Reconceptualizing Open Access to Theses and Dissertations | infojustice

Abstract: Theses and dissertations (TD) are academic research projects that are conducted by graduate students to acquire a high academic degree, such as a PhD. The perception of the written TD has evolved over the years, following changes concerning the purpose of advanced academic studies. Today, these academic fruits should meet a high standard of academic innovation, which is understood broadly as encompassing not only knowledge concerning basic science but also the knowledge that generates social and economic value for society.

The modern perception of TD has generated a call for their greater accessibility, as part of the Open Science movement. Nevertheless, in many countries around the world TD are not published in an open access format. While the normative basis for open access approach to publicly funded academic research is extensively discussed in the literature, there is a lack of legal and normative discussion concerning the special case of TD. The present study aims at filling this gap.

We argue that the essence of TD as unique outputs of academic research merits a special stance compelling the publication of these studies in open access format, subject to certain exceptions. This stance is underpinned by several arguments, which we develop in our study, based on historic and normative analysis. Moreover, we propose to establish a mandatory global policy and standardization regarding the publication of TD in designated repositories, open to the public, that would generate together an “open world wide web of TD.” Such a global framework will facilitate the progress of science and promote the public good worldwide.

Amending the literature through version control | Biology Letters

Abstract:  The ideal of self-correction in science is not well served by the current culture and system surrounding amendments to published literature. Here we describe our view of how amendments could and should work by drawing on the idea of an author-led version control system. We report a survey (n = 132) that highlights academics’ dissatisfaction with the status quo and their support for such an alternative approach. Authors would include a link in their published manuscripts to an updatable website (e.g. a GitHub repository) that could be disseminated in the event of any amendment. Such a system is already in place for computer code and requires nothing but buy-in from the scientific community—a community that is already evolving towards open science frameworks. This would remove a number of frictions that discourage amendments leading to an improved scientific literature and a healthier academic climate.

 

PALOMERA – Policy Alignment of Open Access Monographs in the European Research Area

“The PALOMERA project (Supporting the development of aligned policies for open access books and monographs) is funded for two years under the Horizon Europe: Reforming and enhancing the European R&I System (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/101094270).

Academic books continue to play an important role in scholarly production and research communication, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. As an important output of scholarly production, academic books must be included in open science/open access policies and strategies developed by research funders and institutions, to ensure that open science becomes the modus operandi of modern science across all disciplines. However, contrary to article publishing in journals (especially in the areas of Science, Technology, and Medicine) academic books have not been a focus point for open access (OA) policymakers. Consequently, books are only rarely mandated to be published OA by research funders and institutions. 

PALOMERA will investigate the reasons for this situation across geographies, languages, economies, and disciplines within the European Research Area (ERA). Through desk studies, surveys, in-depth interviews, and use cases, PALOMERA will collect, structure, analyse, and make available knowledge that can explain the challenges and bottlenecks that prevent OA to academic books. Based on this evidence, PALOMERA will provide actionable recommendations and concrete resources to support and coordinate aligned funder and institutional policies for OA books, with the overall objective of speeding up the transition to open access for books to further promote open science. 

The recommendations will address all relevant stakeholders (research funders and institutions, researchers, publishers, infrastructure providers, libraries, and national policymakers). The PALOMERA consortium broadly represents all relevant stakeholders for OA academic books, but will facilitate co-creation and validation events throughout the project to ensure that the views and voices of all relevant stakeholders are represented, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. This will assure maximal consensus and take-up of the recommendations….”

Wikipedia is twenty. It’s time to start covering it better. – Columbia Journalism Review

“In the first years of the site, the press enjoyed noting funny instances of Wikipedia vandalism. But, as the tone of the coverage shifts toward praise, and on the site’s 20th anniversary, we feel journalism should help readers better understand Wikipedia’s policies and inner workings—in other words, improve the general public’s Wikipedia literacy. We have identified two major themes that might help reporters in this effort….

Although it is true that Wikipedia is, broadly-speaking, an openly editable project, journalists who suggest that the encyclopedia itself is a free-for-all do a disservice to their readers. Over the years, the Wikipedia community has created a large number of mechanisms that regulate its market of ideas. Perhaps the most important one is the ability to lock articles for public editing. 

