Guidelines for Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) in Journal Policies and Practices “The TOP Guidelines”

Authors: Brian Nosek et al

Abstract: The Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Committee met in November 2014 to address one important element of the incentive systems – journals’ procedures and policies for publication. The outcome of the effort is the TOP Guidelines. There are eight standards in the TOP guidelines; each move scientific communication toward greater openness. These standards are modular, facilitating adoption in whole or in part. However, they also complement each other, in that commitment to one standard may facilitate adoption of others. Moreover, the guidelines are sensitive to barriers to openness by articulating, for example, a process for exceptions to sharing because of ethical issues, intellectual property concerns, or availability of necessary resources.

Citation: Nosek, Brian A et al. “Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines.” Open Science Framework, 28 Aug. 2017.


Who should speak for academics over the future of publishing?

Author: Aileen Fyfe

Abstract: Learned societies used to be seen as the guardians of academic prestige. They should act on that moral authority and reclaim their oversight of peer review, says Aileen Fyfe.

Citation: Fyfe A. (2017). Who should speak for academics over the future of publishing? Times Higher Education. 25 May 2017.


Expanding Perspectives on Open Science: Communities, Cultures and Diversity in Concepts and Practices


Abstract: Twenty-one years ago, the term ‘electronic publishing’ promised all manner of potential that the Web and network technologies could bring to scholarly communication, scientific research and technical innovation. Over the last two decades, tremendous developments have indeed taken place across all of these domains. One of the most important of these has been Open Science; perhaps the most widely discussed topic in research communications today.

This book presents the proceedings of Elpub 2017, the 21st edition of the International Conference on Electronic Publishing, held in Limassol, Cyprus, in June 2017. Continuing the tradition of bringing together academics, publishers, lecturers, librarians, developers, entrepreneurs, users and all other stakeholders interested in the issues surrounding electronic publishing, this edition of the conference focuses on Open Science, and the 27 research and practitioner papers and 1 poster included here reflect the results and ideas of researchers and practitioners with diverse backgrounds from all around the world with regard to this important subject.

Intended to generate discussion and debate on the potential and limitations of openness, the book addresses the current challenges and opportunities in the ecosystem of Open Science, and explores how to move forward in developing an inclusive system that will work for a much broader range of participants. It will be of interest to all those concerned with electronic publishing, and Open Science in particular.

Citation: Chan L & Loizides F. (2017). Expanding Perspectives on Open Science: Communities, Cultures and Diversity in Concepts and Practices. Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Electronic Publishing. IOS Press Ebooks. ISBN 978-1-61499-769-6 (online)


Understanding how Twitter is used to spread scientific messages

Authors: Letierce, Julie and Passant, Alexandre and Breslin, John and Decker, Stefan

Abstract: According to a survey we recently conducted, Twitter was ranked in the top three services used by Semantic Web researchers to spread information. In order to understand how Twitter is practically used for spreading scientific messages, we captured tweets containing the official hashtags of three conferences and studied (1) the type of content that researchers are more likely to tweet, (2) how they do it, and finally (3) if their tweets can reach other communities — in addition to their own. In addition, we also conducted some interviews to complete our understanding of researchers’ motivation to use Twitter during conferences.

Citation: Letierce, Julie and Passant, Alexandre and Breslin, John and Decker, Stefan (2010) Understanding how Twitter is used to spread scientific messages. In: Proceedings of the WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line, April 26-27th, 2010, Raleigh, NC: US.


Opening Up Communication: Assessing Open Access Practices in the Communication Studies Discipline

Author: Teresa Auch Schultz

Abstract: INTRODUCTION Open access (OA) citation effect studies have looked at a number of disciplines but not yet the field of communication studies. This study researched how communication studies fare with the open access citation effect, as well as whether researchers follow their journal deposit policies. METHOD The study tracked 920 articles published in 2011 and 2012 from 10 journals and then searched for citations and an OA version using the program Publish or Perish. Deposit policies of each of the journals were gathered from SHERPA/RoMEO and used to evaluate OA versions. RESULTS From the sample, 42 percent had OA versions available. Of those OA articles, 363 appeared to violate publisher deposit policies by depositing the version of record, but the study failed to identify post-print versions for 87 percent of the total sample for the journals that allowed it. All articles with an OA version had a median of 17 citations, compared to only nine citations for non-OA articles. DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION The citation averages, which are statistically significant, show a positive correlation between OA and the number of citations. The study also shows communication studies researchers are taking part in open access but perhaps without the full understanding of their publisher’s policies.

Citation: Schultz, T.A., (2017). Opening Up Communication: Assessing Open Access Practices in the Communication Studies Discipline. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1). DOI:


Altmetrics and Archives

Author: Elizabeth Joan Kelly

Abstract: Altmetrics are an alternative to traditional measurement of the impact of published resources. While altmetrics are primarily used by researchers and institutions to measure the impact of scholarly publications online, they can also be used by archives to measure the impact of their diverse online holdings, including digitized and born-digital collections, digital exhibits, repository websites, and online finding aids. Furthermore, altmetrics may fill a need for user engagement assessments for cultural heritage organizations. This article introduces the concept of altmetrics for archives and discusses barriers to adoption, best practices for collection, and potential further areas of study.

