Trove in trouble: why does it cost money to keep the resource online?

“The online database Trove may go offline in the middle of the year without additional funding.

Trove, which is owned and operated by the National Library of Australia (NLA), is a free resource which provides access to billions of digital documents, images, media and records of physical documents. It also contains millions of digitised Australian newspaper pages and issues.

Trove receives around 22 million hits per year, and is widely used by both academic researchers and members of the public.

So what does it cost to run an archive like it?…

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the NLA requires $7-$10 million per year to keep Trove running in its current form….”

As the US Public Domain Expands, 20-Year Pause for the Canadian Public Domain Begins – SPARC

“Festivities are planned on January 19 to recognize Public Domain Day and embrace the possibilities of new works freely available from 1927.

In the United States, the recent declaration of the federal year of Open Science and the White House memo unlocking publicly funded research outputs has buoyed the open community and its outlook on knowledge sharing.

However, the celebration will be muted in Canada where librarians and educators are assessing the impact of a vast expansion of the copyright term. 

Canada’s copyright protection for artistic works was extended as 2022 came to a close from life of the author plus 50 years—to life of the author plus 70 years. The change was the result of international trade negotiations in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), requiring Canada to bring its terms closer to that of the U.S….”

Harm is caused by extension to copyright term in Canada | The Star

“Call it an interminable pause, the extension to the copyright term. The government owes it to the Canadian public to address the harm caused by this.

What seems like a small change to the Copyright Act will have a disastrous impact on Canadian culture over the next 20 years.

The change, which became law on Dec. 30, 2022, extends the standard length of copyright protection in Canada from 50 years to 70 years after the death of the creator of a work.

 

 

This means that nothing new will enter the public domain, the vast body of materials in which copyright has expired, until 2043….”

MetaArXiv Preprints | Reproducible research practices and transparency across linguistics

Abstract:  Scientific studies of language span across many disciplines and provide evidence for social, cultural, cognitive, technological, and biomedical studies of human nature and behavior. By becoming increasingly empirical and quantitative, linguistics has been facing challenges and limitations of the scientific practices that pose barriers to reproducibility and replicability. One of the proposed solutions to the widely acknowledged reproducibility and replicability crisis has been the implementation of transparency practices, e.g. open access publishing, preregistrations, sharing study materials, data, and analyses, performing study replications and declaring conflicts of interest. Here, we have assessed the prevalence of these practices in randomly sampled 600 journal articles from linguistics across two time points. In line with similar studies in other disciplines, we found a moderate amount of articles published open access, but overall low rates of sharing materials, data, and protocols, no preregistrations, very few replications and low rates of conflict of interest reports. These low rates have not increased noticeably between 2008/2009 and 2018/2019, pointing to remaining barriers and slow adoption of open and reproducible research practices in linguistics. As linguistics has not yet firmly established transparency and reproducibility as guiding principles in research, we provide recommendations and solutions for facilitating the adoption of these practices.

 

How Frequent is the Use of Misleading Metrics? A Case Study of Business Journals: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  There are many misleading scientific metrics that are not known to the scientific community, particularly novice researchers. There is limited research in the area of misleading metrics, particularly related to business journals. Therefore, this research aims to examine the use of misleading metrics by business journals, the most popular misleading metrics, and countries contributing to the website traffic for such metrics. We used Scimago ranking for business journals and examined the website of each for the use of misleading metrics. Further, we used a domain-based approach by gathering data from Search Engine Optimization websites (i.e., Alexa and Ubersuggest). Only a few Scopus-indexed, low-quality business journals used misleading metrics on their website. The most common misleading metrics were International Scientific Institute, Open Academic Journals Index, CiteFactor, IndexCopernicus, and International Scientific Indexing. In addition, Indian authors were the most frequent visitors of the websites of misleading metrics.

 

Just 35% Indian research papers open-access, BHU’s data analysis platform shows

“Only about 35% of India’s scientific research publications is open–access, even though a large chunk of the research itself is public-funded, an analysis of research data by a team at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has found. It has also found that less than a third of Indian research papers have women as lead authors….

The analysis has produced interesting findings. For instance, researchers found that a sizable percent of research is not available as open access despite being funded by the government. According to its records, 35.13% of India’s research was open-access in 2019; out of the 20 countries considered, India was ahead of only China (34.45%) and Iran (32.49%)….”

