Exploring Open Access Practices, Attitudes, and Policies in Academic Libraries

Preprint at: https://ir.library.illinoisstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1128&context=fpml

Abstract:  This article reports the results of a 2019 survey of academic librarians that investigated their attitudes, practices, and policies regarding open access (OA). This study asks if academic librarians write policies to ensure that they approach OA intentionally and systematically across all library services. The results indicate that, though librarians report favorable beliefs about OA and integrating OA into technical and public services, they seldom create OA policies.


Language extinction triggers the loss of unique medicinal knowledge | PNAS

Abstract:  The United Nations proclamation of 2022–2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages aims to raise global awareness about their endangerment and importance for sustainable development. Indigenous languages contain the knowledge that communities have about their surrounding plants and the services they provide. The use of plants in medicine is a particularly relevant example of such ecosystem services. Here, we find that most medicinal knowledge is linguistically unique—i.e., known by a single language—and more strongly associated with threatened languages than with threatened plants. Each indigenous language is therefore a unique reservoir of medicinal knowledge—a Rosetta stone for unraveling and conserving nature’s contributions to people.


The Global Extinction of Languages Is Threatening a Vital Type of Human Knowledge

“As human languages are driven to extinction around the world, a verbal encyclopedia of medical knowledge is on the brink of being forgotten.

Among 12,495 medicinal uses for plants in indigenous communities, new research has found over 75 percent of those plants are each tied to just one local language. If these unique words trickle out of use, so too may the knowledge they contain….

Language extinction is a tragic phenomenon that’s been occurring worldwide, as languages spoken by precious few people are replaced by larger ones. Roughly one language ceases to be spoken every four months, and 3,054 languages are currently endangered around the world….

The vast majority of plant species in the study were found to have medical properties described in just one indigenous language, many of which are themselves endangered….

In North America, for instance, the authors found waning indigenous languages held 86 percent of all unique knowledge on plant medicine. In the northwest Amazon, on the other hand, 100 percent of medicinal plant knowledge is restricted to languages on the edge of extinction. …”

Glossary Organizing document – instructions for contributors (original doc) – Google Docs

“We invite all interested to: write definitions, comment on existing definitions, add alternative definitions where applicable, and suggest relevant references. If you feel that key terms are missing, please add it – you can let us know, or ask contact us with suggestions in the FORRT slack or email sam.parsons@psy.ox.ac.uk (please CC flavio.azevedo@uni-jena.de during the period Feb 12 to March 1st). The full list of terms will form part of a larger glossary to be hosted on https://FORRT.org, once all terms have been added, the lead writing team (Parsons, Azevedo, & Elsherif) will develop an abridged version to submit as a manuscript. We outline the kinds of contributions and their correspondence to authorship in more detail in the next section. Don’t forget to add your name and details to the contributions spreadsheet….”

Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science (AIMOS)

“AIMOS (the Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science) seeks to advance the interdisciplinary field of meta-research by bringing together and supporting researchers in that field.

Science aims to produce robust knowledge and the concept of reproducible experiments is central to this. However the past decade has seen a ‘reproducibility crisis’ in science.

Across a number of scientific fields, such as psychology and preclinical medicine, large-scale replication projects have failed to produce evidence supporting the findings of many original studies. Meta-research will address this challenge head on….”

About Metascience 2021

“The Metascience 2021 Conference is a global virtual gathering to connect the study of science across disciplines, methodologies, and regions. It follows the inaugural Metascience 2019 Symposium held at Stanford University. Metascience 2021 is an initiative of the Center for Open Science (COS), the Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science (AIMOS), and the Research on Research Institute (RoRI) and is generously supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation and the RoRI consortium.”

