UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Archive for the ‘Papers’ Category

How Researchers Can Use Inbound Linking Strategies to Enhance Access to Their Papers

Posted by Brian Kelly on 2 Mar 2012

The Value of Inbound Links to Resources

Via Smartr, the iPod Touch app I use to read articles which have been posted by Twitter followers, this morning I came across a link provided by a tweet which described an Inbound linking strategy to get to the top listing on google fast. The post described how the author, a web manager at Florida International University:

… developed  a strategy I would make inbound links to the FIU President’s Council site from places I can control a few of these places include FIU News,Alumni AssociationFIU A to Z index, blogs that have comments open, etc.  and on all those I make links using the words FIU President’s Council that link directly to the sites homepage.

The importance of providing links to a resource in order to maximise access to the resource is well understood – particularly, it seems, by spammers.  But how could such well-established techniques be used in an ethical way by researchers?

The answer, it seems to me, is quite simple. Researchers do have access to a wide range of web services which can legitimately provide links to their research publications.   This is an approach I have been using for several years. A summary of the numbers of publications which are listed in the services I use is given in the following Table.

Service My Account Summary
Microsoft Academic Search My details 39*
Google Scholar Citations My details  82
Researcher ID My details 10
Scopus My details  23 My details  50
Researchgate My details 110
Mendeley My details  23

*  The Microsoft Academic Search automatically includes papers from people with the same name.  These need to be manually excluded and there is a delay before updates are validated.  The service currently lists 286 papers, including many from medical researchers of the same name.  However only 39 papers have been claimed as authored by me.

It should also be noted that a number of the services provide links to the research papers (which in my case and normally hosted on the University of Bath institutional repository) although other services only provide the metadata.

Evidence of Enhanced Access

There is a cost to registering for such services and uploading details of one’s papers. However in practice I have found that it does not take a significant amount of time to upload relevant information and the services can provide useful information, such as helping to visualise one’s professional network and, as illustrated (taken from Mendeley) growth in  the number of citations, downloads, followers, etc.

But although individual  may or may not find such information of interest or value, there remains a question as to whether there is any tangible evidence of growth in downloads due to a policy of enhancing the numbers of links to such resources.

A possible answer to that question may be found form an analysis of the download statistics for items stored on Opus, the University of Bath institutional repository.

In order to make comparisons an image is shown of the top 20 most downloaded items provided by staff at UKOLN.

From this list we can see that I am a co-author of 15 of the top 20 items.

There may be several explanations for this:

Quality of the papers: Although two of my papers are the highest ranked papers which have been published at the W4A conference series I am quite happy to say that I am convinced that my colleagues have produced papers of much greater research value.

Social media optimisation: The paper on  Library 2.0: balancing the risks and benefits to maximise the dividends is the second most downloaded single paper from the University of Bath repository. The popularity of this paper was due to the large numbers of downloads shortly after the availability of the paper had been announced on this blog.  Although I am convinced that use of social media can also enhance access to peer-reviewed papers, several of the other popular papers in the above list were published between 2004 and 2007, before Twitter and before I was making significant use of the blog.

To conclude, I believe that adding information about one’s research publications to services such as, ResearchGate, Microsoft Academic Search and Google Scholar citations can increase the visibility of the papers to Google, as well as to users of the services, which may then lead to increased numbers of downloads, citations and take-up of the ideas described in the papers.

Do you agree?

Posted in Evidence, Papers, Repositories | 8 Comments »

Paper on “From Web Accessibility to Web Adaptability” now available

Posted by Brian Kelly on 1 Jul 2010

A paper  on “From Web Accessibility to Web Adaptability” is now available from the University of Bath Opus repository (in HTML and PDF formats). This paper, which was co-authored by Liddy Nevile, David Sloan, Sotiris Fanou, Ruth Ellison and Lisa Herrod, was published in Disability and Rehability: Assistive Technology (Vol. 4, Issue 4).

As I described last yearUnfortunately, due to copyright restriction, access to this version is embargoed until next year“. I’m pleased to announce that the paper is, at last, available.

As described by David Sloan:

This paper focuses on ways to strike a balance between a policy that limits the chances of unjustified accessibility barriers being introduced in web design while also providing enough flexibility to allow the web in a way that provides the best possible user experience for disabled people by acknowledging and supporting the diversity of and the occasional conflicts between the needs of different groups.

As described in a recent post such considerations have been accepted in the draft Web Accessibility – Code of Practice. I would like to be able to say that our paper had been influential in the development of the BSI Code of Practice. However since the paper has been embargoed the influence of the ideas described in the paper will be limited and as is it costs £33 to order a copy of the paper from the publisher this will have provided an additional barrier – although the post on “From Web Accessibility To Web Adaptability”: A Summary” at least provided a publicly-available review of the ideas described in the paper.

