this year and the previous year. Brand new journals with only one issue published cannot be added to JournalTOCs. In particular we are carefully with new Open Access journals published by dubious houses.
Crowdselection includes an automated system that verifies new journals and the user who has created the journal is contacted if we notice that further guidance is needed.
A positive consequence of using crowdsourcing to maintain the entire database would be the possibility of making all the features of JournalTOCS Premium, that do not require institutional customisation, freely available to anyone, starting with the users that have helped to maintain the database of journals.
How to grab an RSS feed of the latest articles of a journal and have it show up as a widget on other website
To grab an RSS feeds for a particular journal from JournalTOCs, you can use the API call journals. For example:
The above call will grab the feeds produced and normalized by JournalTOCs for the journal with ISSN 0143-3369. You must provide the email address you have used to register with JournalTOCs as the value for the parameter “user”.
By default the links of the individual articles are the original links provided by the publisher or the OpenURL links created with your institutional OpenURL if found available. But, if you want that those links include your ezProxy, you need to use a Premium account. In this case, you or your Account Administrator need to go to your “Service Configuration” window and select the “Accounts” tab and find the “Links to use for the articles returned by the API” section. In this section tick the “Append the Institutional ezProxy” option and hit “Save”. Now your RSS feeds will include your proxy-server string in the URLs that go to individual articles (the <link> element in the RSS feeds (please use browser’s “View Page Source” to view the RSS content)
JournalTOCs is pleased to announce that the automated identification of Open Access (OA) articles from hybrid journals has started to work today
This is a highly important development in the efforts being made towards enabling systematic and easy identification of Open Access articles for aggregators, discovery services and A&I providers.
These first results are the product of collaboration between JournalTOCs and more than 10 established commercial forward thinking publishers.
Being able to systematically and consistently identify Open Access articles, regardless where they have been published, has a huge potential for the progress of Open Access and could play a vital role in the success of using the hybrid model to migrate subscription-based titles to full Open Access in a sustainable way for authors, readers, librarians and publishers.
The technology behind this new service is the simple and easy to use TOC RSS feeds. RSS feeds are also relatively easy to implement.
Example showing how an OA article from a hybrid journal is identified by JournalTOCs:
At this stage the OA articles are only identified as such by the OA logo and an orange background. As more publishers implement the <cc:license> and <dc:rights> standard elements in their RSS feeds, we will be able to provide information on the type of CC licence and the copyright holder for each OA article. The information will be obtained by combining the possible implementations of the <cc:license> and <dc:rights> elements:
JournalTOCs is continuing to grow. 24,000 Scholarly Journals are now included in the largest RSS-based alerting service for researchers
As a result of adding 1000 more journals since October 2013, the number of scholarly journals whose latest Tables of Contents (TOCs) are included in the JournalTOCS alerting service for researchers has passed the 24,000 major milestone.
Almost half of those 1000 additions come from Hybrid and Subscription-based journals whose RSS feeds have been reviewed and upgraded. The second half includes Open Access journals and a few of relatively new journals.
Of the 24,000 Tables of Content included in JournalTOCs, over 7,500 are Open Access and almost 5,000 journals have been identified as Hybrid journals. The rapidly growing number of Hybrid journals is likely to significantly increase as more publishers offer OA options in a percentage, or in some cases in all of their journals. For example, almost all the 140 journals of Maney & Son Ltd indexed by JournalTOCs are now Hybrid journals as they offer OA options to authors. Hybrid journals at JournalTOCs are identified by this icon .
Publishers, editors and readers are welcome to suggest journals to JournalTOCs, but quality of content is important, and JournalTOCs does not include journals that do not adhere to appropriate standards such as:
- The journal has been actively publishing new online issues in a regular basis in the last two years. Journals that have published fewer than two issues are not included in JournalTOCs.
- The journal has to publish professional, scientific or scholarly articles that have been peer-reviewed.
- The journal must have an editor, an editorial board and a peer-review system.
- The journal must publish TOC RSS feeds for its most recent issues.
LM created LibTOC thanks to a JournalTOCs Premium license, which gave LM full access to up-to-date information to the entire database of JournalTOCs as well as premium access to journal’s metadata daily updates. LM didn’t renew the license in July 2013 and as a consequence LibTOC lost access to up-to-date journal information.
The agreement between LM and JournalTOCs was intended to provide LM with privileged access to JournalTOCs database to power the LibNet system, which was launched by LM last year.
Almost every day, many journal titles are transferred between publishers, cease publication, have their URLs changed, new titles are published, etc. Using the JournalTOCs Premium API, services can keep track of those changes in a systematic and automated way. In particular JournalTOCs can identify when the URL for a journal TOC RSS feeds have been changed, removed or when new TOC RSS feeds are made available. Thus, through its customised APIs, JournalTOCs constantly is providing up-to-date information on journal metadata to other current awareness services. Per each journal, the information includes:
- subject classification
- RSS feeds URL
- homepage URL
- access rights
- e-ISSN and print-ISSN numbers
- number of followers at JournalTOCs
- last issue publication date