Colleges Should Reward Efforts to Make Research Open | MIT Libraries News

“We applaud the August 25 memorandum from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research that calls on federal agencies to develop policies that will provide immediate open access to the outputs of federally funded research (“‘A Historic Moment’: New Guidance Requires Federally Funded Research to Be Open Access,” The Chronicle, August 25).

The potential benefits of immediate open access to research articles and to the data underlying the research include improving rigor and reliability, increased opportunity for reuse of data to ask new questions, faster and wider dissemination of new knowledge, broader participation in the research process, and the potential to reduce global inequities in publishing of and access to federally funded research.

Along with a diverse community of long-time advocates of open scholarship, we welcome the new OSTP guidance and its potential for accelerating a transition to a more open and equitable scholarly ecosystem. Funder requirements, however, are only one element of a complex system of norms and incentives. A major barrier to the widespread embrace of — and therefore the ultimate success of — mandates like the OSTP guidance is the degree to which scholars experience current incentive systems as at odds with practicing open scholarship. When individual career success incentives and reward systems — as codified in hiring, promotion, and tenure standards — are experienced as misaligned with open scholarship values and mandates, individual scholars are left in an impossible bind. Left unresolved, this misalignment will undermine the potential positive impacts of open scholarship generally and the OSTP guidance specifically, as many scholars are likely to navigate the seemingly inherent tensions via pro-forma compliance at best, and active resistance at worst. Something has to give.

The good news is that universities can make simple changes to hiring, promotion, and tenure practices to ensure that the work scholars do to make their research openly available is recognized and rewarded. Including language in hiring, promotion, and tenure guidelines that signal that open sharing of research outputs, and the impact of that sharing, is valued, will go a long way to aligning the incentives for career success with the practice of open scholarship — making what is now increasingly required, also what is rewarded.”

Community Hubs for Citizen Science: Building Capacity through Libraries and Universities – LIBER Europe

“Citizen science aims to enable people of all ages, cultures, and skills to engage in real scientific research by collecting or analyzing data typically shared with professional scientists, while provenly increasing public understanding of science. SciStarter.org and Arizona State University, as well as LIBER, are building and scaling programs and resources to catalyze libraries as community hubs for citizen science.

As a result, libraries are supporting an evolving workforce and lifelong learners while addressing known critical barriers in citizen science infrastructure, including lack of 1) project awareness, 2) access to instruments, and 3) community connections.

LIBER Citizen Science Working Group and SciStarter are now organizing a three-part joint webinar series. In this first session, we will examine the realized and potential role of libraries in catalyzing and accelerating participatory science. Darlene Cavalier (SciStarter and Arizona State University, USA), Robin Salthouse (retired librarian and advisor to SciStarter, USA), and the Science shop/Boutique des sciences, University of Lille, France (to be confirmed) will share their experiences and resources to enable everyone to participate in this collaborative and open approach of research and science. Raphaëlle Bats (Urfist – University of Bordeaux, France) and Sara Decoster (KU Leuven, Belgium) will moderate the series….”

AAU Statement on OSTP Decision to Make Federally Funded Research Publicly Available | Association of American Universities (AAU)

“AAU has always been a strong proponent of making federally funded studies publicly available. We also were strong proponents of the previous 12-month embargo period for making publications accessible when the policy was originally announced in 2013. The announcement today by OSTP represents an important step forward in further advancing public access. We are currently reviewing the announcement to determine what specific implications it has for our institutions and their faculty members.”

ALLEA’s Response to Council Conclusions on Research Assessment and Open Science – ALLEA

“ALLEA welcomes the adoption of the Conclusions on Research Assessment and Implementation of Open Science by the Council of the European Union on 10 June.

The Conclusions are in agreement with points that ALLEA has made over the years, in particular on the necessity of appropriately implementing and rewarding open science practices and the development of research assessment criteria that follow principles of excellence, research integrity and trustworthy science.

At the same time, ALLEA continues to stress that it matters how we open knowledge, as the push for Open Access publishing has also paved the way for various unethical publishing practices. The inappropriate use of journal- and publication-based metrics in funding, hiring and promotion decisions has been one of the obstacles in the transition to a more open science, and furthermore fails to recognize and reward the diverse set of competencies, activities, and outputs needed for our research ecosystem to flourish….”

University of Mannheim Joins German Reproducibility Network (GRN)

“Since July 2022, the University of Mannheim has become a member of the German Reproducibility Network (GRN), a multidisciplinary consortium advocating for more transparency in research. The University of Mannheim is the first university to join this network.

