Open and Inclusive Access to Research

“Open and Inclusive Access to Research is a four day virtual symposium, organised by Gimena Del Rio Riande, Daniel Paul O’Donnell, and Wouter Schallier. Primary funding was provided by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), with addition financial and in-kind support provided by Eclac, Force11, and the Sloan Foundation through the Reimagining Educational Practices for Open (REPO) project. The coapplicants and collaborators on the proposal were Gimena Del Rio Riande, CONICET; Juan Pablo Alperin, Simon Fraser University; Wouter Schallier, ECLAC; and Tanja Niemann, Université de Montréal.

The goal of this workshop is to bring experts and early career research professionals from Canada and Latin America together in a bilingual workshop environment that will enable them to exchange knowledge and expertise about Open Research Practices in a strategic yet very hands-on manner, with panels and prominent speakers from both continents. Researchers and policy makers in both Canada and Latin America have played leading roles internationally in the area of Open and Inclusive access to research, and particularly in Open Access, Open Data, and Open Science and Scholarship as a means to achieve this. The goal of this workshop is to bring those experts and early career researchers together to discuss areas of convergence and difference in a more systematic way….”

Multilevel analysis of factors affecting open-access institutional repository implementation in Nigerian universities | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The study aims to identify novel open-access institutional repository (OAIR) implementation barriers and explain how they evolve. It also aims to extend theoretical insights into the information technology (IT) implementation literature.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted the interpretive philosophy, the inductive research approach and qualitative case study research method. Three Nigerian universities served as the case research contexts. The unstructured in-depth interview and the participatory observation were adopted as the data collection instruments. The qualitative data collected were analysed using thematic data analysis technique.

Findings

Findings show that IR implementation barriers evolved from global, organisational and individual implementation levels in the research contexts. Results specifically reveal how easy access to ideas and information and easy movement of people across international boundaries constituted globalisation trend-driven OAIR implementation barriers given their influence on OAIR implementation activities at the organisational and individual implementation levels. The two factors led to overambitious craving for information technology (IT) implementation and inadequate OAIR implementation success factors at the organisational level in the research contexts. They also led to conflicting IR implementation ideas and information at the individual level in the research contexts.

Research limitations/implications

The primary limitation of the research is the adoption of qualitative case study research method which makes its findings not generalisable. The study comprised only three Nigerian universities. However, the study provides plausible insights that explain how OAIR implementation barriers emanate at the organisational and individual levels due to two globalisation trends: easy access to ideas and information and easy movement of people across international boundaries.

Practical implications

The study points out the need for OAIR implementers to assess how easy access to information and ideas and easy movement of people across international boundaries influence the evolution of conflicting OAIR implementation ideas and information at the individual level, and overambitious craving for IT implementation and setting inadequate OAIR implementation success factors at the organisational level. The study extends views in past studies that propose that OAIR implementation barriers only emanate at organisational and individual levels, that is, only within universities involved in OAIR implementation and among individuals working in the universities.

Social implications

The study argues that OAIR implementation consists of three implementation levels: individual, organisational and global. It provides stakeholders with the information that there is a third OAIR implementation level.

Originality/value

Data validity, sample validity and novel findings are the hallmarks of the study’s originality. Study data consist of first-hand experiences and information derived during participatory observation and in-depth interviews with research participants. The participants were purposively selected, given their participation in OAIR implementation in the research contexts. Study findings on the connections among global, organisational and individual OAIR implementation levels and how their relationships lead to OAIR implementation barriers are novel.

SciELO – Brazil – Open Access Publications with Article Processing Charge (APC) Payment: a Brazilian Scenario Analysis Open Access Publications with Article Processing Charge (APC) Payment: a Brazilian Scenario Analysis

Abstract:  The expansion of open access publications has been correlated with specific government policies in many countries. The evolution in these cases is understandable within the framework of funding regulations. However, this is not the case for Brazil, where no regulation is currently in place. The unusually high percentage of open access publications in the Brazilian scientific community is analyzed here toward understanding which factors influence this growth and how similar effects may also impact other countries, particularly developing nations. We found that from 2012 to 2019 the Brazilian scientific community drifted to international open access journals. This transition is discussed in the framework of mega journals.

