Free data?: open science in the age of personal data protection : Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer

Abstract:  Current society gives extreme importance to information. Terms such as “information society” or “data-driven society” are recognized as describing scenarios where information is no longer just functional to the realization of other principal services and activities. Lawmakers have put great emphasis on these concepts for years. It is not always clear, however, what kind of tools are intended to be adopted to fully realize this free and easy use of data. This Chapter addresses the issue from the perspective of Open Science, a model of sharing and use of information not only ethically correct but also “necessary” for the public bodies. In particular, Open Data scenario will be taken as a benchmark, since it represents a privileged field of study with reference to the interaction of rules and interests relating to the management of information and of possible personal data.

 

New Chinese Policy Could Reshape Global STM Publishing – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Over the past month, my Chinese social media feeds have been flooded with news, discussions, and research papers about the COVID-19 virus. But earlier this week, all my contacts in the academic community were discussing two government documents.

The first one is called “Some Suggestions on Standardizing the Use of SCI Paper Indexes in Higher Educational Institutes and Establishing Correct Evaluation Orientation”, and the second one is “Some Measures to Eliminate the Bad Orientation of “Papers Only” in Science and Technology Evaluation (Trial)”. Essentially these two documents mark an effort to largely reform the research and higher education evaluation systems in China. The first document is a set of guidelines and the second, marked as a “trial”, contains many detailed regulations. Here are the key takeaways from these policy documents, which could  potentially shift the landscape of global STM publishing, since China is now the world’s largest producer of scientific articles….

Currently, researchers, research teams, and organizations are required to supply lists of papers published in their applications for government grants and their reports on the results of those grants. Research papers have been a primary measuring stick used to determine funding and career advancement. Key considerations have been the quantity of papers produced, publishing those papers in journals listed in the Science Citation Index (SCI), and publishing in journals with high Journal Impact Factor (JIF) scores. Institutions in China have tailored their practices to meet these criteria, putting pressure on researchers to publish as many papers as possible.

The new policy states that publication of papers will only be used as a main evaluation indicator for basic science and technology research, and not for applied research and technological development. This removes the publication burden from clinicians and engineers and others working in more applied areas.

For the basic researchers, a “representative works” system will be used. Under this system, only a limited number of a researcher’s or an institution’s most important papers count. No less than one third of the representative papers must be published in domestic Chinese journals. The quantity of papers published and the JIFs of the journals that the representative works appear in are not going to be used as a measurement for performance or research ability….”

New Chinese Policy Could Reshape Global STM Publishing – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Over the past month, my Chinese social media feeds have been flooded with news, discussions, and research papers about the COVID-19 virus. But earlier this week, all my contacts in the academic community were discussing two government documents.

The first one is called “Some Suggestions on Standardizing the Use of SCI Paper Indexes in Higher Educational Institutes and Establishing Correct Evaluation Orientation”, and the second one is “Some Measures to Eliminate the Bad Orientation of “Papers Only” in Science and Technology Evaluation (Trial)”. Essentially these two documents mark an effort to largely reform the research and higher education evaluation systems in China. The first document is a set of guidelines and the second, marked as a “trial”, contains many detailed regulations. Here are the key takeaways from these policy documents, which could  potentially shift the landscape of global STM publishing, since China is now the world’s largest producer of scientific articles….

Currently, researchers, research teams, and organizations are required to supply lists of papers published in their applications for government grants and their reports on the results of those grants. Research papers have been a primary measuring stick used to determine funding and career advancement. Key considerations have been the quantity of papers produced, publishing those papers in journals listed in the Science Citation Index (SCI), and publishing in journals with high Journal Impact Factor (JIF) scores. Institutions in China have tailored their practices to meet these criteria, putting pressure on researchers to publish as many papers as possible.

The new policy states that publication of papers will only be used as a main evaluation indicator for basic science and technology research, and not for applied research and technological development. This removes the publication burden from clinicians and engineers and others working in more applied areas.

For the basic researchers, a “representative works” system will be used. Under this system, only a limited number of a researcher’s or an institution’s most important papers count. No less than one third of the representative papers must be published in domestic Chinese journals. The quantity of papers published and the JIFs of the journals that the representative works appear in are not going to be used as a measurement for performance or research ability….”

