Being published successfully or getting arXived? The importance of social capital and interdisciplinary collaboration for getting printed in a high impact journal in Physics

Abstract:  The structure of collaboration is known to be of great importance for the success of scientific endeavors. In particular, various types of social capital employed in co-authored work and projects bridging disciplinary boundaries have attracted researchers’ interest. Almost all previous studies, however, use samples with an inherent survivor bias, i.e., they focus on papers that have already been published. In contrast, our article examines the chances for getting a working paper published by using a unique dataset of 245,000 papers uploaded to arXiv. ArXiv is a popular preprint platform in Physics which allows us to construct a co-authorship network from which we can derive different types of social capital and interdisciplinary teamwork. To emphasize the ‘normal case’ of community-specific standards of excellence, we assess publications in Physics’ high impact journals as success. Utilizing multilevel event history models, our results reveal that already a moderate number of persistent collaborations spanning at least two years is the most important social antecedent of getting a manuscript published successfully. In contrast, inter- and subdisciplinary collaborations decrease the probability of publishing in an eminent journal in Physics, which can only partially be mitigated by scientists’ social capital.

 

Speeding Up the Dissemination of Scholarly Information  | Ithaka S+R

“The concept of scholarly record is broadening. There is an increasing emphasis on sharing various outputs from the initial investigation to the final dissemination stage. Understanding how ideas evolve into knowledge in a systematic and timely manner is critically important as we promote  replicability and transparency. The COVID-19 pandemic has further underscored the importance of speedy sharing of research results. It accentuated the role of preprints in sharing results with speed, but also compounded the questions about accuracy, misconduct, and our reliance on the “self-correcting” nature of the scientific enterprise. As scientists and health care professionals, as well as the general public, look for information about the pandemic, preprint services are growing in importance. I hope that this brief will lead to further reflections on such critical questions….”

arXiv announces its first executive director | arXiv.org blog

“arXiv, the world’s leading source of open access scientific research, is pleased to welcome Dr. Eleonora Presani as its first executive director.

Dr. Presani earned her PhD in astroparticle physics at the University of Amsterdam and then completed her postdoc at CERN, where she worked remotely on the International Space Station’s AMS02 instrument. After that, she was publisher at Elsevier for high energy physics journals, and her projects included SCOAP3, SoftwareX, and Physics of the Dark Universe. In the last four years her career shifted to digital product development, working as Product Manager in Scopus….”

Standards and the Role of Preprints in Scholarly Communication | NISO website

“One vision (hereafter, referred to as “model”) for preprint publication, disclosed in an evolving preprint [1], focuses on physics preprints in arXiv. This focus is natural, given that physicists and allied practitioners of other mathematical and quantitative fields have been long-standing adopters of preprints. Unsurprisingly, arXiv has therefore played a lead role in the preprint space. Preprint servers that share the “-rXiv” suffix with arXiv have emerged.

The model may never materialize in pristine form. This would take decades at a minimum. However, it provides one analytical framework for understanding the interplay of various components of scholarly journals publishing and for thinking about how preprints can mitigate problems that beset this complicated market. (A new version of the aforementioned preprint will further develop this critique, which is beyond the scope of this paper and discusses open access generally.)

The model suggests that journal publishing and preprints in physics should be increasingly symbiotic. They have distinct roles that reflect historically recurring needs in physics (and STEM) publishing generally….

The model suggests, by contrast, that journal articles take the form of traditional review articles [5] that cite other journal articles, conference proceedings, books, and — increasingly — research disclosed over several preprints. Journal articles should play a pedagogical role in orienting researchers and students to new fields, creating narratives about newly emerging trends, contextualizing discoveries, and fostering interdisciplinary research.

The model calls for the journal market to contract significantly but not entirely as preprints supplant journal articles as the place to disclose small slivers of research. Re-purposing journal articles and correspondingly trimming their numbers will decrease demand for journal subscriptions that pressure budget-strapped libraries. An increased emphasis on review articles will assist researchers in navigating their fields, help counter hyper-specialization, and make the inter-generational transmission of science much more efficient. Also, contracting the journals market and re-purposing it almost exclusively toward review articles can save genius-hours spent doing peer-review, time better spent doing research disclosed in preprints, writing or reviewing integrative journal articles, and teaching….”

Next Generation ArXiv and the Economics of Open Access Publishing

“Launched in 1991, arXiv has become an indispensable platform providing free and open access to research for the machine learning community and beyond. Now, arXiv has announced plans to alpha test its next-generation “arXiv-NG” submission system in the first quarter of 2020. The system is a significant part of the growing arXiv-NG initiative that aims to improve core service infrastructure through an incremental and modular renewal of the existing arXiv system.

