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.” …”

After a golden age and a lost decade, where next for academic digital publishing? | Zenodo

“The resultant welter of narrowly defined projects and services does little to improve the overall ability of researchers to accomplish their primary goals, or drastically simplify their working lives, and so the transition to open is occurring at only a modest rate. The frustration this engenders amongst the open activists leads them to resort almost exclusively to political tools, the aim being to coerce the adoption of various ugly ducklings which, with luck and sufficient prayer, might over time develop into some kind of beautifully open research communications swan – but equally well might not. 

To adopt another metaphor, the approach to reaching openness pursued to date, and exemplified by Plan S, could be compared to an attempt to replace a plane’s fuselage whilst the plane is in mid-air. But rather than attempting massive ‘in-flight re-engineering’ of the existing scholarly communications system, which risks creating as many new problems as it solves, it would seem sensible to do what one does in any information systems project involving wholesale change: build a pilot of the new system which can be run alongside the existing system. Once the new system is proven, the old system can be retired. It would not be premature, after several decades of mudslinging, politicking and piecemeal tinkering, for interested stakeholders now to attend as a practical matter to the development of a parallel academic publishing infrastructure. I’m thinking here of a unified, global, end-to-end system that enabled authors to submit, with a single click, research outputs into a single academic content space, which would be indexed and clustered to enable readers to find content effortlessly according to multiple criteria.”  

After a golden age and a lost decade, where next for academic digital publishing? | Zenodo

“The resultant welter of narrowly defined projects and services does little to improve the overall ability of researchers to accomplish their primary goals, or drastically simplify their working lives, and so the transition to open is occurring at only a modest rate. The frustration this engenders amongst the open activists leads them to resort almost exclusively to political tools, the aim being to coerce the adoption of various ugly ducklings which, with luck and sufficient prayer, might over time develop into some kind of beautifully open research communications swan – but equally well might not. 

To adopt another metaphor, the approach to reaching openness pursued to date, and exemplified by Plan S, could be compared to an attempt to replace a plane’s fuselage whilst the plane is in mid-air. But rather than attempting massive ‘in-flight re-engineering’ of the existing scholarly communications system, which risks creating as many new problems as it solves, it would seem sensible to do what one does in any information systems project involving wholesale change: build a pilot of the new system which can be run alongside the existing system. Once the new system is proven, the old system can be retired. It would not be premature, after several decades of mudslinging, politicking and piecemeal tinkering, for interested stakeholders now to attend as a practical matter to the development of a parallel academic publishing infrastructure. I’m thinking here of a unified, global, end-to-end system that enabled authors to submit, with a single click, research outputs into a single academic content space, which would be indexed and clustered to enable readers to find content effortlessly according to multiple criteria.”  

The Beijing Declaration on Research Data

Grand challenges related to the environment, human health, and sustainability confront science and society. Understanding and mitigating these challenges in a rapidly changing environment require data[1] to be FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and as open as possible on a global basis. Scientific discovery must not be impeded unnecessarily by fragmented and closed systems, and the stewardship of research data should avoid defaulting to the traditional, proprietary approach of scholarly publishing. Therefore, the adoption of new policies and principles, coordinated and implemented globally, is necessary for research data and the associated infrastructures, tools, services, and practices. The time to act on the basis of solid policies for research data is now.

The Beijing Declaration on Research Data

Grand challenges related to the environment, human health, and sustainability confront science and society. Understanding and mitigating these challenges in a rapidly changing environment require data[1] to be FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and as open as possible on a global basis. Scientific discovery must not be impeded unnecessarily by fragmented and closed systems, and the stewardship of research data should avoid defaulting to the traditional, proprietary approach of scholarly publishing. Therefore, the adoption of new policies and principles, coordinated and implemented globally, is necessary for research data and the associated infrastructures, tools, services, and practices. The time to act on the basis of solid policies for research data is now.

Pondering the arrival of the Open Publishing Awards | FORCE11

“This year, Coko’s Founder Adam Hyde organized and launched the Open Publishing Awards with a stated mission to celebrate all things open and publishing. The initial ‘launch’ of the awards via social media and a website debut was in August, and somehow the organization managed to assemble a panel of judges, solicit nominations, plan an event and deliver on a shortlist of winners, all within a few weeks. After the awards ceremony last week at FORCE 2019, it is a good time to stop and think: were the awards successful? How can we assess the success, failure, or utility of awards programs, in general? Is there room for another?

First, we can take a look at the ‘why’ behind the awards. The Open Publishing Awards website makes it clear: they aim to celebrate and raise awareness about all things open and publishing. This year, that meant open software and open content, as those were the two categories that nominations were solicited within. Is it enough to “celebrate” and announce a “shortlist” – or are we really hungry to create single category “winners” the way that other awards programs tend to?

Next, who is ordained to decide a) what is open, and/or b) how open is ‘open’? This is a semantic and ideological discussion that occurs on an ongoing basis. My open may not be open enough for you or vice versa. The category descriptions offered some help, but was it enough? …”