Market forces influence editorial decisions – ScienceDirect

“In this issue of Cortex Huber et al. recount their experience in attempting to update the scientific record through an independent replication of a published study (Huber, Potter, & Huszar, 2019). In general, publishers resist issuing retractions, refutations or corrections to their stories or papers for fear of losing public trust, diminishing their brand and possibly ceding their market share (Sullivan, 2018). Unfortunately, this is just one way that market logic – retaining a competitive advantage among peers – explicitly or implicitly influences editorial priorities and decisions more broadly….

There’s the well-known tautology that news is what newsrooms decide to cover and what’s “newsworthy” is influenced by market logic. That news organizations, charged with relating truth and facts, are subject to market-based decisions is a major source of contention among the discerning public. It should be even more contentious that the stewards of scientific knowledge, academic publishers, are also beholden to it….

Although top journals are loathe to admit they ‘chase cites’ (Editorial, 2018), market forces make this unavoidable. One example is a strategy akin to product cost cross subsidization such as when in journalism profitable traffic-driving, click-bait articles subsidize more costly and in-depth, long-form investigative reporting. In order to attract the ‘best’ science, top journals must maintain a competitive impact factor. If the impact factor strays too far from the nearest competitor, then the journal will have trouble publishing the science it deems as most important because of the worth coveted researchers place on perceived impact….

Although publishers tout the value of replications and pay lip service to other reformative practices, their policies in this regard are often vague and non-committal….

Most professional editors are committed to advancing strong science, but however well-intentioned and sought in good faith reforms are, they are necessarily hamstrung by market forces. This includes restrained requirements for more rigorous and responsible research conduct. Journals do not want to put in place policies that are seemingly so onerous that authors decide to instead publish in competing but less demanding journals. Researchers need incentives for and enforcement of more rigorous research practices, but they want easier paths to publication. The result is that new policies at top journals allow publishers to maintain a patina of progressiveness in the absence of real accountability….

The reforms suggested by Huber et al. are welcome short-term fixes, but the community should demand longer-term solutions that break up the monopoly of academic publishers and divorce the processes of evaluation, publication and curation (Eisen and Polka, 2018). Only then may we wrest the power of science’s stewardship from the heavy hand of the market.”

NARCIS > Decommissioning NARCIS Portal

“DANS will decommission the NARCIS Portal. This means that from January, all content related to projects, persons and organisations on the NARCIS website will be frozen. And on March 1, this website will be taken offline.

The mission of DANS is to promote the reuse of research data and thus improve the quality of science. To this end, it is important to further strengthen the role of DANS as a national centre of expertise and repository for research data. In this way, we offer scientists the opportunity to sustainably store research data and make them easily findable and accessible.

In response to the changing demand for research information and increasing international cooperation, new (inter)national solutions and services are also increasingly emerging. For example, there are several alternatives to the NARCIS service at national, European and international level….”

A newspaper vanished from the internet. Did someone pay to kill it? – The Washington Post

“In many ways, the erasure of the alternative weekly, whose print and online journalism included matters such as nightlife listings as well as deep investigative work, isn’t unusual. Historians have long warned about the decay of digital news archives, which are increasingly falling victim to mishandling, indifference, bankruptcies and technical failures.

But some of the Hook’s founding journalists suspect the archive didn’t simply expire from natural causes. They think someone paid to kill it.

Their evidence, while circumstantial, is intriguing. There’s the mystery buyer who purchased the Hook archive from its longtime custodian a few months before it went dark. There’s the reluctance of people involved in that sale to say much about it….”

Canada’s copyright laws have changed: what to know | CTV News

“There will be no new books, songs or plays added to the public domain in Canada until 2043 after the government squeezed in a change to copyright laws just before the end of 2022.

Until Dec. 30, copyright protection applied to literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works for the life of their author plus another 50 years.

But as of that date, an artistic work won’t join the public domain for the life of the author plus another 70 years.

The change brings Canada into compliance with a commitment it made under the new North American free trade deal to match its copyright protections with those in place in the United States since 1998. That deal gave Canada until Dec. 31, 2022, to fall in line and it beat the deadline by one day….”

India’s fumbled chance for sharing knowledge – EastMojo

In terms of open access to knowledge, India could have been the Vishwa Guru — the world’s teacher. As early as 2000 India was making moves to allow taxpayer-funded research to be freely available for anyone in the world to read, share and distribute. But India has squandered that advantage.

Fast forward to 2022, and much of India’s research is still locked up behind the paywalls of corporate academic publishers while the global science community increasingly questions why taxpayer-funded research should not be available for everyone to read.

