Friday, January 5, 2018

Papers, papers everywhere, but not a lot to read

I spent the morning sifting though one hundred papers published in the last year on "ICT Sustainability". I found three of interest: "ICT and environmental sustainability"  (Hign, Gholami and Shirazi, 2017), "ICT Reduces National Carbon Emissions?" (Wagner, 2017) and  "Online Educaiton Reduces Carbon Emissions" (Versteijlen, Salgado, Groesbeek and Counotte, 2017).

There were about a dozen more papers which looked interesting, but I could not locate the full text of, despite having access to the library at a world leading university. There were many other papers where the grammar of the article was so hard to follow it was difficult to work out what the author was trying to say. Then there were the bulk of papers which did not seem to be saying much at all, at least nothing new.

One thing which would help such a search would be the ability to limit it to open access publications. Unfortunately, Google Scholar does not appear to have this option. Adding the phrase "open access" to the search doesn't really help: some papers are open access, but others are about open access and others are from a publisher which mentions other papers are (but no the one cited). A search using a specialized open access search tool "OAIster"  resulted in only eighteen papers on ICT sustainability for 2017. Of these eighteen papers there were five of interest, but three had no link to download and two were behind paywalls of for-profit publishers (thus not open access). The publications which appear to be most readily available are Masters theses from European open universities.


An Hign, D., Gholami, R., & Shirazi, F. (2017). ICT and environmental sustainability. Telematics and Informatics, 34(4), 85-95. URL

Versteijlen, M., Salgado, F. P., Groesbeek, M. J., & Counotte, A. (2017). Pros and cons of online education as a measure to reduce carbon emissions in higher education in the Netherlands. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 28, 80-89. URL
Wagner, K. C. (2017). Towards a Green Global Golden Age?: ICT enabled cornucopian sustainability and a suggestion for its reform. Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science. URL

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