[Blog] Why does a geographical perspective on open access matter? –

“When I’m asked what I am focussing on in my PhD research, more than a few of my counterparts initially don’t understand why my focus as a geographer is the transition of the scholarly publishing system, or what the whole thing has to do with geography. But when I start to reflect upon what kind of issues relate to an open access to knowledge, it becomes quite clear why geographers, and geography as a scholarly discipline, should care. In this blog post I will explain why….”

Building new societies: Insights and predictions from the 5th Wiley Society Member Survey – Roscoe – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Ten years ago, research conducted by the Biosciences Federation found that 60% of responders said they read OA journals, and 25% said that they published in them. Although a minority had claimed to have published in more than one OA journal, ‘they were not always able to distinguish between (fully or optionally) OA journals and other resources’ (Morris & Thorn, 2009). In fact, 31% of the journals mentioned were not OA journals at all. Over the course of our annual surveys, we have seen the understanding and significance of OA increase. In this year’s survey, 80% recognized the description of open research and 78% open science, for example, and only hybrid OA received the relatively low recognition rating of 61%. OA has moved from being a side issue to one of central importance, particularly among students, ECRs, and those in Africa and Central Asia. In last year’s survey, supporting OA was the sixth most important thing a society should do (65%), far behind publishing a journal (89%) and providing education and training (83%). In the current survey, it is the top service of which members want to see more. There is less interest in the USA (47%) and among senior members (61%), but if you are a student (85%) based in Africa (84%) or have less than 5?years’ experience (75%), then increased OA publishing is a major motivation towards society membership (see Fig. 6)….”

Building new societies: Insights and predictions from the 5th Wiley Society Member Survey – Roscoe – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Ten years ago, research conducted by the Biosciences Federation found that 60% of responders said they read OA journals, and 25% said that they published in them. Although a minority had claimed to have published in more than one OA journal, ‘they were not always able to distinguish between (fully or optionally) OA journals and other resources’ (Morris & Thorn, 2009). In fact, 31% of the journals mentioned were not OA journals at all. Over the course of our annual surveys, we have seen the understanding and significance of OA increase. In this year’s survey, 80% recognized the description of open research and 78% open science, for example, and only hybrid OA received the relatively low recognition rating of 61%. OA has moved from being a side issue to one of central importance, particularly among students, ECRs, and those in Africa and Central Asia. In last year’s survey, supporting OA was the sixth most important thing a society should do (65%), far behind publishing a journal (89%) and providing education and training (83%). In the current survey, it is the top service of which members want to see more. There is less interest in the USA (47%) and among senior members (61%), but if you are a student (85%) based in Africa (84%) or have less than 5?years’ experience (75%), then increased OA publishing is a major motivation towards society membership (see Fig. 6)….”

Open Repositories 2020 – Stellenbosch, South Africa

“The Open Repositories Steering Committee and Stellenbosch University is delighted to announce that the 15th Open Repositories Conference will be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 1-4 June 2020. The conference will be organised by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service who looks forward to welcoming delegates to the first Open Repositories Conference (OR) on the African continent….”

News & Views: Shifting Power Balances in Global Scholarly Output – Delta Think

“The following figure analyzes the spread of output across major regions, comparing papers published in all journals with those published in fully OA journals….

 

Authors from Asia-Pacific (APAC) account for just under 45% of papers, with Europe a close second and the Americas third. (Total papers in this model amount to just under 2.4 million.)
However, Europe leads in authorship in fully OA journals, covering 52% of output compared with APAC’s 43%. (The model covers just over 500,000 papers in fully OA journals.)…
The top chart shows publications in all journals. Each color represents a different year. We can see that APAC’s share of output is growing, while Western Europe is flatlining and North America lessening.
Share of output in fully OA journals (the bottom chart) shows a slightly different picture. APAC is growing, but in this case, Western Europe’s share is declining, and North America’s share is shrinking even faster.
Smaller economies are growing their share of fully OA faster than they are growing their share of overall output, albeit from lower bases….

