Researcher and Academic Library Roles and User Beliefs in the Pandemic: Designing the Open-Access and Library Usage Scale (OALU) | DeZouche | Journal of Intellectual Freedom & Privacy

Abstract:  We investigated whether individuals believe they have a right to information during a crisis, and whether attitudes about crisis-related information sharing differ by age and one’s role in providing or consuming information. We measured attitudes about aspects of data sharing related to COVID-19: researchers’ obligation to share data, publishers’ obligation to share information, and libraries’ responsibility to provide them. We predicted younger individuals, especially students as consumers of information, would report stronger preference for open access to pandemic-related information. A principal components analysis was performed, and two predicted factors emerged: information-sharing obligations and libraries’ responsibility to provide resources. Age was not significantly correlated with attitudes about libraries or information-sharing. Planned analyses comparing students, faculty, and community members unaffiliated with the university revealed no differences in their attitudes regarding library resources or information-sharing. A lack of age and university affiliation-related differences can be explained by universally strong attitudes in favor of both information-sharing and library resources, with a greater desire for information-sharing. Knowing that individuals demonstrate a strong preference for open access to information and that these attitudes do not differ between those who are providing (faculty), and consuming information (students/community) can contribute to funding for these resources. This research is innovative and timely, as attitudes about access when information is urgently and globally needed, as during a pandemic, is likely to differ from those observed under different circumstances.


Community consensus on core open science practices to monitor in biomedicine | PLOS Biology

Abstract:  The state of open science needs to be monitored to track changes over time and identify areas to create interventions to drive improvements. In order to monitor open science practices, they first need to be well defined and operationalized. To reach consensus on what open science practices to monitor at biomedical research institutions, we conducted a modified 3-round Delphi study. Participants were research administrators, researchers, specialists in dedicated open science roles, and librarians. In rounds 1 and 2, participants completed an online survey evaluating a set of potential open science practices, and for round 3, we hosted two half-day virtual meetings to discuss and vote on items that had not reached consensus. Ultimately, participants reached consensus on 19 open science practices. This core set of open science practices will form the foundation for institutional dashboards and may also be of value for the development of policy, education, and interventions.


Open Access Publishing: A Study of UC Berkeley Faculty Views and Practices

Abstract:  This project focused on open access (OA) publishing, which enhances researcher productivity and impact by increasing dissemination of, and access to, research. The study looked at the relationship between faculty’s attitudes toward OA and their OA publishing practices, including the roles of funding availability and discipline. The project team compared University of California Berkeley (Berkeley) faculty’s answers to questions related to OA from the 2018 Ithaka Faculty Survey with the faculty’s scholarly output in the Scopus database. Faculty Survey data showed that 71% of Berkeley faculty, compared to 64% of faculty nationwide, support a transition to OA publishing. However, when selecting a journal to publish in, faculty indicated that a journal having no cost to publish in was more important than having no cost to read. After joining faculty’s survey responses and their publication output, the data sample included 4,413 articles published by 479 Berkeley faculty from 2016 to 2019. With considerable disciplinary differences, the OA publication output for this sample, using data from Unpaywall, represented 72% of the total publication output. The study focused on Gold OA articles, which usually require authors to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) and which accounted for 18% of the publications. Overall, the study found a positive correlation between publishing Gold OA and the faculty’s support for OA (no cost to read). In contrast, the correlation between publishing Gold OA and the faculty’s concern about publishing cost was weak. Publishing costs concerned faculty in all subject areas, whether or not their articles reported research funding. Thus, Berkeley Library’s efforts to pursue transformative publishing agreements and prioritize funding for a program subsidizing publishing fees seem like effective strategies to increase OA. 

Library Impact Research Report: Open Access Publishing: A Study of UC Berkeley Faculty Views and Practices – Association of Research Libraries

Overall, the UC Berkeley study found a positive correlation between publishing gold OA and the faculty’s support for OA (no cost to read). In contrast, the correlation between publishing gold OA and the faculty’s concern about publishing cost was weak. Publishing costs concerned faculty in all subject areas, whether or not their articles reported research funding. Therefore, UC Berkeley Library’s efforts to pursue transformative publishing agreements and prioritize funding for a program subsidizing publishing fees seem like effective strategies to increase OA.

The Preprint Club – A cross-institutional, community-based approach to peer reviewing | bioRxiv

Abstract:  The academic community has been increasingly using preprints to disseminate their latest research findings quickly and openly. This early and open access of non-peer reviewed research warrants new means from the scientific community to efficiently assess and provide feedback to preprints. Yet, most peer review of scientific studies performed today are still managed by journals, each having their own peer review policy and transparency. However, approaches to uncouple the peer review process from journal publication are emerging. Additionally, formal education of early career researchers (ECRs) in peer reviewing is rarely available, hampering the quality of peer review feedback. Here, we introduce the Preprint Club, a cross-institutional, community-based approach to peer reviewing, founded by ECRs from the University of Oxford, Karolinska Institutet and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Over the past two years and using the collaborative setting of the Preprint Club, we have been discussing, assessing, and providing feedback on recent preprints in the field of immunology. In this article, we provide a blueprint of the Preprint Club basic structure, demonstrate its effectiveness, and detail the lessons we learned on its impact on peer review training and preprint author’s perception.


