Future of scholarly publishing and scholarly communication

Author: Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission)

Abstract:The report proposes a vision for the future of scholarly communication; it examines the current system -with its strengths and weaknesses- and its main actors. It considers the roles of researchers, research institutions, funders and policymakers, publishers and other service providers, as well as citizens and puts forward recommendations addressed to each of them. The report places researchers and their needs at the centre of the scholarly communication of the future, and considers knowledge and understanding created by researchers as public goods. Current developments, enabled primarily by technology, have resulted into a broadening of types of actors involved in scholarly communication and in some cases the disaggregation of the traditional roles in the system. The report views research evaluation as a keystone for scholarly communication, affecting all actors. Researchers, communities and all organisations, in particular funders, have the possibility of improving the current scholarly communication and publishing system: they should start by bringing changes to the research evaluation system. Collaboration between actors is essential for positive change and to enable innovation in the scholarly communication and publishing system in the future.

Citation:   Lemke S, Mehrazar M, Mazarakis A and Peters I (2019) “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00039



Source: Publications Office of the European Union

The doctoral dissertation and scholarly communication: Adapting to changing publication practices among graduate students

Author: Roxanne Shirazi

Abstract: When I first began working with electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), the conversation in libraries appeared to revolve around open access and publication embargoes. It seemed to me that the primary task for scholarly communication librarians in this area was to broaden access to graduate research while protecting future publication opportunities for individual authors. As graduate students begin to publish earlier in their careers, the relationship between the doctoral dissertation and scholarly publishing is evolving. Many students now include their own previously published work in a dissertation, requiring instruction in publication contracts and copyright transfer agreements at the point of submission to the graduate school. 

There are repercussions to publishing as a graduate student for which our institutions are not well prepared, and to which we could apply our expertise. By engaging in the ETD preparation process, scholarly communication librarians have an opportunity to help graduate students navigate the complex infrastructure of scholarly publishing and offer valuable guidance that will be useful throughout their academic careers.

Citation: Shirazi, R. (2018). The doctoral dissertation and scholarly communication: Adapting to changing publication practices among graduate students. College & Research Libraries News, 79(1), 34. doi: https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.79.1.34



Source: College & Research Libraries News

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/


Source: Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

Understanding Open Knowledge in China: A Chinese Approach to Openness?

Authors: Lucy Montgomery, Xiang Ren

Abstract: This paper examines the development of open knowledge in China through two case studies: the development of Chinese open access (OA) journals, and national-level OA repositories. Open access and open knowledge are emerging as a site of both grass-roots activism, and top-down intervention in the practices of scholarship and scholarly publishing in China. Although the language, vision and strategies of the global open knowledge movement are undoubtedly present, so too are the messy realities of open access and open knowledge innovation in a local context. In attempting to position open access developments in China within a diverse and contested global landscape of open knowledge innovation we draw on Moore’s (2017) conception of open access as a boundary object: an object that is understood differently within individual communities but which maintains enough structure to be understood between communities (Moore 2017; Star and Griesemer 1989). Viewed as a boundary object, the concept of open knowledge is making it possible for China to engage with the global open knowledge movement, as a beneficiary of the innovation of others, and as an open knowledge innovator in its own right.

Citation:Montgomery, L. & Ren, X., (2018). Understanding Open Knowledge in China: A Chinese Approach to Openness?. Cultural Science Journal. 10(1), pp.17–26. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/csci.106


Source: Cultural Science Journal

The BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide

Author: Lauri M. Aesoph

Abstract: The BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide is a reference for individuals or groups wanting to write and self-publish an open textbook. This guide provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, publication, and maintenance of an open textbook.

Citation: Aesoph, L.M. (2018). Self-Publishing Guide. Victoria, BC: BCcampus. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/selfpublishguide/

Source: The BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide

Drawing the line: Why we publish where we publish

Author: Eamon Tewell

Introduction: A colleague of mine was recently wondering which journal she should submit her article to. There were a few possibilities, and she knew wanted to publish in an open access journal. My colleague is near the end of her tenure clock and she wants to contribute her hard work to open access journals instead of publishers making obscene profits off of scholars’ free labor—labor which encompasses creating scholarship, reviewing it, and editing it. My colleague’s email made me wonder: where is the line we draw for our participation in a scholarly communication system that is predicated on, and profits immensely from, the unpaid work of researchers? That line will be different for everyone, and it is worth considering for all librarian-researchers.

Citation: Tewell, E. (2018). “Drawing the line: Why we publish where we publish.” The Librarian Parlor. https://libparlor.com/2018/02/07/drawing-the-line-why-we-publish-where-we-publish/

Source: The Librarian Parlor

A journal is a club: a new economic model for scholarly publishing

Authors: John Hartley, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Jason Potts, Ellie Rennie

Abstract: A new economic model for the analysis of scholarly publishing – journal publishing in particular – is proposed that draws on club theory. The standard approach builds on market failure in the private production (by research scholars) of a public good (new scholarly knowledge). In this model, publishing is communication, as the dissemination of information. But a club model views publishing differently: namely as group formation, where members form groups in order to confer externalities on each other, subject to congestion. A journal is a selfconstituted group, endeavouring to create new knowledge. In this sense, a journal is a club. The knowledge club model of a journal seeks to balance the positive externalities of a shared resource (readers, citations, referees) against the negative externalities of crowding (decreased prospect of publishing in that journal). A new economic model of a journal as a knowledge club is elaborated. We suggest some consequences for the management of journals and financial models that might be developed to support them.

Citation: John Hartley, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Jason Potts, Ellie Rennie. . “A journal is a club: a new economic model for scholarly publishing”, Humanities Commons. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6V52C


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. https://osf.io/9f6gx/


Stop this waste of people, animals and money

Author: David Moher et al

Abstract: Predatory journals are easy to please. They seem to accept papers with little regard for quality, at a fraction of the cost charged by mainstream open-access journals. These supposedly scholarly publishing entities are murky operations, making money by collecting fees while failing to deliver on their claims of being open access and failing to provide services such as peer review and archiving.

Despite abundant evidence that the bar is low, not much is known about who publishes in this shady realm, and what the papers are like. Common wisdom assumes that the hazard of predatory publishing is restricted mainly to the developing world. In one famous sting, a journalist for Science sent a purposely flawed paper to 140 presumed predatory titles (and to a roughly equal number of other open-access titles), pretending to be a biologist based in African capital cities. At least two earlier, smaller surveys found that most authors were in India or elsewhere in Asia. A campaign to warn scholars about predatory journals has concentrated its efforts in Africa, China, India, the Middle East and Russia. Frequent, aggressive solicitations from predatory publishers are generally considered merely a nuisance for scientists from rich countries, not a threat to scholarly integrity.

Our evidence disputes this view. We spent 12 months rigorously characterizing nearly 2,000 biomedical articles from more than 200 journals thought likely to be predatory. More than half of the corresponding authors hailed from high- and upper-middle-income countries as defined by the World Bank.

Citation: Moher, David, et al. “Stop This Waste of People, Animals and Money.” Nature 549, 23–25. http://doi.org/10.1038/549023a


Write up! A Study of Copyright Information on Library-Published Journals

Author: Melanie Schlosser

Abstract: Libraries have a mission to educate users about copyright, and library publishing staff are often involved in that work. This article investigates a concrete point of intersection between the two areas – copyright statements on library-published journals.  Journals published by members of the Library Publishing Coalition were examined for open access status, type and placement of copyright information, copyright ownership, and open licensing.  Journals in the sample were overwhelmingly (93%) open access. 80% presented copyright information of some kind, but only 30% of those included it at both the journal and the article level. Open licensing was present in 38% of the journals, and the most common ownership scenario was the author retaining copyright while granting a nonexclusive license to the journal or publisher. 9% of the sample journals included two or more conflicting rights statements. 76% of the journals did not consistently provide accurate, easily-accessible rights information, and numerous problems were found with the use of open licensing, including conflicting licenses, incomplete licenses, and licenses not appearing at the article level.

Citation: Schlosser, M. (2016). Write up! A Study of Copyright Information on Library-Published Journals. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 4, eP2110. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2110