“Leading research communication platforms Research Square and Kudos have partnered to help preprint authors accelerate and maximize exposure of their newly shared research. A new package of communication products and services, launched today, will create and disseminate web profile pages for authors’ new research. …”
by Monica Berger, CUNY New York City College of Technology
Abstract: Open access was intended to be the great equalizer but its promise has not come to fruition in many lower-income countries of the Global South. Under-resourcing is only one of the many reasons why these scholars and publishers are marginalized. In order to examine inequality in our global scholarly communications system, we can compare a negative and a positive outgrowth of this imbalance. Predatory publishing represents a a weak imitation of traditional, commercial journal publishing. In contrast, Latin America’s community-based, quality scholarly infrastructure is anti-colonial. It can be argued that Latin America’s publishing infrastructure represents one solution to predatory publishing. As the future of open access is debated, it is critical that we look to Latin America as we support new models that reject legacy commercial journal publishing and support bibliodiversity.
Jeffrey Beall infamously called Brazil’s SciELO a “publishing favela” or slum. Yet Latin America represents an important exception to the problem of underdevelopment of scholarly communications in the Global South. In order to begin to better understand the marginalization of the Global South and Latin America’s success, we need to unpack the history of open access, its overemphasis on the reader as opposed to the author, and how notions of development influenced its discourse. This focus on the reader is neo-Colonialist, positioning scholars from the Global South as “downloaders” and not “uploaders,” whose scholarship is peripheral.
Lacking alternative publishing options, predatory publishing, or amateurish, low quality publishing, exploited this gap. In its pathetic imitation of international, corporate publishing, predatory publishing is neo-Colonial and a form of “faux” open access where subaltern authors, editors, and publishers poorly imitate Global North corporate publishing. Predatory publishing is a sad simulacra with real world damage. Since predatory publishing is overwhelming based in the Global South and many of its authors based in the Global South, it tarnishes the reputation of all scholarship from less developed countries. In contrast, predatory authorship and publishing are rare in Latin America.
Latin America is an exemplar of sustainable and humane open access. Heather Morrison deemed Latin American as a “long-time peerless leader in open access.” The advent of Plan S, a rapid flip to open access, is accelerating the co-option of open access by large, commercial publishers predicating a variety of negative outcomes. In contrast, the Latin American concept of bibliodiversity represents an important alternative model. No one size fits all and a local vision governs. Bibliodiversity interrogates the presumption that all scholarship must be English-language. It also values indigenous and local knowledge as well as lay readers. Redalyc and SciELO include measures for research collaboration. Various regional scholarly organizations cooperate, sharing expertise, providing training in editorial and technical best practices. This cooperation has expanded to a global scale. The Confederation of Open Access Repositories and SPARC are partnering with LA Referencia and others, expanding Latin America’s vision globally, generating a meaningful alternative model for open access.
Slides with talk transcript and sources as presented at the Association of College and Research Libraries conference, ACRL 2021: Ascending into an Open Future, held virtually, April 16, 2021.
Abstract: The German DEAL agreements between German universities and research institutions on the one side and Springer Nature and Wiley on the other side facilitate easy open access publishing for researchers located in Germany. We use a dataset of all publications in chemistry from 2016 to 2020 and apply a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the impact on eligible scientists’ choice of publication outlet. We find that even in the short period following the conclusion of these DEAL agreements, publication patterns in the field of chemistry have changed, as eligible researchers have increased their publications in Wiley and Springer Nature journals at the cost of other journals. From that two related competition concerns emerge: First, academic libraries may be, at least in the long run, left with fewer funds and incentives to subscribe to non-DEAL journals published by smaller publishers or to fund open access publications in these journals. Secondly, eligible authors may prefer to publish in journals included in the DEAL agreements, thereby giving DEAL journals a competitive advantage over non-DEAL journals in attracting good papers. Given the two-sided market nature of the academic journal market, these effects may both further spur the concentration process in this market.
