Handbook on Research Assessment in the Social Sciences (2022) – Emanuel Kulczycki

This Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of current developments, issues and good practices regarding assessment in social science research. It pays particular attention to the challenges in evaluation policies in the social sciences, as well as to the specificities of publishing in the area. The Handbook discusses the current societal challenges facing researchers, from digital societies, to climate change and sustainability, to trust in democratic societies. Chapters provide ways to strengthen research assessment in the social sciences for the better, by offering a diverse range of experiences and views of experts from all continents. The Handbook also outlines major data sources that can be used to assess social sciences research, as well as looking at key dimensions of research quality in the social sciences including journal peer review, the issue of identifying research quality, and gender disparities in social science research. This book will be an essential read for scholars interested in research assessment in the social sciences. It will also be useful to policy makers looking to understand the key position of the social sciences in science and society and provide appropriate frameworks for key societal challenges.

Frontiers | Toward More Inclusive Metrics and Open Science to Measure Research Assessment in Earth and Natural Sciences | Research Metrics and Analytics

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are key components of Open Science. In achieving them, we can hope that we can reach a true Open Access of scientific resources, one that encompasses both (i) open access to the files (uploading them to a public repository) and (ii) open access to the contents (including language). Until we decide to move away from profit-driven journal-based criteria to evaluate researchers, it is likely that high author-levied publication costs will continue to maintain inequities to the disadvantage of researchers from non-English speaking and least developed countries. As quoted from Bernard Rentier, “the universal consensus should focus on the research itself, not where it was published.” ”

Automated search in the archives: testing a new tool | Europeana Pro

“Archives Portal Europe, the online repository for archives from and about Europe, aggregates archival material from more than 30 countries and 25 languages – all searchable through one simple search engine.

In order to help researchers navigating this Babylon of languages, Archives Portal Europe have created an automated topic detection tool that expands the keyword search of a single user to create semantic connections with other documents in different languages. This testing session will allow users to preview the tool (currently in its alpha version), test it, and provide fundamental feedback for its development, and will have prizes! …”

Representing COVID-19 information in collaborative knowledge graphs: a study of Wikidata | Zenodo

Abstract:  Information related to the COVID-19 pandemic ranges from biological to bibliographic and from geographical to genetic. Wikidata is a vast interdisciplinary, multilingual, open collaborative knowledge base of more than 88 million entities connected by well over a billion relationships and is consequently a web-scale platform for broader computer-supported cooperative work and linked open data. Here, we introduce four aspects of Wikidata that make it an ideal knowledge base for information on the COVID-19 pandemic: its flexible data model, its multilingual features, its alignment to multiple external databases, and its multidisciplinary organization. The structure of the raw data is highly complex, so converting it to meaningful insight requires extraction and visualization, the global crowdsourcing of which adds both additional challenges and opportunities. The created knowledge graph for COVID-19 in Wikidata can be visualized, explored and analyzed in near real time by specialists, automated tools and the public, for decision support as well as educational and scholarly research purposes via SPARQL, a semantic query language used to retrieve and process information from databases saved in Resource Description Framework (RDF) format.


Glossary | FORRT – Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training

“In order to reduce barriers to entry and understanding, we present a Glossary of terms relating to open scholarship. We aim that the glossary will help clarify terminologies, including where terms are used differently/interchangeably or where terms are less known in some fields or among students. We also hope that this glossary will be a welcome resource for those new to these concepts, and that it helps grow their confidence in navigating discussions of open scholarship. We also hope that this glossary aids in mentoring and teaching, and allows newcomers and experts to communicate efficiently….

Following the success of Phase 1, we invite you to help us continue to improve this resource. We are interested in a wide range of contributions to improve existing definitions, extend the scope of the terms, as well as translating terms to improve accessibility. We have opened four live working documents (see the landing page for instructions and links to working documents). Please read the instructions for contributors. We have prepared these to help guide constructive feedback and facilitate a smooth editorial process.

We aim to regularly implement suggested changes and improvements. If you believe an existing definition is incorrect please contact the project leads, we aim to correct any mistakes as quickly as possible. We see the glossary as a potential starting point for other projects and resources the community feels may be needed. Please contact us if you have suggestions for publications or have ideas for related projects that could use or adapt the glossary….”

