Left in the dark: the importance of publicly available clinical trial protocols – Braat – 2022 – Medical Journal of Australia – Wiley Online Library

“Prospective registration of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) based on a protocol with formal ethics approval is a benchmark for transparent medical research. The reporting of the primary results of the study should correspond to the design, analysis, and reporting specified in the protocol and trial registration. However, modifications to various aspects of the trial are often made after registration, ranging from administrative updates to substantial protocol amendments. To track the history of revisions, the protocol and registry entry should be updated, and the documentation trail should support an independent appraisal of whether any biases have been introduced that could affect interpretation of trial results.

In this issue of the MJA, Coskinas and colleagues report their investigation of changes to 181 phase 3 RCTs registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) during 1 September 2007 – 31 December 2013.1 The authors compared protocol documents (including ANZCTR registration information) with subsequent journal publications for any changes to the primary outcome, treatment comparisons, analysis set definition, eligibility criteria, sample size, or primary analysis method. They found that protocols were available for only 124 trials (69%); it could be determined that no major changes had been made to eleven of these trials (9%), while 78 had definitely been modified (63%). By comparing publications with trial registration information, it was found that no changes were made to five of the 57 trials without available protocols (9%), and it could not be determined whether changes had been made to a further ten (18%)….”

IOP Publishing is largest physics publisher to strike open access agreement with the Council of Australian University Librarians   – IOP Publishing

IOP Publishing (IOPP) and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) have agreed a three-year transformative agreement (TA) for unlimited open access publishing and access to IOPP’s journals.

Open Publishing Case Studies released | Open Access Australasia

“A set of open publishing case studies supported by Australian university libraries has been released.

The Libraries and Open Publishing Case Studies Project forms part of the Advancing Open Scholarship (FAIR) program as part of the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) 2020-2022 Strategic Plan.

Case studies were selected via a scoping activity that utilised Open Access Australasia’s curated Directory of Open Access initiatives in Australasia Directories (oaaustralasia.org). The Directory is a curated list of open access initiatives across Australasian institutions and is comprised mainly of higher education institutions, but also includes research organisations and associations.

Each case study describes the work of the featured institution, identifies critical success factors and sustainability issues and provides evidence of impact via a researcher’s perspective of using the publishing initiative.  The researcher’s impact narratives discuss the benefits of using these various publishing initiatives to improve research impact.  Making their research accessible to those relevant organisations outside of the usual academic environment ultimately improves not only their own professional visibility, but most importantly the value of their research….”

Research assessment reform in action: Updates from research funders in Canada and New Zealand | DORA

“Research funding organizations are often thought of as leaders in the movement toward more responsible research evaluation practices. Often, the perception of “excellence” in research culture is filtered through the lens of who and what type of work receives funding. However, when a narrow set of indicators is used to determine who receives funding, the result can be a subsequent narrowing of academia’s perceptions of research excellence (e.g., journal impact factor (JIF), h-index). This places funders in the unique position of being able to help “set the tone” for research culture through their own efforts to reduce reliance on flawed proxy measures of quality and implement a more holistic approach to the evaluation of researchers for funding opportunities. Whether funders are seeking inspiration from their peers or insight on iterative policy development, the ability to come together to discuss reform activity is critical for achieving widespread culture change. At DORA’s June Funder Community of Practice (CoP) meetings, we heard how DORA is being implemented by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)….”

Open Research Librarian

“The Open Research Librarian will be responsible for supporting a transition away from paid content towards publicly available resources (e.g. open access research and open educational resources). They will partner with the Library Teaching & Learning team to ensure content (both paid and openly available) meets current needs for both teaching and research. They will undertake group and individual teaching and training in relation to open research and open education and will build effective relationships with research staff and students in their division/school. As this is a fast-moving area it is vital that the post holder can keep up to date with relevant developments, identify best practice, both nationally and internationally and communicate accordingly….”

Indigenous Knowledge and Research Infrastructure: An Interview with Katharina Ruckstuhl – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Indigenous knowledge, defined by UNESCO as “the understandings, skills and philosophies developed by societies with long histories of interaction with their natural surroundings”, is increasingly — if belatedly — being recognized as making a significant contribution to the research endeavor. However, it is poorly supported by the current research infrastructure, which was developed to serve the needs of the global North, especially in the sciences. Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl of the University of Otago, New Zealand, gave a powerful account of this in her recent NISO Plus keynote, Research Infrastructure for the Pluriverse, as well as sharing her thoughts on how we can can implement research infrastructure processes that support pluriversal approaches….”

