Why making academic research free is complicated – Vox

“Freeing research largely paid for by taxpayer money can seem like a no-brainer, but over time, the potential downsides of open science efforts like the Plan S mandate have become more apparent. While pay-to-publish but free-to-read platforms bring more research to the public, they can add barriers for researchers and worsen some existing inequalities in academia. Scientific publishing will remain a for-profit industry and a highly lucrative one for publishers. Shifting the fees onto authors doesn’t change this.

Many of the newly founded open-access journals drop the fees entirely, but even if they’re not trying to make a profit, they still need to cover their operating costs. They fall back on ad revenue, individual donations or philanthropic grants, corporate sponsorship, and even crowdfunding.

But open-access platforms often lack the prestige of well-known top journals like Nature. Scientists early in their careers — as well as those at less wealthy universities in low-income countries — often rely on precarious, short-term grant funding to carry out their research. Their career depends on putting out an impressive publication record, which is already an uphill battle….”

 

Capacity-building for institutional open access publishing across Europe

“Projects are expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes:

Improved understanding of the current landscape of institutional scientific publishing activities across Europe.
Coordination amongst institutional publishing services and initiatives across Europe at the non-technological level and improve their overall service efficiency, in particular in a multilingual environment.
Actionable recommendations for strategies regarding institutional publishing in research performing organisations across the European Research Area.

These targeted outcomes in turn contribute to medium and long-term impacts:

Increased equity, diversity and inclusivity of open science practices in the European Research Area.
Increased capacity in the EU R&I system to conduct open science and set it as a modus operandi of modern science.

Scope:

Recent years have witnessed a sharp increase in open access publishing activities. Commercial scientific publishers and other service providers have turned their attention to open access publishing, responding to increased demand for open access by funders and research performing organisations. Research institutions have also developed their own open access publishing activities and services. These are either new and based on open access publishing, or are existing publishing activities transitioning into the new digital and open access environment. Libraries are often involved, while new types of mission-driven open access university presses are also emerging in Europe and beyond. Such initiatives do not require article fees for publishing, and are often supported by their institutions. They enable open access publishing of journals and other types of outcomes in various languages and are important in supporting multilingualism in Europe. At the same time, they often have not gained the prestige bestowed on established publishing venues, usually produced in collaboration with well-known commercial scientific publishers. Moreover, institutional publishing in the social sciences and the humanities is often in languages other than English, which is both an asset and a limitation….”

LSHTM Press launches with a mission of equity in publishing in global health | LSHTM

“A new publishing platform for open access biomedical research has launched. LSHTM Press will provide an open access platform to publish peer-reviewed research and high-quality educational resources, in accordance with the LSHTM mission to improve health and health equity in the UK and worldwide.

The Press is a new initiative, developed in response to the increasing costs of publishing open access, and the many mandates and policies from funders and governments around the world. It will facilitate innovative and experimental publishing methods while striving towards equity in academic publishing in global health.

It launches with and will continue to develop a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and is in alignment with central LSHTM vision and values. Two dedicated EDI leads sit on the LSHTM Press Steering Committee, and the whole team is committed to promoting inclusivity and reducing barriers….”

Removing author fees can help open access journals make research available to everyone

“Publishing a journal requires money, but that amounts to only 10 to 15 per cent of what publishers charge authors to make their work open access. Author fees are disproportionate with publishing costs, and correlate to the journal’s prestige, impact and profit model.

In this environment, author fees will continue to increase so long as someone can pay for it. It also means that open access publishing privileges a certain set of researchers….”

Beyond just counting the beans: Reimagining research indicators to favour diversity | Zenodo

Abstract:  The increase in the availability of data relevant to research performance evaluation over the past ten years has been transformational. Despite this and the parallel increase in the power of computational tools the actual indicators used in practice remain stubbornly limited to citation counts and simple derivatives such as impact factors, h-indices and field-normalised counts. The lack of diversity in indicators, along with a lack of diversity in data sources, has aligned with a lack of diversity in the academy to strengthen and perpetuate a status quo where high prestige researchers at high prestige institutions gain greater resources, leading to more outputs in which they cite each other, increasing citation counts and propelling the whole cycle forward.

