JAMA Publishes Trial Results Delayed 5 Years. Here’s Why

“A treatment for shortening the painful episodes of sickle cell disease (SCD) is not effective, results published in JAMA indicate. But the effort it took to publish the findings is an important part of the story and reveal problems with data ownership, company motivations, and public resources that go well beyond a single clinical trial or experimental agent….”

Contracting in the Age of Open Access Publications. A Systematic Analysis of Transformative Agreements | Ouvrir la Science

The “socioeconomics of scientific publication” Project, Committee for Open Science

Final report – 17 December 2020 Contract No. 206-150

Quentin Dufour (CNRS Postdoctoral fellow) David Pontille (CNRS senior researcher) Didier Torny (CNRS senior researcher)

Mines ParisTech, Center for the Sociology of Innovation • PSL University

Supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation

Summary

This study focuses on one of the contemporary innovations linked to the economy of academic publishing: the so-called transformative agreements, a relatively circumscribed object within the relations between library consortia and academic publishers, and temporally situated between 2015 and 2020. The stated objective of this type of agreement is to organise the transition from the traditional model of subscription to journals (often proposed by thematic groupings or collections) to that of open access by reallocating the budgets devoted to it.

Our sociological analysis work constitutes a first systematic study of this object, based on a review of 197 agreements. The corpus thus constituted includes agreements characterised by the co-presence of a subscription component and an open access publication component, even minimal (publication “tokens” offered, reduction on APCs, etc.). As a result, agreements that only concern centralised funding for open access publishing were excluded from the analysis, whether with publishers that only offer journals with payment by the author (PLOS, Frontiers, MDPI, etc.) or publishers whose catalogue includes open access journals. The oldest agreement in our corpus was signed in 2010, the most recent ones in 2020 – agreements starting only in 2021, even announced during the study, were not retained.

Several results emerge from our analysis. First of all, there is a great diversity of actors involved with 22 countries and 39 publishers, even if some consortia (Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Germany) and publishers (CUP, Elsevier, RSC, Springer) signed many more than others. Secondly, the duration of the agreements, ranging from one to six years, reveals a very unequal distribution, with more than half of the agreements (103) signed for 3 years, and a small proportion for 4 years or more (22 agreements). Finally, despite repeated calls for transparency, less than half of the agreements (96) have an accessible text at the time of this study, with no recent trend towards greater availability.

Of the 96 agreements available, 47 of which were signed in 2020, 62 have been analysed in depth. To our knowledge, this is the first analysis on this scale, on a type of material that was not only unpublished, but which was previously subject to confidentiality clauses. Based on a careful reading, the study describes in detail their properties, from the materiality of the document to the financial formulas, including their morphology and all the rights and duties of the parties. We therefore analysed the content of the agreements as a collection, looking for commonalities and variations through an explicit coding of their characteristics. The study also points out some uncertainties, in particular their “transitional” character, which remains strongly debated.

From a morphological point of view, the agreements show a great diversity in size (from 7 to 488 pages) and structure. Nevertheless, by definition, they both articulate two essential objects: on the one hand, the conditions for carrying out a reading of journal articles, in the form of a subscription, combining concerns of access and security; on the other hand, the modalities of open access publication, articulating the management of a new type of workflow with a whole series of possible options. These options include the scope of the journals considered (hybrid and/or open access), the licences available, the degree of obligation to publish, the eligible authors or the volume of publishable articles.

One of the most important results of this in-depth analysis is the discovery of an almost complete decoupling, within the agreements themselves, between the subscription object and the publication object. Of course, subscription is systematically configured in a closed world, subject to payment, which triggers series of identification of legitimate circulations of both information content and users. In particular, it insists on prohibitions on the reuse or even copying of academic articles. On the other hand, open access publishing is attached to a world governed by free access to content, which leads to concerns about workflow management and accessibility modalities. Moreover, the different elements that make up these contractual objects are not interconnected: on one side, the readers are all members of the subscribing institutions, on the other, only the corresponding authors are concerned; the lists of journals accessible to the reader and those reserved for open access publication are usually distinct; the workflows have totally different

Preprints in perioperative medicine: immediacy for the greater good – British Journal of Anaesthesia

Abstract:  Medical and scientific journals spread developing knowledge by facilitating communication between physicians and scientists. Authors, readers, and the public rightfully expect rapid publication of rigorously reviewed high-quality papers. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of rapid dissemination and has put unprecedented demands on journals. There is genuine urgency to complete medical research and place the findings expeditiously into the public domain after expert peer review so that new findings can be used to improve patient care as soon as possible. The process of peer review is often a slow process, but is essential to ensure that changes in patient care are informed by careful and definitive research. Thus, journal editors must balance the potentially competing goals of immediacy and quality control.

 

Access to biodiversity for food production: Reconciling open access digital sequence information with access and benefit sharing: Molecular Plant

“Over the last 40 years or so, a complex web of international legal agreements was developed that regulate the access, transfer, and use of plant genetic resources. These include the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Nagoya Protocol, and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources (Figure 1). In developing these legal regimes, policy makers struggled to balance a number of conflicting demands. These included ensuring that access providers share in the benefits that arise from the use of their genetic resources; that users who value-add to genetic resources can protect their innovations via intellectual property; and, at the same time, that scientists and breeders have ongoing access to genetic resources. While there are problems with the existing regimes, they have reached an uneasy compromise of sorts….”

