Open Acces in Zacatecas Mexico: I Jornada de Ciencia Abierta en la Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas / 1st. Open Science Week at Autonomous University of Zacatecas

La Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas a través de esta jornada se pretende dar a conocer uno de los ejes de la política de ciencia abierta en Mexico, y así se proponen dos actividades esenciales: la primera dirigida a acercar a los alumnos y sociedad al acceso abierto a la información generada a su interior, a través de la divulgación de Caxcan su Repositorio Institucional; y la segunda enfocada a los docentes investigadores, para que alimentan con sus trabajos académicos a dicha plataforma. Es el primer acercamiento de la Universidad a este movimiento y se espera fortalecer y capitalizar a Caxcan, para que las acciones en torno al acceso abierto encuentran eco en la comunidad universitaria. Es nuestro primer paso, por lo que si tienen observaciones, recomendaciones y sugerencias serán bienvenidas.

The Autonomous University of Zacatecas, for all Week, aims to present one of the axes of the open science policy in Mexico, and thus proposes two essential activities: the first aimed at bringing students and society closer to open access to the information generated to its interior, through the disclosure of Caxcan its Institutional Repository; and the second focused on researcher teachers, to save their academic work to the platform. It is the first approach of the University to Open Acces and it is hoped to strengthen and capitalize Caxcan, so that the actions around the open access find echo in the university community. It is our first step, so if you have comments, recommendations and suggestions they are welcome.

Open In Order To Succeed: PLOS Cross-Journal Initiative Helps Manuscripts Take Flight

All properly executed science deserves to be published as quickly as possible. One common frustration of scientists related to publication speed is the review-rejection cycle that in action resembles a cross between cycling on a hamster wheel and jumping through a hoola-hoop. To offer authors a way out of this cycle of delay, PLOS launched a journal transfer initiative earlier this year that provides authors an alternative to starting from scratch for papers not initially accepted by a subset of PLOS journals.

How It Works

Manuscripts submitted to PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases or PLOS Pathogens undergo the usual rigorous peer review. The paper’s editors assess the reviews and if they decide the work does not meet the journal’s criteria for perceived novelty or impact but is sound, well-designed and well-executed, they will offer acceptance and publication in the multidisciplinary journal, PLOS ONE. Publication can take place in as little as three weeks after the offer is accepted by the authors.

Papers which merit publication will go through the peer review and revision process only once, saving authors, reviewers and academic editors time, speeding the way to publication for quality research.

Why It Works

The benefit to authors is that instead of rejecting the paper outright, editors now may use the decision letter to offer either immediate publication or publication after minor revisions. Importantly, to move the paper along faster for authors – rather than moving the goal posts – the same academic editor will consider the revision. This also ensures consistency of the feedback to authors and expedites the work for editors. Provided the authors agree to the offer, the manuscript will be published in PLOS ONE with both the original date of submission to PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases or PLOS Pathogens and the name of that journal’s academic editor listed in the article’s metadata. As for all articles published by PLOS, this metadata appears together with citation, copyright, data availability, funding and competing interest information.

Open In Order To Succeed

PLOS has piloted this initiative over the past six months and we’re pleased to report that with substantial support from journal editorial boards and uptake from authors, we will continue this initiative that relieves authors, reviewers and editors of some of the repetition involved in publishing while bringing quality work to the public, faster. There are now notifications of the program on the relevant journal “Editorial and Peer Review Process” pages. Alongside existing manuscript transfer routes between PLOS journals, this newest initiative offers an effective means for scientists to rapidly communicate ideas, results and discoveries to each other and to the broader public.

Open Access has changed the way readers and researchers around the world discover, use and reuse the scientific literature. Open data provides opportunities for new analysis, new discovery and even previously unrecognized new directions in research. Together with open source software, open source hardware and preprint servers, forward movement along the path toward a more Open Science has the potential to expand the venues, styles, and frequency of sharing work. Let your manuscript take flight! PLOS authors who take this opportunity for rapid publication in PLOS ONE can play an active role in accelerating the discovery and dissemination of their work. With International Open Access Week right around the corner, what better motto to adopt than Open In Order To Succeed—for it is success that we seek for reviewers, editors and most importantly, all authors.

This article was originally posted on The Official PLOS Blog.

The Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) Continues to Receive Increased Support From Publishers

Open citation refers to the practice of making papers in a reference list accessible. Open citations use a common, machine-readable format. The listed papers can be accessed independently of the main article and are freely available. This is an important way to share knowledge. The Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) represents a new approach to scholarly publishing. It has a bold vision—to make all citation data freely available for reuse. Since its launch in April 2017, the support for I4OC has been growing. ScienceOpen is just one of many groups in favor of open citations.

