DORA at 10: Looking back at the history and forward to the future of research assessment | DORA

“DORA will be 10 years old in May 2023 and we are planning to mark the occasion! We’ll be holding a weeklong celebration for DORA’s 10th Anniversary and we’re inviting you to join in by organizing an event on research assessment for your local community. We want to have conversations about what DORA has done and what we still need to do all over the globe! DORA’s 10th Anniversary Celebration will be comprised of two parts:

DORA’s 10th Anniversary Celebration will be comprised of two parts:

Two plenary online sessions to discuss the state of the field, our past decade of work, and our future plans.
A global program of local or regional events that will allow communities to share insights and challenges in reforming, innovating, and researching responsible research assessment policies and practices….”

OpenAIRE, LIBER, SPARC Europe and COAR Launch Joint Strategy to Strengthen the European Repository Network – COAR

“Open science is ushering in a new paradigm for research; one in which all  researchers have unprecedented access to the full corpus of research for analysis, text and data mining, and other novel research methods. A prerequisite for achieving this vision is a strong and well-functioning network of repositories that provides human and machine access to the wide range of valuable research outputs. Repositories also support much needed bibliodiversity in the system as they collect a diverse range of content types, domains and languages, and are fundamental for achieving Europe’s desired changes to research evaluation, whereby “assessment of research, researchers and research organisations recognises the diverse outputs, practices and activities that maximise the quality and impact of research”.

Currently, Europe has one of the most well-developed networks globally with hundreds of repositories hosted by universities, research centres, government departments, and not-for-profit organisations. However, there are significant variations across the European repository landscape with differing levels of support and funding; and, while some countries have strong national coordination, others do not. In a practical sense, this means that some repositories have access to the resources they need to provide a well-functioning service, while others find it a challenge to maintain up-to-date software platforms and suitable staffing levels….

To that end, today OpenAIRE, LIBER, SPARC Europe, and COAR are launching a joint strategy aimed at strengthening the European repository network. Through this strategy we are committed to working together – and with other relevant organisations – to develop and execute an action plan that will reinforce and enhance repositories in Europe. As a first step, we will undertake a survey that will enable us to have a better understanding of the current repository landscape and identify priority areas of action. The survey will be available in February 2023.”

Stepping up Open Science with OpenAIRE services

“Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) are encompassing all Universities and Institutions that enable researchers to conduct and perform their research and duties by ensuring the presence of infrastructures and (human) resources to support and produce valuable research products (publications, data, software, patents, etc.).??

 

Thousands of organisations have expressed an interest in shifting the new research culture vision, enforcing the need for policy changes in research assessment. The embrace of this vision has been translated into signing several declarations such as the DORA declaration, the?Leiden Manifesto, the?Metric Tide, and the?Hong Kong Principles for Assessing Researchers just to name a few. RPOs are key stakeholders of the more recent Agreement on Research Assessment, being part of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA).?…”

SocArXiv Papers | Value dissonance in research(er) assessment: Individual and institutional priorities in review, promotion and tenure criteria

Preprint on reforming research assessment, with Open Access as one of the criteria:

“Analysis of an international survey of 198 respondents reveals a deep disjunct between personal beliefs and perceived institutional priorities (“value dissonance”), with practices of open and responsible research, as well as “research citizenship” comparatively poorly valued by institutions at present. Our findings hence support current moves to reform research assessment.”

Publication in English should not be associated with prestige | Responsible Research

“Recently, multilingualism in scholarly communication has emerged as one of the central points of concern in the conversations on responsible science and research. This is a report of EuroScience Open Forum 2022 (ESOF) panel discussion on challenges of recognizing and supporting multilingual scholarly work in different geographical and organisational contexts….

Currently, the majority of scholarly communication is conducted in English. For example, in 2020, 95% of all the articles in one of the largest bibliographic databases, the Web of Science, were in English. 

Whilst the prevalence of an academic lingua franca certainly advances international communication between academics, multiple issues arise from this language hegemony. Considering that the majority of the global population does not speak English, the wider society is largely excluded from the scientific discourse and sharing of information. Concurrently, researchers have fewer resources and possibilities to publish in other languages without it negatively affecting their careers. As such, many local non-English Open Access journals, which play an important role as publishers of locally relevant research, are struggling to subsist.

