The future of scientific publication is Open Access, but needs diversity, equability and equality!

“Just recently, some interesting proposals for the future of scientific publishing in the life sciences were suggested, and a transparent review-process, among others, was one suggestion to overcome outdated publishing processes [8]. Since the launch of “Innovative Surgical Sciences” in 2016, a transparent double-blind peer review process and publication of the reviews together with the article have been a major and among comparable surgical journals still unique feature of the journal. Additionally, the discussion on transparency should address the question of publishing preprints that are peer-reviewed by the scientific community in order to improve the manuscript as well as research activities. In the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, preprints have been essential for rapid dissemination of new findings. However, transparency in the review process is just one issue of relevance. Other factors of future publication refer to the significance of impact factors to assess scientific achievements and the question of negative results, which are often not published, but may be of importance for future research activities [9]. It becomes more and more evident, that perhaps downloads and other manuscript-oriented altmetrics are of greater interest than just impact factors. And even funding agencies like EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) value personal statements and motivation far more than publication history as they stated in a Lindau Nobel laureate discussion [9]. One other, and probably even more relevant issue refers to the participation in open research and Open Access. Up till now, research and publication are primarily US-, European- and Asian-centric. There are concerns that low and middle income countries despite the EIFL-initiative (Electronic Information for Libraries; https://www.eifl.net/) may be lost on the way to the future of publications simply because they cannot afford it. This relates in particular to publishing in a Gold Open Access/Article Processing Charges model. Therefore, there is a need to define opportunities for participation in order to make every participant visible [10], [11]. It can well be assumed that the scientific community will agree that Open Access is undoubtedly associated with full participation of everyone. Keeping this in mind we also have to acknowledge that Open Access for all cannot be established without financial efforts. At the end, “someone must pay for the costs of publishing all this ever-increasing research” [12]. The European Union (https://open-research-europe.ec.europa.eu/) advocates Open Access research and a rapid and transparent publishing process powered by the F1000research-initiative (https://f1000research.com/). Another important achievement is the PlanS or cOAlitionS concept (https://www.coalition-s.org/) which was, at least in 2019, almost unknown among the 50 Editorial Board members of the British Journal of Surgery [12]. Besides the fact that this is just one example for the old world of publication, PlanS poses in particular for surgery a major problem: only studies that are funded by public grants will have a chance for Gold Open Access publication, and the costs are covered by the grants. The same holds true for studies funded by the European Union, although the European Research Council just recently withdrew from PlanS (https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-scientific-council-calls-open-access-plans-respect-researchers-needs). Grants from the European Union are still to be published Open Access, and the Article Processing Charges are eligible costs within the grants. Many surgical research papers from all over the world, however, cover clinical studies that are most often not funded at all. These papers would ne

Announcing the Inaugural Cohort of Harvard Library’s Advancing Open Knowledge Grant Recipients | Harvard Library Communications

“Harvard Library’s Advancing Open Knowledge Grants Program is excited to announce its first cohort of award recipients. From readying Cabot to produce audible versions of library materials for visually impaired users to highlighting the astronomical heritage of Black and Indigenous cultures, the seven selected projects seek to advance open knowledge and foster innovation to further diversity, inclusion, belonging and antiracism.

The program’s co-managers (Jehan Sinclair, Claire DeMarco and Colleen Cressman), as well as a team of library staff reviewers, evaluated the proposed projects on criteria related to user impact, DIBAR impact, innovation, open knowledge, integration with Harvard Library infrastructure, and accessibility. The review process will be evaluated and adapted for the second round of grants….”

Major OA Diamond Journals Study completed: Report emphasizes diversity and sustainable pathways for diamond Open Access – OASPA

OASPA is pleased to announce the publication of an in-depth report and associated recommendations arising from a study of open access journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as “OA diamond journals”. 

Funded by Science Europe and commissioned by cOAlition S in order to gain a better understanding of the OA diamond landscape, the publication of the study is the culmination of work undertaken from June 2020 to February 2021 by a consortium of 10 organisations (including OASPA) led by OPERAS. The study uncovers a vast archipelago of up to 29,000 journals, most of which (60%) are in the humanities and social sciences, serving the needs of multiple scientific communities across the world.

eLife and PREreview partner to promote greater diversity in peer review | For the press | eLife

“eLife is pleased to announce today a new partnership with PREreview to engage more researchers from diverse backgrounds in peer review.

eLife and PREreview – an open project aimed at bringing more equity and diversity to the scholarly peer-review system – collaborated on a number of new initiatives last year. These included live-streamed preprint journal clubs, which brought together scientists globally for a series of virtual discussions around research posted as preprints. eLife also supported the pilot of PREreview Open Reviewers, an online peer review mentoring program that empowers early-career researchers to contribute to scholarly review.

