Open science has finally hit the mainstream. Alex Lancaster looks at the emerging criticisms leveled against how we publish and disseminate science and argues it may be time to reframe the open science project. Rather than relying on instrumentalist language of “carrot-and-sticks” and “rewards-and-incentives” we should instead focus on the actual working conditions for scientists and the political economy in […]
Developing SocArXiv — a new open archive of the social sciences to challenge the outdated journal system.
While STEM disciplines have developed a number of mechanisms to challenge the time-lags and paywalls of traditional academic publishing, options in the social sciences remain few and far between. Philip Cohen of the University of Maryland argues a cultural shift is taking place in the social sciences. He introduces SocArxiv, a fast, free, open paper server to encourage wider open […]
Cameron Neylon (Curtin University), David Michael Roberts (University of Adelaide) and Mark C Wilson (University of Auckland) have conducted a large-scale survey of what mathematicians think of their scholarly publishing options and what improvements are required. Covering topics like open access, peer review and editorial processes, the survey findings reveal some fascinating insights into the scholarly communication system as […]
SAGE Open five years on: Lessons learned and future thoughts on open access in humanities and social sciences.
SAGE Open is celebrating its 5th birthday. When SAGE Publishing launched SAGE Open in 2010, the humanities and social sciences were still grappling with how to approach open access (OA). Through its mega-journal, well over 1000 articles have now been published OA, and it is one of SAGE’s most-used journals. Dave Ross looks back at the journal’s growth and lessons […]
Are the ‘gatekeepers’ becoming censors? On editorial processes and the interests of the scholarly community.
Questions about the proper role of learned journals and of publishers are brought to the fore in a recent exchange over suggested edits to a book review. William St Clair shares his experience and the review in question and wonders whether some learned journals are becoming afraid to facilitate discussion of academic issues.
In 2015, I was invited by the […]
Each year OpenCon brings together students and early career academic professionals from around the world to advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Nick Shockey and Joseph McArthur announce here the next OpenCon dates. In addition, Chris Hartgerink takes a look back at OpenCon 2015 and reflects on how the conference became the catalyst for a variety of deliberate actions […]
How do students access the resources they need? Survey finds only one in five obtain all resources legally.
Laura Czerniewicz presents an overview of findings from a study on the practices of university students accessing learning resources at a research-intensive university in South Africa. There is a grey zone in the access of resources that is now simply part of normal life in a new communication and information order. The students’ perspectives raise critical issues for new models of […]
Five Minutes with Timothy Gowers: “Academics can publish journals of the highest quality without a commercial entity”
Fields Medal-winning Cambridge mathematician Sir Timothy Gowers and a team of colleagues have recently launched a new editor-owned Open Access (OA) journal for mathematics. Discrete Analysis is an arXiv overlay journal, which means articles are submitted and hosted via the preprint server arXiv first. The journal coordinates peer-review and publishes via Scholastica with no cost to reader or author. Gowers reflects here […]
The University Press Redux: Balancing traditional university values with a culture of digital innovation.
This week the first UK conference on the state and future of university presses is taking place. The university press concept has regained strength in recent years and in the last 12 months alone a host of new presses have been launched in the UK. Anthony Cond, Director of Liverpool University Press shares his thoughts on the changing landscape of […]
Enabling authors to pay for open access – The Gold Open Access market and the role of an institutional central fund.
Having tracked and analysed the usage data of one university’s central open access fund over an eight year period, Stephen Pinfield shares findings from a detailed case study of the paid-for Gold Open Access market. Mandates, particularly if accompanied by funding, have played a very important role in encouraging uptake of Gold OA. Communication was a crucial factor in making potential users of […]
Academics generally recognise that the scholarly publishing business model is flawed, the impact factor does not point to quality, and open access is a good idea. And yet, academics continue to submit their work to the same for-profit journals. Philip Moriarty looks at what is keeping academics from practicing what they preach. Despite many efforts to counter the perception, journal ‘branding’ […]
High prices to access scholarly research could drive developing country researchers to use pirate sites like SciHub.
Developing countries are investing more in research and higher education and it should be no surprise that publishers are building commercial relationships to expand access and services. But prices are often still too high. Jonathan Harle argues now is a good time for the research community to reflect on what we can do to bring the cost of access down. If we […]
Breaking the traditional mould of peer review: Why we need a more transparent process of research evaluation.
Jon Tennant takes a look at the transformations underway aimed at tackling the widespread dissatisfaction with the system of peer review. He provides further background on the platform ScienceOpen, which seeks to enable a process of transparent, self-regulating, peer review, where knowledge sharing is encouraged, valued, and rewarded. By adopting a more transparent process of research evaluation, we move one step […]
Libraries and Open Journal Systems: Hosting and facilitating the creation of Open Access scholarship
There is a growing availability of free tools and software for academic publishing. How might libraries leverage existing platforms? Anna R. Craft describes one experience of an academic library hosting locally-produced open access journals through Open Journals Systems (OJS). But even “free” software is not without costs in relation to time and expertise. Care should be taken in facilitating a […]
Publishing companies such as Elsevier are facing increasing criticism from scientists. And yet they do not only pursue antiquated models such as traditional journals – they are also working towards creating tomorrow’s “operating system of science”. For Lambert Heller the essential question is whether science will be capable of developing open alternatives to such a system.
This is an English version […]
Five Minutes with Ulrich Herb on Open Science: “Open Science must be adapted to disciplinary specificities”
In a recent interview conducted by OpenAire, open science veteran Ulrich Herb shares the main findings of his research on the extent of open research practices in the discipline of sociology, as well as his wider thoughts on the history and future of the Open Science movement. This interview originally appeared on the OpenAIRE portal here.
How do you understand the term “Open Science”? […]
What does Academia_edu’s success mean for Open Access? The data-driven world of search engines and social networking
With over 36 million visitors each month, the massive popularity of Academia.edu is uncontested. But posting on Academia.edu is far from being ethically and politically equivalent to using an institutional open access repository, argues Gary Hall. Academia.edu’s financial rationale rests on exploiting the data flows generated […]
The resignation of the editorial board of an Elsevier-owned linguistics journal and its open access reorganization could get the ball rolling for other journals to follow suit. Benedikt Fecher and Gert Wagner argue this case is a reminder that open access means more than just providing access to an article; it means rethinking the whole process of publishing. Open access also raises important questions about who owns the […]
The arXiv cannot replace traditional publishing without addressing the standards of research assessment.
Jan van den Heuvel considers the vital role of discipline-specific repositories in the research process. The arXiv came into existence because it provided a solution to a very practical problem, namely publication time-lags. Recent developments like overlay journals suggest these platforms could play a bigger role in the publishing process, but as long as recruitment and promotion panels attach value to […]