Data need to be more than just available, they need to be discoverable and understandable. Iain Hrynaszkiewicz introduces Nature’s new published data paper format, a Data Descriptor. Peer-review and curation of these data papers will facilitate open access to knowledge and interdisciplinary research, pushing the boundaries of discovery. Some of the most tangible benefits of open data stem from social and […]
In an age where every other aspect of academia in the UK is being strangled, how is it that publisher profits have continue to rise? Paul Kirby points to the partial embrace of publishing business models that encourage article processing charges mixed with soft policies that reinforce traditional library subscription models. This is not the picture of an industry under […]
Stuart Lawson and Ben Meghreblian have been compiling a useful dataset via Freedom of Information requests on how much academic publishers are charging higher education institutions for journal subscriptions. Their goal is to highlight the scale of the academic publishing market in the UK and for this to inform policy discussions. Some of the barriers they came across in obtaining data […]
Wall Street analysts say open access has failed due to lack of focus, but their analysis might help it succeed.
There are tensions in the open access movement which are putting its sustained momentum at risk, argues Curt Rice. The enthusiasm for the movement’s ideals are now in conflict with what is needed for success, namely a clear message articulated by visible and visionary leadership. Wall Street analysts are predicting open access to be a fading threat to Elsevier profits due to […]
Academic publishing is intricately bound to evaluation. The demand to publish as much as possible has led to the chopping up of research into minimum publishable units across journals that are easily counted, ranked and evaluated. Books, however, are not so easily accounted for. Julien McHardy argues the value of books is in this freedom from evaluation which offers the chance to pursue […]
Academic publishing can free itself from its outdated path dependence by looking to alternative review mechanisms.
Path dependence means that a logical decision in the past establishes itself as the norm and leads to a suboptimal system in the present. Benedikt Fecher looks at the case of the QWERTY keyboard and the current system of academic publishing as examples of how outdated processes continue to scale. Many of the historic strengths of print-based publishing are […]
As a large funder of biomedical research, the Wellcome Trust is keen to ensure that the findings of that research are widely and openly shared. There is a body of evidence that indicates a bias against writing up and publishing of negative findings. Jonathon Kram and Adam Dinsmore, from the Wellcome Trust evaluation team, discuss why this could create a barrier to scientific progress.
There is a […]
The heart of the debate on open access to research is over licencing. A sharp schism has emerged between those who think the no restrictions CC-BY licence is indispensable, and those who think other licences such as the non-commercial CC-BY-NC or non-derivative CC-BY-ND, is good enough. In the software world, licensing was a similar sticking point between free software and open source advocates. […]
Is Digital Humanities a collaborative discipline? Joint-authorship publication patterns clash with defining narrative
As an emerging discipline still defining itself, Digital Humanities offers an ideal opportunity to reflect on its broader disciplinary narratives. Julianne Nyhan and Oliver Duke-Williams examined its collaborative nature through the lens of publication patterns in some of its core journals. They found predominately single-authored papers were published during the time-frames, suggesting individual scholarship is still playing a large role. But this may be a case where […]
Martin Eve looks at the basis of copyrights and moral rights in relation to academic research. Some critics of open licensing for open access work are concerned about the moral rights of the academic author. But rather than having a strong ethical basis, these moral rights have more of an economic function in that they are designed to allow […]
Providing access across subjects and regions, the Data Citation Index is linking up with repositories to provide a single-point recognition mechanism for quality research data. Christopher Lortie welcomes this development as it will profoundly reshape the publication pipeline and further fuel the open science movement. Data can now be recognised and cited as independent products, with or without them being linked to […]
Discovering Open Practices: one-day conference on open research information for PGRs and Early Career Researchers.
The FOSTER project is currently looking at sustainable mechanisms to encourage wider adoption of open practices amongst EU researchers. A one day conference this Thursday in London will look to introduce key themes and wider considerations of open access for students and early career researchers. Lucy Ayre writes the aim of the afternoon is to show the practical steps, which complement […]
Research funders across the world are implementing data management and sharing policies to maximize openness of data, transparency and accountability of the research they support. This guide aims to cover guidance on how to plan your research using a data management checklist, how to format and organize data, and how to publish and cite data. This is a useful guide for students […]
STM’s new publishing licenses raise antitrust concerns amid wider efforts to pollute open access standards.
Ariel Katz looks at the legal implications of STM’s move to release their own version of “open” licenses. As more and more authors consider the openness of a publication venue, publishers compete on this aspect. But by recommending STM members to adopt their specific licenses, will this limit competition? Whilst coordination amongst competitors is not by its nature illegal, antitrust […]
The problem with peer review today is that there is so much research being produced that there are not enough experts with enough time to peer-review it all. As we look to address this problem, issues of standards and hierarchy remain unsolved. Stevan Harnad wonders whether crowd-sourced peer review could match, exceed, or come close to the benchmark of […]
OpenCon to bring together students and early career researchers to advance Open Access, OER, and Open Data.
Recognition and awareness of how the next generation of scholars are transforming scholarly communication is well underway. Nick Shockey highlights OpenCon, a conference to take place in November aimed at mobilising support around open access, open educational resources and open data amongst early career researchers. Funding has been made available to cover travel to attend the conference in Washington DC […]
Impact Round-Up 16th August: Google Science, digital age knowledge creation, and scientific accountability.
Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
An exaggerated title given the piece itself confirms these rumours “are almost certainly a hoax”, but still, How ‘Google Science’ could transform academic publishing by Liat Clark at WIRED provides a helpful overview of the previous efforts made my Google to […]
Secrets of journal subscription prices: For-profit publishers charge libraries two to three times more than non-profits.
Ted Bergstrom writes of his involvement requesting copies of library contracts with several major publishers in order to compare journal pricing data for bundled journal access. The significant differences that exist across universities for the same content and between publishers raises some major questions on the effectiveness of such pricing models. He finds that the differences in bundle prices depend largely […]