 

 

Scholarly Communication After COVID – Major Research Report Available Now

“The effect of the pandemic on research funding, university budgets, and researchers’ needs

The coronavirus pandemic has both disrupted research, and acted as a catalyst for change. Publishers, societies and providers of related services urgently need intelligence and analysis to inform short-term responses and longer-term planning.

“This study, carried out between November 2020 and February 2021, provides up-to-the-minute insight drawn from two global surveys (with responses from 10,000+ researchers and 600+ librarians) and a review of over 100 announcements, articles and other relevant documents from funders, institutions and researchers.

Expert analysis highlights the key implications, identifies the emerging opportunities, and sets out clear recommendations for putting the report’s findings into practice….”

Scholarly Communication After COVID – Major Research Report Available Now

“The effect of the pandemic on research funding, university budgets, and researchers’ needs

The coronavirus pandemic has both disrupted research, and acted as a catalyst for change. Publishers, societies and providers of related services urgently need intelligence and analysis to inform short-term responses and longer-term planning.

“This study, carried out between November 2020 and February 2021, provides up-to-the-minute insight drawn from two global surveys (with responses from 10,000+ researchers and 600+ librarians) and a review of over 100 announcements, articles and other relevant documents from funders, institutions and researchers.

Expert analysis highlights the key implications, identifies the emerging opportunities, and sets out clear recommendations for putting the report’s findings into practice….”

Factors associated with high Altmetric Attention Score in dermatology research – Iglesias?Puzas – – Australasian Journal of Dermatology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Background

Alternative metrics are emerging scores to assess the impact of research beyond the academic environment.

Objective

To analyse whether a correlation exists between manuscript characteristics and alternative citation metrics.

Materials and methods

This bibliometric analysis included original articles published in the five journals with the highest impact factors during 2019.

We extracted the following characteristics from each record: journal, publication month, title, number of authors, type of institution, type of publication, research topic, number of references, financial support, free/open access status and literature citations. The main measure was the identification of variables of higher social attention (measured by the Altmetric Attention Score ?25) using binary logistic regression. Model performance was assessed by the change in the area under the curve (AUC).

Results

A total of 840 manuscripts were included. The Altmetric scores across all five journals ranged from 0 to 465 (mean 12.51 ± 33.7; median 3). The most prevalent topic was skin cancer, and the study design was clinical science. The scientific journal (P < 0.001), the presence of conflicts of interest (OR 2.2 [95%CI 1.3–3.7]; P = 0.002) and open access status OR 3.2 [95%CI 1.6–6.7]; P = 0.002) were found as independent predictors of high Altmetric scores.

Conclusions

Our study suggests an article´s social recognition may be dependent on some manuscript characteristics, thus providing useful information on the dissemination of dermatology research to the general public.

Both Questionable and Open Research Practices Are Prevalent in Education Research – Matthew C. Makel, Jaret Hodges, Bryan G. Cook, Jonathan A. Plucker, 2021

Abstract:  Concerns about the conduct of research are pervasive in many fields, including education. In this preregistered study, we replicated and extended previous studies from other fields by asking education researchers about 10 questionable research practices and five open research practices. We asked them to estimate the prevalence of the practices in the field, to self-report their own use of such practices, and to estimate the appropriateness of these behaviors in education research. We made predictions under four umbrella categories: comparison to psychology, geographic location, career stage, and quantitative orientation. Broadly, our results suggest that both questionable and open research practices are used by many education researchers. This baseline information will be useful as education researchers seek to understand existing social norms and grapple with whether and how to improve research practices.

 

The open access effect in social media exposure of scholarly articles: A matched-pair analysis – ScienceDirect

“Highlights

 

• The paper examines OA effect when a journal provides two types of link to the same subscription article: OA and paid content.

• OA links perform better than paid content links. When not indicating the OA status of a link, the performance drops greatly.

• OA benefits all countries, but its positive impact is slightly greater for developed countries.

• Combining social media dissemination with OA appears to enhance the reach of scientific information….”

 

Access to Supplemental Journal Article Materials: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  The use of supplemental journal article materials is increasing in all disciplines. These materials may be datasets, source code, tables/figures, multimedia, or other materials that previously went unpublished, were attached as appendices, or were included within the body of the work. Current emphasis on critical appraisal and reproducibility demands that researchers have access to the complete life cycle to fully evaluate research. As more libraries become dependent on secondary aggregators and interlibrary loan, we questioned if access to these materials is equitable and sustainable. While NISO RP-15-2013 Recommended Practices for Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials was published in 2013, it is unclear if these recommended practices fully meet the needs of users; if aggregators and publishers are following these standards; and if library processes and procedures are facilitating access to supplemental journal article materials. While studies have surveyed authors, reviewers, and readers, or examined journal supplemental materials practices, no studies have surveyed library staff and librarians about their experience with access to supplemental materials and requesting and receiving supplemental materials through interlibrary loan. This presentation reported on a study surveying library employees from academic, hospital, public and special library settings in the United States about their experiences identifying, finding, and retrieving supplemental journal article materials; and proposes ways that libraries, publishers and aggregators can enable access to the complete published life cycle.