The German Reproducibility Network (GRN) is a multidisciplinary consortium that aims to increase trustworthiness and transparency of scientific research. Their focus is on the reproducibility of scientific results, whereby repetitions using the same or similar data, code, analyses, and methods yield the same results as the original study. The GRN was established in February 2021. Members are research institutions, scientific societies and reproducibility initiatives. The University of Mannheim is the first university to join the GRN. The University of Mannheim is committed to the goals of transparent and inclusive research practices, open access to scientific results, and reproducibility of research results. Therefore, the university established an Open Science Office in 2021. The Open Science Office supports researchers in implementing open science practices and brings open science issues into strategic discussions at the University of Mannheim. As a new member of the GRN, the University of Mannheim will share its experience with an institutional and interdisciplinary approach to open science and support other institutions in developing similar structures and activities. It will also share experiences, materials and information on open science and reproducibility for research with the GRN. The collaboration between the GRN and the University of Mannheim will advance efforts that lead to more open science and reproducibility in the research landscape throughout Germany….”

Reforming research assessment: the Agreement is now final

“Launched in January 2022 as a co-creation exercise, the process of drafting an agreement for reforming research assessment has reached an important milestone. On 8 July, the final version of the agreement was presented at a Stakeholder Assembly bringing together the 350+ organisations from 40+ countries having expressed interest in being involved in the process. Today, the final Agreement is made public with this news.

Organisations involved include public and private research funders, universities, research centres, institutes and infrastructures, associations and alliances thereof, national and regional authorities, accreditation and evaluation agencies, learned societies and associations of researchers, and other relevant organisations, representing a broad diversity of views and perspectives. They have provided feedback to the evolving drafts of the agreement, as prepared by a team composed of representatives from the European University Association (EUA), Science Europe, the European Commission and Dr Karen Stroobants in her individual capacity as researcher with expertise in research on research. A core group of 20 research organisations, representing the diversity of the research community across Europe, also contributed to the drafting process, while EU Member States and Associated Countries have been consulted on the agreement in the framework of the ERA Forum and the European Research Area Committee (ERAC).

The Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment sets a shared direction for changes in assessment practices for research, researchers and research performing organisations, with the overarching goal to maximise the quality and impact of research.  The Agreement includes the principles, commitments and timeframe for reforms and lays out the principles for a Coalition of organisations willing to work together in implementing the changes. The Final version of the Agreement can be accessed here….”

Open access research repositories provide diversity and innovation publishers can’t match. They have a critical role in archiving, preserving and sharing the diverse content produced by universities. | Plan S

“Where there is a lack of consensus is in how open access should be achieved. The majority of governments, international bodies such as UNESCO, institutions, researchers, and publishers along with groups such as Open Access Australasia (the group I work for), and prominent international organisations such as COAR and SPARC are committed to a diverse ecosystem of open publishing supported through a variety of means, nicely summed up in the phrase “bibliodiversity”.

Yet a minority of commercial publishers, especially and most recently articulated by Springer Nature’s Steven Inchcoombe insist that the only route to open access should be through journals, and not just any journals, but specifically hybrid journals, which of course are the journals that make up the bulk of the journals that Springer Nature and other large publishers still rely on for revenue….

The consolidation of infrastructure and services that underpin scholarly communication is perhaps even more alarming. Whereas journals changing hands does not generally lead to them being shut down or amalgamated into other journals, for services the reverse is true….

Institutional and disciplinary repositories offer a community-owned, robust alternative. Their very distributed state gives a degree of stability and flexibility of approach that publishers simply can’t replicate. Repositories provide access to publications, but also an array of unique content including theses, research reports, audiovisual-content, code and data. They also support the retention of rights by authors, as the recently updated UNSW OA policy enshrines. Yet, publishers decry repositories, claiming that “Green [repository based open access] doesn’t offer the benefits of higher citations and increased downloads that come with gold [journal based] open access; it isn’t the version that researchers want, and is not sustainable for publishers”. However, the facts simply don’t support these arguments and fail to recognise the huge use of and, increasingly, innovation happening within the repository system.

Repositories have a critical role in archiving, preserving and sharing the diverse content produced by universities so it can be used by others and have the greatest impact on our society. Repositories such as QUT’s, for example, see a huge volume of downloads of their content — more than 1.3 million downloads so far this year of its just over 122,000 items. In Latin America, there is a distributed network of national repositories, La Referencia which hold more than 2.3 million articles as well as more than 400,000 doctoral theses. And repositories are now at the forefront of non-commercial innovation in open access, aligning with services such as overlay journals that review and distribute content held by repositories, interoperability that links outputs across the whole research lifecycle, and open peer review….”

Pathways to Open Access: Library Publishing/Repository Services and CDL – Office of Scholarly Communication

“The Pathways blog series highlights CDL’s efforts on various pathways to open access and illustrates how diverse approaches can complement and reinforce each other–and how they can raise productive tensions that push us to think more critically about the work we do. We believe this kind of approach can move us toward true and comprehensive transformation of the scholarly communications landscape….”

Pathways to Open Access: Library Publishing/Repository Services and CDL – Office of Scholarly Communication

“The Pathways blog series highlights CDL’s efforts on various pathways to open access and illustrates how diverse approaches can complement and reinforce each other–and how they can raise productive tensions that push us to think more critically about the work we do. We believe this kind of approach can move us toward true and comprehensive transformation of the scholarly communications landscape….”

