Jamali, H.R., Wakeling, S. and Abbasi, A. (2022), Why do journals discontinue? A study of Australian ceased journals. Learned Publishing, 35: 219-228. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1448
Abstract: Little is known about why journals discontinue despite its significant implications. We present an analysis of 140 Australian journals that ceased from 2011 to mid-2021 and present the results of a survey of editors of 53 of them. The death age of journals was 19.7 (median = 16) with 57% being 10?years or older. About 54% of them belonged to educational institutions and 34% to non-profit organizations. In terms of subject, 75% of the journals belonged to social sciences, humanities and arts. The survey showed that funding was an important reason for discontinuation, and lack of quality submission and lack of support from the owners of the journal also played a role. Too much reliance on voluntary works appeared to be an issue for editorial processes. The dominant metric culture in the research environment and pressure for journals to perform well in journal rankings negatively affect local journals in attracting quality submissions. A fifth of journals indicated that they did not have a plan for the preservation of articles at the time of publication and the current availability of the content of ceased journals appeared to be sub-optimal in many cases with reliance on the website of ceased journals or web-archive platforms.
One hundred and forty Australian journals ceased publishing between 2011 and 2020, with an average age of 19?years on cessation.
The majority of Australian journals that ceased publication 2011–2020 were in the social sciences, humanities and arts where local journals play an important role.
Funding was found to be a key reason for journal discontinuation followed by lack of support and quality submissions and over-reliance on voluntary work.
Metric driven culture and journal rankings adversely impact local journals and can lead to discontinuation.
Many journals have neither sustainable business models (or funding), nor a preservation plan, both of which jeopardize journal continuation and long-term access to archive content.
“Institutional Underpinnings is a collaborative project between 25 of Australia’s universities to develop a shared approach to university research data management in the form of a nationally-agreed framework.
The program aims to increase Australian universities’ capability in research data management and encourage collective problem-solving and alignment across the sector.
The draft Research Data Management Framework is now open for consultation. The Framework was developed by the 25 participating universities, with more than 90 experts contributing to working groups to identify and develop the key elements that are included….”
“On Friday 25 February the Creative Commons Australia Chapter (CC Australia) made a submission to the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications in response to their consultation on the exposure draft of the Copyright Amendment (Access Reform) Bill 2021 and a review of the technological protection measures (TPMs) exceptions in the Copyright Regulations 2017….
In the submission, CC Australia expresses its support for the proposed reforms as they harmonise with CC’s vision and mission. There are strong public interest arguments to support activating orphan works and supporting equitable access to cultural collections (and it aligns with CC’s Open GLAM Program). Permitting quotation of copyright material in a range of noncommercial scenarios will help make research available to the research community and the public quicker. And further facilitating online education and encouraging flexibility in the delivery of government services are both worthwhile endeavours….”
On an Australian program to develop OER on aboriginal foods.
“Key enablers to the success of the resource included: free online access, the highly engaging nature of the resources and adaptability to be implemented across a number of Aboriginal language groups in WA. Ensuring visual representation of healthy choices was fundamental to reinforcing nutrition messaging. Superhero Foods resources are a positive and important inclusion in the health promotion toolbox for Aboriginal children.”
“The open-access movement needs to ensure it takes all researchers along as it matures in Australia, a national seminar has been told.
Ginny Barbour, director of Open Access Australasia and a professor at Queensland University of Technology, said the open-access movement in Australia was looking for “equity in scholarly communication”.
She told a “preview” webinar ahead of Open Access Australasia’s 2022 annual meeting that this extended beyond easier publication methods to ensuring other barriers to publication were removed. She spoke of the need, “in our regions, for journals that support Indigenous research”.
There is “a need for communities of practice as a very important way of helping people navigate the open-access landscape, which is very challenging and confusing”, she said.
Another emerging issue is that some publications that had been made free to read during the pandemic are “disappearing behind paywalls” again, she said. “The conversations are moving on in this area…If it worked for the pandemic, what does it mean for other important areas that we are facing as a society at the moment?” she asked, giving climate change as an example….”
Abstract: Through a nationwide survey of universities and research organizations in Australia and New Zealand, this article investigates the level of confidence that librarians working in scholarly communication have in their current competencies. The results show that while respondents were generally confident across seven competency areas (Institutional repository management, Publishing services, Research practice, Copyright services, Open access policies and scholarly communication landscape, Data management services, and Assessment and impact metrics), the majority combined their scholarly communication tasks with other roles. Challenges across the sector in updating skills and knowledge to keep abreast of current trends and developments were identified, with implications for improving professional development opportunities.
“While there is a growing body of research on open educational practice (OEP) and open educational resource (OER) use in Australian higher education, little research has been conducted on open textbook publishing at Australian universities. Most existing research on open textbook publishing focuses on the international context (e.g. North America), where differences in funding and legislative support affect not
only how, but the extent to which this work is undertaken.
Recent studies such the 2019 Starved of opportunity survey conducted by the National Union of Students, YOUNG Campaigns, and the Australian Council of Social Service have found many Australian university students struggle to afford textbooks. The prohibitive cost of educational resources can lead them to go hungry or even drop out of study altogether. Australian universities are increasingly viewing open textbooks as an effective strategy for increasing participation in higher education and improving student outcomes.
This Doctor of Philosophy project is the first national study of open textbook publishing programs at Australian universities. It aims to investigate current and emerging trends in open textbook publishing within the broader context of university and library-led publishing.
