US faculty members support open-access publishing in broad survey

“A survey of more than 7,600 US faculty members found strong support for open-access (OA) models of publication, especially among younger respondents. At the same time, faculty members deciding where to submit a paper for publication are losing interest in journal impact factors, which reflect the average number of citations.

The survey, conducted by the New York City-based research firm Ithaka S+R, took place in late 2021. The results were published on 14 July.

OA publishing makes scientific literature freely available in perpetuity for all readers. Some research has found that OA scientific articles are more widely read and receive more citations than those published under a standard subscription model….

In the Ithaka S+R survey, 63% of respondents agreed with the statement: “I would be happy to see the traditional subscription-based model replaced entirely with an open access publication system in which all scholarly research outputs would be freely available to the public.” That proportion is essentially unchanged since 2018, the last time the triennial survey was conducted, but is six percentage points higher than in 2015….”

Early sharing not the only driver for preprint use | Research Information

“But what is interesting, is that while early sharing came out as important for authors, it is not their only driving motivator when using and selecting such services and adopting more open research practices. Authors are looking for more integrated services and want those platforms to offer multiple features that not only enhance the sharing, development and discoverability of their work, but also enable them to track and monitor its progress:   

Transparency was the top feature for authors when selecting an integrated preprint service:

71 per cent of authors said that greater transparency of the peer review process at journals was useful. Through its integration with peer review, In Review enables authors to see specific details of peer review and track their article, providing a high level of transparency into an often ‘hidden’ process.

50 per cent of authors said that the more transparent the service was, the more they felt it was credible, as it enabled greater accountability for the journal

Integrated early sharing – authors surveyed stated that ease of use (69 per cent) and being able to share their manuscript as a preprint at the same time as submitting it to a journal (BMC/ Springer journals) (83 per cent) had an impact on where they choose to take their work. We also learnt that this type of integrated solution is attractive for researchers in LMICs and early career researchers….”

What do researchers think about paying to publish open access – Findings from a global survey | Impact of Social Sciences

“According to the results of our international survey on attitudes towards the pay-to-publish model, this would be a fairly common conversation amongst academic researchers on the subject of article processing charges (APCs), the pay to publish mode of academic publishing. Authors have warned about the potentially detrimental consequences of this new business model. And, as we have explored, most scholars worldwide share such concern. At least, in relation to the global, general consequences of this system, rather than the particular ones.

Globally speaking, participants stated that they at least partially agree with the idea that paying to publish ‘damages or slows scientific advancement’. Yet, when we asked them if they felt that this model ‘has slowed or damaged my scientific career’, their opinion was less emphatic, and most of them did not feel particularly affected by the APC model: they neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. Thus, it would seem most scholars seem to think that other people are suffering the worst consequences of this publication system, while they are among the lucky ones….

The perception of the pay to publish model is also conditioned by the income level of the country where the researchers work. Those from nations from the lower ranks in the World Bank Income Yearly Report state hold lower opinions towards pay to publish. Once again, we interpret that lacking access to external funding leads to expressing a worse opinion of the pay-to-publish model, as 60% of researchers from low-income countries have to pay these publication fees with their own money as they lack external funding.

Younger scholars also tended to be more critical. Early career researchers tend to have less access to financial aid, they therefore distrust this system, as they are less inclined to buy into and accept this model. Beyond the economic frame, we also found that the reluctance between younger scholars is deeper among those aged 26-35. We hypothesize that this demographic has acquired some experience in the scientific environment, enough that they are aware of the structural consequences of the pay-to publish model, while most of them are not tenured nor have regular access to external funding, thereby sharpening their initial criticism….”

