Accelerating scholarly communication: The transformative role of preprints | Zenodo

Abstract:  The preprints landscape is evolving rapidly, and the full impact of sharing articles in pre-review form remains to be seen. After publishing our initial report ‘The evolving preprint landscape’ in 2018 and a slide deck ‘Practices, drivers and impediments in the use of preprints’ in spring 2019, we are now able to share our final report ‘Accelerating scholarly communication – The transformative role of preprints’.

Preprints (tentatively defined as versions of research papers typically prior to peer review and publication in a journal) have become more widespread in a number of disciplines over the last few years, partly to counter the slow pace of the traditional publishing process and partly to allow authors to reach a broader audience. Knowledge Exchange, in collaboration with Research Consulting, investigated this phenomenon in order to explore the current place of preprints in the scholarly communication process.

In this context, we interviewed 38 stakeholders, including researchers, research performing organisations, research funding organisations and preprint service providers, and reviewed over 60 literature sources.

Our key results include the benefits and challenges for researchers in using preprints as well as the establishment of trust without peer review including the role of twitter. Moreover, we reflect on the responsibilities for preprint posting in the future and the role of scholarly communities and commercial publishers.

In addition to our latest report you can find our detailed analysis in the preprint ‘Preprints and Scholarly Communication: Adoption, Practices, Drivers and Barriers’ by Research Consulting on F1000. 

Knowledge Exchange Openness Profile – Knowledge Exchange

“As part of our work on Open Scholarship, we are working to raise awareness of the lack of recognition in current evaluation practice and work towards a possible solution; through development of an ‘Openness Profile’…

Part of KE’s work on Open Scholarship aims to enhance the evaluation of research and researchers. This currently does not cover recognition of non-academic contributions to make Open Scholarship work, such as activities to open up and curate data for re-use, or making research results findable and available. Our approach is to raise more awareness on the lack of recognition in current evaluation practice and work towards a possible solution, through the development of an ‘Openness Profile’.

The KE Open Scholarship Research Evaluation task & finish group works on the awareness issue, listing all academic and non-academic contributions that are essential to Open Scholarship and should be recognised when evaluating research. The group also works on the Openness Profile, a tool that is meant to allow evaluation of currently ignored contributions that are essential for Open Scholarship. For the development of the Openness Profile we seek involvement of various key stakeholders and alignment with current identifiers such as DOI and ORCID iD.

By demonstrating the immaturity of current research evaluation practice, and by developing the Openness Profile tool, KE supports researchers as well as non-researchers to get credit for all their contributions that make Open Scholarship possible. Our ambition is that recognition of these essential activities becomes part of standard research evaluation routine….”

Open Scholarship and the Need for Collective Action – Knowledge Exchange

“Following the report ‘Knowledge Exchange Approach to Open Scholarship’ and in line with the recommendations resulting from the workshop report Moving from Ambition to Reality, Knowledge Exchange developed a framework to articulate the changes occurring in scholarly communications: The Knowledge Exchange Open Scholarship Framework.

On the basis of this framework, we identified further work to understand the Economy of Open Scholarship as a priority and have worked on two interconnected activities dedicated to the Economy of Open Scholarship; one practical – Insights into the Economy of Open Scholarship and one conceptual – Open Scholarship and the need for Collective Action….

As many of the challenges in navigating the transition to Open Scholarship are economic, the focus of the book is on the economic arena. In addition, great attention is given to the incentives, actions and influences of meso-level actors: groups, communities or organisations such as universities, disciplines, scholarly societies or publishers because of their enormous impact on developing open scholarship. The authors analyse how economic models can be applied to scholarship and conclude that economic theory cannot fully explain nor prescribe how Open Scholarship can be achieved. The challenges to achieve Open Scholarship, such as gravitational hubs and the complex governance of common pool resources, are highlighted.

The overall conclusion of the book is that for a successful transition to Open Scholarship, collective action approaches and establishment of a supportive infrastructure are key….”

Accelerating scholarly communication: The transformative role of preprints

“The overall objective of this study was to explore the place of preprints in the research lifecycle from the points of view of researchers, research performing organisations, research funding organisations and preprint servers/ service providers. Our investigation covered:

` Core benefits and usage in the case of researchers, including incentives and disincentives

` Attitudes of research performing organisations (RPOs) and research funders

` Values, strategies and aims of service providers….”

Plans for a new Open Access Book Network take shape – SPARC Europe

“Foundational planning is currently underway for the formation of an Open Access Book Network. Development of this network was the topic of a recent ELPUB 2019 Conference panel session led by Eelco Ferwerda from OAPEN,  with the University of Cambridge’s Rupert Gatti, Pierre Mounier of OPERAS, Andrea Bertino of SUB Goettingen, and SPARC Europe Director Vanessa Proudman.  

The original idea for the network was born in Autumn 2018 during an OA books event hosted by Knowledge Exchange in Brussels as a follow-up of the landscape study published earlier. Proudman initiated the concept to establish a sustainable knowledge network in Europe to accelerate the innovation of the OA book publishing industry, a network that is inclusive of all of Europe and that shares lessons learnt from all parts of the continent….”

Plans for a new Open Access Book Network take shape – SPARC Europe

“Foundational planning is currently underway for the formation of an Open Access Book Network. Development of this network was the topic of a recent ELPUB 2019 Conference panel session led by Eelco Ferwerda from OAPEN,  with the University of Cambridge’s Rupert Gatti, Pierre Mounier of OPERAS, Andrea Bertino of SUB Goettingen, and SPARC Europe Director Vanessa Proudman.  

The original idea for the network was born in Autumn 2018 during an OA books event hosted by Knowledge Exchange in Brussels as a follow-up of the landscape study published earlier. Proudman initiated the concept to establish a sustainable knowledge network in Europe to accelerate the innovation of the OA book publishing industry, a network that is inclusive of all of Europe and that shares lessons learnt from all parts of the continent….”

Paying for Open Access – Knowledge Exchange

“To share a better understanding of author’s perspectives on APC payments, Knowledge Exchange has carried out a study among authors of six research organisations in the UK, France, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands. These organisations were very actively engaged which led to a total of 1069 authors participating in online surveys focused on their 2015 articles published in OA journals or in hybrid journals.”