 

UABC offers an online portal for open science

“In order to make public access to the scientific information, data, and products created at UABC [Autonomous University of Baja California] for the university community and society at large, the Open Science Project was initiated, a virtual space in which Maroon’s work and knowledge focus on scholars.

In this sense, Dr. Juan Guillermo Vaca Rodríguez, Head of the General Coordination of Research and Graduate Studies at UABC, explained that Open Science is a global movement that aims to open research (its methodologies, data, partial and final results and laboratory notes, among other products), from any discipline or field of knowledge.

In this way, the research created in this house of studies can be reused, redistributed, and reproduced by researchers, scientists, students, and anyone who wants to know how the world works and what happens outside of it.

To contribute to this movement, UABC has created the Open Science online portal which contains a search engine where required information can be found by author, title, subject, classification number, ISBN/ISSN, or nomenclature….

One relevant aspect of the portal is the Quality Seal, which will be awarded to internal bodies at UABC that comply with international best practices and standards for open science….”

Publication Charges Associated with Quality Open Access (OA) Publishing and Its Impact on Low Middle Income Countries (LMICs), Time to Reframe Research Policies

Abstract:  Dissemination of the scientific literature is as paramount as scientific studies. Scientific publishing has come a long way from localized distribution of few physical copies of journal to widespread and rapid distribution via internet in the 21st century. The evolution of open excess (OA) publishing which has rapidly evolved in last two decades has its heart at the right place with the ultimate goal being timely, and rapid distribution of published scientific work to a wider scientific community around the world and thus ultimately promoting scientific knowledge in global sense. However, quality OA publishing of cancer research involve an average publishing fee of around 1,500 USD which poses a challenge for Low middle income countries (LMICs), where per capita income is low. This has led to deterioration of science in LMICs in the form of publication in Cheap OA predatory journals for sake of securing academic promotions as well as authors ending up paying exorbitant publishing charges out of pocket to get their quality scientific work published. In countries like India and other LMICs, the funding agencies and institution have so far not addressed this problem. Here we assess the framework of open access publishing in LMICs like India and what are the steps which can be taken to facilitate open access publishing in LMICs. 

 

Open Access Publishing under Plan S: When Good Intentions Remain Eurocentric

“cOAlition S has not yet openly and thoroughly discussed how Plan S fits in the current unequal knowledge production system and what its implications will be for existing inequalities among researchers from different nations, economic classes, career stages, or other determinants that currently affect access to funding and publishing opportunities….

the potential of implementing its principles relies largely on the availability of research funding and regional funders’ willingness and ability to cover OA publishing costs….

A second major issue is economic inequalities across countries, which largely pre-determine the ability of researchers to publish in high-impact, rigorous journals, their access to funding opportunities and the capacity of their academic institutions to cover OA publishing costs…. ”

Analysis: The lack of diversity in climate-science research – Carbon Brief

“A recent analysis entitled “The Reuters Hot List” ranked the 1,000 “most influential” climate scientists – largely based on their publication record and social media engagement. Scientists from the global south are vastly under-represented in the list, with, for example, only five African scientists included. Meanwhile, only 122 of the 1,000 authors are female.

Biases in authorship make it likely that the existing bank of knowledge around climate change and its impacts is skewed towards the interests of male authors from the global north. This can create blind spots around the needs of some of the most vulnerable people to climate change, particularly women and communities in the global south.

Carbon Brief has analysed the gender and “country of affiliation” of the authors of 100 highly cited climate science papers from the past five years – mapped below – to reveal geographic and gender biases….

Conducting scientific research is expensive – and, arguably, the most obvious issue with running climate studies from countries in the global south is the lack of funding. While the US dedicates more than 2.5% of its annual GDP to “research and development”, no country in sub-saharan Africa – even the comparably rich South Africa – spends more than 1%. …

The inaccessibility of scientific literature is also a problem for publishing. “One of the biggest issues is that people can’t access literature that they can cite,” Schipper tells Carbon Brief. …

[Quoting Marton Demeter:] ‘If open access in journals with article processing charges (APCs) become the mainstream way of publication, then global-south scholars’ chances to publish in leading journals will be even lower than today, as they wont be able to pay the high APCs – which will be easily paid by researchers working at sourceful western universities or researchers that are funded by international grants.’ ”

