Recalibrating the Scope of Scholarly Publishing: A Modest Step in a Vast Decolonization Process | SciELO Preprints

Khanna , S., Ball, J., Alperin, J. P., & Willinsky, J. (2022). Recalibrating the Scope of Scholarly Publishing: A Modest Step in a Vast Decolonization Process. In SciELO Preprints.

Abstract: By analyzing 25,671 journals largely absent from journal counts and indexes, this study demonstrates that scholarly communication is more of a global endeavor than is commonly credited. These journals, employing the open source publishing platform Open Journal Systems (OJS), have published 5.8 million items and represent 136 countries, with 79.9 percent publishing in the Global South and 84.2 percent following the OA diamond model (charging neither reader nor author). More than half (54.6 percent) of the journals operate in more than one language, while publishing research in 60 languages (led by English, Indonesian, Spanish, and Portuguese). The journals are distributed across the social sciences (45.9 percent), STEM (40.3 percent), and the humanities (13.8 percent). For all their geographic, linguistic, and disciplinary diversity, the Web of Science indexes 1.2 percent of the journals and Scopus 5.7 percent. On the other hand, Cabells Predatory Reports includes 1.0 percent of the journals, while Beall lists 1.4 percent of them as predatory. A recognition of the expanded scope and scale of scholarly publishing will help ensure that humankind takes full advantage of what is increasingly a global research enterprise.


NSF Grant for New STEM-focused Commons | Platypus – the Humanities Commons Blog

by Kathleen Fitzpatrick

The Commons team is delighted to have been awarded one of the inaugural FAIROS RCN grants from the NSF, in order to establish DBER+ Commons. That’s a big pile of acronyms, so here’s a breakdown: the NSF is of course the National Science Foundation, one of the most important federal funding bodies in the United States, and a new funder for us. The FAIROS RCN grant program was launched this year by the NSF in order to invest in Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable Open Science (FAIROS) by supporting the formation and development of Research Coordination Networks (RCN) dedicated to those principles.

We have teamed up with a group of amazing folks at Michigan State University who are working across science, technology, engineering, math, and more traditional NSF fields, all of whom are focused on discipline-based education research (DBER) as well as other engaged education research methodologies (the +). Our goal for this project is to bring them together with their national and international collaborators in STEM education to create DBER+ Commons, which will use — and crucially, expand — the affordances of the HCommons network and promote FAIR and CARE (Collective Benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility, Ethics) practices, principles, and guidelines in undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, graduate, and postdoctoral science education research activities.


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)….”


Majority of early career researchers in physical science want to publish open access, but face financial barriers

“A new global study from AIP Publishing, the American Physical Society (APS), IOP Publishing (IOPP) and Optica Publishing Group (formerly OSA) indicates that the majority of early career researchers (ECRs) want to publish open access (OA) but they need grants from funding agencies to do so….

67% of ECRs say that making their work openly available is important to them. Yet, 70% have been prevented from publishing OA because they have not been able to access the necessary monies from funding agencies to cover the cost. When asked why ECRs favor OA publishing, agreeing with its principles and benefitting from a wider readership were cited as the top two reasons….”

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….”

SciOpen, an international digital publishing | EurekAlert!

“On June 24, 2022, the 5th Forum for World STM Journals, hosted by the Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the People’s Government of Hunan Province, opened in Changsha. SciOpen (, an international digital publishing platform for STM journals independently developed by Tsinghua University Press, was officially launched at the opening ceremony of the forum….”

‘Replacing Academic Journals’ | Jeff Pooley


There’s lots to unpack in the Brembsian alternative proposed here. One cornerstone is the adoption of open standards that—as best I understand it—would enable university repositories and nonprofit, community-led platforms like Open Library of Humanities (OLH) to form a kind of global, interoperable library. A second cornerstone is a regulated market for services. In an open procurement process, publishers and other firms—nonprofit or otherwise—would submit bids for peer review services, for example, or for copy editing or even writing software. The idea is that a regulated marketplace will, through competition enabled by open standards, discipline the overall system’s cost.

