Abstract: Sharing research data is an integral part of the scientific publishing process. By sharing data, authors enable their readers to use their results in a way that the textual description of the results does not allow by itself. In order to achieve this objective, data should be shared in a way that makes it as easy as possible for readers to import them in computer software where they can be viewed, manipulated and analyzed. Many authors and reviewers seem to misunderstand the purpose of the data sharing policies developed by journals. Rather than being an administrative burden that authors should comply with to get published, the objective of these policies is to help authors maximize the impact of their work by allowing other members of the scientific community to build upon it. Authors and reviewers need to understand the purpose of data sharing policies to assist editors and publishers in their efforts to ensure that every article published complies with them.
“Then, in August 2017, two things happened. First, the SSRN preprint server (originally for social sciences and currently run by publishing giant Elsevier) launched an offshoot called the Chemistry Research Network (ChemRN). Then, a week or so later, ChemRxiv was launched by the American Chemical Society (ACS) – it is now run as a collaboration between the ACS, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the chemical societies of China, Japan and Germany….
Neither was initially welcomed with wholly open arms into the chemistry community. An insistence – especially from some journal editors – that depositing work caused it to lose the required novelty to warrant publication in their journals was the biggest issue, explains Donna Blackmond, a professor of chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in California, US, and a member of the ChemRxiv scientific advisory board.
At the start, some chemistry journals accepted submissions that had been preprinted, some did not and many others left authors guessing by not having a preprint policy at all. It took about year for all the chemistry journals to accept preprints, says Blackmond. The ACS flagship journal, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, held out the longest….
Four years after their launch, the preprint servers are now finding their feet in the chemistry community. In 2020, 5137 preprints were posted on ChemRxiv and 3538 on ChemRN. The same year, ChemRxiv preprints were accessed a total of 16,120,921 times and ChemRN pre-prints downloaded 499,553 times….”
“Open Access Week is a time for both celebration of the open sharing of knowledge and general reflection on the state of academic publishing. In March 2020 the California State University system announced a groundbreaking “transformative” subscription agreement with Elsevier, one of the world’s largest academic publishers of scholarly journals across all disciplines.
The agreement allows CSU campuses fee-free access to CSU faculty’s works published in participating Elsevier Science Direct journals, regardless of subscription status, as well as providing for fee-per-article open-access publishing to our faculty.
As this pilot agreement is up for review in 2021, now may be a good time to reflect upon its impact. Our presenters and panelists will take a deep dive into the outcomes and sustainability of this transformative “Read and Publish-Plus” arrangement….”
“The past twenty years have brought substantial consolidation to our sector. Each of today’s major scholarly publishers is the product of progressive acquisitions. And, the past decade has seen a drumbeat of acquisitions in the platforms that support scholarship and scholarly communication — from Elsevier’s acquisitions of SSRN, bepress, Mendeley, Pure, and Aries to the announcement this year that Clarivate will acquire ProQuest. Not surprisingly, there has been frequent, at times reflexive, customer opposition to acquisitions in these sectors, motivated by concerns about pricing. Here are a few powerful examples. Despite these objections, we expect there to be further announcements of mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances, and other forms of consolidation in the days and years ahead. Which raises an important question: While consolidation is certainly in the interest of the consolidators, are there times when consolidation also works to the benefit of customers and users?…”
“Now, could someone else find your data and use it? Sure. However, they are unlikely to write the same paper(s), one may or may not write about the work. Furthermore, reuse is preferable and a positive outcome. There are many solutions in place both at journals and within our scientific culture to protect and attenuate the risks and potential costs of sharing (Whitlock et al., 2016). Balance and fairness including collaboration with those that collect key components of data in addition to reasonable embargo periods still enable open science. The nuances of Ecology and Evolution and perhaps many disciplines that use a wide palette of experimental and synthesis tools likely limit the capacity for direct experimental replication from a dataset without additional details of the methods (Alston & Rick, 2021). Nonetheless, others can and will find a new use for the data. So, there is not zero risk to us of being scooped, but one does risk a lost chance for attribution and provenance for ideas (and people) embodied in the collection of those data. A critical implication is that we are often obligated by funders to publish data, and as described above, lags in peer review can be a real challenge and publication may not always be synchronous with the grant reporting cycle. Writing metadata does consume time that is unavailable for other activities such as writing the paper, but we are likely to commit the time at some point to satisfy requirements of agencies. Returns are also potentially higher in net efficiency and in recognition and reuse that benefit the researcher and team in having more to report. The main implication is that publishing sooner likely simplifies and makes your scientific life easier. It can support more efficient, rapid, and open work. So, if can consider it for some of your data some of the time, make a change and accelerate the research, recognition, and reuse process. A little bit more speed and openness will ensure that the early bird gets the return.”
