Q&A: Phillip Sharp and Amy Brand on the future of open-access publishing | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“A group of MIT scholars is releasing a new white paper about academic open-access publishing. The paper gathers information, identifies outstanding questions, and calls for further research and data to inform policy on the subject.


The group was chaired by Institute Professor Emeritus Phillip A. Sharp, of the Department of Biology and Koch Institute of Integrative Cancer Research, who co-authored the report along with William B. Bonvillian, senior director of special projects at MIT Open Learning; Robert Desimone, director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research; Barbara Imperiali, the Class of 1922 Professor of Biology; David R. Karger, professor of electrical engineering; Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, professor of science, technology, and society; Amy Brand, director and publisher of the MIT Press; Nick Lindsay, director for journals and open access at MIT Press; and Michael Stebbins of Science Advisors, LLC.


MIT News spoke with Sharp and Brand about the state of open-access publishing….”

Access to Science and Scholarship: Key Questions about the Future of Research Publishing

“The health of the research enterprise is closely tied to the effectiveness of the scientific and scholarly publishing ecosystem. Policy-, technology-, and market-driven changes in publishing models over the last two decades have triggered a number of disruptions within this ecosystem:

Ongoing increases in the cost of journal publishing, with dominant open access models shifting costs from subscribers to authors

Significant consolidation and vertical (supply chain) integration in the publishing industry, and a decline in society-owned subscription journals that have long subsidized scientific and scholarly societies

A dramatic increase in the number of “predatory” journals with substandard peer review

Decline in the purchasing power of academic libraries relative to the quantity and cost of published research To illustrate how researcher behavior, funder policies, and publisher business models and incentives interact, this report presents an historical overview of open access publishing.

The report also provides a list of key questions for further investigation to understand, measure, and best prepare for the impact of new policies related to open access in research publishing, categorized into six general areas: access and business models, research data, preprint publishing, peer review, costs to researchers and universities, and infrastructure.”

[2311.09657] Open Access in Ukraine: characteristics and evolution from 2012 to 2021

This study investigates development of open access (OA) to publications produced by authors affiliated with Ukrainian universities and research organisations in the period 2012-2021. In order to get a comprehensive overview we assembled data from three popular databases: Dimensions, Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus. Our final dataset consisted of 187,135 records. To determine the OA status of each article, this study utilised Unpaywall data which was obtained via API. It was determined that 71.5% of all considered articles during the observed period were openly available at the time of analysis. Our findings show that gold OA was the most prevalent type of OA through a 10 years studied period. We also took a look at how OA varies by research fields, how dominant large commercial publishers are in disseminating national research and the preferences of authors regarding where to self-archive articles versions. We concluded that Ukraine needs to be thoughtful with engagement with large publishers and make sure academics control publishing, not for profit companies, which would monopolise research output distribution, leaving national publishers behind. Beyond that we put a special emphasis on the importance of FAIRness of national scholarly communication infrastructure in monitoring OA uptake.

The State of Open Data Report 2023: Support for researchers still lacking – Digital Science

“In the eighth annual The State of Open Data report released today, almost three quarters of surveyed researchers overwhelmingly said they are still not getting the support they need to share their data openly. Such data highlights the increased need for greater community collaboration and tools to support researchers in the move to sustainable open science practices.

For the remaining 23% of respondents who had sought and received support with data sharing, the support primarily came from internal sources (colleague/supervisor – 61%), followed by institutional libraries (31%), research office / in-house institutional expertise (26%), publishers (21%) and funders (17%)….”

Why are these publications missing? Uncovering the reasons behind the exclusion of documents in free-access scholarly databases

Abstract: This study analyses the coverage of seven free-access bibliographic databases (Crossref, Dimensions—non-subscription version, Google Scholar, Lens, Microsoft Academic, Scilit, and Semantic Scholar) to identify the potential reasons that might cause the exclusion of scholarly documents and how they could influence coverage. To do this, 116 k randomly selected bibliographic records from Crossref were used as a baseline. API endpoints and web scraping were used to query each database. The results show that coverage differences are mainly caused by the way each service builds their databases. While classic bibliographic databases ingest almost the exact same content from Crossref (Lens and Scilit miss 0.1% and 0.2% of the records, respectively), academic search engines present lower coverage (Google Scholar does not find: 9.8%, Semantic Scholar: 10%, and Microsoft Academic: 12%). Coverage differences are mainly attributed to external factors, such as web accessibility and robot exclusion policies (39.2%–46%), and internal requirements that exclude secondary content (6.5%–11.6%). In the case of Dimensions, the only classic bibliographic database with the lowest coverage (7.6%), internal selection criteria such as the indexation of full books instead of book chapters (65%) and the exclusion of secondary content (15%) are the main motives of missing publications.

