Recognition and rewards – Open Science – Universiteit Utrecht

“Open science means action. And the way we offer recognition and reward to academics and university staff is key in bringing about the transition that Utrecht University aims for. Over the course of the past year the working group on Recognition and Rewards, part of the Open Science Programme, has reflected and thoroughly debated a novel approach to ensuring that we offer room for everyone’s talent, resulting in a new vision (pdf)….

In the current system, researchers and their research are judged by journal impact factors, publisher brands and H-indices, and not by actual quality, real use, real impact and openness characteristics….

Under those circumstances, at best open science practices are seen as posing an additional burden without rewards. At worst, they are seen as actively damaging chances of future funding and promotion & tenure. Early career researchers are perhaps the most dependent on traditional evaluation culture for career progression, a culture held in place by established researchers, as well as by institutional, national and international policies, including funder mandates….”

 

 

Utrecht University Recognition and Rewards Vision

“By embracing Open Science as one of its five core principles1, Utrecht University aims to accelerate and improve science and scholarship and its societal impact. Open science calls for a full commitment to openness, based on a comprehensive vision regarding the relationship with society. This ongoing transition to Open Science requires us to reconsider the way in which we recognize and reward members of the academic community. It should value teamwork over individualism and calls for an open academic culture that promotes accountability, reproducibility, integrity and transparency, and where sharing (open access, FAIR data and software) and public engagement are normal daily practice. In this transition we closely align ourselves with the national VSNU program as well as developments on the international level….”

Open access publishing is the ethical choice | Wonkhe

“I had a stroke half a decade ago and found I couldn’t access the medical literature on my extremely rare vascular condition.

I’m a capable reader, but I couldn’t get past the paywalls – which seemed absurd, given most research is publicly funded. While I had, already, long been an open access advocate by that point, this strengthened my resolve.

The public is often underestimated. Keeping research locked behind paywalls under the assumption that most people won’t be interested in, or capable of, reading academic research is patronising….

While this moral quandary should not be passed to young researchers, there may be benefits to them in taking a firm stance. Early career researchers are less likely to have grants to pay for article processing charges to make their work open access compared to their senior colleagues. Early career researchers are also the ones who are inadvertently paying the extortionate subscription fees to publishers. According to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the amount of money UK universities fork out each year to access paywalled content from Elsevier – the largest academic publisher in the world – could pay 1,028 academic researchers a salary of £45,000 per year.

We know for-profit publishers, such as Elsevier, hold all the cards with respect to those prestigious titles. What we need are systematic “read and publish” deals that allow people to publish where they want without having to find funding for open access….

The current outlook for prospective researchers to secure an academic position at a university is compromised because so much money is spent propping up for-profit, commercial publishers. Rather than focusing on career damage to those who can’t publish with an Elsevier title, we should focus on the opportunity cost in hundreds of lost careers in academia….”

a luxury market? – basic research – KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper

“The rapid migration of scientific online journals around the turn of the century seemed to usher in changes: In 1995, Forbes predicted that Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific publisher, would be the “first victim of the Internet”. After 25 years, the tech-scientific arm of the RELX group, a multinational conglomerate that the publisher has become, has annual sales of more than £ 2.6 billion with profit margins of between 30% and 40%. …

Who in their right mind would spend dozens more times to have their item in nature?

The answer? Almost every. Not because scientists are not very eager to deal with their budgets, but on the contrary: Articles in renowned magazines are the engine that guarantees reputation, jobs and research resources in the academic world. Like those who pay for a Louis Vuitton bag, the writers care less about the product than about the brand.

The result is a prestigious economy that allows big magazines to demand what they want, and also gets freelance work from academics who want to bond with their brands as reviewers or editors. There is no room for renewal in this market: even competitors offering better services at lower cost would take decades to build a reputation for a nature or a science.

As a result, researchers from countries like Brazil are forced to choose between two ethically questionable alternatives: have their work blocked by paywalls for the benefit of others, or waste the country’s scarce research resources with excessive open access fees….

Ironically, Brazil has also launched Scielo, perhaps the world’s most successful large-scale Open Access initiative, which uses publicly funded infrastructure to ensure that most national journals do not charge access or publication fees. However, a large segment of Brazilian researchers cannot afford to use it as they have to lower their college degrees by not using large magazines….”

Developing an objective, decentralised scholarly communication and evaluation system – YouTube

“This is our proposal for how we might create a radically new scholarly publishing system with the potential to disrupt the scholarly publishing industry. The proposed model is: (a) open, (b) objective, (c) crowd sourced and community-controlled, (d) decentralised, and (e) capable of generating prestige. Submitted articles are openly rated by researchers on multiple dimensions of interest (e.g., novelty, reliability, transparency) and ‘impact prediction algorithms’ are trained on these data to classify articles into journal ‘tiers’.

In time, with growing adoption, the highest impact tiers within such a system could develop sufficient prestige to rival even the most established of legacy journals (e.g., Nature). In return for their support, researchers would be rewarded with prestige, nuanced metrics, reduced fees, faster publication rates, and increased control over their outputs….”

