The Open Research Pilot project | Open Research: Adventures from the front line

“The Open Research Pilot project is a two year experiment where researchers at Cambridge University are trying to work as openly as possible. The project is a collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Open Research team and the exchange of experiences and ideas is helping both sides of the collaboration….

The researchers, Wellcome Trust and Cambridge open research teams met for a kick off meeting on 27 January 2017 to officially start the two-year project. Each research group was appointed a facilitator – a dedicated member of the Cambridge open research team to support researchers throughout the project. Research groups will meet with their facilitators on a monthly basis in order to discuss shareable research outputs and to decide on best ways to disseminate them. Every six months all project members will meet to discuss barriers to sharing outputs that have been identified through the pilot and to assess the progress of the Project.

One of the main goals of the project is to learn what the barriers and incentives are for open research and to share these findings with others interested in the subject to inform policy development. Therefore, we will be regularly publishing blog posts with case studies describing what we have discovered while working together. There will also be an update from each research group every six months….”

Peter Suber, Half a dozen reasons why I support the Jussieu Call for Open Science and Bibl…

“1. I support its call to move beyond PDFs. This is necessary to bypass publisher locks and facilitate reuse, text mining, access by the visually impaired, and access in bandwidth-poor parts of the world. 

2. I applaud its recognition of no-fee or no-APC open-access journals, their existence, their value, and the fact that a significant number of authors will always depend on them. 

3. I join its call for redirecting funds now spent on subscription journals to support OA alternatives. 

4. I endorse its call to reform methods of research evaluation. If we want to assess quality, we must stop assuming that impact and prestige are good proxies for quality. If we want to assess impact, we must stop using metrics that measure it badly and create perverse incentives to put prestige ahead of both quality and access.

5. I support its call for infrastructures that are proof against privatization. No matter how good proprietary and closed-source platforms may initially be, they are subject to acquisition and harmful mutation beyond the control of the non-profit academic world. Even without acquisition, their commitment to OA is contingent on the market, and they carry a permanent risk of trapping rather than liberating knowledge. The research community cannot afford to entrust its research to platforms carrying that risk. 

6. Finally I support what it terms bibliodiversity. While we must steer clear of closed-source infrastructure, subject to privatization and enclosure, we must also steer clear of platform monocultures, subject to rigidity, stagnation, and breakage. Again, no matter how good a monoculture platform may initially be, in the long run it cannot be better than an ecosystem of free and open-source, interoperable components, compliant with open standards, offering robustness, modularity, flexibility, freedom to create better modules without rewriting the whole system, freedom to pick modules that best meet local needs, and freedom to scale up to meet global needs without first overcoming centralized constraints or unresponsive decision-makers. …”

New white paper asks, “How can we reform promotion and tenure practices to promote open access?” – Digital Science

“George Mason University Press and the Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI) have just published the OSI 2017 Promotion & Tenure Reform Workgroup Report, which explores how professional advancement scenarios–promotion and tenure, grant applications, and so on–might be reimagined to better incentivize open access, open data, and other “open” scholarly practices. My coauthors and I explored current systemic barriers to change, and propose concrete steps that OSI organizers can take to further study those challenges and find solutions.”

Journal: Publish here, and we’ll pay you $500 – Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch

“A new journal is offering something we’ve never seen before: A cash reward to corresponding authors of papers it publishes. Normally, in the case of open-access journals, researchers have to pay article processing charges (APCs). But Minimally Invasive Surgical Oncology, an open-access journal launched at the end of last year, flips the typical narrative — it will pay corresponding authors $500 for every original or review article it accepts. If any author joins the editorial board, the payment — which the journal dubs “royalties” — increases to $600.”

India’s Education Ministry says ‘no marks’ for papers published in APC journals

Summary by Subbiah Arunachalam:

“Now the [Indian] Ministry of Human Resource Department has come up with a commendable move: From now on papers published by paying article processing charges will not be considered for faculty promotion in the National Institutes of Technology (Gazette of India, 24 July 2017).”  

OSF | Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices

“There is no central authority determining the validity of scientific claims. Accumulation of scientific knowledge proceeds via open communication with the community. Sharing evidence for scientific claims facilitates critique, extension, and application. Despite the importance of open communication for scientific progress, present norms do not provide strong incentives for individual researchers to share data, materials, or their research process. Journals can provide such incentives by acknowledging open practices with badges in publications….”

Open Science Badges

“What are Open Science Badges?

Badges to acknowledge open science practices are incentives for researchers to share data, materials, or to preregister.

Badges signal to the reader that the content has been made available and certify its accessibility in a persistent location….


Badges seem silly. Do they work?

Yes. Implementing these badges dramatically increases the rate of data sharing (Kidwell et al, 2016).

A recent systematic review identified this badging program as the only evidence-based incentive program that this effective at increasing the rates of data sharing (Rowhani-Farid et al., 2017).

View a list of journals and organizations that have adopted badges here….”

G7 Science Ministers’ Communiqué, September 28, 2017

“16. We affirm the principle that efforts should be directed to promote a widespread participation of researchers in the network of global research infrastructures, taking account of the opportunities offered by open science paradigms. Significant contributions to this discussion come from the “Group of Senior Officials on Global Research Infrastructures” (GSO) and the G7 “Open Science Working Group” (OS WG)….[18] We welcome the GSO’s 2017 report that includes both the evolution of the Framework corresponding to a broader and deeper consensus on global access criteria, the developments on open innovation and open data policies….19. We recognize that ICT developments, the digitisation and the vast availability of data, efforts to push the science frontiers, and the need to address complex economic and societal challenges, are transforming the way in which science is performed towards Open Science paradigms. We agree that an international approach can help the speed and coherence of this transition, and that it should target in particular two aspects. First, the incentives for the openness of the research ecosystem: the evaluation of research careers should better recognize and reward Open Science activities. Secondly, the infrastructures for an optimal use of research data: all researchers should be able to deposit, access and analyse scientific data across disciplines and at the global scale, and research data should adhere to the FAIR principles of being findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable….20. We support the work and results achieved so far by the G7 Open Science Working group. The OS Working Group has identified priorities that deserve and require common aligned actions, both in encouraging openness and data skills in scientific research practice, through workforce development and training. We encourage the OS WG to follow-up actions taken by G7 members according to the WG’s recommendations and to collect good practices, in order to report to the next G7 Science Minister’s Meeting. In particular, we support the OS WG deepening its efforts on the two topics identified above (paragraph 19), namely the incentives for openness of the research ecosystem, including the role of research indicators and metrics relevant to open science, and the infrastructures and standards for optimal use of research. The summary report of the OS working group is attached to this Communiqué….”