The user view of the Open Journal in Cognitive Science and its demonstration of citation linking

This is an extract from the paper Linking Electronic Journals: Lessons from the Open Journal Project written by the project development team and which appeared in D-Lib Magazine, December 1998

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Citation linking in context: what others are doing

The user view

User responses were gathered by the project in a number of ways: meetings with individual users, selected evaluation groups, and open access demonstrators, mediated by electronic mail and Web forms; and less directly through meetings with other interested groups, conference presentations, seminars, and workshops. Evaluators included specialists in the subject areas covered, as well as teachers, librarians and publishers. Below is a summary of the important points to have emerged. The comments added for illustration, and those shown additionally for illustration in Table 3, are abstracted from user returns, via a Web questionnaire, from the open access demonstration of citation linking in the Open Journal of Cognitive Science during April and May 1998. This Open Journal comprised two primary journals and the database of abstracts provided by ISI (Hitchcock et al. 1998a, 1997b). The full test results for this demonstrator are presented in the project's final report to its funding body, JISC and the Electronic Libraries programme.

Important results from user testing

Table 3. Illustrative user responses for and against citation linking in the Open Journal of Cognitive Science
"It's a great service!" "It is a WONDERFUL idea. However..."
  • "The potential is clear and exciting. ... Thanks for letting us see how the future might look!"
  • "An excellent way to trace ideas and how the scientific community has reacted to them."
  • "the forward search aspect is terrific."
  • "I'd like to have such a link structure for EVERYTHING I read."
  • "Looks like a wonderful way to find info that sometimes is elusive using keyword searches of databases."
  • "It is a WONDERFUL idea. However, (for) two separate target articles ... it simply didn't work, and was slow doing it."
  • "Powerful tool which better exploits the capability of the medium ... (but) not fully implemented."
  • "I could have obtained the same information (and in a more controlled way since I would have been deciding where and when to search) if I simply had one window looking at an item and had another window open into BIDS/ISI and used the citation search feature."
  • "The search engine needs to be improved before a serious trial can be initiated. The single keyword  restriction made the output set way too big."
  • "It would be a good idea to have an opportunity for marking citations."


Hitchcock, S., Carr, L., Harris, S., Hey, J. M. N. and Hall, W. (1997b) Citation Linking: Improving  Access to Online Journals. In Proceedings of the Second ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries, Philadelphia, USA, July (ACM: New York), pp. 115-122

Hitchcock, S., Kimberley, R., Carr, L., Harris, S. and, Hall, W. (1998a) Webs of Research: Putting  the User in Control. In Proceedings of IRISS'98: Internet Research and Information for Social Scientists, Bristol, UK, March

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