 

View of The UGC-CARE initiative: Indian academia’s quest for research and publishing integrity | First Monday

Abstract:  This paper discusses the reasons for emergence of predatory publications in India, engendered by mandates of higher educational institutions: that require stipulated number of research publications for employment and promotions. Predatory journals have eclipsed the merits of open access publishing, compromised ethical practices, and left the research community groping for benchmarks of research integrity and publication ethics. To fight back the menace of predatory publications, University Grants Commission, India has established “Consortium for Academic Research and Ethics” (UGC-CARE) in 2018 to promote and benchmark research integrity and publication ethics among the Indian academia. The present paper discusses the UGC-CARE initiative, its structure, objectives and specifically, “UGC-CARE Reference List of Quality Journals” (UGC-CARE list) and finally, the challenges it faces.

 

Empowering Researchers with Skills and Tools in Open Science and Bioinformatics. | by Meg Wanjiku | OpenScienceKE Publishing | Oct, 2021 | Medium

“We had been keeping our eyes peeled for grant opportunities. Starting BHKi was undoubtedly a great idea; however, the harsh reality was the lack of strong financial backing required to fulfill our goals. OpenScienceKE has been around longer than we have, and we consider it our mentor. It was founded to fill the training gap in our universities and promote open science among Biomedical students and researchers in Nairobi using the model: sensitize, train, hack and collaborate. We had partnered with them before to host training seminars and meetups because our goals mesh together. We teamed up with them to apply for the Code for Science and Society grant. Teamwork makes the dream work! Responsibilities were shared, and sleeves rolled up, and each one of us put our best foot forward. The result was a killer application. We said silent prayers and hit send just moments before the deadline elapsed. Then we waited with bated breath. And waited. And waited some more. As it turns out, the reviewers were impressed because one evening, the good news was announced! We had received the grant!…

The funds will be channeled towards a 6-month training project dubbed “Empowering researchers with skills and tools in Open Science and Bioinformatics”. They will enable the acquisition of resources required for the successful running of the project and offer appreciation to the trainers. There will be a series of events, including open science symposium, bioinformatics workshops (introduction to bioinformatics, advanced shell scripting, data manipulation, wrangling and visualization in R, data analysis in python, and advanced bioinformatics), instructors training, hackathons for collaborative mini-projects, and a conference. Trainers will be selected based on their area of expertise and a willingness to pass on the skills to aspiring bioinformaticians….”

Open Access Week 2021 colloquium | North-West University Libraries, South Africa | 26 October | virtual

“International Open Access Week, a global event now entering its fourteenth year, is an opportunity for open access advocates to engage the research communities to inform them about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they have learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.    

Programme: 26 October 2021

Words of welcome –  Ms. Neli Kaunda, Director: Shared Services, NWU

Opening address – Prof. Jeffrey Mphahlele, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, NWU

The LIS Open Access Initiatives and technologies

Dr. Mathew Moyo, Chief Director: Library and Information Service, NWU

The role of universities in opening up access through Open Educational Resources

Prof. Jako Olivier, UNESCO Research Chair on Multimodal Learning and Open Educational Resources, NWU…”

Registration: https://nwu.libcal.com/calendar/research-library-training-calendar/open-access-week-2021

Risky business: COVAX and the financialization of global vaccine equity | Globalization and Health | Full Text

Abstract:  Background

During the first year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic, COVAX has been the world’s most prominent effort to ensure equitable access to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Launched as part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (Act-A) in June 2020, COVAX suggested to serve as a vaccine buyers’ and distribution club for countries around the world. It also aimed to support the pharmaceutical industry in speeding up and broadening vaccine development. While COVAX has recently come under critique for failing to bring about global vaccine equity, influential politicians and public health advocates insist that future iterations of it will improve pandemic preparedness. So far COVAX’s role in the ongoing financialization of global health, i.e. in the rise of financial concepts, motives, practices and institutions has not been analyzed.

Methods

This article describes and critically assesses COVAX’s financial logics, i.e. the concepts, arguments and financing flows on which COVAX relies. It is based on a review of over 109 COVAX related reports, ten in-depth interviews with global health experts working either in or with COVAX, as well as participant observation in 18 webinars and online meetings concerned with global pandemic financing, between September 2020 and August 2021.

