STM statement on the increase of unethical and deceptive journal practices

“The last decade has seen a worrying increase in the number of unethical research publications, as well as an exponential rise in so-called ‘predatory’ journals and publishers. High levels of trust are vital to ensuring that the publication and sharing of research results helps to advance research, the global pool of knowledge and the careers of researchers and investigators. Publication practices vary across both academic disciplines and countries, but there are common ethical standards and behaviours that ensure that articles that are published in trustworthy peer-reviewed journals are of the highest standards.”

Supporting journal publishing practices in the global south | Research Information

“Journals in the developing world face challenges in becoming known and respected in the international research landscape. Siân Harris describes Journal Publishing Practices and Standards, established and managed by African Journals Online and INASP.”

OER @ 16, “Where are You?” | Gordon Freedman | Pulse | LinkedIn

“The purpose of this post is to tease apart the Open Education Resources movement (OER, globally available knowledge in free form) for its own sake from the improved education and personalized learning models movement (structured education and structured personal learning). While the former is assured by now, the latter has not really begun. New and better teaching and learning models are desperately needed in K12 and higher ed, and OER can be and should be playing a major role. But to do so, the field of learning design, content management and personal analytics needs to embrace better processes for OER creation, use, tracking and re-use. This transformation will need to start with the application of data science to learning content, personal use and education outcomes….”

The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics

“There are multiple indicators which suggest that completion, quality, and affordability are the three greatest challenges for higher education today in terms of students, student learning, and student success. Many colleges, universities, and state systems are seeking to adopt a portfolio of solutions that address these challenges. This article reports the results of a large-scale study (21,822 students) regarding the impact of course-level faculty adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Results indicate that OER adoption does much more than simply save students money and address student debt concerns. OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students. They also improve course grades at greater rates and decrease DFW rates at greater rates for Pell recipient students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education. OER address affordability, completion, attainment gap concerns, and learning. These findings contribute to a broadening perception of the value of OERs and their relevance to the great challenges facing higher education today.”

HYBRID DATA and the Promise of a Modern Digital Government

“Consequently, the last 20 years have seen a transformation of public policies – legislative, regulatory, and administrative – grounded in the philosophy that access to and dissemination of government data is a public right and that any constraints on access hinder transparency and accountability. While there is broad recognition of the need to maximize access to government data, the types of government data are increasingly diverse and complex. For instance, there are many cases where the government collects or licenses private sector data, often combining this data with other data produced by the government. These datasets are often referred to as “hybrid data” or “privately curated data” – data licensed to or collected by the government that comprises both public and private sources. Access to and use of hybrid data is increasingly critical for government to transform data into actionable information….

Examples of curated, or hybrid, datasets include…peer-reviewed scientifc and technical literature that is based on government-funded academic research but published in the private sector. Subjecting this full range of information to unfettered “openness” requirements risks the availability and quality of these valuable data-driven resources. Such requirements will ultimately harm the public interest when the inevitable “tragedy of the commons” scenario compromises the quality of the dataset, as private-sector actors begin avoiding these government partnerships for fear losing control of their data. Unfortunately, some current open data policies invite unintended consequences – specifcally, well-intentioned but overly broad open data mandates that nullify intellectual property rights by extending to data produced in the private sector and collected by, or licensed to, the government….

Collecting, verifying, analyzing, and publishing accurate datasets is a resource-intensive activity that generates valuable assets and solutions which governments need. This effort demands time and money and manages several competing interests, including individual privacy, national security, and intellectual property. Entities – both private and public – who engage in this economic activity prefer not to have the fruits of their investment publicly released in a way that would undermine their value. Yet that is what some open government advocates appear to be demanding as a blanket rule – a rule that, if followed to its logical conclusion, could discourage or eliminate public– private data collaborations that result in enormous beneft for the government and taxpayers alike….”

Free Journal Network

“The purpose of this site is to promote scholarly journals run according to the Fair Open Access model (roughly, journals that are controlled by the scholarly community, and have no financial barriers to readers and authors – see the Fair Open Access Principles for full details). Such journals have a long history. Many are of high procedural quality, but  are less well known than commercial journals of similar or lower quality.