It’s a fascinating proposal, one that—as the paper notes—could be implemented with existing technologies. The problem is the lever of change. The incumbent publishers’ entrenched position, Brembs et al explain, renders a first move by libraries or scholars impractical. That leaves funders, whose updated rules and review criteria could, the paper argues, tip the incentive structure in the direction of an open, journal-free alternative.



Arcadia Fund supports Plazi in its endeavor to rediscover known biodiversity | 16/05/2022

“The Swiss-based Plazi NGO has received a grant of EUR 1.5 million from Arcadia Fund– a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – to further develop its Biodiversity Literature Repository(BLR) established in collaboration with Zenodo, the open science repository hosted and managed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and the open-access scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft. The Arcadia-supported project helps rediscover known biodiversity by liberating taxonomic treatments, material citations and images trapped in scholarly biodiversity publications, and making them FAIR and open. The project engages the community in the huge and decisive challenge to understand and preserve the biodiversity of our planet. Our knowledge about biodiversity is largely imprisoned in a corpus of more than 500 million pages of scientific research publications that is growing daily. Many of these publications are only available in print, and others are PDFs behind a paywall. These data are not FAIR; they are not findable, accessible, interoperable, or reusable. They cannot be linked to new digital resources such as gene sequences, citizen science observations, taxonomic names, or specimens of digitized natural history collections. Extracting and using text and data from such PDFs comes at very high cost, if possible at all. Through itsTreatmentBank production service, Plazi is a leader in providing access to biodiversity data liberated from publications. Thanks to the Arcadia Fund support and in collaboration with Pensoft, Zenodo and the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics Literature Services (SIBiLS), Plazi provides access to over 750,000 taxonomic treatments, 450,000 figures and over 1.1 million material citations from over 53,000 publications in the BLR….”

Factors Associated with Open Access Publishing Costs in Oncology Journals

Background Open access (OA) publishing represents an exciting opportunity to facilitate dissemination of scientific information to global audiences. However, OA publication is often associated with significant article processing charges (APCs) for authors, which may thus serve as a barrier to publication.

Methods We identified oncology journals using the SCImago Journal & Country Rank database. All journals with an OA publication option and APC data openly available were included. We searched journal websites and tabulated journal characteristics, including APC amount (USD), OA model (hybrid vs full), 2-year impact factor (IF), H-index, number of citable documents, modality/treatment specific (if applicable), and continent of origin. We generated a multiple regression model to identify journal characteristics independently associated with OA APC amount.

Results Of 367 oncology journals screened, 251 met final inclusion criteria. The median APC was 2957 USD (IQR 1958-3450). On univariable testing, journals with greater number of citable documents (p<0.001), higher IF (p < 0.001), higher H-index (p < 0.001), and those using the hybrid OA model (p < 0.001) or originating in Europe/North America (p < 0.001) tended to have higher APCs. In our multivariable model, number of citable documents, IF, OA publishing model, and region persisted as significant predictors of processing charges.

Conclusions OA publication costs are greater in oncology journals that publish more citable articles, utilize the hybrid OA model, have higher IF, and are based in North America or Europe. These findings may inform targeted action to help the oncology community fully appreciate the benefits of open science.


Aligning the Research Library to Organizational Strategy – Ithaka S+R

“Open access has matured significantly in recent years. The UK and EU countries have committed largely to a “gold” version of open access, driven largely by transformative agreements with the major incumbent publishing houses.[14] The US policy environment has been far more mixed, with a great deal of “green” open access incentivized by major scientific funders, although some individual universities pursued transformative agreements. Both Canadian and US libraries have benefitted from the expansion of free and open access in strengthening their position at the negotiating table with major publishers.[15]

Progress on open access has radically expanded public access to the research literature. It has also brought with it a number of second-order effects. Some of them are connected to the serious problems in research integrity and the growing crisis of trust in science.[16] Others can be seen in the impacts on the scholarly publishing marketplace and the platforms that support discovery and access.[17]

While open access has made scientific materials more widely available, it has not directly addressed the challenges in translating scholarship for public consumption. Looking ahead, it is likely that scholarly communication will experience further changes as a result of computers increasingly supplanting human readership. The form of the scientific output may decreasingly look like the traditional journal article as over time standardized data, methods, protocols, and other scientific artifacts become vital for computational consumption….”