Abstract: Despite the calls for change, there is significant consensus that when it comes to evaluating publications, review, promotion, and tenure processes should aim to reward research that is of high “quality,” has an “impact,” and is published in “prestigious” journals. Nevertheless, such terms are highly subjective and present challenges to ascertain precisely what such research looks like. Accordingly, this article responds to the question: how do faculty from universities in the United States and Canada define the terms quality, prestige, and impact? We address this question by surveying 338 faculty members from 55 different institutions. This study’s findings highlight that, despite their highly varied definitions, faculty often describe these terms in overlapping ways. Additionally, results shown that marked variance in definitions across faculty does not correspond to demographic characteristics. This study’s results highlight the need to more clearly implement evaluation regimes that do not rely on ill-defined concepts.
“Springer Nature and the University of California (UC) today launched a new initiative to gain greater understanding of researcher attitudes to and motivations towards open research practices (including open access articles, data, and code; transparent peer review; and preprints). As part of the partnership, participating UC authors will also have the option to trial Guided Open Access (GOA) for some flagship Nature titles….”
Abstract: Despite growing awareness of the benefits of large-scale open access publishing, individual researchers seem reluctant to adopt this behavior, thereby slowing down the evolution toward a new scientific culture. We outline and apply a goal-directed framework of behavior causation to shed light on this type of behavioral reluctance and to organize and suggest possible intervention strategies. The framework explains behavior as the result of a cycle of events starting with the detection of a discrepancy between a goal and a status quo and the selection of behavior to reduce this discrepancy. We list various factors that may hinder this cycle and thus contribute to behavioral reluctance. After that, we highlight potential remedies to address each of the identified barriers. We thereby hope to point out new ways to think about behavioral reluctances in general, and in relation to open access publishing in particular.
“The potential value of rapid publication should be weighed against the potential harm of inadequate validation of the final output. There is a danger that lowering the threshold of publication oversight sets a precedent that cannot be easily reversed, potentially eroding standards and public trust in medical science2.
We have joined in a multi-party consortium among three eminent professional organizations for medical communication professionals – AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP – to advocate for the adoption of standards by all stakeholders to better ensure the integrity of published scientific and medical information. Thus, the following Joint Position Statement has been developed to provide practical and implementable suggestions to uphold data integrity and quality, and the transparency of medical publications….”
Abstract: The Authors Alliance Partner Program (A2P2; https://www.authorsalliance.org/a2p2-home/) is a recent addition to the educational content of the Authors Alliance. This nonprofit advocacy organization aims, “to advance the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly.” Their new initiative provides prêt-à-porter instructional material with the express purpose of supporting the scaling of rights-related programming—a goal that distinguishes A2P2 from other well-established and deeply valuable copyright-focused resources. While copyright touches nearly all we do in libraries, outreach in this area often primarily falls to scholarly communication or copyright librarians. As Schmidt (2019) notes, “providing copyright information services in the library has become part of the standard operations of academic libraries in the U.S.” We must, consequently, train ourselves up and stay current on copyright issues, as well as instruct our peers and our communities on copyright- and author rights—related issues (Reeves 2015; Norris et al. 2019; Secker et al. 2019). We need to build resources on topics that are nuanced, evolving, and carry risk. These efforts take time, care, and confidence. For professionals who may well have varied and competing job responsibilities, time and confidence certainly may be at a premium (Charbonneau and Priehs 2014). While one could easily despair, there’s help to be had. Enter, A2P2.
Two years after a high-profile falling out, the University of California (UC) system and the academic publishing giant Elsevier have patched up differences and agreed on what will be the largest deal for open-access publishing in scholarly journals in North America. The deal is also the world’s first such contract that includes Elsevier’s highly selective flagship journals Cell and The Lancet.
“[T]his post focuses on what is needed to address the specific questions and challenges of authors with an immediate need or desire to publish their book open access. By setting out to understand what authors find most challenging — for example quality assurance, funding models, or copyright — and by providing answers where possible, we can enable more book authors to benefit from choosing open access. We explore here some of these frequent concerns; what support is already available for authors; and share how part of the open access books community came together to build a free independent resource that provides answers to many of the questions that authors (and others) have about open access books….”