A Grand-Challenges Based Research Agenda for Scholarly Communication and Information Science

“A global and multidisciplinary community of stakeholders came together in March 2018 to identify, scope, and prioritize a common vision for specific grand research challenges related to information science and scholarly communications. The participants were both traditional domain researchers and those who are aiming to democratize scholarship. An explicit aim of the summit was to identify research needs related to barriers in the development of scalable, interoperating, socially beneficial, and equitable systems for scholarly information; and to explore the development of non-market approaches to governing the scholarly ecosystem….”


La difficile transizione all’Open Access | Scienza in Rete

From Google’s English: “[A]mong the signatories of Plan S there is only one Italian institution, the INFN. The other research centers, such as the CNR or the Universities, have not yet taken a position on this matter. But how much do Italian universities spend to get access to scientific journals and what is the status of Open Access in our country? We asked the CARE Group (Coordination for Access to Electronic Resources), the organ within the Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities (CRUI) that deals, on the mandate of the universities, negotiations with scientific publishers. The level of total expenditure for subscription fee paymentsit is not known, since in addition to the centrally managed contracts by CARE, on which a confidentiality clause however, individual universities acquire autonomously a part of the resources. Regarding the penetration of OA in Italian research, CARE replies: “At the moment there are no quantitative studies on this”, adding that there are no contracts of the type read and publish  with no publisher.”

Keynote address for Open Science at LIBER

“As you have understood, open science can only be conceived as a comprehensive approach that integrates all facets of scientific activity. We can eventually achieve the figure of 100% of French scientific publications being available through open access. We must initiate processes to open research data to all, whenever it is reasonable, ethical and legal to do so. We must develop training courses, new tools and new services, or simplify and improve existing ones. But we must also be part of the global Open Science movement. I would like France to be a proactive leader in the field of open science, participating fully in its global reach. France supports, in particular, the initiatives of the European Union which, since 2012, has adopted voluntary policies with respect to open science. This is why we will support the “S plan” [Plan S] for open publications that ScienceEurope and Robert-Jan Smits have developed and which will be announced at the EuroScience Open forum (ESOF) Congress in Toulouse in the presence of Commissioner Carlos Moedas. We will thus be in sync with the implementation of the Conclusions of the May 2016 Competitiveness Council in full support of Commissioner Moedas’ Open Science agenda….”

The Continued Relevance of Peter Suber’s (2012) Book on Open Access | Open Science

“Few formats fit better Marshall MacLuhan’s dictum that “the medium is the message” than Open Access does. Peter Suber’s book Open Access published in 2012 by the MIT Press intends to be an authoritative source of reference on the notion of open access, its historical roots, its variegated models, policies proffered in its support, its possible scope, its copyright implications, its economic foundations and consequent limitations. In tune with the phenomenon of digitization that has enabled the emergence of open access in the first place, this publication is available in multiple digital formats, such as PDF, ePub and HTML as well as an online version at the Internet Archive. As this book has been translated into multiple other languages, such as Chinese Polish and French, it has become a standard source for arguments in favor and against Open Access….

Despite the elapsed time from the date of its publication, the digital supplement for this book provides further materials in respect to the effect Open Access is likely to have….

Therefore, in the intervening years this publication has hardly lost any of its relevance as a sustained and up-to-date compendium of thoroughly researched scholarship on Open Access and reasons for its emergence.”

Compliance with requirement to report results on the EU Clinical Trials Register: cohort study and web resource | The BMJ

Abstract:  To ascertain compliance rates with the European Commission’s requirement that all trials on the EU Clinical Trials Register (EUCTR) post results to the registry within 12 months of completion (final compliance date 21 December 2016); to identify features associated with non-compliance; to rank sponsors by compliance; and to build a tool for live ongoing audit of compliance….

Results Of 7274 trials where results were due, 49.5% (95% confidence interval 48.4% to 50.7%) reported results. Trials with a commercial sponsor were substantially more likely to post results than those with a non-commercial sponsor (68.1% v 11.0%, adjusted odds ratio 23.2, 95% confidence interval 19.2 to 28.2); as were trials by a sponsor who conducted a large number of trials (77.9% v 18.4%, adjusted odds ratio 18.4, 15.3 to 22.1). More recent trials were more likely to report results (per year odds ratio 1.05, 95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.07). Extensive evidence was found of errors, omissions, and contradictory entries in EUCTR data that prevented ascertainment of compliance for some trials.

