Open Access Week 2019: Getting the ECR perspective | PLOS ECR Community

“So this was this year’s Open Access Week. We hope you all enjoyed it and gave the development of open access (OA) a special thought. This time the theme for the week was “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge”, certainly a relevant question for ECRs around the world.  As a not yet established researcher with own funding and projects, the cost for publishing in respected OA journals can be quite high, while it’s for free (at least for the individual researcher) in a traditional subscription based  journal. Publishing in a renowned OA journal may cost over $5000 per paper. Some institution have publisher agreements with OA journals to publish for free, but otherwise it’s a high cost for the individual researchers to bear, especially in smaller research projects without majors grants. This has become even more problematic where OA publishing in many cases have become a mandate of taxpayer-funded research and in policies like Plan S. Of the about 3 million articles published every year around one third is now available through open access in over 33 000 peer reviewed English language journals. OA research has surged from as few as 523 articles in 2001 to as much as 45% of all new research publications….”

Younger researchers are embracing change in scholarly communication

“Those in the 20-29 year old age group were most likely to agree that open access journals have a larger readership than subscription journals (58% either strongly agreed or agreed with this statement) and that open access journals are more heavily cited. Across all other age groups agreement with these statements decreased with age, with just 15% of those who were 70 or over expressing the same level of agreement on citations. Authors in their sixties and seventies offered the opposite opinion to those in their twenties, being the least likely to agree that open access publication increased readership and citations, and most likely to agree with the statement that there is ‘no fundamental benefit to open access’.  …

And what of their future intentions on publishing gold or green open access? Younger authors are consistently the highest proportion of any age group saying they would choose to publish their work open access, whether gold (37%) or green (51%). When it comes to being mandated to publish open access though, those in their twenties were the most unsure, with 61% unclear on whether they would be mandated to publish gold open access in the future….”

Open Science practices and publish or perish dilemmas | Behavioural and Social Sciences at Nature Research

“In order to survive in the modern scientific environment researchers need to publish. Jobs, grants and opportunities all hinge on publications, which impacts acutely upon early career researchers (ECRs), such as PhD students, who do not tend to have guaranteed employment. How is this publish or perish dilemma impacted by developments in research such as those offered by Open Science (OS)? OS presents an enormous shift in the way science is conducted and comprises a range of practices that promote transparency and reliability of research. These include data sharing and study preregistration. Although OS can offer new ways to publish, considerable resources are often required to complete studies using OS methods, that can limit or delay publications. At present, formal recognition of such efforts is sparse and the pressure to publish may be greater for ECRs who engage with OS. We discuss this challenge in light of different OS methods from our perspective as ECRs at different stages….

OS research practices might help to address the publish or perish dilemma for ECRs, if alternative ways of publishing are promoted. For example, OS practices allow ECRs to demonstrate productivity and research skills using preregistrations and RRs before final publication. Even code and materials are citable if researchers assign them digital object identifiers, ensuring recognisable research outputs. We make the following recommendations:  …”

How can publishers support early career journal editors? – Ainsworth – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“For an ECR, editorship of a journal means being able to have an impact on the direction of research published in their field at an early point in their career. ECEs [early career editors] can bring fresh perspectives and could identify gaps in the research published in their field, which in turn could benefit the publishers as their journals produce cutting?edge scholarship. For example, one ECE for an LUP [Liverpool University Press] journal identified a gap in the market for an open access outlet for research in Comparative Literature. Considering their suggestion, we created a new section on our modern languages open access platform to cover the gap in the subject area, creating a position for a new editor and thus producing fresh research for the journal. The research could be published open access under the imprimatur of a university press, something not done before in this subject area. The success of the Comparative Literature section encouraged academics from other subject areas to come forward with ideas for new sections for the platform and has encouraged collaborative and experimental submissions. By engaging younger ECRs rather than established researchers, publishers can help to challenge the status quo and bring new perspectives to their journals….”

A journal club to fix science

“We need all those who care about better research to stay invested, and this will not happen by telling the next generation of scientists to just sit back and hope. Early-career researchers do not need to wait passively for coveted improvements. We can create communities and push for bottom-up change.

ReproducibiliTea is one way to do this. Sam Parsons, Sophia Crüwell and I (all trainees) started this grass-roots journal club in early 2018, at the experimental-psychology department at the University of Oxford, UK. We hoped to promote a stronger open-science community and more prominent conversations about reproducibility. The initiative soon spread, and is now active at more than 27 universities in 8 countries….”

