EPA’s independent science board says ‘secret science’ proposal may ‘reduce scientific integrity’ | TheHill

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) independent board of science advisers had harsh words for an agency plan to limit the types of studies it considers when crafting regulations, saying the EPA had failed to justify the need for the policy.

The policy was first proposed by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in 2018 to battle “secret science.” He argued that in order to increase transparency, the agency should limit consideration of studies that don’t share their underlying data….

The SAB’s review is consistent with longstanding criticism of the proposal, as science and medical groups have argued it will lead the EPA to ignore important public health research that must protect the privacy of human subjects….”

Open Access Publishing for Chemistry

“Scientists, librarians and publishers are all affected by the rapidly changing landscape of open access publishing, the proliferation of options available, and in some cases the confusion and uncertainty which can arise. The implementation of Science Europe’s “Plan S”, which stipulates that from 2021 scientific publications resulting from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant open access journals or platforms, will be a significant milestone. As well as examining the implications of Plan S in the UK and elsewhere, this meeting will explore the broader impact of open access publishing on the chemical sciences, addressing issues such as open access models, organisations’ and end-users’ experiences, licensing, ethics, benefits and pitfalls. Use cases illustrating new opportunities provided to chemistry by open publishing will also be presented….”

Open Data for Chemistry

“Huge quantities of data are generated in the chemical sciences although frequently these data are behind paywalls or protected intellectual property of organisations. Recently however there has been a tendency for more openness in scientific data in general and specifically the chemical sciences. There is now a large quantity of open data mined from the literature over decades offering new opportunities to learn from these data thereby improving scientific endeavour. However ensuring data accessibility, discovery and quality is still a major issue. The meeting will offer guidance on data curation and wrangling in order to be able to be applied effectively….”

Workshop on Open-Source Tools for Chemistry

“All scientists working in chemistry need software tools for accessing, handling and storing chemical information, or performing molecular modelling and computational chemistry. There is now a wealth of open-source tools to help in these activities; however, many are not as well-known as commercial offerings. This workshop offers a unique opportunity for attendees to try out a range of open-source software packages for themselves with expert tuition in different aspects of chemistry. Attendees will be able to choose from sessions covering accessing online resources; data processing and visualisation; ligand and structure-based design, or computational chemistry. All software and training materials required for the workshop will be provided for attendees to install and run on their own laptops.”

Is ‘the money in the system’? | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“One of the oft-repeated adages in the scholarly communications world is that ‘the money is in the system’, it’s just badly distributed. This is one of the core problems with APCs; they don’t distribute funds in a similar way to subscriptions, so even if we could afford it, we still have a problematic distribution.

What if this isn’t true, though, that the level of funding will remain the same? We have 300 or so institutions supporting the Open Library of Humanities. There are a few notable institutional exceptions to the list, but this is a pretty good ‘who’s who’ of ‘libraries who/that are supportive of OA’. For more, see my recent blog post over at OLH. But 300 libraries is not the thousands of institutions worldwide who subscribe to traditional serial publications. These institutions silently continue to do what they have always done: buy a slim proportion of what material they can afford for their constituent local communities….

It seems likely, though, that many institutions with low- to zero- research outputs will just absorb the money they otherwise spent on subscriptions [and not redirect it to the support of OA]. I’m not being judgemental about this. These are not usually wealthy universities, even when they might be not-for-profit. They need to pay their staff and get the best deal for their students. But it would mean, in a new environment, that you could see a substantial long tail of money disappear – or a massive re-allocation of this long tail solely onto large research universities.

Of course, perhaps there is enough slack in the system to take this. 30% profit margins are common in for-profit scholarly communications, so if 20% of the revenue dropped off, you’d still see a sustainable return, even if the big players really wouldn’t like this. But I now feel much more sceptical about the argument that the same amount of money is going to stay in the system, even as publication volume will continue to increase.”

