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    Why books matter: There is value in what cannot be evaluated.

Why books matter: There is value in what cannot be evaluated.

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 […]

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    Essential Guide: How to start an Open Access journal in five steps

Essential Guide: How to start an Open Access journal in five steps

As Open Access publishing continues its momentum, opportunities are growing for researchers to shift their disciplinary and institution platforms to affordable open access models. Suzanne Pilaar Birch describes her experience of getting Open Quaternary started, shedding light on article processing charges, editorial board creation and publisher ethos.

Open access was by no means a new concept when the “Academic Spring” of April 2012 was […]

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    Academic publishing can free itself from its outdated path dependence by looking to alternative review mechanisms.

Academic publishing can free itself from its outdated path dependence by looking to alternative review mechanisms.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Fecher looks at the case of the QWERTY keyboard and the current system of academic publishing as examples of how outdated processes continue to scale.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 […]

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    Publication bias against negative findings is detrimental to the progression of science.

Publication bias against negative findings is detrimental to the progression of science.

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 […]

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    Open Access definitions vary but authors must be reminded that giving up copyright is just folly.

Open Access definitions vary but authors must be reminded that giving up copyright is just folly.

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. […]

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    Is Digital Humanities a collaborative discipline? Joint-authorship publication patterns clash with defining narrative

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 […]

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    What’s so moral about the “moral rights” of copyright for academics?

What’s so moral about the “moral rights” of copyright for academics?

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 […]

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    The citation revolution will not be televised: the end of papers and the rise of data.

The citation revolution will not be televised: the end of papers and the rise of data.

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 […]

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    Discovering Open Practices: one-day conference on open research information for PGRs and Early Career Researchers.

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 […]

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    Book Review: Managing and Sharing Research Data: A Guide to Good Practice by Louise Corti et al.

Book Review: Managing and Sharing Research Data: A Guide to Good Practice by Louise Corti et al.

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 […]

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    STM’s new publishing licenses raise antitrust concerns amid wider efforts to pollute open access standards.

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 […]

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    Crowd-Sourced Peer Review: Substitute or supplement for the current outdated system?

Crowd-Sourced Peer Review: Substitute or supplement for the current outdated system?

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 […]

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    OpenCon to bring together students and early career researchers to advance Open Access, OER, and Open Data.

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 […]

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    Impact Round-Up 16th August: Google Science, digital age knowledge creation, and scientific accountability.

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 […]

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    Secrets of journal subscription prices: For-profit publishers charge libraries two to three times more than non-profits.

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 […]

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    Impact Round-Up 9th August: Research recommendations, open data outcomes, and keeping open access simple.

Impact Round-Up 9th August: Research recommendations, open data outcomes, and keeping open access simple.

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.

Jennifer Lin at PLOS announced an exciting new recommendations feature to be implemented across the PLOS journals in Diving into the haystack to make more hay? at the PLOS Tech Blog. Linking up with figshare, the Related Content tab on […]

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    Low visibility of Latin American repositories in Google Scholar: technical incompatibility or lack of web strategy?

Low visibility of Latin American repositories in Google Scholar: technical incompatibility or lack of web strategy?

The content in many repositories in Latin America fail to come up in systematic searches largely due to the inadequate use of domain names and metadata schema, find Enrique Orduña-Malea and Emilio Delgado-López-Cózar. Institutional repositories are ultimately websites and concepts such as usability, information architecture, search engine optimization, among others, should be considered in their primary design. In a context like […]

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    The Impact Factor and Its Discontents: Reading list on controversies and shortcomings of the Journal Impact Factor.

The Impact Factor and Its Discontents: Reading list on controversies and shortcomings of the Journal Impact Factor.

Thomson Reuters have released the annual round of updates to their ranked list of journals by journal impact factor (JIF) in yesterday’s Journal Citation Reports. Impact Factors have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years for their lack of transparency and for misleading attempts at research assessment. Last year the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) took a groundbreaking stance […]

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    Should self-citations be included or excluded from measures of academic performance?

Should self-citations be included or excluded from measures of academic performance?

There has been much discussion over how useful citation metrics, like Google Scholar’s H-index, really are and to what extent they can be gamed. Specifically there appears to be concern over the practice of self-citation as it varies widely between disciplines. So what should academics make of self-citations? Referring back to our Handbook on Maximising the Impact of Your […]

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