SocArXiv Papers | Metascience as a scientific social movement

Abstract:  Emerging out of the “reproducibility crisis” in science, metascientists have become central players in debates about research integrity, scholarly communication, and science policy. The goal of this article is to introduce metascience to STS scholars, detail the scientific ideology that is apparent in its articles, strategy statements, and research projects, and discuss its institutional and intellectual future. Put simply, metascience is a scientific social movement that seeks to use the tools of science- especially, quantification and experimentation- to diagnose problems in research practice and improve efficiency. It draws together data scientists, experimental and statistical methodologists, and open science activists into a project with both intellectual and policy dimensions. Metascientists have been remarkably successful at winning grants, motivating news coverage, and changing policies at science agencies, journals, and universities. Moreover, metascience represents the apotheosis of several trends in research practice, scientific communication, and science governance including increased attention to methodological and statistical criticism of scientific practice, the promotion of “open science” by science funders and journals, the growing importance of both preprint and data repositories for scientific communication, and the new prominence of data scientists as research makes a turn toward Big Science.


Full article: Scholarly Communications Training: Professional Development for the Next Generation of Scholars

Abstract:  Many campuses are seeing increased needs for support in scholarly communications areas such as open access, research identity management, scholarship metrics, and related topics. This article discusses a professional development program that addresses scholarly communications needs for online and in-person graduate students and faculty at UNC Greensboro (UNCG), through a collaborative, interdepartmental effort that brings together librarians from the departments of Research, Outreach, and Instruction (ROI) and Technical Services. The authors provide a brief overview of the literature related to scholarly communications needs and training in academic libraries and discuss the UNCG program’s inception, modules, format, assessment, and future directions.


In Search of Equity and Justice: Reimagining Scholarly Communication – The Scholarly Kitchen

“While open access is a critical piece of the equity puzzle in scholarly communication, there’s a much deeper agenda at play here. PLOS has from the outset been focused on designing broad-scale systemic change. More recently, we have been clear about the limit and barriers of the APC model and have begun to pilot alternatives, including our new Community Action Publishing model. But we have largely left to one side any deep engagement with our role (individually and organizationally) in perpetuating inequity. Like far too many, we’d assumed that passive support was enough. Understanding what it means to be “anti-racist” is now the cornerstone of PLOS’ DEI work and has supported increased clarity around our long-term strategic direction….

There are many barriers to equitable knowledge making and distribution – one of which is the APC model. As I’ve argued before, the current push towards Gold OA via so-called “transformative” agreements risks hardwiring the exclusion of many researchers, especially in the Global South. Far from being “transformative”, these deals run the risk of locking in the high cost of subscriptions into an open future and of reinforcing the market dominance of the biggest players as subscription funds simply flow in full to new deal models, further entrenching existing inequalities….”

Galileo and open access

“In writing down their discoveries, Galileo and his contemporaries created the beginnings of the system of scientific correspondence that we know today as scientific journals, where discoveries are openly described by their methods, results, and possible shortfalls. This was quite a contrast to the gnomic writings of alchemists, who cloaked their recipes in mythological allusions and double-talk. The open discourse of the scientific enterprise is one of the abiding gifts of the Renaissance. (Although it is worth noting that Galileo resorted to scrambling news of his findings in code in letters to Kepler.) …”

The financial market of ideas: A theory of academic social media – Alessandro Delfanti, 2020

Abstract:  Millions of scholars use academic social media to share their work and construct themselves as legitimate and productive workers. An analysis of updates ideas about science as a ‘marketplace of ideas’. Scholarly communication via social media is best conceptualized as a ‘financial market of ideas’ through which academic value is assigned to publications and researchers. Academic social media allow for the inclusion of scholarly objects such as preprint articles, which exceed traditional accounting systems in scholarly communication. Their functioning is based on a valorization of derived qualities, as their algorithms analyze social interactions on the platform rather than the content of scholarship. They are also oriented toward the future in their use of data analytics to predict research outcomes.


Scholarly Networks Security Initiative | Combat Cybercrime

“SNSI brings together publishers and institutions to solve cyber-challenges threatening the integrity of the scientific record, scholarly systems and the safety of personal data….

Members include large and small publishers, learned societies and university presses and others involved in scholarly communications….”

Living Our Values and Principles: Exploring Assessment Strategies for the Scholarly Communication Field | Educopia Institute

“Through the Next Generation Library Publishing project (2019-2022), Educopia Institute, California Digital Library, and Stratos, in close collaboration with COAR, LYRASIS, and Longleaf Services, seek to improve the publishing pathways and choices available to authors, editors, and readers through strengthening, integrating, and scaling up scholarly publishing infrastructures to support library publishers. In addition to building publishing tools and workflows, our team is exploring how to create community hosting models that align explicitly and demonstratively with academic values. 