New Zealand is about to commit copyright theft – the real kind – Walled Culture

“Whatever you might think of the original bargain, it is now demonstrably far worse. In 1710, copyright’s monopoly lasted 14 years, with an additional 14 years if the creator was still alive at the end of that period. Today, in most parts of the world, the monopoly lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years. Typically, that is over a hundred years from the date of creation, far longer than the modest 14 years of the Statute of Anne.

New Zealand is something of an outlier here. Its copyright term is life plus 50 years. That’s already a long time, but not long enough for the copyright maximalists, who are always working towards their evident goal of perpetual copyright. And it looks like they are going to notch up another victory, as a blog post by Michael Wolfe on the Newsroom site explained last year. An in-principle trade deal between New Zealand the UK will see the former’s copyright term of life plus 50 years become life plus 70 years. What’s remarkable is that extending copyright makes no sense, and the New Zealand government knows it….”

New student-led diamond OA journal: Rangahau Aranga: AUT Graduate Review

Rangahau Aranga: AUT Graduate Review is a forthcoming open access, peer-reviewed journal set up and run by and for postgraduate students at Auckland University of Technology, showcasing their research. Rangahau Aranga is being established as an initiative in coordination with AUTSA and AUT Library’s Tuwhera. 

The journal welcomes submissions from students engaged in postgraduate level study at AUT, across a range of disciplines and study areas and in multiple forms, including research articles and short form research summaries, case studies, abstracts, commentary, book reviews and creative works.  

The M?ori words Rangahou (from the verb to seek or search and the noun research) Aranga (from the verb to emerge, ensue or arise) speak to the emerging and arising voices in our academic community. The naming of this journal was agreed through a consensual process of k?rero (or conversation and consultation) with the AUT Library M?ori Engagement Group and the Office of M?ori Advancement.

In honouring the words, Rangahau Aranga seeks to centre hitherto marginalised, less visible postgraduate researchers. Submissions from M?ori and Pacific postgraduate academics are particularly welcomed. The journal will enable those at the beginning of their publication journey a unique, supportive opportunity to develop new skills, hone their academic writing skills and add to their profiles with citable, quality publication credits.  

The journal will be fully open access with content shared under Creative Commons licences, and where appropriate utilising the Local Contexts labels for indigenous research. Each item published on Aranga will be given a DOI, be indexed by CrossRef and preserved through CLOCKSS. 

Rangahau Aranga will not charge fees for submission or publication.

Praise for move to free online access to research | Otago Daily Times Online News

“Researchers affiliated with the University of Otago will be able to publish their work so that readers around the world will have free online access to it.

By taking advantage of new agreements, Otago University scholars and researchers will have the opportunity to publish in more than 4500 ‘‘open access’’ journals….”

Open Research: Scholarly communication competencies: An analysis of confidence among Australasian library staff

Abstract:  Through a nationwide survey of universities and research organizations in Australia and New Zealand, this article investigates the level of confidence that librarians working in scholarly communication have in their current competencies. The results show that while respondents were generally confident across seven competency areas (Institutional repository management, Publishing services, Research practice, Copyright services, Open access policies and scholarly communication landscape, Data management services, and Assessment and impact metrics), the majority combined their scholarly communication tasks with other roles. Challenges across the sector in updating skills and knowledge to keep abreast of current trends and developments were identified, with implications for improving professional development opportunities.

 

THE OPEN ACCESS LAW BOOK IN AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND: RADICALISING THE FUNDING OF FUTURE PUBLISHING

Abstract:  The budgets of university libraries in New Zealand are being squeezed by the costs of subscriptions to works necessary for teaching. This article advocates for a different approach to funding such works. Drawing upon experience of developing an open access textbook on the criminal process it is argued that open access publishing is the best way to make the most of the funding that is available for legal research and scholarship. The funding model for academic publishing may need to be recalibrated, but perhaps not radically.

De Gruyter and CAUL announce new Read & Publish agreement for 2022

The international independent publisher De Gruyter and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) are  delighted to announce their first Read & Publish agreement, covering subscription access and Open Access publishing during the 2022 calendar year.