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    To argue against open access on the grounds that it damages the reach of research is to undersell research.

To argue against open access on the grounds that it damages the reach of research is to undersell research.

In this article, Ben Johnson posits that the frequently asked questions concerning open access implementation for particular disciplines arise from an incomplete conception of the nature of openness more generally. This conception neglects one vital component of openness: connection. Connection requires moving beyond a view of open access as a disruptive process towards a more nuanced picture of the interrelationship between openness, […]

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    Creating an efficient workflow for publishing scholarly papers on Wikipedia.

Creating an efficient workflow for publishing scholarly papers on Wikipedia.

The global scope and popularity of Wikipedia make it an ideal medium for researchers to share expertise. But it has been difficult to find an efficient way to link accessible scholarly work into the edits. Martin Poulter describes how the journal PLOS Computational Biology has tackled this issue by inviting submissions of review papers on a specific topic or research technique that has no […]

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    Impact Round-Up 12th April: Academese, #datadramas, and how not to think about the humanities.

Impact Round-Up 12th April: Academese, #datadramas, and how not to think about the humanities.

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.

What would happen if you lost all of your research data? by Julia Giddings at Digital Science explores such a situation faced by Billy Hinchen when his laptop with four years worth of research data was stolen. Hear […]

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    Accelerating the revolution in political science publishing: shorter, faster, more transparent and freely available.

Accelerating the revolution in political science publishing: shorter, faster, more transparent and freely available.

Editors of the recently launched journal Research and Politics, Catherine de Vries and Bernard Steunenberg, provide background on why publishing in political science requires a reboot. Time lags in conventional publishing and the limited accessibility of articles can undermine researchers’ attempts to maximise the impact of their work. It is time to add to the publishing repertoire tools and formats that are both […]

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    Impact Round-Up 5th April: Open access mandates, academic freedom, and homo academicus.

Impact Round-Up 5th April: Open access mandates, academic freedom, and homo academicus.

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.

There has been plenty of news coming from HEFCE this week. The new policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework was announced (see Monday’s post by Alma Swan describing the new policy as a game-changer for the open […]

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    HEFCE announces Open Access policy for the next REF in the UK: Why this Open Access policy will be a game-changer.

HEFCE announces Open Access policy for the next REF in the UK: Why this Open Access policy will be a game-changer.

With the final consultation period now over, the Open Access policy for the next REF has been released. Alma Swan looks at the rollout which requires the deposit of articles into repositories and finds this is pragmatic but good policymaking. With that simple requirement, the culture in British universities can be shifted towards open access. Swan also notes areas where […]

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    Wellcome Trust’s Open Access spend 2012-13: Are fees charged by major publishers creating a new serials crisis?

Wellcome Trust’s Open Access spend 2012-13: Are fees charged by major publishers creating a new serials crisis?

Publishers have reacted to open access mandates by offering hybrid “Open” options through Article Processing Charges. Ernesto Priego digs into the data released by the Wellcome Trust on the highest and lowest article processing charge expenditures in 2012-2013 and finds these figures reveal a mere inversion of the business model. Enabling Open Access costs money. But does it cost as much as […]

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    Institutional repositories provide an ideal medium for scholars to move beyond the journal article.

Institutional repositories provide an ideal medium for scholars to move beyond the journal article.

Reflecting on their experiences supporting the growth of Columbia University’s Academic Commons digital repository, Leyla Williams, Kathryn Pope, and Brian Luna Lucero make a clear case for why other institutional repositories should look to broaden the scope of the materials they house. Institutional repositories (IRs) should actively collect the full range of work produced by scholars and researchers — not just “green” […]

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    Impact Round-Up 8th March: Happy International Women’s Day, the failures of PowerPoint, and mental health in academia

Impact Round-Up 8th March: Happy International Women’s Day, the failures of PowerPoint, and mental health in academia

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. On International Women’s Day, do we know what academic success looks like? by Athene Donald delves into the issues raised in research from The Meaning of Success: Insights from Women at Cambridge by Jo Bostock. Similarly, GrrlScientist at the Guardian looks […]

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Experiment in open peer review for books suggests increased fairness and transparency in feedback process.

Over two-thirds of Palgrave Macmillan authors thought academic publishers should be experimenting with alternative peer review methods. Hazel Newton, the Head of Digital Publishing at Palgrave Macmillan describes their current peer review pilot investigating how open feedback functions in monograph publishing, from the initial proposal to the finished result. Reflections from Katherine Cartmell and Shepard Masocha, a reviewer and an author in this […]

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Cultivating an ethos of openness through research integrity

Regardless of the rhetoric about more openness in academic research, institutions appear to be failing to address some of the deeper issues. In order to stave off the steady rise of regulation and monitoring and to present a coherent alternative to instrumental views about research, it falls to researchers themselves to define the ethos of openness. Andrew C. Rawnsley discusses the moral substance of claims about […]

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Improving on “Access to Research”: Restrictive access and licensing fail to meet the needs of the 21st century.

Major academic publishers have supported an initiative equipping public libraries with free access to a number of subscription journal articles. Cameron Neylon argues this Access to Research scheme is an empty political gesture that fails to meet the needs of the UK public. By web scraping the information provided by the initiative’s site, Neylon shows that the scope of the service […]

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Paying twice or paying thrice? Open access publishing in a global system of scholarly knowledge production and consumption

UK open access policy does not exist in a vacuum. Casey Brienza argues that UK researchers represent too small a proportion of global scholarly knowledge production and consumption to rebalance scholarly expenditure. UK open access initiatives as currently formulated will instead lead to a significant de facto increase in costs for the UK. Instead of paying twice, once to fund the research and again to […]

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It’s the Neoliberalism, Stupid: Why instrumentalist arguments for Open Access, Open Data, and Open Science are not enough.

The Open Movement has made impressive strides in the past year, but do these strides stand for reform or are they just symptomatic of the further expansion and entrenchment of neoliberalism? Eric Kansa argues that it is time for the movement to broaden its long-term strategy to tackle the needs for wider reform in the financing and organization of research and education and […]

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The evidence fails to justify publishers’ demand for longer embargo periods on publicly-funded research.

Due to disciplinary differences in the “half-life” or relative demand of a scholarly article, some publishers are looking to enact longer embargo periods before an article can be made openly available on archives and repositories, in order to protect against profit losses. Peter Suber finds there is insubstantial evidence to suggest embargo length affects profit margin. Furthermore, the premise that public […]

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Academic publishers must sort out their outdated electronic submission and review processes.

With the advent of electronic and online publishing workflows, why is the submission process still so exasperating? Dorothy Bishop finds that with each publisher re-inventing senseless bureaucratic online forms, things appear to be getting worse for academic authors, rather than better. But with the disruption of the academic publishing market, increased competition may finally mean there is an incentive for […]

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Preprint posting, predatory journals and peer review: our top five posts on Open Access

The on-going discussion over open access to scholarly research was a regular feature this year on the Impact of Social Sciences blog. The top posts in this category came from a range of voices in higher education, from researchers and journal editors to librarians. While not technically part of the top five, we’ve also included below our eCollection from […]

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On the Harvard Dataverse Network Project – an open-source tool for data sharing

The Harvard Dataverse Network is an open-source platform that facilitates data sharing. Samuel Moore outlines how this customisable initiative might be adopted by journals, disciplines and individuals. I am a huge fan of grass-roots approaches to scholarly openness. Successful community-led initiatives tend to speak directly to that community’s need and can grow by attracting interest from members on the fringes […]

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