By measuring share of output and including overlap between multi-author papers, we can analyze how the “influence” of authors from different regions is changing. As shown above, data confirms the increase in APAC output and the static or decreasing trends in Western Europe and North America, respectively.

The story is much more nuanced when you drill into each country’s contributions. For example, China accounts for a bit less than half (48%) of the APAC region’s influence. While countries such as South Korea, Japan, India, and Australia account for single-digit percentages each, together they are moving the needle, accounting for almost 38% of APAC’s total output….”

Call for Proposals – Open Repositories 2020

“The 15th International Conference on Open Repositories, OR2020, will be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 1-4 June 2020. The organisers are pleased to invite you to contribute to the program. This year’s conference theme is: Open for all. 

In today’s world, access to knowledge by all is viewed by some as a fundamental freedom and human right. In our societies, open knowledge for all can enable sustainable development and growth on many levels. How well do repositories support knowledge in the service of society? How well do they enable local knowledge sharing and support not only academic use, but also use in education and practice? …”

 

Potential risks and solutions for sharing genome summary data from African populations | BMC Medical Genomics | Full Text

Abstract:  Genome data from African population can substantially assist the global effort to identify aetiological genetic variants, but open access to aggregated genomic data from these populations poses some significant risks of community- and population- level harms. A recent amendment to National Institutes of Health policy, following various engagements with predominantly North American scientists, requires that genomic summary results must be made available openly on the internet without access oversight or controls.

The policy does recognise that some sensitive, identifiable population groups might be harmed by such exposure of their data, and allows for exemption in these cases. African populations have a very wide and complex genomic landscape, and because of this diversity, individual African populations may be uniquely re-identified by their genomic profiles and genome summary data. Given this identifiability, combined with additional vulnerabilities such as poor access to health care, socioeconomic challenges and the risk of ethnic discrimination, it would be prudent for the National Institutes of Health to recognise the potential of their current policy for community harms to Africans; and to exempt all African populations as sensitive or vulnerable populations with regard to the unregulated exposure of their genome summary data online.

Three risk-mitigating mechanisms for sharing genome summary results from African populations to inform global genomic health research are proposed here; namely use of the Beacon Protocol developed by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, user access control through the planned African Genome Variation Database, and regional aggregation of population data to protect individual African populations from re-identification and associated harms.

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”….”

Embracing New Trends in Scholarly Communication: From Competency Requirements in the Workplace to LIS Curriculum Presence

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Scholarly communication has undergone dramatic change in the digital era as a result of rapidly evolving digital technology. It is within this context of evolving scholarly communication that this paper reports on an inquiry into (1) the extent to which university libraries in South Africa are actively embracing new and emerging trends in scholarly communication; and (2), the extent to which LIS school curricula in South Africa are responding to new and emerging scholarly communication competencies required in university libraries. METHODS This qualitative study, located within an interpretivist epistemological worldview, was informed by the Operational Elements of Scientific Communication aspect of Khosrowjerdi’s (2011) Viable Scientific Communication Model. Data was collected using summative content analysis of university library job advertisements over a four-year period; South African university libraries’ organizational organograms; and course descriptions available on the websites of South Africa’s LIS schools. RESULTS & DISCUSSION A review of job advertisements and organograms shows that on the whole university libraries in South Africa are embracing the new and emerging trends in scholarly communication, but some university libraries are performing better than others in adopting emerging scholarly communication services such as RDM, digital humanities, or research landscape analysis. Course description analysis provides evidence that LIS schools’ curricula, as per global trend reported in the literature, do not seem to be keeping pace with developments in scholarly communication. CONCLUSION The ambivalent nature of an evolving scholarly communications field with unclear definitions and boundaries necessitates professional practitioners who are adaptable and open to change as well as an LIS education curriculum that is in constant review to seamlessly embrace an evolving field propelled by advancing digital technologies.