Springer Nature: Plan S needs to focus on helping all authors and funders to better understand the benefits of OA | Group | Springer Nature

Research undertaken by Springer Nature shows that while there are proven benefits in publishing OA, including increased citations, increased downloads and wider impact, authors are still not routinely choosing to publish OA for often valid reasons.  Springer Nature has demonstrated that when innovative transformative deals are in place, a wide range of journals available from which authors can choose and the benefits of OA strongly promoted, then accelerated OA transition is not only possible but very successful.  In the four most mature countries which have Read and Publish deals with Springer Nature, OA penetration rates have reached 73-90% in only three years….”

If Software Is Funded from a Public Source, Its Code Should Be Open Source | Linux Journal

“If we pay for it, we should be able to use it….

But it’s important not to overstate the “free as in beer” element here. All major software projects have associated costs of implementation and support. Departments choosing free software simply because they believe it will save lots of money in obvious ways are likely to be disappointed, and that will be bad for open source’s reputation and future projects….

Moving to open-source solutions does not guarantee that personal data will not leak out, but it does ensure that the problems, once found, can be fixed quickly by government IT departments—something that isn’t the case for closed-source products. This is a powerful reason why public funds should mean open source—or as a site created by the Free Software Foundation Europe puts it: “If it is public money, it should be public code as well”.

The site points out some compelling reasons why any government code produced with public money should be free software. They will all be familiar enough to readers of Linux Journal. For example, publicly funded code that is released as open source can be used by different departments, and even different governments, to solve similar problems. That opens the way for feedback and collaboration, producing better code and faster innovation. And open-source code is automatically available to the people who paid for it—members of the public. They too might be able to offer suggestions for improvement, find bugs or build on it to produce exciting new applications. None of these is possible if government code is kept locked up by companies that write it on behalf of taxpayers….”

Open Science challenges, benefits and tips in early career and beyond

Abstract:  The movement towards open science is an unavoidable consequence of seemingly pervasive failures to replicate previous research. This transition comes with great benefits but also significant challenges that are likely to afflict those who carry out the research, usually Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Here, we describe key benefits including reputational gains, increased chances of publication and a broader increase in the reliability of research. These are balanced by challenges that we have encountered, and which involve increased costs in terms of flexibility, time and issues with the current incentive structure, all of which seem to affect ECRs acutely. Although there are major obstacles to the early adoption of open science, overall open science practices should benefit both the ECR and improve the quality and plausibility of research. We review three benefits, three challenges and provide suggestions from the perspective of ECRs for moving towards open science practices.

Plan S: how important is open access publishing? | Times Higher Education (THE)

Dislike of gold open access is also partly responsible for researchers’ opposition to Plan S. Lynn Kamerlin, professor of structural biology at Uppsala University, is one of the instigators of the open letter against it. While she pledges strong support for open access, she is happy with the current rate of progress and sees the recent “explosion” in the use of preprint servers as illustrative of the range of routes towards it. She fears that the details of Plan S’ “embargo requirements and repository technical requirements…are so draconian that paid-for gold becomes the easiest way to fulfil them”. This will convert the “nudges” towards gold in existing funder mandates (which she supports) into a “shove”, which will be “a disaster for the research community” because it will disadvantage those unable to pay article processing charges and “seriously jeopardise the much more rigorous quality control standards provided by high-quality society journals compared to the high-volume for-profit business model, which has an inbuilt conflict of interest”.

Nor is Kamerlin alone in expressing a concern that the allegedly lower standards of peer review practised by fully open access journals have compromised quality. But, for Suber, debating quality rather misses the point. “Yes, there is some low-quality open access work, but there’s also low-quality subscription journal work, and people who step back [to see the bigger picture] always acknowledge that,” he says. “Quality and access are completely independent of each other. Open access isn’t a kind of peer review, it’s a kind of dissemination.”

However, he agrees with Kamerlin that the “green” form of open access, whereby academics post work that is in subscription journals on their institutional repositories or elsewhere…is another good option….”

Imperfect but necessary: Funder Mandates & the shift to Open Access

“Below are my thoughts on why funder mandates requiring grantees to publish immediate open access are essential and worthy of support. Specifically, my thoughts on why the new initiative (Plan S) from the European Commission to accelerate the transition to full open access is good for science and society. This plan was announced in September 2018 and is going into effect in January of 2020; it requires grantees of the funders participating in the plan to publish their research in fully open access journals only. This initiative is the result of a struggle from the late 1990s to get publishing to change. Plan S started with 11 national funding agencies in Europe, but has since been quickly expanding with Wellcome Trust, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other funders joining it recently….”

