Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?  | Time

“But just as the Web increased people’s access to information exponentially, an opposite trend has evolved. Global media corporations—emboldened by the expansive copyright laws they helped craft and the emerging technology that reaches right into our reading devices—are exerting absolute control over digital information. These two conflicting forces—towards unfettered availability and completely walled access to information—have defined the last 25 years of the Internet. How we handle this ongoing clash will define our civic discourse in the next 25 years. If we fail to forge the right path, publishers’ business models could eliminate one of the great tools for democratizing society: our independent libraries.

These are not small mom-and-pop publishers: a handful of publishers dominate all books sales and distribution including trade books, ebooks, and text books. Right now, these corporate publishers are squeezing libraries in ways that may render it impossible for any library to own digital texts in five years, let alone 25. Soon, librarians will be reduced to customer service reps for a Netflix-like rental catalog of bestsellers. If that comes to pass, you might as well replace your library card with a credit card. That’s what these billion-dollar-publishers are pushing.

 

The libraries I grew up with would buy books, preserve them, and lend them for free to their patrons. If my library did not have a particular book, then it would borrow a copy from another library for me. In the shift from print to digital, many commercial publishers are declaring each of these activities illegal: they refuse libraries the right to buy ebooks, preserve ebooks, or lend ebooks. They demand that libraries license ebooks for a limited time or for limited uses at exorbitant prices, and some publishers refuse to license audiobooks or ebooks to libraries at all, making those digital works unavailable to hundreds of millions of library patrons….”

Using citizen science data to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals: a bottom?up analysis – CS Track

“This research explores whether citizen science data could be used to improve the monitoring of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By investigating this issue from the perspective of citizen science, this research finds that citizen science projects see both valuable opportunities as well as deep-rooted barriers in linking their data to the SDGs….”

Multilevel analysis of factors affecting open-access institutional repository implementation in Nigerian universities | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The study aims to identify novel open-access institutional repository (OAIR) implementation barriers and explain how they evolve. It also aims to extend theoretical insights into the information technology (IT) implementation literature.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted the interpretive philosophy, the inductive research approach and qualitative case study research method. Three Nigerian universities served as the case research contexts. The unstructured in-depth interview and the participatory observation were adopted as the data collection instruments. The qualitative data collected were analysed using thematic data analysis technique.

Findings

Findings show that IR implementation barriers evolved from global, organisational and individual implementation levels in the research contexts. Results specifically reveal how easy access to ideas and information and easy movement of people across international boundaries constituted globalisation trend-driven OAIR implementation barriers given their influence on OAIR implementation activities at the organisational and individual implementation levels. The two factors led to overambitious craving for information technology (IT) implementation and inadequate OAIR implementation success factors at the organisational level in the research contexts. They also led to conflicting IR implementation ideas and information at the individual level in the research contexts.

Research limitations/implications

The primary limitation of the research is the adoption of qualitative case study research method which makes its findings not generalisable. The study comprised only three Nigerian universities. However, the study provides plausible insights that explain how OAIR implementation barriers emanate at the organisational and individual levels due to two globalisation trends: easy access to ideas and information and easy movement of people across international boundaries.

Practical implications

The study points out the need for OAIR implementers to assess how easy access to information and ideas and easy movement of people across international boundaries influence the evolution of conflicting OAIR implementation ideas and information at the individual level, and overambitious craving for IT implementation and setting inadequate OAIR implementation success factors at the organisational level. The study extends views in past studies that propose that OAIR implementation barriers only emanate at organisational and individual levels, that is, only within universities involved in OAIR implementation and among individuals working in the universities.

Social implications

The study argues that OAIR implementation consists of three implementation levels: individual, organisational and global. It provides stakeholders with the information that there is a third OAIR implementation level.

