Assessing the Effect of Article Processing Charges on the Geographic Diversity of Authors Using Elsevier’s ‘Mirror Journal’ System

Journals publishing open access (OA) articles often require that authors pay article processing charges (APC). Researchers in the Global South often cite APCs as a major financial obstacle to OA publishing, especially in widely-recognized or prestigious outlets. Consequently, it has been hypothesized that authors from the Global South will be underrepresented in journals charging APCs. We tested this hypothesis using >37,000 articles from Elsevier’s ‘Mirror journal’ system, in which a hybrid ‘Parent’ journal and its Gold-OA ‘Mirror’ share editorial boards and standards for acceptance. Most articles were non-OA; 45% of articles had lead authors based in either the United States of America (USA) or China. After correcting for the effect of this dominance and differences in sample size, we found that OA articles published in Parent and Mirror journals had lead authors with similar Geographic Diversity. However, Author Geographic Diversity of OA articles was significantly lower than that of non-OA articles. Most OA articles were written by authors in high-income countries, and there were no articles in Mirror journals by authors in low-income countries. Our results for Elsevier’s Mirror-Parent system are consistent with the hypothesis that APCs are a barrier to OA publication for scientists from the Global South.

A Survey of Researchers’ Needs and Priorities for Data Sharing

Abstract:  One of the ways in which the publisher PLOS supports open science is via a stringent data availability policy established in 2014. Despite this policy, and more data sharing policies being introduced by other organizations, best practices for data sharing are adopted by a minority of researchers in their publications. Problems with effective research data sharing persist and these problems have been quantified by previous research as a lack of time, resources, incentives, and/or skills to share data.

In this study we built on this research by investigating the importance of tasks associated with data sharing, and researchers’ satisfaction with their ability to complete these tasks. By investigating these factors we aimed to better understand opportunities for new or improved solutions for sharing data.

In May-June 2020 we surveyed researchers from Europe and North America to rate tasks associated with data sharing on (i) their importance and (ii) their satisfaction with their ability to complete them. We received 617 completed responses. We calculated mean importance and satisfaction scores to highlight potential opportunities for new solutions to and compare different cohorts.

Tasks relating to research impact, funder compliance, and credit had the highest importance scores. 52% of respondents reuse research data but the average satisfaction score for obtaining data for reuse was relatively low. Tasks associated with sharing data were rated somewhat important and respondents were reasonably well satisfied in their ability to accomplish them. Notably, this included tasks associated with best data sharing practice, such as use of data repositories. However, the most common method for sharing data was in fact via supplemental files with articles, which is not considered to be best practice.

We presume that researchers are unlikely to seek new solutions to a problem or task that they are satisfied in their ability to accomplish, even if many do not attempt this task. This implies there are few opportunities for new solutions or tools to meet these researcher needs. Publishers can likely meet these needs for data sharing by working to seamlessly integrate existing solutions that reduce the effort or behaviour change involved in some tasks, and focusing on advocacy and education around the benefits of sharing data.

There may however be opportunities – unmet researcher needs – in relation to better supporting data reuse, which could be met in part by strengthening data sharing policies of journals and publishers, and improving the discoverability of data associated with published articles.

Free or Fee: How Open Access Publishing Impacts Your Choices as an Author – The Levy Library – The Levy Library

The Open Access publishing model has ushered numerous pressing questions for academics:

Why are some journals offering or requiring a fee to publish an article?

How does paying to publish impact the prestige and accessibility of your work?

What is a Creative Commons license and how does it impact the dissemination of your work?

Join us on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021 for our next Research Insider event: Free or Fee: How Open Access Publishing Impacts Your Choices as an Author. Learn how Open Access is changing how you publish your research, what requirements funding agencies impose on researchers, and who owns the copyright of published works….”

