Strengthening the Open Science Ecosystem Through Preprints

“When rapid and open sharing occurs, it is usually in venues (like scientific conferences or within networks of collaborators) accessible only to researchers from well-resourced and established institutions, creating additional barriers to researchers from emerging countries or under-resourced areas, preventing them from participating in the scientific discourse.

Preprints are poised to change this. In addition to enabling rapid sharing, preprints also 1) offer novel opportunities for feedback and peer review; 2) improve the overall quality, integrity, and reproducibility of research outputs; and 3) help prevent scooping and incentivize early collaboration.

These benefits can be dramatically enhanced by third-party services (authoring tools, commenting platforms, and machine extraction projects) that act as both inputs and outputs to preprints. As arXiv founder Paul Ginsparg envisioned in the early 1990s, preprints can provide “a relatively complete raw archive, unfettered by any unnecessary delays in availability” on top of which “any type of information could be overlayed… and maintained by any third parties,” including tools for validation, filtering, and communication….”

5 Scholarly Publishing Trends to Watch in 2020

“The vision for a predominantly open access (OA) publishing landscape has shifted from a possibility to a probability in the opinions of many. A 2017 Springer Nature survey of 200 professional staff working in research institutions around the world found that over 70% of respondents agreed scholarly content should be openly accessible and 91% of librarians agreed that “open access is the future of academic and scientific publishing.” …

As noted, there is growing consensus within academia that the majority of scholarly content will be available OA in the future — but how to reach that end is still a matter of debate. The announcement of Plan S in September 2018, an initiative by a consortium of national and international research funders to make research fully and immediately OA, sent shockwaves throughout academia. 2019 saw the release of the revised Plan S guidelines with some significant changes, including an extension of the Plan S deadline to January 2021, a clearer Green OA compliance pathway, and greater flexibility around non-derivative copyright licenses. What remains the same — and has been a matter of significant debate — is that Plan S will not acknowledge hybrid OA as a compliant publishing model.

In response to concerns raised by scholarly societies around the feasibility of transitioning to full and immediate OA publishing without compromising their operational funding, Wellcome and UKRI in partnership with ALPSP launched the “Society Publishers Accelerating Open Access and Plan S“ (SPA-OPS) project to identify viable OA publishing models and transition options for societies. The final SPA-OPS report was released in September of 2019, encompassing over 20 potential OA models and strategies as well as a “transformative agreement toolkit.” …”

Episciences – Home

“Episciences.org is an innovative combination of the two routes of free access: the gold route by hosting journals in open access (overlay journals) and the green route where articles are submitted to these journals by depositing them in an open archive

The editorial boards of such epijournals organize peer reviewing and scientific discussion of selected or submitted preprints. Epijournals can thus be considered as “overlay journals” built above the open archives; they add value to these archives by attaching a scientific caution to the validated papers.

Open access ; free to read ; free to publish.

There is no charge to access articles published in journals hosted by the Episciences.org.

There is no charge to publish articles in journals hosted by the Episciences.org….”

The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

Is overlay peer review the future of scholarly communications? – COAR

“You may have seen the paper published recently by COAR presenting a distributed framework for open publishing services called Pubfair (version 2, after community input), also available in Spanish.

Pubfair is a conceptual model for a modular, distributed open source publishing framework, which builds on the content contained in the network of repositories to enable the dissemination and quality-control of a range of research outputs including publications, data, and more. 

This idea is not new. It is based on the vision outlined in the COAR Next Generation Repositories report  and builds on earlier conceptual models developed by Paul Ginsparg, Herbert Van de Sompel and others. And there are already overlay journals on arXiv, such as Discrete Analysis and Advances in Combinatorics, and other platforms such as Episcience in France, that demonstrate that this can be done at a very high level of quality, for a low price.

We are proposing to expand on these initiatives by developing a highly distributed architecture for overlay services. With decentralization, comes tremendous power. It takes us beyond an environment with many silos, in which every organization maintains its own separate system; to a global, interoperable architecture for scholarly communication. This model can scale; respond to different needs and priorities related to language, region, and domain; and has the potential to set free scholarly communications….”

JMIR – Celebrating 20 Years of Open Access and Innovation at JMIR Publications | Eysenbach | Journal of Medical Internet Research

Abstract:  In this 20th anniversary theme issue, we are celebrating how JMIR Publications, an innovative publisher deeply rooted in academia and created by scientists for scientists, pioneered the open access model, is advancing digital health research, is disrupting the scholarly publishing world, and is helping to empower patients. All this has been made possible by the disintermediating power of the internet. And we are not done innovating: Our new series of “superjournals,” called JMIRx, will provide a glimpse into what we see as the future and end goal in scholarly publishing: open science. In this model, the vast majority of papers will be published on preprint servers first, with “overlay” journals then competing to peer review and publish peer-reviewed “versions of record” of the best papers.

 

How journals are using overlay publishing models to facilitate equitable OA

“Preprint repositories have traditionally served as platforms to share copies of working papers prior to publication. But today they are being used for so much more, like posting datasets, archiving final versions of articles to make them Green Open Access, and another major development — publishing academic journals. Over the past 20 years, the concept of overlay publishing, or layering journals on top of existing repository platforms, has developed from a pilot project idea to a recognized and growing publishing model.

