Implementing the Declaration on Research Assessment: a publisher case study

Abstract:  There has been much debate around the role of metrics in scholarly communication, with particular focus on the misapplication of journal metrics, such as the impact factor in the assessment of research and researchers. Various initiatives have advocated for a change in this culture, including the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which invites stakeholders throughout the scholarly communication ecosystem to sign up and show their support for practices designed to address the misuse of metrics. This case study provides an overview of the process undertaken by a large academic publisher (Taylor & Francis Group) in signing up to DORA and implementing some of its key practices in the hope that it will provide some guidance to others considering becoming a signatory. Our experience suggests that research, consultation and flexibility are crucial components of the process. Additionally, approaching signing with a project mindset versus a ‘sign and forget’ mentality can help organizations to understand the practical implications of signing, to anticipate and mitigate potential obstacles and to support cultural change.

 

Petition · Stop offering paid fast-track academic publishing · Change.org

“This is an open letter to Taylor & Francis, publishers of academic journals. We are writing to ask T&F to discontinue the policy of fast-tracking submissions for a fee. We refer to the policy here. A recent clarification of this policy was published by T&F but it does not adequately address our concerns.

We have two objections to the policy. First is that we are against any form of preferential treatment for those who can pay. Fast-tracking for a fee creates a two-tier system, wherein the well-funded have an unfair advantage over the less well-to-do; in particular, it exacerbates the differences between scientists in different economic circumstances and at different points in their career. The fast-track policy at the least allows faster publication by those with funds, improving the chance for the funded to win subsequent grants and to publish before other labs working on the same topic.

Our second objection to the policy stems from our concern that fast-tracked manuscripts may receive an advantage above and beyond just faster publication. …”

Accelerated Publication clarification – Taylor & Francis Newsroom

“Over the last week, there has been much debate about the Accelerated Publication service offered by Taylor & Francis. This statement is to clarify some of the comments that have been made about this service, and correct any misunderstandings.

Taylor & Francis has offered Accelerated Publication for a small list of Biomedical Journals for over 15 years.

There are no current plans to introduce this service to any other journals.

The service is used primarily for research funded by pharma companies to manage the communication pipeline for drug and therapy development. Often the work that is being conducted by these researchers needs to be delivered in a set timeframe. Sometimes this is also commercially sensitive in relation to patent applications and product development. This means that other options of rapid dissemination (including pre-prints and open peer-review) are not suitable for the publication needs of these researchers….”

Accelerated Publication – Taylor & Francis

“If time is critical in your publishing strategy, our Accelerated Publication options are available on a select number of biomedical journals and can help you get your research into a high-quality, peer-reviewed journal, fast.

With Accelerated Publication, you can:

coordinate your publishing schedule with conferences, drug approvals, and drug launches
keep competitive advantage by getting your discoveries to market quickly
speed up the peer review process without sacrificing quality or rigor….”

Implementing an Open & FAIR data sharing policy—A case study in the earth and environmental sciences – Cannon – 2022 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This paper outlines the impact of the introduction of an Open & FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) data sharing policy on six earth and environmental science journals published by Taylor & Francis, beginning in November 2019. Notably, 18 months after implementing this new policy, we observed minimal impacts on submission, acceptance rates, or peer-review times for the participating journals. This paper describes the changes that were required to internal systems and processes in order to implement the new policy, and compares our findings with recent literature reports on the impact of journals introducing data-sharing policies.

ScienceDirect pilot aims to improve research discovery and access

“Now, the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Taylor & Francis and Wiley will collaborate with ScienceDirect on a six-month pilot project to better understand how we can address these challenges.

During the pilot, researchers will be able to search and browse more than 70,000 articles in 35 journals from these participating publishers, alongside Elsevier’s content on ScienceDirect. The journals are all Organic Chemistry and Transportation titles, including most of the top journals in these fields. …”

Elsevier’s ScienceDirect as Content Supercontinent?  – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Earlier today Elsevier announced a pilot project in which the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley will syndicate selected content to the ScienceDirect platform. The articles will appear in search and browse listings….

