A bridge to access research: Reflections on the Community Scholars Program developmental evaluation – Scholarly Communications Lab | ScholCommLab

“Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s Community Scholars Program (CSP) is a unique initiative that aims to do just that. Established in 2016 in collaboration with the United Way of the Lower Mainland and Mindset Social Innovation Foundation, the program connects more than 500 people working in nonprofits and community organizations across BC with the latest scholarly literature, providing free access as well as research training and support. …

Finally, my research revealed that the CSP acts as a bridge between disconnected worlds, bringing together traditional, for-profit scholarly publishing models with a more “public good”-oriented approach to knowledge access. As the success of the program depends on the willingness of scholarly publishers to allow community access to scholarship, its very existence is a living compromise within a publishing ecosystem where access to research has become a hotly contested topic. During my evaluation, I encountered countless compelling examples of the research impact made possible by bringing these seemingly conflicting realities together. …”

Attracting new users or business as usual? A case study of converting academic subscription based journals to open access | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press Journals

Abstract:  This paper studies a selection of eleven Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies. By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014-2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase which can be attributed to the conversion. Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors. The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict polices targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access.

 

Patient involvement in medical publications – PharmaTimes

“A main finding from resurveyed editors was that a combined 89% said there is no suitable formal role for patients as reviewers of medical literature. Asked to interpret prior results, 26% said that a lack of patient involvement may reflect a lag in acceptance and/or implementation of such processes overall, but more telling was that almost two-thirds (64%) maintained that drives to include patients in peer-reviewed journals’ editorial processes – unlike in drug development and/or clinical trial design – may need re-evaluation. That said, a number of editors did suggest that patients could serve valuable roles reviewing specific types of articles, for example, those dealing with adherence or quality of life….”

The Monopoly of Journal Subscriptions and the Commodification of Research – The Wire Science

“So the final question is whether the government of India should try to address the basic problem of proprietorship of knowledge, and its subsequent commercialisation, by negotiating for a better deal from journal proprietors for access at less exorbitant fees; or should it examine how to change the law to give proprietary ownership to the creators of the knowledge?

The earlier bulk subscriptions negotiated by Uruguay and Egypt, cost them about Rs 48 per capita, while India currently spends about Rs 12 per capita. For India to arrive at an agreement at the same rate as Uruguay and Egypt would mean an expenditure of roughly Rs 6,500 crore (or $890mn). As it is, in India, public funding for research is scarce and becoming scarcer by the day through market-friendly policies. Changing the law, on the other hand, would either mean modifying existing legal provisions or at least passing legislation with respect to publicly funded research and its products within India as well as free access to such research globally….

Meanwhile, we must be quite clear that Sci-Hub and Library Genesis are providing an enormously useful service to scholars all over the world. It will be a long time before any official agency in India will be able to provide a comparable service. The best we can hope for is that the court cases against them languish for as long as possible as they do for much less laudable causes.”

Public Humanities and Publication

“Publicly engaged scholars produce work in new formats that are not yet universally supported by academic institutions. Conventional single-author print books are joined by or give way to print-plusdigital and digital-only publications or “born-digital” publications, which are designed in and for a digital environment, featuring multimedia, dynamic content, data sets, or other tools to shape, use, and navigate the contents. Different publishers are able to cater to different subsets of these established and new formats, depending on the expertise available and the capacity to adapt to evolving needs. Seeking out collaborations across campus, with libraries, or with outside funding agencies to support new formats and business models is a key activity in developing capacity for the public humanities. At Stanford University Press, with the support of two consecutive grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we are building a digital publishing program (https://www.sup.org/digital/) of interactive scholarly works. The program is not exclusively dedicated to the public humanities, but it offers an ideal home for this kind of work. Our publications are open access, allowing audiences to engage with our content without paywalls. Interactive formats can more easily cater to different audiences, incorporating scholarly arguments and community resources. We are collaborating on campus with Stanford University Libraries on preservation and archiving our publications. Our FAQs (https://www.sup.org/digital/faq/) explain the scope of our program and our blog (http://blog.supdigital.org/), features content especially about our archiving and preservation efforts….”

