Global Open Science: Virtual SciDataCon 2021 Strand – CODATA, The Committee on Data for Science and Technology

“Virtual SciDataCon 2021 is organised around a number of thematic strands.  This is the third of a series of announcements presenting these strands to the global data community. Please note that registration is free, but participants must register for each session they wish to attend.

For some time there has been recognition of the need for investment in domain specific research infrastructures at a national and sometimes regional level. In recent years, in some countries and regions, there has been a move towards research infrastructures that are both vertically and horizontally integrated: vertically, in the sense that they aim to bring generic e-infrastructure closer to research communities’ needs; horizontally, in the sense that they explicitly aim, by embracing principles of Open Science and FAIR data, to better facilitate interdisciplinary research. Examples include, but are not limited to, the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), the China Science and Technology Cloud (CSTCloud), the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), the Malaysian Open Science Platform, the African Open Science Platform, the planned broadening of LA Referencia in Latin America, as well as Canada’s NDRIO and Germany’s NFDI   The major international data organisation that collaborate in Data Together have complementary activities to define a model for Open Research Commons and to encourage cooperation, alignment and interoperability between Open Science Clouds….”

Annual report: a recap of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) activities in 2020 | DORA

“Over the past year, it has become increasingly clear that research assessment reform is a systems challenge that requires collective action. Point interventions simply do not solve these types of complex challenges that involve multiple stakeholders. Because of this, we dedicated our efforts in 2020 on building a community of practice and finding new ways to support organizations seeking to improve the decision-making that impacts research careers.

Current events also influenced our approach this year and evolved our thinking about research assessment reform. The Covid-19 pandemic led to the abrupt global disruption of academic research, along with many other industries. For academics with limited access to research laboratories and other on-campus resources, work stalled. Without appropriate action, this disruption will have a profound effect on the advancement and promotion of the academic workforce, and it will likely disproportionately affect women and underrepresented and minoritized researchers. So in April DORA called on institutions to redefine their expectations and clearly communicate how evaluation procedures will be modified. In May, DORA organized a webinar with Rescuing Biomedical Research to better understand specific faculty concerns as a result of the pandemic….

In the Fall of 2020, DORA initiated a new community project with Schmidt to develop a means for institutions to gauge their ability to support academic assessment interventions and set them up for success. Our goal for the project was to support the development of new practices by helping institutions analyze the outcomes of their efforts. More than 70 individuals in 26 countries and 6 continents responded to our informal survey in August, and about 35 people joined us for 3 working sessions in September. From these activities, we heard it was important to look beyond individual interventions to improve assessment, because the success of these interventions depends on institutional conditions and capabilities. We were also reminded that institutional capabilities impact interventions, so it is important not only to gauge success but also to support interventions. These and other insights led us to create SPACE to Evolve Academic Assessment: a rubric for analyzing institutional conditions and progress indicators. The first draft of the rubric was developed in the last quarter of 2020. The final version was released in 2021 after an initial pilot phase with seven members of the academic community, including a college dean, policy advisor, research administrator, faculty member, and graduate student….

Another addition to the website was a repository of case studies documenting key elements of institutional change to improve academic career assessment, such as motivations, processes, timelines, new policies, and the types of people involved. The repository, Reimagining academic assessment: stories of innovation and change, was produced in partnership with the European University Association and SPARC Europe. At the time of launch, the repository included 10 structured case studies coming from 7 universities and 3 national consortia. Nine of the 10 cases are from Europe and one is from China. The case studies have shown us the importance of coalition-building to gain bottom-up support for change. We also learned that limited awareness and capacity for incentivizing and rewarding a broader range of academic activities were challenges that all the cases had to overcome. By sharing information about the creation of new policies and practices, we hope the case studies will serve as a source of inspiration for institutions seeking to review or improve academic career assessment….

