Charting variety, scope, and impact of open access diamond journals in various disciplines and regions: a survey-based observational study

Abstract
Purpose: The variety, scope, and impact of open access (OA) diamond journals across
disciplines and regions from July 22 to September 11, 2020 were charted to characterize
the current OA diamond landscape.

Methods: The total number of diamond journals was estimated, including those outside the
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The distribution across regions, disciplines, and
publisher types was described. The scope of journals in terms of authorship and readership
was investigated. Information was collected on linguistic diversity, journal dynamics and life
cycle, and their visibility in scholarly databases.

Results: The number of OA diamond journals is estimated to be 29,000. OA diamond journals
are estimated to publish 356,000 articles per year. The OA diamond sector is diverse in terms of
regions (45% in Europe, 25% in Latin America, 16% in Asia, and 5% in the United States/Cana-
da) and disciplines (60% humanities and social sciences, 22% sciences, and 17% medicine). More
than 70% of OA diamond journals are published by university-owned publishers, including uni-
versity presses. The majority of OA diamond journals are small, publishing fewer than 25 articles
a year. English (1,210), Spanish (492), and French (342) are the most common languages of the
main texts. Out of 1,619 journals, 1,025 (63.3%) are indexed in DOAJ, 492 (30.4%) in Scopus,
and 321 (19.8%) in Web of Science.

Conclusion: The patterns and trends reported herein provide insights into the diversity and im-
portance of the OA diamond journal landscape and the accompanying opportunities and chal-
lenges in supporting this publishing model.

SocArXiv Papers | Misapplied Metrics: Variation in the h-index within and between disciplines

Abstract:  Scholars and university administrators have a vested interest in building equitable valuation systems of academic work for both practical (e.g., resource distribution) and more lofty purposes (e.g., what constitutes “good” research). Well-established inequalities in science pose a difficult challenge to those interested in constructing a parsimonious and fair method for valuation as stratification occurs within academic disciplines, but also between them. Despite warnings against the practice, the popular h-index has been formally used as one such metric of valuation. In this article, we use the case of the h-index to examine how within and between discipline inequalities extend from the reliance of metrics, an illustration of the risk involved in the so-called “tyranny of metrics.” Using data from over 42,000 high performing scientists across 120 disciplines, we construct multilevel models predicting the h-index. Results suggest significant within-discipline variation in several forms, including a female penalty, as well as significant between discipline variation. Conclusions include recommendations to avoid using the h-index or similar metrics for valuation purposes.

Guest Post – Has Peer Review Created a Toxic Culture in Academia? Moving from ‘Battering’ to ‘Bettering’ in the Review of Academic Research – The Scholarly Kitchen

” It seems that many reviewers see their primary role as deflating the arguments and methodologies of the manuscripts they receive, often without any concern for the way the author will receive the comments or whether the critique can be addressed and revised….

A format that might be appealing, not only to authors and reviewers but to publishers as well, takes a page out of the work of HSS book publishers and how they review manuscripts.

 

One of the main differences between the STEM journal and HSS book submission process is that book acquisitions editors get involved in the process before the manuscript is complete (and sometimes before there is a manuscript at all). This process starts at a relatively early stage in the writing process, creating a situation whereby editors are incentivized to help authors and sign them up before other publishers can swoop in and publish it themselves. Consider the potential parallels with the increasing use of journal preprints, as a place where journal editors could hop in and start the process of working with authors at an early stage in the process. (It may also help that you can submit book proposals to multiple publishers simultaneously)….”

 

SciELO – Brazil – Availability of Open Access journals by scientific fields, specialization and Open Access regulations in the YERUN universities Availability of Open Access journals by scientific fields, specialization and Open Access regulations in the YERUN universities