Breaking down language barriers and integrating social justice into open science

“Almost every scientific subject area uses its own specific vocabulary. It is obvious that this can lead to misinterpretations or misunderstandings among outsiders. One area that is particularly affected by this is open science. Reflecting the idea that scientific knowledge of all kinds should be, among other things, openly accessible, transparent, reproducible, replicable, inclusive, and free, science developed numerous research-related terms and uses terminologies that have changed in meaning over time. This linguistic change can be a barrier to access and understanding open science. The international FORRT community (Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training) directed by Flávio Azevedo, a scientist from Jena, has therefore developed a glossary that defines and contextualises the most important terms. The glossary has now been published in the renowned scientific journal “Nature Human Behaviour”. …”

A Call to Diversify the Lingua Franca of Academic STEM Communities

“Executive Summary: The current bias in the STEM academy favors English-language research publications, creating a barrier between English-speaking and non-English speaking researchers that is detrimental to the continuity and evolution of STEM research. In this paper, we lay out policy measures that employ U.S. government resources to create infrastructure that standardizes and facilitates the language translation process and hosting of multilingual publications. This proposal aims to increase linguistic diversity in academic STEM publications for the ultimate goal of improving global scientific communication and ameliorating the existing disparity between English and non-English STEM literature.”


UCLDH online seminar “Decolonizing Knowledge Infrastructures: Open Access & Multilingual Scholarly Publishing”, March 10, 5pm (GMT) | UCL Centre for Digital Humanities – University College London

Technology is global, but where we live affects how we apply digital solutions to humanities work. We all have what Roopika Risam described as a digital humanities (DH) “accent”. This seminar series explores those accents by looking at DH research here, and there, and over there too. This is a chance to build greater global awareness and empathy about regional and local approaches to digital humanities in the twenty-first century.

FAIRsFAIR 2022 Final Event | FAIRsFAIR

Public Session, Wednesday 26th of January, 14:00 – 17:00 CET

During this session, representatives from FAIRsFAIR will debate on the core aspects of implementing FAIR with outstanding representatives of the European and international research community. How can we ensure the sustainability of FAIR practices? How are universities in Europe implementing and ensuring implementation of FAIR policies by students, educators and trainers? How do we combine the FAIR principles with data preservation in the long-term? And last but not least: how do we ensure the FAIR principles are truly turned into common practices to be continuously implemented by researchers and supported by funding agencies? The concluding session will look at the national perspective, asking ourselves how we can ensure that European sovereignty deals with national and language dimensions when dealing, for instance, with aspects related to ontologies, vocabularies and specific local cultural aspects.

The role of journals and journal editors in advancing global health research equity – Jumbam – – Anaesthesia – Wiley Online Library

“Given the power they hold in the research process, journals and journal editors have a responsibility to ensure that the research they choose to publish and by extension research of value, does not perpetuate unjust and exploitative research practices. Just like most medical journals require institutional review boards for research involving human subjects [8], journals also ought to develop and adopt guidelines and standards that prevent unethical research practices like ‘parachute or helicopter’ research in LMICs. In the current issue of Anaesthesia, Morton et al. present a consensus statement on measures to promote equitable authorship in the publication of research from international partnerships in global health [9]….

The training of local graduate students, for example, should also be considered as an important objective in global health research partnerships between HICs and LMICs. Just as many global health funding proposals by HIC institutions now include costs for article processing charges for open access journal publications and the training for graduate students at HIC institutions, we recommend that global health funding opportunities also include costs for research capacity building for LMIC partners….”

Who are the users of national open access journals? The case of the Finnish Journal.fi platform – Pölönen – 2021 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  In this paper we study the diversity of users of open access articles on the Finnish Journal.fi platform. This platform hosts around hundred open access journals from Finland publishing in different fields and mainly Finnish and English languages. The study is based on an online survey, conducted on 48 journals during Spring 2020, in which visitors were asked to indicate their background and allow their location and download behaviour be tracked. Among 668 survey participants, the two largest groups were students (40%) and researchers (36%), followed by private citizens (8%), other experts (7%) and teachers (5%). Other identified user categories include journalists, civil servants, entrepreneurs and politicians. While new publications attract a considerable share of the views, there is still a relatively large interest, especially among students, in older materials. Our findings indicate that Finnish language publications are particularly important for reaching students, citizens, experts and politicians. Thus, open access to publications in national languages is vital for the local relevance and outreach of research.


Analysis: The lack of diversity in climate-science research – Carbon Brief

“A recent analysis entitled “The Reuters Hot List” ranked the 1,000 “most influential” climate scientists – largely based on their publication record and social media engagement. Scientists from the global south are vastly under-represented in the list, with, for example, only five African scientists included. Meanwhile, only 122 of the 1,000 authors are female.

