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    Let Elsevier Go: The potential savings from cancelling journal subscriptions would cover the Open Access transition.

Let Elsevier Go: The potential savings from cancelling journal subscriptions would cover the Open Access transition.

Dutch universities recently took a stand against publisher Elsevier following failed negotiations over subscription costs. As universities and library budgets worldwide look to transition to open access, these costs must be considered. Cameron Neylon looks at the options for funding the transition to open access and finds that whilst short term access would be an issue, the potential savings from […]

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    Standards for scientific graphic presentation: Interactive figures could significantly improve understanding of data.

Standards for scientific graphic presentation: Interactive figures could significantly improve understanding of data.

Over the previous hundred years, a lot of work has gone into standardizing the way scientific data is presented. All of this knowledge has been largely forgotten. Jure Triglav wants us to bring the past back to life. Drawing on lessons learned from the New York City subway system and the graphic standards of 1914, he argues for the […]

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    Embracing Messiness: Open access offers the chance to creatively experiment with scholarly publishing.

Embracing Messiness: Open access offers the chance to creatively experiment with scholarly publishing.

In the quest for greater access to scholarly work, the discussion has long been characterised as a search, for better or for worse, for the most sustainable model. In this transcript of her recent talk at the Post-Digital Scholar conference, Janneke Adema warns that framing the debate in terms of business models might actually lead to a watered-down version of open […]

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    Book Review: Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future by Martin Eve

Book Review: Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future by Martin Eve

Martin Eve’s new book is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of open access and scholarly communication in the humanities. With chapters on digital economics, open licensing, and technological innovations, the book represents a rallying call for researchers to shape the future of open scholarly communication and public engagement, writes Jonathan Gray.

This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books.
Open Access and […]

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    Comment, discuss, review: An essential guide to post-publication review sites.

Comment, discuss, review: An essential guide to post-publication review sites.

Andy Tattersall continues his discussion of post-publication peer review and provides an overview of the main tools and sites, from publisher platforms to independent forums, offering some kind of comment, discussion or review system for scholarly content.

Academic debate using the many Web 2.0 and social media tools freely available has only been embraced by a small percentage of academics. Interesting […]

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    “I only come here for the comments” – Exploring the controversy of post-publication peer review.

“I only come here for the comments” – Exploring the controversy of post-publication peer review.

The journal publishing model has long been criticised for being out of touch with modern, online communication trends. In the age of rapid-fire discussion, what hope is there for sustained, productive, peer review? Andy Tattersall looks at the shortcomings and opportunities of post-publication review online and picks apart the differences between reviewing, discussing and commenting in a scholarly context.

This […]

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    Open science and the disciplinary culture clash – Why is it so hard to reach a consensus?

Open science and the disciplinary culture clash – Why is it so hard to reach a consensus?

When it comes down to the nitty gritty detail of what open science means for an individual researcher, the disciplinary context is key. As clear and straightforward as making research publicly available is, many questions still remain for specific disciplines. Peter Kraker reports back from a session on openness in the humanities where definitions of data, research work and research materials […]

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    From Attention to Citation: What are altmetrics and how do they work?

From Attention to Citation: What are altmetrics and how do they work?

Scholarly and social impacts of scientific publications could be measured by various metrics, including article usage, Mendeley readership and Altmetric scores, etc. But what is the relationship amongst the different metrics? Previous studies show there is low correlation between altmetrics and citation, but how do altmetrics compare to other metrics? Xianwen Wang and his colleagues recently conducted a study to answer […]

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    Data Descriptors: Providing the necessary information to make data open, discoverable and reusable.

Data Descriptors: Providing the necessary information to make data open, discoverable and reusable.

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 […]

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    Wages of Sin: Open Access is growing in theory but not in substance.

Wages of Sin: Open Access is growing in theory but not in substance.

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 […]

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    Freedom of Information requests uncover the lack of transparency in journal subscription costs.

Freedom of Information requests uncover the lack of transparency in journal subscription costs.

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 […]

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    Wall Street analysts say open access has failed due to lack of focus, but their analysis might help it succeed.

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 […]

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    Impact Round-Up 4th October: Metrics for scientific outreach, Google Books fair use, and privacy in the digital age

Impact Round-Up 4th October: Metrics for scientific outreach, Google Books fair use, and privacy in the digital age

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a brief round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
Paige Brown Jarreau at SciLogs calls out Science’s latest ‘Top Scientists on Twitter’ list for reducing social media science engagement to popularity.  She considers what criteria might lead to more enriching experiences with science communication on Twitter in her […]

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