Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

Authors: Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt, and Bianca Kramer

Abstract: Funding organisations commissioning their own open access publishing platforms is a relatively recent development in the OA environment, with the European Commission following the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in financing such an initiative. But in what ways, for better or worse, do these new platforms disrupt or complement the scholarly communications landscape? Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt and Bianca Kramer examine the ethical, organisational, and economic strengths and weaknesses of funder OA platforms to scope the opportunities and threats they present in the transition to OA. While they may help to increase OA uptake, control costs, and lower the administrative burden on researchers, possible unintended consequences include conflicts of interest, difficulties of scale, or potential vendor lock-in.

Citation: Ross-Hellauer, Tony; Schmidt, Birgit; Kramer, Bianca. “Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?” LSE Impact Blog. July 4, 2018. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2018/07/04/funder-open-access-platforms-a-welcome-innovation/

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Source: Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services

Authors: David Walters and Christopher Daley

Abstract: The UK open access (OA) policy landscape simultaneously preferences Gold publishing models (Finch Report, RCUK, COAF) and Green OA through repository usage (HEFCE), creating the possibility of confusion and duplication of effort for academics and support staff. Alongside these policy developments, there has been an increase in open science services that aim to provide global data on OA. These services often exist separately to locally managed institutional systems for recording OA engagement and policy compliance. The aim of this study is to enhance Brunel University London’s local publication data using software which retrieves and processes information from the global open science services of Sherpa REF, CORE, and Unpaywall. The study draws on two classification schemes; a ‘best location’ hierarchy, which enables us to measure publishing trends and whether open access dissemination has taken place, and a relational ‘all locations’ dataset to examine whether individual publications appear across multiple OA dissemination models. Sherpa REF data is also used to indicate possible OA locations from serial policies. Our results find that there is an average of 4.767 permissible open access options available to the authors in our sample each time they publish and that Gold OA publications are replicated, on average, in 3 separate locations. A total of 40% of OA works in the sample are available in both Gold and Green locations. The study considers whether this tendency for duplication is a result of localised manual workflows which are necessarily focused on institutional compliance to meet the Research Excellence Framework 2021 requirements, and suggests that greater interoperability between OA systems and services would facilitate a more efficient transformation to open scholarship.

Citation: Walters D, Daley C. Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services. Publications. 2018; 6(2):23.

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Source: Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services

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

Editors:

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)

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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. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41562-016-0021

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Open Science: One Term, Five Schools of Thought

Authors: Benedikt Fecher & Sascha Friesike

Abstract: Open Science is an umbrella term encompassing a multitude of assumptions about the future of knowledge creation and dissemination. Based on a literature review, this chapter aims at structuring the overall discourse by proposing five Open Science schools of thought: The infrastructure school (which is concerned with the technological architecture), the public school (which is concerned with the accessibility of knowledge creation), the “measurement school”(which is concerned with alternative impact measurement), the “democratic school”(which is concerned with access to knowledge) and the “pragmatic school” (which is concerned with collaborative research).

It must be noted that our review is not solely built upon traditional scholarly publications but, due to the nature of the topic, also includes scientific blogs and newspaper articles. It is our aim in this chapter to present a concise picture of the ongoing discussion rather than a complete list of peer-reviewed articles on the topic. In the following, we will describe the five schools in more detail and provide references to relevant literature for each.

Citation: Fecher B & Friesike S. (2014). “Open Science: One Term, Five Schools of Thought”. In Opening Science. Amsterdam: Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-00026-8_2

 

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Toward the Geoscience Paper of the Future: Best practices for documenting and sharing research from data to software to provenance

Authors: Gil Yolanda, Cedric H. David, Ibrahim Demir, Bakinam T. Essawy, Robinson W. Fulweiler, Jonathan L. Goodall, Leif Karlstrom, Huikyo Lee, Heath J. Mills, Ji-Hyun Oh, Suzanne A. Pierce, Allen Pope, Mimi W. Tzeng, Sandra R. Villamizar, Xuan Yu

Abstract: Geoscientists now live in a world rich with digital data and methods, and their computational research cannot be fully captured in traditional publications. The Geoscience Paper of the Future (GPF) presents an approach to fully document, share, and cite all their research products including data, software, and computational provenance. This article proposes best practices for GPF authors to make data, software, and methods openly accessible, citable, and well documented. The publication of digital objects empowers scientists to manage their research products as valuable scientific assets in an open and transparent way that enables broader access by other scientists, students, decision makers, and the public. Improving documentation and dissemination of research will accelerate the pace of scientific discovery by improving the ability of others to build upon published work.