 

Anyone can edit Wikipedia, but temporarily disabling people from editing it anonymously can go an extremely long way in preventing disinformation. Articles such as the “COVID-19 pandemic” are subject to semi-protection, meaning that anonymous IP editing is not allowed and that any contributors must register an account. Other articles have more extensive protections, such as the article on Donald Trump, which has long been subject to extended-confirmed protection, meaning that only Wikipedia editors who have been active for 30 days and who have performed at least 500 edits can directly edit Trump’s page….

 

Wikipedia, in the singular, does not “decide” or “ban” anything; rather, the community, or different groups within it, reach a temporary consensus on certain issues. That’s understandably hard to pack within a headline. But journalism suggesting that Wikipedia is a monolithic agent with a single point of view simply misses the mark. …

 

A key determinant of notability is whether the subject has received significant coverage from reliable media sources. The volunteer Wikipedia editor who declined the draft page about Strickland did so because, according to the guideline, there wasn’t enough coverage of Strickland’s work in news articles and other independent secondary sources to establish her notability. Katherine Maher, executive director of the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, later wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times headlined “Wikipedia Mirrors the World’s Gender Biases, It Doesn’t Cause Them.” Rather than cast the blame on Wikipedia or its policies, Maher challenged journalists to write more stories about notable women like Strickland so that volunteer Wikipedians had sufficient material to source in their own attempts to fix the bias. The media can do more than just call out biases on Wikipedia; it can also help address them. …”

MetaArXiv Preprints | Reproducible research practices and transparency across linguistics

Abstract:  Scientific studies of language span across many disciplines and provide evidence for social, cultural, cognitive, technological, and biomedical studies of human nature and behavior. By becoming increasingly empirical and quantitative, linguistics has been facing challenges and limitations of the scientific practices that pose barriers to reproducibility and replicability. One of the proposed solutions to the widely acknowledged reproducibility and replicability crisis has been the implementation of transparency practices, e.g. open access publishing, preregistrations, sharing study materials, data, and analyses, performing study replications and declaring conflicts of interest. Here, we have assessed the prevalence of these practices in randomly sampled 600 journal articles from linguistics across two time points. In line with similar studies in other disciplines, we found a moderate amount of articles published open access, but overall low rates of sharing materials, data, and protocols, no preregistrations, very few replications and low rates of conflict of interest reports. These low rates have not increased noticeably between 2008/2009 and 2018/2019, pointing to remaining barriers and slow adoption of open and reproducible research practices in linguistics. As linguistics has not yet firmly established transparency and reproducibility as guiding principles in research, we provide recommendations and solutions for facilitating the adoption of these practices.

 

Just 35% Indian research papers open-access, BHU’s data analysis platform shows

“Only about 35% of India’s scientific research publications is open–access, even though a large chunk of the research itself is public-funded, an analysis of research data by a team at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has found. It has also found that less than a third of Indian research papers have women as lead authors….

The analysis has produced interesting findings. For instance, researchers found that a sizable percent of research is not available as open access despite being funded by the government. According to its records, 35.13% of India’s research was open-access in 2019; out of the 20 countries considered, India was ahead of only China (34.45%) and Iran (32.49%)….”

CHECKLIST FOR OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHERS ON IMPLEMENTING THE UNESCO RECOMMENDATION ON OPEN SCIENCE

“This document is part of the UNESCO Open Science Toolkit, designed to support implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. It has been produced in partnership with the Open  Access  Scholarly  Publishing  Association  (OASPA),  a  diverse  community  of  organizations  engaged  in  open  scholarship.  The  aim  is  to  provide  practical  assistance  to  the  open  access  publishing  community  to  better  understand  the  Recommendation  by  highlighting  the  areas  that apply to open access publishers who wish to support its implementation….”