How faculty define quality, prestige, and impact in research | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Despite the calls for change, there is significant consensus that when it comes to evaluating publications, review, promotion, and tenure processes should aim to reward research that is of high “quality,” has an “impact,” and is published in “prestigious” journals. Nevertheless, such terms are highly subjective and present challenges to ascertain precisely what such research looks like. Accordingly, this article responds to the question: how do faculty from universities in the United States and Canada define the terms quality, prestige, and impact? We address this question by surveying 338 faculty members from 55 different institutions. This study’s findings highlight that, despite their highly varied definitions, faculty often describe these terms in overlapping ways. Additionally, results shown that marked variance in definitions across faculty does not correspond to demographic characteristics. This study’s results highlight the need to more clearly implement evaluation regimes that do not rely on ill-defined concepts.

 

The case for an inclusive scholarly communication for social sciences and humanities

Abstract:  This article presents a vision for a scholarly communication research infrastructure for social sciences and humanities (SSH). The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the pressing need to access research outputs without the traditional economic and temporal barriers. This article explores the current scholarly communication landscape, assessing the reasons for the slower uptake of open access in SSH research. The authors discuss such frontiers as commercial interests, sources of academic prestige and discipline-specific genres.

This article defines and discusses the key areas in which a research infrastructure can play a vital role in making open scholarly communication a reality in SSH: (1) providing a federated and easy access to scattered SSH outputs; (2) supporting publication and dissemination of discipline-specific genres (e.g. monographs, critical editions); (3) providing help with evaluation and quality assurance practices in SSH; (4) enabling  scholarly work in national languages, which is significant for local communities; (5) being governed by researchers and for researchers as a crucial factor for productive, useful and accessible services; (6) lastly, considering the needs of other stakeholders involved in scholarly communication, such as publishers, libraries, media, non-profit organisations, and companies.
They conclude that a scholarly-driven, inclusive, dedicated infrastructure for the European Research Area is needed in order to advance open science in SSH and to address the issues tackled by SSH researchers at a structural and systemic level.

The resilience of scientific publication: From elite ancient academies to open access – Mallett – 2021 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

Scientific publication has been a key part of the scientific method since the inception of Philosophical Transactions in 1665.
The scientific publications industry has grown exponentially along with science, incorporating technological innovations along the way, and adapting journal processes and practices to changing needs of science as it matured.
Of all the technological innovations over more than 300?years, the move to online journals may be the most significant, making open access to content practical for the first time.
The open?access movement is disrupting the economics of journal publishing, which is hoped will make the industry more competitive: the ability of the publications industry to adapt to open access will be a measure of its resilience.
The demand for articles published in reputable journals continues to grow as readers trust the credibility of peer reviewed journal articles, and good authors value the prestige of publishing in the best journals.
It is difficult to predict what new functionalities may be included in articles of the future or what additional services publishers and editors will provide, but there is every reason to believe that scientific journal articles are here to stay….”

The resilience of scientific publication: From elite ancient academies to open access – Mallett – 2021 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

Scientific publication has been a key part of the scientific method since the inception of Philosophical Transactions in 1665.
The scientific publications industry has grown exponentially along with science, incorporating technological innovations along the way, and adapting journal processes and practices to changing needs of science as it matured.
Of all the technological innovations over more than 300?years, the move to online journals may be the most significant, making open access to content practical for the first time.
The open?access movement is disrupting the economics of journal publishing, which is hoped will make the industry more competitive: the ability of the publications industry to adapt to open access will be a measure of its resilience.
The demand for articles published in reputable journals continues to grow as readers trust the credibility of peer reviewed journal articles, and good authors value the prestige of publishing in the best journals.
It is difficult to predict what new functionalities may be included in articles of the future or what additional services publishers and editors will provide, but there is every reason to believe that scientific journal articles are here to stay….”

Can Publishers Maintain Control of the Scholarly Record? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“More recently, as Oya and Roger analyzed in the spring, an alternative vision for preprints has emerged, one pursued by all of the major commercial publishers, among others. In this new model, publishers are promoting preprints but at the same time working to domesticate them, bringing them within their article submission workflows and linking preprints and versions of record in a way that will over time serve to deprecate the ability of the former to disrupt the latter. By restructuring the place of preprints less as part of a global research community (for example, for high energy physics) and instead linked directly with journal brands, publishers hope they will reinforce the existing value proposition. It remains to be seen how this vision will dovetail with, or perhaps over time impede, the mandate of community-based preprint services such as arXiv and bioRxiv to provide publisher-neutral platforms, decoupling the early sharing of research from the formal publishing stage in a way that enables authors to avoid having their findings associated exclusively with specific journals. …

 

If anything, the landscape for research data is more complicated than that for preprints. It has come to include domain-specific structures, cross-institutional generalist structures, and increasingly substantial institutional investments. There are also some interesting new models developing for dataset discovery and capturing datasets within records associated with researcher identity. …

 

The scholarly record is fracturing, as shown by these twin examples of preprints and research datasets. Publishers are pursuing an effort to integrate preprints into their workflows and value propositions, but whether they will succeed in doing so remains to be seen. They seem to be far less certain of how to similarly integrate research data, which does make sense given that datasets correspond less directly to the published article than does a preprint….

For the publishing sector, this fracture seems to pose challenges. Those parties that are concerned about consolidation and profit margins in publishing might see in these challenges an opportunity. While perhaps unrealistic, as a thought exercise, we wonder what it would look like to make a large-scale capital investment in promoting the fracture? Might scholarly societies or others interested in stewarding research communities find a way to promote a refactored scholarly record? ”