Why Beall’s List Died — and What It Left Unresolved About Open Access – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Why, after toiling so hard for five years — and creating a resource cherished by scientists wary of exploitative publishers — did the University of Colorado at Denver’s Jeffrey Beall abruptly give it all up? Who, or what, forced his hand?

There are several prime suspects:

  • His fellow university librarians, whom Mr. Beall faults for overpromoting open-access publishing models.
  • A well-financed Swiss publisher, angry that Mr. Beall had had the temerity to put its journals on his list.
  • His own university, perhaps fatigued by complaints from the publisher, the librarians, or others.
  • The broader academic community — universities, funders of research, publishers, and fellow researchers, many of whom long understood the value of Mr. Beall’s list but did little to help him out.
  • Mr. Beall himself, who failed to recognize that a bit of online shaming wouldn’t stop many scientists from making common cause with journals that just don’t ask too many questions.

In the end, all played important roles in the demise of Beall’s List. On one level, Mr. Beall’s saga is just another tale of warring personalities. On another, though, it points to a broader problem in publishing: Universities still have a long way to go to create systems for researchers to share and collaborate with one another, evaluate one another’s work, and get credit for what really matters in research….”

Exploring the quality of government open data | Comparison study of the UK, the USA and Korea | The Electronic Library | Vol 37, No 1

Abstract:  Purpose

The use of “open data” can help the public find value in various areas of interests. Many governments have created and published a huge amount of open data; however, people have a hard time using open data because of data quality issues. The UK, the USA and Korea have created and published open data; however, the rate of open data implementation and level of open data impact is very low because of data quality issues like incompatible data formats and incomplete data. This study aims to compare the statuses of data quality from open government sites in the UK, the USA and Korea and also present guidelines for publishing data format and enhancing data completeness.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses statistical analysis of different data formats and examination of data completeness to explore key issues of data quality in open government data.

Findings

Findings show that the USA and the UK have published more than 50 per cent of open data in level one. Korea has published 52.8 per cent of data in level three. Level one data are not machine-readable; therefore, users have a hard time using them. The level one data are found in portable document format and hyper text markup language (HTML) and are locked up in documents; therefore, machines cannot extract out the data. Findings show that incomplete data are existing in all three governments’ open data.

Originality/value

Governments should investigate data incompleteness of all open data and correct incomplete data of the most used data. Governments can find the most used data easily by monitoring data sets that have been downloaded most frequently over a certain period.

Not Reporting Results of a Clinical Trial Is Academic Misconduct | Annals of Internal Medicine | American College of Physicians

Failure to report the results of clinical trials threatens the public’s trust in research and the integrity of the medical literature, and should be considered academic misconduct at the individual and institutional levels. According to the ethical principles for research outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki, researchers “have a duty to make publicly available the results of their research on human subjects and are accountable for the completeness and accuracy of their reports” (1). When participants volunteer to take part in clinical trials, and expose themselves to interventions with unknown safety and efficacy profiles, they have a tacit assumption, based on trust, that the evidence generated will inform clinical science (2). Health care providers and medical societies, who are responsible for evaluating and synthesizing evidence and filling the gap between research and practice, need for investigators to fully report their results in a timely manner. The utility of the diligent search for truth in the medical literature depends on its completeness. However, when research findings are not consistently disseminated, the literature provides a skewed view of the science, which may bias reviews of the evidence….

The conduct of research in humans comes with inviolable responsibilities, including the commitment to share what has been learned. No reason exists for the topline results of a clinical trial not to be made public. Failure to report is detrimental to the scientific process. When trial results are not publicly available for years after study completion, patients, institutional review boards, clinicians, researchers, and the public must rely on incomplete evidence, which may lead to misconceptions about the efficacy and safety of interventions. The time has arrived to address this threat to trust and science.”

Elsevier in €9m Norwegian deal to end paywalls for academic papers | Financial Times

“Elsevier, the academic publisher, will on Tuesday announce a €9m deal with a Norwegian consortium under which published research will be freely accessible. The agreement follows several contract terminations by universities in the US and Europe who accused the company of not meeting demand for open access to scientific studies published in its journals. The deal with the seven Norwegian universities and 39 research institutions known as Unit will be biggest for Elsevier since it lost an $11m contract with the University of California last month….Under the two-year Norwegian pilot “open access” publishing agreement, research from academics associated with Unit will be freely accessible. Rather than charge a subscription fee for access to its journals, which is how the publisher has structured most of its deals, Elsevier will bill the Norwegian institutions for the close to 2,000 articles they expect to publish each year….”

