Research output availability on academic social networks: implications for stakeholders in academic publishing

Authors: Mikael Laakso, Juho Lindman, Cenyu Shen, Linus Nyman, and Bo-Christer Björk

Abstract: A recent disruption in academic publishing are Academic Social Networks (ASN), i.e. web platforms such as ResearchGate and that have provided new ways for researchers to disseminate, search for, and retrieve research articles. ASNs are still a grey area in terms of implications for involved stakeholders, and research on them has so far been scarce. In an effort to map out factors related to ASN use this article provides a multi-method case study of one business school (Hanken School of Economics, Finland) that incorporates 1) a bibliometric analysis on the full-text availability of research output on ASNs for research published 2012–2014 by Hanken affiliated authors, 2) semi-structured interviews with faculty active in publishing in order to gain insight into motivations for use and use patterns, and 3) a survey distributed to all research-active faculty and doctoral students in order to gain a wider perspective on ASN use. ASNs have for many become the primary way to provide access to one’s research output, outpacing all other types of online locations such as personal websites and repositories. Based on the case study findings, earlier research, and recent industry developments, the article concludes with a discussion about the implications that the current trajectory of ASN use has on major stakeholders in academic publishing.

Citation: Laakso, M., Lindman, J., Shen, C., Nyman, L., & Björk, B-C. (2017). Research output availability on academic social networks: Implications for stakeholders in academic publishing. Electronic Markets, 27(2), 125-133. doi:10.1007/s12525-016-0242-1


Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?

Author: Stephen Buranyi

Abstract: It is an industry like no other, with profit margins to rival Google – and it was created by one of Britain’s most notorious tycoons: Robert Maxwell.

Citation: Buranyi, S. (2017, June 27). Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science? The Guardian. Retrieved from 


Pragmatism vs. Idealism and the Identity Crisis of OER Advocacy

Author: Rajiv Sunil Jhangiani

Abstract: The open education (OE) movement is in its adolescent years and experiencing an identity crisis as it is pulled towards both pragmatism (marked by an emphasis on cost savings, resources, and incremental change) and idealism (marked by an emphasis on permissions, practices, and radical change). In this article, I describe these tensions (free vs. freedom; evolution vs. revolution; and resources vs. practices) before going on to argue in favour of a nuanced resolution to this Eriksonian crisis that reflects the diverse needs and motivations of educators. The merits of an integrated approach and its implications for the future trajectory of the OE movement are discussed.

Citation: Jhangiani, R. S. (2017). Pragmatism vs. idealism and the identity crisis of OER advocacy. Open Praxis, 9(2), 141-150. doi: 10.5944/openpraxis.9.2.569


Digital scholarship as a learning center in the library: Building relationships and educational initiatives

Authors: Merinda Kaye Hensley, Steven J. Bell

Abstract:  While librarians may have loads of ideas for how to design digital scholarship support and services, if those ideas clash with a scholars’ workflow or goals for tenure and promotion, we failed. The question remains: How do we align our ideas and expertise to the digital scholarship needs of students and faculty? We argue the answer is centered on two alternative needs assessment approaches: relationship building and educational initiatives.

Citation: Hensley, M., & Bell, S. (2017). Digital scholarship as a learning center in the library: Building relationships and educational initiatives. College & Research Libraries News, 78(3), 155-158. doi:


A longitudinal study of independent scholar-published open access journals

Author: Bo-Christer Björk, Cenyu Shen, & Mikael Laakso

Abstract: Open Access (OA) is nowadays increasingly being used as a business model for the publishing of scholarly peer reviewed journals, both by specialized OA publishing companies and major, predominantly subscription-based publishers. However, in the early days of the web OA journals were mainly founded by independent academics, who were dissatisfied with the predominant print and subscription paradigm and wanted to test the opportunities offered by the new medium. There is still an on-going debate about how OA journals should be operated, and the volunteer model used by many such ‘indie’ journals has been proposed as a viable alternative to the model adopted by big professional publishers where publishing activities are funded by authors paying expensive article processing charges (APCs). Our longitudinal quantitative study of 250 ‘indie’ OA journals founded prior to 2002, showed that 51% of these journals were still in operation in 2014 and that the median number of articles published per year had risen from 11 to 18 among the survivors. Of these surviving journals, only 8% had started collecting APCs. A more detailed qualitative case study of five such journals provided insights into how such journals have tried to ensure the continuity and longevity of operations.

Citation: Björk, B.-C., Shen, C., & Laakso, M. (2016). A longitudinal study of independent scholar-published open access journals. PeerJ, 4, e1990.