Abstract:  The availability of Open Access journals in the various fields of knowledge in Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science is hypothesized to present strong inequalities, thus affecting the choice of journals by researchers wishing to publish their research results in Open Access. The first objective of this research was to contrast this hypothesis, by crossing the list of journals available at WoS with the lists of the Directory of Open Access Journals. The availability of OA journals presents strong inequalities, ranging from 5 to 40% depending on the field of knowledge. At the level of universities, such disparity in the availability of Open Access journals is an important factor regarding their accomplishment of Open Access mandates considering their specialization profiles. In this work, as the second objective, the publications available on the Web of Science (from 2016 to 2020) of the universities belonging to the YERUN Network (Young European Research Universities) are studied in order to identify their specialization profiles, their Open Access types (and evolution) and the possible interactions between their specialization and the availability of Open Access journals and their respective fields of specialization. A general overview of the volumes of funded research and the different proportions of Open Access and non-Open Access in funded and non-funded research is also provided. The indicator “Open Access Likelihood” is introduced and applied as a proxy for the likelihood of Open Access publications taking into account the fields of specialization of the YERUN universities. The results of its application underline the need to take into consideration both, specialization and Open Access availability when designing feasible Open Access mandates. Future research includes the study of the availability of Open Access journals by tiers of impact actors.

 

Open Research in the Humanities | Unlocking Research

“The Working Group on Open Research in the Humanities was chaired by Prof. Emma Gilby (MMLL) with Dr. Rachel Leow (History), Dr. Amelie Roper (UL), Dr. Matthias Ammon (MMLL and OSC), Dr. Sam Moore (UL), Prof. Alexander Bird (Philosophy), and Prof. Ingo Gildenhard (Classics). We met for four meetings in July, September, October and December 2021, with a view to steering and developing services in support of Open Research in the Humanities. We aimed notably to offer input on how to define Open Research in the Humanities, how to communicate effectively with colleagues in the Arts and Humanities (A&H), and how to reinforce the prestige around Open Research. We hope to add our perspective to the debate on Open Science by providing a view ‘from the ground’ and from the perspective of a select group of humanities researchers. These disciplinary considerations inevitably overlap, in some measure, with the social sciences and indeed some aspects of STEM, and we hope that they will therefore have a broad audience and applicability.

Academics in A&H are, in the main, deeply committed to sharing their research. They consider their main professional contribution to be the instigation and furthering of diverse cultural conversations. They also consider open public access to their work to be a valuable goal, alongside other equally prominent ambitions: aiming at research quality and diversity, and offering support to early career scholars in a challenging and often precarious employment landscape.  

Although A&H cover a diverse range of disciplines, it is possible to discern certain common elements which guide their profile and impact. These common elements also guide the discussion that follows….”

When a journal is both at the ‘top’ and the ‘bottom’: the illogicality of conflating citation-based metrics with quality | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The ‘quality’, ‘prestige’, and ‘impact’ of a scholarly journal is largely determined by the number of citations its articles receive. Publication and citation metrics play an increasingly central (but contested) role in academia, often influencing who gets hired, who gets promoted, and who gets funded. These metrics are also of interest to institutions, as they may impact government funding, and their position in influential university rankings. Within this context, researchers around the world are experiencing pressure to publish in the ‘top’ journals. But what if a journal is considered a ‘top’ journal, and a ‘bottom’ journal at the same time? We recently came across such a case, and wondered if it was just an anomaly, or if it was more common than we might assume. This short communication reports the findings of our investigation into the nature and extent of this phenomenon in Scimago Journal Country and Rank (SJR) and Journal Citation Reports (JCR), both of which produce influential citation-based metrics. In analyzing around 25,000 journals and 12,000 journals respectively, we found that they are commonly placed into multiple subject categories. If citation-based metrics are an indication of broader concepts of research/er quality, which is so often implied or inferred, then we would expect that journals would be ranked similarly across these categories. However, our findings show that it is not uncommon for journals to attract citations to differing degrees depending on their category, resulting in journals that may at the same time be perceived as both ‘high’ and ‘low’ quality. This study is further evidence of the illogicality of conflating citation-based metrics with journal, research, and researcher quality, a continuing and ubiquitous practice that impacts thousands of researchers.

 

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.