Policy progress for research assessment reform continued to gain momentum in 2020. A new national policy on research assessment in China announced in February prohibits cash rewards for research papers and indicates that institutions can no longer exclusively hire or promote researchers based on their number of publications or citations. In June, Wellcome published guidance for research organizations on how to implement responsible and fair approaches for research assessment that are grounded i

Librarians as gate-openers in open access publishing: A case study in the United Arab Emirates – ScienceDirect

The advent of open access (OA) has changed the scholarly communication landscape resulting in disruption of traditional relationships between different stakeholders. Thus, the gatekeeping role of academic librarians has been impaired. However, by assuming the role of gate-openers, librarians have become facilitators of OA uptake in the United Arab Emirates. Results of the UAE librarians survey show that they are aware of OA routes and predatory journals; they are using different instruction methods to educate users on OA resources and publishing; and they harness OA resources along the traditional subscription-based products. Readers of international library journals need to be aware of efforts undertaken by their peers to advance OA mandate outside the Eastern European and North American context, often dominating scholarly communication studies.

Librarians as gate-openers in open access publishing: A case study in the United Arab Emirates – ScienceDirect

The advent of open access (OA) has changed the scholarly communication landscape resulting in disruption of traditional relationships between different stakeholders. Thus, the gatekeeping role of academic librarians has been impaired. However, by assuming the role of gate-openers, librarians have become facilitators of OA uptake in the United Arab Emirates. Results of the UAE librarians survey show that they are aware of OA routes and predatory journals; they are using different instruction methods to educate users on OA resources and publishing; and they harness OA resources along the traditional subscription-based products. Readers of international library journals need to be aware of efforts undertaken by their peers to advance OA mandate outside the Eastern European and North American context, often dominating scholarly communication studies.

Modernizing JCRS Online Case Reports: open access, signed pa… : Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery

“To better serve our readers and authors, we [JCRS Online Case Reports] will be moving to an Open Access publishing model, under a Creative Commons license to publish. The first step of this transition is to require signed consent from all patients included in case reports. Minor changes in the format of the abstract are also required.”

“Qualitative Data Repository’s Curation Handbook” by Robert Demgenski, Sebastian Karcher et al.

Abstract:  In this short practice paper, we introduce the public version of the Qualitative Data Repository’s (QDR) Curation Handbook. The Handbook documents and structures curation practices at QDR. We describe the background and genesis of the Handbook and highlight some of its key content.

 

The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery Advances to Preprint Ser… : Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

“It is indeed a pleasure now that I have the chance to communicate with you all, readers, authors, fans and customers, to tell you what is going to happen in the future in the brave new digital world as regards preprints and post-prints, changes that will be arriving soon and not in the distant future – preprint servers will soon be mobile and accessible to all. This will indeed require some sacrifice and attention, making you feel part of the family with a matrix base and principled pillars that cannot be shaken, stirred, or disturbed by any negativity. We are bringing this to you knowing that there will be some growing pains such as those that we have experienced previously in all the advances that we have made. We do not expect less this time as regards those who are used to burning bridges of collaboration and who are already armed with their matches ready to use at any time; our advice to them is to start their fires with their tails….

The solution for quicker presentation and dissemination of knowledge comes with preprint servers, which we are working on for our journal but which are not yet not perfected. We have seen some ugly instances of misuse of the process during the pandemic; we cannot blame particular groups of people, it is purely a matter of human nature….

What is a preprint? The paper will be submitted as a preprint contribution, there will be a ledger fee for its submission and the paper will directly progress to the submission process and to the server, which is totally separate, and within 24 hours it will have a DOI and will be available globally for viewing, downloading and dissemination of knowledge, and it will have “preprint” stamped on each page. This means it is not peer-reviewed and not cross-checked; it is there on the basis of the integrity of the author and its authenticity; this is not a process that will guarantee publication at all. A second copy will go through the process noted above and this may take 6–9 months, based on and including the revisions required, and will depend on the multifactorial processes involved in regular publication. At the end of the road the preprint will meet at high noon with the standard print; if accepted the preprint will move to PAP or if rejected it will be stamped “rejected” and removed from the preprint server; that is the ugly black eye that may result. Of course the good ones are happily in print format and are now in the cloud and access around the global medical arena will be infinite….”

Using Wikipedia to teach scholarly peer review | Journal of Information Literacy

Abstract:  This paper outlines a creative Wikipedia-based project developed by the University of Kansas (KU) Libraries and the KU Biology Department. Inspired by the tenets of open pedagogy, the purpose of this project is to use Wikipedia as a way for students to learn about the scholarly peer review process while also producing material that can be shared and used by the world outside the classroom. The paper is divided into three sections, with the first summarizing pertinent related literature related to the paper’s topic. From here, the paper describes the proposed assignment, detailing a process wherein students write new articles for the encyclopedia which are then anonymously peer reviewed by other students in the class; when articles are deemed acceptable, they are published via Wikipedia. The parallels between this project and academic peer review are emphasized throughout. The paper closes by discussing the importance of this project, arguing that it fills a known scholarly need, actively produces knowledge, furthers the aims of the open access movement, and furthers scientific outreach initiatives.