A manifesto for reproducible science

Author: Marcus R. Munafò, Brian A. Nosek, Dorothy V. M. Bishop, Katherine S. Button, Christopher D. Chambers, Nathalie Percie du Sert, Uri Simonsohn, Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, Jennifer J. Ware & John P. A. Ioannidis

Abstract: Improving the reliability and efficiency of scientific research will increase the credibility of the published scientific literature and accelerate discovery. Here we argue for the adoption of measures to optimize key elements of the scientific process: methods, reporting and dissemination, reproducibility, evaluation and incentives. There is some evidence from both simulations and empirical studies supporting the likely effectiveness of these measures, but their broad adoption by researchers, institutions, funders and journals will require iterative evaluation and improvement. We discuss the goals of these measures, and how they can be implemented, in the hope that this will facilitate action toward improving the transparency, reproducibility and efficiency of scientific research.

Citation: Munafò, M. R., Nosek, B. A., Bishop, D. V. M., Button, K. S., Chambers, C. D., Percie du Sert, N., Simonsohn, U., Wagenmakers, E.-J., Ware, J. J., & Ioannidis, J. P. A. (2017). A manifesto for reproducible science. Nature Human Behaviour 1.


The rise of reading analytics and the emerging calculus of reader privacy in the digital world

Author: Clifford Lynch

Abstract: This paper studies emerging technologies for tracking reading behaviors (“reading analytics”) and their implications for reader privacy, attempting to place them in a historical context. It discusses what data is being collected, to whom it is available, and how it might be used by various interested parties (including authors). I explore means of tracking what’s being read, who is doing the reading, and how readers discover what they read. The paper includes two case studies: mass-market e-books (both directly acquired by readers and mediated by libraries) and scholarly journals (usually mediated by academic libraries); in the latter case I also provide examples of the implications of various authentication, authorization and access management practices on reader privacy. While legal issues are touched upon, the focus is generally pragmatic, emphasizing technology and marketplace practices. The article illustrates the way reader privacy concerns are shifting from government to commercial surveillance, and the interactions between government and the private sector in this area. The paper emphasizes U.S.-based developments.

Citation: Lynch, Clifford. “The rise of reading analytics and the emerging calculus of reader privacy in the digital world.First Monday [Online], 22.4 (2017): n. pag. Web.


Source: The rise of reading analytics and the emerging calculus of reader privacy in the digital world

Reassembling Scholarly Communications: An Evaluation of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Monograph Initiative

Authors: John W. Maxwell, Alessandra Bordini, and Katie Shamash


This report is a consideration of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s 2014–2015 scholarly communications initiative, which focused on helping to develop new capacity in the monograph-publishing ecosystem.

This report looks at thirteen projects funded through the initiative in 2014 and 2015. The proposals came from different stakeholders in the monograph ecosystem: university presses, libraries, faculty, and one consulting organization. They include studies of the economics of monograph publishing; plans to develop new faculty or staff competencies; the development of new software systems to support the production or publication of scholarly works; and the development of new operation and business models that aim to streamline and find efficiencies in the infrastructure for producing and distributing scholarly works.

The range of the funded projects is very broad. This appears to be a result of the open-ended way the Mellon Foundation invited proposals; innovation in digital publishing is an experimental process requiring imagination, an open mind and relative freedom from preexisting drivers and operational assumptions. The Foundation’s approach seems to have been to seek out interesting projects and ideas in a variety of places, and to look for opportunities to help move these ideas forward, without being overly directive about particular outcomes. This, we believe, is appropriate to the task of advancing a very complex tradition of scholarly communication, especially in an apparent time of crisis.

Citation: John W. Maxwell, Alessandra Bordini, and Katie Shamash (2017) Reassembling Scholarly Communications: An Evaluation of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Monograph Initiative (Final Report, May 2016). The Journal of Electronic Publishing, 20(1). DOI: 10.3998/3336451.0020.101



Source: Reassembling Scholarly Communications: An Evaluation of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Monograph Initiative

Gender bias in scholarly peer review

Authors: Markus Helmer, Manuel Schottdorf, Andreas Neef, Demian Battaglia
Abstract: Peer review is the cornerstone of scholarly publishing and it is essential that peer reviewers are appointed on the basis of their expertise alone. However, it is difficult to check for any bias in the peer-review process because the identity of peer reviewers generally remains confidential. Here, using public information about the identities of 9000 editors and 43000 reviewers from the Frontiers series of journals, we show that women are underrepresented in the peer-review process, that editors of both genders operate with substantial same-gender preference (homophily), and that the mechanisms of this homophily are gender-dependent. We also show that homophily will persist even if numerical parity between genders is reached, highlighting the need for increased efforts to combat subtler forms of gender bias in scholarly publishing.
Citation: Helmer, M., Schottdorf, M., Neef, A., & Battaglia, D. (2017). Gender bias in scholarly peer review. eLife, 6, e21718. doi: 10.7554/eLife.21718


Source: Gender bias in scholarly peer review