China bans cash rewards for publishing papers

“Chinese institutions have been told to stop paying researchers bonuses for publishing in journals, as part of a new national policy to cut perverse incentives that encourage scientists to publish lots of papers rather than focus on high-impact work.

In an order released last week, China’s science and education ministries also say that institutions must not promote or recruit researchers solely on the basis of the number of papers they publish, or their citations. Researchers are welcoming the policy, but say that it could reduce the country’s competitiveness in science.

In China, one of the main indicators currently used to evaluate researchers, allocate funding and rank institutions is metrics collected by the Science Citation Index (SCI), a database of articles and citation records for more than 9,000 journals. Since 2009, articles in these journals written by authors from Chinese institutions increased from some 120,000 a year to 450,000 in 2019. Some institutions even pay researchers bonuses for publishing in them….”

China bans cash rewards for publishing papers

“Chinese institutions have been told to stop paying researchers bonuses for publishing in journals, as part of a new national policy to cut perverse incentives that encourage scientists to publish lots of papers rather than focus on high-impact work.

In an order released last week, China’s science and education ministries also say that institutions must not promote or recruit researchers solely on the basis of the number of papers they publish, or their citations. Researchers are welcoming the policy, but say that it could reduce the country’s competitiveness in science.

In China, one of the main indicators currently used to evaluate researchers, allocate funding and rank institutions is metrics collected by the Science Citation Index (SCI), a database of articles and citation records for more than 9,000 journals. Since 2009, articles in these journals written by authors from Chinese institutions increased from some 120,000 a year to 450,000 in 2019. Some institutions even pay researchers bonuses for publishing in them….”

GW Libraries debuts campaign to boost course material affordability – The GW Hatchet

“GW Libraries staff are encouraging professors to adopt and use more affordable course materials through a new campaign.

Gelman Library staff launched a “Postcard Campaign” at the start of this semester to offer students the chance to create cards detailing their struggles with affording textbooks and other course items by showing other items they could have purchased, like food, with the money spent on course materials. Gelman officials said the postcards will raise awareness about textbook affordability and open educational resources, which are free to access and use.

Geneva Henry, the dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation, said staff is asking students to complete postcards at the beginning of the semester about what sacrifices they have made to afford course materials and how the money could have been spent. Staff is promoting the campaign at Gelman and outside the Marvin Center, she said….”

Grant aids project by IU, other institutions to digitize medieval manuscripts: News at IU: Indiana University

“Indiana University Bloomington and a consortium of higher-learning institutions have received a three-year grant for The Peripheral Manuscripts Project: Digitizing Medieval Manuscript Collections in the Midwest, which will create a digital repository and catalog of medieval manuscripts across Midwestern collections. 

The Council on Library and Information Resources awarded $281,936.10 for the project. IU Bloomington will serve as host for the grant, which was one of 18 projects receiving more than $4.1 million that the Council on Library and Information Resources announced Jan. 9 for its 2019 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards….”

Open, affordable textbook efforts save students $4.8 million in potential costs | Penn State University

“Strategic efforts by Penn State University Libraries faculty and staff over the past three years to lower or eliminate the cost of textbooks and other course materials has paid off — nearly 20 times over — in potential savings for Penn State students….

Funded primarily by Provost Nick Jones with support from Penn State World Campus, University Libraries, Teaching and Learning with Technology, and Barnes & Noble, the initial investment of approximately $245,000 has saved students $4.8 million in potential expenses on textbooks and other course materials. The success from these initiatives has enabled an ambitious three-year plan to be extended to invest an additional $600,000….”

CRL Opens African News Content | CRL

“CRL has released more than 400,000 pages of African newspapers as Open Access content via CRL’s Digital Delivery System (DDS). These new resources add to CRL’s growing body of newspapers digitized in response to interest from area specialists and researchers at member libraries.

Over 60 titles across 20 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa were recently ingested into DDS. Spanning the years 1800–1922, the material features a rich diversity of content including such key publications as the East African Standard, Mombasa Times & Uganda Argus (Kenya), Leselinyana la Lesutho (Lesotho), Lagos Standard (Nigeria), and Umteteli Wa Bantu (South Africa). Issues are openly available as image-only files, browseable by date, allowing researchers worldwide to consult the material….”