Attitudes, willingness, and resources to cover Article Publishing Charges (APC): the influence of age, position, income level country, discipline and open access habits

Abstract:  The rise of open access (OA) publishing has been followed by the expansion of the Article Publishing Charges (APC) that moves the financial burden of scholarly journal publishing from readers to authors. We introduce the results of an international randomly selected sampled survey (N=3,422) that explores attitudes towards this pay-to-publish or Gold OA model among scholars. We test the predictor role of age, professional position, discipline, and income-level country in this regard. We found that APCs are perceived more as a global threat to Science than a deterrent to personal professional careers. Academics in low and lower-middle income level countries hold the most unfavorable opinions about the APC system. The less experimental disciplines held more negative perceptions of APC compared to STEM and the Life Sciences. Age and access to external funding stood as negative predictors of refusal to pay to publish. Commitment to OA self-archiving predicted the negative global perception of the APC. We conclude that access to external research funds influences the acceptance and the particular perception of the pay to publish model, remarking the economic dimension of the problem and warning about issues in the inequality between center and periphery.

At what point do academics forego citations for journal status? | Impact of Social Sciences

“The limitations of journal based citation metrics for assessing individual researchers are well known. However, the way in which these assessment systems differentially shape research practices within disciplines is less well understood. Presenting evidence from a new analysis of business and management academics, Rossella Salandra and Ammon Salter and James Walker¸ explore how journal status is valued by these academics and the point at which journal status becomes more prized than academic influence….”

At what point do academics forego citations for journal status? | Impact of Social Sciences

“The limitations of journal based citation metrics for assessing individual researchers are well known. However, the way in which these assessment systems differentially shape research practices within disciplines is less well understood. Presenting evidence from a new analysis of business and management academics, Rossella Salandra and Ammon Salter and James Walker¸ explore how journal status is valued by these academics and the point at which journal status becomes more prized than academic influence….”

Implementation of promotion standards to discourage publishing in questionable journals: the role of the library – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  To discourage faculty members from publishing in questionable journals, tenure and promotion standards in which the librarians play an active role can been developed. These standards have been effective in terms of identifying publications in questionable outlets. However, we need to explore how these systems are perceived by the main actors in research, which are the researchers. This study explores the perception of the researchers at a university in Ghana who have been evaluated by a system implemented to discourage publishing in questionable publication outlets. We collected data using an online, largely qualitative questionnaire distributed to all faculty members that had applied for promotion since the implementation of the verification process. The results show that the majority of the faculty members are satisfied or very satisfied with the new tenure and promotion standards. There are differences across faculties, and this seems to be tied to concerns about the choice of publication outlets. Furthermore, the dissatisfied faculty members are concerned with the role of the library in the verification process whereas the satisfied trust the judgement of the librarians. We discuss implications of the results as well as future development of the standards.

 

What do participants think of our research practices? An examination of behavioural psychology participants’ preferences | Royal Society Open Science

Abstract:  What research practices should be considered acceptable? Historically, scientists have set the standards for what constitutes acceptable research practices. However, there is value in considering non-scientists’ perspectives, including research participants’. 1873 participants from MTurk and university subject pools were surveyed after their participation in one of eight minimal-risk studies. We asked participants how they would feel if (mostly) common research practices were applied to their data: p-hacking/cherry-picking results, selective reporting of studies, Hypothesizing After Results are Known (HARKing), committing fraud, conducting direct replications, sharing data, sharing methods, and open access publishing. An overwhelming majority of psychology research participants think questionable research practices (e.g. p-hacking, HARKing) are unacceptable (68.3–81.3%), and were supportive of practices to increase transparency and replicability (71.4–80.1%). A surprising number of participants expressed positive or neutral views toward scientific fraud (18.7%), raising concerns about data quality. We grapple with this concern and interpret our results in light of the limitations of our study. Despite the ambiguity in our results, we argue that there is evidence (from our study and others’) that researchers may be violating participants’ expectations and should be transparent with participants about how their data will be used.

 

 

India and a historical perspective of open access | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The environments of the library under open access (OA) are distinctively found as less expensive which ultimately reciprocates better services and technological support for the users as well. Focussing on the Librarians’ perspective, the purpose of the study is to highlight and establish a balance between the vision of OA initiatives and the support of Librarians in India. The principal and philosophy of the study are based upon the exploration of open source initiatives and their significance among the Library & Information Science community.

