Can open access bridge the gaps between science and societal impact? | AAS Open Research Blog

“Some people may consider this open access wave as a simply incremental gain, but it really is, in many ways, a revolution. As it stands, people who generate the knowledge are rarely the same people who valorize that knowledge. Instead, it is often third parties who make most value by integrating knowledge from multiple sources. This is a new descriptor of literacy, and we must pay attention to the fact that the more it is shared, the more knowledge becomes useful. Researchers must therefore realize the need to bridge efforts in within the otherwise siloed knowledge industry, with the need to community desires for impact.

I believe that liberating information so that it can be accessed by multiple brains across disciplines will create immeasurable value. Here I mean value not just to academics, but to industry, governments and societies. The adage, “knowledge is power” remains most relevant today. The more of it we have, and the wider we share it, the greater our capacity will be to address our priority needs in key sectors including energy, health, agriculture, infrastructure and education. One might say that while quantity of knowledge has a linear effect on societal impact, the extent to which it is shared will have exponential effects.  

As am writing this, I have an email from one of our Tanzania postgraduate students requesting full text of an article published in 1962 in the East African Medical Journal, which historically had fantastic ratings. The article in question contains work done in northern Tanzania but is unfortunately now behind a paywall. The student can choose to pay for access, send an email to some American or European partner who probably has paid access or repeat the experiments? As it stands, all those options remain on the table, especially since I am, perhaps unreasonably, being adamant that “all which is behind a paywall is immaterial”….”

Open and Shut?: The OA Interviews: K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India

“It is, however, clearly problematic that cOAlition S has remained an essentially European initiative. For this reason when, in February, the Indian Government’s Principal Scientific Adviser, Professor VijayRaghavan posted a series of tweets saying that India was joining cOAlition S the news was greeted with great excitement by cOAlition S members, as well as by Plan S supporters like the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas.

 

The news was greeted with less enthusiasm back home in India, with concerns raised about the cost implications, the likely impact on small journals and publishers, and the way in which it would allow commercial publishers to continue to profit excessively from the research community – see, for instance, here, here and here.

 

Following Prof. VijayRaghavan’s tweets, however, radio silence set in, with no confirmation that India had formally joined, or any updates on the status of its plans. For this reason many ears pricked up last Friday when, during a lecture he gave at IISc Bangalore to mark Open Access Week, Prof. VijayRaghavan commented, “We are not committed to whatever Plan S does or does not do.” This sufficiently piqued the interest of Vasudevan Mukunth that he sought out Prof. VijayRaghavan and asked for clarification, which led to an interview in The Wire where it was confirmed that India no longer plans to join cOAlition S.

 

As I had been trying to interview Prof. VijayRaghavan for some months, I too was piqued by his comments and so took to Twitter to again invite him to answer the questions I had sent him in June. He agreed and below are his answers to an updated list of questions I emailed over to him….”

Interview: ‘Everyone Wants Change as Long as It Doesn’t Happen’

“We are not joining Plan S. Plan S is itself evolving, and the terms that we are trying to push is something that we will ask Plan S to push for in their format.

[I asked him in a follow-up email to clarify this point; his reply follows:] Since February 2018, some water has flowed under the bridge. We have done substantial work here and had consultations with government, individual scientists and the academies. Our directions now and the next steps are what I spoke about in my lecture. Plan-S has also taken its steps and moved in some new directions. We are in touch with Plan-S, at present, to the extent that they have presented their current directions at our meeting by video and responded to clarifications we asked.

As we move along, I expect there will be overlap in our directions to open-access. However, our directions will be entirely determined by the interests of Indian academia and of India, for which our understanding of and collaboration internationally with groups such as Plan-S is important….”

 

Q&A with Calvin Warren: Open Access and Democratizing the Accessibility of Knowledge | Authors Alliance

“Open access was unfamiliar to me when I began my academic career, and I wish I’d known about it in graduate school. I do hope the [TOME] program recruits early career scholars, who are often producing the most provocative and groundbreaking work. I’m very grateful that Emory University invested time and resources for me to publish with open access….

Open access has widened my readership, exposing my work to artists, scientists, ministers, politicians, people I hadn’t expected to read my work. When access is open, more democratic, ideas can travel without restriction. And this has been my experience….

My advice to any authors with important ideas, especially those that speak to contemporary concerns, is to consider open access. Make an appointment with open access staff and discuss the possibility of this platform. It will create unexpected opportunities. Also, publishers often consider the open access funds “book sales” so it reduces some pressure from young scholars who need book sales for career stability. In short, open access is a gift to the academy and will lead the way in democratizing knowledge accessibility.”

