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    Knowledge Unlatched, failed transparency, and the commercialisation of open access book publishing

Knowledge Unlatched, failed transparency, and the commercialisation of open access book publishing

Over recent years, Knowledge Unlatched has harnessed the effectiveness of its consortial funding model to become the largest gatekeeper to open access for scholarly books. But as Marcel Knöchelmann describes, the changing of its status from that of a community interest company to a German GmbH or public limited company, and that it is now fully owned by the […]

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    The expansion of open access is being driven by commercialisation, where private benefit is adopting the mantle of public value

The expansion of open access is being driven by commercialisation, where private benefit is adopting the mantle of public value

Plan S is the latest initiative to propose that all publicly funded science should be available in open access formats from the day of first publication. However, John Holmwood argues it is important to recognise that open access is itself being promoted in the name of commercial interests, including new, for-profit disrupters but also the large publishing conglomerates capturing the […]

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    The “problem” of predatory publishing remains a relatively small one and should not be allowed to defame open access

The “problem” of predatory publishing remains a relatively small one and should not be allowed to defame open access

A recent investigation led by an international group of journalists raised concerns over the scale of the problem of deceptive publishing practices, with many researchers of standing and reputation found to have published in “predatory” journals. However, while the findings of this investigation garnered significant media attention, the robustness of the study itself was not subject to the same […]

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    How information about library collections represents a treasure trove for research in the humanities and social sciences

How information about library collections represents a treasure trove for research in the humanities and social sciences

WorldCat, an aggregate database of library catalogues worldwide, was primarily set up to aid libraries in carrying out their work in areas such as cataloguing or resource sharing. But the information it carries about much of the world’s accumulated published output is also a a unique source of information for answering a wide range of questions about world literature […]

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    Improved representation of female scientists in the media can show future generations of women that they belong

Improved representation of female scientists in the media can show future generations of women that they belong

The attrition of women from STEM careers has been attributed to many factors, such as work/life balance, biased hiring committees, and prejudiced editorial boards. But might it also be that women still do not see themselves as “real” scientists, or lack female role models? Miranda Hart reports on research examining women’s visibility in two high-profile scientific publications. Not only […]

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    Not all academics are comfortable with the idea of open peer review

Not all academics are comfortable with the idea of open peer review

There are many arguments in favour of open peer review, from anticipated improvements to the speed and quality of reviews brought about by the greater accountability, through to the likely reduction in unfair or illogical decisions because of the system’s transparency. Despite this, not all academics are comfortable with open peer review and remain fearful of their comments and […]

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    A privilege, a gift, and a reason for gratitude: appreciating the human dimension of peer review

A privilege, a gift, and a reason for gratitude: appreciating the human dimension of peer review

The shortcomings of the peer review process are well-documented, with it being variously described as too slow, conservative, and even unkind. But amidst fevered discussion of its logistical merits, the inherent humanistic value of peer review is often overlooked. Keren Dali and Paul T. Jaeger encourage reviewers to remember that each peer review opportunity offers an incredible human experience […]

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    Predatory publishers threaten to consume public research funds and undermine national academic systems – the case of Brazil

Predatory publishers threaten to consume public research funds and undermine national academic systems – the case of Brazil

An unintended consequence of the open access movement, predatory publishers have appeared in many countries, offering authors a quick and easy route to publication in exchange for a fee and usually without any apparent peer review or quality control. Using a large database of publications, Marcelo S. Perlin, Takeyoshi Imasato and Denis Borenstein analyse the extent of this problem […]

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    Multidisciplinary and cosmopolitan: how openness influences the academic impact of a scholar’s research

Multidisciplinary and cosmopolitan: how openness influences the academic impact of a scholar’s research

The academic impact of a scholar’s research remains of great importance to institutions, particularly business schools. Hyungseok (David) Yoon and Mustapha Belkhouja report on research examining how scholars’ openness to other disciplines and broader collaborations influences their academic impact, as determined by citation analysis. Findings suggest that the career stage of academics is an important factor, with early-career researchers […]

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    Using citation metrics as part of academic recruitment decisions leads to an increase in self-citations

Using citation metrics as part of academic recruitment decisions leads to an increase in self-citations