Conclusions Compliance with the European Commission requirement for all trials to post results on to the EUCTR within 12 months of completion has been poor, with half of all trials non-compliant. EU registry data commonly contain inconsistencies that might prevent even regulators assessing compliance. Accessible and timely information on the compliance status of each individual trial and sponsor may help to improve reporting rates.

Europe’s academics fail to report results for 90% of clinical trials

“An analysis of data from the European Union’s Clinical Trial Register — published in The BMJ1 on 13 September — shows that around 50% of the listed trials have not complied with guidelines that say results must be reported within 12 months.

The researchers who conducted the analysis found that only 11% of trials run by academic centres — such as those led by universities, governments, hospitals or charities — had published outcomes after completion (see ‘Failing to comply’’)….

Furthermore, only 11 of the major sponsors of clinical trials — entities that are responsible for at least 50 trials on the register — had reported 100% of results, all of which were companies.

This compares to a total of 32 major sponsors that had not reported any results from their trials. All of these are academic institutions, rather than companies.”

The varieties of OA resistance: a response to Gareth J Johnson

Abstract:  In a recent Insights article, Gareth J Johnson reports on research designed to determine the reasons that so many authors still fail to embrace open access (OA) publishing, despite many years of advocacy on the part of a dedicated community of OA practitioners. To answer this question, Johnson interviewed OA practitioners at 81 UK universities, seeking their insights into the attitudes of academic authors. In response to Johnson’s findings, this paper proposes three categories of authorial resistance, questions the effectiveness of asking third parties to interpret the thinking of authors (particularly when those third parties have a vested interest in the authors’ adoption of OA) and critiques some of the assumptions underlying the informants’ reports (most importantly, the assumption that resistance arises necessarily from misunderstanding or misinformation).

We’re still failing to deliver open access and solve the serials crisis: to succeed we need a digital transformation of scholarly communication using internet-era principles. | Zenodo

“A year ago, I concluded that we had failed in our quest to make scholarship open access (OA): the race had been won by pirates like SciHub (Green, 2017). Twelve months on, how do things look?

Key points:

  • We’re still failing to deliver open access (OA): around a fifth of new articles will be born free in 2018, roughly the same as in 2017.
  • Librarians, funders and negotiators are getting tougher with publishers but offsetting, ‘Publish and Read’, deals based on APCs won’t deliver OA for all or solve the serials crisis.
  • The authors of Budapest, Bethesda and Berlin OA declarations foresaw three changes with the coming of the internet. Flipping to a barrier to publish (APCs) from a barrier to read (subscriptions) wasn’t one of them.
  • By itself, OA won’t reduce costs to solve the serials crisis: a digital transformation of scholarly communications based on internet-era principles is needed. 
  • Following the internet-era principle of ‘fail-fast’, what if papers are first posted as preprints and only if they succeed in gaining attention will editors invite submission to their journalIn clinging onto traditional journals to advance the careers of the few (authors), OA is delayed for the many (readers): rebuilding the reputation economy to accept preprints could be the catalyst to deliver OA, solve the serials crisis and drive out predatory journals

Author’s Note In keeping with the proposition in this paper, and following the advice of Pippa Smart, Editor of Learned Publishing who saw an early draft, I’m releasing it first as a preprint to test if it ‘fails fast’ or not. I will do my best to promote it so that it gains an audience and I invite readers to comment, propose improvements and point out where I’ve gone wrong. I also invite journal editors to consider whether it has ‘succeeded’ and if in their opinion it has I look forward to being asked to submit it for peer review and formal publication in due course.

Why a Federal Rule Change Has Some Scholars Worried They’ll Be Priced Out of Their Own Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“A set of new federal rules aims to simplify a process that has long frustrated scholars: getting approval for research that involves human subjects. But the changes could result in universities’ doing inadvertent harm to the careers of young scientists, and could reduce the amount of research that is conducted in the first place.

That’s because the rules could lead universities to charge fees for the use of their institutional review boards, or IRBs, the administrative panels that act as checks on human research. Some scientists worry that any additional expenses will threaten work that does not receive significant financial backing.

The concern isn’t just theoretical. In March, Washington University in St. Louis posted a fee schedule that, for the first time, would have charged some researchers supported by funds from nonprofit sources. The fee was set at $2,500 to have their proposals reviewed, plus more for annual continuing reviews or reviews of proposed revisions….”