Time to Reform Academic Publishing | Forum

“In particular, as graduate, professional, and medical students, we have been shaped by the relics of an inequitable publishing model that was created before the age of the internet. Our everyday work—from designing and running experiments to diagnosing and treating patients—relies on the results of taxpayer-funded research. Having these resources freely available will help to accelerate innovation and level the playing field for smaller and less well-funded research groups and institutions. With this goal of creating an equitable research ecosystem in mind, we want to highlight the importance of creating one that is equitable in whole….

But today, the incentives for institutions do not align with goals of equity, and change will be necessary to help support a more equitable system. Nor do incentives within institutions always align with these goals. This is especially true for early-career researchers, who might struggle to comply with new open-access guidelines if they need to pay a high article publishing fee to make their research open in a journal that is valued by their institutions’ promotion and tenure guidelines.

To these ends, it is imperative that the process for communicating research results to the public and other researchers does not shift from a “pay-to-read” model to a “pay-to-publish” model. That is, we should not use taxpayer dollars to pay publishers to make research available, nor should we simply pass these costs on to researchers. This approach would be unsustainable long-term and would go against the equity goals of the new OSTP policy. Instead, we hope that funders, professional societies, and institutions will come along with us in imagining and supporting innovative ways for communicating science that are more equitable and better for research….”

The ‘OA market’ – what is healthy? Part 1 – OASPA

“I joined OASPA in the summer of 2022. Considering the point of representation, and the need to reflect a greater diversity of viewpoints, particularly from those outside of Europe, I’ve been gathering non-European perspectives on the ‘OA market’ work done so far. 

I had email conversations and in-person conversations via Zoom with 15 individuals. All participants were asked to review the work completed by OASPA in 2021 (as documented in the issue brief and reflections). Feedback was specifically sought about the ‘OA market’ and the three areas of focus outlined above….

1. Publishing can be a cost rather than a revenue/profit source…

2. Wide access is being achieved in ways that are not always recognized…

3. APCs and OA are (not?) the same…

4. How can libraries focus on content acquisition and (OA) publishing?…

5. Pricing is a huge problem…

6. “Brain drain” and (Western) market gain…

7. Equity first for better health and diversity…”

 

The future of global health research, publishing, and practice – The Lancet Global Health

“As we move into our tenth year of operation, we would like to build on our commitment to making global health research, publishing, and practice a more equitable and effective space. We are therefore effecting a number of initiatives. Before outlining them, however, a word on article processing charges. It is often brought to our attention that the fee that we charge to cover the cost of reviewing, technical editing, typesetting and graphics, online hosting, archiving, and promotion of accepted manuscripts is way beyond the reach of researchers from low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). We want to emphasise that we never, ever, expect researchers from any country to pay this charge from their own pockets. Our business model is based on the premise that more and more research funders are mandating gold open-access publication and are prepared to pay for it. If there is no such funding available and no, or only partial, funding available from institutional sources, then we waive or discount the fee. Whether the fee is paid or not does not affect the open-access nature of the article….”

The Gaping Problem At The Heart Of Scientific Research – CodeBlue

“But the very need for these groups to call for research to be made available in the middle of a global emergency demonstrates the failure of the current publishing system.

Making research immediately free to read, which, when combined with the use of an open publishing licence, is known as ‘open access’ — is a hot topic in science. Global health bodies know how important open research is, especially in times of emergency, which is why they have repeatedly called for research to be made open. 

The latest plaintive request came in August 2022 from the US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for mpox research to be made open. Previous global calls were in 2016 for Zika and in 2018 for Ebola. 

The consequences of lack of access to research can be dire. In 2015 a group of African researchers claimed that an earlier Ebola outbreak could have been prevented if research on it had been published openly.

The past 12 months have seen a flurry of changes in open access globally and from January 2023, the high profile journal Science will allow published research to be immediately placed in publicly-accessible repositories at no cost to scientists.

In August 2022, the Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memorandum to all US research funding agencies that by January 1, 2026, they must make all the research they fund immediately publicly available, along with the data behind that research….

As 2023 unfolds, it seems that the benefits of open access have been proved beyond doubt. The next emergency in front of us, climate change, is much more complex, and there too are calls for open access.

Serious investment in a variety of approaches is essential to ensure a diverse, equitable, open access future.”

