“Overall, the Permissive licenses (CC0, CC BY – the paler colors) are most commonly used, outnumbering more restrictive ones by around 3:2.
Within fully OA journals, the ratio is nearer 2:1, compared with an even split in hybrid publications….”
When it comes into force at the beginning of 2021, the Open Access initiative “Plan S” is poised to help opening up and improving academic publishing. Ulrich Pöschl, a chemist and Open Access advocate of the first hour, explains why free access to research results is important and how an up-to-date academic publishing system can work.
“In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a set of “Big Ideas,” 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/index.jsp). The Big Ideas represent unique opportunities to position our Nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering by bringing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergent research. When responding to this solicitation, even though proposals must be submitted through the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) within the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), once received the proposals will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors.
NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Big Idea is a national-scale activity to enable new modes of data-driven discovery that will allow fundamental questions to be asked and answered at the frontiers of science and engineering.
This solicitation will establish a group of HDR Institutes for data-intensive research in science and engineering that can accelerate discovery and innovation in a broad array of research domains. The HDR Institutes will lead innovation by harnessing diverse data sources and developing and applying new methodologies, technologies, and infrastructure for data management and analysis. The HDR Institutes will support convergence between science and engineering research communities as well as expertise in data science foundations, systems, applications, and cyberinfrastructure. In addition, the HDR Institutes will enable breakthroughs in science and engineering through collaborative, co-designed programs to formulate innovative data-intensive approaches to address critical national challenges….”
Abstract: Many scholarly journals have established their own data-related policies, which specify their enforcement of data sharing, the types of data to be submitted, and their procedures for making data available. However, except for the journal impact factor and the subject area, the factors associated with the overall strength of the data sharing policies of scholarly journals remain unknown. This study examines how factors, including impact factor, subject area, type of journal publisher, and geographical location of the publisher are related to the strength of the data sharing policy.
From each of the 178 categories of the Web of Science’s 2017 edition of Journal Citation Reports, the top journals in each quartile (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4) were selected in December 2018. Of the resulting 709 journals (5%), 700 in the fields of life, health, and physical sciences were selected for analysis. Four of the authors independently reviewed the results of the journal website searches, categorized the journals’ data sharing policies, and extracted the characteristics of individual journals. Univariable multinomial logistic regression analyses were initially conducted to determine whether there was a relationship between each factor and the strength of the data sharing policy. Based on the univariable analyses, a multivariable model was performed to further investigate the factors related to the presence and/or strength of the policy.
Of the 700 journals, 308 (44.0%) had no data sharing policy, 125 (17.9%) had a weak policy, and 267 (38.1%) had a strong policy (expecting or mandating data sharing). The impact factor quartile was positively associated with the strength of the data sharing policies. Physical science journals were less likely to have a strong policy relative to a weak policy than Life science journals (relative risk ratio [RRR], 0.36; 95% CI [0.17–0.78]). Life science journals had a greater probability of having a weak policy relative to no policy than health science journals (RRR, 2.73; 95% CI [1.05–7.14]). Commercial publishers were more likely to have a weak policy relative to no policy than non-commercial publishers (RRR, 7.87; 95% CI, [3.98–15.57]). Journals by publishers in Europe, including the majority of those located in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, were more likely to have a strong data sharing policy than a weak policy (RRR, 2.99; 95% CI [1.85–4.81]).
These findings may account for the increase in commercial publishers’ engagement in data sharing and indicate that European national initiatives that encourage and mandate data sharing may influence the presence of a strong policy in the associated journals. Future research needs to explore the factors associated with varied degrees in the strength of a data sharing policy as well as more diverse characteristics of journals related to the policy strength.
Rationale, Aims, and Objectives
To both examine the impact of preprint publishing on health sciences research and survey popular preprint servers amidst the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID?19) pandemic.
The authors queried three biomedical databases (MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Google Scholar) and two preprint servers (MedRxiv and SSRN) to identify literature pertaining to preprints. Additionally, they evaluated 12 preprint servers featuring COVID?19 research through sample submission of six manuscripts.
The realm of health sciences research has seen a dramatic increase in the presence and importance of preprint publications. By posting manuscripts on preprint servers, researchers are able to immediately communicate their findings, thereby facilitating prompt feedback and promoting collaboration. In doing so, they may also reduce publication bias and improve methodological transparency. However, by circumventing the peer?review process, academia incurs the risk of disseminating erroneous or misinterpreted data and suffering the downstream consequences. Never have these issues been better highlighted than during the ongoing COVID?19 pandemic. Researchers have flooded the literature with preprint publications as stopgaps to meet the desperate need for knowledge about the disease. These unreviewed articles initially outnumbered those published in conventional journals and helped steer the mainstream scientific community at the start of the pandemic. In surveying select preprint servers, the authors discovered varying usability, review practices, and acceptance polices.
