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Interview


addresses the next key problem: that scholars start their research journeys from different places, whether it’s an email from a colleague, a blog post, a Google search, a Tweet or elsewhere. Universal CASA allows researchers to click through to legitimate, authorised content, without having to start at Google Scholar. And, in this age of increasing piracy, now researchers can more easily get legal access, so they can use Sci-Hub as a work around to off-campus barriers. In addition to CASA and Universal


scholarly communications is heading to a similar barrier-free, streamlined access to resources.


Tell us about Universal CASA and your collaboration with Google Scholar... Originally, with IP-based authentication, researchers were limited to accessing scholarly content on-campus, meaning the literature-review portion of their workflow was restricted. Many libraries added proxy servers, and some campuses eventually added VPNs, to offer a way for off-campus users to get access to subscribed resources; using proxy servers often took several steps, and you needed to first find the documentation unless you used the proxy regularly. However, as researchers are becoming increasingly mobile, they expect to access content any time, anywhere, from any device and any source, with a seamless, hurdle-free path. Researchers, librarians and publishers are in agreement that more access is good. HighWire and Google have been in


collaboration for well over a decade. Our long-standing relationship means that we are constantly building out and brainstorming new ideas to extend the reach, impact and exchange of scholarly knowledge. Two years ago, I presented my talk on ‘Friction in the Workflow’ to


www.researchinformation.info | @researchinfo


the Google Scholar team. One of the friction points I addressed was ‘off- campus access’, which highlights that gaining access to a version of record requires following a process every time and sometimes multiple times, to use a campus or employer’s proxy server. Google Scholar’s co-founder Anurag Acharya pointed to this friction and said they might be able to help. From then, HighWire collaborated with Google Scholar to introduce ‘Campus Activated Subscriber Access’ (CASA) functionality as the first step in addressing that challenge. CASA allows researchers to access subscribed content off-campus in the same way they would on-campus. CASA remembers which subscriptions a researcher has access to and makes it easy for them to seamlessly access these subscriptions when they are off-campus. I would estimate researchers carry out perhaps a third of their literature-review work away from campus – and since Google Scholar notes that the use of CASA rises on the weekends, it’s likely that those ‘off-campus’ hours in the evenings and the weekends are literature-study times for many scholars. After introducing CASA in late 2017,


the next step was introducing the recently launched Universal CASA, which


CASA, over the last year, HighWire also collaborated with Google to roll out Quick Abstracts, which optimises mobile Google Scholar to speed up mobile research workflow by loading article abstracts at fast speeds so researchers can quickly scan, swipe and discover the correct scholarly resource remotely and on the go, gain awareness of what an item is about, and mark items for later detailed study. There are a couple of tools and services that the industry is working on now to help with the particular problem of smoothing off-campus access. Of course, for years we have had Open Athens and before that we had proxy servers (some of which are older than the students they serve). However, tools like CASA, RA21, Unpaywall and Kopernio work differently and each has its place in a researcher’s workflow. Acting as the Spotify of the Scholarly Research industry, CASA and Universal CASA work with and complement these other tools to provide streamlined, legal access to resources through different avenues – essentially creating multiple paths to the same destination.


What is the biggest challenge facing scholarly researchers and the industry? The biggest challenge for STEM researchers is probably grants and funding, especially for younger researchers. Looking specifically at the scholarly communication aspect of research, challenges include: • Keeping up with the work of others in their field – alerts and profile based alerting help address this;


• Getting their own work in front of the right community of readers – pre-prints help address this; and


• Wasting time in the publishing workflow, in the form of submitting and re- submitting, reviewing and re-reviewing, revising and re-revising, different standards for formatting, for COI, etc. – MECA and other tools for manuscript transfer help address this.


Interview by Tim Gillett


August/September 2018 Research Information 17


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