The Indian government initiated a new science, technology and innovation policy in January 2020. The draft policy, released in December 2020, enshrined open science in chapter one. Its three key features were to set up an Indian Science and Technology Archive of Research (INDSTA), a dedicated portal to provide access to the findings of all publicly funded research; to place the full text of scientific papers immediately upon acceptance into a journal in a publicly available repository or INDSTA; and to make all data from publicly funded research available to everyone.

But the policy is not yet in place. The government is instead focusing on a ‘One Nation One Subscription’ project. This would see the government pay academic publishers an eye watering sum to allow Indian scientists to publish in corporate journals and for all Indians to read them. Apart from benefiting the publishers more than science and scientists, this looks crazy in view of the rapidly rising share of openly accessible research papers and the emerging revolution in preprint servers that publish drafts of research papers for free….”

No free PACER as U.S. lawmakers exclude proposal from spending bill | Reuters

“The Open Courts Act would make electronic court records freely available and mandate the judiciary to develop a new website to access them. It had already advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote in December 2021….

Despite the committee’s endorsement and fact that the U.S. House of Representatives passed similar bill to make PACER free in the prior Congress in 2020, the legislation had lingered as the federal judiciary raised concerns about funding….

 

But the PACER bill was ultimately left out of the 4,155-page omnibus spending measure that Democratic and Republican negotiators released on Tuesday morning, leaving its path to passage in the current Congress unlikely….”

Evaluating Research Transparency and Openness in Communication Sciences and Disorders Journals | Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Abstract:  Purpose:

To improve the credibility, reproducibility, and clinical utility of research findings, many scientific fields are implementing transparent and open research practices. Such open science practices include researchers making their data publicly available and preregistering their hypotheses and analyses. A way to enhance the adoption of open science practices is for journals to encourage or require submitting authors to participate in such practices. Accordingly, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Journals Program has recently announced their intention to promote open science practices. Here, we quantitatively assess the extent to which several journals in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) encourage or require participation in several open science practices by using the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Factor metric.

Method:

 

TOP Factors were assessed for 34 CSD journals, as well as several journals in related fields. TOP Factors measure the level of implementation across 10 open science–related practices (e.g., data transparency, analysis plan preregistration, and replication) for a total possible score of 29 points.

Results:

 

Collectively, CSD journals had very low TOP Factors (M = 1.4, range: 0–8). The related fields of Psychology (M = 4.0), Rehabilitation (M = 3.2), Linguistics (M = 1.7), and Education (M = 1.6) also had low scores, though Psychology and Rehabilitation had higher scores than CSD.

Conclusion:

 

CSD journals currently have low levels of encouraging or requiring participation in open science practices, which may impede adoption.

Ten Years Later, The EU Orphan Works Directive Is Officially A Failure – Just As The Copyright Industry Intended

Every so often, Techdirt writes about the long-standing problem of orphan works, the huge collection of older creations that are out of circulation and have no obvious owners. Arguably, they should be called “hostage works”, since they remain uselessly locked away by rigid and outdated copyright laws, to no one’s benefit. Despite that, the copyright industry always fights hard against the outrageous idea that we should make it easier to bring these works back into circulation, where people can enjoy and use them.

One of the worst results of that attitude is the EU Orphan Works Directive, passed ten years ago. It started out as an honest attempt to free hostage works for the benefit of society. But along the way, the copyright industry lobbied long and hard to make the resulting law so bad as to be useless. One minor concession granted to the many critics of the final text was that the European Commission was required to submit a report by 29 October 2015 on how the Directive was working. The Commission has finally published the report (pdf) – a mere seven years late. It’s hard not to feel that the Commission delayed the publication of the report as much as possible because it is so damning. Here’s the key finding:

orphan works make up a large share of the collections of cultural heritage institutions. However, 8 years after the transposition deadline, the Directive has been rarely applied in practice. Stakeholders are divided on whether the Directive has led to improvements in the digitisation and dissemination of orphan works. The use of the exception provided by the Directive to digitise and disseminate orphan works seems to be very limited if the low number of recorded works in the EUIPO database is taken as the benchmark.

In other words, the Directive has been an embarrassing failure. Far from leading to a blossoming of culture through the renewed availability of orphan works as its original supporters hoped, it has become the legislative equivalent of abandonware. The report goes on to explain that the main reason the Directive has failed is that the process of liberating a hostage work is too “burdensome”. That’s a direct result of the copyright industry insisting on all kinds of unreasonable limitations and disproportionate “safeguards”, supposedly to stop the release of orphan works somehow undermining copyright. They were, in fact, conscious impediments designed to make the entire Directive so awkward to use that no one would bother. The belated European Commission report confirms that they have worked.

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