Open Data: The Researcher Perspective

“The Open Data report is a result of a year-long, co-conducted study between Elsevier and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), part of Leiden University, the Netherlands.  The study is based on a complementary methods approach consisting of a quantitative analysis of bibliometric and publication data, a global survey of 1,200 researchers and three case studies including in-depth interviews with key individuals involved in data collection, analysis and deposition in the fields of soil science, human genetics and digital humanities….”

The ‘restricting choice of publication’ threat | Danny Kingsley | Unlocking Research

“When you work in the open access space, language matters. It is very easy to distract the academic community from the actual discussion at hand and we are seeing an example of this right now. The emerging narrative seems to be that open access policies, and specifically the UK Scholarly Communication Licence (UKSCL), are going to threaten academics’ ability to choose where they publish. The UK-SCL Policy Summary is explicitly “an open access policy mechanism which ensures researchers can retain re-use rights in their own work, they retain copyright and they retain the freedom to publish in the journal of their choice (assigning copyright to the publisher if necessary)”. Let’s keep that in mind when considering the following examples of the ‘restricting choice of publication’ argument that have crossed my path recently….”

Europe set to miss flagship open access target | THE News

“The European Union is set to miss its target of having all scientific research freely available by 2020, as progress towards open access hits a “plateau” because of deeper problems in how research is assessed. Sixty to 70 per cent of universities reported that less than a fifth of their researchers’ peer-reviewed publications are freely available, depending on the type of open access, according to a survey of more than 300 members of the European University Association. 

Only one in 10 universities said that more than 40 per cent of their research was published as “gold” open access, where there is no delay making it public. In 2016, EU member states’ science and industry ministers, supported by the European Commission, backed a move to full open access in just four years. This latest survey asks members about papers published in 2013, 2014 and 2015, so may not capture all progress made to date. But it still concludes that to hit the 2020 target “will require greater engagement by all of the relevant stakeholders”.

This chimes with an EU progress report released at the end of February which concludes that “100 per cent full open access in 2020 is realistically not achievable in the majority of European countries participating in this exercise in the foreseeable future”. Lidia Borrell-Damian, the EUA’s director for research and innovation, said that “unfortunately [full open access] is very difficult to achieve” and that “we have reached a plateau in which it’s very difficult to move forward”.

Open access had taken off in some subjects – like physics, where the open access arXiv pre-print platform is widely used – in which “traditional indicators” of journal prestige such as impact factors and other measures of citations were “less relevant”, she explained. But in most disciplines, these measures were still crucial for burnishing researchers’ career prospects, she added, making it difficult for authors to switch to less prestigious, lower impact factor open access journals. “As long as it [research assessment] is based on these proxy indicators, it’s impossible to change the game,” Dr Borrell-Damian said. Search our database of more than 3,000 global university jobs

This is backed up by the survey findings. The biggest barrier to publishing in an open access repository was the “high priority given to publishing in conventional journals”, a hindrance cited by more than eight in 10 universities. “Concerns about the quality of open access publications” were also mentioned by nearly 70 per cent of respondents. In some disciplines, to publish open access, “you have to be a believer or activist” and it comes “at the risk of damaging your own career”, Dr Borrell-Damian said.

Echoing a long-standing concern in science, she argued that “we need a whole new system” of research assessment that does not rely so heavily on citations and impact factors. The EU’s flagship Horizon 2020 funding scheme requires grant recipients to publish their findings openly, but this was a far from universal policy for national funding bodies, she added. A spokesman for the EU Council acknowledged that “more efforts will be needed overall to accelerate progress towards full open access for all scientific publications”.”

Converting the Literature of a Scientific Field to Open Access Through Global Collaboration: the Experience of SCOAP3 in Particle Physics[v1] | Preprints

Kohls, A.; Mele, S. Converting the Literature of a Scientific Field to Open Access Through Global Collaboration: the Experience of SCOAP3 in Particle Physics. Preprints 2018

Abstract: Gigantic particle accelerators, incredibly complex detectors, an antimatter factory and the discovery of the Higgs boson – this is part of what makes CERN famous. Only a few know that CERN also hosts the world largest Open Access initiative: SCOAP3. The Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) started operation in 2014 and has since supported the publication of 19,000 Open Access articles in the field of particle physics, at no direct cost, nor burden, for individual authors worldwide. SCOAP3 is made possible by a 3,000-institute strong partnership, where libraries re-direct funds previously used for subscriptions to ’flip’ articles to ’gold Open Access’. With its recent expansion, the initiative now covers about 90% of the journal literature of the field. This article describes the economic principles of SCOAP3, the collaborative approach of the partnership, and finally summarizes financial results after four years of successful operation.”