This talk will propose some simple, yet radical, shifts in how we think about research performance indicators. Using open data and transparent analysis it will imagine a world in which we stop asking how to count more beans, but instead how different they are.

Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing – OASPA

“The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) are scholarly organisations that have seen an increase in the number, and broad range in the quality, of membership applications. Our organisations have collaborated to identify principles of transparency and best practice for scholarly publications and to clarify that these principles form the basis of the criteria by which suitability for membership is assessed by COPE, DOAJ and OASPA, and part of the criteria on which membership applications are evaluated by WAME. Each organisation also has their own, additional criteria which are used when evaluating applications. The organisations will not share lists of or journals that failed to demonstrate that they met the criteria for transparency and best practice.

This is the third version of a work in progress (published January 2018); the first version was made available by OASPA in December 2013 and a second version in June 2015. We encourage its wide dissemination and continue to welcome feedback on the general principles and the specific criteria. Background on the organisations is below….”

Revised principles of transparency and best practice released | OASPA

A revised version of the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing has been released by four key scholarly publishing organizations today. These guiding principles are intended as a foundation for best practice in scholarly publishing to help existing and new journals reach the best possible standards. 

The fourth edition of the Principles represents a collective effort between the four organizations to align the principles with today’s scholarly publishing landscape. The last update was in 2018, and the scholarly publishing landscape has changed. Guidance is provided on the information that should be made available on websites, peer review, access, author fees and publication ethics. The principles also cover ownership and management, copyright and licensing, and editorial policies. They stress the need for inclusivity in scholarly publishing and emphasize that editorial decisions should be based on merit and not affected by factors such as the origins of the manuscript and the nationality, political beliefs or religion of the author.

 

“Open Access Publishing Biases OER” by Chelsee Dickson and Christina Holm

Knowing that the peer review process can introduce issues of bias, what then of other aspects of the publishing cycle? For example, what of the subvention funding provided by some institutions to support their faculty in pursuing dissemination of research in Open Access (OA) journals? This Open Educational Resource (OER) will present an overview of the OA landscape and provide learners with tools to develop their own inquiries into the inequities present within the OA publishing industry. All assignments include suggested grading rubrics and build upon one another in a cumulative manner.

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. https://doi.org/10.1590/SciELOPreprints.4729

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.

 

Global equity in OA publishing workshops – OA2020

“Authors, globally, publish a large proportion of their research articles in scholarly journals that charge fees for open access. With fee-based open access publishing growing rapidly, there is increasing concern around equity.

It is important to identify the financial barriers that authors encounter and hear the challenges they face, particularly in resource-limited contexts, in order to develop actionable plans and practical mechanisms that ensure no author is limited in their opportunity to publish their accepted articles open access in the journals of their choice. For example:

How can discounts and waiver programs be adjusted to enable more equitable access to open access publishing for authors, as a short-term strategy?
What actions could foster open access publishing fees that are differentiated globally?
What can funders, ministries and research administrators do to understand just how much money they are directing, collectively, to scholarly publishing? How can the global community assess the distribution of such funds and their impact, particularly for researchers in different resource contexts?

 

This workshop will be an opportunity for those who fund and produce research, including scientists and scholars, research administrators, libraries and library consortia, university leadership, science councils and grant funders, and ministries of research and education, to better understand the current tensions in the scholarly communication landscape and explore immediate and long-term actions they each can take to ensure open access publishing is delivered in accordance with these principles:…”

Antiracism Toolkit for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color | Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications

So many people put a tremendous amount of time into making this toolkit a reality. First are the BIPOC writers, readers, and editors who shared their experiences, knowledge, and training to the shaping of this content. A full list of contributors can be found at the end of this toolkit. We also thank the Coalition for Diversity & Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) and the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) for supporting this work as well as the Knowledge Futures Group for committing resources towards producing this toolkit and hosting it on PubPub, the open-source community-led publishing platform. Additionally we would like to thank the GRAPHEK design team that graciously volunteered their time and skills to create the visual concept for this toolkit. We wanted specifically to share GRAPHEK’s notes on how they envisioned this thoughtful design:
“This concept is based on embroidery as a way to show the resilience of the BIPOC community in academic research and the networking encouraged by the toolkit. When cloth is damaged, embroidery and patches not only repair, they reinforce the cloth to be stronger and more resilient to future wear & tear. Even though each individual goes through their own unique experiences and tribulations, there are connecting threads that create solidarity. By sharing stories, crossing paths, and giving each other the resources necessary to navigate spaces riddled with systemic biases and racism, this toolkit can help BIPOC shape a more just and inclusive field.”

 

Frontiers | Rethinking the A in FAIR Data: Issues of Data Access and Accessibility in Research

“The FAIR data principles are rapidly becoming a standard through which to assess responsible and reproducible research. In contrast to the requirements associated with the Interoperability principle, the requirements associated with the Accessibility principle are often assumed to be relatively straightforward to implement. Indeed, a variety of different tools assessing FAIR rely on the data being deposited in a trustworthy digital repository. In this paper we note that there is an implicit assumption that access to a repository is independent of where the user is geographically located. Using a virtual personal network (VPN) service we find that access to a set of web sites that underpin Open Science is variable from a set of 14 countries; either through connectivity issues (i.e., connections to download HTML being dropped) or through direct blocking (i.e., web servers sending 403 error codes). Many of the countries included in this study are already marginalized from Open Science discussions due to political issues or infrastructural challenges. This study clearly indicates that access to FAIR data resources is influenced by a range of geo-political factors. Given the volatile nature of politics and the slow pace of infrastructural investment, this is likely to continue to be an issue and indeed may grow. We propose that it is essential for discussions and implementations of FAIR to include awareness of these issues of accessibility. Without this awareness, the expansion of FAIR data may unintentionally reinforce current access inequities and research inequalities around the globe.”

 

 

Equitable Open-Source for web3

“The tools that build the internet have steeped too long. For the past two decades, big tech has made trillions off the generosity of visionary developers and web pioneers… never thanking, never mentioning, and certainly never paying. At tea, we’re brewing something to change that by enabling developers (you) to continue doing what you love, while earning what you deserve….

We’re calling on all open?source devs to authenticate their Github with tea.

 

Developers who have contributed to OSS will be entitled to a variety of rewards, including minted NFT badges to honor your work so far. This is your chance to be an early member of our community: take a sip while it’s hot!…”

Mentorship Program Application Window Open | Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) | August 2022

“The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is now accepting applications for the next cohort of our ongoing Mentorship Program. Our Career Development Committee seeks potential mentors and mentees to connect for professional development, information exchange, networking, personal growth, and career advancement.  This program is ideal for professionals at all career levels to develop new relationships, share experiences, and learn from others outside their organizations by connecting with a mentor. The next cohort will run from October 2022 through March 2023, and SSP is accepting applications for mentees and mentors now through September 1. Selected participants are matched with a mentor or mentee by the Career Development Committee and expected to meet at least once monthly for six months. Mentors and mentees are also required to attend an online orientation and virtual discussion group. There is no cost to apply, but program participants (both mentors and mentees) must be SSP members. SSP is deeply committed to fostering a community that supports and benefits from the talents of scholarly publishers from a wide range of backgrounds. We believe that diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility must be centered in our community, and we strongly encourage people from traditionally marginalized groups to apply to be a mentor or mentee….”

August ASAPbio Community Call – Promoting equity in visibility, curation and evaluation of preprints

“Preprints are freely accessible, but there are persistent disparities in the visibility and attention paid to preprints according to the authors’ institutions, geographical area, language and other backgrounds. In this interactive session, we will discuss how to promote equity in making preprints visible.”