Search where you will find most: Comparing the disciplinary coverage of 56 bibliographic databases | SpringerLink

Abstract:  This paper introduces a novel scientometrics method and applies it to estimate the subject coverages of many of the popular English-focused bibliographic databases in academia. The method uses query results as a common denominator to compare a wide variety of search engines, repositories, digital libraries, and other bibliographic databases. The method extends existing sampling-based approaches that analyze smaller sets of database coverages. The findings show the relative and absolute subject coverages of 56 databases—information that has often not been available before. Knowing the databases’ absolute subject coverage allows the selection of the most comprehensive databases for searches requiring high recall/sensitivity, particularly relevant in lookup or exploratory searches. Knowing the databases’ relative subject coverage allows the selection of specialized databases for searches requiring high precision/specificity, particularly relevant in systematic searches. The findings illustrate not only differences in the disciplinary coverage of Google Scholar, Scopus, or Web of Science, but also of less frequently analyzed databases. For example, researchers might be surprised how Meta (discontinued), Embase, or Europe PMC are found to cover more records than PubMed in Medicine and other health subjects. These findings should encourage researchers to re-evaluate their go-to databases, also against newly introduced options. Searching with more comprehensive databases can improve finding, particularly when selecting the most fitting databases needs particular thought, such as in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. This comparison can also help librarians and other information experts re-evaluate expensive database procurement strategies. Researchers without institutional access learn which open databases are likely most comprehensive in their disciplines.

 

Recommendations for Discipline-Specific FAIRness Evaluation Derived from Applying an Ensemble of Evaluation Tools

Abstract:  From a research data repositories’ perspective, offering research data management services in line with the FAIR principles is becoming increasingly important. However, there exists no globally established and trusted approach to evaluate FAIRness to date. Here, we apply five different available FAIRness evaluation approaches to selected data archived in the World Data Center for Climate (WDCC). Two approaches are purely automatic, two approaches are purely manual and one approach applies a hybrid method (manual and automatic combined).

The results of our evaluation show an overall mean FAIR score of WDCC-archived (meta)data of 0.67 of 1, with a range of 0.5 to 0.88. Manual approaches show higher scores than automated ones and the hybrid approach shows the highest score. Computed statistics indicate that the test approaches show an overall good agreement at the data collection level.

We find that while neither one of the five valuation approaches is fully fit-for-purpose to evaluate (discipline-specific) FAIRness, all have their individual strengths. Specifically, manual approaches capture contextual aspects of FAIRness relevant for reuse, whereas automated approaches focus on the strictly standardised aspects of machine actionability. Correspondingly, the hybrid method combines the advantages and eliminates the deficiencies of manual and automatic evaluation approaches.

Based on our results, we recommend future FAIRness evaluation tools to be based on a mature hybrid approach. Especially the design and adoption of the discipline-specific aspects of FAIRness will have to be conducted in concerted community efforts.

Determinants of research output submission in institutional repositories by faculty members in Nigerian universities | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This paper aims to determine and analyze the rate of content submission by lecturers in relation to type of university, discipline, academic qualification, rank and teaching experience and identified the determinants of research output submission by faculty members in Nigerian varsities.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey was conducted in six universities with functional institutional repositories in Southern Nigeria. Data collated through questionnaire from the university lecturers were analyzed using frequency distribution, percentages and regression analysis.

Findings

Results showed that submission of research output was higher for lecturers in Social Sciences than for those in the Sciences; the highest among those with doctorate degree, senior lecturers and those with 6–10?years of teaching experience. The rank of faculty members and the type of university were significant determinants of research output submission.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was limited to universities in Southern Nigeria with functional institutional repositories. There should be further investigations on same study in universities with functional institutional repositories in other regions in Nigeria.

Practical implications

Increased submission rate by faculty members will sustain the institutional repositories.

Social implications

Faculty members get in contact, make friends and engage in collaborative research.

Originality/value

This report contributes to the global knowledge and communication’s field through the provision of empirical evidence on the determinants of content submission in open access institutional repositories.

Recommendations for Discipline-Specific FAIRness Evaluation Derived from Applying an Ensemble of Evaluation Tools

Abstract:  From a research data repositories’ perspective, offering research data management services in line with the FAIR principles is becoming increasingly important. However, there exists no globally established and trusted approach to evaluate FAIRness to date. Here, we apply five different available FAIRness evaluation approaches to selected data archived in the World Data Center for Climate (WDCC). Two approaches are purely automatic, two approaches are purely manual and one approach applies a hybrid method (manual and automatic combined).

