Journal data policies: Exploring how the understanding of editors and authors corresponds to the policies themselves

Abstract:  Despite the increase in the number of journals issuing data policies requiring authors to make data underlying reporting findings publicly available, authors do not always do so, and when they do, the data do not always meet standards of quality that allow others to verify or extend published results. This phenomenon suggests the need to consider the effectiveness of journal data policies to present and articulate transparency requirements, and how well they facilitate (or hinder) authors’ ability to produce and provide access to data, code, and associated materials that meet quality standards for computational reproducibility. This article describes the results of a research study that examined the ability of journal-based data policies to: 1) effectively communicate transparency requirements to authors, and 2) enable authors to successfully meet policy requirements. To do this, we conducted a mixed-methods study that examined individual data policies alongside editors’ and authors’ interpretation of policy requirements to answer the following research questions. Survey responses from authors and editors along with results from a content analysis of data policies found discrepancies among editors’ assertion of data policy requirements, authors’ understanding of policy requirements, and the requirements stated in the policy language as written. We offer explanations for these discrepancies and offer recommendations for improving authors’ understanding of policies and increasing the likelihood of policy compliance.

 

Exploring complexity: the two sides of Open Science

“One may see Open Science (which some prefer to call Open Research) as an altruistic movement towards opening up research methods and especially its outputs for the sake of their visibility and open availability to the wider society. The legitimate right for any citizen to read research outputs resulting from public funding is regularly raised by every Open Access advocate – including yours truly – when explaining the rationale for Open Science. Patients, schoolteachers, doctors are highlighted as the sort of citizens that may need to access scientific literature and may be forced to pay for such access unless we succeed in our push towards Open Science. And SMEs. Yes, one always mentions SMEs here as well. In fact anyone who happens to be outside the institutional subscription bubbles.

There is another take to Open Science though, a far more pragmatic and hence more likely to succeed approach. This other take, although not unconcerned with access to research results by the average citizen, is mostly about the possibility of exploiting the synergies between research and industry by making not only research results but other areas such as research facilities or expertise as openly available to industry (and the wider outside world) as possible. This is the approach driven by innovation that sees research and its commercial application as a continuum and understands the value of openness for the purpose of realising that continuum….”

The views, perspectives, and experiences of academic researchers with data sharing and reuse: A meta-synthesis

Abstract

Background

Funding agencies and research journals are increasingly demanding that researchers share their data in public repositories. Despite these requirements, researchers still withhold data, refuse to share, and deposit data that lacks annotation. We conducted a meta-synthesis to examine the views, perspectives, and experiences of academic researchers on data sharing and reuse of research data.

Methods

We searched the published and unpublished literature for studies on data sharing by researchers in academic institutions. Two independent reviewers screened citations and abstracts, then full-text articles. Data abstraction was performed independently by two investigators. The abstracted data was read and reread in order to generate codes. Key concepts were identified and thematic analysis was used for data synthesis.

Results

We reviewed 2005 records and included 45 studies along with 3 companion reports. The studies were published between 2003 and 2018 and most were conducted in North America (60%) or Europe (17%). The four major themes that emerged were data integrity, responsible conduct of research, feasibility of sharing data, and value of sharing data. Researchers lack time, resources, and skills to effectively share their data in public repositories. Data quality is affected by this, along with subjective decisions around what is considered to be worth sharing. Deficits in infrastructure also impede the availability of research data. Incentives for sharing data are lacking.

Conclusion

Researchers lack skills to share data in a manner that is efficient and effective. Improved infrastructure support would allow them to make data available quickly and seamlessly. The lack of incentives for sharing research data with regards to academic appointment, promotion, recognition, and rewards need to be addressed.

The views, perspectives, and experiences of academic researchers with data sharing and reuse: A meta-synthesis

Abstract

Background

Funding agencies and research journals are increasingly demanding that researchers share their data in public repositories. Despite these requirements, researchers still withhold data, refuse to share, and deposit data that lacks annotation. We conducted a meta-synthesis to examine the views, perspectives, and experiences of academic researchers on data sharing and reuse of research data.

Methods

We searched the published and unpublished literature for studies on data sharing by researchers in academic institutions. Two independent reviewers screened citations and abstracts, then full-text articles. Data abstraction was performed independently by two investigators. The abstracted data was read and reread in order to generate codes. Key concepts were identified and thematic analysis was used for data synthesis.

