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    Book Review: The Open Book: Stories of Academic Life and Writing or Where We Know Things by Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener

Book Review: The Open Book: Stories of Academic Life and Writing or Where We Know Things by Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener

In The Open Book: Stories of Academic Life and Writing or Where We Know Things, Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener offer an experimental co-memoir that blurs, unhooks and reweaves the relationship between “academic” and “creative” writing, while also disturbing traditional divisions between professional and personal life. The book succeeds in bringing emotion and empathy to academic writing, writes Vanessa Longden, and prompts reflection on personal practice.
This […]

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    Taking back control: the new university and academic presses that are re-envisioning scholarly publishing

Taking back control: the new university and academic presses that are re-envisioning scholarly publishing

A recent report from Jisc showcases the upward trend in universities and academics setting up their own presses in an environment increasingly dominated by large commercial publishing houses. Following up on the recommendations arising from this report, authors Janneke Adema and Graham Stone put forward some ideas on how to best support these new initiatives through community and infrastructure-building.

In […]

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    A new high-level policy analysis sheds more light on Europe’s open data and open science policies

A new high-level policy analysis sheds more light on Europe’s open data and open science policies

A collaboration between the Digital Curation Center and SPARC Europe, the Analysis of Open Data and Open Science Policies in Europe report published in May. The report analyses national policies on research data management throughout Europe. Here, Martin Donnelly shares some of the findings. A majority of policies were owned by or heavily involved national research funders, laying out […]

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    Survey findings suggest both individuals and institutions can do more to promote open science practices in India

Survey findings suggest both individuals and institutions can do more to promote open science practices in India

How much have the open science movement’s practices and principles permeated researcher behaviour and attitudes in India? Arul George Scaria, Satheesh Menon and Shreyashi Ray have conducted a survey among researchers working across five different disciplines in India and reveal that more can be done to promote open science within its research institutions. While a majority of respondents believe open […]

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    Increasingly collaborative researcher behaviour is the real threat to the resilient academic publishing sector

Increasingly collaborative researcher behaviour is the real threat to the resilient academic publishing sector

Traditional academic publishing has been rumoured to be imperilled for decades now. Despite continued criticism over pricing and a growing open access movement, a number of recent reports point to the sector’s resilience. Francis Dodds suggests this is partly attributable to the adaptability of academic publishers but also highlights attitudes of researchers surprisingly committed to the status quo as […]

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    The number and proportion of freely available articles is growing; reaching 45% of the literature published in 2015

The number and proportion of freely available articles is growing; reaching 45% of the literature published in 2015

Using open data and open services, a large-scale study of the state of open and free access has found both the number and proportion of articles freely available to the public is growing, having reached 45% of the literature published in 2015. Juan Pablo Alperin reveals more about this study and suggests we are at the beginning of a […]

Seven functionalities the scholarly literature should have

Some of the most basic functionalities to be expected of a digital object continue to elude scholarly articles, making the literature much less useful than it could be. Björn Brembs has compiled a short list of seven such functionalities that academic publishers looking to modernise their operations might invest in; from unencumbered access and improved social components, to dynamic […]

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    A closer look at the Sci-Hub corpus: what is being downloaded and from where?

A closer look at the Sci-Hub corpus: what is being downloaded and from where?

Sci-Hub remains among the most common sites via which readers circumvent article paywalls and access scholarly literature. But where exactly are its download requests coming from? And just what is being downloaded? Bastian Greshake has analysed the full Sci-Hub corpus and its request data, and found that articles are being downloaded from all over the world, more recently published papers are […]

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    Introducing Canary Haz: discovering article PDFs with one click

Introducing Canary Haz: discovering article PDFs with one click

Access to PDFs of research papers is too often overly complicated and restricted. Canary Haz, a free browser plugin that helps researchers access the PDFs they need with just one click, has been released in response to this frustration. Peter Vincent, one of the co-founders, explains a little more about how Canary Haz works, while also encouraging feedback from the […]

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    A system that prioritises publications means early career researchers’ scholarly attitudes and behaviours remain conservative

A system that prioritises publications means early career researchers’ scholarly attitudes and behaviours remain conservative