Predatory Journals on Trial: Allegations, Responses, and Lessons for Scholarly Publishing from FTC v. OMICS | Journal of Scholarly Publishing

Abstract:  On 25 August 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued OMICS Group Inc., iMedPub LLC, Conference Series LLC, and Srinubabu Gedela, all affiliated with open access mega-publisher OMICS International, for deception in their solicitation of journal articles and advertising of conferences. The ongoing lawsuit seeks to stop OMICS’s deceptive practices and disgorge US $50.5 million in ill-gotten gains. OMICS has in turn claimed over $2.1 billion for harm caused by the lawsuit to its business and employees. This article describes the main arguments, counter-arguments, and court decisions in the 5920 pages of pleadings, exhibits, and orders that have been filed through 14 October 2018. The article then evaluates the case to formulate key take-aways for publishers, editors, academics, and universities. Depending on its ultimate outcome, the case against OMICS may be a turning point in the practices of questionable open access online publishers, making this interim case assessment pertinent to all concerned about the future of academic publishing.

Humanities Scholars and Library-Based Digital Publishing: New Forms of Publication, New Audiences, New Publishing Roles | Journal of Scholarly Publishing

Abstract:  The rise of library-based digital scholarly publishing creates new opportunities to meet scholars’ evolving publishing needs. This article presents findings from a national survey of humanities scholars on their attitudes toward digital publishing, the diversification of scholarly products, changing perceptions of authorship, and the desire to reach new audiences. Based on survey findings, the authors offer recommendations for how library publishers can make unique contributions to the scholarly publishing ecosystem and support the advancement of digital scholarship in the humanities by accommodating and sustaining more diverse products of digital scholarship, supporting new modes of authorship, and helping scholars reach broader audiences through interdisciplinary and open access publishing.

European copyright directive ‘opens door to mass digitalisation’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

Librarians believe that a new copyright directive passed by the European Parliament could open the door to the mass digitalisation of books, films and audio recordings, potentially meaning fewer trips to distant libraries for scholars and students who need access to obscure material….

It should make it easier for libraries to digitalise documents that are still in copyright but are not commercially available. These could include radio broadcasts, out-of-print books and unpublished oral histories, said Ben White, a member of the legal working group at the Association of European Research Libraries.

It could help to make available “huge amounts of unpublished material with a big research value”, he said.

At the moment, libraries must seek permission to digitalise these documents one by one, painstakingly tracking down the copyright owner for each, he explained, meaning that digitalisation is not possible at scale….”

Resource Management in a Time of Fiscal Scarcity: Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment for Journal Package Cancellations: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  As a result of continual resource inflation and a decreasing budget, Kansas State University Libraries were required to conduct a large-scale electronic journal cancellation project. The current organizational model does not require librarian subject specialists to perform comprehensive collection development duties; therefore, content development librarians developed a methodology of collecting quantitative and qualitative statistics to collaboratively evaluate journals. This article will demonstrate the methodology of assessment, and serve as a working model for libraries operating under circumstances of labor shortages, budget cuts, and leadership restructuring.

Let It Flow: The Monopolization of Academic Content Providers and How It Threatens the Democratization of Information: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  The monopolization of academic journal publishers concentrates power and valuable information into the hands of a few players in the marketplace. It has detrimental effects on how information flows and is accessed. This, in turn, has profound effects on how a nation progresses. Placed in a theoretical framework, utilizing the marketplace of ideas and the economies that coincide, this article takes a look at the history of Elsevier in order to chart this course toward monopolization. It exhibits the effect it has already had on the academic community, while offering two models of Open Access as a much sounder option.

After the Elsevier ‘Tipping Point,’ Research Libraries Consider Their Options – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Research librarians are giving notice: The pressures that led the University of California system to cut the cord with Elsevier aren’t foreign to their campuses….

2016 survey by the Association of College and Research Libraries showed that 60 percent of libraries had reported flat budgets for the previous five years, and 19 percent had seen decreased funding….”