David Worlock | Developing digital strategies for the information marketplace | Supporting the migration of information providers and content players into the networked services world of the future.

“MicroPublishing in this context means the publication of short , single experiment, peer reviewed OA articles , with DOIs and metadata to make them citable and discoverable. Typically this might be supplementary or ancillary material that might have been once grouped into a major research program report , delaying it and making it too dense or bulky . Or it might be work on reagents that has genuine scientific interest but, as an incidental finding , only clutters the main report . And MicroPublishing might be a first chance for a post grad or even a student doing lab support work to get their name onto a collaborative publication for the first time . And in all of this work of adding small pieces to the jigsaw and making sure they did not get lost or overlooked – curation is clearly at the heart of these efforts – I heard  nothing described in terms of workflows or process  that would not have been identical in a commercial environment . And that is important . There is a great deal of bogus hype around “ publishing expertise” . If you are clever enough to be a Professor of Genomics , then mastering publishing does not seem to be a huge intellectual challenge .And the digitally networked world has democratised all processes like publishing . We can all be publishers now – and we all are! …

And we should be attentive not just because of the competitive element . I have a 30 year record of saying that the competitor to the information provider in a digital network is the user doing it for himself , and I am not altering that view now . But we really need to pay attention because this is where and how innovation takes place . This is where and how needs are discovered . If granularity , discoverability and speed to market are the critical issues here., then those are the issues that we must attend to , instead of packing articles with greater amounts of supplemental material , holding articles in peer review until they are “complete”  or using citations to game journal impact factors . Above all , we have to remember that scholarly communication  is communication by and for scholars . They will , and are , re-inventing it all the time . Rather than propagandising the virtues of “ traditional publishing “ commercial publishers should be forming relationships  that help change take place cost-effectively and at scale .”

Registered Reports: Genre Evolution and the Research Article – Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher, 2019

Abstract:  The research article is a staple genre in the economy of scientific research, and although research articles have received considerable treatment in genre scholarship, little attention has been given to the important development of Registered Reports. Registered Reports are an emerging, hybrid genre that proceeds through a two-stage model of peer review. This article charts the emergence of Registered Reports and explores how this new form intervenes in the evolution of the research article genre by replacing the central topoi of novelty with methodological rigor. Specifically, I investigate this discursive and publishing phenomenon by describing current conversations about challenges in replicating research studies, the rhetorical exigence those conversations create, and how Registered Reports respond to this exigence. Then, to better understand this emerging form, I present an empirical study of the genre itself by closely examining four articles published under the Registered Report model from the journal Royal Society Open Science and then investigating the genre hybridity by examining 32 protocols (Stage 1 Registered Reports) and 77 completed (Stage 2 Registered Reports) from a range of journals in the life and psychological sciences. Findings from this study suggest Registered Reports mark a notable intervention in the research article genre for life and psychological sciences, centering the reporting of science in serious methodological debates.


Introducing Massively Open Online Papers (MOOPs)

Abstract:  An enormous wealth of digital tools now exists for collaborating on scholarly research projects. In particular, it is now possible to collaboratively author research articles in an openly participatory and dynamic format. Here we describe and provide recommendations for a more open process of digital collaboration, and discuss the potential issues and pitfalls that come with managing large and diverse authoring communities. We summarize our personal experiences in a form of ‘ten simple recommendations’. Typically, these collaborative, online projects lead to the production of what we here introduce as Massively Open Online Papers (MOOPs). We consider a MOOP to be distinct from a ‘traditional’ collaborative article in that it is defined by an openly participatory process, not bound within the constraints of a predefined contributors list. This is a method of organised creativity designed for the efficient generation and capture of ideas in order to produce new knowledge. Given the diversity of potential authors and projects that can be brought into this process, we do not expect that these tips will address every possible project. Rather, these tips are based on our own experiences and will be useful when different groups and communities can uptake different elements into their own workflows. We believe that creating inclusive, interdisciplinary, and dynamic environments is ultimately good for science, providing a way to exchange knowledge and ideas as a community. We hope that these Recommendations will prove useful for others who might wish to explore this space.

Food Modelling Journal: New open-access venue provides a platform for food scientists | EurekAlert! Science News

“The open-access Food Modelling Journal (FMJ) was launched by the AGINFRA+ community and Pensoft with the aim to encourage food science specialists, agronomists and computer scientists to come together and work on assuring and improving food supply, quality and safety in our globalised and rapidly changing world….

FSK-ML is an open information exchange format that is based on harmonised terms, metadata and controlled vocabulary to harmonise annotations of risk assessment models and that was significantly improved and extended during the AGINFRA+ project.”

The death of the literature review and the rise of the dynamic knowledge map | Impact of Social Sciences

“Literature reviews are a core part of academic research that are loathed by some and loved by others. The LSE Impact Blog recently presented two proposals on how to deal with the issues raised by literature reviews: Richard P. Phelps argues, due to their numerous flaws, we should simply get rid of them as a requirement in scholarly articles. In contrast, Arnaud Vaganay proposes, despite their flaws, we can save them by means of standardization that would make them more robust. Here, I put forward an alternative that strikes a balance between the two: Let’s build databases that help systemize academic research. There are examples of such databases in evidence-based health-care, why not replicate those examples more widely?…”

Bringing Scholarship Back to the Heart of Scholarly Communication

“What are our chances of better aligning the paved and unpaved routes, or, in other words, what are our options to reduce the gap between established, ‘paved’ practices of scholarly communication and actual, evolving research practices? My thoughts are situated in the contexts of arts and humanities research, but similar phenomena are surely present in other disciplines as well….”

Bringing Scholarship Back to the Heart of Scholarly Communication

“What are our chances of better aligning the paved and unpaved routes, or, in other words, what are our options to reduce the gap between established, ‘paved’ practices of scholarly communication and actual, evolving research practices? My thoughts are situated in the contexts of arts and humanities research, but similar phenomena are surely present in other disciplines as well….”

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….”

REF should accommodate more diverse outputs, says study | Times Higher Education (THE)

“The UK’s research excellence framework should evolve to support the growing diversity of scholarly outputs, a major report says.

The study by consultants Rand Europe, who were commissioned by Research England to consider how research assessment might need to evolve over the next decade, draws on a survey of 3,768 academics in England.


It says that, while scholars currently produce an average of 4.7 different types of research output, this is likely to increase to 6.5 over the next decade, with 65 per cent of respondents saying that they expected to produce a greater diversity of output.

Respondents said that the three most dominant forms of output were likely to remain journal articles, conference contributions and book chapters. But many mentioned other types of content that they expected to produce more of in future: for example, website content, openly published peer reviews and research reports for external bodies….”