Finding Our Way: A Snapshot of Scholarly Communication Practitioners’ Duties & Training

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Scholarly communication has arisen as a core academic librarianship competency, but formal training on scholarly communication topics in LIS is rare, leaving many early career practitioners underprepared for their work. METHODS Researchers surveyed practitioners of scholarly communication, as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), regarding their attitudes toward and experiences with education in scholarly communication, job responsibilities, location within their academic libraries, and thoughts about emerging trends in scholarly communication librarianship. results Few scholarly communication practitioners felt well-prepared by their graduate training for the core set of primary and secondary scholarly communication responsibilities that have emerged. They deploy a range of strategies to fill the gap and would benefit from support in this area, from more robust education in graduate programs and through continued professional development. discussion The results of this survey support the assertion that as academic libraries and academic library work have increasingly recognized the importance of scholarly communication topics, library school curricula have not developed correspondingly. Respondents indicated a low level of formal pedagogy on scholarly communication topics and generally felt they were not well-prepared for scholarly communication work, coming at a significant opportunity cost. CONCLUSION Scholarly communication practitioners should create and curate open teaching and learning content on scholarly communication topics for both continuing education as well as adoption within LIS curricula, and LIS programs should develop accordingly, either through “topics” courses or by integrating scholarly communication into and across curricula as it intersects with existing courses.


Can You Imagine a Better Academic E-book Experience? Piloting SimplyE in Academic Libraries | Academic Commons

“SimplyE, an end-user library reading app for ebook and audiobooks developed by the New York Public Library, continues to gain momentum across public and academic libraries. New efforts are underway to better understand the needs of academic ebook readers and advance open-source software to meet the needs of institutions and students. SimplyE and the technologies it uses have evolved and proliferated. User expectations have evolved. With more media types, digital rights management (DRM), and content hosting capabilities it is now closer than ever to becoming an ebook solution for academic libraries. Learn about recent accomplishments, current efforts, and future plans to improve SimplyE and expand its use in academic and public libraries….”




Digital Publishing/Technical Content Specialist

“Computercraft is seeking a Digital Publishing/Technical Content Specialist to support document- and publications-related projects at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), part of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The role will include document modeling, establishing workflows, and writing and debugging XSL transforms to the archival XML formats used on these projects to publish scientific content on the NCBI website.

These projects include PubMed, PubMed Central, and Bookshelf, critical components of NCBI’s effort to provide open and free access to biomedical and genomic information to the public and researchers and scientists around the globe. PubMed, for example, a searchable resource of more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature, sees almost 2 million visits per week. NCBI uses the web to advance science and health, and the NCBI website is in the top 400 most visited sites in the world. NCBI is a diverse group of smart and talented people with various backgrounds who collaborate in building critically valuable services for the public….”

Supporting Open Research Workflows and Digital Collaboration

“When researchers do not have a platform to create and share code, data and methods, the institution loses ‘stewardship’ over the totality of research output as well as the ability for researchers to leverage current and past work. Hence, reproducibility and re-use are at the core of open science and a focus of research institutions and institutes. Join us for a conversation with researchers to discuss tools like Code Ocean and protocols.io and their key components that improve the research process for both the researcher and institution….”

Iowa State University Library finalizes Elsevier negotiations, forgoes multi-year package deal in favor of individual journal subscriptions | University Library | Iowa State University

“The Iowa State University Library finalized negotiations over its 2020 journal agreement with Elsevier. Under the new agreement, the library will subscribe to journals on a title-by-title basis instead of a multi-year package deal, giving greater control over spending while still providing essential content to campus.

During negotiations, the library pursued three goals: reduce costs, remove confidentiality restrictions, and progress toward open access. These goals aligned with our Principles for Advancing Openness through Journal Negotiations, endorsed by the Iowa State University Faculty Senate, Library Advisory Committee, Student Government, and Graduate and Professional Student Senate in 2019.

The new agreement achieves a significant cost reduction by moving to individual subscriptions at a discounted price. In addition, it does not include confidentiality language and can be publicly shared. Although we anticipated greater progress toward open access in this agreement, we are committed to carrying the discussion forward in 2020….”

