USDA orders scientists to say published research is ‘preliminary’ – The Washington Post

“Researchers at the Agriculture Department laughed in disbelief last summer when they received a memo about a new requirement: Their finalized, peer-reviewed scientific publications must be labeled “preliminary.”

The July 2018 memo from Chavonda Jacobs-Young, the acting USDA chief scientist, told researchers their reports published in scientific journals must include a statement that reads: “The findings and conclusions in this preliminary publication have not been formally disseminated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.” A copy of the memo was obtained by The Washington Post and the USDA confirmed its authenticity.

The disclaimer appears to conflict with the integrity policy that governs research at the USDA, said Susan Offutt, who was the administrator of the Economic Research Service, a USDA statistical agency, under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The claim that reports are not “formally disseminated” runs counter to the USDA policy that “permits and, indeed, encourages researchers to publish in scientific journals,” Offutt said….

William Trenkle, the USDA departmental scientific integrity officer…said in [a public] statement that the department plans to update the disclaimer’s phrasing “in the near future.” …

A successful review and publication is “the end product to your research,” said Gregorich, a scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (the Canadian counterpart to USDA). “It is now finalized. There’s nothing preliminary about it.” …

Before releasing scientific publications, USDA science agencies send them through the department’s Office of Communications. Although the communications office is not supposed to influence a paper’s conclusions, tensions may arise between scientific results and an administration’s agenda, Offutt said….”

 

This is the big reason why we don’t own ebooks

Whenever you purchase an ebooks from a major retailer, you do not own it, instead you are licensing it. If a retailer goes bankrupt or shutterers their ebook unit, customers lose access to all of the titles they have bought….

Now, companies could probably educate consumers about this reality. But they don’t. Probably because no one wants to click a button that says “license now” or “rent until rights transfer to a new publisher.” Instead, they bury this information in Terms of Service agreement, which, it is well documented, not very many people read….”

Data citation needed | Scientific Data

“Starting last month, publications at Scientific Data now include data citations in the main reference list, rather than in a separate data citations section. This change will be supported by changes to the underlying structure of our content to promote machine readability and reuse of links between scholarly articles and datasets. This aligns the journal with a roadmap for data citation co-developed by representatives of the academic community and several publishers, which seeks to make data citation a standard part of the scholarly publishing process….”

Is it possible to decolonize the Commons? An interview with Jane Anderson of Local Contexts – Creative Commons

“Joining us at the Creative Commons Global Summit in 2018, NYU professor and legal scholar Jane Anderson presented the collaborative project “Local Contexts,” “an initiative to support Native, First Nations, Aboriginal, Inuit, Metis and Indigenous communities in the management of their intellectual property and cultural heritage specifically within the digital environment.” The wide-ranging panel touched on the need for practical strategies for Indigenous communities to reclaim their rights and assert sovereignty over their own intellectual property….

How can we have an open movement that works for everyone, not only the most powerful? How have power structures historically worked against Indigenous communities, and how can the Creative Commons community work to change this historic inequality?

Jane Anderson discussed these issues as well as some of her more recent work with the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine with Creative Commons….”

 

Should I publish in an open access journal? | The BMJ

An “author pays” publishing model is the only fair way to make biomedical research findings accessible to all, say Matthew Kurien and David S Sanders, but James J Ashton and R Mark Beattie worry that it can lead to bias in the evidence base towards commercially driven results….”

imagjn – Bringing Trust to the World

“Science drives innovation. Unfortunately, scientific knowledge is locked behind closed doors. The current system requires academics to publish in high impact journals. This is inefficient knowledge sharing. It is slow, bureaucratic and requires academics to give away their copyright. Above all, it is very expensive. Each university has to pay 2-7 millions of euros per year in public money to obtain access to that research which was paid by them in the first place. It is a 32 billion market, controlled by five publishers who have a higher profit margin than Google. Money that could have been spent on research.

Imagjn open knowledge, where everybody has access to all scientific papers without artificial barriers such as paywalls. To do that, we have to change the rules in how we judge scientific impact. We should no longer focus on where someone publishes. Instead, we should focus on what someone publishes. Therefore, We want to move from a Journal Impact Factor to an Open Impact Factor, controlled and owned by academics. We develop a platform that simplifies writing, citing, reviewing and publishing scientific papers, making knowledge freely available to anyone….”

Study quantifies the growing traction of open access

Now an analysis shows that researchers in the UK are indeed posting their papers online earlier, as are their colleagues all over the world. The time researchers are taking to post papers online shrunk by an average of 472 days per country between 2013 and 2017, finds a study published on 17 April and to be presented at the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in June. Though the authors can’t definitively say what’s behind the trend, they suggest that the Research England policy and other funding eligibility requirements recently announced worldwide are pushing academics to rapidly make their work freely available….”