Citation: Gil, Y., et all (2016). Toward the Geoscience Paper of the Future: Best practices for documenting and sharing research from data to software to provenance. Earth and Space Science, 3, 388-415. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015EA000136 

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Looking into Pandora’s Box: The Content of Sci-Hub and its Usage

Author: Bastian Greshake

Abstract: Despite the growth of Open Access, potentially illegally circumventing paywalls to access scholarly publications is becoming a more mainstream phenomenon. The web service Sci-Hub is amongst the biggest facilitators of this, offering free access to around 62 million publications. So far it is not well studied how and why its users are accessing publications through Sci-Hub. By utilizing the recently released corpus of Sci-Hub and comparing it to the data of  ~28 million downloads done through the service, this study tries to address some of these questions. The comparative analysis shows that both the usage and complete corpus is largely made up of recently published articles, with users disproportionately favoring newer articles and 35% of downloaded articles being published after 2013. These results hint that embargo periods before publications become Open Access are frequently circumnavigated using Guerilla Open Access approaches like Sci-Hub. On a journal level, the downloads show a bias towards some scholarly disciplines, especially Chemistry, suggesting increased barriers to access for these. Comparing the use and corpus on a publisher level, it becomes clear that only 11% of publishers are highly requested in comparison to the baseline frequency, while 45% of all publishers are significantly less accessed than expected. Despite this, the oligopoly of publishers is even more remarkable on the level of content consumption, with 80% of all downloads being published through only 9 publishers. All of this suggests that Sci-Hub is used by different populations and for a number of different reasons, and that there is still a lack of access to the published scientific record. A further analysis of these openly available data resources will undoubtedly be valuable for the investigation of academic publishing.

Citation:  Greshake B.Looking into Pandora’s Box: The Content of Sci-Hub and its Usage.” F1000Research 2017, 6:541. (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11366.1) .

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Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science

Authors: Rajiv Jhangiani, Robert Biswas-Diener (eds.)

Abstract: Affordable education. Transparent science. Accessible scholarship. These ideals are slowly becoming a reality thanks to the open education, open science, and open access movements. Running separate—if parallel—courses, they all share a philosophy of equity, progress, and justice. This book shares the stories, motives, insights, and practical tips from global leaders in the open movement.

Citation: Jhangiani R. & Biswas-Diener R. 2017. Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/bbc

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Openness as social praxis

Authors: Matthew Longshore Smith, Ruhiya Seward

Abstract: Since the early 2000s, there has been an explosion in the usage of the term open, arguably stemming from the advent of networked technologies — including the Internet and mobile technologies. ‘Openness’ seems to be everywhere, and takes many forms: from open knowledge, open education, open data and open science, to open Internet, open medical records systems and open innovation. These applications of openness are having a profound, and sometimes transformative, effect on social, political and economic life.

This explosion of the use of the term has led to multiple interpretations, ambiguities, and even misunderstandings, not to mention countless debates and disagreements over precise definitions. The paper “Fifty shades of open” by Pomerantz and Peek (2016) highlighted the increasing ambiguity and even confusion surrounding this term. This article builds on Pomerantz and Peek’s attempt to disambiguate the term by offering an alternative understanding to openness — that of social praxis. More specifically, our framing can be broken down into three social processes: open production, open distribution, and open consumption. Each process shares two traits that make them open: you don’t have to pay (free price), and anyone can participate (non-discrimination) in these processes.

We argue that conceptualizing openness as social praxis offers several benefits. First, it provides a way out of a variety of problems that result from ambiguities and misunderstandings that emerge from the current multitude of uses of openness. Second, it provides a contextually sensitive understanding of openness that allows space for the many different ways openness is experienced — often very different from the way that more formal definitions conceptualize it. Third, it points us towards an approach to developing practice-specific theory that we believe helps us build generalizable knowledge on what works (or not), for whom, and in what contexts.

Citation: Smith, Matthew and Seward, Ruhiya. “Openness as social praxis” First Monday [Online], Volume 22 Number 4 (3 April 2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i4.7073.

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Open Science: a revolution in sight?

Author: Bernard Rentier

Abstract: Purpose
This paper aims to describe the evolution of scientific communication, largely represented by the publication process. It notes the disappearance of the traditional publication on paper and its progressive replacement by electronic publishing, a new paradigm implying radical changes in the whole mechanism. It aims also at warning the scientific community about the dangers of some new avenues and why, rather than subcontracting an essential part of its work, it must take back full control of its production.

Design/methodology/approach
The paper reviews the emerging concepts in scholarly publication and aims to answer frequently asked questions concerning free access to scientific literature as well as to data, science and knowledge in general.

Findings
The paper provides new observations concerning the level of compliance to institutional open access mandates and the poor relevance of journal prestige for quality evaluation of research and researchers. The results of introducing an open access policy at the University of Liège are noted.

Social implications
Open access is, for the first time in human history, an opportunity to provide free access to knowledge universally, regardless of either the wealth or the social status of the potentially interested readers. It is an essential breakthrough for developing countries.

Originality/value
Open access and Open Science in general must be considered as common values that should be shared freely. Free access to publicly generated knowledge should be explicitly included in universal human rights. There are still a number of obstacles hampering this goal, mostly the greed of intermediaries who persuade researchers to give their work for free, in exchange for prestige. The worldwide cause of Open Knowledge is thus a major universal issue for the twenty-first century.

Citation: Bernard Rentier, (2016) “Open science: a revolution in sight?”, Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 44 Issue: 4, pp.155-160, doi: 10.1108/ILDS-06-2016-0020

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