 

How can I persuade my institution to support collective funding for open access books? (Part Two) · Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

“As Sharla Lair at LYRASIS says “The transformation of scholarly publishing happens one investment at a time. You can’t do everything, but you can do something.” In the UK, several libraries (including the Universities of St Andrews, Manchester, Sussex, and Salford, among others) are all implementing innovative strategies to enable ethically-aligned support for OA that mesh with budget constraints. The university KU Leuven has an approach worth studying (more on this below), as does that of Utrecht, Iowa State University, the University of Kansas, Guelph, Temple University, University of California and MIT Library. But even libraries that are not in a position to make strategic overhauls can still agree criteria by which they can start to assess deals. 

Practical approaches – a case study from the library at KU Leuven…

Comparing scientific abstracts generated by ChatGPT to original abstracts using an artificial intelligence output detector, plagiarism detector, and blinded human reviewers | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Background Large language models such as ChatGPT can produce increasingly realistic text, with unknown information on the accuracy and integrity of using these models in scientific writing.

Methods We gathered ten research abstracts from five high impact factor medical journals (n=50) and asked ChatGPT to generate research abstracts based on their titles and journals. We evaluated the abstracts using an artificial intelligence (AI) output detector, plagiarism detector, and had blinded human reviewers try to distinguish whether abstracts were original or generated.

Results All ChatGPT-generated abstracts were written clearly but only 8% correctly followed the specific journal’s formatting requirements. Most generated abstracts were detected using the AI output detector, with scores (higher meaning more likely to be generated) of median [interquartile range] of 99.98% [12.73, 99.98] compared with very low probability of AI-generated output in the original abstracts of 0.02% [0.02, 0.09]. The AUROC of the AI output detector was 0.94. Generated abstracts scored very high on originality using the plagiarism detector (100% [100, 100] originality). Generated abstracts had a similar patient cohort size as original abstracts, though the exact numbers were fabricated. When given a mixture of original and general abstracts, blinded human reviewers correctly identified 68% of generated abstracts as being generated by ChatGPT, but incorrectly identified 14% of original abstracts as being generated. Reviewers indicated that it was surprisingly difficult to differentiate between the two, but that the generated abstracts were vaguer and had a formulaic feel to the writing.

Conclusion ChatGPT writes believable scientific abstracts, though with completely generated data. These are original without any plagiarism detected but are often identifiable using an AI output detector and skeptical human reviewers. Abstract evaluation for journals and medical conferences must adapt policy and practice to maintain rigorous scientific standards; we suggest inclusion of AI output detectors in the editorial process and clear disclosure if these technologies are used. The boundaries of ethical and acceptable use of large language models to help scientific writing remain to be determined.

Kenyon | The Journal Article as a Means to Share Data: a Content Analysis of Supplementary Materials from Two Disciplines | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION The practice of publishing supplementary materials with journal articles is becoming increasingly prevalent across the sciences. We sought to understand better the content of these materials by investigating the differences between the supplementary materials published by authors in the geosciences and plant sciences. METHODS We conducted a random stratified sampling of four articles from each of 30 journals published in 2013. In total, we examined 297 supplementary data files for a range of different factors. RESULTS We identified many similarities between the practices of authors in the two fields, including the formats used (Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs) and the small size of the files. There were differences identified in the content of the supplementary materials: the geology materials contained more maps and machine-readable data; the plant science materials included much more tabular data and multimedia content. DISCUSSION Our results suggest that the data shared through supplementary files in these fields may not lend itself to reuse. Code and related scripts are not often shared, nor is much ‘raw’ data. Instead, the files often contain summary data, modified for human reading and use. CONCLUSION Given these and other differences, our results suggest implications for publishers, librarians, and authors, and may require shifts in behavior if effective data sharing is to be realized.

 

Data for Good Can’t be a Casualty of Tech Restructuring  • CrisisReady

“Technology companies like Meta, Twitter and Amazon are laying off thousands of employees as part of corporate restructuring in an uncertain global economy. In addition to jobs, many internal programs deemed unnecessary or financially infeasible may be lost. Programs that fall under the rubric of “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) are generally the first casualties of restructuring. CSR efforts include “data for good” programs designed to translate anonymized corporate data into social good and may be seen in the current climate as a way that companies cater to employee values or enable friendlier regulatory environments; in other words, nice-to-haves rather than need-to-haves for the bottom line.  