I am requesting your assistance as understanding how we can build sustainable open textbook publishing programs at Australian universities and increase the output of high-quality Australian open textbooks will improve the student experience by helping to:
• reduce the financial burden of study
• remove geographic and copyright barriers preventing students from accessing essential course materials
• provide more accessible, diverse, and inclusive content than is typically offered by traditional publishers….”
“Luckily for the world, as the world’s scientists grappled to understand Covid-19, the publishing situation is very different to Sars. The Covid-19 pandemic prompted what Barbour calls “an outpouring of research”, and most of it was rapidly available online and on preprint servers.
This time around scientists were able to disseminate early data and release initial findings in preprints, publications which are not peer reviewed and are a relatively recent innovation in the research landscape. Traditional journal publishing processes could not keep pace with the pandemic.
Post-Covid, says Barbour, publishing should be heading for a permanent change.
“My view is that the pandemic has reinforced [the view] that traditional journals on their own can’t respond to the rapid flow of information that’s needed in an emergency,” she says. “Traditional journals will have a role in that system, but it’s a limited one and should not be the dominant method.”
The tide appears to be turning in favour of novel forms of academic publishing. In December 2021, the Australian Research Council performed a major U-turn and uncancelled 32 applicants who had been disqualified from entry to the ARC Future Fellowships and Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards because their applications contained references to preprints.
If this is progress, though, there are already questions about whether it can be maintained….”
“Open Access Australasia Chair Martin Borchert and Director Ginny Barbour will present this first webinar of 2022. They will look back at the extraordinary year that was 2021, and will outline the group’s plans and priorities for 2022.”
Abstract: Objectives To study the experiences and views within the health science community regarding the spread and prevention of science misinformation within and beyond the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods An exploratory study with an empirical ethics approach using qualitative interviews with Australians who produce, communicate and study health science research.
Results Key elements that participants considered might facilitate misinformation included: the production of low-quality, fraudulent or biased science research; inadequate public access to high-quality research; insufficient public reading of high-quality research. Strategies to reduce or prevent misinformation could come from within the academic community, academic and lay media publishing systems, government funders and educators of the general public. Recommended solutions from within the scientific community included: rewarding research translation, encouraging standardised study design, increasing use of automated quality assessment tools, mandating study protocol registration, transparent peer review, facilitating wider use of open access and use of newer technologies to target public audiences. There was disagreement over whether preprints were part of the problem or part of the solution.
Conclusions There is concern from within the health science community about systemic failings that might facilitate the production and spread of false or misleading science information. We advocate for further research into ways to minimise the production and spread of misinformation about COVID-19 and other science crises in the future.
Abstract: This article describes the nature and extent of scholarly journal publishing in Australia. Australian journals are defined as journals that belong to or are affiliated with an Australian entity. There are currently 651 active Australian journals. The oldest started in the 19th century, and the 1990s was the top decade in terms of starting new journals. Australian journals mostly belong to or are affiliated with non-profit organizations (e.g., learned societies) (364, 55.9%), or educational institutions (168, 25.8%). While most of the journals (426, 65.4%) are published by their owners (self-publish), the publication of 162 journals has been outsourced to international commercial publishers, with most of these linked to non-profit organizations. About 39.8% of Australian journals are open access and most of them do not charge author-processing charges. Half of the Australian journals (326) are indexed in Scopus and slightly less than half (301) are included in Web of Science (WoS). Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences are well represented in the disciplinary focus of journals, although journals indexed in Scopus and WoS are more likely to be in health, life and physical science disciplines.
“The CAUL Open Educational Resources Collective will provide a shared open textbook publishing platform for participating CAUL Member institutions. It will facilitate both independent publishing by authors at participating institutions, as well as collaborative, cross-institutional publishing. The Collective will also build community and capacity across CAUL Member institutions to support open textbook publishing. The Collective has three objectives: 1. Build infrastructure, capacity and achieve tangible outcomes to move the OER agenda forward at a national level. 2. Facilitate collaborative authoring and publishing of open textbooks in targeted priority disciplines, with a preference for the inclusion of local and/or indigenous content. 3. Allow Member institutions to publish their own textbooks (anticipated to be up to two per year) in disciplines of their choosing….”
“We’re calling it early – 2022 will be the year of the OER! With the various CAUL project teams busy beavering away behind the scenes, 2022 will bring some amazing opportunities to learn about, advocate for, and be involved in creating OERs.
One such opportunity is the CAUL OER Collective.
The OER Collective will provide an opportunity for participating CAUL Member institutions to publish open textbooks without investing in a platform, and to build institutional capability. It will also provide opportunities for collaborative, cross-institutional development of open textbooks. …”
“The Company of Biologists is delighted to announce a new three-year Read & Publish Open Access agreement with the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).
The agreement commenced on 1 January 2022 and CAUL-member institutions in Australia and New Zealand can sign up on an annual basis in 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Researchers at participating institutions will be able to publish an uncapped number of articles immediately Open Access (OA) in The Company of Biologists’ prestigious hybrid journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology – without paying an article processing charge (APC). They will also benefit from unlimited access to the journals, including the full archive dating back to 1853.
Institutions also have the option to include uncapped APC-free publishing in The Company of Biologists’ fully Open Access journals – Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open – in their Read & Publish agreement….”