What Is the Price of Science? | mBio

Abstract:  The peer-reviewed scientific literature is the bedrock of science. However, scientific publishing is undergoing dramatic changes, which include the expansion of open access, an increased number of for-profit publication houses, and ready availability of preprint manuscripts that have not been peer reviewed. In this opinion article, we discuss the inequities and concerns that these changes have wrought.

 

Guest Post – Putting Publications into Context with the DocMaps Framework for Editorial Metadata – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Trust in academic journal articles is based on similar expectations. Journals carry out editorial processes from peer review to plagiarism checks. But these processes are highly heterogeneous in how, when, and by whom they are undertaken. In many cases, it’s not always readily apparent to the outside observer that they take place at all. And as new innovations in peer review and the open research movement lead to new experiments in how we produce and distribute research products, understanding what events take place is an increasingly important issue for publishers, authors, and readers alike.

With this in mind, the DocMaps project (a joint effort of the Knowledge Futures Group, ASAPbio, and TU Graz, supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute), has been working with a Technical Committee to develop a machine-readable, interoperable and extensible framework for capturing valuable context about the processes used to create research products such as journal articles. This framework is being designed to capture as much (or little) contextual data about a document as desired by the publisher: from a minimum assertion that an event took place, to a detailed history of every edit to a document….”

Opening the record of science: making scholarly publishing work for science in the digital era: ISC Report February 2021

“As a basis for analysing the extent to which contemporary scientific and scholarly publishing serves the above purposes, a number of fundamental principles are advocated in the belief that they are likely to be durable in the long term. They follow, in abbreviated form: I. There should be universal open access to the record of science, both for authors and readers. II. Scientific publications should carry open licences that allow reuse and text and data mining. III. Rigorous and ongoing peer review is essential to the integrity of the record of science. IV. The data/observations underlying a published truth claim should be concurrently published. V. The record of science should be maintained to ensure open access by future generations. VI. Publication traditions of different disciplines should be respected. VII. Systems should adapt to new opportunities rather than embedding inflexible infrastructures. These principles have received strong support from the international scientific community as represented by the membership of the International Science Council (ISC)….”

Opening the record of science: making scholarly publishing work for science in the digital era: ISC Report February 2021

“As a basis for analysing the extent to which contemporary scientific and scholarly publishing serves the above purposes, a number of fundamental principles are advocated in the belief that they are likely to be durable in the long term. They follow, in abbreviated form: I. There should be universal open access to the record of science, both for authors and readers. II. Scientific publications should carry open licences that allow reuse and text and data mining. III. Rigorous and ongoing peer review is essential to the integrity of the record of science. IV. The data/observations underlying a published truth claim should be concurrently published. V. The record of science should be maintained to ensure open access by future generations. VI. Publication traditions of different disciplines should be respected. VII. Systems should adapt to new opportunities rather than embedding inflexible infrastructures. These principles have received strong support from the international scientific community as represented by the membership of the International Science Council (ISC)….”

How the world is adapting to preprints

“A certain trend emerged from the preprint discussions. Praise for preprints and their virtues was reliably bracketed by an acknowledgement that the medium was a bit green and a bit untamed: the Wild West of scientific publishing, where anything can happen.

Similar analogies from the publishing community have been abundant. At a talk organized by the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Shirley Decker-Lucke, Content Director at SSRN, likened preprints to raw oysters: They’re generally safe, but sometimes you get a bad one. On the same panel, Lyle Ostrow, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins, compared the adoption of preprints to the shift from horse-drawn buggies to automobiles: They’re faster, they’re better, but they will require education to use safely. The following week, a Scholarly Kitchen article about preprints drew a parallel with unruly teenagers: “tremendous promise, but in need of more adult supervision to achieve their potential”….

As it is, most preprint servers have not been agnostic about the papers they post. Generally, they restrict passage of content that is clearly unscientific, unethical, potentially harmful or not representative of a novel, empirically derived finding. That is, they already impose some editorial standards.

Preprint platforms offer authors a legitimate place to host their work with unprecedented speed, for free. In time, they could be in a position to enforce, or at least strongly incentivize, standards that are widely acknowledged to support research integrity, like data and code availability, details of randomization and blinding, study limitations and lay summaries for findings that are consequential to human health….”

How the world is adapting to preprints

“A certain trend emerged from the preprint discussions. Praise for preprints and their virtues was reliably bracketed by an acknowledgement that the medium was a bit green and a bit untamed: the Wild West of scientific publishing, where anything can happen.

