Virgina Barbour takes to task publishing giant Elsevier for their latest round of introduced restrictions on the sharing of academic research. Their new policy states that, if no article processing charge is paid, an author’s accepted version of the article cannot be made publicly available via their institution’s repository until after the embargo period, which can ranges from six months to […]
Incentives for open science: New prizes to encourage research integrity and transparency in social science.
The high-profile political science study on same-sex marriage views in the U.S., now determined to be fraudulent, is the latest case exposing the need for incentive structures that make academic research open, transparent, and replicable. The U.S. study has been retracted, largely thanks to the discovery of inconsistencies in the data by an outside group. The academic community must […]
Towards ‘Health Information for All': Medical content on Wikipedia received 6.5 billion page views in 2013.
The medical content in Wikipedia receives substantial online traffic, links to a great body of academic scholarship and presents a massive opportunity for health care information. James Heilman and Andrew West present their findings on the wider editorial landscape looking to improving the quality and impact of medical content on the web. Data points to the enormous potential of these efforts, and further analysis […]
Why perpetuate a 300-year-old anachronism? Reincarnating the research article into a ‘living document’.
Online publication provides us with new freedom to update, amend and extend the research article as we know it. Daniel Shanahan presents a vision of the evolution of the article beyond the limits of the printed page. Creating a living document for a single research project, updated in real time, would lead to it being evaluated based on the […]
MSF Scientific Day 2015: Innovation for a faster, leaner research model to tackle public health threats.
A two-day conference taking place in London, New Delhi, and online will explore what innovation really means in a humanitarian organisation. Sarah Venis provides an overview of the ‘conference without borders’ where a key aim is to bring together medical, operational, and technological audiences to help guide field operations, influence policy, and increase the benefit for the populations in which research is […]
Fast and made to last: Academic blogs look to ensure long-term accessibility and stability of content.
Academic blogging has distinct advantages over traditional forms of scholarly communication but questions on their lasting preservation still remain to be seen. Who makes sure academic blog content stays online in the long term? Who guarantees that links to the post remains the same? Who ensures that the text will not be modified later on? Christof Schöch argues these are issues that […]
To what are we opening science? Reform of the publishing system is only a step in a much broader re-evaluation.
Openness is being invoked as a silver bullet to increase the productivity and cost-effectiveness of academic research. Sabina Leonelli and Barbara Prainsack argue that openness is more than just a blanket strategy to reduce costs. The failure to recognise neoliberal commodificaton and the false premise that open science will necessarily save money are two major misconceptions. Openness in science is not an end in […]
Self-host a scientific journal with eLife Lens: open source software to power open publishing systems.
The open access journal eLife has an ongoing commitment to not only making their research articles free to read, reuse and remix, but also their publishing software. By making these underlying resources available, academic communities can explore and embrace their own open digital platforms. Michael Aufreiter introduces the key features of the eLife Lens software. With this simple setup publishers can self-host […]
We are living through a frontier moment of online publishing. The dynamics of open access are new, and the internet opens up the possibility of an ongoing process of revision that is new to publishers, writers, and readers in the academy. Jo Guldi reflects on the experience of releasing The History Manifesto and the subsequent criticism of the lack of a […]
What’s the matter with ebooks? In our praise for print, we forget the great virtues of digital formats.
Do print versions still have an advantage over electronic formats? Ebook sales may be reaching a plateau but Dan Cohen argues there may be much more dark reading going on than the stats are showing. A huge and growing percentage of ebooks are being sold by indie publishers or authors themselves, and a third of them don’t even have ISBNs, the universal ID used to track […]
Gold open access in practice: How will universities respond to the rising total cost of publication?
Are universities able to shoulder the costs of the open access transition? Stephen Pinfield presents findings on the current state of institutional costs. The total cost of publication is defined as existing subscription costs, article processing charges (APCs) and the costs of administering them. So is the total cost of publication rising for universities overall? In the short term at […]
What does the future hold for academic books? Rebecca Lyons introduces The Academic Book of the Future, a two-year project funded by the AHRC in collaboration with the British Library in which a cross-disciplinary team from University College London and King’s College London explores how scholarly work in the Arts and Humanities will be produced, read, shared, and preserved […]
Beyond Beall’s List: We need a better understanding of predatory publishing without overstating its size and danger.
Although predatory publishers predate open access, their recent explosion was expedited by the emergence of fee-charging OA journals. Monica Berger and Jill Cirasella argue that librarians can play an important role in helping researchers to avoid becoming prey. But there remains ambiguity over what makes a publisher predatory. Librarians can help to counteract the misconceptions and alarmism that stymie the acceptance […]
Data sharing has the potential to facilitate wider collaboration and foster scientific progress. But while 88% of researchers in a recent study confirmed they would like to use shared data, only 13% had actually made their own data publicly available. Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Marcel Hebing, Stephanie Linek, and Armin Sauermann look at the mismatch between ideal and reality and argue that academia is a reputation […]
A blog may get you street credibility, but for formal academic recognition, books are still the preferred medium.
Could blogs replace books? Michael Piotrowski reflects on the current scholarly debate surrounding immediacy and impact of academic work. A significant issue for blogs is the lack of formal recognition, largely down to the general lack of pre-publication peer review. Books are more formal in all respects, but this doesn’t disqualify blogs per se. Blogs and books have different strengths and […]
Open peer review and its discontents: Criticism is an integral part of science – essential for progress and cohesion.
Discussing specific shortcomings of scientific research is no longer confined to scientific publications and discreet letters, but can be found online in blogs and across social media. This has opened up fruitful discussion, encouraging a more public form of peer review. But not all scientists are happy with public criticism. Sabine Hossenfelder argues that while not all scientific discourse should be conducted in […]
Introduction to Open Science: Why data versioning and data care practices are key for science and social science.
A significant shift in how researchers approach their data is needed if transparent and reproducible research practices are to be broadly advanced. Carly Strasser has put together a useful guide to embracing open science, pitched largely at graduate students. But the tips shared will be of interest far beyond the completion of a PhD. If time is spent up front thinking about file […]
Self-archived articles receive higher citation counts than non-OA articles from same political science journals.
The low level of research funding for the social sciences in the US is likely to have a direct and negative effect on researchers’ ability to pay the article processing charges associated with the most common Gold OA business model. But there are other options. Amy Atchison and Jonathan Bull look at the benefits of Green Open Access. Their research indicates self-archived/ Green […]
Are the natural sciences missing out by not embracing the monograph like the humanities and social sciences?
According to a recent HEFCE-commissioned report on monographs and open access, books in the humanities and social sciences are a valuable vehicle for research communication and the synthesis of complex research ideas. Steven Hill welcomes the report’s contributions and also reflects on whether the natural sciences are missing out by not more widely embracing the monograph as part of their own disciplinary practice.