Creating ‘fundamental truth’ | Research Information

“I joined Springer Nature a year ago from bol.com, which I co-founded and led for 20 years.  During my time there, the company developed from a small start-up to being the largest online retail platform for Dutch speaking consumers around the world…

Some of the very core processes of publishing haven’t changed as much as I would have expected and, coming as I did, from a digital process business, this was surprising.

And the degree of cooperation and coordination is also significantly lower than I expected, leaving many opportunities untapped.

But most worrying is the fact that publishers are not seen as partners by some of our stakeholders, but as ‘the enemy’. This is extremely concerning given that there are many fundamental improvements that would create value for the research ecosystem and for which I can see no alternative other than for big publishers to be leading their implementation and playing a pivotal role in their delivery.

there are things we can and should be leading and implementing, both individually within our publishing houses and collectively as the academic publishing industry to create more value for the research ecosystem as a whole.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Helping researchers make their data, protocols and methods open and access the data sets of others. This has the potential to instigate a fundamental step change in enabling researchers to make use of existing information and build on it for the benefit of scientific advancement; 
  • Improving peer review quality and improved process to save time for all involved, including a vastly reduced time between submission and publication;
  • Driving change in the reputation and recognition models and metrics, for authors, researchers, members of our editorial boards and peer reviewers;
  • Publishing negative results and reproducibility studies at scale; and
  • Making usage easy: rather than fighting illegal use, we should create common standards and user-friendly interfaces that make it easy for every legally entitled user to search, discover, and consume the research information they need to advance discoveries….

Without a doubt the biggest challenge facing scholarly publishers over the next 10 years is need to rebuild trust between the research community (authors, researchers, funders, librarians) and publishers …

A further sentiment I’ve picked up is the negative feeling of dependency; researchers feel they are too dependent on publishers and they don’t like that….”

DOAJ Progress Report for 2018 – News Service

“With a revised set of Principles of Transparency and Best Practice and a new mission,  DOAJ started 2018 by publishing its strategy to show the community where DOAJ is focussing its efforts: a) funding and sustainability; b) functionality, stability and scalability; c) education and outreach. 

Financially, DOAJ has seen the benefits of the SCOSS initiative, with more than 60% of all monies being donated from the public sector….

For the first time since before 2013, we do not have a backlog of applications waiting to be triaged….

The introduction of an update function allowed us to make systematic journal entry reviews more focussed and more effective. These are undertaken as each update is submitted. Further reviews are taken across our larger multi-journal accounts where, as far as possible, we have tried to establish common metadata entries across all journals belonging to the same publishing entity….”

FINAL REPORT: 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 the fields of information science and scholarly communications. The participants included domain researchers in academia, practitioners, and those who are aiming to democratize scholarship. An explicit goal of the summit was to identify research needs related to barriers in the development of scalable, interoperable, socially beneficial, and equitable systems for scholarly information; and to explore the development of non-market approaches to governing the scholarly knowledge ecosystem.

To spur discussion and exploration, grand challenge provocations were suggested by participants and framed into one of three sections: scholarly discovery, digital curation and preservation, and open scholarship. A few people participated in three segments, but most only attended discussions around a single topic….”

Intractable? – Adam Hyde

Scholarly publishing loves intractable problems. Building publishing platforms is often argued to be such a thing.

I think there’s a reasonable amount of skepticism here toward any claims to have solved what has been, for decades, an intractable set of problems. We’ve watched Wiley pour (estimated) tens of millions of dollars into building a platform, only to give up and purchase Atypon. We’ve watched Elsevier pour similar (estimated) amounts of money into building Evise, only to give up and purchase Aries. We’ve watched PLOS pour similar (estimated) amounts of money into building Aperta, only to give up and sign on with Aries.

David is talking to a belief in the scholarly publishing sector that publishing workflow platforms are an intractable problem. And yet, so the belief goes, Aries and others, have apparently ‘solved’ this problem.

Well, intractable problems aren’t ones that have been previously solved. So whats going on with this argument?….”

The Biggest Scam in Publishing?

In some ways, it’s like the history of forceps (yes, that often-controversial instrument of childbirth). When forceps were first invented, they were a carefully guarded secret. It’s not that they were whacky-science or anything, but simply that the creator could force families to pay handsomely for a better chance at surviving the procedure. The Chamberlen family guarded their invention and were known to only provide medical care to wealthy and even royal patients. The rest of the commoners could simply die in childbirth if they couldn’t pay.

That continues to be the attitude in academic and scientific publishing. If you want to know the outcome of an expensive research project, you won’t find that information for free, regardless of who footed the bill for it. Until steps are taken to ensure that scientific findings are available to all, the gatekeepers will continue to serve only the wealthy who can foot the bill….”

Academic-Led Publishing From the Experts Series: Interview with Dr. Michael P. Taylor

“What will it take for the majority of research to be academy-owned and open access? Here at Scholastica, we’ll be focused on this question during the first Academic-Led Publishing Day on February 7, 2019. We’re excited to be taking part in the global digital event, which is aimed at fostering discussions about current and potential academic-led publishing initiatives. Academic-led publishing refers to scholarly publishing initiatives wherein one or more academic organizations control decisions pertaining to copyright, distribution, and publishing infrastructure.

Academic-Led Publishing Day presents an exciting opportunity to build bridges between different stakeholders in the future of academy-owned publishing, including university-based publishers, professional associations, scholars, research funders, and service providers. As we lead up to the event, we wanted to start some discussions around academic-led publishing. In this blog series we interview OA experts about academic-led publishing initiatives that they’re involved in and their thoughts on what’s needed to make the majority of research academy-owned.

First in the series we welcome Dr. Michael P. Taylor, a computer programmer with Index Data and a paleontologist with the University of Bristol. He is an active advocate for open access to scholarship and open data. In the interview below he discusses his current OA advocacy and his hopes for academic-led publishing….”

Will Blockchain Revolutionize Scholarly Journal Publishing? – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Since the 1990s, some academic netizens have predicted that open access will upend scholarly journal publishing, yet an oligopoly still dominates the $25-billion industry.

Orvium, a European start-up, recently joined those taking on the giant players. It offers a publishing and business plan based on blockchain — a coding structure that embeds origins and changes within a file. The format will allow for open-access or other licensing models to be determined by each client journal’s editors. The company’s ultimate objective is “to be the leading publication platform for the research community while returning the benefits of science to society.”

Manuel Martin, Orvium’s 38-year-old CEO and cofounder, said in a phone interview from Geneva that the company is in a period of beta testing and should be operational in 2019. A data scientist who has worked with CERN and NASA, Martin, who was born in Spain, said that he and his fellow cofounders, Antonio Romero and Roberto Rabasco, started the company to make journal publishing cheaper, faster, and more transparent….”

A young researcher’s guide to open access publishing | Editage Insights

“In recent years, open access has steadily gained momentum. Most journals and publishers today have open access channels and authors have the choice to publish open access. However, many authors, particularly those who are relatively new to academia, are still in a haze about open access publishing. What is open access? What is the rationale behind publishing open access? What are the different venues for publishing open access? Such questions bother authors and they are often skeptical about publishing open access as there are several myths about open access. This article aims to clear all doubts and provide the fundamentals of open access publication….”

Community call: Open source technology development for science communications and publishing | Events | eLife

“In this community call, at 11am New York | 4pm London on October 24, 2018, we invite the developers and the users of technology for science communications and publishing from all corners to join in and share projects that are underway, learn more about what others are up to and how they’ve solved tricky problems, and consider where collaboration can contribute to the path forward….”