Updates to: William Badke, Research Strategies: Finding your Way through the Information Fog, 6th ed. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse.com, 2017.

Elsevier, the large academic publisher, on May 16, 2017 issued a lawsuit against SciHub and LibGen, the two largest illegal academic download sites, calling for an injuction and $15,000,000 (that's 15 million dollars) in damages. Elsevier alleges that these sites cause injury to Elsevier's business and that the "Defendants acted willfully, because their actions and statements demonstrate that they both are aware of Elsevier’s copyright rights and have consiously chosen to disregard those rights." In June, the court awarded the $15,000,000 in damages as requested by Elsevier. But, since the SciHub creator lives outside the US and has no US assets, there is a very slim chance that Elsevier will ever collect its money. For a useful analysis of such lawsuits, see http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/NewsBreaks/Elsevier-and-Other-Scholarly-Publishers-Target-Content-Pirates-119390.asp. In November 2017, a US judge issued a final injunction relating to American Chemical Society's (ACS) lawsuit that bars pretty much any Internet entity from providing access to Sci-Hub. In part, the injunction says:

“Ordered that any person or entity in active concert or participation with Defendant Sci-Hub and with notice of the injunction, including any Internet search engines, web hosting and Internet service providers, domain name registrars, and domain name registries, cease facilitating access to any or all domain names and websites through which Sci-Hub engages in unlawful access to, use, reproduction, and distribution of ACS’s trademarks or copyrighted works.”

A new planned (and legal) site for posting open access scholarly papers is Scholarly Hub. For more information, see this November 2017 news story.

For a very insightful study on the history and current state of academic publishing, see Aileen Fife et al. "Untangling Academic Publishing," May 2017.

An increasingly important factor in the evaluation of information is fact-checking. See this site for multiple tools to enhance your fact-checking ability: http://researchguides.journalism.cuny.edu/c.php?g=547454&p=3756526.

After Beall gave up his list of suspicious and predatory journals in 2016, there has been a gap that has now been filled in part by Cabells Scholarly Analytics which has released a journal blacklist. Unfortunately, it is a subscription site, so free access is not available. Beall's list is still available but not being updated: http://beallslist.weebly.com/

JSTOR is offering a new search option: JSTOR Text Analyzer (http://www.jstor.org/analyze/) which allows you to input a large amount of text (for example, a full text article) so that the Analyzer's algorithm can make use of its terminology to identify related JSTOR articles. On the results page you will see the main words from your supplied text that were used in the analysis. You can click on any word to put it in a priority list, thus modifying the results to suit your needs. You can even modify the weight given to each prioritized term, and you can specify that you want recent results. This search function is similar in concept to EBSCOHost's SmartText Searching.

JSTOR now has a platform to search only its open access content (no login needed). This includes open access journals (older articles), book chapters and open access books: http://www.jstor.org/open.

Elsevier is now offering a sign-up feature that recommends articles from the ScienceDirect database based on recent searches you have done: "When you are signed in to ScienceDirect, our state-of-the-art adaptive algorithm analyzes the type of research you do, the articles you view, and the papers you download. This analysis enables us to find articles and papers relevant to your research that you may not have considered. We will email you a list of a 3-5 recommended articles."

The SSRN Biology Research Network offers several hundred thousand articles that are preprints, postprints, etc. in free full text: https://www.ssrn.com/link/BRN.html.

From ERIC (March 2017): "Our latest video and infographic describe ERIC identifiers and walk through how to use them in a search." A July 2017 video helps users find descriptors (subject headings) for searches.

Some of us struggle with over-researching, ever looking for just one more source that we know is out there. Joli Jensen's post, "The Myth of One More Source," offers some sage advice: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1777-the-myth-of-one-more-source?cid=VTEVPMSED1.

While I don't generally endorse pricey tech tools, reMarkable (https://remarkable.com/) is a remarkable one. It's a read-write tablet-like gadget that simulates paper (you can write all over it by hand) while allowing download of documents for reading, annotation, and so on. Very cool product, though the $700+ price (with initial 30% discount) may be daunting.

The MLA Style Center is the authorized site for explanations, examples and further instruction on MLA style.

 

Last updated: November 9, 2017