A Strengths-Based Approach to Evaluation and Transformational Change in Publishing | Educopia Institute

“When Katherine Skinner and I published the Values and Principles Framework and Checklist last year, we introduced them as mechanisms to hold actors in the scholarly communication system accountable to their stakeholders and demonstrate their commitment to openness in concrete and documentable ways. We conceived the framework and checklist as living, iterative, and adaptable documents. Our first major revision, to be released this fall, reflects a deliberate shift to a strengths-based model of evaluation and change….

The revised framework will include resources that help organizations demonstrate their signature contributions to a more open, equitable, and productive scholarly communication ecosystem and that help them build towards their ideals….”

The Sustainability Argument for Open Science

Abstract:  Ever-increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions narrow the timeframe for humanity to mitigate the climate crisis. Scientific research activities are resource demanding and, consequently, contribute to climate change; at the same time, scientists have a central role in advancing knowledge, also on climate-related topics. In this opinion piece, we discuss (1) how open science – adopted on an individual as well as on a systemic level – can contribute to making research more environmentally friendly, and (2) how open science practices can make research activities more efficient and thereby foster scientific progress and solutions to the climate crises. While many building blocks are already at hand, systemic changes are necessary in order to create academic environments that support open science practices and encourage scientists from all fields to become more carbon-conscious, ultimately contributing to a sustainable future.

Negotiating Open Access Journal Agreements: An Academic Library Case Study | Hosoi | Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice

Abstract:  The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity for academic libraries to advance open access (OA) to scholarly articles. Awareness among faculty on the importance of OA has increased significantly during the pandemic, as colleges and universities struggle financially and seek sustainable access to high-quality scholarly journals. Consortia have played an important role in establishing negotiation principles on OA journal agreements. While the number of OA agreements is increasing, case studies involving individual libraries are still limited. This paper reviews existing literature on publisher negotiation principles related to OA journal negotiations and reflects on recent cases at an academic library in Pennsylvania, in order to identify best practices in OA journal negotiations. It provides recommendations on roles, relationships, and processes, as well as essential terms of OA journal agreements. This study’s findings are most relevant to large academic libraries that are interested in negotiating with scholarly journal publishers independently or through consortia.

 

Morrison et al. (2021) Open access article processing charges 2011 – 2021 | uOttawa Research

by: Heather Morrison, Luan Borges, Xuan Zhao, Tanoh Laurent Kakou & Amit Nataraj Shanbhoug

Abstract

This study examines trends in open access article processing charges (APCs) from 2011 – 2021, building on a 2011 study by Solomon & Björk (2012). Two methods are employed, a modified replica and a status update of the 2011 journals. Data is drawn from multiple sources and datasets are available as open data (Morrison et al, 2021). Most journals do not charge APCs; this has not changed. The global average per-journal APC increased slightly, from 906 USD to 958 USD, while the per-article average increased from 904 USD to 1,626 USD, indicating that authors choose to publish in more expensive journals. Publisher size, type, impact metrics and subject affect charging tendencies, average APC and pricing trends. About half the journals from the 2011 sample are no longer listed in DOAJ in 2021, due to ceased publication or publisher de-listing. Conclusions include a caution about the potential of the APC model to increase costs beyond inflation, and a suggestion that support for the university sector, responsible for the majority of journals, nearly half the articles, with a tendency not to charge and very low average APCs, may be the most promising approach to achieve economically sustainable no-fee OA journal publishing.

A preprint of the full article is available here: https://ruor.uottawa.ca/handle/10393/42327

The two base datasets and their documentation are available as open data: Morrison, Heather et al., 2021, “2011 – 2021 OA APCs”, https://doi.org/10.5683/SP2/84PNSG, Scholars Portal Dataverse, V1

 

via https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2021/06/24/open-access-article-processing-charges-2011-2021/

Open access article processing charges 2011 – 2021 | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs

by: Heather Morrison, Luan Borges, Xuan Zhao, Tanoh Laurent Kakou & Amit Nataraj Shanbhoug

