Ten myths around open scholarly publishing [PeerJ Preprints]

Abstract:  The changing world of scholarly communication and the emergence of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly-debated topics. Yet, evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication. The aim of this article is to provide a baseline evidence framework for ten of the most contested topics, in order to help frame and move forward discussions, practices and policies. We address preprints and scooping, the practice of copyright transfer, the function of peer review, and the legitimacy of ‘global’ databases. The presented facts and data will be a powerful tool against misinformation across wider academic research, policy and practice, and may be used to inform changes within the rapidly evolving scholarly publishing system.

The Role of Preprints in Journal Publishing

“The increase in preprint use, along with scholars publicly coming together to endorse preprints, such as those at the 2016 ASAPbio meeting, is forcing journal publishers to address the place of preprints in the publishing landscape. Despite “preprint” sounding like something reserved for pre-publication, “preprint” servers and published journals don’t have to be as separate as their names suggest. Many journals are now allowing and even encouraging scholars to publish preprint versions of their works in addition to formal articles to make their research Green OA. Authors can link their preprint articles to the DOI of the formal published version to connect the two. Going a step further, some journals are even pioneering preprint publishing models, wherein they host final articles on preprint servers in order to make research fully open access….”

Openness: An interview with Daniel Hook, CEO of Digital Science – The Scholarly Kitchen

I think that biggest barrier is the existing system of incentives – people are not made professor for making their research openly available — that needs to change. The current system was never built to scale to the current size of the research world. I think that there will be some radical changes in scholarly communication and evaluation. Research, however, is quite rightly a conservative world. Systems need to be tried and tested – we can’t afford to switch to a system that is susceptible to effects like fake news.  So, I don’t think that change will happen quickly….

As a researcher, I want it to be simple. I don’t want to have to find money from different pots to publish my work. I don’t want to have to understand licensing and copyright law nor do I want to have to understand if my funder’s requirements are at odds with my institution’s requirements of me or indeed my government’s views on what constitutes open. I also really don’t want to have to go through the same thing with my data and my software as well as my journal article. So, in short, yes, I do think that there needs to be simplification. Not wanting to wade into the minefield that is Plan S, I will say that one thing that must be welcome to everyone is that there is now clear coordination going on between different stakeholders. Ideally this would lead to a framework or standard that allows stakeholders to adopt or to sign up to a standardized set of Open Access requirements that are internally consistent and easy to understand….”

Analyze the impact of the rising Open Access movement on your organization – Dimensions

Open Access is an integral part of the journey to a more collaborative research environment and continues to grow in importance across a variety of communities, including publishers, funders, librarians and of course the academic research community. Open Access in combination with Open Data has quickly become a key issue impacting both the quantity and the quality of scholarly communications.

In this recently published Digital Science Research report, Dimensions data were used to explore the implications that restricted access may impose and analyze current Open Access trends. Some of the reports key findings include that the volume of Open Access articles has clearly been rising in recent years and that countries that have invested in Open Access have typically increased their level of international collaboration.

All this and more can be discovered through Dimensions’ rich data and analytical capabilities as we recently developed and released a number of updates and new features which will help you to gain richer and more precise insights about Open Access for your organization.

Dimensions provides multiple filters to easily display results which are Open Access. Our filters are built around the four most commonly used basic classifications:

  • Bronze – available on websites hosted by their publisher, either immediately or following an embargo, but are not formally licensed for reuse.
  • Green – freely available somewhere other than the publisher’s website, e.g. in a subject or university repository, or the author’s personal website. Applies to self-archiving generally of the pre or post-print or potentially after an embargo period
  • Gold – refers to articles in fully accessible open access journals that are available immediately upon publication without a license
  • Hybrid – refers to subscription journals with open access to individual articles usually when a fee is paid to the publisher or journal by the author, the author’s organization, or the research funder….

Say you wanted to know how many gold Open Access papers by the University of Oxford, funded by the Wellcome Trust, were published in Springer Nature journals between 2013 – 2018? We made discovering that easy as you can see in the screenshot below….”

Analyze the impact of the rising Open Access movement on your organization – Dimensions

Open Access is an integral part of the journey to a more collaborative research environment and continues to grow in importance across a variety of communities, including publishers, funders, librarians and of course the academic research community. Open Access in combination with Open Data has quickly become a key issue impacting both the quantity and the quality of scholarly communications.

