It sort of amuses me that I’m still involved with bids for project funding. Its also quite mentally stimulating. The new bid concerns JournalTOCs and hybrid journals, and if funded will enable some very valuable work to be done, of benefit to many.
The last bid I contributed to wasn’t funded, which was a shame. This time I’m trying to focus very much on the wording within the bid, in the knowledge that it is not just the ideas and concepts which are important, but also how they are explained to the people who do the marking. A good idea, even an excellent idea, won’t get funded if the bid document is poorly written or unfocussed. In the distant past I’ve been aware of not particularly good ideas which were funded because the bid was so well written.
The problem with the currrent bid is that it will be marked by non-library/information people, who are consequently not very familiar with much of the terminology used (hybrid journals, RSS, metadata aggregation, current awareness, etc). Explaining such terms to a layman in the few words allowed is not easy.
Current awareness services provide researchers with information about new publications in their field of interest. JournalTOCs is a current awareness service which provides the latest Tables of Contents from over 22,250 scholarly journals produced by over 1,800 different publishers (thereby covering the vast majority of new journal literature), and is of potential benefit to researchers in all disciplines.
Library and information professionals have been involved with current awareness for many decades. Nowadays, researchers are often left alone to organise and satisfy their own alerting needs, and JournalTOCs is a free service which individual researchers can use for this purpose. However, not all researchers have the time, inclination or knowledge to do this work themselves. This is where the JournalTOCS Premium service comes in. JournalTOCs Premium is a low-cost solution that enables librarians to create, develop and manage personalised access to the latest research on behalf of their patrons. Its a super service which can let librarians once more get involved with personalised information of use to their patrons.
The aforementioned bid proposes some work that will enable discovery of free full text availability of Open Access articles regardless of where and how such articles have been published (i.e. in hybrid journals or OA journals) and enhance both the freely available JournalTOCs service and also the Premium service. As income raised via the Premium service allows us to maintain the freely available service (it pays for servers, maintenance costs, software development, etc), everyone will benefit. Fingers are crossed.