For purposes of the pilot, the display and access to full text will vary from the Elsevier content. Abstracts of the pilot content will be viewable on ScienceDirect. When the pilot content is open access, the text will be available on ScienceDirect; however, the user will be linked to the original publisher’s website for the formatted PDF. If the content is only available by subscription, users will be linked to the original publisher’s website with no display of full text on ScienceDirect. Users who are entitled to the subscription content, as determined on ScienceDirect through GetFTR functionality, will be linked directly to the full text on the original publisher’s website. …

In essence, this pilot reminds us that ScienceDirect is already a freely available discovery tool and a user of ScienceDirect gets all of the benefits of a subscription database, whether they are only able to access the open access publications on the platform or if their entitlements enable access to subscription Elsevier – and now other publisher – content as well. …”

F1000 Research Platforms Lurch On – by Kent Anderson

“The most common platform provider has been F1000 Research, which started in 2012 and was acquired by Taylor & Francis in 2020. F1000 Research has been promulgating a debatable form of open peer review for nearly a decade now, with PubMed a willing participant in its confusing scheme.

F1000 Research began “powering” various platforms for societies, funding bodies, universities, and coalitions not long after it debuted.

As a reminder, a paper posted within the F1000 Research scheme has to receive two positive reviews recommending it (in general — there are other ways to get approved) before it can be indexed in PubMed.

For authors posting to the platform, attracting peer reviewers is an uncertain proposition, causing many papers to linger without review. Conflicts of interest aren’t scrupulously managed, so the percentage of friendly reviews is unknown. And reviews generally are shorter and less rigorous than those generated via traditional methods….

There are four institutional collections — as F1000 Research refers to them — and they appear to be fairly moribund. For example, the Max Planck Society collection (launced in 2018) has 24 papers posted, with 15 (63%) indexed in PubMed. Across the four collections, there are currently 104 articles, with 77 (74%) having passed the F1000/PubMed bar….

Facing competition from branded preprint servers and mega-journals, it remains an open question whether the decade-long practice of community peer review at F1000 Research is valid or is actually a factor causing people to shy away. Will the powers that be ever reconsider it, and make it more rigorous and process-oriented? Will PubMed ever extricate itself from what may be a detrimental situation? Or has the cronyism that started the F1000/PubMed relationship been forgotten and forgiven? …”

Routledge to Launch The World’s First Open Research Publishing Platform For Hss That Combines Books, Articles, and Other Research Outputs in One Interdisciplinary Venue

Leading Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) publisher Routledge- part of Taylor & Francis Group- will launch the world’s first open research publishing platform specifically for the HSS community that combines books, articles, and other research outputs in one interdisciplinary venue.

The publishing platform known as Routledge Open Research, will utilize the publishing model, technology and knowledge pioneered by their open research publishing partner F1000 (which Taylor & Francis Group acquired in 2020) to provide HSS scholars with a rapid, accessible and collaborative venue to publish their work.

Open Access is Key to the Sustainable Development Goals – Librarian Resources

“Open Access is key to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals are reliant on improved access to information and knowledge, therefore creating a clear link between Open Access, access to information, and sustainable development.

Open Access supports the importance of immediate access and access to all. Open access publishing makes scientific results available to everyone and facilitates new discoveries and empowers researchers through rapid and efficient access to knowledge.
Open Access benefits researchers, innovators, teachers, students, media professionals and the public.
It promotes global knowledge flow for the benefit of scientific discovery, innovation, and socio-economic development. Open Access is beneficial to all users in all countries, but disproportionately limits users in developing countries who have poor or non-existent acquisition budgets….

