Welcome to The Great Acceleration – The Scholarly Kitchen

I like to think of the period that we’ve entered into now as “The Great Acceleration,” a term coined by author Warren Ellis (or, as a recent exhibition states it, “Everything Happens So Much“). We aren’t really dealing with new issues – arXiv has been around posting preprints since 1991, mergers have been common for a while now (Wiley buying Blackwell happened more than 11 years ago), and the open access movement has been front and center since at least the year 2000….

But, like every other aspect of our lives in this interconnected, digital utopia in which we live, we’ve reached a point where everything feels like it’s happening at once. Every week it seems like another piece of crucial publishing infrastructure is changing hands, or a new open access policy is announced, or there’s a new open letter petitioning for change that you’re expected to sign onto, or a new technology or standard that you absolutely must implement….

Plan S is a great example of acceleration — the research world has been moving slowly toward open access, with different fields moving at different paces via different routes. This evolution has taken place at, not surprisingly, an evolutionary pace, and a small group of significant research funders have declared their impatience with this level of progress. Plan S is a deliberate attempt to accelerate change, throwing a comet into a complex ecosystem in hope that it will produce mammals, rather than mass extinction….

That brings us back to the notion of much-needed infrastructure. If the open source community really wants to make a difference, then the some focus should be directed toward back-end, e-commerce billing systems. The regulatory conditions of the market have reached a point where it is incredibly inefficient for them to be tracked and applied by hand. We need systems that can take advantage of persistent identifiers (ORCID, the CrossRef Funder Registry, the developing ORG-ID) and automate the process of ensuring that each author on a paper has met their requirements. A modular system where each funder, government, and institution can plug in their rules and have those applied to the publication process would enable much more rapid progress than reinventing the article submission system or building yet another publishing platform….”

2018 in review: Working towards an open scholarly world | About Hindawi

Consistent with our mission to drive greater openness in research, in September of this year we released a new peer review system that has been built using an open-source framework. The new platform was developed as part of our collaboration with the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (Coko) and was the first step towards a network of open publishing infrastructure that we, Coko, and other like-minded organizations like eLife and University of California Press are developing and plan to share with the research community. An earnest commitment to openness can only be built on open scholarly infrastructure….”

The Colombo Statement: IDUAI 2018

“Having attended “The Asian Digital Revolution: Transforming the Digital Divide into a Digital Dividend through Universal Access”, a commemorative event held to celebrate the International Day for Universal Acces to Information (IDUAI) in Colombo on 28-29 September 2018:…

Considering the 2011 Strategy on UNESCO’s contribution to the promotion of Open Access (OA) to scientific information and research and taking into account specific needs in the countries of the South;…

The participants: …

Reaffirm the importance of empowering all citizens, especially young women and men and persons with disabilities, to develop a culture of openness and to become creators of content and innovation, including through access to information and quality education.

Reiterate the understanding of the Dakar Declaration on Open Access for the Global South, and state the necessity for establishing polycentric governance mechanisms for OA research and recommend that institutions and governments urgently collaborate to pilot and develop policies and enabling mechanisms to promote and publicize Open Scholarship and Open Science.

Call upon the governments to take firm steps and develop policies to mandate all the publicly funded research are available under Open Access; and also to earmark enough funding for necessary infrastructural and capacity enhancement.

Appreciate the Ljubljana Ministerial Statement and Open Educational Resources [OER] Action Plan 2017 which recognizes OER as a strategic opportunity to increase knowledge sharing and universal access to quality learning and teaching resources and call upon Governments and all relevant educational stakeholders, including civil society, to mainstream OER making them more broadly accessible including to persons with disabilities in support of achieving the Education 2030 Agenda.

Note the need to ensure institution-wide multi-sectoral training, attuned to people’s divergent and discrete needs, in particular those of disadvantaged groups and individuals, and designed to accustom and familiarize the community towards a more inclusive environment which can integrate the latest available technology (ODL, OER, FOSS, OA, etc.) into learning, teaching and training routines, applying the tenets of universal design for learning including UNESCO’s just published Competency Framework…

Recommend that OER be made accessible across media, including smart mobile devices and offline, in flexible and inclusive formats that support their effective and widest possible use, including by persons with disadvantages or disabilities, to learning, teaching and training, again in accordance with the tenets of relevant best practice….”

