European funders have been leading a charge under ‘Plan S’ to make more of the scientific literature free to read. Yet the nations that publish the highest proportion of their research papers open access (OA) aren’t in Europe, according to a preliminary analysis shared with Nature. Instead, countries in southeast Asia, Africa and South America are leading the way — thanks to a flourishing network of local open-access journals and publishing portals….”
“Reference mining is fundamental to the creation of citation networks and rich, discoverable digital libraries. In recent years, a number of tools have been developed to address this need, but they are often limited by input format, infrastructure requirements and runtime performance. The most recent developments in this space have focused on reference mining PDFs from arts and humanities literature, but there’s a growing need for a fast, accurate way of extracting and parsing references from a wide range of documents and formats across the full research landscape….
From requirements gathering, algorithm refinement, to the process of extracting over 2 million citations as validated XML records in CrossRef, the entire project ran for 12 weeks. Publications which particularly benefited included the British Medical Journal itself (279,000 new records), Gut (177,000), Journal of Clinical Pathology (171,000) and Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry (168,000).
99.9% of the extracted records were fully valid XML. In only 0.1% of cases, the XML required some manual correction to meet CrossRef validation standards. The records were uploaded to CrossRef and are now available as open citations for anyone to reuse….”
“The team behind Hypothesis, an open-source software tool that allows people to annotate web pages, announced in March that its users had collectively posted more than 5 million comments across the scholarly web since the tool was launched in 2011. That’s up from about 220,000 total comments in 2015 (see ‘Comment counts’). The company has grown from 26,000 registered users to 215,000 over the same period….”
“However, it is not until more recently that we have seen the emergence of truly international efforts to coordinate OA. The emergence of Plan S, through cOAlition S, is the newest wave of innovation that seeks to break through the impasse that has developed in some countries. In our report, we observed the US had faltered in its progress toward increasing OA, levelling off at around 42 per cent of overall publication output through OA channels in both 2012 and 2016.
Of course, it will be several years until Plan S is implemented and we still don’t know how it will finally be realised. However, with recent progress in Germany on Projekt DEAL and the new guidelines from REF 2021, it is clear that not only are both the UK and Germany travelling toward an open future, but also that, since those two countries are among the most collaborative in the world after the US, there are many countries who benefit from the stance taken by those with a progressive agenda.
The UK’s overall percentage of OA content has grown rapidly, outpacing both Germany and the US in recent years. As shown in Figure 1, the UK’s approach to policy around OA has paid dividends. This is not to say that this hasn’t taken significant sustained investment and resource – but innovation seldom comes for free….
In 2021, this will inevitably have an impact on the choices that smaller institutions can make regarding their REF returns, the results of those returns, and the potential funding balance going forward. Research England is clearly not insensitive to these challenges, as it has included a number of options for institutions to argue for exceptions and include a percentage of non-OA outputs. However, the direction is clear: open access will form part of the REF for the first time and it has been thoroughly embedded in the most recent guidance on submission, panel criteria and working methods published by Research England. This is a strong signal to the community and a strong ‘measurement’ that pushes the sector toward open access….”
Abstract: Research into publication cultures commissioned by VSNU and carried out by Utrecht University Library has detailed university output beyond just journal articles, as well as the possibilities to assess open access levels of these other output types. For all four main fields reported on, the use of publication types other than journal articles is indeed substantial. For Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities in particular (with over 40% and over 60% of output respectively not being regular journal articles) looking at journal articles only ignores a significant share of their contribution to research and society. This is not only about books and book chapters, either: book reviews, conference papers, reports, case notes (in law) and all kinds of web publications are also significant parts of university output.
Analyzing all these publication forms and especially determining to what extent they are open access is currently not easy. Even combining some the largest citation databases (Web of Science, Scopus and Dimensions) leaves out a lot of non-article content and in some fields even journal articles are only partly covered. Lacking metadata like affiliations and DOIs (either in the original documents or in the scholarly search engines) makes it even harder to analyze open access levels by institution and field. Using repository-harvesting databases like BASE and NARCIS in addition to the main citation databases improves understanding of open access of non-article output, but these routes also have limitations. The report has recommendations for stakeholders, mostly to improve metadata and coverage and apply persistent identifiers.
