Self-help for learned journals: Scientific societies and the commerce of publishing in the 1950s – Aileen Fyfe, 2021

Abstract:  In the decades after the Second World War, learned society publishers struggled to cope with the expanding output of scientific research and the increased involvement of commercial publishers in the business of publishing research journals. Could learned society journals survive economically in the postwar world, against this competition? Or was the emergence of a sales-based commercial model of publishing – in contrast to the traditional model of subsidized journal publishing – an opportunity to transform the often-fragile finances of learned societies? But there was also an existential threat: if commercial firms could successfully publish scientific journals, were learned society publishers no longer needed? This paper investigates how British learned society publishers adjusted to the new economic realities of the postwar world, through an investigation of the activities organized by the Royal Society of London and the Nuffield Foundation, culminating in the 1963 report Self-Help for Learned Journals. It reveals the postwar decades as the time when scientific research became something to be commodified and sold to libraries, rather than circulated as part of a scholarly mission. It will be essential reading for all those campaigning to transition academic publishing – including learned society publishing – away from the sales-based model once again.

 

The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge: Part 1 | Open Culture

“This month, MIT Open Learning’s Peter B. Kaufman has published The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge, a book that takes a historical look at the powerful forces that have purposely crippled our efforts to share knowledge widely and freely. His new work also maps out what we can do about it. In the coming days, Peter will be making his book available through Open Culture by publishing three short essays along with links to corresponding sections of his book. Today, you can find his short essay “The Monsterverse” below, and meanwhile read/download the first chapter of his book here. You can purchase the entire book online….”

The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge: Part 1 | Open Culture

“This month, MIT Open Learning’s Peter B. Kaufman has published The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge, a book that takes a historical look at the powerful forces that have purposely crippled our efforts to share knowledge widely and freely. His new work also maps out what we can do about it. In the coming days, Peter will be making his book available through Open Culture by publishing three short essays along with links to corresponding sections of his book. Today, you can find his short essay “The Monsterverse” below, and meanwhile read/download the first chapter of his book here. You can purchase the entire book online….”

Open Access and Art History in the 21st Century: The Case for Open GLAM – CODART CODART

“Almost 1000 cultural heritage institutions around the world1 have published some or all of their online collections for free reuse, modification and sharing. They are part of the ‘Open GLAM’ (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) movement that views liberal access2 and reuse (where culturally appropriate3) of digital collections as fundamental to education, research and public engagement.

A key principle of Open GLAM is that works in the public domain – in which copyright has expired or never existed – should remain in the public domain once digitized. However, many museums do assert copyright in digital reproductions of public domain artworks. How legally legitimate is this? Although the answer is not straightforward (the relevant copyright law is complex and lacks international harmonization), in the European Union the standard of originality for a new copyright requires that the work be the ‘author’s own intellectual creation’….”

Preprints: Their Evolving Role in Science Communication

Abstract:  The use of preprints for the dissemination of research in some life sciences branches has increased substantially over the last few years. In this document, we discuss preprint publishing and use in the life sciences, from initial experiments back in the 1960s to the current landscape. We explore the perspectives, advantages and perceived concerns that different stakeholders associate with preprints, and where preprints stand in the context of research assessment frameworks. We also discuss the role of preprints in the publishing ecosystem and within open science more broadly, before outlining some remaining open questions and considerations for the future evolution of preprints.

Is preprint the future of science? A thirty year journey of online preprint services

Abstract:  Preprint is a version of a scientific paper that is publicly distributed preceding formal peer review. Since the launch of arXiv in 1991, preprints have been increasingly distributed over the Internet as opposed to paper copies. It allows open online access to disseminate the original research within a few days, often at a very low operating cost. This work overviews how preprint has been evolving and impacting the research community over the past thirty years alongside the growth of the Web. In this work, we first report that the number of preprints has exponentially increased 63 times in 30 years, although it only accounts for 4% of research articles. Second, we quantify the benefits that preprints bring to authors: preprints reach an audience 14 months earlier on average and associate with five times more citations compared with a non-preprint counterpart. Last, to address the quality concern of preprints, we discover that 41% of preprints are ultimately published at a peer-reviewed destination, and the published venues are as influential as papers without a preprint version. Additionally, we discuss the unprecedented role of preprints in communicating the latest research data during recent public health emergencies. In conclusion, we provide quantitative evidence to unveil the positive impact of preprints on individual researchers and the community. Preprints make scholarly communication more efficient by disseminating scientific discoveries more rapidly and widely with the aid of Web technologies. The measurements we present in this study can help researchers and policymakers make informed decisions about how to effectively use and responsibly embrace a preprint culture.

 

OPEN ACCESS TO CONSTRUCTION IT RESEARCH ARTICLES – DEVELOPMENTS OVER THE PAST 25 YEARS

Abstract:  The Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon), was founded in 1996, using the new innovative open access business model enabled by the World wide web. A quarter century later Open Access (OA) journals have established themselves in all fields of science, in particular in biomedicine, so that around a fifth of all high quality peer reviewed articles are currently published in OA journals. In building and construction there are half a dozen active full OA journals, although ITcon remains the only one dedicated specifically to construction IT research. The development of OA has been slower than anticipated in the early years. An analysis using Michael Porter’s five forces model of the competitive environment of scholarly publishing helps to highlight the reasons for this. Particularly important as a barrier to change is the strong emphasis in academic evaluations on impact factors, which favors old established journals. Despite such hurdles OA continuously grows in importance and pioneering journals like ITcon have helped to pave the way.

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….”