Academic-Led Journal Highlight: Interview with Naseem Naqvi

“When The British Blockchain Association decided to launch JBBA and began looking for the best means to publish the journal, Naqvi said he and his team were more concerned with soliciting quality articles and reaching the widest audience possible than with working with a known publisher. “Reputable publishers may impress some people but the majority of people are more interested in the quality of contents within the journal than who the publisher is,” explained Naqvi….”

Open Access Books: The First 100 Books from Johns Hopkins University Project – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Barbara Kline Pope (BKP): This project was in development when I arrived at JHUP in late 2017. Greg Britton, our editorial director, took the lead in creating the OA proposal for consideration by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project is certainly In line with our mission as a university press to disseminate scholarship far and wide. And, we have been interested in experimenting with new business models and new ways of delivering important scholarship, especially in the humanities. It’s also appealing to move important content from an out-of-print status to one that is free and open to the world. 

As you noted, Mellon and NEH provided generous funding to bring 200 books back to life through this program. The first 100 were launched today on Project MUSE with an accompanying robust promotional campaign. We’re proud of the effort and eager to see the response. Our aim, as with all of our publishing, is to extend the reach of our authors’ work and to amplify its impact. What author doesn’t want engagement and impact? We conducted an experiment recently at JHUP comparing the reach of our open and gated content on Project MUSE, and we confirmed that we can dramatically increase engagement with our content through open publishing.

That aligns with my long experience at the now completely open National Academies Press….”

Boosting diversity in open access – Physics World

“A key part of equality in open access is enabling as many authors as possible to publish on an open-access basis. There is also a wider ambition to be more inclusive and remove barriers to wider participation in science. At IOP Publishing, we have established a diversity and inclusion committee to make sure that anyone can become an author, reviewer or editorial board member across all our journals. We have also introduced a double-blind peer-review option on several of our journals. This is where the identities of the authors, their organization and other details that could identify the authors, such as where the study was conducted, are masked from the reviewers. This assures authors that their submission will be evaluated solely on the quality of the science.”

Making grey literature slightly less grey – TIB-Blog

“[Q] Finally, let us come back to the 21st International Conference on Grey Literature, which is being held in Hannover. On the subject of open access, demands for free access to scientific information are increasing. The topics of open access and grey literature will both be addressed at the conference. How do you assess the importance of open access in grey literature, and what needs to be done to increase the proportion of open access grey literature?

[A] In light of the Pisa Declaration, I believe the best way to establish open access more firmly is to introduce compulsory fees and to provide research funding. Moreover, open access enables academics to make their results known to other experts in a quick, barrier-free way. So it would be particularly helpful if more right holders were to publish their findings under CC licences….”

Transformation at work – introducing Europe’s digital champions: Astrid Verheusen, transforming the research cycle | Europeana Pro

“As Executive Director of LIBER – the Association of European Research Libraries – I implement our strategy and manage our network of 450 libraries across 42 countries, as well as the office of seven staff in The Hague. Our strategy is about progressing the open science cause and powering sustainable knowledge in the digital age. We envision a world in 2022 in which open access will be the dominant form of publishing. A world in which research data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR).  We believe that by developing digital and participatory skills for research, the cultural heritage of tomorrow can be built on today’s digital information. …”

2019 Award Winner — World Data System: Trusted Data Services for Global Science

“Libby [Liggins] is part of the Steering Committee for the Genomics Observatory Metadatabase (GEOME), purpose-built to capture the metadata associated with biological samples and genomic sequences and conforming to current international standards for biodiversity and genomic data. Libby is also a core member of the Diversity of the Indo-Pacific Network (DIPnet) that seeks to advance biodiversity science in the world’s largest biogeographic region through international collaboration. DIPnet members have developed the largest, curated, georeferenced population genetic/genomic database in the world, and forms the core of GEOME….

Through collaboration with Local Contexts and Te Mana Rauranga (the M?ori Data Sovereignty Network), the Ira Moana Project and GEOME are now beta-testing the capacity for researchers to add a Traditional Knowledge Notice (TK Notice) and new Biocultural Labels as metadata. TK Notices signal that there are accompanying indigenous rights that need further attention for any responsible and equitable future use of the data. Biocultural Labels further allow the addition of provenance information and community expectations for future use based on Indigenous Data Sovereignty principles—including CARE (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, Ethics) Principles launched by the Global Indigenous Data Alliance—thereby enabling indigenous stewardship and persistent recognition of indigenous rights within an international framework of Nagoya compliance. The implementation of a TK Notice and Biocultural Labels using GEOME’s infrastructure is a first for a biological resource and for genetic data, establishing new ethical standards in this research community.”