From Google’s English: “Summary: This checklist provides an overview of the Austrian universities and non-university research institutions Open Access Policies. Furthermore, the nine public universities Polices analyzed and thematically organized the respective Text building blocks. In the second part of the checklist are measures to promote.”
Abstract: Openness is one of the central values of science. Open scientific practices such as sharing data, materials and analysis scripts alongside published articles have many benefits, including easier replication and extension studies, increased availability of data for theory-building and meta-analysis, and increased possibility of review and collaboration even after a paper has been published. Although modern information technology makes sharing easier than ever before, uptake of open practices had been slow. We suggest this might be in part due to a social dilemma arising from misaligned incentives and propose a specific, concrete mechanism—reviewers withholding comprehensive review—to achieve the goal of creating the expectation of open practices as a matter of scientific principle.
A tool for generating a BibTeX record for any article in arXiv.
With much of the Northern Hemisphere in the midst of winter, the long dark nights make for a perfect opportunity to stay in and catch up on some winter related research published in PLOS ONE
“The biggest barrier to evidence-based policymaking is still arguably that so much research sits beyond the reach of policymakers behind journal pay-walls. This touches on a big, live debate around the future of academic publishing and open access, which I won’t delve into here. However, if you’re determined to change policy using a piece of your research, it really needs to be available in full, for free, for everyone in policymaking to access, online, at any time. Anything else will undermine your chances of achieving policy change….”
“We need to change the culture of knowledge management and data sharing. This means ensuring that scientists around the world have open access to published research and incentivizing scientists to share data on major causes of human disease and emerging threats to public health. To that end, I’m excited to announce that this week the Gates Foundation joined other major organizations in launching the Open Research Funders Group to promote unfettered access to scientific research….”
An undated slide presentation on OpenAire by Frédéric Dubois.
Abstract: As more scholarly content is being born digital or digitized, digital libraries are becoming increasingly vital to researchers leveraging scholarly big data for scientific discovery. Given the abundance of scholarly products-especially in environments created by the advent of social networking services-little is known about international scholarly information needs, information-seeking behavior, or information use. This paper aims to address these gaps by conducting an in-depth analysis of researchers in the United States and Qatar; learn about their research attitudes, practices, tactics, strategies, and expectations; and address the obstacles faced during research endeavors. Based on this analysis, the study identifies and describes new behavior patterns on the part of researchers as they engage in the information-seeking process. The analysis reveals that the use of academic social networks has remarkable effects on various scholarly activities. Further, this study identifies differences between students and faculty members in regard to their use of academic social networks, and it identifies differences between researchers according to discipline. The researchers who participated in the present study represent a range of disciplinary and cultural backgrounds. However, the study reports a number of similarities in terms of the researchers’ scholarly activities. Finally, the study illuminates some of the implications for the design of research platforms.
Abstract: International agricultural research has historically been an example par excellence of open source approach to biological research. Beginning in the 1950s and especially in the 1960s, a looming global food crisis led to the development of a group of international agricultural research centers with a specific mandate to foster international exchange and crop improvement relevant to many countries. This formalization of a global biological commons in genetic resources was implemented through an elaborate system of international nurseries with a breeding hub, free sharing of germplasm, collaboration in information collection, the development of human resources, and an international collaborative network. This paper traces the history of the international wheat program with particular attention to how this truly open source system operated in practice and the impacts that it had on world poverty and hunger. The paper also highlights the challenges of maintaining and evolving such a system over the long term, both in terms of financing, as well the changing ‘rules of the game’ resulting from international agreements on intellectual property rights and biodiversity. Yet the open source approach is just as relevant today, as witnessed by current crises in food prices and looming crop diseases problem of global significance.
“There are two things we can learn from this outpouring of low-cost course materials. The first is that there are many roads to Rome. There are commercial casebooks at fairer prices, there are subsidized free casebooks, and there are unsubsidized free casebooks. There are PDF downloads, ebooks, print-on-demand hard copies, Word files, interactive maps, wiki-style websites, and more. The second lesson is that the time is now. We have all the tools we need, and some of them are working very well indeed. There are no major financial or institutional obstacles to switching over to affordable course materials now. Professors, find them and use them in your courses. If they don’t exist, help to create them. Students, ask your professors to consider casebook costs. Administrators, find out how much your faculty’s assigned books cost, help them identify cheaper alternatives, and help support your faculty when they want to contribute to bringing these costs down by creating their own….”