The use of citation metrics in academic hiring and promotion decisions was intended as a response to important and legitimate concerns over the meritocracy of recruitment procedures. However, evidence suggests that doing so distorts scientists’ behaviour and increases the risk that these measures become unreliable. Marco Seeber, Mattia Cattaneo, Michele Meoli and Paolo Malighetti investigated the use of citation […]

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    A PhD by publication is a great way to build your academic profile, but be mindful of its challenges

A PhD by publication is a great way to build your academic profile, but be mindful of its challenges

The PhD by publication is an option increasingly available to doctoral candidates. This model can be a great way to build an academic profile but has unique challenges of its own too. Shannon Mason and Margaret K. Merga anticipate and offer answers to some of the questions candidates considering this model might ask; including advice on co-authorship with a […]

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    Beyond #FakeScience: how to overcome shallow certainty in scholarly communication

Beyond #FakeScience: how to overcome shallow certainty in scholarly communication

Recent media reports in Germany have brought renewed focus on predatory publishing practices and seen a notably increased use of the term “fake science”. But to what extent is this a worsening problem? Lambert Heller argues that predatory publishing has never really become a big thing, and that it became a thing at all is largely attributable to the simple […]

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    How small open access monograph presses can make the most of an increasingly rich data landscape

How small open access monograph presses can make the most of an increasingly rich data landscape

Until relatively recently the ability to exploit new data for open access books was restricted to large publishers or content aggregators with the resources to invest in its collection, management, and analysis. However, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Alkim Ozaygen and Tama Leaver describe how barriers to engaging with data are falling, with open access monograph publishers now having growing […]

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    A variety of strategies and funding approaches are required to accelerate the transition to open access. But in all, authors are key

A variety of strategies and funding approaches are required to accelerate the transition to open access. But in all, authors are key

More than two decades of work towards liberating scholarly publishing from paywalled constraints has left many within the scholarly community exploring ways to accelerate the transition to open access. Not all institutions or author communities will agree upon which strategies or funding approaches to undertake, and nor do they need to. But whichever strategy is pursued, having university faculty […]

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    Playing the game: academics have bought into the competition and become complicit in their exploitation

Playing the game: academics have bought into the competition and become complicit in their exploitation

The managerialist logic that has permeated universities has had a clear impact on academic work. To Senia Kalfa, Adrian Wilkinson and Paul J. Gollan, academia has become like a game, with academics competing with each other for just a handful of permanent positions and focused completely on accumulating the capital (publications, grant income, etc.) needed to secure one. Rather […]

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    Into oblivion: a closer look at the business, management and accounting research literature in Ibero-America

Into oblivion: a closer look at the business, management and accounting research literature in Ibero-America

Faced with institutional requirements to publish in top-tier, international journals, researchers from Ibero-American countries often express concern that their work is becoming distant from their local communities. The value of participating in international debates and being able to influence the direction of research globally is sometimes provided as justification for this. But does this withstand scrutiny? Julián David Cortés-Sánchez […]

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Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

Funding organisations commissioning their own open access publishing platforms is a relatively recent development in the OA environment, with the European Commission following the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in financing such an initiative. But in what ways, for better or worse, do these new platforms disrupt or complement the scholarly communications landscape? Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt and […]

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    There is a large disparity between what people see in social media about health research and the underlying strength of evidence

There is a large disparity between what people see in social media about health research and the underlying strength of evidence

Our social media feeds are full of articles shared by friends and family that make claims about how something can prevent a particular health condition. But how robust is the scientific evidence base underpinning these claims? Noah Haber, Alexander Breskin, Ellen Moscoe and Emily R. Smith, on behalf of the CLAIMS team, report on a systematic review of the state […]

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    How to compare apples with oranges: using interdisciplinary “exchange rates” to evaluate publications across disciplines

How to compare apples with oranges: using interdisciplinary “exchange rates” to evaluate publications across disciplines

Academic research performance is typically assessed on the basis of scientific productivity. While the number of publications may provide an accurate and useful metric of research performance within one discipline, interdisciplinary comparisons of publication counts prove much more problematic. To solve this problem, Timo Korkeamäki, Jukka Sihvonen, and Sami Vähämaa introduce interdisciplinary “exchange rates”, which can be used to […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.