Biases in authorship make it likely that the existing bank of knowledge around climate change and its impacts is skewed towards the interests of male authors from the global north. This can create blind spots around the needs of some of the most vulnerable people to climate change, particularly women and communities in the global south.

Carbon Brief has analysed the gender and “country of affiliation” of the authors of 100 highly cited climate science papers from the past five years – mapped below – to reveal geographic and gender biases….

Conducting scientific research is expensive – and, arguably, the most obvious issue with running climate studies from countries in the global south is the lack of funding. While the US dedicates more than 2.5% of its annual GDP to “research and development”, no country in sub-saharan Africa – even the comparably rich South Africa – spends more than 1%. …

The inaccessibility of scientific literature is also a problem for publishing. “One of the biggest issues is that people can’t access literature that they can cite,” Schipper tells Carbon Brief. …

[Quoting Marton Demeter:] ‘If open access in journals with article processing charges (APCs) become the mainstream way of publication, then global-south scholars’ chances to publish in leading journals will be even lower than today, as they wont be able to pay the high APCs – which will be easily paid by researchers working at sourceful western universities or researchers that are funded by international grants.’ ”


Wikifunctions, a new Wikipedia project to automate and standardize information.

“When Vrande?i? reviewed how San Francisco was described in each language back in 2019, he noticed that 62 Wikipedia language editions listed an out-of-date mayor. The most egregiously out-of-date instance was the Cebuano Wikipedia, which listed Feinstein as the current mayor of San Francisco. The problem was that the Cebuano language Wikipedia was very out-of-date, which is where Wikidata could have helped. Wikidata allocates items a unique QID; the concept “mayor of San Francisco,” for instance, is Q795295. Different language editions of Wikipedia can then insert Wikidata queries within their articles. That way, if the mayor of San Francisco is updated after an election, one change to the central Wikidata item can update all of the language editions of Wikipedia automatically….”

“Positively Disrupt(ing) Research Culture for the Better”: An Interview with Alexandra Freeman of Octopus – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In early August, it was announced that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) would provide significant funding for a new open publishing platform. Called Octopus, this initiative is not yet fully launched, but when it is it plans to “provide a new ‘primary research record’ for recording and appraising research “as it happens’”; UKRI calls Octopus “a ground-breaking global service which could positively disrupt research culture for the better.” I reached out to Octopus’s founder, Dr. Alexandra Freeman, to ask some questions about Octopus and its plans for the future….”

How to end the hegemony of English in scientific research | USA | EL PAÍS in English

“last year 84% of researchers from Ibero-American countries – where Spanish or Portuguese is spoken – published their own work in English instead of their native tongues.

“Only 13% of scientists in Spain presented their work in Spanish, followed by 12% of those in Mexico, 16% in Chile, and around 20% in Argentina, Colombia and Peru,” reads the report….

German, French and Russian, which were once commonly used in various scientific publications, are now in a similar predicament: under 1% of all papers, reviews or academic conferences that appeared in scientific journals in 2020 were written in those languages….

The situation has to do not just with science, but with geopolitics, he adds. “Ibero-American countries have fallen into the trap of Anglo private industries,” said Badillo. “States pay scientists to investigate; we produce the knowledge, give it away to the big journals, thereby donating the findings of our work, and then these publications charge a truly astounding amount to the national science systems in order to access the results of our own investigations.” Ultimately, most citizens are unable to access the science that they are funding with their taxes, because it is only available in publications that charge for reading content that is written in a different language anyway….

There are three reasons for this “dictatorship of English,” as the authors of the study called it….

The third reason is tied to, and determines, the other two. “There are two major international companies, Elsevier and Clarivate Analytics, that have privatized the evaluation systems for the quality of science; they produce the international indexes listing the impact factor of journals that have been favoring English for decades,” said Badillo….

The consequences are numerous. One of them is limited access to knowledge because of the language barrier….


The answer proposed by the OEI and the Real Instituto Elcano is to move towards open science, a movement to make scientific research and dissemination – including publications and databases – free and accessible to all citizens. “Science needs to get out of the ivory tower where it has been bureaucratized for years, and enter into greater dialogue with society,” insisted Badillo, pointing to tools that could help with the change of paradigm. “Artificial intelligence and automatic translation should help us guarantee access to science. It would be ideal to see, in the short run, an option to read the contents of each scientific article translated not just into Spanish or Portuguese but Korean, Mandarin or any other language.” ”