Canada must embrace new digital developments in scholarly publishing | University Affairs

“Canada has become a slow boat in catching the wind of development in digital journal publishing in spite of our above-average contribution to research. We’ve been far too focused on open access and neglectful of investment in digital innovation with a focus on building a knowledge economy….”

Data sharing policies of journals in life, health, and physical sciences indexed in Journal Citation Reports [PeerJ]

Abstract:  Many scholarly journals have established their own data-related policies, which specify their enforcement of data sharing, the types of data to be submitted, and their procedures for making data available. However, except for the journal impact factor and the subject area, the factors associated with the overall strength of the data sharing policies of scholarly journals remain unknown. This study examines how factors, including impact factor, subject area, type of journal publisher, and geographical location of the publisher are related to the strength of the data sharing policy.


From each of the 178 categories of the Web of Science’s 2017 edition of Journal Citation Reports, the top journals in each quartile (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4) were selected in December 2018. Of the resulting 709 journals (5%), 700 in the fields of life, health, and physical sciences were selected for analysis. Four of the authors independently reviewed the results of the journal website searches, categorized the journals’ data sharing policies, and extracted the characteristics of individual journals. Univariable multinomial logistic regression analyses were initially conducted to determine whether there was a relationship between each factor and the strength of the data sharing policy. Based on the univariable analyses, a multivariable model was performed to further investigate the factors related to the presence and/or strength of the policy.


Of the 700 journals, 308 (44.0%) had no data sharing policy, 125 (17.9%) had a weak policy, and 267 (38.1%) had a strong policy (expecting or mandating data sharing). The impact factor quartile was positively associated with the strength of the data sharing policies. Physical science journals were less likely to have a strong policy relative to a weak policy than Life science journals (relative risk ratio [RRR], 0.36; 95% CI [0.17–0.78]). Life science journals had a greater probability of having a weak policy relative to no policy than health science journals (RRR, 2.73; 95% CI [1.05–7.14]). Commercial publishers were more likely to have a weak policy relative to no policy than non-commercial publishers (RRR, 7.87; 95% CI, [3.98–15.57]). Journals by publishers in Europe, including the majority of those located in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, were more likely to have a strong data sharing policy than a weak policy (RRR, 2.99; 95% CI [1.85–4.81]).


These findings may account for the increase in commercial publishers’ engagement in data sharing and indicate that European national initiatives that encourage and mandate data sharing may influence the presence of a strong policy in the associated journals. Future research needs to explore the factors associated with varied degrees in the strength of a data sharing policy as well as more diverse characteristics of journals related to the policy strength.


Flipping the switch: how a hybrid journal went open access – Physics World

Tell us about Materials Research Express (MRX)?

MRX is an open-access journal that focuses on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. Published by IOP Publishing, which publishes Physics World, it is devoted to publishing new experimental and theoretical research in the properties, characterization, design and fabrication of all classes of materials including biomaterials, nanomaterials, polymers, smart materials, electronics, thin films and more. The journal, which offers rapid peer review, has an international editorial board that is led by the journal’s editor-in-chief, Meyya Meyyappan from NASA’s Ames Research Centre in the US….”

Affordabee: Low-Cost Open Access Publishing – eLife Innovation Sprint 2020

“Adam is an MSc student at a local university in Kenya. He has to work part time to pay his school fees. Adam does the same through his research project to pay for bench fees at a local research institution. Through sweat and long nights, he manages to get a manuscript ready, as he has to publish to graduate. Adam recently attended a seminar where he was introduced to open science. He is excited about his first paper and wants to publish open access. His excitement is cut short when he realises he has to pay a US$3,000 article processing charge (APC) to get his manuscript published. What are his options? Are there publishers that can offer him a waiver or a subsidy? Or, are there some funding opportunities he can tap into for support?

We envision a platform that can help Adam identify journals that can offer him waivers or subsidies, and how to access them; a platform that will point him to funding opportunities to help cover the APC. We seek a platform that will reduce the APC cost barrier for students from resource-poor settings, like Adam. …”

Creating More Visibility for Canadian Journals’ Self-Archiving Policies: An Open Access Week 2020 Crowdsourcing Project – Canadian Association of Research Libraries

“Researchers frequently need to know where and when they can share a copy of their submitted, accepted and/or published journal articles in order to: meet the requirements of a funder policy, share their research more widely through their institutional repository or a subject repository, or, decide where to publish. Most frequently, they look up the journal in question using the Sherpa RoMEO tool. However, many Canadian journals are not yet reflected in this leading international database, and for those that are, the information contained there can be old or incomplete.

CARL is therefore asking Canadian librarians, researchers, and journals to help us collect key information about these missing and incomplete journal entries to make it easier for researchers in Canada and beyond to find Canadian scholarly publication venues using this tool….”

PLOS and Transparency (including Plan S Price & Service Transparency Framework) – The Official PLOS Blog

“As a non-profit, mission-driven organization PLOS abides by our commitment to transparency. We openly share information and context about our finances, including target revenue amounts in some of our emerging business models. The Plan S Price & Service Transparency Framework provided us — and other publishers — a clear, uniform structure to share information about the services we perform and a percentage breakdown of how these are covered by the prices we charge. Many of our mission-driven publishing activities go well beyond peer review and production services. We provide commentary on some of these services, including how the varied editorial setups of our journals contribute to different percentage price breakdowns per title. We encourage other publishers to be transparent and openly share their data via such frameworks. And, we remain confident in showcasing how our prices cover our reasonable costs for a high level of service, with some margin for reinvestment….”

Annual Review of Environment and Resources and Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science use Subscribe to Open to publish 2020 volume open access

“— Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews is pleased to announce that the 2020 volumes of the Annual Review of Environment and Resources ( and the Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science ( have been converted from gated to open access. All articles in these volumes are published under a CC BY license and the back volumes, dating from 1976 and 1952, respectively, are now freely available. These are the final two journals included in the 2020 pilot program for Subscribe to Open, joining the Annual Review of Cancer Biology, the Annual Review of Public Health, and the Annual Review of Political Science….”