Early career researchers (ECRs) are the largest community of researchers but despite this we know little about their scholarly attitudes and behaviours. Reporting the first-year findings of a longitudinal study of an international panel of ECRs, Dave Nicholas reveals that many remain conservative in their scholarly attitudes and practices. ECRs are concerned by “risky” open peer review, regard archiving […]

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    Making research articles freely available can help to negate gender citation effects in political science

Making research articles freely available can help to negate gender citation effects in political science

Advocates of open access (OA) argue that being freely available gives OA articles a citation advantage over pay-to-access-only articles. Indeed, while results are mixed, available research does tend to support that argument. However, is this advantage enough to overcome other factors that affect individual scholars’ citation rates, such as gender, race, and academic rank? Amy Atchison has conducted research […]

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    Science is a social process: facilitating community interactions across the research lifecycle

Science is a social process: facilitating community interactions across the research lifecycle

Modern day research practice is incredibly collaborative, increasingly interdisciplinary and a very social process. Sierra Williams underlines the importance of researchers and publishers alike recognising publication as one aspect of a much wider social process. By way of introduction to her role at peer-reviewed open access publisher PeerJ, she reflects on the purpose of community in science communication.

Where do […]

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    Three ways to support the democratisation of academic journals

Three ways to support the democratisation of academic journals

Much of the move towards open access in academic publishing has been funded by article processing charges. However, in recent years APCs have risen by 6%, making them prohibitively expensive for some of the academic and non-profit institutions primarily funding them. Reporting on a recently published white paper, Danielle Padula argues that in order to rein in journal prices […]

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    Rather than simply moving from “paying to read” to “paying to publish”, it’s time for a European Open Access Platform

Rather than simply moving from “paying to read” to “paying to publish”, it’s time for a European Open Access Platform

Open access is here to stay. Massive support from academic institutions and research funders makes it the likeliest future scenario for scholarly publications, leaving only the question of how the transition is made. Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Isabella Peters and Gert G. Wagner argue that current policy efforts do not go far enough. Scholarly publishing in a digital age […]

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    Announcing Unpaywall: unlocking #openaccess versions of paywalled research articles as you browse

Announcing Unpaywall: unlocking #openaccess versions of paywalled research articles as you browse

Today marks the official launch of Unpaywall, a web browser extension that links users directly to free full-text versions of research articles. Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem of Impactstory, the team behind Unpaywall, report on the successful pre-release phase, and explain how two decades of investment, a slew of new tools, and a flurry of new government mandates have […]

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    Are universities finally waking up to the value of copyright?

Are universities finally waking up to the value of copyright?

Whereas a large majority of universities have been proactive about claiming ownership of intellectual property such as patents or teaching materials, only a small percentage have been similarly assertive about copyright. However, amidst continued debate over the affordability of and access to scholarly communication, what practical attempts have been made to retain copyright within the academy rather than assign […]

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    Blacklists are technically infeasible, practically unreliable and unethical. Period.

Blacklists are technically infeasible, practically unreliable and unethical. Period.

The removal of the Beall’s list of predatory publishers last month caused consternation and led to calls in some quarters for a new equivalent to be put in its place. Cameron Neylon explains why he has never been a supporter of the Beall’s list and outlines why he believes the concept of the blacklist itself is fundamentally flawed. Not […]

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    Five minutes with John Holmwood and Martin Eve – discussing the future of academic publishing

Five minutes with John Holmwood and Martin Eve – discussing the future of academic publishing

Today marks the beginning of Academic Book Week (#AcBookWeek), “the week-long celebration of the diversity, innovation and influence of academic books throughout history”. First established in 2015, #AcBookWeek returns for its second year and will run until 28 January. As part of a varied programme of events, later today John Holmwood and Martin Eve will speak about the future of […]

2016 in review: round-up of our top posts on open access

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 […]

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    International Open Access Week 2016: your library can help open up your research to the world

International Open Access Week 2016: your library can help open up your research to the world

At the midway point of #OAWeek2016, Lucy Lambe and Dimity Flanagan highlight the work being done by the LSE library’s research support team to open up the School’s research to as wide an audience as possible. Whether through funding an open access monograph or via the institutional repository, there is much that libraries can do to support open research.

This […]

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