OASPA is pleased to announce the publication of an in-depth report and associated recommendations arising from a study of open access journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as “OA diamond journals”.
Funded by Science Europe and commissioned by cOAlition S in order to gain a better understanding of the OA diamond landscape, the publication of the study is the culmination of work undertaken from June 2020 to February 2021 by a consortium of 10 organisations (including OASPA) led by OPERAS. The study uncovers a vast archipelago of up to 29,000 journals, most of which (60%) are in the humanities and social sciences, serving the needs of multiple scientific communities across the world.
“Our industry must create an equal handshake between paid and open content if our platform is to solve the problem that brings a user to the platform. If I am seeking the best aligned and most comprehensive set of resources to design a course, I must have equal access to open and paid content. To achieve this handshake, I propose three key principles:
Platforms need full-text, complete video files, audiobooks, etc. of the relevant content, paid and open, to improve the metadata searched for discovery and the user experience once an item is selected as appropriate.
The search results pages and content entity pages must clearly display the open access/OER symbol, and the Creative Commons license applied to the content for future uses. In addition, an explanation of the license will often be required to reduce faculty uncertainty about reuse. For example, CC BY-NC 2.0 allows for remixing and re-use but not for commercial gain. A patron may struggle to understand this rights limitation without clear guidance from the platform.
Content providers, publishers, distributors, etc. are the lifeblood of the platform. Platforms invest heavily in services and functionality, but without content there is no user experience. To this end, and especially for providers of open content, we need to deliver robust data and insight into usage, engagement, and impact. Publishers need to see open and paid content usage by account, to include time viewed/pages turned, etc. Publishers need to see how the content is engaged with and when (time of day, device used) and publishers need to see how the content has impacted the recipient, e.g., student performance metrics….”
“Knowledge Exchange (KE) has published the report ‘Openness Profile: Modelling research evaluation for open scholarship
The report describes mechanisms and approaches to improve and incentivize the recording, the evaluation and the recognition of contributions to Open Scholarship practice. The report presents the Openness Profile and how it can help address existing gaps in the assessment of open science.
The Openness Profile is a digital resource, a portfolio of a research contributor’s outputs and activities, accessible in a single place. Academic and non-academic open scholarship activities become visible and more easily recognised. The Openness Profile is modelling how research evaluation in an open science context can be improved. Expected benefits are highlighted and requirements listed. Recommendations are provided to various stakeholders how to establish the Openness Profile as research evaluation routine.
Over 80 individual stakeholders from 48 different organisations provided input to this report on research assessment and open scholarship. The work and writing were done by consultants Fiona Murphy and Phill Jones of MoreBrains Cooperative, together with the KE Open Scholarship Research Evaluation task & finish group….”
“Earlier this month, cOAlition S and Science Europe published an in-depth study of diamond open access journals, so called because they charge neither author(s) nor readers. The study comes in five parts, each of which can be a lot to digest. What I thought I’d try and do with this post was to pick some of the highlights from the study findings.
The first sensible question everyone always asks about diamond OA is: how? How can a journal afford to sustainably operate if it charges neither readers nor author(s)? The findings report reveals that there are a great variety of organisations that are willing to financially support the operation of diamond OA journals including universities, museums, government agencies, and learned societies. One I am familiar with is the European Journal of Taxonomy (est. 2011) which is financially supported by a consortium of ten European natural history institutions across seven different countries. Each year it publishes roughly a hundred articles and remains a well-regarded journal in taxonomy. To take a different example, the excellent Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry (est. 2005) is financially supported by the Beilstein Institute for the Advancement of Chemical Science, a German non-profit foundation. It makes sense for organisations to take on these costs and they are highly manageable.