Living Our Values and Principles: Exploring Assessment Strategies for the Scholarly Communication Field explores the relationship between today’s varied scholarly publishing service providers and the academic values that we believe should guide their work. We begin with a brief definition of the academic mission and then briefly probe how profit motivations have come to dominate the current scholarly publishing marketplace. We consider and analyze how academic players from a range of stakeholder backgrounds have produced a broad range of “values and principles” statements, documents, and manifestos in hopes of recalibrating the scholarly publishing landscape. We contextualize this work within the broader landscape of assessment against values and principles.

Based on our findings, we recommend that academic stakeholders more concretely define their values and principles in terms of measurable actions, so these statements can be readily assessed and audited. We propose a methodology for auditing publishing service providers to ensure adherence to agreed-upon academic values and principles, with the dual goals of helping to guide values-informed decision making by academic stakeholders and encouraging values alignment efforts by infrastructure providers. We also explore ways to structure this assessment framework both to avoid barriers to entry and to discourage the kinds of “gaming the system” activities that so often accompany audits and ranking mechanisms. We close by pointing to work we have recently undertaken: the development of the Values and Principles Framework and Assessment Checklist, which were issued for public comment in July-August, 2020 on CommonPlace (hosted by the Knowledge Futures Group).  …”

Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access | MIT Press Open Access

Table of contents:


Epistemic Alienation in African Scholarly Communications: Open Access as a Pharmakon – Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou
Scholarly Communications and Social Justice – Charlotte Roh, Harrison W. Inefuku, and Emily Drabinski
Social Justice and Inclusivity: Drivers for the Dissemination of African Scholarship – Reggie Raju, Jill Claassen, Namhla Madini, and Tamzyn Suliaman
Can Open Scholarly Practices Redress Epistemic Injustice? – Denisse Albornoz, Angela Okune, and Leslie Chan
When the Law Advances Access to Learning: Locke and the Origins of Modern Copyright – John Willinsky
How Does a Format Make a Public? – Robin de Mourat, Donato Ricci, and Bruno Latour
Peer Review: Readers in the Making of Scholarly Knowledge – David Pontille and Didier Torny
The Making of Empirical Knowledge: Recipes, Craft, and Scholarly Communication – Pamela H. Smith, Tianna Helena Uchacz, Naomi Rosenkranz, and Claire Conklin Sabel
The Royal Society and the Noncommercial Circulation of Knowledge – Aileen Fyfe
The Political Histories of UK Public Libraries and Access to Knowledge – Stuart Lawson
Libraries and Their Publics in the United States – Maura A. Smale
Open Access, “Publicity,” and Democratic Knowledge – John Holmwood
Libraries, Museums, and Archives as Speculative Knowledge Infrastructure – Bethany Nowviskie
Preserving the Past for the Future: Whose Past? Everyone’s Future – April M. Hathcock
Is There a Text in These Data? The Digital Humanities and Preserving the Evidence – Dorothea Salo
Accessing the Past, or Should Archives Provide Open Access? – István Rév
Infrastructural Experiments and the Politics of Open Access – Jonathan Gray
The Platformization of Open – Penny C. S. Andrews
Reading Scholarship Digitally – Martin Paul Eve
Toward Linked Open Data for Latin America – Arianna Becerril-García and Eduardo Aguado-López
The Pasts, Presents, and Futures of SciELO – Abel L. Packer
Not Self-Indulgence, but Self-Preservation: Open Access and the Ethics of Care – Eileen A. Joy
Toward a Global Open-Access Scholarly Communications System: A Developing Region Perspective – Dominique Babini
Learned Societies, Humanities Publishing, and Scholarly Communication

Scholarly publishing and journal targeting in the time of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: a cross-sectional survey of rheumatologists and other specialists | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The evolving research landscape in the time of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic calls for greater understanding of the perceptions of scholars regarding the current state and future of publishing. An anonymised and validated e-survey featuring 30 questions was circulated among rheumatologists and other specialists over social media to understand preferences while choosing target journals, publishing standards, commercial editing services, preprint archiving, social media and alternative publication activities. Of 108 respondents, a significant proportion were clinicians (68%), researchers (60%) and educators (47%), with median 23 publications and 15 peer-review accomplishments. The respondents were mainly rheumatologists from India, Ukraine and Turkey. While choosing target journals, relevance to their field (69%), PubMed Central archiving (61%) and free publishing (59%) were the major factors. Thirty-nine surveyees (36%) claimed that they often targeted local journals for publishing their research. However, only 18 (17%) perceived their local society journals as trustworthy. Occasional publication in the so-called predatory journals (5, 5%) was reported and obtaining support from commercial editing agencies to improve English and data presentation was not uncommon (23, 21%). The opinion on preprint archiving was disputed; only one-third believed preprints were useful. High-quality peer review (56%), full and immediate open access (46%) and post-publication social media promotion (32%) were identified as key anticipated features of scholarly publishing in the foreseeable future. These perceptions of surveyed scholars call for greater access to free publishing, attention to proper usage of English and editing skills, and a larger role for engagement over social media.