Access to scientific literature by the conservation community [PeerJ]

Abstract:  Access to the scientific literature is perceived to be a challenge to the biodiversity conservation community, but actual level of literature access relative to needs has never been assessed globally. We examined this question by surveying the constituency of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a proxy for the conservation community, generating 2,285 responses. Of these respondents, ?97% need to use the scientific literature in order to support their IUCN-related conservation work, with ?50% needing to do so at least once per week. The crux of the survey revolved around the question, “How easy is it for you currently to obtain the scientific literature you need to carry out your IUCN-related work?” and revealed that roughly half (49%) of the respondents find it not easy or not at all easy to access scientific literature. We fitted a binary logistic regression model to explore factors predicting ease of literature access. Whether the respondent had institutional literature access (55% do) is the strongest predictor, with region (Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and sex (male) also significant predictors. Approximately 60% of respondents from Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have institutional access compared to ?50% in Asia and Latin America, and ?40% in Eastern Europe and in Africa. Nevertheless, accessing free online material is a popular means of accessing literature for both those with and without institutional access. The four journals most frequently mentioned when asked which journal access would deliver the greatest improvements to the respondent’s IUCN-related work were Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Nature, and Science. The majority prefer to read journal articles on screen but books in hard copy. Overall, it is apparent that access to the literature is a challenge facing roughly half of the conservation community worldwide.

 

Open Access Journal Publishing 2020-2024 : Market Research Report

“In today’s global market, it’s more important than ever to understand the changing dynamics of scholarly and professional publishing. Rely on Simba Information’s Open Access Journal Publishing 2020-2024 to build your growth plan for this year and beyond.

This report explains the origins of the open access movement, gives a timeline for its development, but most importantly, Simba Information quantifies open access’ position as a fast growing subsegment of scholarly journal publishing. Simba used the information it gathered through primary and secondary research to develop a financial outlook for open access journal publishing including leading competitors’ performance through 2020 and market projections through 2024. This research was conducted in conjunction with a larger study of the overall market for scholarly and professional publishing.

Open Access Journal Publishing 2020-2024 contains separate chapters covering the market, key competitors, and issues and forecast that include:

Simba’s exclusive analysis of market size and structure
Revenue and market share rankings of 10 leading global publishers
Title and article growth metrics
A breakdown of players in the open access ecosystem including public and private research funders.
A breakdown open access publishing in key geographic regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of World
Analysis of mergers and acquisitions
Simba’s exclusive market projections to 2024 and more….”

Public Knowledge | The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

“Public Knowledge supports the creation and preservation of our cultural record—the vast and ever-growing historical archive that helps us explore and better understand our intertwined humanity. Our goal is to increase equitable access to deep knowledge—from scholarly texts to community collections—that helps  build an informed, culturally diverse, and civically engaged society.

We work with archives, presses, and a range of university, public, and other local, national, and global libraries that are foundational to knowledge production and distribution. We prioritize grantmaking that supports the innovative maintenance of technology, tools, and infrastructure for content related to our social justice orientation, expands digital inclusion, and focuses on the preservation of materials from historically underrepresented and underfunded cultures and populations.

In collaboration with our grantees and funding partners, we aspire to cultivate networked resources, services, and collections, and to ensure that more authentic, reflective, complex, and nuanced stories are revealed, preserved, and told.”

The Mellon Foundation Announces Transformation of its Strategic Direction and New Focus on Social Justice | The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

“Public Knowledge supports the creation and preservation of our cultural record—the vast and ever-growing historical archive that helps us explore and better understand our intertwined humanity. The goal of Public Knowledge is to increase equitable access to deep knowledge— from scholarly texts to community collections—that helps build an informed, culturally diverse, and civically engaged society….”

Equitable access to research in a changing world: Research4Life Landscape and Situation Analysis · The Knowledge Futures Commonplace

“This Research4Life Landscape and Situation Analysis, therefore, provides extremely pertinent and valuable insights into the shifting dynamics and external influences at play, from Global Megatrends down to Trends in Scholarly Communication, which will serve as an invaluable scene-setting contextualisation for the whole Research4Life Reviews project.  Given the extremely interesting and useful reflections provided here, the Research4Life Executive Council is happy to share its insights and conclusions with other stakeholders in the wider research communication ecosystem and indeed the broader world.” 

Power and the paywall: A Black feminist reflection on the socio-spatial formations of publishing

“Who owns knowledge? How do we disseminate it to benefit societal goals and values that speak norms of justice? Who should have access to knowledge? For whom should knowledge serve? In our time, the highly active landscape of knowledge production via publication, with widespread immediate interconnectivity of scholars around the world, allows for the making of a stronger intellectual community. It can be argued that this one of many impacts of globalization, in that academics are more interconnected than ever before, just as world economies, geopolitics, and global media. Moreover, the scholars who present new knowledges or make visible alternative knowledges come from a wider range of backgrounds than ever before, including non-white/Euro-descendant racial and ethnic groups, working class people, all genders, all sexualities, and non-Western nations. Beyond that, scholars are engaging with a broader body of research subjects and ideas that can transform society in exciting ways.

