The scientific publishing lobby: why science does not work

Scientific progress is anchored in the way science is communicated to other scientists. Research papers are published through an antiquated system: scientific journals. This system, enforced by the scientific journals’ lobby, enormously slows down the progress of our society. This article analyzes the limitations of the current scientific publishing system, focusing on journals’ interests, their consequences on science and possible solutions to overcome the problem….”

State of Open Data: Histories and Horizons

“It’s been ten years since open data first broke onto the global stage. Over the past decade, thousands of programmes and projects around the world have worked to open data and use it to address a myriad of social and economic challenges. Meanwhile, issues related to data rights and privacy have moved to the centre of public and political discourse. As the open data movement enters a new phase in its evolution, shifting to target real-world problems and embed open data thinking into other existing or emerging communities of practice, big questions still remain. How will open data initiatives respond to new concerns about privacy, inclusion, and artificial intelligence? And what can we learn from the last decade in order to deliver impact where it is most needed? The State of Open Data brings together over 65 authors from around the world to address these questions and to take stock of the real progress made to date across sectors and around the world, uncovering the issues that will shape the future of open data in the years to come….

The main goal of this project is to learn in order to help shape the future of open data based on information and evidence gathered from the community. With over 65 authors, an Editorial Board, and a development methodology that allows for flexibility and community feedback, The State of Open Data – Histories and Horizons brings a myriad of perspectives to the task of reviewing the state of open data….”

Invest in Open Infrastructure Launches

Tuesday 14 May 2018 saw the formation of Invest In Open Infrastructure (IOI) a global initiative to increase the availability and sustainability of open knowledge infrastructure. The needs of today’s diverse scholarly communities are not being met by the existing largely uncoordinated scholarly infrastructure, which is dominated by vendor products that take ownership of the scholarly process and data without appropriate governance and oversight from the communities they serve.

 We imagine a world in which communities of researchers, scholars, and knowledge workers across the globe are fully enabled to share, discover, and collaborate using tools and platforms that are designed to interoperate and complement one another rather than compete and exclude.

IOI will consist of two functions, one is an assessment and recommendation framework that will regularly survey the landscape of open scholarly infrastructure with respect to its functionality, usage, health and financial needs and make funding recommendations for that infrastructure.

IOI’s second function will coordinate funds to follow the recommendations of the framework. Coordinating financial resources from institutions, agencies and foundations, we will work to increase the overall funding available to emerging and critical infrastructure….”

Invest in Open Infrastructure Launches | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“Today we are announcing the formation of Invest In Open Infrastructure (IOI) a global initiative to increase the availability and sustainability of open knowledge infrastructure.

The needs of today’s diverse scholarly communities are not being met by the existing largely uncoordinated scholarly infrastructure, which is dominated by vendor products that take ownership of the scholarly process and data without appropriate governance and oversight from the communities they serve. We imagine a world in which communities of researchers, scholars, and knowledge workers across the globe are fully enabled to share, discover, and collaborate using tools and platforms that are designed to interoperate and complement one another rather than compete and exclude.

IOI will consist of two functions, one is an assessment and recommendation framework that will regularly survey the landscape of open scholarly infrastructure with respect to its functionality, usage, health and financial needs and make funding recommendations for that infrastructure.

IOI’s second function will coordinate funds to follow the recommendations of the framework. Coordinating financial resources from institutions, agencies and foundations, we will work to increase the overall funding available to emerging and critical infrastructure….”

Decisions adopted by the Executive Board at its 206th session – UNESCO Digital Library

Section 9 (p. 18): 

“Preliminary study of the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a UNESCO recommendation on open science (206 EX/9; 206 EX/ 47.I) The Executive Board, 1. Having examined document 206 EX/9, 2. Decides to include an item on the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the provisional agenda of the 40th session of the General Conference; 3. Invites the Director-General to submit to the General Conference at its 40th session the preliminary study on the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a standard-setting instrument on Open Science contained in document 206 EX/9, together with the relevant observations and decisions of the Executive Board thereon, in particular, the need to overcome the digital, technological and knowledge divides existing between developing and developed countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States;4. Also invites the Director-General to continue holding intergovernmental consultations in praesentiawith a view for a possible elaboration of a recommendation on Open Science;5. Requests the Director-General to present the consolidated roadmap to the 207th session of the Executive Board….” 

