Concerns about new ARC “no preprint rule”

“The Australian Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics communities express grave concern about a recent change to Australian Research Council (ARC) rules to forbid reference to preprints anywhere in a grant application. We are particularly concerned about the impact on early career researchers whose ARC fellowship applications have recently been ruled ineligible because of a violation of this new rule. We are not aware of any consultation with our scientific communities about this change. We urge the ARC to rescind this rule, as it is unworkable and inconsistent with standard practice in our disciplines. Preprints are vital for the rapid dissemination of knowledge in physics, astronomy, chemistry, mathematics and statistics. This is particularly important in fields where there is a long lead-time between journal submission and publication. Citing preprints in publications, reports, or grant applications is an entrenched disciplinary norm in these fields. Experts and referees who encounter such citations know that preprints are not peer reviewed and are experienced in assigning them appropriate weight….”

Should we publish researchers’ pledges? – Ask Open Science

“During a breakout room at the recent SORTEE conference, Daniel Mietchen suggested an intriguing idea: what if we were to develop a common (machine-readable) format for the various pledges that researchers take and **publish these pledges in an indexed journal**. This could help to increase visibility of the pledges, provide citeable DOIs, celebrate researchers who commit to positive action, and facilitate searches/meta-research on the pledge space (because everything would now be machine-readable). Daniel also pointed out that Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) already publishes a variety of ‘alternative’ research outputs beyond articles and could thus incorporate this new pledge format relatively easily. …”

FOASAS: Fair Open Access in South Asian Studies

“Profiteering and restricted access have led to a crisis in academic publishing. The Fair Open Access movement is best promoted by mobilizing individual disciplines. With this manifesto, we, an open group of scholars of classical and modern South Asian Studies, declare our support for Fair Open Access publishing….

The following publishers and journals meet many or all FOA criteria (see §7 of the FOASAS Manifesto). …”

 

ASAPbio open letter to ARC – Google Docs

“The Australian Research Council (ARC) does not allow researchers to cite preprints in their grant applications and recently disqualified a number of applications for this reason.  

 
Preprints advance scientific discovery and are encouraged by many funders, including Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council. Citation of any source, regardless of its peer review status, is essential for proper attribution of ideas, and prohibiting the citation of preprints prevents applicants from discussing and building on the latest science. Further, listing preprints as evidence of productivity allows reviewers to develop an accurate picture of an applicant’s research outputs.

 
On August 31, we will send the list of signatories below to the ARC along with an offer to provide more information about preprints in the life sciences that can inform their review of their policy. We are also happy to support Australian researchers, librarians, editors, and other stakeholders in having conversations about preprints. Please get in touch with Jessica Polka (jessica.polka@asapbio.org) if you would like assistance in hosting an event for your community. You can also sign other open letters: one drafted by Australian researchers to encourage the ARC to reconsider its preprint policies, and a second encouraging the same as well as eligibility extension and policy simplification. …”

Allow preprint citations in ARC grant applications to maximise the value from publicly funded research

“Open Letter to Professor Sue Thomas (CEO of the Australian Research Council) and The Hon Alan Tudge (Minister for Education and Youth)

The signatories of this letter argue that it is in Australian taxpayers’ best interests to allow preprint citations in ARC grant applications. The ARC currently prohibits citations to preprints (see appendix https://tinyurl.com/vjewcp83 for definition) in grant applications (e.g. DP22 funding rules 2.1 “Pre-print publications should not be included in any part of the application form.”). But preprints are an essential and growing part of many fields of research.

Allowing the citation of preprints in ARC grant applications has many benefits:

* It improves our ability to judge and compare grant applications
* It allows for the inclusion and discussion of the latest science
* It speeds up research progress and discovery (such as the COVID-19 pandemic)
* It improves the accuracy with which we can evaluate researchers’ track records
* It establishes priority of discoveries and ideas
* It brings us in line with other major national and international granting bodies (see appendix https://tinyurl.com/vjewcp83)

Referencing preprints is essential for assessing the quality, novelty, benefits, feasibility, and value of any research proposal. It also contributes to assessing the track records of researchers themselves. The ARC is tasked with apportioning $775.3M in public funding every year. Citing preprints will improve the value that Australian taxpayers get for this significant investment. This is common practice by many national and international funding agencies already….”

TU Berlin unterzeichnet San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (TU Berlin signs DORA)

Influence of the journal impact factor in research assessment is criticized

By signing the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) on July 14, 2021, Technische Universität (TU) Berlin joins an international movement of researchers* and institutions advocating for more equality and transparency in the evaluation of scientific research results. As of mid-July 2021, 2,251 organizations and 17,721 individuals worldwide have signed the declaration, including the German Research Foundation (DFG).
 

 

Einfluss des Journal Impact Factors bei der Forschungsbewertung wird kritisiert

Mit der Unterzeichnung der San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) am 14. Juli 2021 schließt sich die Technische Universität (TU) Berlin einer internationalen Bewegung von Forscher*innen und Institutionen an, die sich für mehr Gleichberechtigung und Transparenz bei der Evaluation wissenschaftlicher Forschungsergebnisse einsetzt. Stand Mitte Juli 2021 haben weltweit 2.251 Organisationen und 17.721 Personen die Erklärung unterzeichnet, darunter die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Keep digital sequence information a common good

“The political debate surrounding digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has garnered immense interest and raised concern across the international scientific community. At the last CBD Conference of the Parties (COP 14), parties formally “agreed to resolve their differences” and, thus, with COP 15 set for October 2021, a decision on DSI and access and benefit-sharing (ABS) approaches.