Abstract

This study examines trends in open access article processing charges (APCs) from 2011 – 2021, building on a 2011 study by Solomon & Björk (2012). Two methods are employed, a modified replica and a status update of the 2011 journals. Data is drawn from multiple sources and datasets are available as open data (Morrison et al, 2021). Most journals do not charge APCs; this has not changed. The global average per-journal APC increased slightly, from 906 USD to 958 USD, while the per-article average increased from 904 USD to 1,626 USD, indicating that authors choose to publish in more expensive journals. Publisher size, type, impact metrics and subject affect charging tendencies, average APC and pricing trends. About half the journals from the 2011 sample are no longer listed in DOAJ in 2021, due to ceased publication or publisher de-listing. Conclusions include a caution about the potential of the APC model to increase costs beyond inflation, and a suggestion that support for the university sector, responsible for the majority of journals, nearly half the articles, with a tendency not to charge and very low average APCs, may be the most promising approach to achieve economically sustainable no-fee OA journal publishing.

What’s the Big Deal? | Ithaka S+R

“The dominant mode by which research libraries have provided maximum journal access as cheaply as possible—subscription bundles or “Big Deals”—is giving way to new approaches. This transition is taking place through a combination of negotiations, activism, business modeling, user needs research, and decision support, among other factors. To support these processes, Ithaka S+R partnered with 11 academic libraries to understand researcher perceptions to help inform their ongoing strategic decision making about Big Deal journal subscriptions.

Recognizing that libraries must also undertake case-by-case assessments prior to making decisions about any particular journal package, in this report we share findings from the project that merit wider public consideration. We detail patterns in how researchers approach discovery and access to journal content, focusing on their experiences when mechanisms for access change. These experiences are used as a jumping off point to also explore researchers’ perceptions of the various models for facilitating their access to journal content and of the stakeholders engaged in that work.

We found that when a suite of journals is no longer available through a Big Deal subscription package, researchers experience little negative impact in the short term. There are some institutional, disciplinary, and career-stage variations, but overall researchers are able to work around the access barriers they encounter. This reality is deceptively benign. Researchers remain supportive of their libraries and are also interested in broader efforts to challenge the status quo of the scholarly communications business. However, they do not have a solid understanding of the strategies for advancing new modes of journal access beyond the subscription model, nor are they clear on what the library can and should provide in response.

We recommend three areas of activity that institutions should be especially mindful of when considering changes to journal subscription packages …

We found that when a suite of journals is no longer available through a Big Deal subscription package, researchers experience little negative impact in the short term. There are some institutional, disciplinary, and career-stage variations, but overall researchers are able to work around the access barriers they encounter. This reality is deceptively benign. Researchers remain supportive of their libraries and are also interested in broader efforts to challenge the status quo of the scholarly communications business. However, they do not have a solid understanding of the strategies for advancing new modes of journal access beyond the subscription model, nor are they clear on what the library can and should provide in response….”

Guest Post – Open and Faster Scholarly Communication in a Post-COVID World – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The pandemic presented an urgency for effective science to inform decision-making and has shown just how fast and open scholarly communication can be. Researchers shared their preliminary results on preprint servers and institutional repositories at unprecedented rates, inspiring various preprint peer-review initiatives. Journal publishers processed manuscripts from submission to publication in record time. And much of what we know about Covid-19 has been learned through data sharing and cooperation at the international level, with the use of critical data-sharing infrastructure.

While the research community has responded with an extraordinary level of openness, speed, and collaboration, it has also brought to the fore some of the key challenges we still face in the transition to open research – and the opportunities they represent….”

 

Developing a scalable framework for partnerships between health agencies and the Wikimedia ecosystem

Abstract:  In this era of information overload and misinformation, it is a challenge to rapidly translate evidence-based health information to the public. Wikipedia is a prominent global source of health information with high traffic, multilingual coverage, and acceptable quality control practices. Viewership data following the Ebola crisis and during the COVID-19 pandemic reveals that a significant number of web users located health guidance through Wikipedia and related projects, including its media repository Wikimedia Commons and structured data complement, Wikidata.

The basic idea discussed in this paper is to increase and expedite health institutions’ global reach to the general public, by developing a specific strategy to maximize the availability of focused content into Wikimedia’s public digital knowledge archives. It was conceptualized from the experiences of leading health organizations such as Cochrane, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other United Nations Organizations, Cancer Research UK, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Each has customized strategies to integrate content in Wikipedia and evaluate responses.

