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    Open-access books are downloaded, cited, and mentioned more than non-OA books

Open-access books are downloaded, cited, and mentioned more than non-OA books

Open-access journal articles have been found, to some extent, to be downloaded and cited more than non-OA articles. But could the same be true for books? Carrie Calder reports on recent research into how open access affects the usage of scholarly books, including the findings that OA books are, on average, downloaded seven times more, cited 50% more, and […]

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    SCOSS: strengthening the network of services that underpin open science and ensuring its sustainability

SCOSS: strengthening the network of services that underpin open science and ensuring its sustainability

Many have come to depend heavily upon the large ecosystem of non-commercial services that support open access and open science. However, many of these services are not financially secure; a concern the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) was formed to address, calling on the academic and library communities to help with funding. Vanessa Proudman describes how […]

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    Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

The case for open data is increasingly inarguable. Improved data practice can help to address concerns about reproducibility and research integrity, reducing fraud and improving patient outcomes, for example. Research also shows good data practice can lead to improved productivity and increased citations. However, as Grace Baynes reports, recent survey data shows that while the research community recognises the […]

The Publishing Trap! A game of scholarly communication

In a complex, evolving scholarly communications environment, it is more important than ever for researchers to have access to information and support resources relating to copyright and intellectual property rights. However, many among the academic community continue to view copyright as something of a problem and difficult to engage with. Experimenting with new ways to communicate and critically examine […]

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    The Radical Open Access Collective: building alliances for a progressive, scholar-led commons

The Radical Open Access Collective: building alliances for a progressive, scholar-led commons

The Radical Open Access Collective launched its new website earlier this week. Open access has always been about more than just improving access to research, and Janneke Adema and Samuel A. Moore here highlight what the Radical OA Collective can offer. A focus on experimentation with new forms of publishing and authorship; the promotion of traditionally underrepresented cultures, languages, […]

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    Journal flipping or a public open access infrastructure? What kind of open access future do we want?

Journal flipping or a public open access infrastructure? What kind of open access future do we want?

Open access debates are increasingly focused on “how” rather than “why”. Tony Ross-Hellauer and Benedikt Fecher present two possible scenarios for an open access future, consider the relative merits and viability of each, and invite your input to the discussion.

Open access (OA) is advocated by science funders, policymakers and researchers alike. It will most likely be the default way […]

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    LSE’s “request a copy” service: widening access to research both within and beyond academia

LSE’s “request a copy” service: widening access to research both within and beyond academia

The 2016 introduction of HEFCE’s open access research policy and specifically its “deposit on acceptance” message has led to a large volume of restricted-access items being placed in institutional repositories. Dimity Flanagan reports on how LSE Library’s “request a copy service” has offered would-be readers a way to overcome this obstacle to research, and how the data the service […]

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    It’s time for “pushmi-pullyu” open access: servicing the distinct needs of readers and authors

It’s time for “pushmi-pullyu” open access: servicing the distinct needs of readers and authors

The open access movement has failed. Self-archiving and open-access journals are struggling to deliver 100% open access and probably never will. Moreover, readers, the curious minds it was hoped research would be opened to, have been marginalised from the debate. Toby Green suggests an unbundling of the often disparate, distinct services required by readers and authors; a new model […]

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    Fair Open Access: returning control of scholarly journals to their communities

Fair Open Access: returning control of scholarly journals to their communities

The problem of how we should transition to open access is now urgent. The current situation is one of exorbitant subscription journals and expensive open-access ones, and to address it requires organised action from academics. The Fair Open Access Alliance, set up to facilitate the conversion of existing subscription journals to open access, is an example of such organisation. […]

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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 […]

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