Originality/value

Data validity, sample validity and novel findings are the hallmarks of the study’s originality. Study data consist of first-hand experiences and information derived during participatory observation and in-depth interviews with research participants. The participants were purposively selected, given their participation in OAIR implementation in the research contexts. Study findings on the connections among global, organisational and individual OAIR implementation levels and how their relationships lead to OAIR implementation barriers are novel.

Open Access and Article Processing Charges in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Journals: a CrossSectional Analysis

Abstract Introduction: Open access (OA) publishing often requires article processing charges (APCs). While OA provides opportunities for broader readership, authors able to afford APCs are more commonly associated with well-funded, high-income country institutions, skewing knowledge dissemination. Here, we evaluate publishing models, OA practices, and APCs in cardiology and cardiac surgery. Methods: The InCites Journal Citation Reports 2019 directory by Clarivate Analytics was searched for “Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems” journals. Sister journals of included journals were identified. All journals were categorized as predominantly cardiology or cardiac surgery. Publishing models, APCs, and APC waivers were defined for all journals. Results: One hundred sixty-one journals were identified (139 cardiology, 22 cardiac surgery). APCs ranged from $244 to $5,000 ($244-5,000 cardiology; $383-3,300 cardiac surgery), with mean $2,911±891 and median $3,000 (interquartile range [IQR]: $2,500-3,425) across 139 journals with non-zero available APCs ($2,970±890, median $3,000, IQR: $2,573-3,450, cardiology; $2,491±799, median $2,740, IQR: $2,300-3,000, cardiac surgery). Average APCs were $3,307±566 and median $3,250 (IQR: $3,000- 3,500) for hybrid journals ($3,344±583, median $3,260, IQR: $3,000-3,690, cardiology; $2,983±221, median $2,975, IQR: $2,780- 3,149, cardiac surgery) and $1,997±832 and median $2,100 (IQR: $1,404-2,538) for fully OA journals ($2,039±843, median $2,100, IQR: $1,419-2,604, cardiology; $1,788±805, median $2,000, IQR: $1,475-2,345, cardiac surgery). Waivers were available for 51 (86.4%) fully OA and 37 (37.4%) hybrid journals. Seventeen journals were fully OA without APCs, one journal did not yet release APCs, and four journals were subscription-only. Conclusion: OA publishing is common in cardiology and cardiac surgery with substantial APCs. Waivers remain limited, posing barriers for unfunded and lesser-funded researchers.”

PsyArXiv Preprints | When open data closes the door: Problematising a one size fits all approach to open data in journal submission guidelines

Abstract:  Opening data promises to improve research rigour and democratise knowledge production. But it also poses practical, theoretical, and ethical risks for qualitative research. Despite discussion about open data in qualitative social psychology predating the replication crisis, the nuances of this discussion have not been translated into current journal policies. Through a content analysis of 261 journals in the domain of social psychology, we establish the state of current journal policies for open data. We critically discuss how these expectations may not be adequate for establishing qualitative rigour, can introduce ethical challenges, and may place those who wish to use qualitative approaches at a disadvantage in peer review and publication processes. We assert that open data requirements should include clearer guidelines that reflect the nuance of data sharing in qualitative research, and move away from a universal ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to data sharing.

 

Analysis: The lack of diversity in climate-science research – Carbon Brief

“A recent analysis entitled “The Reuters Hot List” ranked the 1,000 “most influential” climate scientists – largely based on their publication record and social media engagement. Scientists from the global south are vastly under-represented in the list, with, for example, only five African scientists included. Meanwhile, only 122 of the 1,000 authors are female.

Biases in authorship make it likely that the existing bank of knowledge around climate change and its impacts is skewed towards the interests of male authors from the global north. This can create blind spots around the needs of some of the most vulnerable people to climate change, particularly women and communities in the global south.

Carbon Brief has analysed the gender and “country of affiliation” of the authors of 100 highly cited climate science papers from the past five years – mapped below – to reveal geographic and gender biases….

