Misinformation: an empirical study with scientists and communicators during the COVID-19 pandemic | BMJ Open Science

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.

Scholarly journal publishing in Australia – Jamali – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

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.

Introducing the CAUL Open Educational Resources Collective Pilot

“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….”

Join the CAUL Open Educational Resources Collective – Enabling a Modern Curriculum

“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. …”

CAUL announcement – The Company of Biologists

“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….”

UNSW Open Access Policy

“The ownership of Intellectual Property rights, including copyright, in Research Outputs is governed by the UNSW Intellectual Property Policy, and by the general law (including statute law, and contracts). As per the UNSW Intellectual Property Policy, the University asserts legal and beneficial ownership over Research Outputs created by academic, professional, technical or administrative Staff and Affiliates. The University asserts a non-exclusive licence to Research Outputs including books and journal articles, for the University’s teaching and research purposes. Consequently, for all outputs that fall within the scope of the UNSW Intellectual Property policy, UNSW researchers must retain all necessary rights to enable them to publish and share their publications in any format at any time and may not grant an exclusive copyright license in the Research Output to any other person or organisation. For each published Research Output produced in whole or part by UNSW researchers, at least one of the Version of Record or Author Accepted Manuscript versions must be licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY licence. If a UNSW researcher is submitting a manuscript to a journal that does not yet by default allow the author to make the Version of Record immediately openly accessible with a CC-BY licence the researcher must either: 1. At the time of submitting the manuscript, inform the journal of the rights retained in the Author Accepted Manuscript (for example, by outlining this in the manuscript or cover letter): 2. Or, if this is not possible at the time of submission, amend the publishing agreement….”

The State of Open Data 2021

Key findings from this year’s survey

73% support the idea of a national mandate for making research data openly available
52% said funders should make the sharing of research data part of their requirements for awarding grants
47% said they would be motivated to share their data if there was a journal or publisher requirement to do so
About a third of respondents indicated that they have reused their own or someone else’s openly accessible data more during the pandemic than before
There are growing concerns over misuse and lack of credit for open sharing

Australian open access push goes from green to gold | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Since mid-October the Council of Australian University Librarians

(Caul) has signed “transformative agreements” with major scholarly
publishers Cambridge University Press, Springer Nature, Oxford
University Press and Wiley. The deals wrap processing charges to
exempt journal articles from paywalls into the subscription fees
universities pay to the journals’ publishers.

Australian chief scientist Cathy Foley, who has embraced open science
as a key policy focus, wants to elevate the role of such agreements.
Under her proposed Australian model for open access, a “central
implementing body” armed with a “central pool of funds” would
negotiate comprehensive national agreements with each publisher.

The agreements would enable anyone in the world to read Australian
peer-reviewed journal articles, and anyone in Australia to read the
journals in their entirety. Dr Foley argues that the costs may not
exceed what Australian research institutions already pay in article
processing and subscription fees, which she estimates at between A$460
million (£252 million) and A$1 billion a year.

The developments mark a shift from Australia’s aspiration to make
research publicly available via institutional repositories – the
“green” model – to the “gold” model of journal-based open access
favoured under Europe’s Plan S….”

De Gruyter and CAUL announce new Read & Publish agreement for 2022

The international independent publisher De Gruyter and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) are  delighted to announce their first Read & Publish agreement, covering subscription access and Open Access publishing during the 2022 calendar year.

Chief Scientist eyes a distant open access prize

“Critics of Chief Scientist Cathy Foley’s idea for an Australian Model of research access make obvious but way too often ignored points. Dr Foley suggests a model that rolls open access and article processing charges into subscription fees (CMM yesterday). But this does not address the foundation of for-profit publishing – not paying authors and reviewers of articles based on publicly funded research.

Such criticism is correct  – but it is not going to create green open access. The models to create such free to read, free to publish research exist but the academic will can be lacking. The National Health and Medical Research Council has delayed (no word until when) its proposal to extend OA for publication of research it funds, (CMM April 16, November 2). It was supposed to start in January but while the NHMRC is not expansive on reasons for the delay, there appears ambivalence among researchers.

But the problem of publisher power is way-bigger than research articles and that may explain Dr Foley’s thinking.  The new big thing for research publishers is monetising access and analysis of the science data in their files. As UNESCO’s new Open Science Recommendation puts it, “some major publishers are evolving into monopolistic technology companies with the potential to privatise access to knowledge.” …”

Job: Research Systems Support Specialist (full-time) @ UNSW Library, Sydney. Application deadline: Nov 28, 2021.

Employment Type: Full-time (35 hour week)

Duration: Continuing role

Remuneration: $89K – $95K (plus 17% superannuation and leave loading)

Location: Kensington Campus NSW


Here, your work makes a difference to people’s lives
Be inspired by the talent and passion of your colleagues and our students
We are committed to creating an inclusive and diverse campus that supports the needs of all

UNSW isn’t like other places you’ve worked. Yes, we’re a large organisation with a diverse and talented community; a community doing great things. But what makes us different isn’t what we do, it’s how we do it. Together, we are driven to be thoughtful, practical, and purposeful in all we do.

UNSW Library is one of Australia’s major research libraries, with extensive scholarly information resources, services and facilities. It serves a large population of academic staff and students on three campuses and affiliated research institutes. 


Why your role matters  

The Research Support System Specialist is responsible for implementing and enhancing library systems and digital tools to make research produced at UNSW discoverable globally. This position plays a key role in providing next generation library infrastructure for Open Access and Open Research.


Who you are

Degree from a higher education institution or equivalent level of knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience.
Understanding of requirements for information management throughout the research lifecycle, including scholarly communication in a university or research environment.
Understanding of library systems, services and requirements, including metadata schemas (e.g. MODS, Dublin Core), standards, workflows, resource description, and persistent identifiers.
Strong numeracy and analytical skills with a proven ability to work accurately with a high level of attention to detail. Ability to create and use programs, scripts, and other tools, to extract and manipulate data from a variety of sources, including web services and APIs is desirable.
Strong liaison and communication skills, including the ability to document procedures and workflows, understanding business requirements, communicating technical concepts to non-technical audiences, and liaising with staff in a matrix organisation.
Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training.


To Apply: Please submit your CV, Cover Letter and answers to the Selection Criteria (skills and experience in the Position Description