Design/methodology/approach

The study reflects the historical perspective of OA in India and around the world. The study further focusses on how the OA movement has taken a leap in adaptability by the librarians on the basis of acceptance model given. Considering the reviews of the librarians, the study reflects the librarians support OA initiatives in India. OA is a “provocation to thought”, it is a “social contract”.

Findings

Exploring beyond the researchers have come across that OA is a belief where knowledge evolves best when shared. Based on the acceptance the study given significant. It describes the librarian’s attitude while embracing the OA model with an increased acceptance towards OA, which supports in building Institutional Repositories and broadening the research horizons based on budgetary implications. The librarians and libraries adopt and work to build up a resilient model for OA to bring out awareness among the users.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of the study is limited to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The focus of the study is purposely laid down on the three given states of India keeping in mind Delhi being a capital city of India, Uttar Pradesh being the largest state of India (area wise) and Haryana state, which opened up multiple educational opportunities for the students and researchers Rajiv Gandhi Educational city plans to host many educational institutions including medical and engineering institutions.

Practical implications

The study describes the librarian’s attitude while embracing the OA model with an increased acceptance towards the OA, which supports in building Institutional Repositories and broadening the research horizons based on budgetary implications. The librarians and libraries adopt and work to build up a resilient model for OA to bring out awareness among the users.

Social implications

The present study brings out the need of different policies and mandates by Government of India for OA along with University Grants Commission, National Knowledge Commission and Research Organisation to promote the culture of OA. The study further recommends that LIS communities come together and build the learning culture to promote limitless sharing of information and knowledge for scholarly society.

Originality/value

This research work aims to make a difference in highlighting the librarians’ support on OA initiatives in India due to the role of librarians on transitional point. Dissemination and management of information using digital technology during pandemic have had a significant impact on divided environment. With this paradigm shift, the world struggles with the pandemic. The librarians try to keep themselves in pace by embracing the technology and LIS professionals do adopt the radical reventure the info technology.

Guest Post – New Winds from the Latin American Scientific Publishing Community – The Scholarly Kitchen

“To help evaluate interest in the idea of a regional association and to better understand editors’ perspectives on the use of journal metrics for science evaluations, a survey of journal editors was carried out, with 20 questions aimed at characterizing the journal they edit, such as subject area(s), audience, business model and adoption of open science, coverage by databases, strategies for increasing visibility, and use of metrics and indicators for journal management. The survey also included four questions about the use of citation impact indicators for national evaluations of science performed by governmental agencies in Latin America and their effects on the publication and research activities in the region….

A large majority of the editors who responded to the survey felt that the use of citation impact indicators for evaluating science in Latin America is inadequate or partially adequate (70%-88% depending on the specific area of evaluation)….

This feedback was used to support the development of the ALAEC Manifesto for the responsible use of metrics in research evaluation in Latin America and the Caribbean, which calls for a more inclusive and responsible use of journal-based metrics in research evaluation. It supports previous manifestos, such as the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – DORA (2012), the Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics (2015), and the Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication (2019). Acknowledging that the current criteria imposed by Latin American evaluating bodies have perverse consequences for the region’s journals and that authors will therefore have less incentive to submit articles to them, the manifesto has five main calls to action:

 

Re-establish quality criteria, valuing journals that:

Publish relevant research regardless of area or subject matter, language, target audience, or geographic scope
Bring a broad spectrum of scholarly and research contributions, such as replication, innovation, translation, synthesis, and meta-research
Practice open science, including open access
Adopt high ethical standards, prioritizing quality and integrity in scientific publication