Public Humanities and Publication

“Publicly engaged scholars produce work in new formats that are not yet universally supported by academic institutions. Conventional single-author print books are joined by or give way to print-plusdigital and digital-only publications or “born-digital” publications, which are designed in and for a digital environment, featuring multimedia, dynamic content, data sets, or other tools to shape, use, and navigate the contents. Different publishers are able to cater to different subsets of these established and new formats, depending on the expertise available and the capacity to adapt to evolving needs. Seeking out collaborations across campus, with libraries, or with outside funding agencies to support new formats and business models is a key activity in developing capacity for the public humanities. At Stanford University Press, with the support of two consecutive grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we are building a digital publishing program (https://www.sup.org/digital/) of interactive scholarly works. The program is not exclusively dedicated to the public humanities, but it offers an ideal home for this kind of work. Our publications are open access, allowing audiences to engage with our content without paywalls. Interactive formats can more easily cater to different audiences, incorporating scholarly arguments and community resources. We are collaborating on campus with Stanford University Libraries on preservation and archiving our publications. Our FAQs (https://www.sup.org/digital/faq/) explain the scope of our program and our blog (http://blog.supdigital.org/), features content especially about our archiving and preservation efforts….”

Science Communication in the Context of Reproducibility and Replicability: How Nonscientists Navigate Scientific Uncertainty · Issue 2.4, Fall 2020

Abstract:  Scientists stand to gain in obvious ways from recent efforts to develop robust standards for and mechanisms of reproducibility and replicability. Demonstrations of reproducibility and replicability may provide clarity with respect to areas of uncertainty in scientific findings and translate into greater impact for the research. But when it comes to public perceptions of science, it is less clear what gains might come from recent efforts to improve reproducibility and replicability. For example, could such efforts improve public understandings of scientific uncertainty? To gain insight into this issue, we would need to know how those views are shaped by media coverage of it, but none of the emergent research on public views of reproducibility and replicability in science considers that question. We do, however, have the recent report on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which provides an overview of public perceptions of uncertainty in science. Here, I adapt that report to begin a conversation between researchers and practitioners, with the aim of expanding research on public perceptions of scientific uncertainty. This overview draws upon research on risk perception and science communication to describe how the media influences the communication and perception of uncertainty in science. It ends by presenting recommendations for communicating scientific uncertainty as it pertains to issues of reproducibility and replicability.

Science Communication in the Context of Reproducibility and Replicability: How Nonscientists Navigate Scientific Uncertainty · Issue 2.4, Fall 2020

Abstract:  Scientists stand to gain in obvious ways from recent efforts to develop robust standards for and mechanisms of reproducibility and replicability. Demonstrations of reproducibility and replicability may provide clarity with respect to areas of uncertainty in scientific findings and translate into greater impact for the research. But when it comes to public perceptions of science, it is less clear what gains might come from recent efforts to improve reproducibility and replicability. For example, could such efforts improve public understandings of scientific uncertainty? To gain insight into this issue, we would need to know how those views are shaped by media coverage of it, but none of the emergent research on public views of reproducibility and replicability in science considers that question. We do, however, have the recent report on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which provides an overview of public perceptions of uncertainty in science. Here, I adapt that report to begin a conversation between researchers and practitioners, with the aim of expanding research on public perceptions of scientific uncertainty. This overview draws upon research on risk perception and science communication to describe how the media influences the communication and perception of uncertainty in science. It ends by presenting recommendations for communicating scientific uncertainty as it pertains to issues of reproducibility and replicability.

‘One nation one subscription’ is an elusive goal:

“Muthu Madhan is a long-time crusader for open access (OA) to scholarly literature in India. He has been promoting OA through interoperable institutional repositories – the green route for OA. He has spoken about the importance of OA in different forums, and written articles in popular journals. At present, he is working as Librarian of Azim Premji University. In this interview with Santosh C. Hulagabali, for Open Interview, Madhan shares his observation on OA developments in India and elsewhere. Also, he talks on different issues related to OA. From this conversation, one might trace the important events that gave impetus to OA discussions in India and elsewhere, and the people who inspired Madhan….”

‘One nation one subscription’ is an elusive goal:

“Muthu Madhan is a long-time crusader for open access (OA) to scholarly literature in India. He has been promoting OA through interoperable institutional repositories – the green route for OA. He has spoken about the importance of OA in different forums, and written articles in popular journals. At present, he is working as Librarian of Azim Premji University. In this interview with Santosh C. Hulagabali, for Open Interview, Madhan shares his observation on OA developments in India and elsewhere. Also, he talks on different issues related to OA. From this conversation, one might trace the important events that gave impetus to OA discussions in India and elsewhere, and the people who inspired Madhan….”