Bringing efficiencies to tens of thousands of journals: The role of Open Source | PUBMET

Abstract:  In addition to the growing number of scholarly journals published by the so-called “big five”, there are tens of thousands of journals that are published by individual scholars or by academic institutions. These smaller operations are a source of great bibliodiversity that deserves to be encouraged but can also be seen as inefficiencies in the system as a whole. The use of a common software—Open Journal Systems (OJS)—is helping these journals take advantage of an economy of scale without needing to centralize or homogenize them. The key to promoting both efficiency and bibliodiversity is in OJS’s open source nature. This presentation will describe the ways in which PKP’s open source software is bringing efficacy to journal operations, to the discovery of their content, and, in the best of cases, to supporting a transformation of the system as a whole.

 

Open Access Research Outputs Receive More Diverse Citations | Zenodo

Huang, Chun-Kai (Karl), Neylon, Cameron, Montgomery, Lucy, Handcock, Rebecca N., & Wilson, Katie. (2022). Open Access Research Outputs Receive More Diverse Citations (Version 1). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7081037

The goal of open access is to allow more people to read and use research outputs. An observed association between highly cited research outputs and open access has been claimed as evidence of increased usage of the research, but this remains controversial. A higher citation count also does not necessarily imply wider usage such as citations by authors from more places. A knowledge gap exists in our understanding of who gets to use open access research outputs and where users are located. Here we address this gap by examining the association between an output’s open access status and the diversity of research outputs that cite it. By analysing large-scale bibliographic data from 2010 to 2019, we found a robust association between open access and increased diversity of citation sources by institutions, countries, subregions, regions, and fields of research, across outputs with both high and medium-low citation counts. Open access through disciplinary or institutional repositories showed a stronger effect than open access via publisher platforms. This study adds a new perspective to our understanding of how citations can be used to explore the effects of open access. It also provides new evidence at global scale of the benefits of open access as a mechanism for widening the use of research and increasing the diversity of the communities that benefit from it.

 

Open access research repositories provide diversity and innovation publishers can’t match. They have a critical role in archiving, preserving and sharing the diverse content produced by universities. | Plan S

“Where there is a lack of consensus is in how open access should be achieved. The majority of governments, international bodies such as UNESCO, institutions, researchers, and publishers along with groups such as Open Access Australasia (the group I work for), and prominent international organisations such as COAR and SPARC are committed to a diverse ecosystem of open publishing supported through a variety of means, nicely summed up in the phrase “bibliodiversity”.

Yet a minority of commercial publishers, especially and most recently articulated by Springer Nature’s Steven Inchcoombe insist that the only route to open access should be through journals, and not just any journals, but specifically hybrid journals, which of course are the journals that make up the bulk of the journals that Springer Nature and other large publishers still rely on for revenue….

The consolidation of infrastructure and services that underpin scholarly communication is perhaps even more alarming. Whereas journals changing hands does not generally lead to them being shut down or amalgamated into other journals, for services the reverse is true….

Institutional and disciplinary repositories offer a community-owned, robust alternative. Their very distributed state gives a degree of stability and flexibility of approach that publishers simply can’t replicate. Repositories provide access to publications, but also an array of unique content including theses, research reports, audiovisual-content, code and data. They also support the retention of rights by authors, as the recently updated UNSW OA policy enshrines. Yet, publishers decry repositories, claiming that “Green [repository based open access] doesn’t offer the benefits of higher citations and increased downloads that come with gold [journal based] open access; it isn’t the version that researchers want, and is not sustainable for publishers”. However, the facts simply don’t support these arguments and fail to recognise the huge use of and, increasingly, innovation happening within the repository system.

Repositories have a critical role in archiving, preserving and sharing the diverse content produced by universities so it can be used by others and have the greatest impact on our society. Repositories such as QUT’s, for example, see a huge volume of downloads of their content — more than 1.3 million downloads so far this year of its just over 122,000 items. In Latin America, there is a distributed network of national repositories, La Referencia which hold more than 2.3 million articles as well as more than 400,000 doctoral theses. And repositories are now at the forefront of non-commercial innovation in open access, aligning with services such as overlay journals that review and distribute content held by repositories, interoperability that links outputs across the whole research lifecycle, and open peer review….”

Open access books: A global preference for regional subjects | Impact of Social Sciences

For many research disciplines English functions as the global language for research. But, how far does this align with patterns of research use globally? Drawing on download evidence from the OAPEN library of open access books, Ronald Snijder explores this global demand for open research and finds significant demand for regional research and research published in languages other than English.

