Asia tipped to follow US lead on open access | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Asian research powerhouses will introduce open access (OA) mandates within the next “two to three” years, experts have predicted, in the wake of last month’s landmark order by the Biden administration.

Under the US decision, the published results of federally funded research must be made immediately and freely available to readers, starting from 2025. This follows the introduction of similar rules across Europe and the UK, spearheaded by the Plan S initiative.

Home to four of the top 10 research-producing countries – China, Japan, South Korea and India – Asia now appears poised to become the next battleground….”

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.”

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….”

Accelerating pooled licensing of medicines to enhance global production and equitable access – The Lancet

“From October to November, 2021, the pharmaceutical firms Merck and Pfizer licensed their new COVID-19 oral antiviral medications to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). In both cases, the drugs were licensed quickly, before they were launched, and the MPP then reached agreements with pharmaceutical firms across the globe (27 firms for Merck’s molnupiravir and 36 firms for Pfizer’s nirmatrelvir) to provide generic versions of these to roughly 100 low-income and middle-income countries. This Viewpoint examines the importance of these licences for the global production of, and access to, new medicines, during the pandemic and beyond. It would be a welcome development for these arrangements, which can generate sufficient volumes of production to avoid the supply shortages that encumbered the global vaccination response, to be an indication of a future in which new drugs have multiple suppliers in most low-income and middle-income countries. To explore that possibility, the Viewpoint highlights the political conditions that could make originator firms more inclined to license their products quickly to the MPP, and discusses how public policy can build on the opportunity created by these conditions to promote such licensing further….”

 

Accelerating pooled licensing of medicines to enhance global production and equitable access – The Lancet

“From October to November, 2021, the pharmaceutical firms Merck and Pfizer licensed their new COVID-19 oral antiviral medications to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). In both cases, the drugs were licensed quickly, before they were launched, and the MPP then reached agreements with pharmaceutical firms across the globe (27 firms for Merck’s molnupiravir and 36 firms for Pfizer’s nirmatrelvir) to provide generic versions of these to roughly 100 low-income and middle-income countries. This Viewpoint examines the importance of these licences for the global production of, and access to, new medicines, during the pandemic and beyond. It would be a welcome development for these arrangements, which can generate sufficient volumes of production to avoid the supply shortages that encumbered the global vaccination response, to be an indication of a future in which new drugs have multiple suppliers in most low-income and middle-income countries. To explore that possibility, the Viewpoint highlights the political conditions that could make originator firms more inclined to license their products quickly to the MPP, and discusses how public policy can build on the opportunity created by these conditions to promote such licensing further….”

 

Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science – Ithaka S+R

“Several recent studies have indicated that large numbers of researchers in many STEM fields now accept the value of openly sharing research data. Yet, the actual practice of sharing data—especially in forms that comply with FAIR principles—remains a challenge for many researchers to integrate into their workflows and prioritize among the demands on their time.[1] In many disciplines and subfields, data sharing is still mostly an ideal, honored more in the breach than in practice.[2]

The barriers to open data sharing are numerous.[3] However, sustained funding from federal agencies in the United States including the NSF and NIH and important initiatives in other countries such as Canada’s Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy and the European Union’s OpenAire, is creating a growing infrastructure for open sharing of research data, albeit one that highlights the tension between scientific research practices that are now regularly multi-national in scope yet exist within funding and regulatory structures determined largely by national entities.[4] In the US context, the most visible fruits of these efforts are the decentralized network of repositories that have become available to researchers in many fields and are now a vital infrastructure for data sharing across many fields. As incentive structures have slowly shifted, the number of researchers taking advantage of these resources has also grown.

The existence of these repositories are necessary enabling conditions for data sharing, but their ability to transform researcher’s practices around data depositing and sharing absent changes to incentive structures and the culture of research communities will remain uneven. Furthering the goals of open science requires convincing more researchers of the value of data sharing to themselves and to the community of researchers with whom they most tangibly identify. Creating and encouraging community norms that reward sharing is necessary because data sharing, especially FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) compliant sharing, is hard work. Absent strong incentive and reward structures, researchers are often reluctant to take on this “extra” labor. Successful data sharing ultimately depends on cultural and social infrastructures as much as on technical infrastructures….”

Leveraging IT and Library Partnerships for OER Faculty Development across Institutions | EDUCAUSE

“Textbooks are expensive. For many years, increases in the prices of textbooks have significantly outpaced inflation. An article from 2018 pegged the average cost per textbook in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system at $125.

Footnote1 Such prices dissuade some students from buying required texts if they believe they can get by without the texts, compromising their ability to fully participate and succeed in the course. Open educational resources (OER) offer low- or no-cost alternatives to traditional textbooks, and in many cases OER also serve as more current and more valuable learning resources than conventional texts.

Persuading faculty to adopt OER for their courses, however, has proven to be an ongoing challenge. The work of transitioning to OER is not trivial, and many faculty are hesitant to commit the time and energy needed to find—or create—OER that suit their courses and their teaching style. Professional development programs have been successful at encouraging faculty to adopt OER, but these programs often prove difficult to maintain for a variety of reasons, including unsustainable funding approaches, lack of faculty interest, and overworked support staff.Footnote2

Partnerships across departments is one way of sharing the financial or personnel burden of faculty development programming. A faculty development cohort on OER was established at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MNSU) in 2016 and continued in subsequent academic years. The program was supported with grant funding for the 2017–18 academic year and with funds provided by the IT Solutions department in the other academic years. The program consisted of cohorts of faculty interested in textbook affordability and OER; they participated in learning sessions and consultations to adopt OER in at least one of their courses. Cohorts met for a series of in-person content delivery sessions over the academic year and worked with an instructional designer to choose and implement OER or other low-cost course materials. A total of twenty university faculty participated in the three cohorts, and student textbook savings from those faculty members’ courses totaled $100,000 by the 2019 academic year. Faculty received a modest stipend for this work….”