“Affordability is often the main driver for the use of OER, but it’s not the only reason. Using OER gives faculty the ability to customize their learning materials to support their curriculum and the learning outcomes for their course. The course materials can be dynamic, with a wide selection of OER available to create engagement, improve understanding, and break down barriers to accessibility….”
“Why not publish a data report article?
For a researcher who produces large amounts of data or works heavily with software and code for analysis, getting proper credit for their efforts can be a problem. Traditionally, an academic article is written in a format where a hypothesis is tested, results produced and analysed, and ends with a conclusion. This format increasingly is a poor fit for the work of many and data journals are one solution to this issue. The goal of this kind of journal is to publish a type of article usually referred to as a data report which focusses on announcing and describing the output of research projects which are resources, raw data, databases or similar and can be of use to the research community in general.
Publishing with a data journal offers several benefits. First, a data report article is more formal than a publication of data files in a repository and is a peer reviewed publication which then contributes to a researcher’s publication record which is important for CVs and advancement for many. Second, they allow a more detailed explanation of a dataset and any analysis or code related to it than is usually otherwise possible. Third, the appearance of an article in a recognised journal can help to drive visibility of a dataset for other researchers. In practice it my often be the case that a repository will be used to host material which is discussed at length in a paper….”
Sanjana, N.E. Voices of the new generation: open science is good for science (and for you). Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41580-021-00414-1
In the race to publish papers and secure funding, science can sometimes seem like a competition. But, in reality, modern science relies on open sharing and collaboration. One unexpected aspect of open science is the role it has played in uplifting the careers of myself and my lab members.
Abstract: Concerns about a crisis of mass irreplicability across scientific fields (“the replication crisis”) have stimulated a movement for open science, encouraging or even requiring researchers to publish their raw data and analysis code. Recently, a rule at the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) would have imposed a strong open data requirement. The rule prompted significant public discussion about whether open science practices are appropriate for fields of environmental public health. The aims of this paper are to assess (1) whether the replication crisis extends to fields of environmental public health; and (2) in general whether open science requirements can address the replication crisis. There is little empirical evidence for or against mass irreplicability in environmental public health specifically. Without such evidence, strong claims about whether the replication crisis extends to environmental public health — or not — seem premature. By distinguishing three concepts — reproducibility, replicability, and robustness — it is clear that open data initiatives can promote reproducibility and robustness but do little to promote replicability. I conclude by reviewing some of the other benefits of open science, and offer some suggestions for funding streams to mitigate the costs of adoption of open science practices in environmental public health.
“The AMS is not bucking the open access trend — indeed, we are launching a major new electronic-only, Diamond Open Access journal – Communications of the AMS (CAMS) – a research journal that sits at the interface of theoretical and applied mathematics. The journal is donor funded and will be endowed to ensure the journal succeeds in perpetuity.
However, we are looking for other ways to avoid reliance on article processing charges (APCs) for revenue. One of the most intriguing options is Subscribe to Open (S2O) – or at least it seems that way. But then again, there are pros and cons to a model that is philosophically appealing, but may not be sustainable in the long term….
For an independent academic society, I can see many advantages in S2O. I see the pros of a collective approach to openness that in principle is sustainable. Yet, I do see risks. Right now, there is an ethical force that sits beyond the boundary of logical institutional expenditure. Ongoing financial support requires university administration to accept the idea that their school should subscribe so that others may not need to. Will this approach work globally? Is this how an institution’s Provost or VP of Research sees sensible institutional spend going forward? On the one hand, usage may grow, but it is hard to see how there could be subscription, or financial growth with such a model – perhaps this is the point – but a publisher has to consider these issues….
Rather than letting all this keep me awake at night, I thought I would turn to a few experts with a few burning questions, asking them to help me navigate my way through this complexity.