The arXiv team has already taken the initial steps to improve the overall accessibility of the repository’s user interfaces, both through behind-the-scenes structural improvements and user-facing changes — adding for example support for mobile-friendly abstract pages….”

arXiv Annual Update, January 2020 | arXiv e-print repository

“Our next-generation arXiv (arXiv-NG) initiative to improve the service’s core infrastructure by incremental and modular renewal of the existing arXiv system continues to progress. This includes significant effort towards laying the foundations for the NG submission system, which the team hopes to alpha test in Q12020. Existing search, browse, accounts, documentation NG components received incremental improvements. The team also took the initial and essential steps to improve the overall accessibility of arXiv’s user interfaces, both through behind-the-scenes structural improvements and user-facing changes (e.g. support for a mobile-friendly abstract page)….

Key Accomplishments in 2019 and Plans for 2020 Since we started the arXiv sustainability initiative in 2010, an integral part of our work has been assessing the services, technologies, standards, and policies that constitute arXiv. Here are some of our key accomplishments from 2019 to illustrate the range of issues we have been trying to tackle. Please see the 2019 Roadmap for a full account of our work.

We continue to improve facilities for administrators and moderators in order to streamline their workflows, and to improve clarity and transparency of arXiv communications. During 2019, the arXiv team expanded quality control flags.
Our development team continued to improve and extend various search, browse, documentation, and other features as we reimplement, test, refine and continue to improve the arXiv platform. The team made significant progress reimplementing the submission user interface towards an alpha release, new and legacy APIs, as well as backend services. Wherever possible, new software components are developed in public repositories and released under permissive open source licenses. With a reduction of effort in Q42019 due to staff departures, the team shifted most of its remaining resources towards improving and maintaining the operational stability of the arXiv services.
Our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), under the leadership of Licia Verde, has clarified roles and responsibilities for the arXiv Subject Advisory Committees and the Committee Chairs. The effort for outreach and recruitment of new moderators has increased in 2019 with an aim to increase diversity among moderators. We have also modified the SAB membership to include greater representation and engagement with the newer fields that have joined arXiv.
Two major policies were adopted in 2019 including the arXiv Code of Conduct and a Privacy Policy. We thank the staff, moderators, advisory boards, and arXiv users who have contributed to the development of the Code of Conduct.
The arXiv team wished farewells to Janelle Morano (Community Engagement and Membership Coordinator), Jaimie Murdock (arXiv NG Developer), Erick Peirson (Lead System Architect), Liz Woods (User Experience Specialist) and Matt Bierbaum (arXiv Labs). We were pleased to welcome Shamsi Brinn as our new User Experience Specialist in October 2019 and Alison Fromme as new Community Engagement and Membership Coordinator in January 2020. We also initiated a search for a new Backend Python Developer in the last quarter of 2019.
We moved information about our governance, business model, and reports to arXiv.org, to improve overall accessibility to pertinent information about arXiv’s operations. This information was previously available on the arXiv Public Wiki. We continue to regularly update our community at the arXiv.org blog.
As part of the organizational change to Cornell CIS we moved offices in 2019. The arXiv team now has its own dedicated space in historic Uris Library.

The 2020 Roadmap includes our goals as we strive to improve the technical infrastructure, moderation system, user support, and the sustainability framework….”

Ginsparg, Ph.D. ’81, arXiv founder, receives physics award | Cornell Chronicle

“Paul Ginsparg, Ph.D. ’81, professor of physics and of information science and founder of arXiv, has been named the recipient of the American Institute of Physics 2020 Karl Taylor Compton Medal for Leadership in Physics.

Named after prominent physicist Karl Taylor Compton, the medal is presented every four years to a distinguished physicist. Ginsparg was cited by the selection committee “for his paradigm-changing contributions to physics information sharing by inventing, developing and managing the arXiv system for electronic distribution of pre-publication (or preprint) papers.” …

ArXiv remains the largest manuscript repository of its type. It surpassed 1 million submissions in 2014, and its submission rate has increased by 40% in the past three years.”

Ginsparg, Ph.D. ’81, arXiv founder, receives physics award | Cornell Chronicle

“Paul Ginsparg, Ph.D. ’81, professor of physics and of information science and founder of arXiv, has been named the recipient of the American Institute of Physics 2020 Karl Taylor Compton Medal for Leadership in Physics.

Named after prominent physicist Karl Taylor Compton, the medal is presented every four years to a distinguished physicist. Ginsparg was cited by the selection committee “for his paradigm-changing contributions to physics information sharing by inventing, developing and managing the arXiv system for electronic distribution of pre-publication (or preprint) papers.” …

ArXiv remains the largest manuscript repository of its type. It surpassed 1 million submissions in 2014, and its submission rate has increased by 40% in the past three years.”