Conducting scientific research is expensive – and, arguably, the most obvious issue with running climate studies from countries in the global south is the lack of funding. While the US dedicates more than 2.5% of its annual GDP to “research and development”, no country in sub-saharan Africa – even the comparably rich South Africa – spends more than 1%. …

The inaccessibility of scientific literature is also a problem for publishing. “One of the biggest issues is that people can’t access literature that they can cite,” Schipper tells Carbon Brief. …

[Quoting Marton Demeter:] ‘If open access in journals with article processing charges (APCs) become the mainstream way of publication, then global-south scholars’ chances to publish in leading journals will be even lower than today, as they wont be able to pay the high APCs – which will be easily paid by researchers working at sourceful western universities or researchers that are funded by international grants.’ ”

 

Developing a Toolkit for Fostering Open Science Practices: Proceedings of a Workshop | The National Academies Press

“The National Academies Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science, established in 2019, has taken on an important role in addressing issues with open science. The roundtable convenes critical stakeholders to discuss the effectiveness of current incentives for adopting open science practices, current barriers of all types, and ways to move forward in order to align reward structures and institutional values. The Roundtable convened a virtual public workshop on fostering open science practices on November 5, 2020. The broad goal of the workshop was to identify paths to growing the nascent coalition of stakeholders committed to reenvisioning credit/reward systems (e.g., academic hiring, tenure and promotion, and grants)to fully incentivize open science practices. The workshop explored the information and resource needs of researchers, research institutions, government agencies, philanthropies, professional societies, and other stakeholders interested in further supporting and implementing open science practices. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop.”

From Open Science to Open Synthesis: Removing Barriers to Knowledge for Evidence-based Impact | CMU Libraries

“Evidence synthesis relies on the ability to access the findings of relevant studies. Barriers to access can prevent comprehensiveness, and missed studies or incomplete data can dramatically impact the conclusions drawn from an evidence synthesis project, and thus the recommendations formed by those findings. These barriers include paywalls (for subscription journals and research databases), a lack of complete reporting of findings or statistics, inadequate information about the study methodology, unavailability of underlying data, and the reluctance to publish non-significant findings.

Fortunately, many of these barriers are addressed by the open science movement. Open science embraces open data, open methods and open access publishing. By openly sharing underlying data, meta-analyses, often a feature of systematic reviews, become more feasible. Meta-analyses statistically combine results across different but similar studies, thus making findings from many small studies more statistically meaningful. More openness in methods, including study context, can help in understanding the generalizability or specific contextual aspects of findings. Open access publishing can make it easier to find and access studies that might address the research question posed by the evidence synthesis project, and allows researchers in under-resourced settings to conduct evidence synthesis that is comprehensive and not constrained by access barriers.

Another important open science practice that contributes to a more open evidence ecosystem is pre-registration or registered reports. This involves the publishing of one’s study plan and protocol prior to conducting the research. This can be done either through a formal peer-review process in a journal (registered report) or more informally in a platform such as Open Science Framework (pre-registration). By doing this, researchers make clear the methods they intend to use for gathering and analyzing data, including all outcomes they intend to measure. This can call attention to ongoing, but not yet complete, research that might be relevant to an evidence synthesis question. It also adds transparency that reduces outcome reporting bias, a problem often encountered in evidence synthesis in which researchers only report results for measured outcomes that yielded significant results. Knowing whether something had no effect on an outcome is equally important when making decisions that impact people, communities and society….”

Guest post: Overcoming the challenges of open access books – part 1/2

“In part one of this two-part series, we’ll explore some of the challenges around policies and funding for OA books that were highlighted by authors and editors who were kind enough to participate in interviews about their experiences with OA publishing.

Each of the authors and editors I interviewed named wider dissemination and a more equitable research ecosystem as the main benefits of OA publishing. But they also highlighted a number of challenges which we will delve into below….”

A survey of medical researchers indicates poor awareness of research data management processes and a role for data librarians – Milewska – – Health Information & Libraries Journal – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Background

The European Parliament’s directive on open data indicates the direction to follow for all public institutions in Europe. The portal Polish Platform of Medical Research (PPM) required more information about researcher attitudes and training requirements for strategic planning.