Motivations, concerns and selection biases when posting preprints: a survey of bioRxiv authors | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Since 2013, the usage of preprints as a means of sharing research in biology has rapidly grown, in particular via the preprint server bioRxiv. Recent studies have found that journal articles that were previously posted to bioRxiv received a higher number of citations or mentions/shares on other online platforms compared to articles in the same journals that were not posted. However, the exact causal mechanism for this effect has not been established, and may in part be related to authors’ biases in the selection of articles that are chosen to be posted as preprints. We aimed to investigate this mechanism by conducting a mixed-methods survey of 1,444 authors of bioRxiv preprints, to investigate the reasons that they post or do not post certain articles as preprints, and to make comparisons between articles they choose to post and not post as preprints. We find that authors are most strongly motivated to post preprints to increase awareness of their work and increase the speed of its dissemination; conversely, the strongest reasons for not posting preprints centre around a lack of awareness of preprints and reluctance to publicly post work that has not undergone a peer review process. We additionally find weak evidence that authors preferentially select their highest quality, most novel or most significant research to post as preprints, however, authors retain an expectation that articles they post as preprints will receive more citations or be shared more widely online than articles not posted.

 

Rockefeller University Press Announces Free Read-and-Publish for Developing Countries

o address equity in Open Access publishing and promote important global research, publication fees for Immediate Open Access under CC-BY license in Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), and Journal of General Physiology (JGP) are automatically waived for corresponding authors based in eligible developing countries. This includes deposit in PubMed Central (PMC) and archive in LOCKSS/CLOCKSS and Portico.

Sustainable Authorship Models for a Discourse-Based Scholarly Communication Infrastructure · Business of Knowing, summer 2021

“Today’s scholarly communication infrastructure is not designed to support scholarly synthesis. When gathering sources for a literature review, researchers need to answer questions about theories, lines of evidence, and claims, and how they inform, support, or oppose each other. This information cannot be found simply in the titles of research papers, in groupings of papers by area, or even in citation or authorship networks (the sole focus of most scholarly communication infrastructure).

This limitation is a serious impediment to knowledge building and synthesis. Consider that, by some estimates, approximately 50% or more of the time cost of systematic reviews is devoted to workarounds for this infrastructural limitation: screening papers (title, abstract, and full-text) to determine if it actually contains a claim that is relevant and worth checking, then extracting the claims and metadata for analysis; worse, other scholars do not get to benefit from this intermediate product and must start all over again. With this in mind, it’s not so surprising that systematic reviews are rarely updated even when they need to be. Many doctoral dissertations also lack coverage and synthesis of literature, and published papers are not much better. It’s plausible, too, that this limitation contributes substantially to slowdowns in research progress via the growing burden of knowledge.

How might we build an alternative scholarly communication infrastructure that can overcome this core limitation?…”

Open Knowledge Institutions : Reinventing Universities | September 8, 2021 webinar

“Recently, Open Knowledge Institutions was published openly by the MIT Press. Uniquely, this title went through a radically collaborative and transparent publication process, from its original drafting through the facilitation of the Book Sprints team, to its open review period as the inaugural title in the MIT Press’s Works in Progress program, to its open publication both on PubPub and on MIT Press Direct. Join us on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 to learn more about this process from those involved. We’ll discuss the benefits of and considerations around engaging in such an open process and how this connects to the subject matter of the book itself….”

B2X – a new pipeline for author services

“For several years, bioRxiv has made life easier for authors by enabling them to send their papers directly from bioRxiv to journals. This B2J (bioRxiv-to-journal) technology saves people time by automatically transferring their PDF, metadata and any source files to journal submission systems so they don’t have to upload these again at the journal website and re-enter all the information. Around 200 journals now participate in B2J, and portable peer review services such as Review Commons also participate.

We are now introducing a new delivery pipeline – B2X – that will enable authors to send their manuscripts to a variety of third-party services. These services are completely independent of bioRxiv and may include groups that assess particular aspects of manuscripts, help authors improve them, or check for compliance with specific funder requirements. The first organization to join B2X is DataSeer, a service that helps researchers navigate open data policies.

