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….”

Conference homepage – Singapore Open Research Conference 2022 – LibGuides at Nanyang Technological University

“Open Research, or Open Science is the movement to make the scientific process and research outputs more transparent, inclusive and accessible. 

It supports validation, reproducibility and reduces cases of academic misconduct.

It helps to maximise the impact of one’s research and provides the foundations for others to build upon. 

Held in conjunction with the International Open Access Week, the inaugural Singapore Open Research Conference, “Accelerating Research with Responsible Open Science”, will provide a great opportunity to interact with drivers and practitioners about their experiences and suggestions on Open Science/Open Research.

Though the discussions will be based on the bioscience field, researchers from various institutions are most welcome….”

Tackling the politicisation of COVID-19 data reporting through open access data sharing – The Lancet Infectious Diseases

“Regression analysis of country-specific death rates among 137 countries, showed that approximately 400?000 deaths were estimated to be unaccounted for during the first year of the pandemic, most likely among autocratic governments.

 During the early stages of the pandemic, the Chinese Government limited knowledge of the emerging disease and downplayed its severity. The Chinese Government did not allow the media to use terms like fatal and lockdown. Houthi rebels in Yemen relied on under-reporting cases to avoid accountability and maintain economic activity, leading to the reporting of only four COVID-19 cases and one death in the highly populated Sana’a City over the first year of the pandemic. Most countries report cases and deaths that are both probable and confirmed by testing. However, in Russia, only COVID-19 confirmed deaths are included in official counts, despite low supplies of PCR tests, leading to vast under-reporting of deaths. Similarly, some Brazilian hospitals have been implicated in the under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths in response to government pressure to avoid triggering the apparent need for lockdown measures. When official and aggregate sources were available, the JHU CSSE team overcame such challenges by implementing innovative anomaly detection processes and data fusion approaches in the data coalition process.

Political polarisation has threatened the reliability of data supplied by US Government agencies. The Trump White House Administration advised hospitals to send data on SARS-CoV-2 and intensive care unit capacities to a private company, bypassing the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Concerningly, a relationship was exposed between the private contractor and the Trump family’s corporation. The switch to sending data to a private contractor led to a hiatus in publicly available data from the US CDC. Moreover, the transition was accompanied by sporadic updates, with many irregularities in the data and inconsistencies in the definition of metrics from the contracted private company….”

OSSAN Conference 2022

“Open Science South Asia Network (OSSAN) aims to bring open science enthusiasts and practitioners in South Asia to the same forum to engage in an international dialogue and share good practices for a stronger, more unified and workable Open Science policy framework, especially relevant to South Asia….

Open science is an emerging concept that aims to democratize science and has been extensively advocated by researchers, policy-makers, librarians, and international organizations like UNESCO and OECD. Open Science practices have been formalized to make research more ‘inclusive’, ‘transparent’, and ‘efficient’. It is an approach designed to foster open and equitable sharing of knowledge through journals articles, greater access to data generated from research processes following the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) principles, reorienting research assessment mechanisms to foster open science practices and sharing of other research output such as codes, hardwar.

 

However, globally more attention has been focused on the knowledge dissemination side with little or no contemplation of the knowledge creation process. Open science discussions focus mainly on the output of scientific research and how knowledge production can be more efficient, transparent, and reproducible. The cultural diversity in knowledge production is unexamined so far in the open science discourse. Insights on the knowledge creation process to make it more inclusive and collectively governed by society are also essential at this stage. Therefore,  the conference themes and discussions are aligned not only on the knowledge dissemination side but also on the creation with a specific focus on the needs of South Asia. Following this theme, Ideathon would focus on developing tangible results that aid open data in science among South Asian academics.”

Uses of the Journal Impact Factor in national journal rankings in China and Europe – Kulczycki – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This paper investigates different uses of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) in national journal rankings and discusses the merits of supplementing metrics with expert assessment. Our focus is national journal rankings used as evidence to support decisions about the distribution of institutional funding or career advancement. The seven countries under comparison are China, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Poland, and Turkey—and the region of Flanders in Belgium. With the exception of Italy, top-tier journals used in national rankings include those classified at the highest level, or according to tier, or points implemented. A total of 3,565 (75.8%) out of 4,701 unique top-tier journals were identified as having a JIF, with 55.7% belonging to the first Journal Impact Factor quartile. Journal rankings in China, Flanders, Poland, and Turkey classify journals with a JIF as being top-tier, but only when they are in the first quartile of the Average Journal Impact Factor Percentile. Journal rankings that result from expert assessment in Denmark, Finland, and Norway regularly classify journals as top-tier outside the first quartile, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. We conclude that experts, when tasked with metric-informed journal rankings, take into account quality dimensions that are not covered by JIFs.