More Publishers Support Open Citations

Before the launch of the Initiative for Open Citations, only 1% of the citation data in CrossRef was open. That number has jumped to 45% or 16 million articles. Support for I4OC has come from major publishing houses such as ScieELO, Wiley, SAGE, Springer Nature, and Taylor & Francis. Open citations make it easier to trace the network of papers that move a hypothesis towards becoming a theory and then further develop that theory.

Of the 20 largest I4OC contributors, 13 have placed their reference data in the public domain. Society publishers, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), and the Electrochemical Society (ECS), are also lending support to I4OC. The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) and the Center for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University, among others, have also endorsed I4OC.

Other Open Citation Platforms

The I4OC initiative is just one of the many open citation options. Researchers may also use CiteSeerX or CitEc. Nature Publishing stores its own bibliographic data which is publicly available. Scientists can support these initiatives by spreading the word and asking journals in which they publish to adopt an open citations model. Even though the main article may be under a restrictive license, the reference metadata is considered “raw knowledge” and is not protected by a license.

I4OC is one of many programs pushing scholarly publishing in a more open direction. Support for I4OC has been experiencing significant growth since its launch. ScienceOpen uses citation data to increase the visibility of open content, and sort publications (and reference lists) by citation numbers. Over time, I4OC will hopefully demonstrate the full utility of open citations.

This article was originally posted on Enago Academy.

The 2nd SPARC Japan Seminar 2017 "Preprint and Open Access" on October 30

The 2nd SPARC Japan Seminar 2017 entitled “Preprint and Open Access” will be held on 30 October, hosted by SPARC Japan, in keeping with this year’s Open Access Week theme of “Open in order to…”. We will review the role and management of the preprint servers in these 30 years and discuss how to contribute to the advancement of scientific research and the issues concerning the importance of the commercial publication, sustainable models of the publication and the quality control of papers with the comments from researchers. 

Please see for the details:

Open Access Week at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

As Open Access Week in October is not very convenient for our students and staff, due to examination time, our institution held our Open Access Week Seminar on 19 September 2017.   You can see our programme and the presentations at: 

You can also find a lot of useful OA resources at:

Center for Open Science: Will it Disrupt Subscription-Based Publishing?

Academic publishing is still largely the domain of traditional academic journals. Academics understand the impact of their work when published in an established and prestigious peer-reviewed journal. It means esteem for the work, for them, and for the universities they represent. It can also mean progress along the pathway to tenure or grant funding or a desired position within the university. Academic journals still command a great deal of influence. However, open access publishing (OA) is gathering steam and moving into a sphere of influence, which is no passing phase. Much like the movement to digital, wireless, or online communication, this movement is not going to derail or reverse. Academics want to preserve the legitimacy provided by academic journals while making publishing more accessible and collaboration more authentic. SocArXiv, focused mainly in the fields of sociology and social sciences, is the latest manifestation of this movement.

New Players in the Field

The Center for Open Science (COS) is at the heart of new technology and methodology in open access publishing. Founded in 2013, COS is a non-profit technology company with a mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. COS built the platform Open Science Framework (OSF) which later helped in establishing SocArXiv. OSF is a web application that connects and supports the research workflow. It enables scientists to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their research. Researchers use the OSF to collaborate, document, archive, share, and register research projects, materials, and data.

“OSF | Preprints” is the COS preprints service that utilizes OSF. SocArXiv is the latest version of OSF | Preprints, which also includes PsyArXiv and engrXiv for psychology and engineering, respectively. OSF | Preprints also uses SHARE to link with other preprint service providers in order to create an even more expansive shared database. SHARE is the result of a partnership between the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the COS.

One can see that the COS has been a true catalyst for change in the industry. Philip Cohen, the director of SocArXiv, is hoping that it will be a sea change. He, and other academics like him, would like to see academic research move beyond the confines of traditional publishing. In an ideal situation, researchers would be able to share, comment, and collaborate on one another’s work. All this would make the work better and create a truly interactive community of readers, authors, and publishers. Although SocArXiv is still in its Beta stage, >600 papers have been deposited and downloaded over 10,000 times.

Ideological Struggle

The old vs. the new method is a never-ending tale. In any arena, resistance to change generally comes down to power and money. While academic publishing has a lucrative business model, academic scholars became primarily interested in acquiring power over their works and the means of its publications.

Academic journals and for-profit publishers are concerned about losing both their influence in the academic world and the source of their revenue. As commercial books and magazines publishers have adapted to the digital age, academic publishers will need to adapt to this change. However, this adaptation will have to encompass more than just simply moving their journals to an online format. Scholars are looking to rework the process of academic publishing from beginning to end.

In the blog written by Richard Poynder, Philip Cohen is quoted as saying, “In the end, I believe we need to replace the current journal system. I hope SocArXiv helps us move in that direction.” Poynder comments that he hopes SocArXiv will disrupt the traditional system, and help to eventually supplant it. Technology, particularly as embodied by the OSF, seems to be the pivotal component of this disruption and replacement.

