Scholarship in interaction | Scholarly Publications

Abstract:  Increasingly code and algorithms are techniques also applied in textual scholarship, giving rise to new interactions between software engineers and textual scholars. This book argues that much of that process and its effects on textual scholarship are still poorly understood and go unchecked by otherwise normal processes of quality control in scholarship such as peer review. The text provides case studies in which some of these interactions become more apparent, as well as the academic challenges and problems that they introduce. The book demonstrates that the space between code creation and conventional scholarship is one that offers many affordances to textual scholarship that until now remain unexplored. The author argues that it is an intellectual obligation of programmers and textual scholars to examine the properties of digital text and how its existence changes and challenges textual scholarship.


SPARKLE: Sustaining Practice Assets for Research, Knowledge, Learning and Engagement | Directories | University of Leeds

” ‘Sustaining Practice Assets for Research, Knowledge, Learning and Engagement’ (SPARKLE) will be a national infrastructure for the storage, discovery, access, analysis, and preservation of practice research assets: which may include text, but also image/video/audio/software, and other less common mediums.

Practice research is a broad community that cuts across disciplines (creative arts, humanities, healthcare, and others) that is not well-served by current text-focussed repositories, needing a more considered approach to a wider range of mediums. Equally, the current repository focus on single outputs is a poor fit for the processual and interconnected nature of practice research.

SPARKLE will address these issues and fill in a significant gap in the interconnected trusted repositories landscape, as the current institutional/subject repositories lack capabilities in the management of complex, multipart, interconnected assets. It will provide an integrated technology infrastructure for innovative design and practice research, along with economies of scale through a cloud-based data service, encompassing critical FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principles.

As a holistic service to support practice research for now and the future, SPARKLE will include capabilities for analysing quantitative, thick, and big data, and learning resources to support documenting, accessing, and reusing practice assets. This project will produce an initial scoping of the required data infrastructure and community training needs….”

Changing publication practices and the typification of the journal article in science and technology studies – Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner, Kean Birch, Thed van Leeuwen, Maria Amuchastegui, 2022

Abstract:  In this article, we study the development of the STS journal article format since the 1980s. Our analysis is based on quantitative data that suggest that the diversity of various journal publication types has diminished over the past four decades, while the format of research articles has become increasingly typified. We contextualize these historical shifts in qualitative terms, drawing on a set of 76 interviews with STS scholars and other stakeholders in scholarly publishing. Here, we first portray the STS publication culture of the 1980s and early 1990s. We then contrast this with an analysis of publishing practices today, which are characterized by a much more structured research process that is largely organized around the production of typified journal articles. Whereas earlier studies have often emphasized the importance of rhetorical persuasion strategies as drivers in the development of scholarly communication formats, our analysis highlights a complementary and historically novel set of shaping factors, namely, increasingly quantified research (self-)assessment practices in the context of a projectification of academic life. We argue that reliance on a highly structured publication format is a distinct strategy for making STS scholarship ‘doable’ in the sense of facilitating the planning ability and daily conduct of research across a variety of levels – including the writing process, collaboration with peers, attracting funding, and interaction with journals. We conclude by reflecting on the advantages and downsides of the typification of journal articles for STS.


Accelerating Social Impact Research: Libraries at the Intersection of Openness and Community-Engaged Scholarship

“The social impact of research, whether it is examining educational and economic disparities, developing new medications, or understanding environmental challenges, is a developing, but key, component of higher education and research institutions. Critical to accelerating this impact and advancing public good is the broad adoption of open research principles and practices, which have been shown to benefit the individual researcher through increased citations and scholarly impact, to spur scientific advancements, and to provide more equitable access to research and a deep commitment and engagement with the local community or the communities that are engaged in or using the research. As educators and stewards of the scholarly and scientific record, research libraries have a significant interest in accelerating open research and scholarship within their institutions, and are ideally situated to support the institutional mission to serve the public and their communities. Within higher education, research library leaders have a unique position on campus, supporting every discipline with services, expertise, collections, and infrastructure. To move forward together, ARL piloted a six-month cohort program for members to accelerate the adoption and implementation of open science principles at the intersection of social impact of research and scholarship….”

Octopus: The New Primary Research Record for Science

“Octopus is a new platform, launching in spring 2022, which is designed to be the new primary research record for science. Instead of being a platform for the publication of papers, it is designed for easy and rapid sharing and assessing of work, in smaller units. Octopus will be where researchers can record every piece of work that they have done, as they do it, to assert their priority and for it to be assessed and critiqued by their peers. Octopus has a unique structure to encourage a collaborative approach to the scientific process, with publications building on each other over time, regardless of authorship. In this talk, its creator will explain more about how it will work, and why it was designed the way it was.”

decade of GigaScience: What can be learned from half a million RRIDs in the scientific literature? | GigaScience | Oxford Academic

Abstract:  Research resource identifiers (RRIDs) are persistent unique identifiers for scientific resources used to conduct studies such as reagents and tools. Inclusion of these identifiers into the scientific literature has been demonstrated to improve the reproducibility of papers because resources, like antibodies, are easier to find, making methods easier to reproduce. RRIDs also dramatically reduce the use of problematic resources, such as contaminated cell lines. The addition of RRIDs into a manuscript means that authors have to look up information that they may have previously omitted or confront information about problems that may have been reported about their resources. The use of RRIDs is primarily driven by champion journals, such as GigaScience and others. Although still nascent, this practice lays important groundwork for citation types that can cover non-traditional scholarly output, such as software tools and key reagents; giving authors of various types of tools scholarly credit for their contributions.