Abstract: Crowdsourcing shifts medical research from a closed environment to an open collaboration between the public and researchers. We define crowdsourcing as an approach to problem solving which involves an organization having a large group attempt to solve a problem or part of a problem, then sharing solutions. Crowdsourcing allows large groups of individuals to participate in medical research through innovation challenges, hackathons, and related activities. The purpose of this literature review is to examine the definition, concepts, and applications of crowdsourcing in medicine. This multi-disciplinary review defines crowdsourcing for medicine, identifies conceptual antecedents (collective intelligence and open source models), and explores implications of the approach. Several critiques of crowdsourcing are also examined. Although several crowdsourcing definitions exist, there are two essential elements: (1) having a large group of individuals, including those with skills and those without skills, propose potential solutions; (2) sharing solutions through implementation or open access materials. The public can be a central force in contributing to formative, pre-clinical, and clinical research. A growing evidence base suggests that crowdsourcing in medicine can result in high-quality outcomes, broad community engagement, and more open science.
“Current estimates put the total number of peer-reviewed research articles at around 100m. Growth is around 3.5–4m articles per annum and accelerating. ArXiv, the largest preprint server in the world, has published only 1.5m preprints and is currently putting out around 100k preprints per annum. ArXiv (and preprint servers generally) are accelerating too, but there’s still a lot of catching up to be done….”
“Initially PLOS ONE was a “club” of radicals who could afford to experiment with a new publishing model. This resulted in a higher than expected initial JIF and a massive influx of new authors, who were attracted to this (now) “proven” publishing model. Consequently, article processing times expanded (congestion), the initial sense of community became harder to maintain and the influx of articles ultimately reduced the JIF, leading to the flight of authors that were just seeking access to the prestige of the journal. The journal then shifted from a community (if not properly a knowledge club, as the disciplines were too disparate) to a social network market, which it could not sustain.
Scientific Reports follows a similar trajectory, but for different reasons. Initial submissions were not driven by a desire to be radical or progressive, as the concept of a mega-journal was already proven. Rather, Scientific Reports launched as a social network market, providing access to the prestige of the Nature brand. This model in turn became unsustainable, as the journal developed its own reputation and niche, which had been carefully planned through the naming (which does not include the name “Nature”) to avoid any dilution of the existing Nature brand.
What does this mean for Open Access and for initiatives like PlanS? Note that the club-theoretic model is ambivalent about how payments are made. We see similar patterns of growth and decline for subscription and APC journals alike. However the model is arguably better configured to understand how to create knowledge-value efficiently, because it asks how a community can be created and sustained, and how open access to membership can both stimulate and dilute knowledge-making itself. In our next post, we will discuss the implications of our model for planning a transition to full open access.”
“In October 2018, the US Department of Education gave LibreTexts, an OER portal based at the University of California, Davis, a $4.9 million grant to develop free, open textbooks in targeted subjects, including chemistry. The goal for the chemistry materials is to develop resources that will enable schools to offer an ACS-approved bachelor’s degree with zero cost for textbooks. ACS evaluates programs to determine whether they meet the guidelines established by the society’s Committee on Professional Training. The consortium developing LibreTexts includes 11 institutions beyond UC Davis, plus the California State University system. The consortium and its predecessor, ChemWiki, previously received funding from the US National Science Foundation….
Professors who want to use LibreTexts can use the existing materials as is, or they can mix and match the various textbooks available to make their own. The consortium currently contains 61 chemistry textbooks, 58 of which are in English and 3 of which are in Spanish.
Brett McCollum, a chemistry professor at Mount Royal University, in Canada, adopted LibreTexts for one section of his general-chemistry class in 2015. After a successful trial run, his department adopted it for all sections of both semesters of general chemistry the following year….
Rather than linking to existing LibreTexts pages, McCollum replicates those pages on his own course pages within LibreTexts and edits them to fit the focus of his class. “Having that freedom to tailor the book was really valuable to me,” he says….
McCollum envisions a future with most OER development funded by governments. In Canada, most provinces already have an OER initiative, he says. “Canada sees this as an important path forward for equity and for enabling students from diverse backgrounds to engage more fully in higher education,” McCollum says. “We have a vision of sharing nationally and internationally” the materials from the OER initiatives….
One thing that differentiates OpenStax from commercial publishing is the OER provider doesn’t need to constantly release new editions of its books to keep ahead of a used-book market. OpenStax books are available free to students electronically or for a nominal cost if a student prefers to have a printed version….”