We believe the platforms built to safely and ethically share corporate data to support public policy are not a luxury that companies should jettison or monetize. The data we produce in our daily lives has become integral to how public decisions are made while planning for public health or disaster response. Our 21st century public data ecosystem is increasingly reliant on novel private data streams that corporations own and currently share only conditionally and increasingly, for profit….

We contend that the rapid sharing of aggregated and anonymized location data with disaster response and public health agencies should be automatic and free — though conditional on strict privacy protocols and time-limited — during acute emergencies….

While the challenges to realizing the full value of private data for public good are many, there is precedent for a path forward. Two decades ago, the International Space Charter was negotiated to facilitate access to satellite data from companies and governments for the sake of responding to major disasters. A similar approach guaranteeing access rights to privately held data for good during emergencies is more important now….”

Preprints in Health Professions Education: Raising Awareness… : Academic Medicine

Abstract:  A preprint is a version of a research manuscript posted by its authors to a preprint server before peer review. Preprints are associated with a variety of benefits, including the ability to rapidly communicate research, the opportunity for researchers to receive feedback and raise awareness of their research, and broad and unrestricted access. For early-career researchers, preprints also provide a mechanism for demonstrating research progress and productivity without the lengthy timelines of traditional journal publishing. Despite these benefits, few health professions education (HPE) research articles are deposited as preprints, suggesting that preprinting is not currently integrated into HPE culture. In this article, the authors describe preprints, their benefits and related risks, and the potential barriers that hamper their widespread use within HPE. In particular, the authors propose the barriers of discordant messaging and the lack of formal and informal education on how to deposit, critically appraise, and use preprints. To mitigate these barriers, several recommendations are proposed to facilitate preprints in becoming an accepted and encouraged component of HPE culture, allowing the field to take full advantage of this evolving form of research dissemination.

 

Open issues for education in radiological research: data integrity, study reproducibility, peer-review, levels of evidence, and cross-fertilization with data scientists | SpringerLink

Abstract:  We are currently facing extraordinary changes. A harder and harder competition in the field of science is open in each country as well as in continents and worldwide. In this context, what should we teach to young students and doctors? There is a need to look backward and return to “fundamentals”, i.e. the deep characteristics that must characterize the research in every field, even in radiology. In this article, we focus on data integrity (including the “declarations” given by the authors who submit a manuscript), reproducibility of study results, and the peer-review process. In addition, we highlight the need of raising the level of evidence of radiological research from the estimation of diagnostic performance to that of diagnostic impact, therapeutic impact, patient outcome, and social impact. Finally, on the emerging topic of radiomics and artificial intelligence, the recommendation is to aim for cross-fertilization with data scientists, possibly involving them in the clinical departments.

 

Ranking the openness of criminology units: An attempt to incentivize the use of librarians, institutional repositories, and unit-dedicated subpages to increase scholarly impact and justice · CrimRxiv

Abstract:  In this article, I describe and explain a way for criminologists—as individuals, groups and, especially, as university units (e.g., colleges, departments, schools)—to increase the quantity and quality of open criminology: ask university librarians to make their outputs open access on their “unit repositories” (URs), which are unit-dedicated subpages on universities’ institutional repositories (IR). I try to advance this practice by devising and employing a metric, the “URscore,” to document, analyze, and rank criminology units’ contributions to open criminology, as prescribed. To illustrate the metric’s use, I did a study of 45 PhD-granting criminology units in the United States (US). I find almost all of them (98%) have access to an IR; less than two-thirds (62%) have a UR; less than one-third (29%) have used it this decade (up to August 11, 2022); their URs have a total of 190 open outputs from the 2020s, with 78% emanating from the top-three “most open”—per my ranking—PhD-granting criminology units in the US: those of the University of California, Irvine (with 72 open outputs), the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (with 47 such outputs), and the University of Nebraska, Omaha (with 30 such outputs). Each URscore reflects a criminology unit’s scholarly productivity and scholarly justice. I hope they see the ranking as a reward or opportunity for improvement. Toward that end, I conclude with a discussion of critical issues, instructions, and futures.