The green, gold grass of home: Introducing open access in universities in Norway

In this paper, we investigate how open access is reflected and implemented in all Norwegian universities and how they responded to national policy developments for open access in the period 2009–2021. We analyse how the universities adapted arguments for the three core missions of the universities–research, education, and societal impact–when they reacted to increasing pressures to facilitate open access. Our analysis is based on 182 institutional strategy documents, open access policies and annual reports. When considering the profile of the institutional policies and the explicit referrals to national policies, we find there is a great deal of homogeneity between Norwegian universities, and they are mostly aligned with national policy. Open access is connected to the third mission in all university strategies, but often in a very general manner and without documenting benefits for non-academic users. We find limited emphasis on open access as advantageous for education. All universities show commitment to open access, and several can be described as proactive as they tie it to different types of local incentives. Development over time suggests more mature and institutionalised polices that do not challenge what we may call the academic heartland and its core value of academic freedom, including where and how to publish. We propose a framework for analysing similar institutionalisation processes with three main dimensions: mimesis, adaptation/integration with existing practices, and maturation/commitment.

SciELO – Brazil – Availability of Open Access journals by scientific fields, specialization and Open Access regulations in the YERUN universities Availability of Open Access journals by scientific fields, specialization and Open Access regulations in the YERUN universities

Abstract:  The availability of Open Access journals in the various fields of knowledge in Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science is hypothesized to present strong inequalities, thus affecting the choice of journals by researchers wishing to publish their research results in Open Access. The first objective of this research was to contrast this hypothesis, by crossing the list of journals available at WoS with the lists of the Directory of Open Access Journals. The availability of OA journals presents strong inequalities, ranging from 5 to 40% depending on the field of knowledge. At the level of universities, such disparity in the availability of Open Access journals is an important factor regarding their accomplishment of Open Access mandates considering their specialization profiles. In this work, as the second objective, the publications available on the Web of Science (from 2016 to 2020) of the universities belonging to the YERUN Network (Young European Research Universities) are studied in order to identify their specialization profiles, their Open Access types (and evolution) and the possible interactions between their specialization and the availability of Open Access journals and their respective fields of specialization. A general overview of the volumes of funded research and the different proportions of Open Access and non-Open Access in funded and non-funded research is also provided. The indicator “Open Access Likelihood” is introduced and applied as a proxy for the likelihood of Open Access publications taking into account the fields of specialization of the YERUN universities. The results of its application underline the need to take into consideration both, specialization and Open Access availability when designing feasible Open Access mandates. Future research includes the study of the availability of Open Access journals by tiers of impact actors.

 

Lazarus & Suryasen (2022) The quality of higher education through MOOC penetration and the role of academic libraries

Lazarus, Flora Charles, and Rajneesh Suryasen. 2022. “The Quality of Higher Education Through MOOC Penetration and the Role of Academic Libraries”. Insights 35: 9. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.577

Abstract

The governments of emerging economies have realized the potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs) for enhancing the quality of higher education, but MOOC penetration is still very low in countries like India. This article explores the issues relating to MOOC integration and attempts to identify the key drivers for the adoption of a MOOC-based curriculum. Integration into the curriculum, the MOOC services of the academic library and the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) policy and support are identified as the key drivers for increasing MOOC penetration. The article also suggests a direct relationship between the level of MOOC penetration and the quality of higher education in emerging economies. The practical implications for practice and policy are classification of the MOOC services of the academic library and a decision-making model that chooses a hybrid learning strategy for higher educational institutions.

 

Successful Implementation of Open Access Strategies at Universities of Science & Technology – Strathprints

Abstract:  While the CWTS Leiden ranking has been available since 2011/2012, it is only in 2019 that a first attempt was made at ranking institutions by Open Access-related indicators. This was due to the arrival of Unpaywall as a tool to measure openly available institutional research outputs – either via the Green or the Gold OA routes – for a specific institution. The CWTS Leiden ranking by percentage of the institutional research output published Open Access effectively meant the first opportunity for institutions worldwide to be ranked by the depth of their Open Access implementation strategies brushing aside aspects like their size. This provided an interesting way to map the progress of CESAER Member institutions that were part of the Task Force Open Science 2020-2021 Open Access Working Group (OAWG) towards the objective stated by Plan S of achieving 100% Open Access of research outputs. The OAWG then set out to map the situation of the Member institutions represented in it on this Open Access ranking and to track their evolution on subsequent editions of this ranking. The idea behind this analysis was not so much to introduce an element of competition across institutions but to explore whether progress was taking place in the percentage of openly available institutional research outputs year on year. The results of this analysis – shown in figures within this paper for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions – show strong differences across Member institutions that are part of the OAWG. From internal discussions within the group, it became evident that these differences could be explained through a number of factors that contributed to a successful Open Access implementation at an institutional level. This provided the basis for this work. The document identifies four key factors that contribute to a successful OA implementation at institutions, and hence to achieving a good position on the CWTS Leiden ranking for Open Access.