MetaArXiv Preprints | Publication by association: the Covid-19 pandemic reveals relationships between authors and editors

Abstract:  During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rush to scientific and political judgments on the merits of hydroxychloroquine was fuelled by dubious papers which may have been published because the authors were not independent from the practices of the journals in which they appeared. This example leads us to consider a new type of illegitimate publishing entity, “self-promotion journals” which could be deployed to serve the instrumentalisation of productivity-based metrics, with a ripple effect on decisions about promotion, tenure, and grant funding.

 

MetaArXiv Preprints | Publication by association: the Covid-19 pandemic reveals relationships between authors and editors

Abstract:  During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rush to scientific and political judgments on the merits of hydroxychloroquine was fuelled by dubious papers which may have been published because the authors were not independent from the practices of the journals in which they appeared. This example leads us to consider a new type of illegitimate publishing entity, “self-promotion journals” which could be deployed to serve the instrumentalisation of productivity-based metrics, with a ripple effect on decisions about promotion, tenure, and grant funding.

 

Double dipping and other bad manners

“So in this context, double dipping is when an article is published open access – that is, an author’s fee has been paid for it to be read for free around the world – but the publisher then charges other users to read that article through a subscription. Now, if that were truly the case, the publisher would be paid twice for the same article.

Bad manners indeed!

Yes, but at Elsevier, we do not double dip. We have two models of compensation for an article: through an open access fee or through a subscription – but we are never paid for the same article twice.

But how do you ensure that? How is that managed?

This is managed through our business accounting. Fully gold open access journals, for example, have no subscription price, and therefore no pricing for those journals is included in any licensing contract. Customers are never charged a subscription fee for gold open access journals.

Ok, that makes sense. But what about hybrid journals that publish both gold open access as well as subscription articles?

Yes, I see how this could be confusing. We manage this by maintaining separate accounting streams. If an author selects to publish open access, the article publishing fee is collected and that article is published as open. Done. Those revenues are kept separate from the revenues of the subscription articles. So when pricing for each subscription journal is determined, revenue from the open access articles does not play into that evaluation. We maintain separate accounting and evaluation processes….”

 

The Neues Museum is claiming copyright over 3D-printing files of the Nefertiti bust.

“The museum never quite clarified its relation to the scans. But earlier this week, Wenman released the files he received from the museum online for anyone to download. The 3D digital version is a perfect replica of the original 3,000-year-old bust, with one exception. The Neues Museum etched a cop..yright license into the bottom of the bust itself, claiming the authority to restrict how people might use the file. The museum was trying to pretend that it owned a copyright in the scan of a 3,000-year-old sculpture created 3,000 miles away….

While the copyright status of 3D scans of public domain works is currently more complex in the EU, Article 14 of the recently passed Copyright Directive is explicitly designed to clarify that digital versions of public domain works cannot be protected by copyright. …

The most important part is that adding these restrictions runs counter to the entire mission of museums. Museums do not hold our shared cultural heritage so that they can become gatekeepers. They hold our shared cultural heritage as stewards in order to make sure we have access to our collective history. Etching scary legal words in the bottom of a work in your collection in the hopes of scaring people away from engaging with it is the opposite of that.”

West Virginia Inmates Will Be Charged by the Minute to Read E-Books on Tablets – Reason.com

“Inmates at several West Virginia prisons are getting free electronic tablets to read books, send emails, and communicate with their families—but there’s a catch.

Any inmates looking to read Moby Dick may find that it will cost them far more than it would have if they’d simply gotten a mass market paperback, because the tablets charge readers by the minute.

Under a 2019 contract between the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (WVDCR) and Global Tel Link (GTL), the company that is providing electronic multimedia tablets to 10 West Virginia prisons, inmates will be charged 3 cents a minute to read books, even though the books all come from Project Gutenberg, a free online library of more than 60,000 texts in the public domain.

The WVDCR says the tablets provide access to educational materials, incentives for good behavior, and an easy way to stay in touch with loved ones. But the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a nonprofit that offers free books and education to inmates, says the fee structure is exploitative….”

Official announcement from the Open Science MOOC Steering Committee – Open Science MOOC

“The Steering Committee (SC) of the Open Science MOOC (OS MOOC) convened in the week of 11-15th November 2019 to address the removal of Jon Tennant by the OpenCon Code of Conduct Committee from their community, as well as his own subsequent statement in response. At the time of these announcements, Jon Tennant was a member of the SC and the main contributor to the OS MOOC.

As a community, we respect the decision made by OpenCon, and the actions implemented based on their Code of Conduct (CoC). We are dedicated to offering a safe and welcoming space for everyone in our community and we are therefore committed to upholding high standards of conduct, especially with regard to our leadership responsibilities as the SC. Leadership positions bring inherent power dynamics with them that impact the community. The OS MOOC SC realizes this and therefore is taking steps to affirm the community’s spaces for unimpeded collaboration….”

North American professors slow to embrace sharing research data | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Senior North American faculty appear to be slow in adopting online tools for research collaboration, suggesting academics rather than their journals are the chief obstacle to open access.

An analysis by the non-profit Center for Open Science found that its main scientist-to-scientist sharing tool was getting relatively weak adoption in the US and among the nation’s highest-ranking professors.

By country, the US and Canada were among the nations slowest to participate, while the UK and Australia were among the most receptive, according to the study of tenure-track faculty usage rates in psychology, the six-year-old centre’s initial target group….

Funding agencies were “starting to do more” to encourage data-sharing practices, while “the farthest behind are the universities”, which were generally too decentralised to impose data-sharing practices on their faculty, [Brian Nosek] said….”

The New England Journal of Medicine, open access, Plan S, and undeclared conflicts of interest   | Richard Smith’s non-medical blogs

The New England Journal of Medicine disapproves of open access publishing and Plan S. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMms1900864  There’s nothing surprising in that. (The opposite would have been surprising.) What is surprising is that the journal does not declare its substantial conflicts of interest, when the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, of which it is a founding and prominent member, has made clear for 30 years that all conflicts of interest should be declared.

The New England Journal of Medicine is immensely profitable (although we don’t know exactly how profitable), and those profits—and the compensation and livelihood of its employees—are potentially disrupted by open access and particularly Plan S, the European plan to extend open access publishing….”

Defending the Promise of Open Resources

Open Up Resources was born out of a demand from educators to make a quality education accessible to each student, in every classroom, by providing high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum for free.

We released Open Up Resources 6–8 Math under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC-BY License), which enables anyone to “copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format” as well as “remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially,” so long as attribution to Open Up Resources is provided and a few other simple license terms are followed.

 Our grant of the CC-BY License is conditioned upon the simple requirement that every copy shared with the public by a licensee includes on each physical page of any printed material, and every format page view of digital material, the attribution statement “Download for free at openupresources.org.”

While we encourage widespread distribution of our curriculum, we also believe that the attribution requirement of the CC-BY License must be followed by anyone sharing our curriculum or derivatives of our curriculum.

Major for-profit publishers are taking our free curriculum, paying for a “certification” from a non-profit in the OER community, and selling the result without providing attribution that would make it clear no payment is necessary.

This destroys the promise of open by making open materials private and limiting access….”