 

Promoting FAIR Data Through Community-driven Agile Design: the Open Data Commons for Spinal Cord Injury (odc-sci.org) | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The past decade has seen accelerating movement from data protectionism in publishing toward open data sharing to improve reproducibility and translation of biomedical research. Developing data sharing infrastructures to meet these new demands remains a challenge. One model for data sharing involves simply attaching data, irrespective of its type, to publisher websites or general use repositories. However, some argue this creates a ‘data dump’ that does not promote the goals of making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). Specialized data sharing communities offer an alternative model where data are curated by domain experts to make it both open and FAIR. We report on our experiences developing one such data-sharing ecosystem focusing on ‘long-tail’ preclinical data, the Open Data Commons for Spinal Cord Injury (odc-sci.org). ODC-SCI was developed with community-based agile design requirements directly pulled from a series of workshops with multiple stakeholders (researchers, consumers, non-profit funders, governmental agencies, journals, and industry members). ODC-SCI focuses on heterogeneous tabular data collected by preclinical researchers including bio-behaviour, histopathology findings and molecular endpoints. This has led to an example of a specialized neurocommons that is well-embraced by the community it aims to serve. In the present paper, we provide a review of the community-based design template and describe the adoption by the community including a high-level review of current data assets, publicly released datasets, and web analytics. Although odc-sci.org is in its late beta stage of development, it represents a successful example of a specialized data commons that may serve as a model for other fields.

 

‘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….”

Editorial policy regarding the citation of preprints in the British Journal of Pharmacology (BJP) – George – – British Journal of Pharmacology – Wiley Online Library

“Because of the increasing number of articles submitted to BJP over the past year and that cite preprint material, the Editor-In-Chief and Senior Editors with the full Editorial Board of BJP have undertaken a review of the issues and our discipline-relevant data to set policy on the issue of preprint citation for the Journal….

The discussion so far has highlighted the negative aspects of preprints, but it is important to be balanced in our considerations and to note that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the availability of preprints has been viewed as a key factor in the break-neck speed with which the biomedical research community has shared research on insights regarding the biology and clinical features of the infection, resulting in the rapid and timely delivery of much needed therapeutic options (Else, 2020)….

An excellent example is the Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial which showed the benefit of the simple and low-cost utility of dexamethasone that has saved many lives globally. The RECOVERY trial was published as a preprint on 22 June 2020 (Horby et al., 2020) and as a peer-reviewed article published as an epub in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 17th 2020 (RECOVERY collaborative group, 2021). Whilst it is highly likely that the preprint publication and sharing of the results saved lives during the short time between preprint posting and full publication, the data were made available to regulatory authorities and clinicians prior to full publication….

CONCLUSION: THE BJP WILL NOT ALLOW THE FORMAL CITATION OF PREPRINTS

 

The Editorial Board of the BJP support the principles of preprinting. However, given the potential risks associated with allowing the citation of preprints, it is our collective view, supported by feedback received from the journal’s international Editorial Board, that BJP should take all reasonable steps to avoid perpetuating these risks….

We are aware that the issue of preprint citation is under discussion at COPE and that the British Pharmacological Society is establishing a working group to review this issue more broadly across its publications. Thus, the stated editorial position will be reviewed, and if solutions to the problems highlighted above emerge, we will revisit our policy….”

“Engaging Researchers in Data Dialogues” by Moira Downey, Sophia Lafferty-Hess et al.

Abstract:  A range of regulatory pressures emanating from funding agencies and scholarly journals increasingly encourage researchers to engage in formal data sharing practices. As academic libraries continue to refine their role in supporting researchers in this data sharing space, one particular challenge has been finding new ways to meaningfully engage with campus researchers. Libraries help shape norms and encourage data sharing through education and training, and there has been significant growth in the services these institutions are able to provide and the ways in which library staff are able to collaborate and communicate with researchers. Evidence also suggests that within disciplines, normative pressures and expectations around professional conduct have a significant impact on data sharing behaviors (Kim and Adler 2015; Sigit Sayogo and Pardo 2013; Zenk-Moltgen et al. 2018). Duke University Libraries’ Research Data Management program has recently centered part of its outreach strategy on leveraging peer networks and social modeling to encourage and normalize robust data sharing practices among campus researchers. The program has hosted two panel discussions on issues related to data management—specifically, data sharing and research reproducibility. This paper reflects on some lessons learned from these outreach efforts and outlines next steps.