Preprints as a Language-Editing Funnel | Jeff Pooley

Preprint platform Research Square exists to drive business to English-language editing factory American Journal Experts (AJE), which launched the platform in 2018. Preprint authors receive a Language Quality Score, and are then shilled to spend hundreds of dollars on AJE services:

What does my Language Quality Score mean? AJE used machine learning to develop a tool that assesses your language quality. The model was trained using more than 100,000 academic papers in all areas of study that had been scored by professional editors based on the quality of English. Your Language Quality Score reflects how the quality of English in your paper compares to the other papers in our dataset. Scores take into account all aspects of readability in English, including grammar, consistency, and clarity.

This is grim stuff: leveraging English-language hegemony to squeeze Global South scholars, by way of preprinting’s corporate capture.

Exactly no one should be surprised that Springer Nature acquired a majority stake in Research Square/AJE in 2018, the year the preprint platform launched.

[…]

 

Council of the European Union welcomes the Helsinki Initiative | helsinki-initiative.org

On the 10th of June 2022, the Competitiveness Council approved the conclusions on research assessment and implementation of open science.

In the paragraph 2, the Council of the European Union “ACKNOWLEDGES that in order to accelerate the implementation and the impact of Open Science policies and practices across Europe, action has to be taken to move towards a renewed approach to research assessment, including incentive and reward schemes, to put in place a European approach in accordance with the Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe, and strengthen capacities for academic publishing and scholarly communication of all research outputs, and encourage where appropriate, the use of multilingualism for the purpose of wider communication of European research results”;

Accordingly, the conclusions address three areas:

I. Reform of research assessment systems in Europe
II. European approach and capacities for academic publishing and scholarly communication
III. Development of multilingualism for European scholarly publications

As regards multilingualism, in the paragraph 27 the Council “EMPHASISES that one of the main goals of Open Science is to increase the dissemination and impact of scientific research results; NOTES that English has become the lingua franca for international scientific cross-border collaboration and for communication in many scientific communities; CONSIDERS that reaching non-academic audiences may require dedicated publishing formats, written in less technical language, and ACKNOWLEDGES the important role of multilingualism in the context of science communication with society, in particular on the national and regional levels; in this respect, WELCOMES initiatives to promote multilingualism, such as the Helsinki initiative on multilingualism in scholarly communication”.

 

CoNOSC Member needs report published

SPARC Europe took on the facilitation of the Council for National Open Science Coordination (CoNOSC) late last year. To kick-start its efforts and plan the work ahead, it investigated the needs of CoNOSC members. We are pleased to publish this report today. 

The report investigates the needs of national policymakers, presenting key takeaways from interviews with CoNOSC members’ representatives – national OS coordinators, ministry officials, research funders and other policymaking decision-makers.

SPARC Europe conducted interviews with 30 representatives from 18 different European nations during January and February 2022, as well as with the Deputy Head of the Open Science Unit from the European Commission, which attends CoNOSC as an observer. The interviews were designed to identify what activities and areas would provide the most significant value through collaboration at CoNOSC without duplicating any current efforts. 

Based on responses, the report identifies the priority areas for CoNOSC as follows:

Data management
Policy monitoring
Research assessment
Copyright and licensing
Open Access funding
Bibliodiversity

 

Collective Funding to Reclaim Scholarly Publishing · Business of Knowing, summer 2021

“The open access movement has dropped barriers to readers only to erect them for authors. The reason is the article processing charge (APC), which typically runs $3,000 to $5,000. The APC model, with its tolled access to authorship, is the subscription model seen through a camera obscura: author paywalls in place of reading paywalls.

Most scholars cannot afford the steep fees, a fact masked by the privileged segment who can: scientists in the rich industrialized world, and scholars in a handful of wealthy European countries and North American universities. The fees are often paid via so-called “read-and-publish” deals, which fold APCs into the subscription contracts that libraries negotiate with publishers.

The emerging APC regime is also re-anointing the commercial oligopolists—the same five firms that fleece universities through usurious subscription charges. Springer Nature, Elsevier, and their peers are, with every read-and-publish deal, transitioning their enormous profit margins from tolled to open—and capturing the lion’s share of library spending in the process. Librarians continue to fund the tolled system, while also—at the richer institutions—picking up the tab for their faculty’s author fees. The result is an incumbent-publisher spending lockdown, one that ratifies the APC regime….

Collective funding is an appealing idea, versions of which have been circulating since at least 2006, with important variations on the theme published since. The challenge is getting the model to work beyond a handful of successful, single-resource experiments (including the ArXiv preprint server, the Open Library of Humanities, and the SCOAP3 particle physics journals, among others). The two main hurdles are coordination and funder participation. The academic communication system involves thousands of funders and hundreds of publishers, which makes for a nightmarish coordination challenge. A related obstacle, one made much worse with lots of actors, is the free rider problem. Fee-free open access is a public good that benefits everyone, even non-payers; if enough libraries opt out, the collective funding scheme is likely to collapse….”

scholar-led Open Access: Manifesto for fair publishing in German-speaking countries

Scholar-led.network points out problematic issues in the current publishing system and wants to initiate a debate on the role of scholar-led Open Access

In its scholar-led.network manifesto, the focus group scholar-led.network, which was established within the framework of the open-access.network project, criticises the current scholarly publishing system in the German-speaking world and, at the same time, provides fields of action for the development of a fair, planned and bibliodiverse publishing culture.

