Lancet editor-in-chief calls for ‘activist’ journals | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Academic journals must become more “activist” if they are to survive, seeking to “change the direction of society” rather than “passively waiting” for manuscripts, according to the editor-in-chief of The Lancet.

The medical journal is one of a number of titles now explicitly committed to helping pursue the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which range from eradicating hunger to reducing inequalities, as titles try to carve out a new role in a world where publishing has moved online….

Instead of “sitting in our office passively waiting for manuscripts to be submitted to the journal”, Dr Horton said, The Lancet, founded in 1823, now had a mission to “gather the very best scientific evidence, [and] to then think strategically about how that evidence fits within the overall trajectory of scientific and political policy in the world”.

For example, last year the journal published a report setting out how to eradicate malaria by 2050, backed by research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This was one of dozens of “commissions” initiated by the journal, which bring together experts to formulate proposals on subjects ranging from defeating Alzheimer’s disease to reforming medical education for the 21st century….

Still, some journals have faced long-standing criticism that their subscription costs mean they are unaffordable for readers in developing countries – or conversely, that the price of publishing an open-access article excludes scholars from poorer university systems.

Some publishers offer discounts to academics in poorer countries. The Lancet, for example, waives open-access publishing fees for scholars whose main funder is based in a state with a low human development index….”

[Blog] Why does a geographical perspective on open access matter? –

“When I’m asked what I am focussing on in my PhD research, more than a few of my counterparts initially don’t understand why my focus as a geographer is the transition of the scholarly publishing system, or what the whole thing has to do with geography. But when I start to reflect upon what kind of issues relate to an open access to knowledge, it becomes quite clear why geographers, and geography as a scholarly discipline, should care. In this blog post I will explain why….”

Building new societies: Insights and predictions from the 5th Wiley Society Member Survey – Roscoe – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Ten years ago, research conducted by the Biosciences Federation found that 60% of responders said they read OA journals, and 25% said that they published in them. Although a minority had claimed to have published in more than one OA journal, ‘they were not always able to distinguish between (fully or optionally) OA journals and other resources’ (Morris & Thorn, 2009). In fact, 31% of the journals mentioned were not OA journals at all. Over the course of our annual surveys, we have seen the understanding and significance of OA increase. In this year’s survey, 80% recognized the description of open research and 78% open science, for example, and only hybrid OA received the relatively low recognition rating of 61%. OA has moved from being a side issue to one of central importance, particularly among students, ECRs, and those in Africa and Central Asia. In last year’s survey, supporting OA was the sixth most important thing a society should do (65%), far behind publishing a journal (89%) and providing education and training (83%). In the current survey, it is the top service of which members want to see more. There is less interest in the USA (47%) and among senior members (61%), but if you are a student (85%) based in Africa (84%) or have less than 5?years’ experience (75%), then increased OA publishing is a major motivation towards society membership (see Fig. 6)….”

Building new societies: Insights and predictions from the 5th Wiley Society Member Survey – Roscoe – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Ten years ago, research conducted by the Biosciences Federation found that 60% of responders said they read OA journals, and 25% said that they published in them. Although a minority had claimed to have published in more than one OA journal, ‘they were not always able to distinguish between (fully or optionally) OA journals and other resources’ (Morris & Thorn, 2009). In fact, 31% of the journals mentioned were not OA journals at all. Over the course of our annual surveys, we have seen the understanding and significance of OA increase. In this year’s survey, 80% recognized the description of open research and 78% open science, for example, and only hybrid OA received the relatively low recognition rating of 61%. OA has moved from being a side issue to one of central importance, particularly among students, ECRs, and those in Africa and Central Asia. In last year’s survey, supporting OA was the sixth most important thing a society should do (65%), far behind publishing a journal (89%) and providing education and training (83%). In the current survey, it is the top service of which members want to see more. There is less interest in the USA (47%) and among senior members (61%), but if you are a student (85%) based in Africa (84%) or have less than 5?years’ experience (75%), then increased OA publishing is a major motivation towards society membership (see Fig. 6)….”

Comments on “Factors affecting global flow of scientific knowledge in environmental sciences” by Sonne et al. (2020) – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  There are major challenges that need to be addressed in the world of scholarly communication, especially in the field of environmental studies and in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Recently, Sonne et al. (2020) published an article in Science of the Total Environment discussing some of these challenges. However, we feel that many of the arguments misrepresent critical elements of Open Access (OA), Plan S, and broader issues in scholarly publishing. In our response, we focus on addressing key elements of their discussion on (i) OA and Plan S, as well as (ii) Open Access Predatory Journals (OAPJ). The authors describe OA and Plan S as restricting author choice, especially through the payment of article-processing charges. The reality is that ‘green OA’ self-archiving options alleviate virtually all of the risks they mention, and are even the preferred ‘routes’ to OA as stated by both institutional and national policies in Denmark. In alignment with this, Plan S is also taking a progressive stance on reforming research evaluation. The assumptions these authors make about OA in the “global south” also largely fail to acknowledge some of the progressive work being done in regions like Indonesia and Latin America. Finally, Sonne et al. (2020) highlight the threat that OAPJs face to our scholarly knowledge production system. While we agree generally that OAPJs are problematic, the authors simultaneously fail to mention many of the excellent initiatives helping to combat this threat (e.g., the Directory of Open Access Journals). We call for researchers to more effectively equip themselves with sufficient knowledge of relevant systems before making public statements about them, in order to prevent misinformation from polluting the debate about the future of scholarly communication.

