Promoting openness – Research Professional News

“Of the potential solutions, open research practices are among the most promising. The argument is that transparency acts as an implicit quality control process. If others are able to scrutinise our work—not just the final published output, but the underlying data, code, and so on—researchers will be incentivised to ensure these are high quality.

So, if we think that research could benefit from improved quality control, and if we think that open research might have a role to play in this, why aren’t we all doing it? In a word: incentives….”

What does local use of Sci-Hub look like? – iNode

“Mindful of privacy issues, I asked a friend in campus IT to take a list of 6 or 7 domains and derive an extract file from the DNS query logs, providing just date, time and query string for anything that matched the domain information I provided.  Here’s an excerpt of the result: …

Producing this extract is now part of a weekly cron job so I’ll be able to monitor the relative use of these sites over the coming months.  In this one particular instance, I can’t wait for the Fall term to begin…

So what did I find by monitoring DNS queries between July 3rd and July 10th?

 

The graph shows activity for users on the campus network.  A better name for this post might be, “What does local use of ResearchGate look like?”…

Here are the numbers if you include off-campus traffic to subscription sites (DNS resolution happens here since our proxy server is on the campus network):

  • Sci-Hub (includes the .tw, .se, and .ren domains): 87
  • ResearchGate: 1186
  • Springer-Link: 551 (391 on-campus users; 160 via campus proxy server)
  • Google Scholar: 977
  • ScienceDirect: 1730 (1306 on-campus users; 424 via campus proxy server)
  • Engineering Village: 129 (111 on-campus users; 18 via campus proxy server)….”

Library Subscriptions and Open Access: Highlights from the University of California Negotiations with Elsevier

Abstract:  On February 28, 2019, the University of California (UC) System announced the cancellation of their $50 million journal subscription deal with Elsevier. The impetus behind the UC decision comes from two issues. Firstly, the increasing costs of journal subscriptions in a landscape where library budgets remain flat. Secondly, the effort to shift the journal publishing model away from subscriptions to a sustainable open access model. The following paper will provide background on issues with the scholarly communication process, academic library budgets and open access initiatives. Additional information will focus on the impact of journal subscription deals with large commercial publishers (including Elsevier) and highlight UNLV efforts to support open access.

 

Altruism or Self-Interest? Exploring the Motivations of Open Access Authors | Heaton | College & Research Libraries

Abstract:  More than 250 authors at Utah State University published an Open Access (OA) article in 2016. Analysis of survey results and publication data from Scopus suggests that the following factors led authors to choose OA venues: ability to pay publishing charges, disciplinary colleagues’ positive attitudes toward OA, and personal feelings such as altruism and desire to reach a wide audience. Tenure status was not an apparent factor. This article adds to the body of literature on author motivations and can inform library outreach and marketing efforts, the creation of new publishing models, and the conversation about the larger scholarly publishing landscape.

How University of Denver Librarians used CHORUS Institution Dashboards in conjunction with their own internal data to help monitor public accessibility to the University’s publicly funded research

“In his role as Dean of the University of Denver Libraries, Professor Levine-Clark had been grappling with a problem his librarian audience understood all too well — that monitoring public access to federally funded research had reached a critical point. By 2017, D.U.’s steadily growing research budget was approaching $30 million. Professor Levine-Clark knew that a considerable portion of this money came from various government agencies, representing a risk to future funding. He also knew that using the Library’s two and a half full-time developers to build and maintain a D.U. technical solution would take up too much of their valuable time….”

OER as an Institutional Survival Strategy | Confessions of a Community College Dean

“Shift focus from “tuition and fees” to “total cost of attendance,” and foster the adoption of OER at scale.  Money not spent on textbooks can offset tuition increases from a student perspective, while still allowing needed operating revenue to flow to the institution.

In the right context, done well, OER represents the rare win-win.  A student facing a tuition increase of, say, a hundred dollars a semester probably breaks even with a single course moving to OER, and comes out ahead if two or more courses do.  Tuition may go up, but total cost of attendance — the meaningful number — remains flat or even drops. Even better, OER allows every single student to have the book from the first day of class, which can help with course completion and retention, and therefore enrollment.  (One of the most powerful predictors of retention is GPA. Students with GPA’s below 2.0 drop out at much higher rates than students above 2.0. Not having the book affects academic performance; presumably, having the book may affect it in a positive way.) You can maintain a sustainable funding level for the college, keep costs down for students, and improve retention rates at the same time.

In essence, it redirects revenue from publishers to colleges and students. Yes, that takes a bite out of some commercial publishers, but that’s their problem.  They should have thought of that before charging $300 for an Intro to Physics textbook, or before bundling non-transferable software codes with textbooks to short-circuit the used book market….

I ran some back-of-the-envelope numbers for Brookdale over the last few days, to see how much money OER has saved or will save students in the coming year.  Based only on courses that have already committed to adopting it, we’re looking at over a million dollars per year in textbook cost savings….”

Open Access at MIT and Beyond A White Paper of the MIT Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research

This white paper is the first deliverable of the OA task force. Its goal is to give MIT students, staff, and faculty an overview of the open access landscape at MIT, in the United States, and in Europe to help inform discussions at the Institute over the next year. These discussions, which will take place at community forums and in other venues, including the task force idea bank, will help inform the task force as it develops a set of recommendations across a broad spectrum of scholarly outputs, including articles and books, data, educational materials, and code. 

Open Science Support as a Portfolio of Services and Projects: From Awareness to Engagement

Abstract:  Together with many other universities worldwide, the University of Göttingen has aimed to unlock the full potential of networked digital scientific communication by strengthening open access as early as the late 1990s. Open science policies at the institutional level consequently followed and have been with us for over a decade. However, for several reasons, their adoption often is still far from complete when it comes to the practices of researchers or research groups. To improve this situation at our university, there is dedicated support at the infrastructural level: the university library collaborates with several campus units in developing and running services, activities and projects in support of open access and open science. This article outlines our main activity areas and aligns them with the overall rationale to reach higher uptake and acceptance of open science practice at the university. The mentioned examples of our activities highlight how we seek to advance open science along the needs and perspectives of diverse audiences and by running it as a multi-stakeholder endeavor. Therefore, our activities involve library colleagues with diverse backgrounds, faculty and early career researchers, research managers, as well as project and infrastructure staff. We conclude with a summary of achievements and challenges to be faced.