Articles by author: Elizabeth Yates

  • Learn about systematic reviews, scoping reviews and more

    Join the Library’s evidence synthesis team members Elizabeth Yates, Denise Smith and Ian Gordon for an online workshop entitled Introduction to evidence synthesis research – including systematic reviews and scoping reviews – as part of the Building Better Research series on Nov. 2, 12-1 pm.  

    Evidence synthesis projects such as systematic or scoping reviews use rigorous and comprehensive methods to gather, synthesize and analyze data from large sets of primary studies. These reviews are increasingly popular in a variety of academic disciplines. However, these time- and resource-intensive projects are challenging, involve a team of researchers, and are not appropriate for all research objectives. This session will cover the key steps and tools in conducting a systematic or scoping review, present alternative review types, and discuss how to identify the review type most suited to your research question. 

    Register for this workshop via Experience BU 

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  • Library supports for open access publishing

    Library supports for open access publishing 

    Global celebrations of International Open Access Week from Oct. 23-29 are a good opportunity to highlight how the Library supports Brock researchers in achieving broad reach and deep impact for their publications. 

    Open Access refers to free, immediate online access to research and brings many benefits, including increased visibility for Brock research, higher citation rates and public access to publicly-funded research. Supporting open access has always been a key priority for the Library, which: 

    • Provides free hosting support for 12 open access, peer-reviewed scholarly journals operated by Brock researchers 
    • Disseminates Brock research globally via the open access Brock Digital Repository 
    • Invests in a wide range of open access platforms which benefit researchers and readers around the globe 
    • Participates in a growing number of read-and-publish agreements which allow Brock authors to publish for free, or at a discount, in journals which charge fees for full or hybrid open access publication 
    • Supports researchers in meeting the expectations of Brock University’s Open Access Policy  

    To learn more, please consider participating in Brock’s Open Access Week activities or email Elizabeth Yates, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian ~

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  • Open Access Week 2023: Celebrating community over commercialization

    Community over Commercialization is this year’s theme for International Open Access Week, Oct. 23-29. This is more than a slogan. It is a timely statement for a movement that has seen much growth in open access infrastructure and alternative providers in research years. These alternative publishing options for researchers emphasize and facilitate the building of an open access community of researchers and scholars, a deliberate alternative to commercial publishers, which are for-profit companies that extract profits from the work of scholars.

    The Brock Library continues to invest in several such open access platforms. The overall goal of these platforms is to make research freely available to readers around the world. These open infrastructure initiatives are examples of part of this growing movement that takes the products of publicly funded scholarly research out of the commercial sphere- a space largely controlled by a small number of actors, and moves this into a community-operated system of research sharing. The impact of such developments for open access research is far reaching. In this system, both the writers and readers of scholarship have access to the most current findings without having to navigate a paywall.

    To learn more, join Elizabeth Yates, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian, and Laurie Morrison, Collections Librarian, on Oct. 24, 12-1 pm, for a discussion of the perils of prioritizing profit over the public good and the promise offered by community-controlled publishing platforms. Registration via ExperienceBU.

    This workshop is part of the Library’s Open Access Week activities, which also include an Oct. 26 workshop focusing on planning for open access publishing at little or no cost, a virtual collection of books and ebooks focused on open access and information sharing activities.

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  • Open Library of Humanities Open Access Award 2020

    The Open Library of Humanities (OLH), an academic-led, gold open access publisher with no author-facing charges, invites applications for the OLH Open Access Award 2020.

    Applications for OLH funding of up to £500 are welcomed from individuals or organizations in any location, and may be used to help fund events, projects or activities on open access or with an open access component, or other related costs that will be considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with need and feasibility.

    The award is for projects that will promote open access within the humanities disciplines as widely as possible, and so will not be awarded to pay for individual Article Processing Charges (APCs) or article fees.

    Deadline is May 22. For more information, consult the OLH news release.

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  • Awards for innovative, open access graduate research

    Are you a graduate student using innovative technology to create a multimedia thesis or dissertation? Or perhaps you’ve improved graduate education by advancing open access theses and dissertations? 

    Brock community members are eligible to apply for an award from the Networked Library of Theses and Dissertations: 

    • The Innovative ETD Award recognizes student efforts to transform the genre of the dissertation through the use of innovative research data management techniques and software to create multimedia ETDs. Each winner will receive $1,000 and will be eligible to receive an additional $500 in travel scholarship funding to attend the ETD Symposium. 
    • The ETD Leadership Award recognizes members of the university community whose leadership and vision has helped raise awareness of the benefits of open access ETDs and whose efforts have improved graduate education and research through the use of technology. Winners will receive international honorary recognition, complimentary registration and 3 days accommodations to attend the ETD Symposium 

    Brock University Library, which hosts and disseminates graduate research via the Brock Digital Repository, is a member of the Networked Library of Theses and Dissertations. 

    Nominations must be emailed to ETD Awards Committee Chair James MacDonald at
    Deadline for submissions is July 15, 2020. For more information about the ETD Awards program, contact Charles Greenberg, ETD Awards Committee Chair, at

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  • Brock Libraries Joins International Open Advocacy Organization

    Brock Libraries has joined SPARC, an international advocacy organization working to advance open access, open data and open educational materials.

    Brock is now among 200 academic libraries in North America working with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition to promote open access to scholarly articles, the open sharing of research data and the creation and adoption of open educational resources on their campuses. Joining SPARC aligns with the Library’s Strategic Plan, particularly our focus on “transforming the mechanisms of scholarly communication and strengthening research dissemination through partnerships at Brock and beyond.”