In the overlay publishing model, a journal performs refereeing services, but it doesn’t publish articles on its website. Rather, the journal’s website links to final article versions hosted on an online repository….”

Pubfair – A Framework for Sustainable, Distributed, Open Science Publishing Services

“This white paper provides the rationale and describes the high level architecture for an innovative publishing framework that positions publishing functionalities on top of the content managed by a distributed network of repositories. The framework is inspired by the vision and use cases outlined in the COAR Next Generation Repositories work, first published in November 2017 and further articulated in a funding proposal developed by a number of European partners.

By publishing this on Comments Press, we are seeking community feedback about the Pubfair framework in order to refine the functionalities and architecture, as well as to gauge community interest….

The idea of Pubfair is not to create another new system that competes with many others, but rather to leverage, improve and add value to existing institutional and funder investments in research infrastructures (in particular open repositories and open journal platforms). Pubfair positions repositories (and the content managed by repositories) as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication. It moves our thinking beyond the artificial distinction between green and gold open access by combining the strengths of open repositories with easy-to-use review and publishing tools for a multitude of research outputs….”

Pubfair – A Framework for Sustainable, Distributed, Open Science Publishing Services

“This white paper provides the rationale and describes the high level architecture for an innovative publishing framework that positions publishing functionalities on top of the content managed by a distributed network of repositories. The framework is inspired by the vision and use cases outlined in the COAR Next Generation Repositories work, first published in November 2017 and further articulated in a funding proposal developed by a number of European partners.

By publishing this on Comments Press, we are seeking community feedback about the Pubfair framework in order to refine the functionalities and architecture, as well as to gauge community interest….

The idea of Pubfair is not to create another new system that competes with many others, but rather to leverage, improve and add value to existing institutional and funder investments in research infrastructures (in particular open repositories and open journal platforms). Pubfair positions repositories (and the content managed by repositories) as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication. It moves our thinking beyond the artificial distinction between green and gold open access by combining the strengths of open repositories with easy-to-use review and publishing tools for a multitude of research outputs….”

Pubfair – A Framework for Sustainable, Distributed, Open Science Publishing Services

“This white paper provides the rationale and describes the high level architecture for an innovative publishing framework that positions publishing functionalities on top of the content managed by a distributed network of repositories. The framework is inspired by the vision and use cases outlined in the COAR Next Generation Repositories work, first published in November 2017 and further articulated in a funding proposal developed by a number of European partners.

By publishing this on Comments Press, we are seeking community feedback about the Pubfair framework in order to refine the functionalities and architecture, as well as to gauge community interest….

The idea of Pubfair is not to create another new system that competes with many others, but rather to leverage, improve and add value to existing institutional and funder investments in research infrastructures (in particular open repositories and open journal platforms). Pubfair positions repositories (and the content managed by repositories) as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication. It moves our thinking beyond the artificial distinction between green and gold open access by combining the strengths of open repositories with easy-to-use review and publishing tools for a multitude of research outputs….”

A conceptual peer review model for arXiv and other preprint databases – Wang – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  A global survey conducted by arXiv in 2016 showed that 58% of arXiv users thought arXiv should have a peer review system. The current opinion is that arXiv should adopt the Community Peer Review model. This paper evaluates and identifies two weak points of Community Peer Review and proposes a new peer review model – Self?Organizing Peer Review. We propose a model in which automated methods of matching reviewers to articles and ranking both users and articles can be implemented. In addition, we suggest a strategic plan to increase recognition of articles in preprint databases within academic circles so that second generation preprint databases can achieve faster and cheaper publication.

The New “University Journals” in the Marketplace – The Scholarly Kitchen

” “University Journals” brings some impressive firepower to the marketplace. Although the details of the service are sketchy (we have an announcement, but not yet a publicly perusable business plan), it is notable that it already has the support of fourteen universities and its “initial development is funded by the PICA foundation and the University of Amsterdam.” The model is open access (OA), but there are no article processing charges (APCs); rather all fees are paid by researchers’ parent institutions. The appeal to authors — no requirement of transfer of copyright — is clear. The service itself will leverage pre-existing infrastructure such as institutional repositories, which brings to mind what may have been the granddaddy of proposals of this kind: Raym Crow’s white paper written on behalf of SPARC. Raym published that report in 2002. The “University Journals” website as well notes that authors will share in the prestige of the universities that sponsor the service, which appears to be an attempt to offset the appeal of highly ranked journals of the subscription variety….”

arXiv and the Symbiosis of Physics Preprints and Journal Review Articles: A Model

Abstract:  This paper recommends a publishing model that can help achieve the goal of reforming physics publishing. It distinguishes two complementary needs in scholarly communication. Preprints, increasingly important in science, are properly the vehicle for claiming priority of discovery and for eliciting feedback that will help with versioning. Traditional journal publishing, however, should focus on providing synthesis in the form of overlay journals that play the same role as review articles.

University Journals – innovative academic publishing

The University Journals offers an alternative to the current journal ecosystem, Linked to university repositories, University Journals publish reviewed articles, data and other academic works on an accredited open access platform.

The University Journals platform is owned by the university community and offers Open Access journal publications to researchers affiliated to its university partners.

University Journals is a joint initiative from 14 international European universities. Initial development is funded by the PICA foundation and the University of Amsterdam.