Open Science in Kenya: Where Are We? | Research Metrics and Analytics

“According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Open Science is the movement to make scientific research and data accessible to all. It has great potential for advancing science. At its core, it includes (but is not limited to) open access, open data, and open research. Some of the associated advantages are promoting collaboration, sharing and reproducibility in research, and preventing the reinvention of the wheel, thus saving resources. As research becomes more globalized and its output grows exponentially, especially in data, the need for open scientific research practices is more evident — the future of modern science. This has resulted in a concerted global interest in open science uptake. Even so, barriers still exist. The formal training curriculum in most, if not all, universities in Kenya does not equip students with the knowledge and tools to subsequently practice open science in their research. Therefore, to work openly and collaboratively, there is a need for awareness and training in the use of open science tools. These have been neglected, especially in most developing countries, and remain barriers to the cause. Moreover, there is scanty research on the state of affairs regarding the practice and/or adoption of open science. Thus, we developed, through the OpenScienceKE framework, a model to narrow the gap. A sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model was applied in Nairobi, the economic and administrative capital of Kenya. Using the model, we sensitized through seminars, trained on the use of tools through workshops, applied the skills learned in training through hackathons to collaboratively answer the question on the state of open science in Kenya. While the former parts of the model had 20–50 participants, the latter part mainly involved participants with a bioinformatics background, leveraging their advanced computational skills. This model resulted in an open resource that researchers can use to publish as open access cost-effectively. Moreover, we observed a growing interest in open science practices in Kenya through literature search and data mining and that lack of awareness and skills may still hinder the adoption and practice of open science. Furthermore, at the time of the analyses, we surprisingly found that out of the 20,069 papers downloaded from BioRXiv, only 18 had Kenyan authors, a majority of which are international (16) collaborations. This may suggest poor uptake of the use of preprints among Kenyan researchers. The findings in this study highlight the state of open science in Kenya and challenges facing its adoption and practice while bringing forth possible areas for primary consideration in the campaign toward open science. It also proposes a model (sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model) that may be adopted by researchers, funders and other proponents of open science to address some of the challenges faced in promoting its adoption in Kenya….”


Assessing number and quality of urology open access journals… : Current Urology

Abstract:  Background/Aims: 

There is clear evidence that publishing research in an open access (OA) journal or as an OA model is associated with higher impact, in terms of number of reads and citation rates. The development of OA journals and their quality are poorly studied in the field of urology. In this study, we aim to assess the number of OA journals, their quality in terms of CiteScore, percent cited and quartiles, and their scholarly production during the period from 2011 to 2018.


We obtained data about journals from www.scopus.com, and we filtered the list for urology journals. We obtained data for all Scopus indexed journals during the period from 2011 to 2018. For each journal, we extracted the following indices: CiteScore, Citations, scholarly output, and SCImago quartiles. We analyzed the difference in quality indices between OA and non-OA urology journals.


Urology journals have increased from 66 journals in 2011 to 99 journals in 2018. The number of OA urology journals has increased from only 10 (15.2%) journals in 2011 to 33 (33.3%) journals in 2018. The number of quartile 1 (the top 25%) journals has increased from only 1 journal in 2011 to 5 journals in 2018. Non-OA urology journals had significantly higher CiteScore compared with OA journals till the year 2015, after which the mean difference in CiteScore became smaller with insignificant p-value.


Number and quality of OA journals in the field of urology have increased throughout the last few years. Despite this increase, non-OA urology journals still have higher quality and output.

Optimizing the use of twitter for research dissemination: The “Three Facts and a Story” Randomized-Controlled Trial – Journal of Hepatology

Abstract:  Background

Published research promoted on twitter reaches more readers. Tweets with graphics are more engaging than those without. Data are limited, however, regarding how to optimize a multimedia tweets for engagement


The “Three facts and a Story” trial is a randomized-controlled trial comparing a tweet featuring a graphical abstract to paired tweets featuring the personal motivations behind the research and a summary of the findings. Fifty-four studies published by the Journal of Hepatology were randomized at the time of online publication. The primary endpoint was assessed at 28-days from online publication with a primary outcome of full-text downloads from the website. Secondary outcomes included page views and twitter engagement including impressions, likes, and retweets.


Overall, 31 studies received standard tweets and 23 received story tweets. Five studies were randomized to story tweets but crossed over to standard tweets for lack of author participation. Most papers tweeted were original articles (94% standard, 91% story) and clinical topics (55% standard, 61% story). Story tweets were associated with a significant increase in the number of full text downloads, 51 (34-71) versus 25 (13-41), p=0.002. There was also a non-significant increase in the number of page views. Story tweets generated an average of >1,000 more impressions than standard tweets (5,388 vs 4,280, p=0.002). Story tweets were associated with a similar number of retweets, and a non-significant increase in the number of likes.


Tweets featuring the authors and their motivations may increase engagement with published research.


Abstract:  The digital world in which we live is changing rapidly. The changing media environment is having a direct impact on traditional forms of communication and knowledge translation in public health and epidemiology. Openly accessible digital media can be used to reach a broader and more diverse audience of trainees, scientists, and the lay public than traditional forms of scientific communication. The new digital landscape for delivering content is vast and new platforms are continuously being added. We focus on several, including Twitter and podcasting and discuss their relevance to epidemiology and science communication. We highlight three key reasons why we think epidemiologists should be engaging with these mediums: 1) science communication, 2) career advancement, 3) development of a community and public service. Other positive and negative consequences of engaging in these forms of new media are also discussed. The authors of this commentary are all engaged in social media and podcasting for scientific communication and in this manuscript, we reflect on our experience with these mediums as tools to advance the field of epidemiology.