Can We Decolonize Open? An Open Access Week Event | Scholarly Communications @ UBC

Summary of keynote by Jessie Loyer:

“Sometimes when folks are in the midst of a monumental, feel-good shift, they fail to realize who has been excluded from that space. Librarians and scholars have been advocating the ideals of open access for many years and have seen the exciting changes the movement creates for public knowledge. Yet we rarely think about whose voices are absent and the structures of power that limit this project. Together, we’ll query our positionality in these spaces, and consider how the politics of refusal and an ethic of care might intersect to complicate the open access movement, potentially creating futurities of reciprocity. If rethought as a tool of resurgence, open access can support justice.”

North American professors slow to embrace sharing research data | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Senior North American faculty appear to be slow in adopting online tools for research collaboration, suggesting academics rather than their journals are the chief obstacle to open access.

An analysis by the non-profit Center for Open Science found that its main scientist-to-scientist sharing tool was getting relatively weak adoption in the US and among the nation’s highest-ranking professors.

By country, the US and Canada were among the nations slowest to participate, while the UK and Australia were among the most receptive, according to the study of tenure-track faculty usage rates in psychology, the six-year-old centre’s initial target group….

Funding agencies were “starting to do more” to encourage data-sharing practices, while “the farthest behind are the universities”, which were generally too decentralised to impose data-sharing practices on their faculty, [Brian Nosek] said….”

Exploring Canadiana: A Use Case for Wikidata – Hanging Together

“My colleagues Jean Godby, Karen Smith-Yoshimura, and Bruce Washburn, along with a host of partners, have just released Creating Library Linked Data with Wikibase: Lessons Learned from Project Passage, a fascinating account of their experiences working with a customized instance of Wikibase to create resource descriptions in the form of linked data. In the spirit of their report, I’d like to offer a modest yet illustrative use case showing how access to the relationships and properties of the linked data in another Wikibase environment – Wikidata – smoothed the way for OCLC Research’s recent study of the Canadian presence in the published record.

Maple Leaves: Discovering Canada Through the Published Record is the latest in a series of OCLC Research studies that explore national contributions to the world’s accumulated body of published materials. A national contribution is defined as materials published in, about, and/or by the people of that country. The last category presents a special challenge: how to assemble a list of entities – people and organizations – associated with a particular country from which authors, musicians, film makers, and other creators of published works can be identified?…”

The Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform: Catching Up to Plan S and Going Further | The Official PLOS Blog

“It is worth pausing here for a brief aside about the distinction between open sharing, open publishing of research resources, and open access publishing of articles. All of these are important but for open science to be successful the distinction between them has to be clear.

Open sharing consists of making research resources available in a way they can be freely accessed and used. Sharing datasets in a repository or data sharing platform like Dryad, or code used for data analysis and visualization via a service like Github, are good examples. Sharing in this way rapidly disseminates resources and makes them available for use and adaptation by others as quickly as possible. Open publishing of research resources, however, involves the filtration of these resources through other researchers. These peer researchers make sure that the shared resource – whether it is data, code, single figures, or any of the plethora of resources developed throughout the scientific process – is in a form that is standard and easily usable by others, as well as presenting those resources in a curated form on a website or repository. Open access publishing of articles is the primary target of efforts like Plan S and relates to publishing scholarly articles in such a way that they are freely accessible and usable.

The Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP), along with myriad other organizations, are developing the resources needed to enable open sharing, open publishing of research resources, and open publishing of articles. By doing so the CONP is helping open science and reduce the current inequalities in access to all of the tools and research outputs science needs to thrive….

Opening science requires the collective effort of funders, data sharing platforms, academic institutions, and individual scientists. Science doesn’t have to be opened all at once, but steps down the open road must be taken, and must be taken now. The CONP will provide tools and guidance, but scientific culture shift requires a concerted community effort.

Some first steps needed to enable the open publishing of all research resources include: (1) forging agreements and partnerships between journals and open science platforms to make it easy for scientists to share their data, publish it in a curated form, and link it to publications, (2) promotion and tenure policies at academic institutions that value the sharing and publishing of data on par with producing articles, (3) funding agencies that require (and enforce) sharing and publishing data, code, and materials associated with publications as a condition of receiving a grant, and (4) a commitment from scientists themselves to change the culture of science towards openly sharing and publishing as many of their resources as they can.”


Meta-Research: Use of the Journal Impact Factor in academic review, promotion, and tenure evaluations | eLife

Abstract:  We analyzed how often and in what ways the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is currently used in review, promotion, and tenure (RPT) documents of a representative sample of universities from the United States and Canada. 40% of research-intensive institutions and 18% of master’s institutions mentioned the JIF, or closely related terms. Of the institutions that mentioned the JIF, 87% supported its use in at least one of their RPT documents, 13% expressed caution about its use, and none heavily criticized it or prohibited its use. Furthermore, 63% of institutions that mentioned the JIF associated the metric with quality, 40% with impact, importance, or significance, and 20% with prestige, reputation, or status. We conclude that use of the JIF is encouraged in RPT evaluations, especially at research-intensive universities, and that there is work to be done to avoid the potential misuse of metrics like the JIF.

