Abstract: Contemporary scholarly discourse follows many alternative routes in addition to the three-century old tradition of publication in peer-reviewed journals. The field of High- Energy Physics (HEP) has explored alternative communication strategies for decades, initially via the mass mailing of paper copies of preliminary manuscripts, then via the inception of the first online repositories and digital libraries.
This field is uniquely placed to answer recurrent questions raised by the current trends in scholarly communication: is there an advantage for scientists to make their work available through repositories, often in preliminary form? Is there an advantage to publishing in Open Access journals? Do scientists still read journals or do they use digital repositories?
The analysis of citation data demonstrates that free and immediate online dissemination of preprints creates an immense citation advantage in HEP, whereas publication in Open Access journals presents no discernible advantage. In addition, the analysis of clickstreams in the leading digital library of the field shows that HEP scientists seldom read journals, preferring preprints instead.
“Today, SPARC released the first ‘Connect OER Annual Report, 2016-2017,’ which shows that its member institutions in the U.S. and Canada are working to reduce the cost of textbooks, increase access to learning materials and support better student outcomes through open educational resources (OER)—freely available materials that can be used, adapted and shared to better serve all students.
The report provides insights based on data collected through Connect OER, a pilot project to build a searchable directory maintained by academic libraries to share and discover information about OER activities across North America. This data provides a snapshot of the state of OER on 65 SPARC member campuses—spanning 31 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces—during the 2016-2017 academic year. The six key insights are:
Libraries are the most engaged entity on campus in efforts to advance OER.
Within libraries, the department most actively engaged in advancing OER is Scholarly Communications.
Mathematics and statistics is the academic subject with the most OER traction.
Nearly half of the participating institutions have a faculty or staff person with explicit OER responsibilities.
OER grant programs are the most common type of OER program reported.
SPARC member institutions saved students an estimated $5 million through the use of OER in the 2016-2017 academic year.”
“In the longer-term future, one could envision a system where researchers post their scientific contributions; a paper, a single figure, a method, a hypothesis; where we have the potential to make smaller contributions to the global knowledge base and get credit for those contributions in a manner that is more rapid and incremental. This would allow multiple scientists to collaborate and contribute to what we now know of as a single paper. Part of the challenge of the next 10 years is the problem of increasing information overload. Journals in the life sciences are aware that preprints have been around in physics for 25 years, and that the existence of preprints do not diminish the need for journals in that field. It is already impossible for a person to read all the relevant literature in their area, and this will only get harder. We need better tools to read and comprehend the literature, and a lot of these tools will be given by innovations in software and machine learning. My hope is that more of the literature is accessible to text and data mining, which will enhance our ability to understand the literature beyond that of a single human reader….”
“Preliminary results from a national effort to expand community college degree programs that use open educational resources (OER) nationwide found high levels of faculty interest and engagement in OER. OER are freely available learning materials that users can download, edit and share.
The study, Launching OER Degree Pathways: An Early Snapshot of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative and Emerging Lessons, was released today by Achieving the Dream (ATD). Conducted by SRI International and the rpk GROUP, the report indicates that faculty at colleges participating in ATD’s OER Degree Initiative are changing their teaching and that students are at least as or more engaged using OER courses than students in non-OER classrooms.”
“EAS, in collaboration with Education Strategy Center and the Ethiopian Education and Research Network, organized a consultative workshop on ‘Assessing the Landscape of Open Access to Scholarly Publications in Ethiopia’. The Workshop, which was held on 04 August 2017, brought together key stakeholders to explore the status of open access publishing in Ethiopia with a view to inspiring a collaborative action towards creating/maintaining a sustainable open access platform.
Open access platforms that center Ethiopians can be valuable in spotlighting and promoting scholarship among Ethiopians and making scientific knowledge accessible to the public. Prof. Masresha Fetene, Executive Director of EAS, noted that despite the increasing consensus on the benefits of open access, Ethiopia has yet to fully tap into the global open access movement. Prof. Masresha further noted that while various institutions in Ethiopia have open access initiatives, most efforts remain fragmented. Therefore, assessing the landscape of open access publications in consultation with a wide-range of stakeholders is a critical step in identifying what has been done so far in Ethiopia, the challenges under and promoting an efficient and collaborative approach towards creating and sustaining an open access platform.”
“NO HARM TO PUBLISHERS IS EVIDENT: • Publishers retain up to a 12?month embargo on NIH?funded papers before they are made available to the public without charge under fair use principles. • The Public Access requirement took effect in 2008. While the U.S. economy has suffered a downturn during the time period 2007 to 2011, scientific publishing has grown: – The number of journals dedicated to publishing biological sciences/agriculture articles and medicine/health articles increased 15% and 19%, respectively.5 – The average subscription prices of biology journals and health sciences journals increased 26% and 23%, respectively.6 – Publishers forecast increases to the rate of growth of the medical journal market, from 4.5% in 2011 to 6.3% in 2014.7 …
KEY FACTS ABOUT PMC: • Over 2.4 million articles are now in PMC. In addition to the NIH?funded papers deposited into PMC, publishers voluntarily deposit more than 100,000 papers per year. • Every weekday, 700,000 users access the database, retrieving over 1.5 million articles. • Based on internet addresses, an estimated 25% of users are from universities, 17% are from companies, and 40% from the general public …”
“The EOSCpilot project will support the first phase in the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). It will:
Propose and trial the governance framework for the EOSC and contribute to the development of European open science policy and best practice;
Develop a number of demonstrators functioning as high-profile pilots that integrate services and infrastructures to show interoperability and its benefits in a number of scientific domains; and
Engage with a broad range of stakeholders, crossing borders and communities, to build the trust and skills required for adoption of an open approach to scientific research.
These actions will build on and leverage already available resources and capabilities from research infrastructure and e-infrastructure organisations to maximise their use across the research community.
Reduce fragmentation between data infrastructures by working across scientific and economic domains, countries and governance models, and
Improve interoperability between data infrastructures by progressing and demonstrating how data and resources can be shared even when they are large and complex and in varied formats.
The EOSCpilot project will improve the ability to preserve and reuse data resources and provide an important step towards building a dependable open innovation environment where data from publicly funded research is always open and there are clear incentives and rewards for the sharing of data and resources….”