Tools for Scholarly communication: how important is Open Access?

Which tools are actually being used by researchers?101 innovations

Recent years have seen an enormous increase in digital tools for scholarly communication: EndNote, Dropbox, Mendeley, Word, Google Scholar; you may well have heard of them, and it is quite likely that you use one or more of these services or products. However, the tools mentioned above are just a handful from a tremendous supply, as is shown by the 400+ Tools and innovations in scholarly communication list 

Our Utrecht University Library  colleagues Bianca Kramer en Jeroen Bosman are just about to complete their research project 101 innovations in scholarly communication,  which investigates recent changes in scholarly communication and research workflows. This should lead to a better understanding of which tools are used by researchers from different disciplines, positions, and countries for their scholarly work. They also aim to get a clear picture of the importance of Open Access and Open Science on daily work routines. A short list of questions is posed by means of an international survey.


You can contribute tot his research project by filling out an online survey , if you follow this link>> By doing so, you do not only take part in the research project 101 innovations in scholarly communication,  but you also  provide a great opportunity for Leiden University Libraries to obtain information on the research tools that our own Leiden researchers use. After the closure of the survey, the Library will receive a report containing anonymised data on the Leiden input.

You may also benefit

Participation in the survey is not only useful to the project and the library, but you may also obtain some interesting information yourself. If you choose so, you may receive an email with a graphic display in which your workflow is compared to your peer group, which could give you some interesting new ideas for your own routine.

More information

For more information on the research project 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication, you may contact Bianca Kramer ( or Jeroen Bosman (, Utrecht University Library.

For more information on the use of the anonymised data set by Leiden University Libraries, you may contact Michelle van den Berk, Subject Specialist Open Access and datamanagement (

Arabian Epigraphic Notes,

Author: Birte Kristiansen, Subject librarian Middle East and the Islamic world,

AENDecember 2015 saw the formal launch of the Journal Arabian Epigraphic Notes
( during the LUCIS-LeiCenSAA Conference “Arabian Archeology in the 21st Century” .

The journal is an initiative of the Leiden Center for the Study of Ancient Arabia and has been created in close cooperation with Leiden University Libraries. The need for ‘their own’ journal had been felt for several years in the quickly developing discipline of Arabian Epigraphy and several publishers showed interest to set up this journal with an impressive editorial board already in place. However, the LeiCenSAA had a very strong wish to publish Open Access, without Article Processing Charges for the author, and ensuring quick publication after peer-review, a combination that proved hard to find. That is why the Editor-in-chief, Ahmad al-Jallad, changed his approach and decided to set it up himself in cooperation with the library and Academia.

Leiden University Libraries is taking on the responsibility for the long-term storage of the articles through the institutional repository. Academia developed, especially for this project, a closed forum that enables all those who are invited to peer-review to simultaneously comment and discuss the paper that is on review. After a set amount of days (usually about twenty) the review closes and all the comments are anonymized and sent back to the author. As soon as the paper is ready it is published. So instead of sending out the paper to one or two peer-reviewers it is now sent out to a whole group of reviewers, who can each of them concentrate on their own expertise even if that is sometimes only a short passage. Considering the very broad multidisciplinary knowledge that is necessary to move this field forward on the crossroad of archaeology, Semitic languages, Arabic, Greek, linguistics and history, this approach really enhances the progress of this discipline.

At the end of each year the ‘ volume’, consisting of all the articles published during that year, closes and a new volume opens up for the following year. Though the role of the library in this project is modest, it has proved vital because long-term preservation and accessibility as well as persistent identifiers (in the form of handles) are very important for this initiative to succeed. Moreover the expertise present at the library concerning Open Access, findability, metadata and preservation helped shaping this innovative new way of publishing.

Open Access Week 2015 ‘Connecting data for research’

On Monday 19th October 2015, VU, UvA, Leiden University, Radboud University, DANS and Surf are jointly organizing a symposium ‘Connecting data for research: Good practices for data integration and reuse’

Much of the data that is used for research is freely available online for reuse. Collecting and sharing of open data becomes even more interesting as technological tools are improving along with an increase in funding incentives. Researchers are often more than willing to enrich open data by combining datasources and instruments for visualization and analysis, but they also have to deal with questions as:


  • How to find the best tool or technique for a specific application in th
    e research
  • Which data are available, or not?
  • What is the best way to publish open data?
  • Are there any legal or ethical liabilities?
  • How to judge the quality of the data on offer?

The symposium ‘Connecting data for research’ focuses on good practices for the collecting, structuring, visualizing and sharing of research data.
Mireille van Eechoud, professor of Information Law at the University of Amsterdam, and Barend Mons, professor in Biosemantics at LUMC, Leiden, will share their visions on the challenges and opportunities for sharing open data in the future.

In the break-out sessions, some 20 researchers from a variety of disciplines will highlight the data-bound issues the faced in their research, the solutions that they found, the tools they choose to use, and the reasons why they did so.

The symposium aims to offer opportunity for sharing experiences and ideas; it encourages discussion among researchers, but also with service providers facilitating the field of data driven science.

Programme: (pdf)

The Symposium is open to researchers from all areas of study and all institutions. Registration is free of charge but required through an online registration form.

Date and venue
Monday19th October 2015, 0900-1730 uur

Auditorium VU University, De Boelelaan 1105,  Amsterdam

The symposium ‘Connecting data for research’ is organized by VU, UvA, Leiden University, Radboud University, DANS and Surf. It is made possible by a generous financial contribution from Foster.

Open Access Services at University Libraries Leiden

Open Access is featuring highly, at times as a somewhat contested topic, on the agenda of government, policy makers, publishers, and research funders; in several areas of research, and even in the national written media.

Those in favour stress advantages such an increased visibility and access for society to publicly funded research; those against will argue that Open Access leads to a decline in quality and an increase of costs.

Whether or not you are a strong supporter, neutral, wishing to enhance your presence on the web, an antagonist even, or simply required by your research funder to publish Open Access, University Libraries Leiden provides the following services: