The Open Tide – How openness in research and communication is becoming the default setting | Impact of Social Sciences

“Open Access to research findings is often presented as an end unto itself. However, the ethos of open access, to enable a greater sharing and utilisation of research knowledge, suggests a more complex network of scholarly communication. Presenting the findings of a recent report on the development of Open Access, Daniel Hook explores how the open trajectories of the UK and the US have diverged and what this means for research collaboration and research systems in these countries….

Our recent report examined the rise of Open Access at national level since 2000.  Unsurprisingly, the world has changed significantly in this 16-year period. Notably, research is now more collaborative and funders are generally more actively supportive of Open Access than in 2000. Amongst a number of insights, a notable development has been the plateau in US Open Access production at around 41% of total, while the UK progressed from 40% to 52.5% in the same time (Figure 1)….

US funders have taken a less interventionist approach to Open Access. The US continues to produce more papers and Open Access by volume than any other country; it has the broadest range of international research collaborations and continues to invest heavily. Yet such a large ship is less easy to steer. It may be inappropriate to compare the speed of movement of the US to smaller countries, but it is clear that Open Access benefits from a firm direction being set by those with influence….”

Big pharma is embracing open-access publishing like never before

“Scientists who work in the pharmaceutical industry have begun to publish a higher proportion of their papers open access than academics who aren’t in industry, according to an analysis.

In a literature analysis, researchers found that the proportion of open-access papers published by 23 large drug companies, such as Pfizer and Roche, almost doubled between 2009 and 2016, and has overtaken the proportion of freely available papers published generally in medicine-related fields. The study was posted to the SocArXiv preprint server on 7 February1….”

roduction and uptake of Open Access publications involving the private sector: the case of big pharma

Abstract:  Over the last years Open Access has been ranked very high on science policy agenda’s both internationally as well as nationally. This resulted in many national mandates and international guidelines on OA publishing of scientific results. One of the reasons OA has been pushed so strongly by science policy is found in the argument that what is financed publicly, should be publicly available. This argument, also known as the ‘tax payers argument’ is used to support and legitimize the push for open accessibility, not only of scientific publications, but also of the underlying research data, in order to guarantee the nonacademic sector, with lower degrees of accessibility to otherwise ‘behind-the-paywall’ information, access to outcomes of scientific research in the public sector. In this study we will focus on the developments in the OA publishing in one particular institutional sector, the private sector. Business enterprises represent the main sector in terms of R&D investments. According to Eurostat, in the year 2016 this sector represented 65% of the total R&D expenditures within the EU28. While objectives and incentives in the private sector might not always been aligned with the disclosure of research results in the open scientific literature, there is no doubt that this is the main actor when it comes to R&D performance. Within the business sector, we will focus our study in the pharmaceutical sector, by selecting a number of large pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies represent an interesting case of study, given that is it one of the most R&D intensive industries, while it si also known for its shift in R&D orientation, from an in-house focus in the development of R&D towards a model much more open and collaborative, with more interactions with academic partners and other companies. Despite the importance of industrial R&D, until now it remains relatively understudied how private sector institutions which are active in R&D have embraced the OA movement, hence it remains relatively unknown how the private sector adapts to and can benefit from the new paradigm of open scholarship. Our objective is to shed more light on the extent to which big pharma both has been publishing in OA and also has been benefiting from OA publications to build their own research.

Production and uptake of Open Access publications involving the private sector: the case of big pharma

Abstract:  Over the last years Open Access has been ranked very high on science policy agenda’s both internationally as well as nationally. This resulted in many national mandates and international guidelines on OA publishing of scientific results. One of the reasons OA has been pushed so strongly by science policy is found in the argument that what is financed publicly, should be publicly available. This argument, also known as the ‘tax payers argument’ is used to support and legitimize the push for open accessibility, not only of scientific publications, but also of the underlying research data, in order to guarantee the nonacademic sector, with lower degrees of accessibility to otherwise ‘behind-the-paywall’ information, access to outcomes of scientific research in the public sector. In this study we will focus on the developments in the OA publishing in one particular institutional sector, the private sector. Business enterprises represent the main sector in terms of R&D investments. According to Eurostat, in the year 2016 this sector represented 65% of the total R&D expenditures within the EU28. While objectives and incentives in the private sector might not always been aligned with the disclosure of research results in the open scientific literature, there is no doubt that this is the main actor when it comes to R&D performance. Within the business sector, we will focus our study in the pharmaceutical sector, by selecting a number of large pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies represent an interesting case of study, given that is it one of the most R&D intensive industries, while it si also known for its shift in R&D orientation, from an in-house focus in the development of R&D towards a model much more open and collaborative, with more interactions with academic partners and other companies. Despite the importance of industrial R&D, until now it remains relatively understudied how private sector institutions which are active in R&D have embraced the OA movement, hence it remains relatively unknown how the private sector adapts to and can benefit from the new paradigm of open scholarship. Our objective is to shed more light on the extent to which big pharma both has been publishing in OA and also has been benefiting from OA publications to build their own research.

2.2M Students Used OpenStax Free Textbooks in 2018

OpenStax, a nonprofit based at Rice University that publishes free online peer-reviewed textbooks, reports that more than two million students at U.S. colleges used at least one of its textbooks during the 2017-2018 school year. The nonprofit also estimates that students saved $177 million using the free textbooks in the 2017-2018 year. The increased use of of OpenStax textbooks comes as the AAP reported that sales of higher education course materials fell 7.2% in 2018.

According to OpenStax, its textbooks are in use at 48% of U.S. colleges and were used by 2.2 million students in 2017-2018. OpenStax textbooks, which are part of the larger Open Education Resource movement for free educational resources, have been used by more than 6.2 million students since it began publishing its own textbooks in 2012. OpenStax has published 32 free textbooks….”

Global support for Plan S gathers pace

“The Plan S open-access initiative, which has divided researchers in Europe, is inching closer to the global backing it needs to bring about a revolution in academic publishing.

Plan S gained potentially transformative support on 12 February when K Vijay Raghavan, the Indian government’s principal scientific adviser, announced that his country would join the coalition of funders backing the initiative. “India joining Coalition S: journal subscriptions, publishing charges block access to publicly funded knowledge,” he said on Twitter. He added that India would “optimise” the initiative to its benefit, but did not elaborate on how or specify which of the country’s funders would participate….

Smits told Research Europe that Jordan and Zambia’s National Science and Technology Council had also signed up this year. Other signatories include the philanthropic funder the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and 15 European funders.

Along with many research organisations in Europe, three national organisations in China have expressed their support without signing up….

In January, Plan S was criticised by Arianna Becerril-Garcia, the president of a similar initiative called Open Knowledge for Latin America and the Global South (Amelica), which was launched in December 2018. She described Plan S as Eurocentric, regulatory and a source of concern for the global south.

But Smits and Becerril-Garcia have now agreed that the two initiatives should try to work together. Becerril-Garcia said that a good starting point would be to discuss the feedback Amelica submitted to Plan S, “where we highlight the importance to propose actions for scholarly-led and community-driven open access”. She said she would invite Smits to meet in Mexico….”

The Unstoppable Rise of Sci-Hub: How does a new generation of researchers perceive Sci-Hub? | Impact of Social Sciences

“How do early career researchers (ECRs) use Sci-Hub and why? In this post David Nicholas assesses early career researcher attitudes towards the journal pirating site, finding a strong preference for Sci-Hub amongst French ECRs. He raises the question, will Sci-Hub prove the ultimate disruptor and bring down the existing status quo in scholarly communications?…”

Open-Access Is Going Mainstream. Here’s Why That Could Transform Academic Life. – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“That may soon change. Smaller-scale efforts are mixing with top-down decisions — through universities’ subscription negotiations and a major European plan that mandates open-access publication for certain research — to put unusual pressure on publishers.

Don’t think these battles are confined to the library or an individual discipline. The changes have the potential to alter nearly everything about how research is disseminated — and therefore how departments spend money, researchers collaborate, and faculty careers advance….”

No Free Lunch — What Price Plan S for Scientific Publishing? | NEJM

“Open access to research articles is a goal that both scientists and the public will support. But eliminating subscription-based publication models without having alternatives in place that can reliably produce independently vetted, cautiously presented, high-quality content might have serious unintended consequences for the integrity of the scientific literature.”

Unpaywall extension adds 200,000th active user – Impactstory blog

“We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now supporting over 200,000 active users of the Unpaywall extension for Chrome and Firefox!

The extension, which debuted nearly two years ago, helps users find legal, open access copies of paywalled scholarly articles. Since its release, the extension has been used more than 45 million times, finding an open access copy in about half of those. …

However, although the extension gets the press, the database powering the extension is the real star. There are millions of people using the Unpaywall database every day:

  • We deliver nearly one million OA papers every day to users worldwide via our open API…that’s 10 papers every second!
  • Over 1,600 academic libraries use our SFX integration to automatically find and deliver OA copies of articles when they have no subscription access.
  • If you’re using an academic discovery tool, it probably includes Unpaywall data…we’re integrated into Web of Science, Europe PubMed Central, WorldCat, Scopus, Dimensions, and many others.
  • Our data is used to inform and monitor OA policy at organizations like the US NIH, UK Research and Innovation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the European Open Science Monitor, and many others.

The Unpaywall database gets information from over 50,000 academic journals and 5000 scholarly repositories and archives, tracking OA status for more than 100 million articles. You can access this data for free using our open API, or user our free web-based query tool. Or if you prefer, you can just download the whole database for free….”