 

How India’s new Intermediary Liability Rules could limit everyone’s access to information online

“The birth of the World Wide Web thirty years ago brought with it the promise of a global meeting ground for open knowledge, innovation and connection that no one had previously experienced. While society has made tremendous progress, giving voice to millions and making knowledge available in places far and wide, we have also grappled with challenges — from misinformation to the spread of harmful content — that have compromised these goals. These challenges have led to growing scrutiny of the internet’s visitors and purveyors, including restrictions designed to regulate the flow and exchange of online information. While the intent that drives these moves may be valid, the unintended consequences from unilateral, closed-door actions by governments could have dire consequences on an open internet.

New changes to India’s intermediary liability rules — the rules that govern how websites with users in India host content on their platforms — which are currently being considered by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, highlight these risks….”

Open Repositories 2020 – Stellenbosch, South Africa

“The Open Repositories Steering Committee and Stellenbosch University is delighted to announce that the 15th Open Repositories Conference will be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 1-4 June 2020. The conference will be organised by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service who looks forward to welcoming delegates to the first Open Repositories Conference (OR) on the African continent….”

EOI: South Asian Journals Editors for AmeliCA

“Supported by UNESCO, CLACSO & Redalyc, this AmeliCA XML is compliant with JATS standards and helps all the scholarly journals that promote a non-profit publishing model to preserve the scholarly and open nature of scientific communication.

The AmeliCA XML helps to produce HTML, ePUB, PDF etc versions which the scholarly societies can use and make their journals more visible worldwide over internet. And also get their publications preserved and communicate with other platforms.

With this background, I am proposing that lets all join together in building not for profit scholarly publishing ecosystem. The journals in South Asia which are traditional print only are not slowly moving towards online and open access but their native publications are only in PDF formats.

I am sure and confident that the journals when adopt and use the AmeliCA XML, the journal articles will be better formatted and are available for interoperable and sharing.

The journal of Horticultural Sciences (JHS) ISSN 0973-354X https://jhs.iihr.res.in/index.php/jhs/about from India had recently joined AmeliCA and is now in the process of publishing its articles using AmeliCA XML markup language.

Similarly, if the journal editors from South Asia are willing to use AmeliCA XML may please express their interest by filling the form at http://bit.ly/S4Amelica. We may get offline or online meeting/workshop and capacity building for the same.”

EOI: South Asian Journals Editors for AmeliCA

“Supported by UNESCO, CLACSO & Redalyc, this AmeliCA XML is compliant with JATS standards and helps all the scholarly journals that promote a non-profit publishing model to preserve the scholarly and open nature of scientific communication.

The AmeliCA XML helps to produce HTML, ePUB, PDF etc versions which the scholarly societies can use and make their journals more visible worldwide over internet. And also get their publications preserved and communicate with other platforms.

With this background, I am proposing that lets all join together in building not for profit scholarly publishing ecosystem. The journals in South Asia which are traditional print only are not slowly moving towards online and open access but their native publications are only in PDF formats.

I am sure and confident that the journals when adopt and use the AmeliCA XML, the journal articles will be better formatted and are available for interoperable and sharing.

The journal of Horticultural Sciences (JHS) ISSN 0973-354X https://jhs.iihr.res.in/index.php/jhs/about from India had recently joined AmeliCA and is now in the process of publishing its articles using AmeliCA XML markup language.

Similarly, if the journal editors from South Asia are willing to use AmeliCA XML may please express their interest by filling the form at http://bit.ly/S4Amelica. We may get offline or online meeting/workshop and capacity building for the same.”

News & Views: Shifting Power Balances in Global Scholarly Output – Delta Think

“The following figure analyzes the spread of output across major regions, comparing papers published in all journals with those published in fully OA journals….

 

Authors from Asia-Pacific (APAC) account for just under 45% of papers, with Europe a close second and the Americas third. (Total papers in this model amount to just under 2.4 million.)
However, Europe leads in authorship in fully OA journals, covering 52% of output compared with APAC’s 43%. (The model covers just over 500,000 papers in fully OA journals.)…
The top chart shows publications in all journals. Each color represents a different year. We can see that APAC’s share of output is growing, while Western Europe is flatlining and North America lessening.
Share of output in fully OA journals (the bottom chart) shows a slightly different picture. APAC is growing, but in this case, Western Europe’s share is declining, and North America’s share is shrinking even faster.
Smaller economies are growing their share of fully OA faster than they are growing their share of overall output, albeit from lower bases….

By measuring share of output and including overlap between multi-author papers, we can analyze how the “influence” of authors from different regions is changing. As shown above, data confirms the increase in APAC output and the static or decreasing trends in Western Europe and North America, respectively.

The story is much more nuanced when you drill into each country’s contributions. For example, China accounts for a bit less than half (48%) of the APAC region’s influence. While countries such as South Korea, Japan, India, and Australia account for single-digit percentages each, together they are moving the needle, accounting for almost 38% of APAC’s total output….”