As you read the thoughtful responses below, I am interested to know what you think. My take-away is that there is a symmetry and determination to S2O that appears to defy the logic of unsustainability. It is also clear that we need to know more over a period of time to see if S2O will work or not. The question I pose on Creative Commons Licensing appears to be an afterthought for many, and indeed the answers below solidify my sense that there is no clear link between S2O and the use of Creative Commons licensing, or if there is, it needs to transparently be the authors’ decision
Voices included here are: Curtis Brundy (Associate University Librarian, Iowa State University), Larry Howell (Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Academic Vice President, Brigham Young University), Judith Russell (Dean of University Libraries, University of Florida), Rick Anderson (University Librarian at Brigham Young University and Scholarly Kitchen Chef), Tom Ward (Professor of Mathematics and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education), Newcastle University), Richard Gallagher (President and Editor-in-Chief, Annual Reviews), Michael Levine-Clark (Dean of the University of Denver Libraries)….”
“The benefits of refereed preprints are clear. Authors can reply in detail to a single journal-agnostic assessment. The referee reports can help authors to select a suitable journal for their work, saving them the time spent reformatting and resubmitting a manuscript to several journals. The ability to transfer referee reports across journals also helps to avoid repeated cycles of peer review, reducing the time that reviewers spend reading and assessing manuscripts. This makes the review process more efficient and favours the rapid dissemination of findings, while enhancing a preprint’s quality, reliability, and readability.
What’s more, as an increasing number of funding institutions allow the inclusion of preprints in grant and fellowships proposals, refereed preprints can also help those evaluating research to focus on the science rather than on the name or impact factor of the journal where the work was published. As such, refereed preprints represent genuine indicators of research quality, helping to inform funding and academic advancement decisions….”
“The open research system, with its expanding rates of investment and interconnectedness, has delivered tremendous benefits to many nations, but it has also created new challenges to research integrity and security. Our data shows significant variations across countries in how much, and in what ways, they rely on their collaborative links to the global research network. A more nuanced understanding of those differences is critical for assessing the unique cost/benefit calculations behind decisions to limit open engagement to address security concerns….
But with a number of countries eschewing the post-World War II norms of that global research system, [the open research system] is also being manipulated through means such as foreign interference, theft of intellectual property, and breaches of research integrity….”
“Science funders are slowly dismantling the barriers that prevent research outputs from being disseminated beyond the pages of subscription journals. While many researchers welcome this direction of travel, it also has implications for winning funding.
With various funders taking steps to ensure that content is made freely available online, they are increasingly turning the magnifying glass on researchers, looking for evidence that academics are working to ensure their outputs have an impact in the wider world….
Grigorov, a researcher on open science at the Technical University of Denmark, said that solid proposals too often failed because scholars did not give enough thought to incorporating open science in their projects. “I’m surrounded by applicants whose research is excellent and who are very capable of scoring five out of five, but they really lose points on impact,” he said.
Grigorov has firsthand experience, having conducted a workshop for researchers on incorporating open-science practices into grants at his university. “We asked them if they’d let us hack their proposal all the way from research excellence, methods and impacts…to implementation,” he said….
According to Féret, a librarian in charge of open access and research data management at the University of Lille in France, meeting funder expectations on open science is not impossible for researchers but it does require a bit of forethought. Not only that, but flagging open-science provisions in a proposal can bolster a project’s appeal to reviewers….”
Abstract: In the late 1990s chemists were among the early adopters of open access (OA) publishing. As also happened with preprints, the early successful adoption of OA publishing by chemists subsequently slowed down. In 2016 chemistry was found to be the discipline with the lowest proportion of OA articles in articles published between 2009 and 2015. To benefit from open science in terms of enhanced citations, collaboration, job and funding opportunities, chemistry scholars need updated information (and education) of practical relevance about open science. Suggesting avenues for quick uptake of OA publishing from chemists in both developed and developing countries, this article offers a critical perspective on academic publishing in the chemical sciences that will be useful to inform that education.
OASPA is pleased to announce the first in a series of webinars focused on the needs of the researcher. This webinar brings together a cross-disciplinary panel of researchers to discuss what unites them in terms of their motivations and values around open research and open access, and how and if this is enabled in practice. Panellists will also consider if their perceptions change depending on their role (author, reviewer, evaluator, educator, reader) and discuss the choices they currently make when disseminating their work and if and how they would like these to change in the future.
The webinar will be chaired by Curtis Brundy and we welcome our panellists Michelle Arkin, Melodee Beals, Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou and Zulidyana D. Rusnalasari.
The panellists will each speak for approximately 10 minutes each, and then we will open it up to questions from the audience and for panel discussion.
Please join us live for this free webinar and to contribute to the discussion by registering here.