Successful implementation of Open Access strategies at Universities of Science & Technology

“While the CWTS Leiden ranking has been available since 2011/2012, it is only in 2019 that a first attempt was made at ranking institutions by Open Access-related indicators. This was due to the arrival of Unpaywall as a tool to measure openly available institutional research outputs – either via the Green or the Gold OA routes – for a specific institution.

The CWTS Leiden ranking by percentage of the institutional research output published Open Access effectively meant the first opportunity for institutions worldwide to be ranked by the depth of their Open Access implementation strategies brushing aside aspects like their size. This provided an interesting way to map the progress of CESAER Member institutions that were part of the Task Force Open Science 2020-2021 Open Access Working Group (OAWG) towards the objective stated by Plan S of achieving 100% Open Access of research outputs.

The OAWG then set out to map the situation of the Member institutions represented in it on this Open Access ranking and to track their evolution on subsequent editions of this ranking. The idea behind this analysis was not so much to introduce an element of competition across institutions but to explore whether progress was taking place in the percentage of openly available institutional research outputs year on year.

The results of this analysis – shown in figures within this paper for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions – show strong differences across Member institutions that are part of the OAWG. From internal discussions within the group, it became evident that these differences could be explained through a number of factors that contributed to a successful Open Access implementation at an institutional level. This provided the basis for this work.

The document identifies four key factors that contribute to a successful OA implementation at institutions, and hence to achieving a good position on the CWTS Leiden ranking for Open Access. These factors are:

• Open Access policies. This aspect is highlighted as the key driver for a successful OA implementation: high-ranked institutions typically implement strong OA policies, whereas low-ranked ones often lack a specific policy beyond the (common) one issued by the European Commission for its framework programmes.

• Institutional system configuration (repositories and/or current research information system (CRIS) systems). The way institutional systems support OA implementation are configured is also a critical element for a high ranking. High-ranked institutions within the OAWG often have an interconnected institutional repository and a CRIS. Other institutions only operate a repository and some have neither.

• Institutional research support staff. A strong OA policy and an adequately configured set of institutional systems may not be enough to guarantee a successful OA implementation if the research support staff behind such work is not numerous or well-trained enough.

• Open Access advocacy strategies. One of the key areas of activity for such staff is the communication with researchers to highlight the relevance of Open Access implementation at a given institution and to provide the required support workflows….”

NYU Faculty Cluster Hiring Initiative: Building STEM for the Public Good: Cultivating Openness in the Sciences

“Primary School: Division of Libraries

Participating Departments/Units

Business and Government Information Services
Data Services
Scholarly Communications & Information Policy
Science Services

Apply via Interfolio

STEM Librarian
Librarian for Open Innovation …”

A Call to Diversify the Lingua Franca of Academic STEM Communities

“Executive Summary: The current bias in the STEM academy favors English-language research publications, creating a barrier between English-speaking and non-English speaking researchers that is detrimental to the continuity and evolution of STEM research. In this paper, we lay out policy measures that employ U.S. government resources to create infrastructure that standardizes and facilitates the language translation process and hosting of multilingual publications. This proposal aims to increase linguistic diversity in academic STEM publications for the ultimate goal of improving global scientific communication and ameliorating the existing disparity between English and non-English STEM literature.”


Updated PMC Launching Soon!

In the coming weeks, we will be launching an updated PMC website with a modern design. You can try the updated version on PMC Labs now, and it will become the default design of the PMC website following launch. Be sure to check the banner at the top of the PMC website for updates on an exact cutover date.

Updated PMC Launching Soon!

In the coming weeks, we will be launching an updated PMC website with a modern design. You can try the updated version on PMC Labs now, and it will become the default design of the PMC website following launch. Be sure to check the banner at the top of the PMC website for updates on an exact cutover date.