 

Building library-based support structures for Open Science (IATUL 2018)

Research institutions meet increasing demands for transparency, accountability, added value and reuse of all aspects of scientific production, from documenting the research process to sharing underlying data to open access to publications. Going beyond admirable slogans about openness there is a clear need for support infrastructures relating to the actual practice of Open Science describing metadata, archiving datasets and publications and disseminating increasingly interdisciplinary research results. Research libraries, having always been stewards of research institutions’ collective knowledge and offering a variety of research support services, are in a unique position to offer future support for Open Science based on the core competencies already existing at the library. This paper describes the process of building a comprehensive research support structure for Open Science at the university library of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. It shows how the library identified stated, but not necessarily operationalized, university strategies for Open Access and Open Data, and proceeded to strengthen its existing competencies in this area with human resources and a targeted approach to linking the library to the central research infrastructure of the university. This resulted in the library assuming responsibility for new research support services and plans of action for Open Access and Open Data for the whole of NTNU.

Reimagining Open Science Through a Feminist Lens – Denisse Alejandra – Medium

“Today I will talk about what it could mean to reimagine open science from a feminist perspective?—?a question we have been exploring at OCSDNet over the past few months….

Our position was that much of the Open Science discourse and practices, particularly at the policy-making and institutional level, frame open science as a technology-enabled means to produce more productive, efficient and competitive science. One of the main critiques we put forth was that this framing was biased in favor of a very utilitarian conception of science that looks to incentivize knowledge production for the sake of innovation and international competitiveness, while losing sight of other equally important functions served by research and knowledge production?—?such as attending to social challenges or equipping citizens to access their fundamental rights….”

CORE becomes the world’s largest open access aggregator (or how about them stats 2018 edition) – CORE

“This was another productive year for the CORE team; our content providers have increased, along with our metadata and full text records. This makes CORE the world’s largest open access aggregator. More specifically, over the last 3 months CORE had more than 25 million users, tripling our usage compared to 2017. …

We also saw an increase in the number of users in our text analytics services, CORE API and CORE dataset, and the CORE Repository Dashboard and CORE Recommender….

For the past six months we invested a lot of effort in migrating to a new infrastructure that is needed to support our usage and content growth. This has been a tremendous task and we more than tripled the processing and storage capacity of CORE. We are now in the final stages of this migration, which will be completed early next year and will increase the potential and stability of our systems and service….”

Community Cultivation: A Field Guide

“Innovators abound in the fields of libraries, archives, museums, publishing, and higher education. Many of these idea generators find ample support for the creation of tools and technologies that enable new forms of knowledge production, dissemination, or preservation as those tools are first imagined and piloted.

However, when these innovators attempt to sustain their creations, external funding and attention often wane. A well-documented “Valley of Death” stretches between softfunded projects and sustainable programs. Without deep knowledge of how to build a support community, and how to manage such elements as resources, communications, engagement, and governance, innovators find the bridge between grant funding and ongoing operations very difficult to cross….

Many potential tools and services wither, not due to shortfalls in demand or shortcomings in those products, but rather to a lack of attention to organization and community building….

We [at Educopia] are now openly sharing the model that we have developed and refined over the last twelve years. Community Cultivation – A Field Guide provides a powerful lens that can provide both emerging and established communities with ways to understand, evaluate, and plan their own growth, change, and maturation. We are offering this Field Guide freely in the hope that it will empower more community facilitators and leaders to invest in the health and sustainability of their own collaborative networks….”

Open Access, the Global South and the Politics of Knowledge Production and Circulation: An Open Insights interview with Leslie Chan

“And 17 years on [since the BOAI], the biggest disappointment has been the institutions of higher education. Rather than actively support their own faculty and researchers with funding for tools and infrastructure for scholarly communication, or engage in collaborative development with peer institutions, universities have largely left researchers to fend for themselves. Institutional repositories, once a pride for some, have been left languishing in most cases. Instead, senior administrators have been contend with out-sourcing not only their knowledge infrastructure to commercial entities, but they also ceded control of the important task of reputation management to commercial firms, who are turning out to be the same entities that control the entire research infrastructure.  …”

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?….”

Notes From Our All Things Coko Meeting in London : Collaborative Knowledge Foundation

“From December 5 – 7, the Coko community and those curious to learn more about us convened in London for presentations, discussions, user centered design sessions, even an update Book Sprint for our PubSweet book. The best summary of the week is to say that All Things Coko truly were on display, and open for discussion!

On the 5th, around 50 attendees from funding organizations, publishers- both society and commercial, service providers, industry consultants and thought leaders came together to learn more about  Coko and be introduced to PubSweet and to view the platforms being constructed using this cutting edge open source infrastructure.

 

Attendees watched break out demonstrations of xPub-Hindawi, xPub-eLife, eLife’s Libero, xPub-Collabra, Editoria, Wormbase’s Micropubs platform, and xPub-Europe PMC in the high-energy ‘speed-geeking’ sessions….

Key highlights from the day include:

  • There are nine different platforms being built from the PubSweet platform tool-kit, representing four separate use cases: journals, books, aggregator, micropublications
  • There are service providers stepping up to offer Coko software as a hosted service
  • The change in culture in working on shared, open source solutions is a communication challenge, one we can work together to address….”