Open Science Badges at Taylor & Francis – Editor Resources

“Open Science Badges (OSB) were designed by the Center for Open Science to acknowledge and encourage open science practices. They are offered as incentives for researchers to share data, materials, or to preregister their research. The badges are a visual signal for readers, indicating that the content of the study is available in perpetuity….”

Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment

“As signatories of this Agreement, we agree on the need to reform research assessment practices. Our vision is that the assessment of research, researchers and research organisations recognises the diverse outputs, practices and activities that maximise the quality and impact of research. This requires basing assessment primarily on qualitative judgement, for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators. Among other purposes, this is fundamental for: deciding which researchers to recruit, promote or reward, selecting which research proposals to fund, and identifying which research units and organisations to support….”

 

Early sharing not the only driver for preprint use | Research Information

“But what is interesting, is that while early sharing came out as important for authors, it is not their only driving motivator when using and selecting such services and adopting more open research practices. Authors are looking for more integrated services and want those platforms to offer multiple features that not only enhance the sharing, development and discoverability of their work, but also enable them to track and monitor its progress:   

Transparency was the top feature for authors when selecting an integrated preprint service:

71 per cent of authors said that greater transparency of the peer review process at journals was useful. Through its integration with peer review, In Review enables authors to see specific details of peer review and track their article, providing a high level of transparency into an often ‘hidden’ process.

50 per cent of authors said that the more transparent the service was, the more they felt it was credible, as it enabled greater accountability for the journal

Integrated early sharing – authors surveyed stated that ease of use (69 per cent) and being able to share their manuscript as a preprint at the same time as submitting it to a journal (BMC/ Springer journals) (83 per cent) had an impact on where they choose to take their work. We also learnt that this type of integrated solution is attractive for researchers in LMICs and early career researchers….”

Data sharing platforms: instruments to inform and shape science policy on data sharing? | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Data sharing platforms are being constructed to make clinical cohort data more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. Their primary purpose is to enhance the sharing of data. However, the lack of incentives for data sharing has been conceptualized in both scientific literature and policy documents as a problem of science policy. As platforms can only facilitate data sharing through technical means, they may not be able of fully resolving the data sharing problem. In this article, it is shown how the design of platforms may help in addressing policy barriers to data sharing in the long-term. In essence, platforms can be made into policy instruments that generate information on the data sharing process and the functionality of data access committees. This allows platforms to be used to inform science policy development, to monitor data sharing practices and to steer funding prioritization for cohorts and data infrastructures themselves. In this way, the creation of data infrastructures is closely connected to the policy evolutions in the context of open science.

 

Research assessment and implementation of Open Science

“ACKNOWLEDGES that in order to accelerate the implementation and the impact of Open Science policies and practices across Europe, action has to be taken to move towards a renewed approach to research assessment, including incentive and reward schemes, to put in place a European approach in accordance with the Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe, and strengthen capacities for academic publishing and scholarly communication of all research outputs, and encourage where appropriate, the use of multilingualism for the purpose of wider communication of European research results….

EMPHASIZES that applying Open Science principles should be appropriately rewarded in researchers’ careers; …”

 

Glossa: how a journal took matters into their own hands to make research available | Plan S

“[Q]When did you first engage with open access and why is it important for you as an academic, also considering the different roles you have in the scholarly communication system (reader, editor(-in-chief), advisory board member)?

[A] I became actively interested in open access around 2011/2012, when Timothy Gowers launched the Elsevier boycott and the Cost of Knowledge protest against Elsevier’s expensive subscriptions and journal bundling. A number of very good reviewers informed me that they would no longer review for Lingua, the Elsevier journal I had been an editor for since 1999. This was worrisome, because without access to the right reviewers, a journal cannot maintain its peer review processes. So I started to think about alternatives. In 2011, I had also met Saskia de Vries, who at that time was director of Amsterdam University Press, and who provocatively asked me if I was not interested in flipping Lingua to open access, and what would be required to do so. That conversation led to many more contacts, including Natalia Grygierszyk, director of the Radboud University Library in Nijmegen, and we jointly decided to look into possibilities to make Lingua open access….”

University of Maryland Department of Psychology Leads the Way in Aligning Open Science with Promotion & Tenure Guidelines — Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship

“The University of Maryland is rewarding faculty members in the department of psychology who perform and disseminate research in accordance with open science practices. In April, the department adopted new guidelines that explicitly codify open science as a core criteria in tenure and promotion review.

The change was several years in the making and championed by Michael Dougherty, chair of the department. “When you think about the goal and purpose of higher education and why we take these positions, it’s because we felt there would be some good that we could impart on the world,” Dougherty said. “The traditional markers of impact are how many times you’ve been cited [in a journal]. That’s not the type of impact that is valuable to the broader society.”

The new policy was necessary, he said, so incentives for advancement reflect the values of scientists and their institutions….”