Similar analogies from the publishing community have been abundant. At a talk organized by the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Shirley Decker-Lucke, Content Director at SSRN, likened preprints to raw oysters: They’re generally safe, but sometimes you get a bad one. On the same panel, Lyle Ostrow, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins, compared the adoption of preprints to the shift from horse-drawn buggies to automobiles: They’re faster, they’re better, but they will require education to use safely. The following week, a Scholarly Kitchen article about preprints drew a parallel with unruly teenagers: “tremendous promise, but in need of more adult supervision to achieve their potential”….

As it is, most preprint servers have not been agnostic about the papers they post. Generally, they restrict passage of content that is clearly unscientific, unethical, potentially harmful or not representative of a novel, empirically derived finding. That is, they already impose some editorial standards.

Preprint platforms offer authors a legitimate place to host their work with unprecedented speed, for free. In time, they could be in a position to enforce, or at least strongly incentivize, standards that are widely acknowledged to support research integrity, like data and code availability, details of randomization and blinding, study limitations and lay summaries for findings that are consequential to human health….”

How Europe’s €100-billion science fund will shape 7 years of research

“Horizon Europe is expected to mandate that grant recipients publish their results according to the principles of open science.

In particular, immediate open-access publishing will become mandatory for all recipients of Horizon Europe research grants, including those from the ERC, says Kütt. Scientists will be required to post an accepted, peer-reviewed version of their papers online at a ‘trusted repository’, according to a draft of the instructions for applicants, but it is unclear at this time which repositories will be acceptable. Grants will cover publishing costs for pure open-access journals, but not for hybrid publications. Authors must also retain intellectual-property rights for their papers….”

The $450 question: Should journals pay peer reviewers? | Science | AAAS

“During the debate at the virtual Researcher to Reader conference, arguments for paying reviewers were presented by James Heathers, a former research scientist in computational behavioral science who is now chief scientific officer at a technology startup, Cipher Skin. Last year, Heathers drew attention after publishing a manifesto, “The 450 Movement,” which argued that $450 would be a reasonable fee for for-profit publishers to pay him per peer review. Heathers based that number, in part, on what business consultants in his field would command. Other reviewers might negotiate lower amounts, he added.

Joining Heathers on the propayment team was Brad Fenwick, senior vice president at Taylor & Francis, a for-profit publisher with some 2700 journals. The pair contended that paying reviewers could ameliorate some widely noted flaws of peer review, including long delays in receiving reviews that too often lack depth and substance.

An antipayment team, however, predicted dire consequences if $450 fees became the norm. Subscription costs would soar and unethical reviewing could proliferate, argued a team that included Alison Mudditt, CEO of PLOS, the nonprofit publisher of open-access articles, and Tim Vines, a publishing consultant and founder of DataSeer, a data-sharing tool.

Here are excerpts from the debate, which have been edited for clarity and brevity. Following the excerpts, you’ll find the results of surveys that gauged which side the audience found more persuasive….”

You’re invited to ‘Open up! Open Peer Review on ScienceOpen’ – ScienceOpen Blog

“At ScienceOpen, we’ve realized that “open,” which was once applied really only at the article level, should actually be applied to the whole process. Open peer review is a prime example of this. By opening up the peer review process, we increase transparency in the review process, and it simultaneously benefits researchers by giving them credit for the work they do to review a manuscript. On the ScienceOpen platform, you will find that we have innovatively implemented open peer review in a variety of ways–i.e. in the management of preprints, post publication review, and in the creation of open access journals. To demonstrate the solutions we have created in recent months, we invite you to an online session in which Stephanie Dawson will give a complete overview of open peer review on ScienceOpen!  …”

How to start your own preprint review community on PubPub · PubPub Help

“Since we launched the Connections feature last year, we’ve been thrilled to see communities on PubPub using it for everything from supplementary material to editorial commentary and beyond. One of the most exciting uses of the feature has been publishing reviews of preprints, most prominently demonstrated by the MIT Press’s groundbreaking Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 (RR:C19) journal, published in collaboration with UC Berkeley.undefined

We’re particularly excited about this use-case because we think the “Publish, Review, Curate”undefined models being pioneered by Rapid Reviews and other innovative groups like PREReview, Peer Community In…, Review Commons, and eLife’s Sciety could fundamentally change scientific publishing — making it more open, more transparent, more efficient, and, crucially, more equitable by recognizing evaluation as an essential part of scientific careers.

The community is still working on the processes, workflows, standards, and values that will support this emergent form of publishing. But that shouldn’t stop anyone who wants to explore these models from starting now.

With PubPub, anyone can publish and distribute meaningful, impactful reviews with appropriate metadata that can be picked up by aggregators in about an hour — at no cost and with no technical expertise required….”