    Brock Libraries will benefit from the expertise of SPARC leaders as we continue to work on advancing open scholarship and teaching initiatives on campus; the membership will also enhance the participation of Library employees in the global open community.

    Questions? Contact Scholarly Communication Librarian, Elizabeth Yates ~

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  • Information for users of ResearchGate

    Users of ResearchGate, the scholarly social networking site, may notice that articles they’ve posted are no longer available. This may be due to legal action taken by the Coalition for Responsible Sharing – a  group of major academic publishers including the American Chemical Society, Brill, Elsevier, Wiley and Wolters Kluwer. Coalition members have recently begun issuing takedown notices to ResearchGate asking the network to stop the “illicit dissemination” of articles published in their journals, saying that the publishers hold copyright to these works.

    The takedown notices are the latest development in ongoing negotiations aimed at resolving publishers’ concerns with ResearchGate’s copyright violations.

    While the Coalition is targeting ResearchGate, not individual authors, you may still be interested in learning more about these issues and their implications for scholarly publishing.

    You may be also interested in how to share your work legally via open access platforms such as the Brock Digital Repository.

    The Brock Library provides support with these issues via Liaison Librarians and others with expertise in scholarly publishing issues including Scholarly Communication Librarian Elizabeth Yates and Brock’s Legal Advisor Research and Copyright, Jordan Snel.

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  • Nicola Simmons wins Brock University Award for Open Access

    Nicola Simmons, Assistant Professor of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education, has won the first Brock University Award for Open Access.

    Simmons’ dedication to freely sharing the scholarship of teaching and learning includes publishing and reviewing for open access journals as well as scholarly blogging and creating the publicly accessible Annotated Literature Database for education research.

    The adjudication committee — Collections Librarian Ian Gibson, Nicole Nolan, Associate University Librarian, Research and Elizabeth Yates, Liaison/Scholarly Communication Librarian — were impressed by the high calibre of award submissions. “The breadth of Nicola’s dedication to open access made her a standout,” Yates says in a Brock News story on the award.

    “Not only is she actively publishing and reviewing for open access journals, but she is also openly engaging with the teaching and learning community via scholarly blogs and websites.”

    The award, announced during International Open Access Week, includes a grant of $2,500, which Simmons has donated to support the open access peer-reviewed Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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  • Open access: let’s talk about costs

    Image of dollar bill

    Most researchers support the principle of open access: that knowledge is a public good and should be freely shared. However, sharing freely does not always mean there are no costs involved. Publishing is expensive: funds are needed to pay for staff  who produce and edit academic books and journals and for technology and infrastructure such as websites, publishing software and servers.

    So if a journal is free to read, who pays for its publishing costs?

    There are many business models for open access journals, including advertising sales, subsidies from disciplinary societies or institutions, institutional publisher memberships and collaborative journal purchasing.  The model which attracts the most attention, however, is the use of article processing charges: journals charge authors a fee for each article they publish. These fees vary widely, ranging from a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars. About one-third of open access journals charge APCs, including journals published by major commercial firms including Elsevier, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, and SpringerNature.

    Article processing charges (APCs) are seen as a major barrier to open access. Researchers, particularly those who do not receive grant funding, may struggle to pay these fees. Some institutions offer grant programs to assist with APCs, but find it impossible to meet the full costs of APCs for all of their researchers.

    Brock’s Library Open Access Publishing Fund was established in 2011 as an educational initiative, aimed at raising awareness of open access and helping Brock researchers who choose to publish in journals which charge APCs. Since then, the fund has distributed 27 grants of up to $2,500 each to cover APCs for Brock researchers. The Library recently collected metrics, including citations, which demonstrate the impressive reach of these open access articles.

    While publishing in an open access journal is one route to open access, it’s important to note that researchers can freely share their work – for free – via online archives, such as the Brock Digital Repository. These archives are free to use and their contents are indexed n Google Scholar, making Brock scholars’ work available to everyone around the globe.

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  • Open in order to … increase access to knowledge

    The idea that society is enriched by the free sharing of knowledge and that the public has the right to access taxpayer-funded research is a major motivation for open scholarship. The concept of knowledge as a public good was a main driver for researchers who drafted the original Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002:

    Removing access barriers to … (scholarly) literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.”

    During this celebration of International Open Access Week, we can acknowledge that many barriers remain before those lofty goals are achieved. But the rapid growth in open access literature – now occupying at least 20% of the scholarly publishing sphere – demonstrates that researchers are increasingly embracing the principles of open access. Here at Brock, for example, a majority of faculty surveyed in 2014 agreed that their research should be freely available to all readers.

    Free access is particularly important in less wealthy nations, where researchers as well as the public may not be able to afford costly subscription journals. For example, Brock University Professor Ana Sanchez prioritizes freely sharing her research on tropical diseases affecting poor residents of developing countries.

    Health Sciences professor Ana Sanchez

    “Because it was open, my article reflects the very same principles of my research work: knowledge should serve the people who need it the most,” Sanchez says of Soil-transmitted helminth infections and nutritional status in school-age children from rural communities in Honduras. Published in 2013 in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases – with funding support from the Library Open Access Publishing Fund – this article has attracted more than 8,300 views and 1,300 downloads.

    Learn more about open access – and win a sweet prize! – on Thursday at the Open Access Fact or Fiction Prize Wheel in the Learning Commons, 11 am-12 pm.

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