Why we publish where we do: Faculty publishing values and their relationship to review, promotion and tenure expectations | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Using an online survey of academics at 55 randomly selected institutions across the US and Canada, we explore priorities for publishing decisions and their perceived importance within review, promotion, and tenure (RPT). We find that respondents most value journal readership, while they believe their peers most value prestige and related metrics such as impact factor when submitting their work for publication. Respondents indicated that total number of publications, number of publications per year, and journal name recognition were the most valued factors in RPT. Older and tenured respondents (most likely to serve on RPT committees) were less likely to value journal prestige and metrics for publishing, while untenured respondents were more likely to value these factors. These results suggest disconnects between what academics value versus what they think their peers value, and between the importance of journal prestige and metrics for tenured versus untenured faculty in publishing and RPT perceptions.

New CMAJ and CMAJ Open policy permitting preprints | CMAJ

The launch of the latest preprint server, MEDRxiv, specifically targeted at the clinical research community, is a sign of growing interest in preprints among health researchers. Preprints are scholarly papers that are posted by authors in an openly accessible platform, usually before submission to a journal for formal publication.1 There are now about 45 preprint servers in operation across academic disciplines, and the number of articles being posted is growing rapidly. In response to this trend, we have developed a policy on preprints that permits papers deposited in a preprint server to be considered for publication in CMAJ and CMAJ Open.

For researchers, preprints facilitate early and rapid dissemination of their work among the research community, which provides an opportunity for them to receive feedback from a wide audience that may improve the draft paper before journal submission. Preprints may help authors to establish precedence for a research finding or find potential collaborators for future work.1,2

More broadly, preprints may help reduce research waste and publication bias.2 Even good studies may have difficulty getting published at times because of negative results or limited generalizability. Preprint servers can facilitate dissemination of these study findings among the research community. And researchers can check whether there is recent research in an area they are considering exploring, which could reduce the likelihood of duplicative studies….”

CFP: The Future Is Open Access, but How Do We Get There? – Open @ CUNY

Each year, more and more scholarly works are made openly available. Indeed, with European research agencies now coordinating to require immediate open access to publications based on research they fund, predictions about the inevitability of open access may soon come true.

As open access becomes the norm, what decisions will scholars, libraries, and institutions make? Will we reproduce existing power structures, guaranteeing the continued dominance of high-profit publishers and flawed impact metrics? Or will we build something different — community-led publishing on community-owned infrastructure, with legal terms that protect the rights and privacy of authors and readers?…”

Canadian copyright report: Let’s wait and see how upload filters and press publishers rights will fail. – International Communia Association

“Last week the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) released a report with 36 recommendations to reform Canadian copyright law. Under Canadian law the committee is required to review the Canadian copyright statutes every five years and the report presented now is the outcome of such a review. While this means that it is relatively unlikely that many of the recommendations contained in the report will result in immediate legislative actions (the government is not required to act on them) the report is nevertheless interesting as it contains a number of recommendations that go in the opposite direction of the changes that the DSM directive will bring to copyright in the European Union (for a full overview of the recommendations see Michael Geist’s summary).

After a year-long study that includes a public consultation and a number of committee hearings on a wide variety of issues, the INDU committee has come to the conclusion that there is a lack of evidence for both a DSM-style press publishers right and for changes to the liability position of platform intermediaries as foreseen in Article 17 of the DSM directive. While Canadian rightsholders argued for the necessity of such interventions, they failed to convince the committee of the merits for these provisions….”

The Authoritative Canadian Copyright Review: Industry Committee Issues Balanced, Forward-Looking Report on the Future of Canadian Copyright Law – Michael Geist

In December 2017, the government launched its copyright review with a Parliamentary motion to send the review to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. After months of study and hundreds of witnesses and briefs, the committee released the authoritative review with 36 recommendations that include expanding fair dealing, a rejection of a site blocking system, and a rejection of proposals to exclude education from fair dealing where a licence is otherwise available. The report represents a near-total repudiation of the one-sided Canadian Heritage report that was tasked with studying remuneration models to assist the actual copyright review. While virtually all stakeholders will find aspects they agree or disagree with, that is the hallmark of a more balanced approach to copyright reform.

This post highlights some of the most notable recommendations in the report that are likely to serve as the starting point for any future copyright reform efforts. There is a lot here but the key takeaways on the committee recommendations:

  • expansion of fair dealing by making the current list of fair dealing purposes illustrative rather than exhaustive (the “such as” approach)
  • rejection of new limits on educational fair dealing with further study in three years
  • retention of existing Internet safe harbour rules
  • rejection of the FairPlay site blocking proposal with insistence that any blocking include court oversight
  • expansion of the anti-circumvention rules by permitting circumvention of digital locks for purposes that are lawful (ie. permit circumvention to exercise fair dealing rights)
  • extend the term of copyright only if ratifying the USCMA and include a registration requirement for the additional 20 years
  • implement a new informational analysis exception
  • further study of statutory damages for all copyright collectives along with greater transparency
  • adoption of an open licence rather than the abolition of crown copyright….”