 

Navigating the barbed wire of publisher access barriers | Plan S

“In many ways, the specific details of this situation are irrelevant. What does matter is the important points it raises:

From the baffling experiences described above, one concludes that not only is the assortment of access options confusing for readers but that major publishers are challenged to engineer and control access and authentication as they intended. Such examples validate the reasons why hybrid OA journals are problematic.

There is a significant effort associated with gatekeeping and preventing potential readers from accessing content, when research should be disseminated and read as widely as possible. This represents an increased cost in the production of publications – a cost which is ultimately borne by the subscriber or individual reader. 

There is considerable evidence that open access articles are more read than non Open access articles. Indeed, even SpringerNature, the publisher of the article example above, states that “Open approaches accelerate the progress of science…. OA is immediately accessible and highly discoverable… Previous research shows the OA advantage for researchers: OA articles are cited on average 1.6 times more than non-OA articles, downloaded 4 times more often and attract 2.5 times more attention, as measured by news and policy mentions”.

Wouldn’t it be better if the money, time and energy invested by publishers in attempting to build a complex variety of access barriers were directed towards providing a consistent approach to access? Then the money, time and energy spent by researchers and libraries in paying for and attempting to access content, via confused and confusing interfaces, could be better spent on research. If authentication and access control are so challenging, and we all, including publishers, agree that Open Access is beneficial, then we need to abandon these types of attempts at gatekeeping, and instead focus on making all research publications easily openly accessible.”

Owens | Scholarly Communication Outside the R1: Measuring Faculty and Graduate Student Knowledge and Interest at a Doctoral/Professional University | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION This study explores the baseline knowledge and interest of faculty and graduate students at a Carnegie-classified Doctoral/Professional University regarding different components of scholarly communication. METHODS A survey was developed to inquire about such topics as scholarly research, scholarly publishing, access to research, copyright, measuring impact, promoting research, and open-educational resources. Responses more significantly represented the humanities and social sciences versus the natural and applied sciences. RESULTS & DISCUSSION Results showed some hesitancy in embracing the open access (OA) publishing model, especially the use of article processing charges (APCs). Faculty largely collect original data and believe public access to original data is important, but this varies by college and includes almost one-fourth of faculty who do not feel that sharing data is important. The areas in which respondents expressed the highest level of knowledge correlate directly with the areas in which respondents expressed the most interest in professional development. Preferences in professional development modality were split between virtual and in-person sessions. With virtual sessions specifically, graduate students prefer synchronous sessions while faculty prefer pre-recorded sessions. CONCLUSION Respondents were generally aware of the library’s current scholarly communications services, but additional promotion and marketing is still needed, especially for colleges with the lowest areas of engagement.

 

Lo | The Factors Significant to the Introduction of Institutional Open Access Policies: Two Case Studies of R-1 Universities | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION US universities are increasingly unable to afford research journal subscriptions due to the rising prices charged by for-profit academic publishers. Open access (OA) appears to be the most backed option to disrupt the current publishing model. The purpose of this study is to understand the factors significant to the introduction of institutional OA policies at selected United States R-1 universities. METHODS An in-depth qualitative study, including interviews with stakeholders, was conducted on two R-1universities with OA policies that have been implemented for at least five years. results The results of this study reveal that while the perceived sustainability of the scholarly communication business model was an initial driver, open dissemination of knowledge was the primary factor for the development of institutional policies. discussion Open dissemination of knowledge aligns with the mission of both institutions. Interviewees believe that a wider and more open dissemination of the institution’s research cost could positively affect their faculty’s research impact, which could then affect the institution’s reputation, rankings, classifications and funding. CONCLUSION While the initial driver for exploring OA scholarly communication for both institutions was the perceived unsustainability of the scholarly communication model, the most important factor that led to the creation of their policies was the desire to disseminate the faculty’s scholarship.