Objectives

The aim was to assess (1) the status of knowledge about research data management among medical researchers in Poland, and (2) their attitudes towards data sharing. This knowledge may help to inform a training program and adapt PPM to the requirements of researchers.

Methods

The authors circulated an online survey and received responses from 603 researchers representing medical sciences and related disciplines. The survey was conducted in 2019 at seven Polish medical universities and at the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine. Analysis used descriptive statistics.

Results

Data sharing was not widespread (55.7% only shared with their research team, 9.8% had shared data on an open access basis). Many cited possible benefits of research data sharing but were concerned about drawbacks (e.g. fraud, plagiarism).

Discussion

Polish medical scientists, like many researchers, are not aware of the processes required for safe data preparation for sharing. Academic libraries should develop roles for data librarians to help train researchers.

Conclusion

Fears about the dangers of data sharing need to be overcome before researchers are willing to share their own research data.

Climate change: ‘Glasgow Agreement’ can save the planet but locking scientific research behind paywalls is holding us back – Catherine Stihler | The Scotsman

“We have seen the incredible value of open research in addressing the Covid crisis. After researchers sequenced the viral genome and shared it freely online, it ultimately led to the development of life-saving vaccines.

The same approach to the Covid emergency must apply to the climate emergency.”

The Invisible Citation Commons · Business of Knowing

“In recent years, there has been a push to openly license citation metadata to better enable large-scale analyses and discoverability of scholarly work. The “Initiative for Open Citations” (I4OC),undefined launched in 2017, has led the way in helping publishers share citations to their works under a public domain CC0 license. As of early 2021, over a billion citations from one scholarly article to another are collected in public domain databases, a major shift from just a few years earlier.undefined These open databases provide the backbone for new discovery tools, and are used by academics training artificial intelligence tools. Open corpora like the Microsoft Academic Graph are themselves widely cited.undefined However, Microsoft Academic Graph will be shuttered in 2021; despite their importance, new citation projects are reliant on continued funding and support by their host, and longevity is not always guaranteed….

Wikidata is a freely licensed and editable online database of linked data, with 94 million items as of June 2021.undefined Like its sister project Wikipedia, it has a vibrant multilingual volunteer community that develops and maintains it, and is supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikidata also includes bibliographic metadata: as of June 2021, nearly 40 million items on Wikidata represented publications, accounting for 43% of all items.undefined These are a combination of semi-automated uploads of citations from other open databases, items about notable publications that have their own Wikipedia articles, and items added manually by editors. Wikidata is also attractive for libraries, archives, and cultural institutions that want to make their metadata more openly available and reusable, and there are several ongoing projects to incorporate Wikidata into library and archival cataloging processes and connect Wikidata to new open knowledgebases….”

The Invisible Citation Commons · Business of Knowing

“In recent years, there has been a push to openly license citation metadata to better enable large-scale analyses and discoverability of scholarly work. The “Initiative for Open Citations” (I4OC),undefined launched in 2017, has led the way in helping publishers share citations to their works under a public domain CC0 license. As of early 2021, over a billion citations from one scholarly article to another are collected in public domain databases, a major shift from just a few years earlier.undefined These open databases provide the backbone for new discovery tools, and are used by academics training artificial intelligence tools. Open corpora like the Microsoft Academic Graph are themselves widely cited.undefined However, Microsoft Academic Graph will be shuttered in 2021; despite their importance, new citation projects are reliant on continued funding and support by their host, and longevity is not always guaranteed….