Open access medical journals: Benefits and challenges – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  The world of medical science literature is ever increasingly accessible via the Internet. Open access online medical journals, in particular, offer access to a wide variety of useful information at no cost. In addition, they provide avenues for publishing that are available to health care providers of all levels of training and practice. Whereas costs are less with the publishing of online open access journals, fewer resources for funding and technical support also exist. A recent rise in predatory journals, which solicit authors but charge high fees per paper published and provide low oversight, pose other challenges to ensuring the credibility of accessible scientific literature. Recognizing the value and efforts of legitimate open access online medical journals can help the reader navigate the over 11,000 open access journals that are available to date.

The economic implications of alternative publishing models: Prometheus: Vol 28, No 1

Abstract:  A knowledge economy has been defined as one in which the generation and exploitation of knowledge has come to play the predominant part in the creation of wealth. It is not simply about pushing back the frontiers of knowledge; it is also about the more effective use and exploitation of all types of knowledge in all manner of economic activities. One key question is whether there are new opportunities and new models for scholarly publishing that might better serve researchers and more effectively communicate and disseminate research findings. Building on previous work, this paper looks at the costs and potential benefits of alternative models for scientific and scholarly publishing, describing the approach and methods used and summarising the findings of a study undertaken for the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the United Kingdom. It concludes that different publishing models can make a material difference to the costs faced and benefits realised from research communication, and it seems likely that more open access to findings from publicly funded research would have substantial net benefits.

On the value of preprints: an early career researcher perspective [PeerJ Preprints]

Abstract:  Peer-reviewed journal publication is the main means for academic researchers in the life sciences to create a permanent, public record of their work. These publications are also the de facto currency for career progress, with a strong link between journal brand recognition and perceived value. The current peer-review process can lead to long delays between submission and publication, with cycles of rejection, revision and resubmission causing redundant peer review. This situation creates unique challenges for early career researchers (ECRs), who rely heavily on timely publication of their work to gain recognition for their efforts. ECRs face changes in the academic landscape including the increased interdisciplinarity of life sciences research, expansion of the researcher population and consequent shifts in employer and funding demands. The publication of preprints, publicly available scientific manuscripts posted on dedicated preprint servers prior to journal managed peer-review, can play a key role in addressing these ECR challenges. Preprinting benefits include rapid dissemination of academic work, open access, establishing priority or concurrence, receiving feedback and facilitating collaborations. While there is a growing appreciation for and adoption of preprints, a minority of all articles in life sciences and medicine are preprinted. The current low rate of preprint submissions in life sciences and ECR concerns regarding preprinting needs to be addressed. We provide a perspective from an interdisciplinary group of early career researchers on the value of preprints and advocate the wide adoption of preprints to advance knowledge and facilitate career development.

Barriers, incentives, and benefits of the open educational resources (OER) movement: An exploration into instructor perspectives | Henderson | First Monday

Abstract:  Open educational resource (OER) barriers, incentives, and benefits are at the forefront of educator and institution interests as global use of OER evolves. Research into OER use, perceptions, costs, and outcomes is becoming more prevalent; however, it is still in its infancy. Understanding barriers to full adoption, administration, and acceptance of OER is paramount to fully supporting its growth and success in education worldwide. The purpose of this research was to replicate and extend Kursun, Cagiltay, and Can’s (2014) Turkish study to include international participants. Kursun, et al. surveyed OpenCourseWare (OCW) faculty on their perceptions of OER barriers, incentives, and benefits. Through replication, these findings provide a glimpse into the reality of the international educators’ perceptions of barriers, incentives, and benefits of OER use to assist in the creation of practical solutions and actions for both policy makers and educators alike. The results of this replication study indicate that barriers to OER include institutional policy, lack of incentives, and a need for more support and education in the creating, using, and sharing of instructional materials. A major benefit to OER identified by educators is the continued collegial atmosphere of sharing and lifelong learning.

The Global Benefits of Open Research | MDPI Books

A collection of 36 essays.

“The 2018 MPDI Writing Prize invited early stage researchers who are not native English speakers to write on the subject of “the global benefits of open research”. Six prizes were awarded, however there were many more entries. This book collates many of those entries and contains inspiring, thought-provoking and original viewpoints of open science through the eyes of those conducting research on a daily basis….”