Gender inequality and self-publication are common among academic editors

Scientific editors shape the content of academic journals and set standards for their fields. Yet, the degree to which the gender makeup of editors reflects that of scientists, and the rate at which editors publish in their own journals, are not entirely understood. Here, we use algorithmic tools to infer the gender of 81,000 editors serving more than 1,000 journals and 15 disciplines over five decades. Only 26% of authors in our dataset are women, and we find even fewer women among editors (14%) and editors-in-chief (8%). Career length explains the gender gap among editors, but not editors-in-chief. Moreover, by analysing the publication records of 20,000 editors, we find that 12% publish at least one-fifth, and 6% publish at least one-third, of their papers in the journal they edit. Editors-in-chief tend to self-publish at a higher rate. Finally, compared with women, men have a higher increase in the rate at which they publish in a journal soon after becoming its editor.

Largest-ever study of journal editors highlights ‘self-publication’ and gender gap

The gender gap among senior journal editors is bigger than many people thought, and some editors publish a surprising number of their own papers in the journals that they edit, finds the first study to look at these issues over time across multiple disciplines.

Open Science Conference 2023 | United Nations

“Since 2019, when the Dag Hammarskjöld Library held the 1st Open Science Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the global open movement has been significantly enriched with new national and international policies and frameworks as well as daring and visionary initiatives, both private and public.

At the 2nd Global Open Science Conference, From Tackling the Pandemic to Addressing Climate Change, in July 2021 more than a year into the pandemic that had upturned daily lives globally, participants from around the world engaged in a public dialogue focusing on what open science has learned from COVID-19 and how this can be applied into actions addressing the global climate crisis, at the interface of science, technology, policy and research. The Conference took stock of actions undertaken nationally and internationally, collected lessons learned and identified directions for the way forward. Open science was recognized as the keystone to assert everyone’s right “to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”. Speakers and audience asked for the complete overhaul of outdated scientific processes, publishing and research assessment practices that oppose open science principles, proposed global curation infrastructures for the record of science and platform-agnostic discovery services, as well as enhanced bibliodiversity, inclusivity, and multilingualism….”

Just 35% Indian research papers open-access, BHU’s data analysis platform shows

“Only about 35% of India’s scientific research publications is open–access, even though a large chunk of the research itself is public-funded, an analysis of research data by a team at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has found. It has also found that less than a third of Indian research papers have women as lead authors….

The analysis has produced interesting findings. For instance, researchers found that a sizable percent of research is not available as open access despite being funded by the government. According to its records, 35.13% of India’s research was open-access in 2019; out of the 20 countries considered, India was ahead of only China (34.45%) and Iran (32.49%)….”

Why NASA and federal agencies are declaring this the Year of Open Science

“I’m thrilled to be the Transform to Open Science lead for NASA, which has a 60-year legacy of pushing the limits of how science is used to understand the Universe, planetary systems and life on Earth. Much of NASA’s success can be attributed to a culture of openness for the public good. Since the 1990s, the agency has been a leading advocate for full and open access to data and algorithms.

That culture is needed now more than ever. Humanity is facing many intersecting challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change and food and water insecurity. To combat them, we must find breakthroughs faster, increase interdisciplinary expertise and improve how we translate research findings into action. This will require a fundamental shift: from simply sharing results in journal articles to collaborating openly, publishing reproducible results and implementing full inclusivity and transparency….

In May 2021, I sent a one-page call to action for a Year of Open Science to NASA’s chief science data officer, and received immediate support. NASA headquarters formed a team to develop the concept. We talked to as many people as possible to learn their motivations, concerns and future needs related to open science. After a year of such discussions, we had a path forward. In April 2022, I started an assignment at NASA to lead the 5-year, US$40-million-dollar Transform to Open Science mission, which will be kicked off with the year of open science….

First, we agreed on a definition: open science is the principle and practice of making research products and processes available to all, while respecting diverse cultures, maintaining security and privacy, and fostering collaborations, reproducibility and equity. Next, we set four goals for each agency involved in the Year of Open Science: to develop a strategic plan for open science; improve the transparency and equity of reviews; account for open-science activities in evaluations; and engage under-represented communities in the advancement of open science….”

Balász Bodó: ‘Digital commons are actually reproducing existing power inequalities’ – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“OKFN: What does the process of chasing and taking down Z-Library mean for the concept of open knowledge?