 

Preprints as a driver of open science: opportunities for Southeast Asia · Komunitas Preprint RINarxiv

Abstract:  Southeast Asia is an emerging force of open access scholarly output. For example, Indonesia is in a tight competition with Britain as the largest publisher of open access journals and the second largest producer of open access articles in the world (according to DOAJ and the COKI OA Dashboard respectively). However, this support for open practices is not yet reflected in institutional research policies in Southeast Asian countries, which still rely on criteria influenced by world university rankings that focus on publication outputs and do not incorporate elements related to research culture, integrity, or open science. Preprints have gained increasing attention across disciplines in the last few years, but they are still not included in institutional policies in SouthEast Asia. This paper discusses the potential for preprints to be a driving force for open science and for quality and integrity in scholarly outputs from Southeast Asia. There is a fledgling preprinting culture in the region, catalyzed by the RINarxiv preprint server in Indonesia and the Malaysia Open Science Platform. We argue that preprints have many advantages: opportunities for open access and for researchers to maintain copyright to their work, wide dissemination, encouraging feedback and critical thinking, and community governance. With these advantages, preprints can become a fast and open communication hub between researchers and all stakeholders in the research process. We recommend regulatory and practical steps to incorporate preprints into science policy and researchers’ practices as an effort to promote research integrity, open data and reproducibility.

SciOpen, an international digital publishing | EurekAlert!

“On June 24, 2022, the 5th Forum for World STM Journals, hosted by the Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the People’s Government of Hunan Province, opened in Changsha. SciOpen (https://www.sciopen.com/home), an international digital publishing platform for STM journals independently developed by Tsinghua University Press, was officially launched at the opening ceremony of the forum….”

Early firm engagement, government research funding, and the privatization of public knowledge | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Early firm engagement in the scientific discovery process in public institutions is an important form of science-based innovation. However, early firm engagement may negatively affect the academic value of public papers due to firms’ impulse to privatize public knowledge. In this paper, we crawl all patent and paper text data of the Distinguished Young Scholars of the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in the chemical and pharmaceutical field. We use semantic recognition techniques to establish the link between scientific discovery papers and patented technologies to explore the relationship between the quality of public knowledge production, government research funding, and early firm engagement in the science-based innovation process. The empirical results show that, first, there is a relatively smooth inverted U-shaped relationship between government research funding for scholars and the quality of their publications. An initial increase in government research funding positively drives the quality of public knowledge production, but the effect turns negative when research funding is excessive. Second, government research funding for scholars can act as a value signal, triggering the firm’s impulse to privatize high-value scientific discoveries. Hence, early firm engagement moderates the inverted U-shaped relationship such that at low levels of research funding, early firm engagement can improve the quality of public knowledge production, and at high levels of research funding, early firm engagement can further reduce the quality of public knowledge production.

 

Should open access lead to closed research? The trends towards paying to perform research

Abstract:  Open  Access  (OA)  emerged  as  an  important  transition  in  scholarly  publishing  worldwide during the past two decades. So far, this transition is increasingly based on article processing charges (APC), which create a new paywall on the researchers’ side. Publishing is part of the research  process  and  thereby  necessary  to  perform  research.  This  study  analyses  the  global trends towards paying to perform research by combing observed trends in publishing from 2015 to 2020 with an APC price list. APC expenses have sharply increased among six countries with different  OA  policies:  the  USA,  China,  the  UK,  France,  the  Netherlands,  and  Norway.  The estimated global revenues from APC among major publishers now exceed 2 billion US dollars annually. Mergers and takeovers show that the industry is moving towards APC-based OA as the more profitable business  model.  Research publishing will be closed  to  those who cannot make an institution or project money payment. Our results lead to a discussion of whether APC is the best way to promote OA.

DORA Community Engagement Grants: Supporting Academic Assessment Reform | DORA

“DORA sought to fund ideas to advance assessment reform at academic institutions at any stage of readiness. Projects could be targeted to any level within an academic institution, including (but not limited to) reform efforts at the graduate program, department, library, or institution level, and should address one or more key aspects of education, planning, implementing, training, iteratively improving, and scaling policies and practices. More than 55 ideas were submitted from individuals and teams in 29 countries! After careful review, members of the Steering Committee selected 10 proposals to support….”

AsiaChem Magazine has joined ScienceOpen – ScienceOpen Blog

“The Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS) is a federation of 32 chemical societies of countries and territories in the Asia Pacific, aiming to promote the advancement and appreciation of chemistry and the interests of professional chemists in the region. As of today, all activities and updates from the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies, as well as cutting-edge science articles, publications on the history of chemistry, interviews, and essays, will be available on ScienceOpen, as AsiaChem, the official magazine of FACS, has joined our network….”