DataSeer scans articles for datasets collected and provides recommendations for how these should be shared. Authors receive a brief report on the data that should be shared and advice on metadata, file formats, and appropriate repositories. They can also obtain an Open Data certificate documenting data deposited in public repositories….”

Library Lending, Author Incomes, and Controlled Digital Lending | Authors Alliance

“In the debates around controlled digital lending (“CDL”), much has been said about whether and how CDL affects author incomes. Recently, the Internet Archive requested 10 years of sales data during the discovery phase of its ongoing lawsuit with several large publishers, seeking to support its argument that its digitization projects did not negatively impact book sales. As an authors’ group that represents the interests of authors who care deeply about their works reaching broad audiences, Authors Alliance is a unique voice in the conversation around the impact of different types of library lending on authors’ livelihoods. In today’s post, we will discuss the intersections between author income, traditional library lending, and CDL. …”

Why Open Access: Economics and Business Researchers’ Perspectives

Abstract:  Public research policies have been promoting open-access publication in recent years as an adequate model for the dissemination of scientific knowledge. However, depending on the disciplines, its use is very diverse. This study explores the determinants of open-access publication among academic researchers of economics and business, as well as their assessment of different economic measures focused on publication stimulus. To do so, a survey of Spanish business and economics researchers was conducted. They reported an average of 19% of their publications in open-access journals, hybrids or fully Gold Route open access. Almost 80% of the researchers foresee a future increase in the volume of open-access publications. When determining where to publish their research results, the main criterion for the selection of a scientific journal is the impact factor. Regarding open access, the most valued aspect is the visibility and dissemination it provides. Although the cost of publication is not the most relevant criterion in the choice of a journal, three out of four researchers consider that a reduction in fees and an increase in funding are measures that would boost the open-access model.

 

“Engaging Researchers in Data Dialogues” by Moira Downey, Sophia Lafferty-Hess et al.

Abstract:  A range of regulatory pressures emanating from funding agencies and scholarly journals increasingly encourage researchers to engage in formal data sharing practices. As academic libraries continue to refine their role in supporting researchers in this data sharing space, one particular challenge has been finding new ways to meaningfully engage with campus researchers. Libraries help shape norms and encourage data sharing through education and training, and there has been significant growth in the services these institutions are able to provide and the ways in which library staff are able to collaborate and communicate with researchers. Evidence also suggests that within disciplines, normative pressures and expectations around professional conduct have a significant impact on data sharing behaviors (Kim and Adler 2015; Sigit Sayogo and Pardo 2013; Zenk-Moltgen et al. 2018). Duke University Libraries’ Research Data Management program has recently centered part of its outreach strategy on leveraging peer networks and social modeling to encourage and normalize robust data sharing practices among campus researchers. The program has hosted two panel discussions on issues related to data management—specifically, data sharing and research reproducibility. This paper reflects on some lessons learned from these outreach efforts and outlines next steps.

 

Data sharing practices and data availability upon request differ across scientific disciplines | Scientific Data

Abstract:  Data sharing is one of the cornerstones of modern science that enables large-scale analyses and reproducibility. We evaluated data availability in research articles across nine disciplines in Nature and Science magazines and recorded corresponding authors’ concerns, requests and reasons for declining data sharing. Although data sharing has improved in the last decade and particularly in recent years, data availability and willingness to share data still differ greatly among disciplines. We observed that statements of data availability upon (reasonable) request are inefficient and should not be allowed by journals. To improve data sharing at the time of manuscript acceptance, researchers should be better motivated to release their data with real benefits such as recognition, or bonus points in grant and job applications. We recommend that data management costs should be covered by funding agencies; publicly available research data ought to be included in the evaluation of applications; and surveillance of data sharing should be enforced by both academic publishers and funders. These cross-discipline survey data are available from the plutoF repository.

 

Google Scholar Blog: 2021 Scholar Metrics Released

“Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Today, we are releasing the 2021 version of Scholar Metrics. This release covers articles published in 2016–2020 and includes citations from all articles that were indexed in Google Scholar as of July 2020….”