New publishing platform makes experienced authors’ works freely available > News > USC Dornsife

“…Readers who visit the Free Read Press website can download and distribute books by experienced authors, many of whom are connected with USC, at no cost and with no usage restrictions. In addition to work by Dane and Rowe, who is professor of English, American studies and ethnicity, and comparative literature, contributors include Distinguished Professor of English Percival Everett, Aerol Arnold Professor Emeritus of English Jim Kincaid, and Richard Fliegel, associate dean for undergraduate programs. Unlike traditional printing houses, there is little editing, and authors can make changes to their work at any time. For readers who prefer the texture of a crisp page over the digital swipe, Free Read Press has partnered with printers to sell physical copies of each book at cost….”

Authorial and institutional stratification in open access publishing: the case of global health research [PeerJ]

Abstract:  Using a database of recent articles published in the field of Global Health research, we examine institutional sources of stratification in publishing access outcomes. Traditionally, the focus on inequality in scientific publishing has focused on prestige hierarchies in established print journals. This project examines stratification in contemporary publishing with a particular focus on subscription vs. various Open Access (OA) publishing options. Findings show that authors working at lower-ranked universities are more likely to publish in closed/paywalled outlets, and less likely to choose outlets that involve some sort of Article Processing Charge (APCs; gold or hybrid OA). We also analyze institutional differences and stratification in the APC costs paid in various journals. Authors affiliated with higher-ranked institutions, as well as hospitals and non-profit organizations pay relatively higher APCs for gold and hybrid OA publications. Results suggest that authors affiliated with high-ranked universities and well-funded institutions tend to have more resources to choose pay options with publishing. Our research suggests new professional hierarchies developing in contemporary publishing, where various OA publishing options are becoming increasingly prominent. Just as there is stratification in institutional representation between different types of publishing access, there is also inequality within access types.

Evaluation of offset agreements – report 3: Springer Compact

This document is the third report of five on the evaluation of offset agreements in Sweden and will focus on the agreement with Springer called Springer Compact and its outcome during 2017. 


 The evaluation is conducted to examine the effects of Springer Compact regarding economy, administration, researcher attitudes and research dissemination, and make recommendations for future negotiations with Springer Nature and other publishers. The previous reports were written in Swedish, but the remaining reports will be written in English. Therefore, some of the sections from the previous reports are repeated here to provide a background for the international reader. In addition to this, there is also a section comparing the Swedish Springer Compact agreement to that of three other countries (Netherlands, United Kingdom and Austria) and one society (Max Planck Society).

The report is structured in the following way: below is a short summary. Then the first section presents an introduction, describing open access, offset agreements and the background to why such agreements have emerged, the aim of the evaluation and a brief overview of existing recommendations for negotiating open access with publishers. The next section explains the specific offset model of Springer Compact. The third section makes the comparison between different Springer Compact agreements. The fourth and fifth sections contain the evaluation and recommendations for future negotiations.

Enago Launches Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) – Improving Accessibility of Authentic Open Access Journals – Press Release – Digital Journal

“Enago, the leader in editing and publication support services, today announced the worldwide release of Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) that aims at enabling research scholars to find open access journals relevant to their manuscript. OAJF uses a validated journal index provided by Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – the most trusted non-predatory open access journal directory. The free journal finder indexes over 10,700 pre-vetted journals and allows researchers to compare their paper with over 2.7 million articles and counting. Seeing the positive response in the initial pilot stage, OAJF has also been rolled out in languages other than English, primarily Chinese, Japanese, and Korean….”

Enago Open Access Journal Finder

“The Enago Open Access Journal Finder enables you to find quality open access journals that are pre-vetted to protect you from predatory publishers. This free journal finder solves common issues on predatory journals, journal authenticity, and article processing fees by utilizing a validated journal index provided by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Enago’s proprietary search algorithm helps you shortlist journals that are most relevant to your manuscript and research objectives, thus giving you the best chance of publication.”