5 Scholarly Publishing Trends to Watch in 2020

“The vision for a predominantly open access (OA) publishing landscape has shifted from a possibility to a probability in the opinions of many. A 2017 Springer Nature survey of 200 professional staff working in research institutions around the world found that over 70% of respondents agreed scholarly content should be openly accessible and 91% of librarians agreed that “open access is the future of academic and scientific publishing.” …

As noted, there is growing consensus within academia that the majority of scholarly content will be available OA in the future — but how to reach that end is still a matter of debate. The announcement of Plan S in September 2018, an initiative by a consortium of national and international research funders to make research fully and immediately OA, sent shockwaves throughout academia. 2019 saw the release of the revised Plan S guidelines with some significant changes, including an extension of the Plan S deadline to January 2021, a clearer Green OA compliance pathway, and greater flexibility around non-derivative copyright licenses. What remains the same — and has been a matter of significant debate — is that Plan S will not acknowledge hybrid OA as a compliant publishing model.

In response to concerns raised by scholarly societies around the feasibility of transitioning to full and immediate OA publishing without compromising their operational funding, Wellcome and UKRI in partnership with ALPSP launched the “Society Publishers Accelerating Open Access and Plan S“ (SPA-OPS) project to identify viable OA publishing models and transition options for societies. The final SPA-OPS report was released in September of 2019, encompassing over 20 potential OA models and strategies as well as a “transformative agreement toolkit.” …”

Predatory-journal papers have little scientific impact

“Predatory journals are those that charge authors high article-processing fees but don’t provide expected publishing services, such as peer review or other quality checks. Researchers and publishers have long voiced fears that these practices could be harming research by flooding the literature with poor-quality studies.

But the authors of the analysis, posted to the preprint server arXiv on 21 December1, say their findings suggest papers in predatory journals have “very limited readership among academics”, and therefore have little effect on science….”

The Citation Advantage of Promoted Articles in a Cross?Publisher Distribution Platform: A 12?Month Randomized Controlled Trial – Kudlow – – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  There is currently a paucity of evidence?based strategies that have been shown to increase citations of peer?reviewed articles following their publication. We conducted a 12?month randomized controlled trial to examine whether the promotion of article links in an online cross?publisher distribution platform (TrendMD) affects citations. In all, 3,200 articles published in 64 peer?reviewed journals across eight subject areas were block randomized at the subject level to either the TrendMD group (n = 1,600) or the control group (n = 1,600) of the study. Our primary outcome compares the mean citations of articles randomized to TrendMD versus control after 12 months. Articles randomized to TrendMD showed a 50% increase in mean citations relative to control at 12 months. The difference in mean citations at 12 months for articles randomized to TrendMD versus control was 5.06, 95% confidence interval [2.87, 7.25], was statistically significant (p?<?.001) and found in three of eight subject areas. At 6 months following publication, articles randomized to TrendMD showed a smaller, yet statistically significant (p = .005), 21% increase in mean citations, relative to control. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial to demonstrate how an intervention can be used to increase citations of peer?reviewed articles after they have been published.

 

Articles in ‘predatory’ journals receive few or no citations | Science | AAAS

“Six of every 10 articles published in a sample of “predatory” journals attracted not one single citation over a 5-year period, according to a new study. Like many open-access journals, predatory journals charge authors to publish, but they offer little or no peer review or other quality controls and often use aggressive marketing tactics. The new study found that the few articles in predatory journals that received citations did so at a rate much lower than papers in conventional, peer-reviewed journals.

The authors say the finding allays concerns that low-quality or misleading studies published in these journals are getting undue attention. “There is little harm done if nobody reads and, in particular, makes use of such results,” write Bo-Christer Björk of the Hanken School of Economics in Finland and colleagues in a preprint posted 21 December 2019 on arXiv.

But Rick Anderson, an associate dean at the University of Utah who oversees collections in the university’s main library, says the finding that 40% of the predatory journal articles drew at least one citation “strikes me as pretty alarming.” …”

The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

Revisiting the Open Access Citation Advantage for Legal Scholarship

“Citation studies in law have shown a significant citation advantage for open access legal scholarship. A recent cross-disciplinary study, however, gave opposite results. This article shows how methodology, including the definition of open access and the source of the citation data, can affect the results of open access citation studies.”

Revisiting the Open Access Citation Advantage for Legal Scholarship

“Citation studies in law have shown a significant citation advantage for open access legal scholarship. A recent cross-disciplinary study, however, gave opposite results. This article shows how methodology, including the definition of open access and the source of the citation data, can affect the results of open access citation studies.”

Guidance for research organisations on how to implement the principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment | Wellcome

The draft guidance […] provides information for Wellcome-funded organisations on how to implement the core principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

We want to hear your comments and feedback on this guidance, before we publish an updated and final version in spring 2020. Fill in our short survey (opens in a new tab) by 17:00 GMT, 24 February 2020.