Infrastructure and Capacity Building – Kathleen Fitzpatrick

“I was delighted this week to be notified that the Humanities Commons team has received an Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities….”

Infrastructure and Capacity Building

Crossposted from Platypus. I was delighted this week to be notified that the Humanities Commons team has received an Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH Announces $30.9 Million for 188 Humanities Projects Nationwide: — NEH (@NEHgov) January 14, 2020 This grant is the foundation of … Continue reading Infrastructure and Capacity Building ?

Sci-Hub users cost ASA journals thousands of downloads, and that’s OK | Family Inequality

“I use Sci-Hub a lot, often for things that I also have subscription access to. (I do not, however, contribute anything to the system; I free-ride off their criminality.) Why? I’m not in the paywall game business, I’m in the information business. I am always behind on my work, and adding a few seconds or minutes of hunting for the legitimate way to get each of the many articles I look at every day is not worth it. (And when I find my university doesn’t subscribe? Interlibrary loan is wonderful, but I don’t want to spend more time with it than necessary.) Does my choice cost the American Sociological Association a few cents, by reducing legitimate downloads, which somehow factors into the profits that get kicked back to the association from Sage? I don’t know.

Of course, one of the dumb things about the paywall system is that it’s expensive and time-consuming to manage who has access to what information — it’s not a small task to keep information from reaching millions of determined readers from all around the world. (I assume one of the reasons my university recently introduced two-factor authentication — requiring me to click a pop-up on my phone every time I log in to university resources [even when I’m in my office] — is because of Sci-Hub. Ironic!)

Chris Bourg is right: “let it be a lesson to us for what we should be doing differently.” Elbakyan may have committed the most efficient product theft in history, in terms of list price of stolen goods per unit of effort or expense on her part. Her archive has been copied and distributed to different sites around the world (it fits in a large suitcase). And it was made possible by the irrational, corrupt nature of the scholarly communication infrastructure. Her success is the system’s failure.”

How society publishers can accelerate their transition to open access and align with Plan S – Wise – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Wellcome, UK Research and Innovation, and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers commissioned Information Power Ltd. to undertake a project to support society publishers to accelerate their transition to open access (OA) in alignment with Plan S and the wider move to accelerate immediate OA. This project is part of a range of activities that cOAlition S partners are taking forward to support the implementation of Plan S principles. The objective of this project was to explore with learned societies a range of potential strategies and business models through which they could adapt and thrive under Plan S. We consulted with society publishers through interviews, surveys, and workshops about the 27 business models and strategies identified during the project. We also surveyed library consortia about their willingness to support society publishers to make the transition to OA. Our key finding is that transformative agreements emerge as the most promising model because they offer a predictable, steady funding stream. We also facilitated pilot transformative agreement negotiations between several society publishers and library consortia. These pilots and a workshop of consortium representatives and society publishers informed the development of an OA transformative agreement toolkit. Our conclusion is that society publishers should consider all the business models this project has developed and should not automatically equate OA with article publication charges.


CLICS: World’s largest database of cross-linguistic lexical associations

“Building on the new guidelines for standardized data formats in cross-linguistic research, which were first presented in 2018, the CLICS team was able to increase the amount of data from 300 language varieties and 1200 concepts in the original database to 3156 language varieties and 2906 concepts in the current installation. The new version also guarantees the reproducibility of the data aggregation process, conforming to best practices in research data management. “Thanks to the new standards and workflows we developed, our data is not only FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reproducible), but the process of lifting linguistic data from their original forms to our cross-linguistic standards is also much more efficient than in the past,” says Robert Forkel….”

Teaching note: Creating open textbooks for social work education

Abstract:  Open educational resources (OER) and the open education movement have blossomed over the past decade, yet their demonstrated impact on social work is in its infancy. This teaching note describes the process of creating the first two open textbooks for social work education about undergraduate and graduate research methods. In the first year post-publication, the undergraduate open textbook was used by over 1,100 students across 35 campuses and accrued an estimated savings of $150,000 for students. Despite these clear benefits, the process of resource creation for faculty can be challenging, and this note offers practical guidance for faculty considering both small or large-scale open textbook projects. As universities, states, and international bodies increase funding for the creation and adoption of OER, the field of Social Work should demonstrate its commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice by leading these efforts within our classrooms, discipline, and institutions.