Today, efforts to tackle these challenges are emerging in various localities through education, technological innovation and reformations of research assessment and funding. Moreover, important steps have been taken through international collaboration and policy making, which are essential for the fair and efficient global research community….

Throughout the panel discussion, it was emphasised that funders are in a key position in encouraging and facilitating the language-variety in scholarly communication. The Executive Director of cOAlition S, an Open Access initiative of national research funding organisations, Johan Rooryck presented, that the goal of increasing Diamond Open Access journals goes hand in hand with the effort of widening multilingualism in publishing. Rooryck noted that according to a recent Diamond Open Access study, most Diamond journals are multilingual while serving an international readership. According to Rooryck, national funders can also promote multilingual bibliodiversity of academic books via funding schemes for Open Access books. Rooryck’s message was clear: “Funders and universities should value multilingual publication in the same way as publication in English. We should convince PhD students of this too. Publication in English should not be associated with prestige.”…”

Publication and data surveillance in academia | Research Information

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the core functions of higher education are destined to be quantified and that this data will be harvested, curated, and repackaged through a variety of enterprise management platforms. All aspects of the academic lifecycle, such as research production, publication, distribution, impact determination, citation analysis, grant award trends, graduate student research topic, and more can be sold, analysed, and gamed to an unhealthy degree. By unhealthy, we mean constricted and self-consuming as the output we develop is directly contingent on the input we receive. Well-meaning tools, such as algorithmically derived research suggestions and citation analysis, create a shrinking and inequitable academic landscape that favours invisibly defined metrics of impact that are reinforced through further citation thereby limiting the scope and scale of research available….

As the shift to open access gains momentum, there is danger of the unintended consequences as enterprise platforms seek to maximise profit as the models shift from under their feet. As Alexander Grossmann and Björn Brembs discuss, the cost creep incurred by libraries reflects this pivot shifting to a model of author costs, which are often supported by libraries, thereby adjusting costing methods from the backend subscription model to the front-end pay to publish model. It is not surprising or controversial that for-profit enterprise, database, and academic platform vendors are seeking to turn a profit. We should remain vigilant, however, to academia’s willingness to find the easy and convenient solution without considering the longer-term effects of what they are selling. In a recent industry platform webinar, academic enterprise representatives discussed the “alchemy” of user-derived data and their ability to repackage and sell this data, with consent, to development companies with their key take away being a driver towards increased revenue. More to the point, they had learned the lessons of the tech industry, and more specifically the social media companies in understanding the data we generate can be used to target us, to sell to us, to use us for further development. They discussed the ways in which the use of this data would become, like social media, intelligent and drive user behaviour – further cinching the knot on the closed-loop as algorithmically-based suggestions further constrain research and reinforce a status-quo enabled by profit motive in the guise of engagement, use, and reuse….”

Why NASA and federal agencies are declaring this the Year of Open Science

“I’m thrilled to be the Transform to Open Science lead for NASA, which has a 60-year legacy of pushing the limits of how science is used to understand the Universe, planetary systems and life on Earth. Much of NASA’s success can be attributed to a culture of openness for the public good. Since the 1990s, the agency has been a leading advocate for full and open access to data and algorithms.

That culture is needed now more than ever. Humanity is facing many intersecting challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change and food and water insecurity. To combat them, we must find breakthroughs faster, increase interdisciplinary expertise and improve how we translate research findings into action. This will require a fundamental shift: from simply sharing results in journal articles to collaborating openly, publishing reproducible results and implementing full inclusivity and transparency….

In May 2021, I sent a one-page call to action for a Year of Open Science to NASA’s chief science data officer, and received immediate support. NASA headquarters formed a team to develop the concept. We talked to as many people as possible to learn their motivations, concerns and future needs related to open science. After a year of such discussions, we had a path forward. In April 2022, I started an assignment at NASA to lead the 5-year, US$40-million-dollar Transform to Open Science mission, which will be kicked off with the year of open science….

First, we agreed on a definition: open science is the principle and practice of making research products and processes available to all, while respecting diverse cultures, maintaining security and privacy, and fostering collaborations, reproducibility and equity. Next, we set four goals for each agency involved in the Year of Open Science: to develop a strategic plan for open science; improve the transparency and equity of reviews; account for open-science activities in evaluations; and engage under-represented communities in the advancement of open science….”

