Not-for-Profit Publishers Call New NIH Rule a Missed Opportunity

“The final National Institutes of Health (NIH) rule on Enhanced Public Access to NIH Research Information is wasteful of federal research dollars and a missed opportunity to take advantage of available technology and existing efforts, according to a group of the nation’s leading not-for-profit medical and scientific publishers. The final rule ignores significant free access policies already existing in the not-for-profit publishing community that offer more cost-effective public access to the science in their journals.

 

NIH’s new rule requests but does not require authors to deposit into PubMedCentral (PMC) manuscripts of articles reporting NIH-funded research that have been peer reviewed and accepted by journals for publication.  NIH would release these manuscripts to the public within 12 months or less after publication in the journal.  The timing of the release would be determined by the authors, who “should ensure that their PMC submissions are consistent with any other agreements, including copyright assignments,” according to the NIH statement.

 

These publishers believe that NIH should take advantage of the fact that most not-for-profit publishers currently make all their content—not just NIH supported articles—available for free to the public within 12 months.  Not-for-profit publishers believe that the public would be better served if NIH created an enhanced search engine that works like Google to crawl the journals’ full text articles and link to the final published articles residing on the journal websites. This would offer significantly more assistance to those seeking medical research results than a database of NIH-funded manuscripts can provide. This public-private partnership would be much less costly to NIH and would avoid the confusion that would result from publishing two different versions of the same article—an unedited version on PubMed Central and the final version in the journal….”

Data Policies | Scientific Data

“Data Descriptors, Scientific Data‘s primary article type, describe scientifically valuable datasets. These datasets must be made available to editors and referees at the time of submission, and must be shared with the scientific community as a condition of publication. Here, we provide information on the types of data that should be archived, guidance for authors on selecting a suitable repository for their data, and how to archive sensitive data.

Scientific Data’s data policies are compatible with the standardised research data policies set out by Springer Nature.

Please read on for our data deposition policies, and please contact us if you would like additional advice on how best to meet these requirements for your own data….”

Open Access | University of Iceland

“The University of Iceland has established a policy on open access and encourages staff to publish articles in open access outlets, such as open access journals, digital repositories, etc. The policy applies to publications in peer-reviewed journals but not to books or book chapters.

The UI Open Access Policy was approved by the University Council on 6 February 2014 and entered into force on 1 September 2015….”

COAR Next Generation Repositories | Draft for Public Comment

“In April 2016, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) launched a working group to help identify new functionalities and technologies for repositories and develop a road map for their adoption. For the past several months, the group has been working to define a vision for repositories and sketch out the priority user stories and scenarios that will help guide the development of new functionalities.

The vision is to position repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be deployed, thereby transforming the system, making it more research-centric, open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.

Underlying this vision is the idea that a distributed network of repositories can and should be a powerful tool to promote the transformation of the scholarly communication ecosystem. In this context, repositories will provide access to published articles as well as a broad range of artifacts beyond traditional publications such as datasets, pre-prints, working papers, images, software, and so on….”

Open Access Dissertations in University Repositories: The Shift to NoQuest or Proquest-optional Policies among American Institutions | Authorea

“An increasing proportion of American universities now require submission of doctoral dissertations to open access repositories, eschewing outdated policies that required microfilming and resale by the third party, commercial distributor UMI/ProQuest (Clement 2013). This significant movement away from mandatory paywalls for American graduate scholarship highlights that the obsolete practice of dissertation microfilming and reselling — established in the pre-digital era of the the early-mid 1900’s — is no longer the “best” technology for effectively copying, preserving, and widely disseminating academic manuscripts. Moreover, housing electronic theses and dissertations in scholarly repositories affords more flexible and responsive curation of multimedia, executable, and dynamic research outputs not optimally containerized in a PDF file with static supplements. Distribution via open access networks exposes the graduate students’ works to broad audiences without the barriers of commercial paywalls, corporate copyright warnings, and outdated, one-size-fits-all file management and metadata options designed for bound paper volumes.

The ubiquity of academic scholarship on the Internet and the ready availability of rich online digital media provide superior methods to broadly disseminate and responsibly preserve dissertations. Management and discovery of dissertations via Open Access repositories, combined with unfettered global distribution via scholarly sharing networks offer much greater exposure, access to, and the potential for reuse of electronic theses and dissertations. Institution decision makers interested in reviewing the many benefits of open ETDs in Open Access repositories may find the associated reading list of interest.”

January 2017 SPARC Innovator: ASAPbio

“Ron Vale says he’s had a great run at science and now wants to focus on improving biomedical research for the next generation.

 

“I’ve had this magical life doing this work that I loved and now feel a moral obligation to make sure other young people can live that dream,” says the 58-year-old professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California San Francisco.

 

Just how to attract and retain young scientists in the field is complicated, but Vale says one tangible way is to change the culture of how science is communicated and accelerate the process.

 

To address the issue, Vale wrote an opinion piece in biorXiv.org in July of 2015 in which he suggested that biologists consider using preprints to communicate their findings in parallel with using conventional journal publication. The idea of sharing preprints – drafts of scholarly articles posted online prior to publication in a peer-reviewed journal – attracted attention. Preprints are widely used in the physics, mathematics, and computer science communities, but were largely unknown and minimally used in biology in 2015….”