‘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….”

Befragung: Rahmenbedingungen und Kriterien bei der Veröffentlichung einer wissenschaftlichen Publikation – OPTIMETA

From Google’s English:  “Help us to find out more about the framework and criteria for publishing a scientific publication!

It is our concern to strengthen the Open Access publication landscape by creating the opportunity, especially for smaller Open Access journals, to increase the visibility of their articles and thus their authors through easily implementable technical innovations. We are trying to implement this in the BMBF project OPTIMETA.

In this context, we are interested in the perspective of scientists. We want to find out what attitudes, habits and expectations researchers have in relation to scientific publishing. We are currently conducting a survey and ask for your support. We would be very pleased if you, as a scientist, could take part in the survey and/or forward the survey link to potentially interested researchers.

Participation in the survey is possible until January 20th and will take about 15 to 20 minutes.”

The State of Open Data 2022: FAIR awareness, practice, and perceptions by discipline | DCC

“It’s interesting to see just how respondents vary by research discipline in what they claim to practice, and what they think others are practicing when it comes to the FAIR principles and research data.

First though, a couple of points to keep in mind. The usual disclaimers around surveys apply: Respondents are self-selecting, there may be desirability bias at play, and how respondents comprehend different terms and questions may vary, without us being able to pick up on different understandings. Also, SoOD doesn’t always repeat questions or responses in the same way from year to year, so in those cases I have adjusted wordings where there were minor differences to enable comparison. Finally: emphasis on Open Data over data sharing in questions remains infuriating. Let’s say it again, open data is sharable; not all sharable data are open.

Then there are the respondents themselves. The responses aren’t generalisable, in that they are mostly from early career (according to date of first publication), university based, and science focused individuals. Thirty-eight percent are in Asia, a third in Europe, with 13 percent in North America, and eight percent in Africa. Digital Science claim there are around 6,000 usable responses they have made available in the dataset, so it’s likely that the data have been cleaned and checked for phenomena like straight lining or duplicate responses….”

MetaArXiv Preprints | The impact of open and reproducible scholarship on students’ scientific literacy, engagement, and attitudes towards science: A review and synthesis of the evidence

Abstract:  In recent years, the scientific community has called for improvements in the credibility, robustness, and reproducibility of research, characterized by higher standards of scientific evidence, increased interest in open practices, and promotion of transparency. While progress has been positive, there is a lack of consideration about how this approach can be embedded into undergraduate and postgraduate research training. Currently, the impact of integrating an open and reproducible approach into the curriculum on student outcomes is not well articulated in the literature. Therefore, in this paper, we provide the first comprehensive review of how integrating open and reproducible scholarship into teaching and learning may impact students, using a large-scale, collaborative, team-science approach. Our review highlighted how embedding open and reproducible scholarship may impact: (1) students’ scientific literacies (i.e., students’ understanding of open research, consumption of science, and the development of transferable skills); (2) student engagement (i.e., motivation and engagement with learning, collaboration, and engagement in open research), and (3) students’ attitudes towards science (i.e., trust in science and confidence in research findings). Our review also identified a need for more robust and rigorous methods within evaluations of teaching practice. We discuss implications for teaching and learning scholarship in this area.

How do researchers really feel about methods-sharing? – The Official PLOS Blog

“In scientific communications, methods are finally getting their due. Tools for better-communicating methods are everywhere these days—from new reporting standards and methods-specific article types, to dedicated methods journals and purpose-built repository platforms. But so far, no single solution has enjoyed wide adoption or been generally acknowledged as best practice.

Now, new data gathered by PLOS, with the support of and TCC Africa, sheds light on how researchers view methods, and lends insight into their motivations and behaviors when it comes to methods-sharing. Over 1,000 researchers completed the survey. Respondents were concentrated primarily in the Life and Health Sciences, and tended to be more senior in their careers. Read on for highlights, or skip straight to the preprint for in-depth details.

Takeaway #1 – Established methods-sharing norms are insufficient…

Takeaway #2 – Researchers see methods sharing as important…

Takeaway #3 – When it comes to their specific goals, researchers aren’t satisfied…

Takeaway #4 – The main blockers to methods-sharing are practical…”

Faculty Perceptions of OA A Quantitative Analysis

Abstract:  A quantitative survey of faculty perceptions of Open Access (OA) publishing was conducted at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), a small liberal arts style University in the United Arab Emirates. The survey aimed to assess faculty perceptions of the credibility and quality of OA publishing. We were curious to discover the range of interpretations and understanding of OA amongst our faculty members in order to inform ongoing outreach and scholarly communications activity.

