“In the longer-term future, one could envision a system where researchers post their scientific contributions; a paper, a single figure, a method, a hypothesis; where we have the potential to make smaller contributions to the global knowledge base and get credit for those contributions in a manner that is more rapid and incremental. This would allow multiple scientists to collaborate and contribute to what we now know of as a single paper. Part of the challenge of the next 10 years is the problem of increasing information overload. Journals in the life sciences are aware that preprints have been around in physics for 25 years, and that the existence of preprints do not diminish the need for journals in that field. It is already impossible for a person to read all the relevant literature in their area, and this will only get harder. We need better tools to read and comprehend the literature, and a lot of these tools will be given by innovations in software and machine learning. My hope is that more of the literature is accessible to text and data mining, which will enhance our ability to understand the literature beyond that of a single human reader….”
Abstract: The open access movement seeks to encourage all researchers to make their works openly available and free of paywalls so more people can access their knowledge. Yet some researchers who study open access (OA) continue to publish their work in paywalled journals and fail to make it open. This project set out to study just how many published research articles about OA fall into this category, how many are being made open (whether by being published in a gold OA or hybrid journal or through open deposit), and how library and information science authors compare to other disciplines researching this field. Because of the growth of tools available to help researchers find open versions of articles, this study also sought to compare how these new tools compare to Google Scholar in their ability to disseminating OA research. From a sample collected from Web of Science of articles published since 2010, the study found that although a majority of research articles about OA are open in some form, a little more than a quarter are not. A smaller rate of library science researchers made their work open compared to non-library science researchers. In looking at the copyright of these articles published in hybrid and open journals, authors were more likely to retain copyright ownership if they printed in an open journal compared to authors in hybrid journals. Articles were more likely to be published with a Creative Commons license if published in an open journal compared to those published in hybrid journals.
Judy Luther offered an insightful birds-eye view of the burgeoning preprints landscape at Scholarly Kitchen yesterday. As she mentioned, the Center for Open Science is contributing to preprints with a free, open infrastructure to support preprint services across scholarly communities. Here’s a brief summary of where we are, where we are heading, and what it all means.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) today announced its intention to form ChemRxiv, a chemistry preprint server for the global chemistry community, proposed as a collaborative undertaking that will facilitate the open dissemination of important scientific findings. The Society is presently in the process of inviting interested stakeholders to participate in helping to shape the service ahead of its anticipated launch.