A systematic examination of preprint platforms for use in the medical and biomedical sciences setting | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Objectives: The objective of this review is to identify all preprint platforms with biomedical and medical scope and to compare and contrast the key characteristics and policies of these platforms. We also aim to provide a searchable database to enable relevant stakeholders to compare between platforms. Study Design and Setting: Preprint platforms that were launched up to 25th June 2019 and have a biomedical and medical scope according to MEDLINE’s journal selection criteria were identified using existing lists, web-based searches and the expertise of both academic and non-academic publication scientists. A data extraction form was developed, pilot-tested and used to collect data from each preprint platform’s webpage(s). Data collected were in relation to scope and ownership; content-specific characteristics and information relating to submission, journal transfer options, and external discoverability; screening, moderation, and permanence of content; usage metrics and metadata. Where possible, all online data were verified by the platform owner or representative by correspondence. Results: A total of 44 preprint platforms were identified as having biomedical and medical scope, 17 (39%) were hosted by the Open Science Framework preprint infrastructure, six (14%) were provided by F1000 Research Ltd (the Open Research Central infrastructure) and 21 (48%) were other independent preprint platforms. Preprint platforms were either owned by non-profit academic groups, scientific societies or funding organisations (n=28; 64%), owned/partly owned by for-profit publishers or companies (n=14; 32%) or owned by individuals/small communities (n=2; 5%). Twenty-four (55%) preprint platforms accepted content from all scientific fields although some of these had restrictions relating to funding source, geographical region or an affiliated journal’s remit. Thirty-three (75%) preprint platforms provided details about article screening (basic checks) and 14 (32%) of these actively involved researchers with context expertise in the screening process. The three most common screening checks related to the scope of the article, plagiarism and legal/ethical/societal issues and compliance. Almost all preprint platforms allow submission to any peer-reviewed journal following publication, have a preservation plan for read-access, and most have a policy regarding reasons for retraction and the sustainability of the service. Forty-one (93%) platforms currently have usage metrics, with the most common metric being the number of downloads presented on the abstract page. Conclusion: A large number of preprint platforms exist for use in biomedical and medical sciences, all of which offer researchers an opportunity to rapidly disseminate their research findings onto an open-access public server, subject to scope and eligibility. However, the process by which content is screened before online posting and withdrawn or removed after posting varies between platforms, which may be associated with platform operation, ownership, governance and financing.


Supreme Court rules Georgia can’t put the law behind a paywall | Ars Technica

“A narrowly divided US Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right to freely share the official law code of Georgia. The state claimed to own the copyright for the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and sued a nonprofit called Public.Resource.Org for publishing it online. Monday’s ruling is not only a victory for the open-government group, it’s an important precedent that will help secure the right to publish other legally significant public documents….”

LIBER Webinar: The Anatomy of a Transformative Agreement

“An increasing number of LIBER institutions—and also institutions and consortia worldwide—are looking to integrate their Open Access strategies with Transformative Agreements. Such agreements enable institutions to repurpose their subscription expenditures to support open access publishing rather than paywalls.

Transformative Agreements (TA) specifically aim to rein in hybrid publishing costs and liberate the lump-sum payments of subscriptions: authors no longer pay APCs and, instead, their institutions (via their libraries) repurpose former subscription expenditures to remunerate publishers for their editorial services associated with the open access publication of accepted articles. While each agreement is unique and context-specific, TAs share a common goal and seek to adhere to the ESAC Guidelines for Transformative Agreements. In order to better understand the latest benchmarks achieved with TAs, this webinar will present two case studies of TA negotiated by LIBER members, illustrating in what way they are considered to be transformative and providing an open assessment of to what degree they have been successful in achieving their goals.”

SCOTUS Rules No Copyright in Official Annotated State Code | Cyberlaw Clinic

“We’re pleased to report that the United States Supreme Court has sided with Public.Resource.org and held that the Official Code of Georgia Annotated is ineligible for copyright protection. The Cyberlaw Clinic worked with the Caselaw Access Project team at the Harvard Library Innovation Lab on an amicus curiae brief (.pdf) advocating this very result. The brief highlighted the significant burden that would be placed on those creating tools to facilitate access to law if legal materials generated by or at the direction of state government officials were subject to copyright protection and the importance of a bright line holding that official government works are not copyrightable….”

Publisher collaboration to keep COVID research moving | Hindawi

“A cross publisher collaboration aims to ensure research related to COVID-19 is reviewed and published as quickly as possible. An Open Letter of Intent encourages academics to sign up to a reviewer database, authors to use preprint servers and calls on other publishers to action with a focus on open data and encouraging preprints….”