I would conclude that the strict copyright embargo which the publishers placed on this paper has acted as a barrier which to the take-up of the ideas in the paper. I normally try to avoid submitting papers to publishers which have such restrictions but in this case it was an invited paper based on a paper on “Accessibility 2.0: People, Policies and Processes” which was presented at the W4A 2007 conference – the opportunity to build on our ideas and have additional input from two new co-authors to the paper was really something I felt would be foolish to turn down. But although I am willing to accept such real-world compromises this doesn’t mean that I agree with the publisher’s approaches – and I will try and avoid such restrictions in the future.

Posted in Accessibility, Papers | 1 Comment »

Bungee Jumping and Papers in the ACM Digital Library

Posted by Brian Kelly on 28 May 2010

Papers in the ACM Digital Library

My paper on “Developing countries; developing experiences: approaches to accessibility for the real world“, which I summarised in a recent blog post, is now available from the ACM Digital Library. If you wish you can purchase the PDF from the ACM – but you may prefer to download the author’s copy from the UKOLN Web site :-)  – from which you can also view the HTML version of the paper (a format not available in the ACM Digital Library).

When I visited the ACM Digital Library I noticed that I could browse other papers I had written which are available there, including “Accessibility 2.0: people, policies and processes“, “Contextual web accessibility – maximizing the benefit of accessibility guidelines“, “One world, one web … but great diversity“, “Forcing standardization or accommodating diversity?: a framework for applying the WCAG in the real world“,”A quality framework for web site quality: user satisfaction and quality assurance“,”Personalization and accessibility: integration of library and web approaches” and “Archiving web site resources: a records management view“.

Usage statistics for "Brian kelly" in ACM Digital LibraryThere were also eight papers by Brian W Kelly, Bryan Kelly and another Brian Kelly. These false hits will have skewed the bibiliometrics provided on the ACM Digital Library Web site (and also illustrated). However  the most recent paper by another Brian Kelly was published back in 2002 and there only seem to be four  downloads from other Brian Kellys – so most of the statistics shown do seem to relate to my work.

In addition to the papers listed above (which I’ve written during the past five years while based at UKOLN), there was also a paper on “Becoming an information provider on the World Wide Web” which was published by JENC in 1994 in the Selected papers of the annual conference on Internet Society/5th joint European networking conference.

Bungee Jumping

Seeing the reference to this paper brought back memories. This was the first ever peer-reviewed paper I ever wrote and the INET’94/JENC5 conference, held in Prague in 1994, was the first international conference I ever attended. I can also remember  when I decided to submit a paper to the conference. I was on holiday staying at Victoria Falls in January 1994, mulling over whether to submit a paper (at the time I was an Information officer at Leeds University and had  given training courses and a few low-key presentations – but was nervous at the thought of speaking at an international conference).

Bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge in Zambia/Zimbabwe (from Wikipedia)In the end, after being slightly disappointed after a half-day white-water rafting down the mighty Zambezi River (it was the rainy season so we sailed over many of the rapids) I decided to bungee jump off the Victoria Falls bridge (I remember being told it was the world’s highest commercial bungee jump). “If I can jump off the Victoria Falls bridge, I can do anything” I told myself “included presenting a paper at an international conference“.

So I paid the money (£60?) and went to the bridge.  There were two of us who had booked the jump and, while we were waiting for the equipment to be set up, we asked what the jump was like. “The jump is easy” we were told “But once you are lowered to the bottom, the scary part starts. You have to climb up the gorge – which is very steep.  And once you reach the bridge and have to climb up the bridge it get even more scary – although the bridge is solid, your brain doesn’t believe the evidence. Many people are in tears when they reach the top“.

After being told the story the organisers came back with some news – no jumping for the day. It had been raining and it was too dangerous to climb up the gorge.  I have to admit being secretly pleased – I’d made the commitment to make the jump, and for me, that was good enough.  And when I got back to work I worked on a paper and was pleased when it was accepted. The paper was presented in the Concert hall in the Palace of Culture in Prague. When I read details about the venue I discovered that the main hall held up to 6,00 people, but the Concert Hall only held about 1,00 people and it wasn’t full when I gave the paper. My aborted jump from Victoria Falls bridge stood me in good stead then.

I have tracked down a copy of the paper (Adobe Postscript format). I have also discovered a brief report on my presentation by George Brett. Little did I know while standing on the Victoria Falls bridge waiting for the rain to ease off what my decision to write a paper about the Web (or WWW as it was then referred to) would lead to!

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