Value and stimulate the work of scientific editors and their teams, promoting their training and development, and recognizing their fundamental role in the adoption and dissemination of good practices in scientific publication.
Ensure that national journals and publishers do not lose financial incentives and the flow of article submissions, allowing them to achieve and maintain high standards of quality and integrity in their editorial processes, especially for journals that practice open science and multilingualism.
Strengthen, disseminate, and protect national and regional infrastructures for scientific communication (SciELO, RedALyC, LatIndex, LA Referencia, and non-commercial CRIS systems), that favor open science and multilingualism, and that can generate the most appropriate metrics and indicators to evaluate local and regional science.
Encourage and value collaborative networks and exchanges between all actors in the ecosystem of knowledge production and dissemination: institutions, authors, reviewers and funding agencies, etc., in the region….”

Open Access Redefined: Survey Data and Literature Study on the Impact of Sci-Hub in Orthopaedic Research

Abstract:  Background Since Alexandra Elbanyan founded Sci-Hub in 2011, the website has been used by a growing number of researchers worldwide. Sci-Hub is a so-called shadow library or guerrilla open access format bypassing publishers’ paywalls, giving everyone free access to scientific papers. Until today, there have been no publications about usage by orthopaedic and trauma surgeons of Sci-Hub or other “pirate sites” and how it may influence their work.

Materials and Methods Orthopaedic and trauma surgeons of four university hospitals in Germany and Europe were consulted using a standardised questionnaire containing multiple items about the use and evaluation of Sci-Hub. In addition, the Medline and Cochrane databases were screened for all studies related to Sci-Hub. Two reviewers independently reviewed all articles and the references of these articles.

Results Of all orthopaedic surgeons consulted, 69% knew of Sci-Hub and 66.7% used it on a regular basis. Of the younger participants (< 45 years old), 77% knew the webpage, while only 25% of older participants (> 45 years old) knew the webpage. Ninety percent found the quality of their citation and research had been enhanced since using Sci-Hub. On a scale of 1 to 10, user-friendliness was rated with a mean rating of 7.58 (95% CI: 7.262–7.891). Ethical or legal concerns among users seem mixed. On a scale of 1 (no concerns) to 5 (many concerns), the mean score was 2.39 (95% CI: 2.154–2.615). Of doctors using Sci-Hub, 89% would recommend it to other colleagues.

Conclusion The quality and number of articles in Sci-Hub is outstanding, and the rate of young researchers using the website is high. The most important shift in literature research for decades is a phenomenon mostly used by young researchers and is not the subject of current research itself. Sci-Hub may have already changed how orthopaedic research works.

Using Affordable Course Materials: Instructors’ Motivations, Approaches, and Outcomes

Abstract:  Based on 30 interviews with instructors who implemented affordable materials in their courses at a large research university, this study explored their motivations for using such resources, the processes they employed, and the extent to which the new course materials influenced teaching methods and perceived learning outcomes. Results suggest that most instructors were motivated by both student cost savings and hoped-for improvements in teaching and learning. Instructors’ choices—such as the decision to adopt an existing textbook in full or to curate a collection of disparate materials—were strongly influenced by their perception of how well available resources aligned with their own teaching and learning goals. In general, instructors felt student learning slightly improved after they put the materials into use, but the extent of improvement seemed to vary across the approaches to implementation. Librarians can leverage these results to help motivate and support the selection and implementation of affordable materials.

Study reveals strong demand for open-access science

“The study, published Feb. 23, 2022, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), analyzed the reasons for 1.6 million downloads of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) consensus reports, considered among the highest credibility science-based literature.

The resulting analysis, which included U.S. downloads only, is the first to look at who is using such information and why. Professor Diana Hicks, Assistant Professor Omar I. Asensio, and Ph.D. students Matteo Zullo and Ameet Doshi, all of Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy, co-authored the study.

They found that while nearly half of the reports were downloaded for academic purposes, even more were accessed by people outside strictly educational settings, such as veterans, chaplains, and writers. The word “edification” appeared 3,700 times in the data set, signaling a strong desire for lifelong learning among users….”