Publishers and Open-Resource Advocates Square Off on the Future of Course Content – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“At a friendly yet spirited debate last month over the pros and cons of open educational resources, publishers and OER advocates agreed on at least one thing: The “old” textbook market is broken.”

Green Is Not the New Gold: Beware of False Models for Open Access – ASCB

“Green OA would be an easy solution because it sounds like OA and seems to interfere minimally with current publishing mechanisms, but I will argue that it is an expensive halfway house with limited benefit to the scientific community or indeed the public. If we want OA to work in a sustainable manner for papers in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals, it has to be gold and not green. And even if we don’t care about peer review or quality control by journals, there is a better solution than institutional green OA for disseminating articles: the posting of preprints….”

Open Access: Advocacy

“Widespread acceptance of open access has progressed more slowly than many advocates had hoped. One such advocate, Dr. Peter Suber, explains the barriers and misconceptions, and offers some strategic and practical advice….”

Advantages of a Truly Open-Access Data-Sharing Model — NEJM

“Multi-institutional randomized clinical trials have been a feature of oncology research in the United States since the 1950s. Since that time, cancer-treatment trials have been continuously funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through a program that has evolved to become the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). Currently, approximately 19,000 patients with cancer participate in NCTN clinical trials each year. Approximately 70,000 additional patients with cancer are enrolled each year in treatment trials sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.1,2

It is important to honor and reward the altruism of patients who participate in clinical trials. One way to do so is to share the data gathered in clinical trials with other researchers in a responsible and meaningful way. The cancer research community, encouraged by recommendations from the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot, is finally moving data sharing forward from its traditional, largely unfunded, place at the end of the long list of clinical research responsibilities to center stage.

There are a number of reasons why it has it taken more than 60 years for this issue to receive the attention that it deserves. Although the incentives for doing so may differ, competitive forces lead both academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies to protect data and to use data exclusively for their purposes. This approach protects their intellectual property and also shields the primary study team and the sponsor if the release of data from a trial for analysis by others leads to conclusions or interpretations that the primary researchers deem to be misleading or erroneous. When the academic and monetary stakes are high, the chance of this situation occurring is real. Another reason for the delay is that the protection of research participants dictates that confidentiality is the highest priority, and this risk may be greater with wide sharing of the new data-dense individual data sets that are required in order to develop personalized medicine approaches. Finally, and probably most important of all, data sharing has been hampered by a lack of resources, including access to enabling data systems technology, bioinformatics expertise, and legal agreements that facilitate sharing.”

Advantages of a Truly Open-Access Data-Sharing Model — NEJM

“Multi-institutional randomized clinical trials have been a feature of oncology research in the United States since the 1950s. Since that time, cancer-treatment trials have been continuously funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through a program that has evolved to become the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). Currently, approximately 19,000 patients with cancer participate in NCTN clinical trials each year. Approximately 70,000 additional patients with cancer are enrolled each year in treatment trials sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.1,2

It is important to honor and reward the altruism of patients who participate in clinical trials. One way to do so is to share the data gathered in clinical trials with other researchers in a responsible and meaningful way. The cancer research community, encouraged by recommendations from the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot, is finally moving data sharing forward from its traditional, largely unfunded, place at the end of the long list of clinical research responsibilities to center stage.

There are a number of reasons why it has it taken more than 60 years for this issue to receive the attention that it deserves. Although the incentives for doing so may differ, competitive forces lead both academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies to protect data and to use data exclusively for their purposes. This approach protects their intellectual property and also shields the primary study team and the sponsor if the release of data from a trial for analysis by others leads to conclusions or interpretations that the primary researchers deem to be misleading or erroneous. When the academic and monetary stakes are high, the chance of this situation occurring is real. Another reason for the delay is that the protection of research participants dictates that confidentiality is the highest priority, and this risk may be greater with wide sharing of the new data-dense individual data sets that are required in order to develop personalized medicine approaches. Finally, and probably most important of all, data sharing has been hampered by a lack of resources, including access to enabling data systems technology, bioinformatics expertise, and legal agreements that facilitate sharing.”

Review of an Open Access Journal: Landscape and Urban Planning – Landscape, Architecture, Design, & Learning

“The purpose of this review is to provide information about a highly respected peer-reviewed journal in my field, Landscape and Urban Planning. To understand Landscape and Urban Planning, I will address a few general questions to provide a background and profile of the publication.

[…]

 

A good place to start with understanding what a journal is about is to discover its Editor(s) in Chief and it’s history. There are more questions needed to talk about the journal’s purpose, goals, and scope, however, so we keep digging.

 

[…]

 

The last part of the profile is to ask how the journal addresses and explain open access? We also want to know how the journal is positioned in the open access movement?

We see from the Aims & Scope that Landscape and Urban Planning wants to facilitate open access. It does this through the visible production and sharing of knowledge internationally. The goal of the journal is to appeal to a readership and aid in the research of interdisciplinary scientists and practitioners who are all seeking to improve the quality of the knowledge. The descriptions of the journal do not elaborate or address Open Access specifically, but it is clear that they are supportive of the movement as they are open access and their parent company, Elsevier, is currently supporting, publishing, and producing 16% of the world’s literature and research.

Landscape and Urban Planning gets a positive review for their visibility, accessibility, and appeal to a diverse international readership.”

Energy scientists must show their workings : Nature News & Comment

“The list of reasons why energy models and data are not openly available is long: business confidentiality; concerns over the security of critical infrastructure; a desire to avoid exposure and scrutiny; worries about data being misrepresented or taken out of context; and a lack of time and resources.

This secrecy is problematic, because it is well known that closed systems hide and perpetuate mistakes. A classic example is the spreadsheet error discovered in the influential Reinhart–Rogoff paper used to support economic policies of national austerity. The European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050 was based on a model that could not be viewed by outsiders, leaving it open to criticism. Assumptions that remain hidden, like the costs of technologies, can largely determine what comes out of such models. In the United Kingdom, opaque and overly optimistic cost assumptions for onshore wind went into models used for policymaking, and that may well have delayed the country’s decarbonization.

This closed culture is alien to younger researchers, who grew up with collaborative online tools and share code and data on platforms such as GitHub. Yet academia’s love affair with metrics and the pressure to publish set the wrong incentives: every hour spent on cleaning up a data set for public release or writing open-source code is time not spent working on a peer-reviewed paper.”

When is a Publisher not a Publisher? Cobbling Together the Pieces to Build a Workflow Business – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Ultimately, Elsevier’s user acquisition and monetization strategy here is as sophisticated as anything we have seen in scholarly publishing to date. Open access advocates might be concerned about some of these directions, but my sense is that many of these scientists and librarians remain largely focused on trying to compete with, or at least influence, scientific publishing. Building businesses that support, and potentially monetize, researcher workflow is a very different animal.”