In this recently published Digital Science Research report, Dimensions data were used to explore the implications that restricted access may impose and analyze current Open Access trends. Some of the reports key findings include that the volume of Open Access articles has clearly been rising in recent years and that countries that have invested in Open Access have typically increased their level of international collaboration.

All this and more can be discovered through Dimensions’ rich data and analytical capabilities as we recently developed and released a number of updates and new features which will help you to gain richer and more precise insights about Open Access for your organization.

Dimensions provides multiple filters to easily display results which are Open Access. Our filters are built around the four most commonly used basic classifications:

  • Bronze – available on websites hosted by their publisher, either immediately or following an embargo, but are not formally licensed for reuse.
  • Green – freely available somewhere other than the publisher’s website, e.g. in a subject or university repository, or the author’s personal website. Applies to self-archiving generally of the pre or post-print or potentially after an embargo period
  • Gold – refers to articles in fully accessible open access journals that are available immediately upon publication without a license
  • Hybrid – refers to subscription journals with open access to individual articles usually when a fee is paid to the publisher or journal by the author, the author’s organization, or the research funder….

Say you wanted to know how many gold Open Access papers by the University of Oxford, funded by the Wellcome Trust, were published in Springer Nature journals between 2013 – 2018? We made discovering that easy as you can see in the screenshot below….”

Visiting Scholar: Preprint Uptake and Use Project – scholcommlab

“The ScholCommLab and ASAPbio are seeking a Visiting Scholar to collaborate with us on a special project about preprints uptake and use (details below). This funded position is open to faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students (enrolled full-time at an accredited institution) interested in joining us for a 2-4 month long research stay in Vancouver, Canada….”

Visiting Scholar: Preprint Uptake and Use Project – scholcommlab

“The ScholCommLab and ASAPbio are seeking a Visiting Scholar to collaborate with us on a special project about preprints uptake and use (details below). This funded position is open to faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students (enrolled full-time at an accredited institution) interested in joining us for a 2-4 month long research stay in Vancouver, Canada….”

David Worlock | Developing digital strategies for the information marketplace | Supporting the migration of information providers and content players into the networked services world of the future.

The Springer Nature announcement that they were working with ReseachGate on a fair sharing policy has elements that run right through the tracery of fissures . It tells us that commercial players have no commercial reason to do anything but compete , and that Springer Nature , Thieme , CUP and in time others want to be seen as more user supportive in this regard than , others . This is not for me a new form of permitted “syndication “ – simply a gracious concession to license what users were doing anyway and remove some friction. It also says that in the games yet to be played , many people see tracking usage of the traceable communication as an important source of information , and potentially of revenues . The pressures felt by players like Springer Nature and Wiley as they at once try to differentiate themselves from the very clear stance of a market leader like Elsevier while trying to protect their service integrity at the same time are similarly shown in the Projekt DEAL developments . Market leaders get trapped and isolated in market positions they cannot give up , while the rest dissociate and differentiate themselves as best they can , while trying hard not to lose revenue margins in the process . Then sit down and read the reactions to Plan S – Springer Nature were paragons of moderation and reason . The loudest squeals came from those with most to lose – scholarly societies with journal revenue dependence. …

So what can the market leader do about this change as they face increasing user criticism ? The traditional answer always was “ push intransigence as far as it will go , and if those who would change the terms of trade do not come to heel , change your CEO as a way of changing your own policy without losing face “ . It may of course be an entire co-incidence that Elsevier’s CEO Ron Mobed retired last week without prior indication that he was about to go , and has been replaced by a very experienced RELX strategy specialist , Kumsal Bayazit . She is warmly welcomed and deserves a good chance to rethink the strategies that have backed Elsevier into a corner with Projekt DEAL and with the University of California . The people who work at Elsevier are , to my certain knowledge , as dedicated as any group I know to the objectives of their customers and the improvement of scholarly communications : they know that at the end of the dy the customer has the final say . And let’s think about what the power of a market leader now really means : 20 years ago companies like Elsevier demanded that authors surrendered their copyrights on the grounds that only the publisher was powerful enough to protect them , while today no publisher is powerful enough to shutter SciHub….”