Motivations, concerns and selection biases when posting preprints: A survey of bioRxiv authors | PLOS ONE

Abstract:  Since 2013, the usage of preprints as a means of sharing research in biology has rapidly grown, in particular via the preprint server bioRxiv. Recent studies have found that journal articles that were previously posted to bioRxiv received a higher number of citations or mentions/shares on other online platforms compared to articles in the same journals that were not posted. However, the exact causal mechanism for this effect has not been established, and may in part be related to authors’ biases in the selection of articles that are chosen to be posted as preprints. We aimed to investigate this mechanism by conducting a mixed-methods survey of 1,444 authors of bioRxiv preprints, to investigate the reasons that they post or do not post certain articles as preprints, and to make comparisons between articles they choose to post and not post as preprints. We find that authors are most strongly motivated to post preprints to increase awareness of their work and increase the speed of its dissemination; conversely, the strongest reasons for not posting preprints centre around a lack of awareness of preprints and reluctance to publicly post work that has not undergone a peer review process. We additionally find evidence that authors do not consider quality, novelty or significance when posting or not posting research as preprints, however, authors retain an expectation that articles they post as preprints will receive more citations or be shared more widely online than articles not posted.


Starstruck by journal prestige and citation counts? On students’ bias and perceptions of trustworthiness according to clues in publication references | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Research is becoming increasingly accessible to the public via open access publications, researchers’ social media postings, outreach activities, and popular disseminations. A healthy research discourse is typified by debates, disagreements, and diverging views. Consequently, readers may rely on the information available, such as publication reference attributes and bibliometric markers, to resolve conflicts. Yet, critical voices have warned about the uncritical and one-sided use of such information to assess research. In this study we wanted to get insight into how individuals without research training place trust in research based on clues present in publication references. A questionnaire was designed to probe respondents’ perceptions of six publication attributes. A total of 148 students responded to the questionnaire of which 118 were undergraduate students (with limited experience and knowledge of research) and 27 were graduate students (with some knowledge and experience of research). The results showed that the respondents were mostly influenced by the number of citations and the recency of publication, while author names, publication type, and publication origin were less influential. There were few differences between undergraduate and graduate students, with the exception that undergraduate students more strongly favoured publications with multiple authors over publications with single authors. We discuss possible implications for teachers that incorporate research articles in their curriculum.


Awareness, use and attitudes of the Indian higher educational institutions students about scholarly open access: an empirical analysis | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

Open access is a new scholarly publishing model that has appeared in place of the commercial publishing model. The aim of this study was to investigate the level of awareness, use and attitudes of the Indian students in higher educational institutions about scholarly open access.


Survey method was used in the study. The sample population of the study was 212 Indian students belonging to different higher educational institutions in India.


The results of the study reveal a gloomy picture about the open access (OA) awareness and use among Indian students. Unfamiliarity with the OA journals and high publication fee were the main obstacles for the students not to publish in OA journals. However, a majority of the students reported their willingness to publish in OA journals in future if the obstacles are removed. A very meager ratio of the respondents had published in OA journals so far. In addition, motivational factors for publishing in OA journals were also taken into consideration, and respondent’s indicated winning research grants, great impact and higher citations as main factors to publish in OA journals.

Research limitations/implications

This study is geographically limited to the students of the higher educational institutions located in India.

Practical implications

This study will help to understand the involvement and behavior of the Indian students toward scholarly open access. The study will also guide what measures need to be taken in the take up of open access movement.


Institutional repositories appeared to be relatively a novel term for the respondents, and in order to get the citation advantages and higher visibility, librarians can make an effort to persuade students to publish their research work in open access journals and institutional/subject repositories. The study recommends that institutions need to take appropriate measures to inform students about the importance and overall benefits associated with using of OA platforms in their scholarly work.

The State of Open Data Report 2022: Researchers need more support to assist with open data mandates – Digital Science

“Primary findings from this year’s report indicated that:

There is a growing trend in researchers being in favour of data being made openly available as common practice (4 out of every five researchers were in agreement with this), supported somewhat by now over 70% of respondents being required to follow a policy on data sharing.
However, researchers still cite a key need in helping them to share their data as being more training or information on policies for access, sharing and reuse (55%) as well as long-term storage and data management strategies (52%).
Credit and recognition were once again a key theme for researchers in sharing their data. Of those who had previously shared data, 66% had received some form of recognition for their efforts – most commonly via full citation in another article (41%) followed by co-authorship on a paper that had used the data.
Researchers are more inclined to share their research data where it can have an impact on citations (67%) and the visibility of their research (61%), rather than being motivated by public benefit or journal/publisher mandate (both 56%)….”