From symbiont to parasite: the evolution of for-profit science publishing | Molecular Biology of the Cell

Abstract:  Two 17th century institutions—learned societies and scientific journals—transformed science in ways that still dominate our professional lives today. Learned societies like the American Society for Cell Biology remain relevant because they provide forums for sharing results, discussing the practice of science, and projecting our voices to the public and the policy makers. Scientific journals still disseminate our work, but in the Internet-connected world of the 21st century, this is no longer their critical function. Journals remain relevant almost entirely because they provide a playing field for scientific and professional competition: to claim credit for a discovery, we publish it in a peer-reviewed journal; to get a job in academia or money to run a lab, we present these published papers to universities and funding agencies. Publishing is so embedded in the practice of science that whoever controls the journals controls access to the entire profession. We must reform our methods for evaluating the contributions of younger scientists and deflate the power of a small number of “elite” journals. More generally, given the recent failure of research institutions around the world to strike satisfactory deals with publishing giant Elsevier, the time has come to examine the motives and methods of those to whom we have entrusted the keys to the kingdom of science.

Open Up – the Mission Statement of the Control of Impulsive Action (Ctrl-ImpAct) Lab on Open Science

Abstract:  The present paper is the mission statement of the Control of Impulsive Action (Ctrl-ImpAct) Lab regarding Open Science. As early-career researchers (ECRs) in the lab, we first state our personal motivation to conduct research based on the principles of Open Science. We then describe how we incorporate four specific Open Science practices (i.e., Open Methodology, Open Data, Open Source, and Open Access) into our scientific workflow. In more detail, we explain how Open Science practices are embedded into the so-called ‘co-pilot’ system in our lab. The ‘co-pilot’ researcher is involved in all tasks of the ‘pilot’ researcher, that is designing a study, double-checking experimental and data analysis scripts, as well as writing the manuscript. The lab has set up this co-pilot system to increase transparency, reduce potential errors that could occur during the entire workflow, and to intensify collaborations between lab members. Finally, we discuss potential solutions for general problems that could arise when practicing Open Science.

Open Up – the Mission Statement of the Control of Impulsive Action (Ctrl-ImpAct) Lab on Open Science

Abstract:  The present paper is the mission statement of the Control of Impulsive Action (Ctrl-ImpAct) Lab regarding Open Science. As early-career researchers (ECRs) in the lab, we first state our personal motivation to conduct research based on the principles of Open Science. We then describe how we incorporate four specific Open Science practices (i.e., Open Methodology, Open Data, Open Source, and Open Access) into our scientific workflow. In more detail, we explain how Open Science practices are embedded into the so-called ‘co-pilot’ system in our lab. The ‘co-pilot’ researcher is involved in all tasks of the ‘pilot’ researcher, that is designing a study, double-checking experimental and data analysis scripts, as well as writing the manuscript. The lab has set up this co-pilot system to increase transparency, reduce potential errors that could occur during the entire workflow, and to intensify collaborations between lab members. Finally, we discuss potential solutions for general problems that could arise when practicing Open Science.

The allure of the journal impact factor holds firm, despite its flaws | Nature Index

“Many researchers still see the journal impact factor (JIF) as a key metric for promotions and tenure, despite concerns that it’s a flawed measure of a researcher’s value….

 

A recent survey of 338 researchers from 55 universities in the United States and Canada showed that more than one-third (36%) consider JIFs to be “very valued” for promotions and tenure, and 27% said they were “very important” when deciding where to submit articles….

[N]on-tenured and younger researchers, for whom RPT matters most, put more weight on JIFs when deciding where to publish….

According to Björn Brembs, a neuroscientist from the University of Regensburg, in Germany, who reviewed the study for eLife, the continuing deference to the JIF shows how scientists can be highly critical in their own subject domain, yet “gullible and evidence-resistant” when evaluating productivity. “This work shows just how much science is in dire need of a healthy dose of its own medicine, and yet refuses to take the pill,” he says….”

Early Career Advisory Board: Q&A on career and publishing | JCB

“In terms of publication models, there is a trend toward open access and exclusively digital distribution, which I support, as I suspect is true for most of my generation. What is not clear is how this will ultimately work out financially while still maintaining a rich ecosystem of high-quality publications, a parallel problem to that now plaguing print journalism. It may ultimately require an adjustment to how grant budgets are allocated in order to cover open access costs without negatively impacting other research activities, but this will likely not happen until there is a crisis. Unfortunately, we may need to ride it out until the overall community, including funding agencies, realize you can’t demand open access and keep professionally staffed journals without changes to the funding ecosystem….”