Technology, Funding, and Power

OA publishing aims to remove the limitations of traditional academic journals such as paywalls, restricted access, and a small group governing a large community. The technological advances represented by the OSF are impressive means to do this. Citation metrics, one of the key elements of academic journal publication allows authors, their supporting institutions, and journals to keep track of how many times their works receive citations elsewhere. The more citations an article has, the better for all. Because this function is now available in an open format, traditional academic journals can no longer make proprietary claims regarding citations.

The next step is procuring funding for this new methodology. Currently, SocArXiv, through the University of Maryland, has received grant money from OSF and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Each of these societies contributed $50,000 which is encouraging to SocArXiv stakeholders.

Universities seem to hold the key in the area of funding. Significant portions of departmental budgets become devoted to journal subscriptions and society memberships because it is important for faculty to be active members in their fields. Convincing universities that those dollars would be better spent on OA publishing and the technology that powers it will ensure the long-term success of platforms such as SocArXiv and other repositories like it.

As much as universities hold the power to affect change, traditional academic journals will not willingly give up the power they have over academic publishing. They will have to find a way either to co-exist or somehow join forces with OA publishing if they want to take part in this future. Ultimately, scientists and scholars believe they should hold the power when it comes to the development and publication of their work, as this is in the best interest of what really matters—the work itself.


  1. Amy Buckland (2016, August 8) Building Open: SocArXiv. Retrieved from
  2. Sarah Mosseri (2016, December 13) Open Access Archive SocArXiv Launches. Retrieved from
  3. Socarxiv is launched. Retrieved from
  4. NFAIS (2016, December 7) SocArXiv is Officially Launched in Beta Version. Retrieved from

This article was originally posted on Enago Academy.

How Next-generation Metrics Can Boost Open Science

Open science is an effort that aims to make scientific research, data, and its distribution accessible to all. This involves practices like publishing open research and campaigning for open access. It encourages scientists to have an open notebook policy and make it less cumbersome to publish and convey scientific knowledge. Open science embodies an innovative way to conduct research, collaborate with other scientists and share information with a wider audience. Both digital technology and social changes fuel the push towards open science. These changes vastly affect everyone around the world. This also affects the accumulation and dissemination of scientific knowledge.

In addition, if scientific knowledge is dispersed openly then there has to be a new way to evaluate science. This is because the traditional metrics will no longer hold up. As such, the European Commission established an Expert Group on Altmetrics and they produced a report that describes what is known as next-generation metrics. Here, we provide a summary of that report.

Outdated Current Metrics 

Considering the increasing numbers of applicants, especially for federal grants, it is not surprising that review committees are gradually turning to numerical approaches or metrics to assess scientific work. For instance, a very simple approach is to just count the number of first or corresponding author publications; this is considered a bibliometric approach. Additionally, these decision makers also use the impact factor of the journals in which the publications appear, and another approach entails computing the h-index. Determined every year, the impact factor of an academic journal focuses on the average number of citations that journal receives. Often the impact factor becomes associated with the relative importance of a journal within its field.

The h-index is a metric that assesses the authors of the articles. It is based on personal productivity and the citation impact of the scientist. Its calculation constitutes of a set of the scientist’s most cited papers and the total number of citations received in other publications. In general, journals with higher impact factors often are considered as more important than those with lower impact factors. When used properly, these conventional bibliometric indicators provide useful information about the scientific impact of research publications. However, with the changes taking place in open science, many feel the need for a new set of metrics for evaluating science and research studies.

Emergence of Altmetrics

With a growing need for the development of new metrics came the idea of developing next-generation metrics to assess scientific and scholarly publishing. This brought about the emergence of altmetrics in 2010. This new form of assessment is proposed as an alternative metric compared to the traditional citation impact metrics, such as impact factor and the h-index, which were discussed above. Altmetrics is not for just assessing the “impact” of scientific publications, but is also a means for measuring the broader societal impacts of scientific research.

Overall, metrics are going to play an essential role in the successful transition to open science. Altmetrics may then become novel indicators for web-based and network research. The questions that statisticians face now are what are the prospects for altmetrics? And will they replace or supplement the traditional indicators of research quality and impact?

Currently, there are three major altmetric trackers. These include Altmetric.comPlumX, and ImpactStory. Each of these collects a slightly different set of indicators from primary sources. It then capitalizes on the fact that open science and altmetrics both rely primarily on open web-based platforms and encourage user input. Thus, altmetrics are both the drivers and outcomes of open science practices. Indeed, altmetrics can inspire the adoption of open science principles, such as collaboration, sharing, and networking. Altmetrics can also assess interdisciplinary research and the impact of the results on society as a whole.

