Why a Federal Rule Change Has Some Scholars Worried They’ll Be Priced Out of Their Own Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“A set of new federal rules aims to simplify a process that has long frustrated scholars: getting approval for research that involves human subjects. But the changes could result in universities’ doing inadvertent harm to the careers of young scientists, and could reduce the amount of research that is conducted in the first place.

That’s because the rules could lead universities to charge fees for the use of their institutional review boards, or IRBs, the administrative panels that act as checks on human research. Some scientists worry that any additional expenses will threaten work that does not receive significant financial backing.

The concern isn’t just theoretical. In March, Washington University in St. Louis posted a fee schedule that, for the first time, would have charged some researchers supported by funds from nonprofit sources. The fee was set at $2,500 to have their proposals reviewed, plus more for annual continuing reviews or reviews of proposed revisions….”

OpenKIM · Knowledgebase of Interatomic Models

Established in 2009, the Knowledgebase of Interatomic Models (KIM) project is a cyberinfrastructure project funded by the NSF aimed at improving the reliability of molecular simulations. It has the following main objectives:

  • Development of an online open resource for standardized testing and long-term warehousing of interatomic models (potentials and force fields) and data.

  • Development of an application programming interface (API) standard for moleculer simulations, which will allow any interatomic model to work seamlessly with any molecular simulation code.

  • Development of a quantitative theory of transferability of interatomic models to provide guidance for selecting application-appropriate models based on rigorous criteria, and error bounds on results.

  • Planning for the permanence of the KIM project, including development of a sustainability plan, and establishment of a long-term home for storing and maintaining its contents….”

Promoting an open research culture: Author guidelines for journals could help to promote transparency, openness, and reproducibility

“There are eight standards in the TOP guidelines; each moves scientific communication toward greater openness. These standards are modular, facilitating adoption in whole or in part. However, they also complement each other, in that commitment to one standard may facilitate adoption of others. Moreover, the guidelines are sensitive to barriers to openness by articulating, for example, a process for exceptions to sharing because of ethical issues, intellectual property concerns, or availability of necessary resources. The complete guidelines are available in the TOP information commons at http://cos.io/top, along with a list of signatories that numbered 86 journals and 26 organizations as of 15 June 2015. …

The journal article is central to the research communication process. Guidelines for authors define what aspects of the research process should be made available to the community to evaluate, critique, reuse, and extend. Scientists recognize the value of transparency, openness, and reproducibility. Improvement of journal policies can help those values become more evident in daily practice and ultimately improve the public trust in science, and science itself.” 

Policy Board Minutes May 2, 2018 | University of San Francisco Faculty Association

Minutes from May 2, 2018, University of San Francisco Faculty Association:

“Move that the Policy Board pass an “Open Access Policy” so that faculty can deposit their work in the institutional repository hosted by the USF Gleeson Library | Geschke Center in order to make our work available to the campus and the world

Nosek asked if we can override what librarians can presently do. Brown asked if faculty can opt out. Neaman stated that we need to look at Article 23 (on intellectual property) to assess the situation.

The motion passed, 19-0-1.”

ORION Open Science

“ORION is a new collaborative EU project to explore ways in which research and funding organisations in life sciences and biomedicine can open up the way they fund, organise and do research. VA (Public & Science) is one of the nine partners in the project. The project started in May 2017 and will run for four years….

ORION (Open Responsible research and Innovation to further Outstanding kNowledge) will engage many different types of stakeholders in the project including research and funding organisations, citizens, policy makers, and industry…..

All materials and resources produced by ORION will be widely disseminated and freely available…..”

Pesticide Studies Won E.P.A.’s Trust, Until Trump’s Team Scorned ‘Secret Science’ – The New York Times

“The project, run by scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, and funded in part by the Environmental Protection Agency, is still going all these years later. Known as Chamacos, Spanish for “children,” it has linked pesticides sprayed on fruit and vegetable crops with respiratory complications, developmental disorders and lower I.Q.s among children of farm workers. State and federal regulators have cited its findings to help justify proposed restrictions on everything from insecticides to flame-retardant chemicals.

But the Trump administration wants to restrict how human studies like Chamacos are used in rule-making. A government proposal this year, called Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, could stop them from being used to justify regulating pesticides, lead and pollutants like soot, and undermine foundational research behind national air-quality rules. The E.P.A., which has funded these kinds of studies, is now labeling many of them “secret science.” …”

Open Access at UMBC – ScholarWorks@UMBC – LibGuides at University of Maryland, Baltimore County

“The Faculty of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County is committed to disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In particular, as part of a public university system, the Faculty is dedicated to making its scholarship available to the people of Maryland and the world. Furthermore, the Faculty recognizes the benefits that accrue to themselves as individual scholars and to the scholarly enterprise from such wide dissemination, including greater recognition, more thorough review, consideration and critique, and a general increase in scientific, scholarly, and critical knowledge. In keeping with these considerations, and for the primary purpose of making our scholarly works widely and freely accessible, the Faculty adopts the following resolution.

To facilitate open access scholarly communication Faculty members are encouraged to seek venues for their works that will disseminate research and scholarship as widely as possible. In particular, when consistent with their professional development, members of the Faculty should endeavor to:

  • Amend copyright agreements to retain the right to use his or her own work and deposit such work in the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MDSOAR, https://mdsoar.org), or another depository, which is freely accessible to the general public;
  • Submit a final manuscript of accepted, peer-reviewed publications to MDSOAR whenever consistent with the copyright agreement; and
  • Seek publishers for his or her works committed to free and unfettered access (open access publishers) whenever consistent with his or her professional goals.