Abstract: Among the more important decisions a law teacher makes when preparing a new course is what materials to assign. Criminal procedure teachers are spoiled for choice, with legal publishers offering several options written by teams of renowned scholars. This Article considers how a teacher might choose from the myriad options available and suggests two potentially overlooked criteria: weight and price.
The Article then explores the possibility of providing criminal procedure casebooks to law students for much less money than is currently charged, taking advantage of the public domain status of Supreme Court opinions, which form the backbone of most criminal procedure syllabi. The Article suggests that law schools could encourage faculty to produce casebooks that would be made available to our students for the cost of printing, with electronic versions available gratis (that is, “free” as in “free beer”).
“There has never been a more powerful biological tool [than the gene-editing tool CRISPR], or one with more potential to both improve the world and endanger it. [Kevin] Esvelt hopes to use the technology as a lever to pry open what he sees as the often secretive and needlessly duplicative process of scientific research. “The only way to conduct an experiment that could wipe an entire species from the Earth is with complete transparency,” he told me. “For both moral and practical reasons, gene drive is most likely to succeed if all the research is done openly. And if we can do it for gene drive we can do it for the rest of science.” …He also insists that he will work with absolute openness: every e-mail, grant application, data set, and meeting record will be available for anyone to see. Intellectual property is often the most coveted aspect of scientific research, and Esvelt’s would be posted on a Web site. And no experiment would be conducted unless it was approved in advance—not just by scientists but by the people it is most likely to affect. “By open, I mean all of it,” Esvelt said, to murmurs of approval. “If Monsanto”—which, fairly or not, has become a symbol of excessive corporate control of agricultural biotechnology—“did something one way,” he said, “we will do it the opposite way.” …Esvelt explained his goal by saying, “I want to drag my entire field kicking and screaming into the open.” …”
“So it seems that Elsevier is once again trying to avoid revealing the prices that they charge university libraries for journal subscriptions. A few years ago they tried the same thing with us. Making prices public would harm the customer, they claimed. If prices were disclosed, they argued in one legal brief, “actual and substantial harm would result…to customers (particularly large customers such as [defendant] WSU) because— such information being known to competitors—Elsevier would be pressured into a onesize fits all pricing policy that would undermine its ability to advantageously tailor terms and conditions to a customer’s individual requirements.” I find this insufferable. Partly, it sounds like a threat: “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” But the bigger issue is that as an economic argument it’s utter bullshit….”
“So why make your work available as preprints? There are perceived positives and negatives to disclosing scientific work in the form of a preprint, explored here in the form of 10 Simple Rules. These rules, if they pass review, will appear as part of the PLOS Computational Biology Ten Simple Rules Collection. The rules cover such issues as reward, incentives, speed of dissemination, quality, scooping, and record of priority. You cannot have an article describing preprints, without itself being a preprint!!’
“Thousands of scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan are preparing for a new year without online access to journals from the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier. Contract negotiations in both Germany and Taiwan broke down in December, while Peru’s government has cut off funding for a licence….Elsevier and the [German] DEAL consortium, says Hippler, are still far apart with regards to pricing and the OA business model. “Taxpayers have a right to read what they are paying for,” he says. “Publishers must understand that the route to open-access publishing at an affordable price is irreversible.”
In Taiwan, meanwhile, more than 75% of universities, including the country’s top 11 institutions, have joined a collective boycott against Elsevier, says Yan-Jyi Huang, library director at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST, also known as Taiwan Tech).
On 7 December, the Taiwanese consortium, CONCERT, which represents more than 140 institutions, announced it would not renew its contract with Elsevier because fees were too high. Elsevier switched to dealing with universities individually. But the NTUST and many others — including Taiwan’s leading research institute, Academia Sinica — have each decided to uphold the boycott, from 1 January 2017….”