Sci-Hub users cost ASA journals thousands of downloads, and that’s OK | Family Inequality

“I use Sci-Hub a lot, often for things that I also have subscription access to. (I do not, however, contribute anything to the system; I free-ride off their criminality.) Why? I’m not in the paywall game business, I’m in the information business. I am always behind on my work, and adding a few seconds or minutes of hunting for the legitimate way to get each of the many articles I look at every day is not worth it. (And when I find my university doesn’t subscribe? Interlibrary loan is wonderful, but I don’t want to spend more time with it than necessary.) Does my choice cost the American Sociological Association a few cents, by reducing legitimate downloads, which somehow factors into the profits that get kicked back to the association from Sage? I don’t know.

Of course, one of the dumb things about the paywall system is that it’s expensive and time-consuming to manage who has access to what information — it’s not a small task to keep information from reaching millions of determined readers from all around the world. (I assume one of the reasons my university recently introduced two-factor authentication — requiring me to click a pop-up on my phone every time I log in to university resources [even when I’m in my office] — is because of Sci-Hub. Ironic!)

Chris Bourg is right: “let it be a lesson to us for what we should be doing differently.” Elbakyan may have committed the most efficient product theft in history, in terms of list price of stolen goods per unit of effort or expense on her part. Her archive has been copied and distributed to different sites around the world (it fits in a large suitcase). And it was made possible by the irrational, corrupt nature of the scholarly communication infrastructure. Her success is the system’s failure.”

ASA’s letter against the public interest and our values | Family Inequality

“The American Sociological Association has signed a letter that profoundly betrays the public interest and goes against the values that many of us in the scholarly community embrace.

The letter to President Trump, signed by dozes of academic societies, voices opposition to a rumored federal policy change that would require federally funded research be made freely available upon publication, rather than according to the currently mandated 12-month embargo — which ASA similarly, bitterly, opposed in 2012. ASA has not said who made the decision to sign this letter. All I know is that, as a member of the Committee on Publications, I wasn’t consulted or notified. I don’t know what the ASA rules are for issuing such statements in our name, but this one is disgraceful.

The argument is that ASA would not be able to make money selling research generated by federal funding if it were required to be distributed for free. And because ASA would suffer, science and the public interest would suffer. Like when Trump says getting Ukraine to help him win re-election is by definition in the American interest — what helps ASA is what’s good for science….

So I posted a letter expressing opposition to the ASA letter. If you are a sociologist, I hope you will consider sharing and signing it. We got 100 signatures on the first day, but it will probably take more for ASA to care. To share the letter, you can use this link: https://forms.gle/ecvYk3hUmEh2jrETA. …”

Sociologists in support of open access policy

“In light of a rumored new White House Open Access Policy, the American Sociological Association (ASA), and other scholarly societies, signed a letter to President Trump in support of continued embargoes for federally-funded research. The letter is here: https://www.asanet.org/sites/default/files/science_orgs_opposing_proposed_embargo_change_121819.pdf).

We are sociologists who join with libraries and other advocates in the research community in support of federal policy to make the results of taxpayer-funded research immediately available to the public for free. We endorse a policy that would eliminate the current 12-month waiting period for open access to the outputs of taxpayer-funded scientific research. Ensuring full open access to publicly-funded research contributes to the public good by improving scientific productivity and equalizing access — including international access — to valuable knowledge that the public has already paid for. The U.S. should join the many other countries that already have strong open access policies.

We oppose the decision by ASA to sign this letter, which goes against our values as members of the research community, and urge the association to rescind its endorsement, to join the growing consensus in favor of open access to to scholarship, including our own….”

Daunting Problems and Thrilling Promises | MIT Libraries News

“Several years ago I moved to help fill a void I saw in sociology— a need for greater openness and transparency in research practices and publications—something that many scientists in other disciplines were moving to embrace. I founded SocArXiv, an open social science archive for research papers, modeled after arXiv in math and physics and bioRxiv in life sciences. Working with the Center for Open Science and a steering committee of sociologists and librarians (including Chris Bourg), we started accepting papers in 2016, and now host more than 3,000. The work is free to share and read, with links to research materials, and proper archiving and tagging, so it’s accessible and discoverable by anyone.

Since 2016, I’ve had lots of work to do to help build an equitable, open, and durable system of knowledge communication, and it’s work I love. Thanks to the leadership of Chris Bourg, support from a group of libraries from the Association of Research Libraries, and a sabbatical leave from Maryland, in 2018 I had the opportunity to extend that work at MIT’s new Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (CREOS) as its first visiting scholar….”