Disrupting the flow of open DSI has the potential to not only severely hinder basic research and biodiversity conservation, but also innovation more broadly. This includes science and technology that addresses challenges in food security, health, biodiversity loss, and climate change worldwide, which could ultimately undermine progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). What’s at stake is best highlighted by the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: diagnostic kits within weeks of virus discovery, vaccines ten months later, and ongoing surveillance for variants, all possible thanks to rapid DNA sequencing and open DSI….” 

We moeten af van telzucht in de wetenschap – ScienceGuide

From Google’s English:  “On July 19, ScienceGuide published an open letter from 171 academics who are concerned about the new Recognition and Valuation of scientists. In fact, the signatories warn that the new ‘Recognize and Appreciate’ leads to more arbitrariness and loss of quality. This will jeopardize the international top position of Dutch science, argue the writers, which will adversely affect young academics in particular.  …

It is noticeable that these young scientists, whom the letter speaks of, do not seem to be involved in drafting the message. It is also striking that signatories to the open letter themselves are mainly at the top of the academic career ladder; 142 of the 171 signatories are even professors. As Young Science in Transition, PhD candidates Network Netherlands, PostDocNL, a large number of members of De Jonge Akademies and many other young researchers, we do not agree with the message they are proclaiming. In fact, we worry about these kinds of noises when it comes to our current and future careers. Young academics are eagerly waiting for a new system of Recognition and Appreciation. …”

Why the new Recognition & Rewards actually boosts excellent science

“During the last few weeks, several opinion pieces have appeared questioning the new Recognition and Rewards (R&R) and Open Science in Dutch academia. On July 13, the TU/e Cursor published interviews with professors who question the usefulness of a new vision on R&R (1). A day later, on July 14, the chairman of the board of NWO compared science to top sport, with an emphasis on sacrifice and top performance (2), a line of thinking that fits the traditional way of R&R in academia. On July 19, an opinion piece was published by 171 university (head) teachers and professors (3), this time in ScienceGuide questioning again the new vision of R&R. These articles, all published within a week, show that as the new R&R gains traction within universities, established scholars are questioning its usefulness and effectiveness. Like others before us (4), we would like to respond. …”

Take action to stop the lock up of research and learning

“We, IOI, ask the community to join us as we coordinate an effort to:

Audit Clarivate and ProQuests’ data resale and surveillance practices and policies.
Organize a community consultation on data governance for institutional customers of Clarivate and ProQuest services.
Review Clarivate and ProQuest’s pricing, terms of use, lock-in policies, & contract details.
Call for institutions to commit to anti-surveillance practices, first by signing below, and then by working together to improve terms of use to support this aim….”

Statement on Copyright and Proposal of a Waiver from Certain Provisions of the TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19 (IP/C/W/669)

“We support the work and interests of millions of researchers, educators, libraries, archives and museums around the world who are contributing to the prevention, containment and treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic through promotion of access to knowledge. We applaud the efforts of World Trade Organization (WTO) Members to address copyright barriers to an equitable response to COVID-19. Access to copyrighted works, in addition to patents and know-how, is needed to prevent and contain COVID-19 and to develop treatments. COVID-19 has aggravated deep inequalities in access to knowledge. In some countries with flexible copyright systems, residents are able to access and use essential materials in remote educational, learning and research activities, virtually access and use the collections of libraries and other institutions, and contribute to research on treatments using advanced processes such as text and data mining. But these activities are not taking place everywhere because they are not lawful everywhere….”

Suggested changes to the Open Courts Act

“We write on behalf of a group that has extensive experience building large public sites on the Internet. The purpose of this letter is to advance action on improving public access to federal court records, which are presently offered by the government through an outdated PACER system. We have extensive experience putting large government databases on the Internet and then working with public officials to help government do this work better. Our experience includes making available federal databases such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark database, the Securities and Exchange EDGAR database, the IRS Form 990 database, 14,000 hours of Congressional video from hearings posted at the request of the Speaker of the House, and over 6,000 government videos from the U.S. National Archives posted in cooperation with the Archivist of the United States. We have extensive experience working with legal information, and operate some of the largest sites for access to federal court filings, as well as the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, the regulations of all 50 states, and much more….”

Suggested changes to the Open Courts Act

“We write on behalf of a group that has extensive experience building large public sites on the Internet. The purpose of this letter is to advance action on improving public access to federal court records, which are presently offered by the government through an outdated PACER system. We have extensive experience putting large government databases on the Internet and then working with public officials to help government do this work better. Our experience includes making available federal databases such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark database, the Securities and Exchange EDGAR database, the IRS Form 990 database, 14,000 hours of Congressional video from hearings posted at the request of the Speaker of the House, and over 6,000 government videos from the U.S. National Archives posted in cooperation with the Archivist of the United States. We have extensive experience working with legal information, and operate some of the largest sites for access to federal court filings, as well as the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, the regulations of all 50 states, and much more….”