Citation: Kelly, Elizabeth Joan (2017) “Altmetrics and Archives,” Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies: Vol. 4 , Article 1. Available at:


Reviewers are blinkered by bibliometrics

Authors: Paula Stephan, Reinhilde Veugelers& Jian Wang

Abstract: There is a disconnect between the research that reviewers purport to admire and the research that they actually support. As participants on multiple review panels and scientific councils, we have heard many lament researchers’ reluctance to take risks. Yet we’ve seen the same panels eschew risk and rely on bibliometric indicators for assessments, despite widespread agreement that they are imperfect measures1–6.

The review panels we observed last year were using bibliometrics in much the same way as they did before the 2015 Leiden Manifesto4, the 2012 San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, which Nature is signing, and similar exhortations against their use. After all, bibliometric measures offer a convenient way to help evaluate a large number of proposals and papers.

Although journal impact factors (JIFs) were developed to assess journals and say little about any individual paper, reviewers routinely justify their evaluations on the basis of where candidates have published. Panel members judge applicants by Google Scholar results and use citation counts to score proposals for new research. This practice prevails even at agencies such as the European Research Council (ERC), which instructs reviewers not to look up bibliometric measures.

As economists who study science and innovation, we see engrained processes working against cherished goals. Scientists we interview routinely say that they dare not propose bold projects for funding in part because of expectations that they will produce a steady stream of papers in journals with high impact scores. The situation may be worse than assumed. Our analysis of 15 years’ worth of citation data suggests that common bibliometric measures relying on short-term windows undervalue risky research7.

How can we move beyond declarations and wean reviewers off bibliometric indicators that bias decisions against bold work?

Citation: Paula Stephan, Reinhilde Veugelers& Jian Wang. Reviewers are blinkered by bibliometrics : Nature News & Comment. Nature 544, 411–412 (doi:10.1038/544411a


POST: Hosting the Digital Ramamala Library at Penn, or, Thinking About Open Licenses for Non-Western Digitized Manuscripts

Author: dh+lib review

Abstract: Dot Porter (University of Pennsylvania) has posted on her blog the text of a talk she gave at the Global Digital Humanities Symposium, “Hosting the Digital Rāmamālā Library at Penn, or, thinking about open licenses for non-Western digitized manuscripts.” Porter’s post traces the history of the cataloging and digitization of the Ramamala Library, “one of the oldest still-active traditional libraries in Bangladesh,” as well as the development of OPenn: Primary Digital Resources Available for Everyone. Implicit in OPenn’s design was the desire for “users of OPenn to always be certain about what they could do with the data, so we decided that anything that goes into OPenn must follow those licenses that Creative Commons has approved for Free Cultural Works… Note that licenses with a non-commercial clause are not approved for Free Cultural Works, and thus OPenn, by policy, is not able to host them.”

Citation: POST: Hosting the Digital Ramamala Library at Penn, or, Thinking About Open Licenses for Non-Western Digitized Manuscripts. dh+lib. Retrieved from


The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review

Authors: Jonathan P. Tennant, François Waldner, Damien C. Jacques, Paola Masuzzo, Lauren B. Collister, Chris. H. J. Hartgerink

Abstract: Ongoing debates surrounding Open Access to the scholarly literature are multifaceted and complicated by disparate and often polarised viewpoints from engaged stakeholders. At the current stage, Open Access has become such a global issue that it is critical for all involved in scholarly publishing, including policymakers, publishers, research funders, governments, learned societies, librarians, and academic communities, to be well-informed on the history, benefits, and pitfalls of Open Access. In spite of this, there is a general lack of consensus regarding the potential pros and cons of Open Access at multiple levels. This review aims to be a resource for current knowledge on the impacts of Open Access by synthesizing important research in three major areas: academic, economic and societal. While there is clearly much scope for additional research, several key trends are identified, including a broad citation advantage for researchers who publish openly, as well as additional benefits to the non-academic dissemination of their work. The economic impact of Open Access is less well-understood, although it is clear that access to the research literature is key for innovative enterprises, and a range of governmental and non-governmental services. Furthermore, Open Access has the potential to save both publishers and research funders considerable amounts of financial resources, and can provide some economic benefits to traditionally subscription-based journals. The societal impact of Open Access is strong, in particular for advancing citizen science initiatives, and leveling the playing field for researchers in developing countries. Open Access supersedes all potential alternative modes of access to the scholarly literature through enabling unrestricted re-use, and long-term stability independent of financial constraints of traditional publishers that impede knowledge sharing. However, Open Access has the potential to become unsustainable for research communities if high-cost options are allowed to continue to prevail in a widely unregulated scholarly publishing market. Open Access remains only one of the multiple challenges that the scholarly publishing system is currently facing. Yet, it provides one foundation for increasing engagement with researchers regarding ethical standards of publishing and the broader implications of ‘Open Research’.

Citation: Tennant JP, Waldner F, Jacques DC et al. The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review [version 3; referees: 3 approved, 2 approved with reservations]F1000Research 2016, 5:632 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.8460.3)


Intro to HistComm Syllabus


Abstract: There is a movement happening within the discipline of history. Historians recognize that traditional scholarly communication channels (e.g., monographs, academic articles) have limited reach, appeal, and impact among non-experts.

History Communication and History Communicators (#histcomm) represent (1) the coalescing of a community of historians, journalists, media professionals and others who communicate historical scholarship to non-experts, (2) training the next generation of historians to communicate using digital and interactive media, and (3) ensuring that the ongoing work of historians contributes to public discourse by reaching students, teachers, policymakers, and audiences in innovative new ways.

Citation: Intro to HistComm Syllabus. Retrieved from