The second question people tend to ask is, what about the costs? How can organisations afford to financially support journals, isn’t it costly? The report reveals that diamond OA journals tend to be run in a very economically efficient manner – one of the most obvious distinguishing factors here is the use of open source software. By using OJS, Lodel, Janeway, or some other open source system there is no recurrent charge owed to license expensive proprietary publishing platforms such as Silverchair or Literatum or RVHost that are more typical of commercial paywalled or APC-OA journals. The study’s survey found that over 60% of diamond OA journals reported annual costs in the previous year under $/€10,000, including in-kind contributions. …
Fascinatingly, we don’t even have a firm grip on just how many diamond OA journals there are out there on the world wide web. A key result from the study is the estimate that there are between 17,000 to 29,000 diamond OA journals currently in existence. The majority are small-scale and annually publish just 23 articles, compared to 25 articles (by median) for APC-OA journals. Yet collectively, by article volume diamond OA accounts for an impressive 8-9% of the total number of scholarly journal articles published per year, a close rival to the 10-11% of articles that are published in APC-OA journals. Diamond open access, at the article-level thus comprises 44% of all articles that are in fully open access journals – a significant and perhaps hugely underappreciated force in open access journal publishing….”
“A growing number of funders are eager to encourage grantees to share their research outputs – articles, code and materials, and data. To accelerate the adoption of open norms, deploying the right incentives is of paramount importance. Specifically, the incentive structure needs to both reduce its reliance on publication in high-impact journals as a primary metric, and properly value and reward a range of research outputs.
This Incentivization Blueprint seeks to provide funders with a stepwise approach to adjusting their incentivization schemes to more closely align with open access, open data, open science, and open research. Developed by the Open Research Funders Group, the Blueprint provides organizations with guidance for developing, implementing, and overseeing incentive structures that maximize the visibility and usability of the research they fund.
A number of prominent funders have committed to taking steps to implement the Incentivization Blueprint. Among them are the following: …”
“The ORFG released guidance for funders called, Incentivizing the sharing of research outputs through research assessment: a funder implementation blueprint. The group created the document to assist funders in encouraging researchers to maximize the impact of their work by openly sharing research outputs. The blueprint identifies three goals to be successful:
change the perception that publication in high-impact journals is the only metric that counts;
provide demonstrable evidence that, while journal articles are important, we value and reward all types of research outputs; and
ensure that indicators like the venue of publication or journal impact factor are not used as surrogate measures of quality in researcher assessment.
To do this, the blueprint provides three steps with concrete actions for funders: 1) policy development and declarations, 2) implementation, and 3) engagement. Template language for funders is included in the document to promote easy uptake….”
The United States has mobilized the full force of its clinical research enterprise to address the Covid-19 pandemic, allocating billions of dollars to support timely research. As of January 2021, for example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had issued nearly a thousand awards cumulatively worth roughly $2 billion to support Covid-19 projects ranging from the development of medical products (including diagnostics and vaccines) to evaluations of population-specific risk factors and outcomes.1 Such initiatives, which have yielded new technologies and important evidence, illustrate the value of robust scientific infrastructure.
Abstract: Background: There is a growing global movement towards open science and ensuring that health research is more transparent. It is vital that the researchers are adequately prepared for this research environment from early in their careers. However, limited research has been conducted on the barriers and enablers to practicing open science for early career researchers. This study aimed to explore the views, experiences and factors influencing open science practices amongst ECRs working in health research.
Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of ECRs working in health research. Participants also completed surveys regarding the factors influencing open science practices. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data and descriptive statistical analyses were used to analyse survey data.
Results: 14 ECRs participated. Two main themes were identified from interview data; Valuing Open Science and Creating a Culture for Open Science. Within ‘Valuing Open Science’, participants spoke about the conceptualisation of open science to be open across the entire research cycle, and important for producing better and more impactful research for patients and the public. Within ‘Creating a Culture of Open Science’ participants spoke about a number of factors influencing their practice of open science. These included cultural and academic pressures, the positives and negatives of increased accountability and transparency, and the need for more training and supporting resources to facilitate open science practices.
Conclusion: ECRs see the importance of open science for beneficially impacting patient and public health but many feel that they are not fully supported to practice open science. Resources and supports including education and training are needed, as are better incentives for open science activities. Crucially, tangible engagement from institutions, funders and researchers is needed to facilitate the development of an open science culture.