New MIT Press Journal to Debunk Bad COVID-19 Research

“Preprint servers play an increasingly important role in the scholarly publishing landscape. They are a popular platform for researchers to get early feedback on their research. They are also a space where researchers can publish research products and data sets not typically published in traditional journals. The process is fast — publication of open-access research that anyone can read is immediate.

The downside of this open publication system is that sometimes controversial or poor-quality research can garner a lot of attention on social media or in news articles, said Stefano Bertozzi, professor of health policy and management at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. In the clamor for information about COVID-19, it is easy for misinformation to spread online, he said.

To combat this, MIT Press and the Berkeley School of Public Health are launching a new COVID-19 journal, one that will peer review preprint articles getting a lot of attention — elevating the good research and debunking the bad.

The Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 journal will be led by Bertozzi, who will serve as the first editor in chief. Unlike a traditional journal, authors will not submit their work for review. Instead, the Rapid Reviews team will select and review already-published preprint articles — a publishing model known as an overlay journal.   …”

The MIT Press and UC Berkeley launch Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 · Rapid Reviews COVID-19

“The MIT Press announced today the launch of Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 (RR:C19), an open access, rapid-review overlay journal that will accelerate peer review of COVID-19-related research and deliver real-time, verified scientific information that policymakers and health leaders can use….

Using artificial intelligence tools, a global team will identify promising scholarship in preprint repositories, commission expert peer reviews, and publish the results on an open access platform in a completely transparent process. The journal will strive for disciplinary and geographic breadth, sourcing manuscripts from all regions and across a wide variety of fields, including medicine; public health; the physical, biological, and chemical sciences; the social sciences; and the humanities. RR:C19 will also provide a new publishing option for revised papers that are positively reviewed….”

Strengthening the Open Science Ecosystem Through Preprints

“When rapid and open sharing occurs, it is usually in venues (like scientific conferences or within networks of collaborators) accessible only to researchers from well-resourced and established institutions, creating additional barriers to researchers from emerging countries or under-resourced areas, preventing them from participating in the scientific discourse.

Preprints are poised to change this. In addition to enabling rapid sharing, preprints also 1) offer novel opportunities for feedback and peer review; 2) improve the overall quality, integrity, and reproducibility of research outputs; and 3) help prevent scooping and incentivize early collaboration.

These benefits can be dramatically enhanced by third-party services (authoring tools, commenting platforms, and machine extraction projects) that act as both inputs and outputs to preprints. As arXiv founder Paul Ginsparg envisioned in the early 1990s, preprints can provide “a relatively complete raw archive, unfettered by any unnecessary delays in availability” on top of which “any type of information could be overlayed… and maintained by any third parties,” including tools for validation, filtering, and communication….”

5 Scholarly Publishing Trends to Watch in 2020

“The vision for a predominantly open access (OA) publishing landscape has shifted from a possibility to a probability in the opinions of many. A 2017 Springer Nature survey of 200 professional staff working in research institutions around the world found that over 70% of respondents agreed scholarly content should be openly accessible and 91% of librarians agreed that “open access is the future of academic and scientific publishing.” …

As noted, there is growing consensus within academia that the majority of scholarly content will be available OA in the future — but how to reach that end is still a matter of debate. The announcement of Plan S in September 2018, an initiative by a consortium of national and international research funders to make research fully and immediately OA, sent shockwaves throughout academia. 2019 saw the release of the revised Plan S guidelines with some significant changes, including an extension of the Plan S deadline to January 2021, a clearer Green OA compliance pathway, and greater flexibility around non-derivative copyright licenses. What remains the same — and has been a matter of significant debate — is that Plan S will not acknowledge hybrid OA as a compliant publishing model.

In response to concerns raised by scholarly societies around the feasibility of transitioning to full and immediate OA publishing without compromising their operational funding, Wellcome and UKRI in partnership with ALPSP launched the “Society Publishers Accelerating Open Access and Plan S“ (SPA-OPS) project to identify viable OA publishing models and transition options for societies. The final SPA-OPS report was released in September of 2019, encompassing over 20 potential OA models and strategies as well as a “transformative agreement toolkit.” …”

Episciences – Home

“Episciences.org is an innovative combination of the two routes of free access: the gold route by hosting journals in open access (overlay journals) and the green route where articles are submitted to these journals by depositing them in an open archive

The editorial boards of such epijournals organize peer reviewing and scientific discussion of selected or submitted preprints. Epijournals can thus be considered as “overlay journals” built above the open archives; they add value to these archives by attaching a scientific caution to the validated papers.

Open access ; free to read ; free to publish.

There is no charge to access articles published in journals hosted by the Episciences.org.

There is no charge to publish articles in journals hosted by the Episciences.org….”

The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

Is overlay peer review the future of scholarly communications? – COAR

“You may have seen the paper published recently by COAR presenting a distributed framework for open publishing services called Pubfair (version 2, after community input), also available in Spanish.

Pubfair is a conceptual model for a modular, distributed open source publishing framework, which builds on the content contained in the network of repositories to enable the dissemination and quality-control of a range of research outputs including publications, data, and more. 

This idea is not new. It is based on the vision outlined in the COAR Next Generation Repositories report  and builds on earlier conceptual models developed by Paul Ginsparg, Herbert Van de Sompel and others. And there are already overlay journals on arXiv, such as Discrete Analysis and Advances in Combinatorics, and other platforms such as Episcience in France, that demonstrate that this can be done at a very high level of quality, for a low price.

We are proposing to expand on these initiatives by developing a highly distributed architecture for overlay services. With decentralization, comes tremendous power. It takes us beyond an environment with many silos, in which every organization maintains its own separate system; to a global, interoperable architecture for scholarly communication. This model can scale; respond to different needs and priorities related to language, region, and domain; and has the potential to set free scholarly communications….”

JMIR – Celebrating 20 Years of Open Access and Innovation at JMIR Publications | Eysenbach | Journal of Medical Internet Research

Abstract:  In this 20th anniversary theme issue, we are celebrating how JMIR Publications, an innovative publisher deeply rooted in academia and created by scientists for scientists, pioneered the open access model, is advancing digital health research, is disrupting the scholarly publishing world, and is helping to empower patients. All this has been made possible by the disintermediating power of the internet. And we are not done innovating: Our new series of “superjournals,” called JMIRx, will provide a glimpse into what we see as the future and end goal in scholarly publishing: open science. In this model, the vast majority of papers will be published on preprint servers first, with “overlay” journals then competing to peer review and publish peer-reviewed “versions of record” of the best papers.

 

How journals are using overlay publishing models to facilitate equitable OA

“Preprint repositories have traditionally served as platforms to share copies of working papers prior to publication. But today they are being used for so much more, like posting datasets, archiving final versions of articles to make them Green Open Access, and another major development — publishing academic journals. Over the past 20 years, the concept of overlay publishing, or layering journals on top of existing repository platforms, has developed from a pilot project idea to a recognized and growing publishing model.

In the overlay publishing model, a journal performs refereeing services, but it doesn’t publish articles on its website. Rather, the journal’s website links to final article versions hosted on an online repository….”