The authors of the text identify a journal crisis in the course of the Open Access transformation. This is reflected, among other things, in the monopoly position of major publishers who demand high publication fees from authors – so-called APCs (Article Processing Charges) and BPCs (Book Processing Charges). According to the Manifesto, this leads to new inequalities and exclusions. In order to make the Open Access transformation fairer and more diverse, scholar-led publishing models that do not charge such fees can be strengthened (Diamond Open Access). However, the current situation of scholar-led projects is deficient, partly due to a lack of funding.

Based on its critique, the focus group formulates concrete fields of action in which scholars, research institutions, libraries, research funding institutions, professional societies and other parts of the scholarly community must jointly get involved in to strengthen a diverse, independent and fair publication ecosystem. The fields of action are:

Networking, collaboration and strategic frameworks.
Sustainable funding structures for Diamond Open Access
Promotion of bibliodiversity in academia

You can access the scholar-led.network manifesto via this link: https://graphite.page/scholar-led-manifest/

Ouvrir la Science – Deuxième Plan national pour la science ouverte

From Google’s English:  “The National Open Science Plan announced in 2018 by the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal, has enabled France to adopt a coherent and dynamic policy in the field of open science, coordinated by the Committee for Open Science, which brings together the ministry, research and higher education institutions and the scientific community. After three years of implementation, the progress made is notable. The rate of French scientific publications in open access rose from 41% to 56%. The National Open Science Fund was created, it launched two calls for projects in favor of open scientific publication and it supported structuring international initiatives. The National Research Agency and other funding agencies now require open access to publications and the drafting of data management plans for the projects they fund. The function of ministerial research data administrator has been created and a network is being deployed in the establishments. About twenty universities and research organizations have adopted an open science policy. Several guides and recommendations for putting open science into practice have been published. About twenty universities and research organizations have adopted an open science policy. Several guides and recommendations for putting open science into practice have been published. About twenty universities and research organizations have adopted an open science policy. Several guides and recommendations for putting open science into practice have been published.

The steps already taken and the evolution of the international context invite us to extend, renew and strengthen our commitments by adopting a second National Plan for Open Science, the effects of which will be deployed until 2024. With this new plan, France is continuing the ambitious trajectory initiated by the law for a digital republic of 2016 and confirmed by the research programming law of 2020, which includes open science in the missions of researchers and teacher-researchers.

This second National Plan extends its scope to source codes resulting from research, it structures actions in favor of the opening or sharing of data through the creation of the Research Data Gouv platform, it multiplies the levers of transformation in order to generalize open science practices and it presents disciplinary and thematic variations. It is firmly in line with a European ambition and proposes, within the framework of the French Presidency of the European Union, to act to take effective account of open science practices in individual and collective research evaluations. It is about initiating a process of sustainable transformation in order to make open science a common and shared practice…”

Report on the OPERAS-P Workshop “The Future of Scholarly Communication”

The Future of Scholarly Communication

“The Future of Scholarly Communication” workshop was organised as a part of OPERAS Innovation Lab, which aims to facilitate communication and knowledge exchange within a field of digital humanities. The OPERAS Innovation Lab is led by IBL PAN, a partner in the OPERAS-P consortium and Executive Assembly member.

The main task of OPERAS Innovation Lab is to conduct user research in order to define the actual needs of the community with regards to open scholarly communication. Another important task is also analysing the existing innovative solutions in this field. These activities allow to improve, prepare – and sometimes prototype – services that respond to the needs of the community. 

The activities of the OPERAS Innovation Lab officially started within the WP6 “Innovation” in the OPERAS-P project. See the main findings and recommendations for stakeholders involved in scholarly communication in the final report “Future of Scholarly Communication. Forging an inclusive and innovative research infrastructure for scholarly communication in Social Sciences and Humanities” (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4922512) and in detailed task reports openly published on Zenodo

To further discuss and develop the future of scholarly communication, the OPERAS-P virtual workshop, “The Future of Scholarly Communication,” was held on February 24th–26th. During the three days of seminars, 341 participants discussed digital transformation challenges in humanities and social sciences (SSH).

The seminars were linked to a question: How can we effectively develop digital tools in order to apply novel research approaches, build interdisciplinary collaboration, raise the prestige of Open Access contributions and disseminate them outside academia? 