One main aim of this site is to help such journals to coordinate their efforts to accelerate the creation of a journal ecosystem that will out-compete the commercially controlled journals. Such efforts are complementary to the work of discipline-based organizations such as LingOAMathOAPsyOA, and the overarching FOAA, that focus primarily on converting commercially controlled subscription journals to Fair Open Access….”

Reducing Bias in Scientific Publication through an Open Access Repository

Abstract:  Heuristics (or intuitions), while quite often helpful, can lead to mistakes when they are not fit for a particular environment. As a result, heuristics can be detrimental to a scientific endeavor, where the researcher is expected to remain as accurate, impartial, and logical as possible. This tendency of individuals to use faulty intuitions is one of the main reasons for the existence of a peer-review process in academe. Due to the current system of journal publication and peerreview, however, there is a high potential for bias in scientific publishing. Researchers may be risk averse, attempting to research that which they think will receive funding and get published. “Salami-slicing” works to increase one’s publication count, only publishing novel and positive results, and overselling the impacts of results have all become common practices to get ahead. Referees in the journal peer-review process may also be biased in their assessments of what research meets their standards. Journals that do not accept replication studies, articles that go against the prevailing paradigm, or experiments that do not meet the .05 statistical significance cut-off inadvertently skew the scientific knowledgebase. Possible solutions to the biases in the current system of journal publishing and peer-review will be considered, particularly the acceptance of a centralized open access repository. If researchers utilize one repository that collects all research and publishes before the review process, biases concerning publication may be avoided entirely and the quality of research may be assessed after the fact. Instead of one bias that is enforced, postpublication review may allow for a proliferation of paradigms to emerge. One commonly used and agreed upon centralized open access repository would also allow for new journals to arise that are more domain-specific. Such a solution would increase the speed of discovery, innovation, and greatly facilitate scientific advancement.

Weaving a Semantic Web across OSS repositories: unleashing a new potential for academia and practice

Abstract:  Several public repositories and archives of “facts” about libre software projects, maintained either by open source communities or by research communities, have been flourishing over the Web in the recent years. These have enable new analysis and support new quality assurance tasks.

This paper presents some complementary existing tools, projects and models proposed both by OSS actors or research initiatives, that are likely to lead to useful future developments in terms of study of the FLOSS phenomenon, and also to the very practitioners in the FLOSS development projects, provided that interoperability is fostered at all places.

A goal of the research conducted within the HELIOS project, is to address bugs traceability issues. For that, we investigate the potential of using Semantic Web technologies in navigating between many different bugtracker systems scattered all over the open source ecosystem.

By using Semantic Web techniques, it is possible to interconnect the databases containing data about open-source software projects development, hence letting OSS partakers identify resources, annotate them, and further interlink them using dedicated properties, collectively designing a distributed semantic graph. Such links expressed with standard Semantic techniques are paving the way to new applications (including ones meant for “end-users”). For instance this may have an impact on the way research efforts are conducted (less fragmented), and could also be used by development communities to improve Quality Assurance tasks.

Weaving a Semantic Web across OSS repositories: unleashing a new potential for academia and practice

Abstract:  Several public repositories and archives of “facts” about libre software projects, maintained either by open source communities or by research communities, have been flourishing over the Web in the recent years. These have enable new analysis and support new quality assurance tasks.

This paper presents some complementary existing tools, projects and models proposed both by OSS actors or research initiatives, that are likely to lead to useful future developments in terms of study of the FLOSS phenomenon, and also to the very practitioners in the FLOSS development projects, provided that interoperability is fostered at all places.

A goal of the research conducted within the HELIOS project, is to address bugs traceability issues. For that, we investigate the potential of using Semantic Web technologies in navigating between many different bugtracker systems scattered all over the open source ecosystem.

By using Semantic Web techniques, it is possible to interconnect the databases containing data about open-source software projects development, hence letting OSS partakers identify resources, annotate them, and further interlink them using dedicated properties, collectively designing a distributed semantic graph. Such links expressed with standard Semantic techniques are paving the way to new applications (including ones meant for “end-users”). For instance this may have an impact on the way research efforts are conducted (less fragmented), and could also be used by development communities to improve Quality Assurance tasks.