Results

We reviewed 2005 records and included 45 studies along with 3 companion reports. The studies were published between 2003 and 2018 and most were conducted in North America (60%) or Europe (17%). The four major themes that emerged were data integrity, responsible conduct of research, feasibility of sharing data, and value of sharing data. Researchers lack time, resources, and skills to effectively share their data in public repositories. Data quality is affected by this, along with subjective decisions around what is considered to be worth sharing. Deficits in infrastructure also impede the availability of research data. Incentives for sharing data are lacking.

Conclusion

Researchers lack skills to share data in a manner that is efficient and effective. Improved infrastructure support would allow them to make data available quickly and seamlessly. The lack of incentives for sharing research data with regards to academic appointment, promotion, recognition, and rewards need to be addressed.

SAGE launches portal to streamline open access publishing process

“SAGE Publishing announces the launch of a new portal that enables authors, consortia, libraries, and funders to manage the open access publishing workflow. Named the SAGE Open Access Portal, the platform currently supports SAGE Choice, the publisher’s hybrid Open Access (OA) publishing option, for 900+ journals. Later in 2020, it will be extended to support SAGE’s 180+ pure Gold OA journals….”

Impact Factor vs Integrity Factor: Which Siren Should Be Our Guide?

“Rather than being focused on the “Impact Factor,” perhaps authors should focus on the other “IF” or the “Integrity Factor.” I propose that we begin calculating the “Integrity Factor” for journals and perhaps this should be the number of retractions in, say, a 5? or 10?year period divided by the number of original research papers published. Authors could then pick a journal based upon its integrity rather than the impact….”

Sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak | Wellcome

“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China (2019-nCoV) represents a significant and urgent threat to global health.

We call on researchers, journals and funders to ensure that research findings and data relevant to this outbreak are shared rapidly and openly to inform the public health response and help save lives.

We affirm the commitment to the principles set out in the 2016 Statement on data sharing in public health emergencies, and will seek to ensure that the World Health Organization (WHO) has rapid access to emerging findings that could aid the global response.

Specifically, we commit to work together to help ensure:

all peer-reviewed research publications relevant to the outbreak are made immediately open access, or freely available at least for the duration of the outbreak
research findings relevant to the outbreak are shared immediately with the WHO upon journal submission, by the journal and with author knowledge
research findings are made available via preprint servers before journal publication, or via platforms that make papers openly accessible before peer review, with clear statements regarding the availability of underlying data
researchers share interim and final research data relating to the outbreak, together with protocols and standards used to collect the data, as rapidly and widely as possible – including with public health and research communities and the WHO
authors are clear that data or preprints shared ahead of submission will not pre-empt its publication in these journals…”

Academic publishing must better serve science and society | Times Higher Education (THE)

“We propose a new vision for scientific publishing that starts with reversing the relationship between authors and publishers. Under this system, authors would be able to make their research freely accessible to everyone immediately. Journal editors would compete to publish it, but publication would not be the end of the story: researchers could continue to update their papers for years afterwards. Nor would publication be the aim of the game: the incentives, recognition and reward systems would not depend on where a paper is published, but rather on its contents and the extent to which it advances knowledge.

This is already starting to happen. The number of preprints is increasing daily, and most journals now facilitate the submission of papers to preprint servers via their own submission systems. Others have appointed preprint editors to screen preprints and solicit submissions, adopting scoop protection policies that commit them to disregarding, in their editorial decisions, any competing papers published after submission of the paper or preprint.

But the evolution needs to go further, faster. All papers should be indexed and retrievable via a single open database, clearing the way for feedback from students, citizen scientists and researchers at all career grades and compass points. This Reddit-style process would allow authors to address any obvious concerns before journal publication, updating or correcting their papers with comments, new data or links to improved methods or protocols….”

Academic publishing must better serve science and society | Times Higher Education (THE)

“We propose a new vision for scientific publishing that starts with reversing the relationship between authors and publishers. Under this system, authors would be able to make their research freely accessible to everyone immediately. Journal editors would compete to publish it, but publication would not be the end of the story: researchers could continue to update their papers for years afterwards. Nor would publication be the aim of the game: the incentives, recognition and reward systems would not depend on where a paper is published, but rather on its contents and the extent to which it advances knowledge.

This is already starting to happen. The number of preprints is increasing daily, and most journals now facilitate the submission of papers to preprint servers via their own submission systems. Others have appointed preprint editors to screen preprints and solicit submissions, adopting scoop protection policies that commit them to disregarding, in their editorial decisions, any competing papers published after submission of the paper or preprint.

But the evolution needs to go further, faster. All papers should be indexed and retrievable via a single open database, clearing the way for feedback from students, citizen scientists and researchers at all career grades and compass points. This Reddit-style process would allow authors to address any obvious concerns before journal publication, updating or correcting their papers with comments, new data or links to improved methods or protocols….”