On each day two seminars were held. The two workshops on the first day were devoted to governance and business models. The panelists and participants discussed how new models of governance should embrace cultural and language diversity of research teams in SSH. They brought up the issue of institutional hierarchy within academia as opposed to more horizontal models specific for projects in digital humanities. The second panel concerned business models and publishing practices for academic books and monographs – an underdeveloped area of Open Access. 

On the second day, participants delved into bibliodiversity and multilingualism in SSH. In SSH disciplines, language is not only a tool but also an object of research. Using native languages is often crucial for these disciplines to achieve meaningful impact in local communities. Panelists debated  how digital tools should address this need and facilitate multilingual research and collaboration. The next panel was dedicated to processing academic publications as research data according to the FAIR principles (making them findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable). 

On the last day, panelists discussed the future of scholarly writing: publishing practices and scholars’ needs in the time of Open Access development. The starting point was a case study analysis of tools, services and digital projects enriched with interviews with researchers, librarians and publishers. The last panel was devoted to evaluation and assessment of academic writing. Its purpose was to exchange ideas for new models of evaluation that will take into account various types of academic achievements, such as monographs or digital editions and projects. 

“The Future of Scholarly Communication” workshop was organised as a part of OPERAS Innovation Lab, which aims to facilitate communication and knowledge exchange within a field of digital humanities. The OPERAS Innovation Lab is led by IBL PAN, a partner in the OPERAS Consortium.

You may find presentations from the seminars published here and the results were summed up in the report.


A short overview on the OPERAS Innovation Lab is given in this video presentation:

Maciej Maryl, Director, Digital Humanities Centre, IBL PAN” and Marta Blaszczynska, Coordinator, Digital Humanities Centre, IBL PAN” present the OPERAS Innovation Lab coordinated by the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IBL PAN)! #OPERASLab


Funding OPERAS-P

Balula and Leão (2021) Multilingualism within Scholarly Communication… | JLIS.it

Balula, A., & Leão, D. (2021). Multilingualism within Scholarly Communication in SSH. A literature review. JLIS.It, 12(2), 88–98. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-12672

Abstract

It is undeniable that scholarly publication is boosted nowadays by the use of the English language, but this does not (and cannot) mean that the other languages have to be obliterated as scientific and cultural agents, equally valid and indispensable. Therefore, multilingualism is an expression of bibliodiversity that has to be protected and cherished, particularly in the area of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), a field in which culturally and societally relevant studies are made in local languages, when approaching areas such as cultural heritage, education, migration, public administration. The main goal of this paper is to present a literature review in order to identify the main aspects influencing language selection and the use of multilingualism within scholarly communication, allowing for putting forward recommendations for future initiatives aiming at enhancing multilingualism, particularly in connection with the opportunities deriving from Open Science.  

Catalyzing the Creation of a Repository Network in the US – SPARC

“This is an important moment in time, in which open scholarship is more visible and widely-embraced than ever before. The urgency of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has led many researchers to eagerly embrace new, faster ways of sharing their research papers, data, and more via repositories and other open platforms. There is a renewed interest in community ownership of both infrastructure and content, and a spotlight on empowering author’s rights retention due to new funder requirements, such as Plan S. There is also a growing recognition of the pressing need to intentionally build channels for greater inclusiveness and diversity of voices in the research communication system, as underscored in the UNESCO draft recommendations which were developed through consensus by over 100 member countries.

Yet, against this backdrop of encouraging developments, the trend toward commercial concentration in the publishing industry continues unabated. This consolidation exacerbates a number of serious problems in the system, including unacceptably high and ever-increasing costs for subscriptions and APCs (article processing charges). It also contributes to a steady decline in the diversity of publishing outlets and options – decreasing bibliodiversity, which is fundamental for a healthy ecosystem….

 

With this context in mind, COAR and SPARC believe that it is a critical time to support and better organize the repository network in the US. This is part of an ongoing global effort led by COAR to work with national and regional organizations to enhance the role of repositories internationally. A strong vision for repositories in the US, along with collective actions that ensure their quality, sustainability and interoperability, will greatly benefit the scholarly community, and will contribute to the development of a global knowledge sharing system that is both open by default and equitable by design. …”

Open Science: read our statement – News – CIVIS – A European Civic University

“CIVIS universities promote the development of new research indicators to complement the conventional indicators for research quality and impact, so as to do justice to open science practices and, going beyond pure bibliometric indicators, to promote also non-bibliometric research products. In particular, the metrics should extend the conventional bibliometric indicators in order to cover new forms of research outputs, such as research data and research software….

Incentives and Rewards for researchers to engage in Open Science activities 

Research career evaluation systems should fully acknowledge open science activities. CIVIS members encourage the inclusion of Open Science practices in their assessment mechanisms for rewards, promotion, and/or tenure, along with the Open Science Career Assessment Matrix….”