Unjournal: Call for participants and research – “Unjournal”+ EA & global priority research groups

“I am David Reinstein (Senior Economist at Rethink Priorities, following 15 years in academia) and a supporter of open science (BITSS Catalyst). I am writing with an open call for committee members, board members, reviewers, and suggestions of relevant work for a new peer-review initiative (not a publication!) called The Unjournal.

The Unjournal team is building a system for credible, public, journal-independent feedback and evaluation of research. Peer review can be slow; our system will enable researchers to get more prompt, efficient, and substantive feedback and advice, with metrics and signals of quality. The Unjournal will also help researchers advance, promote, and improve their work, while still allowing them to submit it to traditional journals at any point in the process….

Briefly, the Unjournal’s process (proposed and under-discussion):

Identify or invite contributions of relevant research that is publicly hosted on any open platform or archive in any format (we can help facilitate hosting and help you get a time-stamped DOI).
Pay reviewers to evaluate and give careful feedback on this work. Elicit quantifiable and comparable metrics of research quality as credible measures of value.
Publicly post and link all reviews of the work. Award financial prizes for work judged to be the strongest.

Note: We will make some clearly stated exceptions for ECRs, allowing them to hide negative reviews.
Note: We are likely to ask reviewers to remain anonymous (unsigned reviews), but this is under consideration

Aim to be as transparent as possible in these processes. …”

‘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.



Produce, publish, promote, track and analyze: Altmetric and Figshare for NTROs – Digital Science

“Join us on June 15 at 2pm AEST for a webinar with Altmetric and Figshare. 

We’ll be discussing how you can effectively promote your Non-Traditional Research Outputs (NTROs) using a Figshare repository and how to generate Altmetric attention around those research outputs, ensuring you get the credit you deserve. …”

UNBIND: Reimagining the academic monograph – CRASSH

“The monograph, or the scholarly book, is today the dominant form of knowledge production in the humanities. But can there exist a more imaginative, creative, or performative alternative? Can we unbind the monograph and transform it into something that resists the marketisation and privatisation of public knowledge? Something that engages robustly with open platforms and public infrastructures?

Cambridge Digital Humanities invites monograph-writers, publishing scholars, publishers, editors, and open access activists for a day-long conversation on the future of the monograph form….”

Patching Science – amending the literature through version control | bioRxiv

Abstract:  The ideal of self-correction in science is not well served by the current culture and system surrounding amendments to published literature. Here we report on a survey (N = 132) that highlights academics’ dissatisfaction with the status quo and their support for an alternative approach. We then describe our view of how amendments could and should work by drawing on the idea of an author-led version control system. Here authors would include a link in their published manuscripts to an updatable website (e.g. a GitHub repository or similar) that could be disseminated in the event of any amendment. Such a system is already in place for computer code and, as such, requires nothing but buy-in from the scientific community – a community that is already evolving towards various open science frameworks. This would remove a number of frictions that discourage amendments thus leading to an improved scientific literature and a healthier academic climate.

A comment on “The big idea: should we get rid of the scientific paper?” | SciELO in Perspective

“In The big idea: should we get rid of the scientific paper?, published by the Guardian newspaper, Stuart Ritchie argues for a radical action: scientists should abandon the current format of the scientific paper, which is static and not interactive. Despite being currently published in electronic medium, they are still very similar to the printed version that dominated the scientific publishing landscape for more three centuries. In fact, the current scientific article is only an electronic version of “the physical black and white printed paper” in PDF (portable document format). This format is not friendly for reading on the screen of computers, tablets and mobile phones, which are dynamic and offer countless alternatives to interact with information. Reading a scientific article nowadays should be more than getting passive information about a subject matter, rather it should be an opportunity to think, check, review and reproduce the data and analysis presented in the article.

However, the standards of scientific publishing industry, and the rules of academic establishment as well, oppose any change in this static, passive and mostly non-transparent system of science dissemination. The Guardian newspaper article points out some alternatives to the PDF packaging of scientific articles, e.g., interactive “notebooks” that combine images, data, code, methods, and analysis into a single interactive and dynamic “article” that might be read, reviewed, reproduced, edited, and shared at any time. This format is known as “living article”.

But the problem does not lay solely on the “static scientific article”. There are the journals and the rules dictated (mostly) by the financial interests of the major commercial publishers. The predominant system for the communication of scientific results has not been developed by scientists, and they cannot freely decide what is the best “vehicle” or format to disseminate their research work. Actually, the publishers of scientific journals decide and control which format is accepted or not. A scientist today must follow the rules determined by journal editors, who are also dependent on the consensus and standards defined by the entire publishing industry.

By this reasoning, the problem is not the article itself, rather it is the vehicle that widespread the scientist’s message: the scientific journal and its rules! It is not possible to “get rid of the scientific article” without reforming the concept and practice of the “scientific journal”! ”

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….”