Research Access and Scholarly Equity | Perspectives on History | AHA

“The AHA’s 2017 survey on this issue captured the breadth of the problem. Unequal access affects historians working in a wide variety of contexts, including full-time faculty at institutions unable to afford subscriptions, part-time and irregularly employed historians, independent scholars, job candidates, and historians employed outside of higher education. Faculty with inadequate access cannot keep up with the latest scholarship for teaching and have circumscribed access to the primary sources that enliven a classroom and stand at the center of highly regarded history pedagogy. This is not only a matter of academic careers or the pursuit of what we customarily refer to as “producing new knowledge”; it is also a matter of equity in higher education. Unequal access for faculty means unequal educational opportunity for students.

For contingent faculty, uneven research access reflects another aspect of job insecurity—if they lose their job, they lose access. …

The AHA encourages history departments to provide full library access to their own scholar alumni and to unaffiliated historians in their regions. History departments and academic units can play a positive role by supporting the scholarship of their alumni and by bringing more unaffiliated scholars into their orbit. Providing these historians a university affiliation—whether as a visiting scholar or by whatever means is feasible—will help close the gap between those with and without adequate research access. These actions will enable every historian to fully realize their potential as scholars and contributors to our discipline.”

Scholarly Communication and Open Access in Psychology: Current Considerations for Researchers

Abstract:  Scholarly communication and open access practices in psychological science are rapidly evolving. However, most published works that focus on scholarly communication issues do not target the specific discipline, and instead take a more “one size fits all” approach. When it comes to scholarly communication, practices and traditions vary greatly across the disciplines. It is important to look at issues such as open access (of all types), reproducibility, research data management, citation metrics, the emergence of preprint options, the evolution of new peer review models, coauthorship conventions, and use of scholarly networking sites such as ResearchGate and from a disciplinary perspective. Important issues in scholarly publishing for psychology include uptake of authors’ use of open access megajournals, how open science is represented in psychology journals, challenges of interdisciplinarity, and how authors avail themselves of green and gold open access strategies. This overview presents a discipline-focused treatment of selected scholarly communication topics that will allow psychology researchers and others to get up to speed on this expansive topic. Further study into researcher behavior in terms of scholarly communication in psychology would create more understanding of existing culture as well as provide early career researchers with a more effective roadmap to the current landscape. As no other single work provides a study of scholarly communication and open access in psychology, this work aims to partially fill that niche.


Emerald news – An HSS perspective on the mandatory criteria for transformative journals

“Dear cOAlition S,

This is an open letter to the funders, government bodies and institutions that support Plan S and will be submitted to the open consultation of cOAlition S draft framework for transformative journals.

We thank you for the provision of a draft framework for transformative journals and appreciate the opportunity to consult on the guidance. We are responding from the perspective of publishers working across the humanities and social sciences (HSS) who typically publish a large proportion of unfunded authors, be that by region, discipline or organisational setting. We remain committed to realising the benefits of full and immediate open access for our authors and their stakeholders and we appreciate the efforts of cOAlition S to date to engage with the wider discussion and assist smaller publishers to transition to open publishing models. Given that scholarship remains a global and collaborative endeavour, we urge cOAlition S to continue to be mindful of the unintended consequences for academic colleagues and disciplines that do not have the luxury of direct funding, or access to money for APCs from their organisation or institution.

The issues as previously stated in our open letter of 8th February 2019 remain a reality. Transformative agreements – and thus funding for APCs – are not available to all of the many varied publishers within the ecosystem. Globally there remain mixed approaches to achieving open access with many customers, including within Europe, preferring non-APC routes to open publishing. This includes green open access. Other models, such as subscribe-to-open, remain interesting but un-tested with respect to long-term sustainability….”

Get Syeducated: No More “Free Work” for Scientific Societies That Do Not Share My Values

“This is all a long preface to say that I will no longer do any free work for the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA), a society for which I have been an extremely active member since joining in 2003. I have been to every meeting since 2004, have served on committees, chaired review panels, given countless presentations, and met many great friends and colleagues through the society. I owe much of my professional existence to SRA, which is why I felt such betrayal at their recent actions.


SRA, along with a number of societies and publishers (including APA and SRCD) signed on to this letter to the U.S. President urging him to delay executive action on open access of journal articles. Now, whether or not the President should take this action is not the core issue—I understand that this is a complex issue. But, signing on to this particular letter is inexcusable for a society like SRA. The letter is essentially publisher propaganda, containing mischaracterizations about the nature of intellectual property and the role of journals in the scientific process. Moreover, it is deeply nationalistic, prioritizing the benefits to the U.S. at the expenses of the rest of the world. This latter point should have been a deal breaker for any society that positions itself as valuing global science. The letter is a direct attack on two of my core values: diversity and open science….”