Wikidata is a freely licensed and editable online database of linked data, with 94 million items as of June 2021.undefined Like its sister project Wikipedia, it has a vibrant multilingual volunteer community that develops and maintains it, and is supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikidata also includes bibliographic metadata: as of June 2021, nearly 40 million items on Wikidata represented publications, accounting for 43% of all items.undefined These are a combination of semi-automated uploads of citations from other open databases, items about notable publications that have their own Wikipedia articles, and items added manually by editors. Wikidata is also attractive for libraries, archives, and cultural institutions that want to make their metadata more openly available and reusable, and there are several ongoing projects to incorporate Wikidata into library and archival cataloging processes and connect Wikidata to new open knowledgebases….”

Onboarding Citizen Science and the role of research libraries: barriers and accelerators – Post Event Report | SSHOPENCLOUD

“The workshop Onboarding Citizen Science and the role of research libraries: barriers and accelerators took place on June 23rd 2021 during the LIBER 2021 Annual Conference, which was held online for the second year.

The workshop built on the outcomes of the session “Citizen Science: What it means for SSH and how can multidisciplinarity be achieved?” that took place during the conference “Realising the European Open Science Cloud: Towards a FAIR research data landscape for the social sciences, humanities and beyond.” in November 2020. Taking the results and questions from the previous session to a second level, the workshop aimed at raising awareness on the challenges and opportunities deriving from libraries’ active involvement in Citizen Science in general, but also more specifically in relation to Social Sciences and Humanities. The role of the current workshop is to discuss how to advance SSH progress through participatory research with the help of the research libraries, by identifying barriers and accelerators. Synergies and collaborations will be discussed between the initiatives represented by the speakers and the participants and links between Citizen Science, SSHOC and the EOSC will be further explored.

The session was co-organised by SSHOC and the LIBER Citizen Science working group, while it hosted the sharing of best practices and current research on behalf of the COESO project, the University of Bordeaux and the INOS project, the SDU Citizen Science Knowledge Centre, Scientific Knowledge Services and Cos4Cloud.

The workshop devoted most of its duration to an interactive session with participants, who actively contributed to the discussion by sharing their experience, expertise and ideas.

Some highlights from the workshop: …”

How to end the hegemony of English in scientific research | USA | EL PAÍS in English

“last year 84% of researchers from Ibero-American countries – where Spanish or Portuguese is spoken – published their own work in English instead of their native tongues.

“Only 13% of scientists in Spain presented their work in Spanish, followed by 12% of those in Mexico, 16% in Chile, and around 20% in Argentina, Colombia and Peru,” reads the report….

German, French and Russian, which were once commonly used in various scientific publications, are now in a similar predicament: under 1% of all papers, reviews or academic conferences that appeared in scientific journals in 2020 were written in those languages….

The situation has to do not just with science, but with geopolitics, he adds. “Ibero-American countries have fallen into the trap of Anglo private industries,” said Badillo. “States pay scientists to investigate; we produce the knowledge, give it away to the big journals, thereby donating the findings of our work, and then these publications charge a truly astounding amount to the national science systems in order to access the results of our own investigations.” Ultimately, most citizens are unable to access the science that they are funding with their taxes, because it is only available in publications that charge for reading content that is written in a different language anyway….

There are three reasons for this “dictatorship of English,” as the authors of the study called it….

The third reason is tied to, and determines, the other two. “There are two major international companies, Elsevier and Clarivate Analytics, that have privatized the evaluation systems for the quality of science; they produce the international indexes listing the impact factor of journals that have been favoring English for decades,” said Badillo….

The consequences are numerous. One of them is limited access to knowledge because of the language barrier….

 

The answer proposed by the OEI and the Real Instituto Elcano is to move towards open science, a movement to make scientific research and dissemination – including publications and databases – free and accessible to all citizens. “Science needs to get out of the ivory tower where it has been bureaucratized for years, and enter into greater dialogue with society,” insisted Badillo, pointing to tools that could help with the change of paradigm. “Artificial intelligence and automatic translation should help us guarantee access to science. It would be ideal to see, in the short run, an option to read the contents of each scientific article translated not just into Spanish or Portuguese but Korean, Mandarin or any other language.” ”