While vital in the rapid dispensation of science, preprint manuscripts promulgate their conclusions without peer review and possess the capacity to misinform. Undoubtedly part of the future of science, conscientious consumers will need to appreciate not only their utility, but also their limitations.
Abstract: In this study, the authors examine attitudes of researchers toward open access (OA) scholarly journals. Using two-step cluster analysis to explore survey data from faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers at large North American research institutions, two different cluster types emerge: Those with a positive attitude toward OA and a desire to reach the nonscholarly audience groups who would most benefit from OA (“pro-OA”), and those with a more negative, skeptical attitude and less interest in reaching nonscholarly readers (“non-OA”). The article explores these cluster identities in terms of position type, subject discipline, and productivity, as well as implications for policy and practice.
Abstract: Wellcome, UK Research and Innovation, and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers commissioned Information Power Ltd. to undertake a project to support society publishers to accelerate their transition to open access (OA) in alignment with Plan S and the wider move to accelerate immediate OA. This project is part of a range of activities that cOAlition S partners are taking forward to support the implementation of Plan S principles. The objective of this project was to explore with learned societies a range of potential strategies and business models through which they could adapt and thrive under Plan S. We consulted with society publishers through interviews, surveys, and workshops about the 27 business models and strategies identified during the project. We also surveyed library consortia about their willingness to support society publishers to make the transition to OA. Our key finding is that transformative agreements emerge as the most promising model because they offer a predictable, steady funding stream. We also facilitated pilot transformative agreement negotiations between several society publishers and library consortia. These pilots and a workshop of consortium representatives and society publishers informed the development of an OA transformative agreement toolkit. Our conclusion is that society publishers should consider all the business models this project has developed and should not automatically equate OA with article publication charges.
“In this issue brief, we build on our ongoing research into scholarly practices to propose a new mechanism for conceptualizing and supporting STEM research data sharing. Successful data sharing happens within data communities, formal or informal groups of scholars who share a certain type of data with each other, regardless of disciplinary boundaries. Drawing on Ithaka S+R findings and the scholarly literature, we identify what constitutes a data community and outline its most important features by studying three success stories, investigating the circumstances under which intensive data sharing is already happening. We contend that stakeholders who wish to promote data sharing – librarians, information technologists, scholarly communications professionals, and research funders, to name a few – should work to identify and support emergent data communities. These are groups of scholars for whom a relatively straightforward technological intervention, usually the establishment of a data repository, could kickstart the growth of a more active data sharing culture. We conclude by responding to some potential counterarguments to this call for bottom-up intervention and offering recommendations for ways forward….”
Abstract: In this study of access models, we compared citation performance in journals that do and do not levy article processing charges (APCs) as part of their business model. We used a sample of journals from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) science class and its 13 subclasses and recorded four citation metrics: JIF, H-index, citations per publication (CPP) and quartile rank. We examined 1881 science journals indexed in DOAJ. Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports and Web of Science were used to extract JIF, H-index, CPP and quartile category. Overall, the JIF, H-index and CPP indicated that APC and non-APC open access (OA) journals had equal impact. Quartile category ranking indicated a difference in favour of APC journals. In each science subclass, we found significant differences between APC and non-APC journals in all citation metrics except for quartile rank. Discipline-related variations were observed in non-APC journals. Differences in the rank positions of scores in different groups identified citation advantages for non-APC journals in physiology, zoology, microbiology and geology, followed by botany, astronomy and general biology. Impact ranged from moderate to low in physics, chemistry, human anatomy, mathematics, general science and natural history. The results suggest that authors should consider field- and discipline-related differences in the OA citation advantage, especially when they are considering non-APC OA journals categorised in two or more subjects. This may encourage OA publishing at least in the science class.
Abstract: This paper examines, with emphasis upon the United States, the current status of open access and its future prospects from a literature review of items published since 2015. The examination of sources goes beyond articles in scholarly journals to include columns in the blog The Scholarly Kitchen and other selected resources as needed to fill gaps. With the enormity of the literature on the subject, the analysis does not claim to be comprehensive and focuses on key issues. This author takes care to look beyond STEM (science, technology, engineering, and medicine)1 fields to discuss the effect of open access in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts. Overall, open access today looks very different from the goals of its proponents in 2002. For authors, open access has increased availability of scholarly resources and fostered distribution of their research, often after the payment of fees. Large commercial publishers have found ways to benefit from open access through author processing charges and by acquiring smaller presses. Open access overall has not allowed libraries to save money on serials subscriptions and has often increased costs through their support of institutional repositories and payment of author fees. Continued library support for open access is often more of a philosophical stance without significant cost-saving benefits.