The results of our evaluation show an overall mean FAIR score of WDCC-archived (meta)data of 0.67 of 1, with a range of 0.5 to 0.88. Manual approaches show higher scores than automated ones and the hybrid approach shows the highest score. Computed statistics indicate that the test approaches show an overall good agreement at the data collection level.

We find that while neither one of the five valuation approaches is fully fit-for-purpose to evaluate (discipline-specific) FAIRness, all have their individual strengths. Specifically, manual approaches capture contextual aspects of FAIRness relevant for reuse, whereas automated approaches focus on the strictly standardised aspects of machine actionability. Correspondingly, the hybrid method combines the advantages and eliminates the deficiencies of manual and automatic evaluation approaches. Based on our results, we recommend future FAIRness evaluation tools to be based on a mature hybrid approach. Especially the design and adoption of the discipline-specific aspects of FAIRness will have to be conducted in concerted community efforts.

Data sharing practices across knowledge domains: a dynamic examination of data availability statements in PLOS ONE publications

Abstract:  As the importance of research data gradually grows in sciences, data sharing has come to be encouraged and even mandated by journals and funders in recent years. Following this trend, the data availability statement has been increasingly embraced by academic communities as a means of sharing research data as part of research articles. This paper presents a quantitative study of which mechanisms and repositories are used to share research data in PLOS ONE articles. We offer a dynamic examination of this topic from the disciplinary and temporal perspectives based on all statements in English-language research articles published between 2014 and 2020 in the journal. We find a slow yet steady growth in the use of data repositories to share data over time, as opposed to sharing data in the paper or supplementary materials; this indicates improved compliance with the journal’s data sharing policies. We also find that multidisciplinary data repositories have been increasingly used over time, whereas some disciplinary repositories show a decreasing trend. Our findings can help academic publishers and funders to improve their data sharing policies and serve as an important baseline dataset for future studies on data sharing activities.

 

More journal articles and fewer books: Publication practices in the social sciences in the 2010’s

Abstract:  The number of scholarly journal articles published each year is growing, but little is known about the relationship between journal article growth and other forms of scholarly dissemination (e.g., books and monographs). Journal articles are the de facto currency of evaluation and prestige in STEM fields, but social scientists routinely publish books as well as articles, representing a unique opportunity to study increased article publications in disciplines with other dissemination options. We studied the publishing activity of social science faculty members in 12 disciplines at 290 Ph.D. granting institutions in the United States between 2011 and 2019, asking: 1) have publication practices changed such that more or fewer books and articles are written now than in the recent past?; 2) has the percentage of scholars actively participating in a particular publishing type changed over time?; and 3) do different age cohorts evince different publication strategies? In all disciplines, journal articles per person increased between 3% and 64% between 2011 and 2019, while books per person decreased by at least 31% and as much as 54%. All age cohorts show increased article authorship over the study period, and early career scholars author more articles per person than the other cohorts in eight disciplines. The article-dominated literatures of the social sciences are becoming increasingly similar to those of STEM disciplines.

News & Views: Breaking Out Open Access License Types – Delta Think

“Overall, the Permissive licenses (CC0, CC BY – the paler colors) are most commonly used, outnumbering more restrictive ones by around 3:2.

Within fully OA journals, the ratio is similar to the overall average, compared with an even split in hybrid publications.
Long-term trends (not shown here) suggest that fully OA output and the use of permissive licenses is slowly gaining share.
The underlying data has changed since last year. This year’s data shows greater numbers of fully OA journals, with a slightly greater prevalence of permissive licenses….

The data support what many of us know from anecdotal discussions. The majority of OA output is published under more permissive licenses. In particular the CC BY license dominates, especially in fully OA journals, and especially by OASPA members. It’s useful to see this confirmed across the market, and also to see how the figures differ for the large publishers.

However, licenses that allow sharing with some restrictions remain significant and show no signs of collapsing. Many publishers continue to make use of them. In fact, restricted licenses cover the majority of output in some disciplines….”