UNESCO “believes that universal access to high quality education is key to the building of peace, sustainable social and economic development, and intercultural dialogue.” International organizations such as UNESCO already recognize this connection and officially recognize open access as a driver for achievement of the SDGs and sustainable social, political, and economic development. UNESCO believes that Open Access has a fundamental role to support the SDGs and supports the agendas of Open Access….”

The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research partners with F1000 to launch OA publishing hub in India

“The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER-Kolkata) launched its own open access publishing hub with F1000, Taylor & Francis Group’s open research publishing arm. This will be hosted on the F1000Research site, adopting its pioneering approach to open science publishing.

NIPER-Kolkata, founded in 2007 as a centre of excellence for higher education, research and development in Pharmaceutical Sciences, will be adopting F1000’s open science practices to increase the reproducibility and accessibility of their published research. This means the research is free for anyone to read and will use the innovative F1000Research publishing model that combines the benefits of rapid publication with mechanisms to assure quality and transparency, thereby accelerating research impact.

The NIPER-Kolkata gateway provides a home for their conference-linked outputs, enabling their scientific outcomes to be published open access. This gateway welcomes submissions from the fields of, drug discovery, process chemistry, pharmacological studies, natural products, pharmaceutical formulation, computational studies, and medical devices, published in all forms, from traditional research articles, to a protocols, registered report, data notes, case studies, and much more….”

‘Open’ relationships: reflections on the role of the journal in the contemporary scholarly publishing landscape

“While many members of the CPH Editorial Board are supportive of the concept of open access, they are also concerned about the APC model of open access on offer. These concerns will be familiar to many of our authors and readers….

As stated succinctly by one Editorial Board member, the proposed APC model goes against the entire spirit of the journal….

For many, although strongly concerned about issues of access to the journal, the adoption of an APC-based approach risks compounding existing inequalities. Radical Community Medicine’s origins were in the need for a space to challenge public health orthodoxies, shifting the centre and breaking new ground (Scott-Samuel, 1998), a mandate continued by CPH (Bell & Green, 2015; Bunton, 1998). Critical scholars working from the epistemic margins – early career researchers, independent researchers, and social scientists within public health programmes – are most vulnerable to exclusion if funds are needed to publish. Moreover, despite Taylor & Francis’s promises of ad hoc fee waivers, it will clearly serve to reinforce centre-periphery dynamics in scholarly knowledge production, compounding the exclusion already experienced by scholars outside the global north (see Herb & Schöpfel, 2018). These systematic exclusionary practices would sit uneasily, to say the least, with our mission.

Corporate publishers have been highly successful in conflating ‘gold’ open access (a broad category describing open access delivered directly by journals versus repositories) with APC-based models (Fuchs & Sandoval, 2013). However, other versions of ‘gold’ open access exist, including what is now known as ‘diamond’ access – where the publication is free to the end user and there are no charges for the submitting author….

The difference is that these models are driven primarily by a cost-covering rather than a profit-generating approach to scholarly publishing….

Collectively, we need to decide what journals are for – and how fidelity to our communities can be protected….”

Taylor & Francis revenue and profits decline despite ‘strong’ performance | The Bookseller

“Revenue at Taylor & Francis fell 4.4% in the six months to 30th June 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, half-year results from parent firm Informa show.

The publisher’s revenues fell to £245.2m, down from £256.5m in 2020. Statutory operating profit also decreased 4.5% to £59m, while adjusted operating profit declined 11.5% to £86m, from £97.2m at the same time last year.

However, Informa said there was underlying growth of 3% at the publisher, describing it as a “strong” first half performance “reflecting flexible, customer-led approach and consistent investment, including in Open Research”. It reported “robust subscription renewals, strength in e-books and a full pipeline of Open Research activity” were expected to deliver more than 2% underlying revenue growth in the full year….

It added: “In Open Research, our investment in building a platform of scale and quality, with a broad base of flexible, customer-led offerings for authors, funders and institutions, continues to deliver. This is reflected in the volume of Open Research articles published in the first half, which were up 20% on the same period in 2020.” …”