This resolution applies only to scholarly works authored or co-authored by a member of the Faculty since the adoption of this resolution. This resolution does not in any way prescribe or limit the venue of publication. This resolution neither requires nor prohibits the payment of fees or publication costs by authors.”

Open Access India – Advocating Open Access, Open Data and Open Education in India

“For creating awareness among the graduate students, early career researchers, professors, research managers and the policy makers on opening up of the access to the publicly funded research in India, ‘Open Access India,‘ a community of practice advocating Open AccessOpen dataOpen education in India has been formed.

The community members believe that Open Access would increase the availability and accessibility of the public funded research outputs, and the Open Data, the government data or the public funded research data when freely available to the public would help in the development of new knowledge and tools for the public good. And the Open Education resources would help in affordability of education.

Anyone who have interests in Open Access, Open Data and Open Education are invited to join the community and take forward the open access movement in India by participating in the discussions/initiatives which would influence the policy makers, managers, researchers, scholarly societies to adopt Open Access policy for their research outputs.”

William & Mary signs historic partnership agreement with Cuban community media organization | William & Mary

“The partnership is an important step in solidifying the relationship between the university and TVS. Since 2016, W&M Libraries has been working with TVS to collect, preserve and make accessible materials related to Cuban film and art.”

Podcast 224: What’s a “preprint server,” and how might it change how we think about journals? | Clinical Conversations

“Rohan Khera wrote an editorial in The BMJ to accompany his own paper on guidelines for hypertension treatment. In it, he wrote, not about his research, but about the way biomedical articles are published now, and how preprint servers could change that.”

RA21: Resource Access in the 21st Century

[Less about OA than convenient access to non-OA sources.]


“Resource Access for the 21st Century (RA21) is a joint STM – NISO initiative aimed at optimizing protocols across key stakeholder groups, with a goal of facilitating a seamless user experience for consumers of scientific communication. In addition, this comprehensive initiative is working to solve long-standing, complex, and broadly distributed challenges in the areas of network security and user privacy. Community conversations and consensus building to engage all stakeholders is currently underway in order to explore potential alternatives to IP-authentication, and to build momentum toward testing alternatives among researcher, customer, vendor, and publisher partners.”

RA21: Resource Access for the 21st Century – Improving Access to Scholarly Resources, from Anywhere, on Any Device

[Less about OA than convenient access to non-OA sources.]

“Publishers, libraries, and consumers have all come to the understanding that authorizing access to content based on IP address no longer works in today’s distributed world. The RA21 project hopes to resolve some of the  fundamental issues that create barriers to moving to federated identity in place of IP address authentication by looking at some of the products and services available in the identity discovery space today, and determining best practice for future implementations going forward.”

Open Up Resources

“Open Up Resources began as the K-12 OER Collaborative, a 13-state initiative to address quality gaps in the curriculum market.

We partnered with leading math and ELA experts to design the very best standards-aligned core programs.

We provide our superb curricula to districts at no cost by publishing them as Open Educational Resources.

When schools and districts adopt our free curricula, we provide opportunities to reinvest the savings in essential supports, from professional development to printed materials….”

Scaling up paywalled academic article sharing by legal means

“It was a Sunday afternoon at the summer house in the Finnish countryside. Sitting by the lake to keep cool in blazing heat I was lazily browsing Twitter. That’s when I bumped into this widely shared tweet by Holly Witteman: “If you read a paper, 100% goes to the publisher. If you just email us to ask for our papers, we are allowed to send them to you for free, and will be genuinely delighted to do so.” Those who are not familiar with how the publishing industry works might wonder why could such an archaic means for sharing knowledge be in anyone’s interest. Research papers have been in digital format for a while and the internet, which was originally invented by Tim Berners Lee precisely for sharing articles between researchers, has been there for 20 years. Surely there are more effective ways for sharing than email….

At Iris.ai we’re working to change that by launching R4R. By facilitating requesting and sharing of papers via email, the initiative aims to make the process of sharing as speedy and frictionless as possible, targeting particularly those resources that are not yet accessible via open repositories. Technically R4R is a simple tool designed for unlocking access to scholarly articles when the existing open access services fall short….”


Measuring openness: should we be careful what we wish for? – The Bibliomagician

Is the best way of incentivising open scholarship to measure it?  Lizzie Gadd is not so sure.

There is a lot of talk at the moment about measuring open scholarship as means of incentivising it.  For example, the European Commission’s recently updated recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information calls for member states to change the academic evaluation system by introducing “additional indicators and metrics that can inform assessment on openness”. The LERU Open Science roadmap is another, suggesting universities “embed Open Science principles in the institutional research assessment system, shifting away from an excessive reliance on publication-based journal impact factors and citation cultures and recognising Open Science approaches such as OA publishing, data/code/reagent sharing.” I have sympathy with these objectives.  We all want openness, and we all believe Campbell’s Law – i.e., the way you measure someone is the way they’ll behave. It’s just that the more I think about it, the more concerns I have that measuring openness might not be the best way of achieving it.  So as a form of blog therapy, I have laid out my fears in this post in the hope that either someone can reassure me that I’m overthinking this, or that we might adjust our collective view about the best way forward here.