Preliminary study of the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a UNESCO recommendation on open science(206 EX/9; 206 EX/ 47.I) The Executive Board, 1. Having examined document 206 EX/9, 2. Decides to include an item on the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the provisional agenda of the 40th session of the General Conference; 3. Invites the Director-General to submit to the General Conference at its 40th session the preliminary study on the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a standard-setting instrument on Open Science contained in document 206 EX/9, together with the relevant observations and decisions of the Executive Board thereon, in particular, the need to overcome the digital, technological and knowledge divides existing between developing and developed countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States;4. Also invites the Director-General to continue holding intergovernmental consultations in praesentiawith a view for a possible elaboration of a recommendation on Open Science;5. Requests the Director-General to present the consolidated roadmap to the 207th session of the Executive Board

Data Communities A New Model for Supporting STEM Data Sharing

In this issue brief, we build on our ongoing research into scholarly practices to propose a new mechanism for conceptualizing and supporting STEM research data sharing.[8] Successful data sharing happens within data communities, formal or informal groups of scholars who share a certain type of data with each other, regardless of disciplinary boundaries. Drawing on Ithaka S+R findings and the scholarly literature, we identify what constitutes a data community and outline its most important features by studying three success stories, investigating the circumstances under which intensive data sharing is already happening. We contend that stakeholders who wish to promote data sharing – librarians, information technologists, scholarly communications professionals, and research funders, to name a few – should work to identify and support emergent data communities. These are groups of scholars for whom a relatively straightforward technological intervention, usually the establishment of a data repository, could kickstart the growth of a more active data sharing culture. We conclude by responding to some potential counterarguments to this call for bottom-up intervention and offering recommendations for ways forward….”

2019 Big Deals Survey Report: An Updated Mapping of Major Scholarly Publishing Contracts in Europe

“The Second EUA Big Deals Survey Report is an updated mapping of major scholarly publishing contracts in Europe.

Conducted in 2017-2018, the report gathers data from 31 consortia covering an unprecedented 167 contracts with five major publishers: Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, Wiley and American Chemical Society. Readers will discover that the total costs reported by the participating consortia exceed one billion euros for periodicals, databases, e-books and other resources – mainly to the benefit of large, commercial scholarly publishers.

The report provides an overview of Big Deal negotiations across Europe, focusing on topics such as the organisation of negotiations, provisions on Open Access and transparency of contracts and costs. It also offers information on the consortia and focuses specifically on periodical Big Deal contracts with the five large publishers selected for this survey. Finally, the report addresses the costs of Big Deal contracts, offering conclusions and policy recommendations on the negotiation of contracts….”

Developing a strategic approach to open scholarship in Australia: Joint CAUL-AOASG Election Statement – Australasian Open Access Strategy Group

In its 2018 inquiry into the Australian Government Funding Arrangements for non-NHMRC Research, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training recommended “that the Australian Government develop a more strategic approach to Australia’s open scholarship environment”. CAUL and AOASG supported this recommendation[4].

It is now time to implement that approach through the establishment of a cross-sectoral body charged with developing and implementing, within three years, a national action plan for open scholarship – a plan that would include recommendations on changes to the policy and funding framework for Australian higher education. Open scholarship should also be included in the terms of reference for any post-election reviews or inquiries on Australian higher education and research.

Achieving fair and open access to Australian research outputs would be a realistic and significant accomplishment for a new or re-appointed Minister after the election, and a priority for government. CAUL and the AOASG are ready to offer their experience, expertise and knowledge to the goal of open scholarship….”

Envisioning data sharing for the biocomputing community | Interface Focus

Abstract:  The scientific community is facing a revolution in several aspects of its modus operandi, ranging from the way science is done—data production, collection, analysis—to the way it is communicated and made available to the public, be that an academic audience or a general one. These changes have been largely determined by two key players: the big data revolution or, less triumphantly, the impressive increase in computational power and data storage capacity; and the accelerating paradigm switch in science publication, with people and policies increasingly pushing towards open access frameworks. All these factors prompt the undertaking of initiatives oriented to maximize the effectiveness of the computational efforts carried out worldwide. Taking the moves from these observations, we here propose a coordinated initiative, focusing on the computational biophysics and biochemistry community but general and flexible in its defining characteristics, which aims at addressing the growing necessity of collecting, rationalizing, sharing and exploiting the data produced in this scientific environment.

Nudging transparent behavioural science and policy | Behavioural Public Policy | Cambridge Core

Abstract:  There are inherent differences in the priorities of academics and policy-makers. These pose unique challenges for teams such as the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), which has positioned itself as an organisation conducting academically rigorous behavioural science research in policy settings. Here we outline the threats to research transparency and reproducibility that stem from working with policy-makers and other non-academic stakeholders. These threats affect how we perform, communicate, verify and evaluate research. Solutions that increase research transparency include pre-registering study protocols, making data open and publishing summaries of results. We suggest an incentive structure (a simple ‘nudge’) that rewards BIT’s non-academic partners for engaging in these practices.