Results

The article finds that COVAX expands the scale and scope of financial instruments in global health governance, and that this is done by conflating different understandings of risk. Specifically, COVAX conflates public health risk and corporate financial risk, leading it to privilege concerns of pharmaceutical companies over those of most participating countries – especially low and lower-middle income countries (LICs and LMICs). COVAX thus drives the financialization of global health and ends up constituting a risk itself – that of perpetuating the downsides of financialization (e.g. heightened inequality, secrecy, complexity in governance, an ineffective and slow use of aid), whilst insufficiently realising its potential benefits (pandemic risk reduction, increased public access to emergency funding, indirect price control over essential goods and services).

Conclusion

Future iterations of vaccine buyers’ and distribution clubs as well as public vaccine development efforts should work towards reducing all aspects of public health risk rather than privileging its corporate financial aspects. This will include reassessing the interplay of aid and corporate subsidies in global health.

Will Indian researchers lose free access to scientific papers?

“On December 21, 2020, academic publishers Elsevier Ltd, Wily Pvt Ltd, and the American Chemical Society sued websites SciHub and Library Genesis, also known as LibGen, for copyright infringement in the Delhi High Court, demanding that ISP providers permanently block them in India.

These websites are a primary source for researchers in India, making available for free thousands of otherwise paywalled research papers. Because, as SciHub notes, “Research should be free to read.” Having intellectual property restrictions in research throttle access to and flow of knowledge while science can only progress when it’s widely read and debated….

The first hearing occurred on December 24 last year where Elbakyan was told to give an undertaking that she would not upload any new paper on SciHub until the next hearing, which was set for January 6. In January, the undertaking was extended until the next hearing.

On September 5, SciHub published 23,37,229 paywalled research papers which had been held up because of the restriction imposed by the court, with Elbakyan claiming her undertaking had expired. The publishers soon filed an application accusing Elbakyan of contempt of the court’s initial order, and stated that Elbakyan was mistaken to assume the restriction had expired….”

Commercial Science Journals: A Luxury Market? – SBMT

“SBMT: Why are the “diamond/platinum” journals the least valued by editorial metrics and funding agencies?

Dr. TR Shankar Raman: I have no idea why this should be so. It feels like the academic community has just painted itself into a corner. There are lots of excellent diamond open access journals. The journals published by Indian Academy of Sciences  are a good example (although they have a weird co-publishing arrangement with Springer Nature, the journals and papers can be freely accessed via the Academy website and there are no charges for authors to publish either). Of course, the number of papers that a diamond open access journal may be able to publish may be lower and many are in niche areas of science rather than multi-disciplinary in scope and hence their reach may be lower than what big-budget commercial journals can achieve with their resources. But this only means that diamond open access journals should be supported more to achieve better reach, not shift to commercial publishers. All public and philanthropic funding for science has everything to gain by supporting and mandating publication in diamond open access journals….

SBMT: How to design a policy in defense of Southern science through the promotion of “diamond/platinum” journals?

Dr. TR Shankar Raman: As individuals, we can each take a stand, as I have tried to in my post—that I will not review for or publish in commercial journals, but will especially do so for diamond open access journals. Particularly, senior scientists and leaders in their fields must set an example by publishing, reviewing for, or accepting to be on the boards of diamond open access journals. But this will not go far unless we also collectively work to change overall policy. As a community, we must petition our academies, funders, and science administrators to change policies to give greater recognition to papers published in diamond open access journals. This can trigger a big change: especially if it begins to count towards jobs and promotions in academia. Impact factor should be trashed as outdated, harmful, and retrogressive. Recipients of public funds should be mandated to publish in diamond open access journals published by nonprofit scientific societies as this is the most cost-effective way to spend the available (limited) funds to achieve publication that is freely, openly, and widely accessible, while supporting and advancing science. Other initiatives such as Gold Open Access, self-archiving of submitted final versions, or pay-to-publish APC models are all half measures or discriminate and exclude large numbers of scientists around the world, who cannot pay the large fees involved. Policies should support membership fee support for scholars and new and tenured faculty to join learned academic societies that publish diamond open access journals so that the funds are kept within the community and to advance science rather than feed the profits of commercial companies….”