With eLife at the cusp of exclusively reviewing manuscripts deposited as preprints, the two organisations are now continuing their joint efforts to involve more early-career researchers, and researchers from communities that are traditionally underrepresented within the peer-review process, in the public review of preprints. PREreview will work with eLife to extend the series of preprint journal clubs and develop a framework for scaling the PREreview Open Reviewers program to reach more research communities globally. They will also help create new ways to increase the engagement and use of eLife’s early-career reviewer pool….”

What is “Open Access,” Really? – A Comic – HAZINE

“As a movement in information sciences, [OA] has been praised, but in our particular contexts, in mine as someone who lives in the Arabic-speaking world, I wonder about its limitations. What does “available for all” truly mean? 

What open access is can be defined by cultural factors, like language, history and even the significance of computer literacy. I presented on this with N.A. Mansour at the Digital Orientalisms Twitter Conference in 2020 in both Arabic and English. But we thought a visual medium might help us provoke thought on this issue even more. …”

What is “Open Access,” Really? – A Comic – HAZINE

“As a movement in information sciences, [OA] has been praised, but in our particular contexts, in mine as someone who lives in the Arabic-speaking world, I wonder about its limitations. What does “available for all” truly mean? 

What open access is can be defined by cultural factors, like language, history and even the significance of computer literacy. I presented on this with N.A. Mansour at the Digital Orientalisms Twitter Conference in 2020 in both Arabic and English. But we thought a visual medium might help us provoke thought on this issue even more. …”

It’s The End Of Citation As We Know It & I Feel Fine | Techdirt

” ScholarSift is kind of like Turnitin in reverse. It compares the text of a law review article to a huge database of law review articles and tells you which ones are similar. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that machine learning is really good at identifying relevant scholarship. And ScholarSift seems to do a better job at identifying relevant scholarship than pricey legacy platforms like Westlaw and Lexis.

One of the many cool things about ScholarSift is its potential to make legal scholarship more equitable. In legal scholarship, as everywhere, fame begets fame. All too often, fame means the usual suspects get all the attention, and it’s a struggle for marginalized scholars to get the attention they deserve. Unlike other kinds of machine learning programs, which seem almost designed to reinforce unfortunate prejudices, ScholarSift seems to do the opposite, highlighting authors who might otherwise be overlooked. That’s important and valuable. I think Anderson and Wenzel are on to something, and I agree that ScholarSift could improve citation practices in legal scholarship….

Anderson and Wenzel argue that ScholarSift can tell authors which articles to cite. I wonder if it couldn’t also make citations pointless. After all, readers can use ScholarSift, just as well as authors….”

Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication | helsinki-initiative.org

“Research is international. That’s the way we like it! Multilingualism keeps locally relevant research alive. Protect it! Disseminating research results in your own language creates impact. Endorse it! It is vital to interact with society and share knowledge beyond academia. Promote it! Infrastructure of scholarly communication in national languages is fragile. Don’t lose it!

The signatories of the Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication support the following recommendations to be adopted by policy-makers, leaders, universities, research institutions, research funders, libraries, and researchers:…”

Burying Information: Big Tech & Access to Information

“As digital information becomes the primary source of information, particularly during the pandemic, sources of information can be blocked or amplified. Information can be used as a means for social mobility, economic and educational opportunities, and civic engagement. There are tools that can be used to help information flow. There are also effects afoot by big tech and biased AI to bury information. Join the conversation about the importance of using information to fight digital inequities, support democracy, and improve social justice. Specifically, learn about fighting misinformation with information through tools like CDL (controlled digital lending) & how technologist can create inclusive and empowering tools to provide access to information for disadvantaged and marginalized communities.”

 

Open Editors

“Open Editors collects publicly available information about the editors and editorial boards of scholarly journals through a technique called webscraping, whereby a script accesses the websites of the publishers to extract the relevant information. The codes (programmed in R) are available at GitHub….”