All 2 entries tagged Impact

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January 07, 2008

Privacy Assessment for risk management at project inception

Writing about web page

Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) at the initial stage of a project can save you a lot of trouble and cost. This is the idea behind the new PIA Handbook by the office of the Information Commissioner.

The objective of the PIA is to avoid the following risks:

loss of public credibility as a result of perceived harm to privacy or a failure to meet expectations with regard to the protection of personal information;
retrospective imposition of regulatory conditions as a response to public concerns, with the inevitable cost that entails;
low adoption rates (or poor participation in the implemented scheme) due to a perception of the scheme as a whole, or particular features of its design, as being inappropriate;
the need for system re-design or feature retrofit, late in the development stage, and at considerable expense;
collapse of the project, or even of the completed system, as a result of adverse publicity and/or withdrawal of support by the organisation or one or more key participating organisations, or
compliance failure, through breach of the letter or the spirit of privacy law (with attendant legal consequences).

This privacy impact assessment tool could not be more timely when privacy concerns for the use of social networking sites have filtered down to the level of BBC news. The HE sector has been weighing the pros and cons of using Web 2.0 services external to the institution and after witnessing the initial jolliness of the early adopters one could be forgiven for remaining wary of any projects involving such services.

It is not only that the operating costs of social software marketing of your academic library services may cancel out any possible benefits, but there could be more to lose than to gain by the institution in terms of reputation if it is seen to engage in activities that compromise user privacy.

Of course it is not only projects but also the behaviour of individuals employed by the institution. Would you agree with the following advice reported on the CoHE, 54 (15), p.A1 ?

And so, when undergrads ask to friend her, this professor politely declines. She encourages them to contact her again when they graduate — when there’s no chance of their turning up in another class, or before a judicial panel she is on.
Most faculty members on Facebook keep their profiles professional — nothing racier than would be posted, say, on an office door. The consensus on friending seems to be: Accept students’ requests but don’t initiate any.

November 22, 2007

Early evidence of Open Access citation advantage still useful

Writing about web page

Does OA self-archiving of articles that are later published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals actually increase citation of these articles? Definitely yes and the body of evidence keeps growing and increasing in sophistication.

Steve Hitchcock rightly notes “citation analysis is specialised and difficult”. However, the “simple example” he then provides actually shows this is an understatement!

As the field of scientometrics develops and bibliometric studies become more specialised, it may also become more difficult for the non-statistician to understand the research conducted. This is why it is perhaps not a bad idea to keep referring to earlier studies if they are more digestible for the lay person.

A good starter would be this poster presentation (Brody et al., 2004) accompanied with this article (Harnad & Brody, 2004) and with this paper (Hajjem, Harnad, & Gingras, 2005) as the main course. Thankfully all these remain on the menu in Steve Hitchcock’s bibliography (Hitchcock 2004).


Brody, T., Stamerjohanns, H., Vallières, F., Harnad, S., Gingras, Y., and Oppenheim, C. (2004). The effect of Open Access on citation impact. Paper presented at the National Policies on Open Access (OA) Provision for University Research Output: an International meeting. Southampton, 19 February 2004

Hajjem, C., Harnad, S., and Gingras, Y. (2005). Ten-Year Cross-Disciplinary Comparison of the Growth of Open Access and How it Increases Research Citation Impact. Bulletin of the Technical Committee on Data Engineering, 28(4), 39-46.

Harnad, S., and Brody, T. (2004). Comparing the Impact of Open Access (OA) vs. Non-OA Articles in the Same Journals. D-Lib Magazine, 10(6).

Hitchcock, S. (first posted 15 September 2004). The effect of open access and downloads (‘hits’) on citation impact: a bibliography of studies

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