Future of Altmetrics

Altmetrics are beneficial because they are broad, diverse, and multifaceted and appear faster than conventional metrics. However, there are still some limitations to these metrics. Currently, we do not know the meaning of these metrics, which need to integrate into traditional metrics and peer review. Altmetrics should not be the end for assessing open science. In fact, there should be an “open metrics” that makes up the idea that next-generation metrics should continue to evolve and improve.

This article was originally posted on Enago Academy.

An African Open Science Platform initiative – Invitation to a series of webinars on "Incentives for sharing research data" 25, 26 and 27 October 2017 (Open Access Week)

Invitation to a series of webinars on “Incentives for sharing research data” – An African Open Science Platform initiative 

The Open Science movement – focused on making research data, software code and experimental methods publicly available and transparent – is steadily gaining momentum. According to Gewin (2016), “[A]a spirit of openness is gaining traction in the science community, and is the only way, say advocates, to address a ‘crisis’ in science whereby too few findings are successfully reproduced. Furthermore, they say, it is the best way for researchers to gather the range of observations that are necessary to speed up discoveries or to identify large-scale trends.” 

Although many researchers are already sharing their raw data and data sets, there are researchers who still question why they should share their data, and what benefits are in it for them. In other words, how will they be incentivized, when others use the outputs of their hard work. These issues also apply on national and institutional levels.  What do research institutions have to gain by embracing Open Science?  Will the associated data expertise and opportunities for collaboration outweigh the perceived loss of intellectual capital that, if closed, can be exploited ahead of rivals?  Similarly, on the national level: is there a strong incentive for poorer nations not to be left behind as science is transformed by the digital revolution?  Or will open data and open science merely lead to data assets in the ‘South’ being more quickly exploited by better resourced researchers in the ‘North’? Very few countries and institutions have policies in place regarding the management (incl. curation) and sharing of data as an outcome of funded research projects.

The above just some of the issues the African Open Science Platform would like to address during this series of webinars, to be presented during International Open Access Week 2017


We are very excited to bring you 3 experts on this topic, to share their perspectives.

Registration (free)

If you are interested in attending any one/all of the webinars, please complete the registration form by 20 October 2017. The webinars are presented free of charge. Once you have registered, we will provide you with the login details and further instructions. 

We are looking very much forward welcoming you to the above!

University of Nigeria Nsukka Open Access Group

I would want to post what the University of Nigeria Open Access Group is doing. We are a group of Librarians, Lecturers, Scientists and Postgraduate Students dedicated to advocating Open Access in Nigeria, with University of Nigeria Nsukka as our starting point. This group was birthed in March, 2017 after the founder of Open Access Nigeria, Dr. Ahmed Ogunlaja visited the University for a meeting with Helen N. Okpala (a Librarian) and Dr. Emeka Ubaka (A Pharmacist). See picture below: 

Soon after the meeting, the group came alive and now has about 26 members (see picture below) from the Institution who meet regularly online (via WhatsApp) and offline to brainstorm on how to advance Open Access locally and globally. Currently, the group is planning to host Open Access Week in October 2017 and OpenCon in November, 2017. 

We recently met with the University of Nigeria Management, (click to see link) particularly the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin C. Ozumba, to share our group vision and mission, among other things. Our events have been approved by the Vice Chancellor, to be held on slated dates. See pictures below:

We have launched our blog and Twitter page (@openaccessunn) Our Blog address is: 

You can also reach at us via our Email:

Open access café : penser, chercher, publier autrement à l’Université Paris Descartes

La semaine internationale du libre accès (Open access week)  est devenue le rendez-vous annuel du monde scientifique consacré aux enjeux économiques et éthiques de la publication scientifique et aux nouvelles pratiques de la science ouverte. 

Dans le cadre de cet  événement  qui se tient  du 23 au 27 octobre,  les bibliothécaires de l’Université Paris Descartes vous proposent  de venir échanger et découvrir autour d’un café, les nouvelles dispositions de la Loi Lemaire pour une République Numérique, le portail HAL Descartes et sa nouvelle interface de dépôt simplifiée pour vos publications; et plus généralement l’ensemble des services d’appui à la recherche développés par les BU (aide au dépôt dans HAL, données de la recherche, veille scientifique etc.).

Venez avec vos clés USB, vos articles, vos questions et vos attentes !

  • A la faculté de médecine de Cochin le 23 octobre de 9h30 à 14h (hall de la faculté)
  • A la faculté d’odontologie à Montrouge le 24 octobre de 9h30 à 14h (hall de la faculté)
  • A la faculté de psychologie à Piéron le 25 octobre de 9h30 à 14h (hall de la faculté)
  • Au centre universitaire des Saints-Pères le 26 octobre de 9h30 à 17h, Salle Ambroise Paré? (5e étage)