We propose the development of an interactive guide on the Wikipedia and Wikidata platforms to support health agencies, health professionals and communicators in quickly distributing key messages during crisis situations. The guide aims to cover basic features of Wikipedia, including adding key health messages to Wikipedia articles, citing expert sources to facilitate fact-checking, staging text for translation into multiple languages; automating metrics reporting; sharing non-text media; anticipating offline reuse of Wikipedia content in apps or virtual assistants; structuring data for querying and reuse through Wikidata, and profiling other flagship projects from major health organizations.

In the first phase, we propose the development of a curriculum for the guide using information from prior case studies. In the second phase, the guide would be tested on select health-related topics as new case studies. In its third phase, the guide would be finalized and disseminated.

Promoting open science in public policy

“The value of this document is that it can make future public open science policies enhance the opening of the research cycle as a whole, promote participatory science, and open spaces to talk about innovation and newer aspects of open science, such as the need for exceptions to copyright for data mining or the development of funding mechanisms and approaches for citizen labs or spaces to experiment with open infrastructure (Unlock devices). Again, the recommendations can be a roadmap for talking about the science and its results common goods (Those that have universal access, are democratically managed, continue to be used over time and are collectively owned)….”

Game over: empower early career researchers to improve research quality

Abstract:  Processes of research evaluation are coming under increasing scrutiny, with detractors arguing that they have adverse effects on research quality, and that they support a research culture of competition to the detriment of collaboration. Based on three personal perspectives, we consider how current systems of research evaluation lock early career researchers and their supervisors into practices that are deemed necessary to progress academic careers within the current evaluation frameworks. We reflect on the main areas in which changes would enable better research practices to evolve; many align with open science. In particular, we suggest a systemic approach to research evaluation, taking into account its connections to the mechanisms of financial support for the institutions of research and higher education in the broader landscape. We call for more dialogue in the academic world around these issues and believe that empowering early career researchers is key to improving research quality.

 

Open access publishing in chemistry: a practical perspective informing new education

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.

 

Qualitative data are shareable – Open Science Future

“Three key learnings:

Sharing qualitative data does not mean depositing them somewhere on the internet.
Sharing qualitative data through data repositories enables controlling secondary use and is safe.
Research data archives offer help in processing data for reuse and some even offer financial support….”

FAIR Principles for Research Software (FAIR4RS Principles) | RDA

“Research software is a fundamental and vital part of research worldwide, yet there remain significant challenges to software productivity, quality, reproducibility, and sustainability. Improving the practice of scholarship is a common goal of the open science, open source software and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) communities, but improving the sharing of research software has not yet been a strong focus of the latter.

To improve the FAIRness of research software, the FAIR for Research Software (FAIR4RS) Working Group has sought to understand how to apply the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship to research software, bringing together existing and new community efforts. Many of the FAIR Guiding Principles can be directly applied to research software by treating software and data as similar digital research objects. However, specific characteristics of software — such as its executability, composite nature, and continuous evolution and versioning — make it necessary to revise and extend the principles.

This document presents the first version of the FAIR Principles for Research Software (FAIR4RS Principles). It is an outcome of the FAIR for Research Software Working Group (FAIR4RS WG).

The FAIR for Research Software Working Group is jointly convened as an RDA Working Group, FORCE11 Working Group, and Research Software Alliance (ReSA) Task Force.”

Enabling smaller independent publishers to participate in OA agreements – information power

“An independent report released today by Information Power measures progress during 2020 and 2021 on Open Access agreements between consortia/libraries and publishers. OA agreements are now used around the world in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. During 2020 there was a clear uptick in the number of OA articles published in hybrid journals, which reverses a downward trend in the proportion of total articles published as OA in hybrid journals between 2016 and 2019. There is potential for further growth.

Smaller independent publishers – for example society publishers without a larger publishing partner, university presses, library presses, and small independent commercial presses – face some special challenges due to their scale. A number of practical task-and-finish groups are needed to align on shared principles, license language, data exchange, and workflows followed by engagement with standards bodies, intermediaries, and platform providers to ensure these can become embedded in practice.

The transition to OA requires change on the part of all stakeholders, and the report argues it is particularly crucial that there is active cross-stakeholder alignment focused on enabling smaller independent publishers to transition successfully. Amongst other things, the authors strongly recommend funders take steps to enable universities to aggregate all their expenditure with publishers via the library. They also encourage publishers who closely link the price of OA agreements to article volume to think carefully about more equitable models.”