Scholarly Communication in Sociology

“Scholarly publishing takes place in an institutional arena that is opaque to its practitioners. As readers, writers, reviewers, and editors, we have no clear view of the system within which we’re working. Researchers starting their careers receive (if they’re lucky) folk wisdom and mythology handed down from advisor to advisee, geared more toward individual success (or survival) than toward attaining a systemic perspective. They may learn how to get their work into the right journals or books, but often don’t learn why that is the outcome that matters for their careers, how the field arrived at that decision, and what the alternatives are – or should be. Gaining a wider perspective is important both for shaping individual careers and for confronting the systematic problems we face as a community of knowledge creators and purveyors.

 

This primer starts from the premise that sociologists, especially those early in their careers, need to learn about the system of scholarly communication. And that sociology can help us toward that goal. Understanding the political economy of the system within which publication takes place is necessary for us to fulfill our roles as citizens of the research community, as people who play an active role in shaping the future of that system, consciously or not. Responsible citizenship requires learning about the institutional actors in the system and how they are governed, as well as who pays and who profits within the field, and who wins or loses….”

Scholarly Communication Primer for Sociologists – Google Docs

“Scholarly publishing takes place in an institutional arena that is opaque to its practitioners. As readers, writers, reviewers, and editors, we have no clear view of the system within which we’re working. Researchers starting their careers receive (if they’re lucky) folk wisdom and mythology handed down from advisor to advisee, geared more toward individual success (or survival) than toward attaining a systemic perspective. They may learn how to get their work into the right journals or books, but often don’t learn why that is the outcome that matters for their careers, how the field arrived at that decision, and what the alternatives are – or should be. Gaining a wider perspective is important both for shaping individual careers and for confronting the systematic problems we face as a community of knowledge creators and purveyors.

This primer starts from the premise that sociologists, especially those early in their careers, need to learn about the system of scholarly communication. And that sociology can help us toward that goal. Understanding the political economy of the system within which publication takes place is necessary for us to fulfill our roles as citizens of the research community, as people who play an active role in shaping the future of that system, consciously or not. Responsible citizenship requires learning about the institutional actors in the system and how they are governed, as well as who pays and who profits within the field, and who wins or loses….”

Scientists for Open Access Details – CollAction

“Despite the ease of sharing in the digital age, a collective action problem plagues the sciences, preventing journal articles from being in the hands of taxpayers who have in large part financed the research. Under the competitive pressure of publish or perish, researchers are unwilling to forego the prestige that publishing in established journals can bring to their careers.

Thousands of scientists have recognize that this is wrong, and have refused to participate in closed access journals. Unfortunately, many authors may be unwilling to make this sacrifice, as nothing prevents another researcher from sidestepping questions of right and wrong, and publishing in those same journals. Given this situation, they prefer to get the prestige before another does so….

We are asking 200 scientists to commit to one or more of the following: planning, outreach, or funding of the crowdacting campaigns for OA in specific disciplines. 200 scientists should be a large enough number to ensure the establishment of several working groups.

Of the 200 scientists, one or more working groups will form. For example: a group of sociologists works together to create a campaign for their discipline. 5 are willing to do planning and research, another 7 are willing to do outreach and activism, and 10 are willing to contribute financially to cover costs. Researchers investigate the best number of sociologists to ask to participate. They find roughly 1800 sociologists publishing in the field, and it is decided that if 1100 sociologists agree to only publish OA, then the field will ‘tip’. The fundraisers contributed to a video and campaign materials. The Activists get 1100 signatures. A year later the agreement goes into effect. A majority of sociologists agree to only publish OA….”

Open Science in der Soziologie – Eine interdisziplinäre Bestandsaufnahme zur offenen Wissenschaft und eine Untersuchung ihrer Verbreitung in der Soziologie

From Google’s English: “On 18/09. is my thesis entitled “Open Science in Sociology – An interdisciplinary inventory to open science and a study of their distribution in sociology” appeared. It is both in print at a price of € 36.80 for order (ordering the publisher Werner Hülsenbusch  or via Amazon) as well as Open Access via Zenodo available. The publisher I want to thank for his support and unbureaucratic open access policy and can only recommend him colleagues….

 

“Here also the blurb:

“Open Science, the open science, aimed at the unconditional possible usability and availability of all accumulated largely in the research process information, primarily of text publications, research data and research software. Moreover, they should also bring transparency in scientific work moderating processes (such as the assessment and the review of text publications) and in the recovery of the review of scientific information relied Para (Impact metrics). Open science proponents therefrom a more efficient, innovation-friendly and transparent science because open information can be disseminated more quickly and easily and nachgenutzt and checked as non-open.

“The work is based on a multidisciplinary inventory of open science elements Open Access to Text publications, open access to research data, Open Access to Research Software, Open Review and Open Metrics, all more typically in the STM subjects (Science, Technology, Medicine) to find than in the social sciences or humanities. Based on this synopsis it is dedicated to going on the fachinhärenten specifics of sociology, which is commonly regarded as a latecomer in the Open Science, and empirically investigated the prevalence and relevance of open access to text publications, open access to research data, Open Access to Research Software, Open Review and Open Metrics in sociology.”