Understanding this means that theorizing the possibilities of open access is a productive dialogue. The challenges of paywalls are multiple and overlapping. Engaging in such debates calls for deconstructing the value of knowledge repositories guarded behind a pay schedule. There are a number of questions to raise regarding the gatekeeping mechanisms of paywalls: How do paywalls represent a form of power? For what reason do we create a financial barrier to intellectual labor? Aside from hosting intellectual work (in digital and print form), what is the necessity of creating a corporate system that profits from labor that journal hosting bodies are not financially or otherwise accountable to? The perspective in this paper is largely situated in a North American – primarily United States-based – perspective….

Widespread open access publishing would bring about a more just distribution of knowledge within the United States and globally.”

Statement by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) on combatting COVID-19: the importance of sharing knowledge to create a comprehensive and publicly available evidence-base

The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting everyone worldwide, and policymakers, scientists and practitioners are exploring uncharted territory while trying to get to grips with this new virus. Especially in such times of great uncertainty, building on up-to-date and accurate information is crucial. Robust systems of epidemic intelligence that can provide solid national and regional-level epidemiological data to inform modelling of disease transmission at the population level, and ultimately offer effective guidance on public health action, are needed. Sharing data, research outcomes and experiences in order to build a common, growing body of intelligence is key when battling the outbreak and saving lives. Indeed, we see many examples of information being shared, across disciplinary, sectoral and geographical borders, contributing to new insights and accelerated generation of knowledge. EUPHA, as a science-based organisation, commends this open attitude, and calls upon all relevant authorities, organisations and experts to share evidence to the maximum extent possible.

Availability of research articles for the public during pandemic – a case study

Abstract:  The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) disease has affected millions of lives, forcing most of us to stay at home and work. However, there is an immediate need to conduct research on potential drugs against COVID-19. In this article, the extent to which major publishers have provided access for the public to read research articles relevant to potential drug candidates for the COVID-19 disease are presented.

A systematic search of five electronic databases (Elsevier’s ScienceDirect, Taylor & Francis, SpringerLink, Wiley, and New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)) was conducted on April 12-17, 2020. The total number of research articles containing terms ‘Ribavirin’, ‘Remdesivir’, ‘Hydroxychloroquine OR Chloroquine’, ‘Favipiravir’, ‘Lopinavir OR Ritonavir’, ‘Sarilumab’, and ‘Tocilizumab’, available for the public to read for free were determined. In this study, there was a lack of full access to research articles related to potential drugs of COVID-19 in commercial academic databases, except for ‘Remdesivir’ and ‘Favipiravir’ from NEJM.

SciELO Books and open access in epidemic times: More important than ever | SciELO in Perspective

By Gilberto Hochman, Researcher at Fiocruz, Scientific Editor at Editora Fiocruz and Assistant Editor of Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, social midia is applauding the franchise of open access to books, book chapters, data and encyclopedias in all areas of knowledge by traditional foreign university publishers, bases such as JSTOR and Project Muse, and various publishers. The necessary policies of social isolation, and even quarantine, led to the closure of research institutions, universities, libraries and archives. And, with that, the drastic reduction of knowledge access channels, particularly in countries outside the 21st century central circuit of science. The offer is worthwhile and should be celebrated and enjoyed. However, this open access has an expiration date: the end of the pandemic.1 Regardless of its duration, after the international health emergency, access will again be paid for, either by individuals, educational and research institutions and by government agencies, with a huge burden for the countries of the Global South. Anyone who has tried and enjoyed, should pay to continue having access. Open access to scientific knowledge is not a routine or a commitment by publishers, but a business and an exception like during the pandemic. In that sense, SciELO Books is more important now than ever.

Access to Scientific Literature by the Conservation Community | bioRxiv

AbsAccess to the scientific literature is perceived to be a challenge to the biodiversity conservation community, but actual level of literature access relative to needs has never been assessed globally. We examined this question by surveying the constituency of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a proxy for the conservation community, generating 2,285 responses. Of these respondents, ~97% need to use the scientific literature in order to support their IUCN-related conservation work, with ~50% needing to do so at least once per week. The crux of the survey revolved around the question, “How easy is it for you currently to obtain the scientific literature you need to carry out your IUCN-related work?” and revealed that roughly half (49%) of the respondents find it not easy or not at all easy to access scientific literature. We fitted a binary logistic regression model to explore factors predicting ease of literature access. Whether the respondent had institutional literature access (55% do) is the strongest predictor, with region (Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and gender (male) also significant predictors. Approximately 60% of respondents from Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have institutional access compared to ~50% in Asia and Latin America, and ~40% in Eastern Europe and in Africa. Nevertheless, accessing free online material is a popular means of accessing literature for both those with and without institutional access. The four journals most frequently mentioned when asked which journal access would deliver the greatest improvements to the respondent’s IUCN-related work were Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Nature, and Science. The majority prefer to read journal articles on screen but prefer to read books in hard copy. Overall, it is apparent that access to the literature is a challenge facing roughly half of the conservation community worldwide.