Balász Bodó: When I read the news that these two Russian individuals have been detained, I thought, well, history has come to a full circle. I don’t know these people, how old they are, I assume they are in their thirties. But certainly, their parents or their grandparents may have been or could have easily been detained by the Soviet authorities for sharing books that they were not supposed to share. And now, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, people are again detained for sharing books – for a different reason, but it’s the same threat, ‘You’re gonna lose your freedom if you share knowledge’. …”

Economics and Equity in the Development of Open Research Europe – Munin conference presentation | Zenodo

“Open Research Europe (ORE) is the open access peer-reviewed publishing platform offered by the European Commission as an optional service to Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries at no cost to them. The platform enables researchers to publish open access without paying out of their research budgets and while complying with their open access obligations.

These are the outputs from an interactive session run by Rob Johnson at the 17th Munin Conference on 30 November 2022 to gather delegates’ feedback on the future operationalisation of Open Research Europe as a collective publishing enterprise.

These outputs supplement the following paper and report: …”

Fifth U.S. Open Government National Action Plan | open.USA.gov

“Broaden Public Access to Federally-Funded Research Findings and Data.

Many important scientific and technological discoveries, including those that have helped mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, have been supported by American tax dollars. Yet frequently, the results of such Federally-funded research are out of reach for many Americans, available only for a cost or with unnecessary delays. These barriers to accessing Federally-supported research deepen inequalities, as funding disadvantages faced by under-resourced institutions like minority-serving colleges and universities prevent communities from accessing the results of research that taxpayers have funded. To tackle these obstacles and unlock new possibilities for further innovation and participation in science, the Federal Government previously delivered guidance to agencies to develop plans for greater public access to taxpayer-funded research.

Looking forward, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking new steps to expand and accelerate access to publicly-funded research results by ensuring that publications and associated data resulting from Federally funded research are freely and publicly available without delay after publication. Making data underpinning research publications more readily available improves transparency into Federally-supported work, enabling others to replicate and build on research findings. Going forward, the Government commits to supporting access to Federally-funded science and data through several mechanisms, including through the National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Open Science; by permitting researchers to include publication and data sharing costs in their research budget proposals to Federal grant programs; by launching programs aimed at awarding more grants to early-stage researchers as well as encouraging a diverse pool of award applicants; and by exploring new incentive structures to recognize institutions and researchers who are supporting public access to data and research.”

Open Education as a lever for social justice and equity – Exploring the many on ramps of Open STEM education

“The Open Education Ecosystem can be thought of as a roundabout where educators and researchers enter into a high-impact landscape through many different on ramps, including Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Data, Open Science, Open Pedagogy, or any of the many aspects of Open Education Ecosystem. Here we describe these common on ramps, transitions, and intersections between different facets of the Open Education landscape and more importantly how Open Education can be leveraged to promote social justice and equity in STEM education.

Open Educational Resources (OER) save students millions of dollars, but the potential impact of these resources extends far beyond promoting equity through cost savings (Dembecki, 2022). Instructors often join the conversation about Open Education by using OER and quickly realize that OER are actually a launching point into higher-impact pedagogical practices. Before getting into using these resources to promote social justice and equity and engaging in Open Education more broadly we need to understand what OERs are and are not.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are not simply defined as any resources freely accessed on websites nor are they solely free textbooks. They are specifically freely and publicly available teaching, learning, and research materials where Creative Commons licensing enables retaining, remixing, revising, reusing, and redistributing the resources (5Rs, Wiley). The term OER is often used synonymously with free, but OER are much more than an alternative to standard physical and digital texts. OER can include software, datasets, teaching modules, laboratory exercises, research methods, computational scripts and workflows, study guides and test banks, and much more. At the very least, implementing OER in a course reduces the cost burden of education for students enabling all students to afford course materials. In addition to cost savings, OER can promote student success and in some cases even more so for students from minoritized populations thus extending equity beyond reducing cost (Colvard, Watson, and Park, 2018). The benefits of using OER are not the OER themselves, but what you can do with them. Adapting and remixing OER enhances the learning experience and promotes social justice and equity through resource modification. OER can be modified to achieve:

greater alignment to content, context, and cognitive level 
accessibility and ease of use
flexibility in pedagogical approach 
contextualizing for local or cultural relevance
prioritizing and promoting minoritized voices…”

Adding equity to transformative agreements and journal subscriptions –The Read & Let Read model | Impact of Social Sciences

“The transition towards open access to research articles has become a question of how, rather than why and the rise of transformative agreements has enabled publishers to strike agreements with large institutions and national research organisations to provide open access and authorship to their members. In this post, Arthur J. Boston puts forward an alternative Read & Let Read model, which could extend access beyond these limited groups and create a framework for more collaborative funding for access to open access research.”