All The Public Libraries Offering Free Access to Banned Books: A Comprehensive Guide

“This list is as comprehensive a roundup as possible of all the U.S. public libraries offering access to banned books. It includes the name of the library, the people who are being granted access to the collections, materials within the collections, as well as any other pertinent or relevant information.

The list will be updated as more libraries engage in this kind of access activism. Note that many of these programs operate under the banner of “Books Unbanned.” Though they will be quite similar because laws regarding libraries differ state by state and because every library collection differs from another, the breadth of access and catalogs differs in each variation of the program. Folks who qualify may apply for cards at each of the Books Unbound programs—you’re not limited to just one….”

Celebrating 20,000 journals in DOAJ: the value (and cost) of maintaining trust in scholarly publishing – DOAJ News Service

“Today, the DOAJ team is happy to share a significant milestone with our community: the Directory of Open Access Journals now proudly lists 20,000 journals! This achievement is not just a number; it is a testament to our rigorous evaluation process and dedication to ensuring the trustworthiness and quality of scholarly journals in our index. For 20 years, DOAJ has been at the forefront of advocating for open access and facilitating access to reliable academic research. For the DOAJ team, this milestone reflects the tremendous growth of the open access movement and our commitment to transparency and best practice in journal publishing. As the number of journals increases, so does the potential for sharing knowledge, connecting researchers, and advancing science and scholarship.”

LIBER, UNESCO and LA Referencia Webinar Report – Open Science Monitoring in Europe – LIBER Europe

“On 3 October 2023 LIBER, UNESCO and LA Referencia joined forces for a webinar outlining the Open Science monitoring methods and tools currently developed in Europe. The event aimed to introduce several examples of inclusive monitoring of Open Science, in line with the 2021 UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, to foster the uptake of monitoring frameworks that assess the outputs and impacts of Open Science practices….”

The Rise of Open Science: Tracking the Evolution and Perceived Value of Data and Methods Link-Sharing Practices

Abstract:  In recent years, funding agencies and journals increasingly advocate for open science practices (e.g. data and method sharing) to improve the transparency, access, and reproducibility of science. However, quantifying these practices at scale has proven difficult. In this work, we leverage a large-scale dataset of 1.1M papers from arXiv that are representative of the fields of physics, math, and computer science to analyze the adoption of data and method link-sharing practices over time and their impact on article reception. To identify links to data and methods, we train a neural text classification model to automatically classify URL types based on contextual mentions in papers. We find evidence that the practice of link-sharing to methods and data is spreading as more papers include such URLs over time. Reproducibility efforts may also be spreading because the same links are being increasingly reused across papers (especially in computer science); and these links are increasingly concentrated within fewer web domains (e.g. Github) over time. Lastly, articles that share data and method links receive increased recognition in terms of citation count, with a stronger effect when the shared links are active (rather than defunct). Together, these findings demonstrate the increased spread and perceived value of data and method sharing practices in open science.



A new Open Science Indicators dataset is here! – The Official PLOS Blog

“This is the fourth quarterly update to Open Science Indicators since we introduced the dataset in December 2022. It covers January 1 2019 to June 30 2023 (four full years, plus the first half of 2023). Like the previous installments, this update measures data-generation and -sharing, code-generation and -sharing, and preprint posting. It also includes a preliminary version of our first new indicator: protocol sharing. Watch this space for more on how we developed the protocol sharing indicator in a future post….”


Open Science FAIR – Monitoring Open Science in the context of incentives and rewards for Open Science

“The workshop aims to establish the context for Open Science Policy and Research Assessment and to provide a brief overview of the importance of monitoring Open Science practices and policies, and to offer insights from the collective efforts of the OPUS, GraspOS, and PathOS projects….”


Developing the National Open Access Monitor, Ireland: Stakeholder Webinar. Sept 22, 2023, 2pm (BST) | Irish Research eLibrary (IReL)

Project Overview: The National Open Access Monitor project is managed by IReL and is funded by NORF as a priority action under Ireland’s?National Action Plan for Open Research 2022-2030. Following a public tender process, OpenAIRE has been awarded the contract to develop the National Open Access Monitor, based on public open data, to analyse and track progress towards 100% Open Access in Ireland. Webinar Purpose: This webinar introduces stakeholders to the National Open Access Monitor. “Stakeholders” encompass all individuals involved in, interested in, or benefiting from monitoring Open Access to Ireland’s research. Whether you play a part in Open Access monitoring, plan to, or will utilise the Monitor, you’re encouraged to attend, share insights, and help refine the platform.

Open Science Monitoring Framework – 3rd meeting of the working group – YouTube

“UNESCO has convened 5 ad-hoc Working Groups focusing on key impact areas relevant to the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, bringing together experts and open science entities, organizations and institutions, according to their field of activity and expertise. The Working Group on Open Science Monitoring aims to guide the development of a global monitoring framework for the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.”