‘The attitude of publishers is a barrier to open access’ | UKSG

“Transitioning to open research is incredibly important for the University of Liverpool for two reasons: the external environment we are now operating in, and our own philosophy and approach to research.

But there are barriers, particularly the research culture and the attitude of publishers….

In my experience, the biggest barrier is culture: researchers are used to operating in a particular way. Changing practice and mindset takes time and must be conducted sensitively.

Open research benefits all researchers, so having their support on this journey is vitally important.

Some researchers are concerned that publishing their work open access has implications for their intellectual property (IP) rights. In fact, this is a perceived problem, since the same IP protections apply to all work, whether published behind a paywall or published open access.

Despite the recognition that citation metrics are not a suitable proxy for research assessment, some researchers continue to seek the kudos of publishing in a so-called prestige journal with a high-impact factor, such as ‘Nature’.  They see this as a key career goal and worry their progression will falter without this achievement….

So, while I acknowledge there has been significant progress towards open access globally, and in particular compliance with UKRI’s open access policy, the attitude of publishers which are driven by profit margins continues to be an unacceptable barrier….”

Research assessment reform: From rhetoric to reality | Science|Business

“At the same time, there is a growing consensus – both in Europe and elsewhere in the world – that the current assessment system needs to be rethought for an age of open science, big data, digitalisation and the demand for cross-disciplinary methods and skills. There are calls to improve the use of metrics, better balance quantitative and qualitative factors, and broaden the scope of assessment to reflect the full diversity of inputs, outputs and practices in 21st century science. The ultimate goal? To move away from inappropriate use of journal- and publication-based metrics in research assessment, towards a combination of metrics and narratives that reflect the value of research outputs and (researchers’ activities) in a more nuanced way….”

Thoughts on the Many Different Paths to Achieving Open Access: Keynote with Dr. Ross Mounce – Library Events Calendar – LJMU Library

“Professor George Talbot, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) and Dean of Arts and Sciences, Edge Hill University will begin Open Research Week 2023 and welcome our keynote speaker, Dr. Ross Mounce. 

In this talk, Ross will reflect on how progress towards providing open access to all academic research is going; the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

The good is: we’re starting to realise that a lot of the problem boils down to copyright issues. The emergence and normalisation of rights retention is undoubtedly healthy.?The bad news is: there are significant problems in the way that money is being spent to enable open access e.g. “transformative agreements” (sic). Transformative for whom??The ugly: Journal Impact Factor™?is statistically illiterate, negotiable, and irreproducible, but some researchers are still making decisions using it.? ?The real question now is not can we get universal open access to research, but how.”

ERC Scientific Council decides changes to the evaluation forms and processes for the 2024 calls | ERC

“During its December plenary meeting the ERC Scientific Council decided on changes to the ERC’s application forms and evaluation procedures for the 2024 calls. The current CV and Track Record templates will be combined and simplified and applicants will be able to add short narrative descriptions to explain the information provided. Applicants will also be invited to explain career breaks or unconventional career paths and to describe exceptional contributions to the research community. One effect of these changes is that the Profiles of the ERC Principal Investigators which appeared in previous Work Programmes will no longer be necessary. The Scientific Council has furthermore decided to explicitly weigh the project proposal more than the past achievements of the applicant during the evaluation. Full details will be found in the ERC Work Programme 2024 and the associated guidance documents….

In a related development, the Scientific Council also decided to sign the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment published in July this year.”

The Agreement full text – COARA

“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. They represent a broad diversity of views and perspectives….”

Toppling the Ivory Tower: Increasing Public Participation in Research Through Open and Citizen Science

“Prior to the emergence of professional researchers, amateurs without formal training primarily made contributions to science in what is known as ‘citizen science.’ Over time, science has become less accessible to the public, while at the same time public participation in research has decreased. However, recent progress in open and citizen science may be the key to strengthening the relationship between researchers and the public. Citizen science may also be key to collecting data that would otherwise be unobtainable through traditional sources, such as measuring progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, despite myriad benefits, there has been limited legislative action taken to promote open and citizen science policies. The underlying issues are incentive systems which overemphasize publication in high impact, for-profit journals. The suggested policy solutions include: 1) creating an open database for citizen science projects, 2) restricting publishers from disadvantaging citizen science, and 3) incorporating open science in researcher evaluation.”