Boycott heralds Chinese publishing shake-up | May 3, 2022 | Times Higher Education (THE)

“China’s top research organisation has suspended its use of the country’s largest academic database, causing some scholars to question whether its stranglehold on the sector might be loosened. Several research institutes under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have pulled out of its subscription to the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) due to mounting subscription fees, local news outlet Caixin reported. According to reports, CAS made the decision over mounting costs. In 2021, CAS paid ¥10 million (£1.2 million) to access the database, with a similar amount expected for 2022. Academics said the reasoning behind the move – long-simmering frustrations over fees – was understandable enough. But they wondered what its knock-on effects could be in a market largely controlled by a single, powerful player. Roughly 90 per cent of China’s journal articles are listed on CNKI, according to estimates.  Futao Huang, a professor at the Research Institute for Higher Education at Hiroshima University, suggested that CNKI’s monopoly was under threat. While he said it was “extremely difficult” to predict what could happen, a reduced role for CNKI “might open up the market to new players”, including open access platforms, which allow readers to access papers for free….

Fei Shu, a senior researcher in the Chinese Academy of Science and Education Evaluation at Hangzhou Dianzi University, argued that “oligopoly” was a more fitting term for the country’s research database market, but he was also sceptical that a move away from its biggest player would result in a proliferation of openly accessible journal articles. “In my perspective, some other research institutions will follow the CAS and stop [their] subscription if they cannot get a deal with CNKI,” similar to when Western sectors boycotted Elsevier in the past, he said. “However, it has little to do with open access. In China, due to [its] censorship, OA is not favoured and promoted by the government. I don’t believe that this situation will change in a short term.””

https://web.archive.org/web/20220504111208/https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/academys-database-boycott-may-herald-chinese-publishing-shake

Guest Post – Open Access in Japan: Tapping the Stone Bridge – The Scholarly Kitchen

“April Fool’s Day is not really a thing in Japan, so whereas many companies in the West tend to avoid the first of the month when making important announcements, it is in no way unusual that the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the nation’s second-largest public-sector research funder chose April 1st, 2022 to unveil its revised open access policy and implementation guidelines with a typical lack of fanfare outside of its home country….

Such a comparatively low-key approach is in line with past precedent as Japanese funding bodies such as JST, have typically opted for a light-touch and iterative approach to open access policies – which for the most part have been developed in consultation with publishers – in contrast to counterparts in other countries that have put forward more radical and headline-generating open access initiatives such as the US OSTP “Holdren Memo”, Plan S, and UKRI’s open access policy announced in mid-2021. Previous versions of the JST open access policy issued in 2013 and 2017 went little remarked upon in many open science circles and were notable for their conciliatory approach, in contrast to the openly-stated ambition to disrupt and reform the world of scholarly publishing of many other funders. Following this consultative tradition, the current policy was circulated in draft form to publisher members of CHORUS, of which JST is a participating funder, for comment prior to publication….

The most noticeable difference between the new policy and previous iterations is the introduction of an embargo period which stipulates that at minimum the Accepted Manuscript (AM) of any paper arising from a project submitted for funding to JST after the go-live date of April 1, 2022, must be made publicly accessible in an institutional or public repository in Japan within 12 months of publication of the resultant journal article. Whilst cautious by European standards, this is the first time that an embargo of any type has been included in the JST policy. In addition to AMs of research articles, the policy covers those of review articles and conference papers. While the revised policy signals a preference for the green route and does not mandate that the VoR be made available open access, publication as an open access article is a “permitted” route and under the new policy, APCs are fully reimbursable from grant money….

Furthermore, it is notable that both the policy and its implementation guidelines are silent on the twin subjects of transformative journals and transformative agreements. …

Advocates of faster and more radical transformation will probably lament the lack of clarity or silence on certain issues – such as a ban on publishing in hybrid journals and gaps around CC BY licensing for the AM – that have become totemic in many open access circles and offer a more lukewarm response. Those in the latter group may find some consolation in the knowledge that in Japan, caution does not necessarily indicate disapproval and is often regarded as a virtue, encapsulated in the phrase: ???????? (Ishibashi wo tataite wataru) “to tap on a stone bridge before crossing.” Cautious progress may initially be slower than those who rush headlong, but caution helps avoids missteps. And you’re still going across the bridge.”

 

Japan Science and Technology Agency revises its open science policy

JST revised JST Policy on Open Access to Research Publications and Research Data Management (JST Open Science Policy) in consideration of recent trends of Open Science both inside and outside Japan in April 2022. This policy defines JST’s basic stance on Open Access to research publications and management of research data resulting from research projects funded by JST. Researchers who participate in those projects are required to handle research results appropriately complying with this policy.

Brill Publishes New Open Access Series with Support from Max Planck Institute

Academic publisher Brill is proud to announce the addition of the series Agriculture and the Making of Sciences 1100-1700: Texts, Practices, and Transcultural Transmission of Knowledge in Asia (AMOS) to its publishing portfolio in Asian Studies. All volumes in this series will be published in Open Access with financial support from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG).