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?

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

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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

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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/

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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

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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

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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

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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 Academia.edu 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

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