‘Make Knowledge Free, Not Private Property’ – Online All India Convention

“The recent lawsuit filed in the Delhi High Court by the publishers Elsevier, Wiley, and American Chemical Society against Sci-hub and LibGen for copyright infringement has brought to the fore the debate between legality and ethicality of limiting access to knowledge. This discussion will address key concerns.”

Researchers decry ‘pay to publish’ system — but don’t want it to stop

“A survey of nearly 1,000 academic researchers in South Africa suggests that the majority are in favour of keeping a government scheme that offers cash rewards for publishing research papers in accredited journals, even though they agree that this can promote unethical practices.

The publication-incentive programme — which awards payments when researchers publish journal articles, conference proceedings and book chapters — is the country’s largest single pool of research funding, worth an estimated 2.4 billion South African rand (US$160 million) each year.

Under the scheme, researchers can receive about 120,000 rand per published article. The subsidies were initially implemented in 2005 to drive academic output, and it worked: South Africa’s overall research output rose from 4,063 articles in 2005 to 25,371 in 2018….”

The ethics of data sharing and biobanking in health research

Abstract:  The importance of data sharing and biobanking are increasingly being recognised in global health research. Such practices are perceived to have the potential to promote science by maximising the utility of data and samples. However, they also raise ethical challenges which can be exacerbated by existing disparities in power, infrastructure and capacity. The Global Forum on Bioethics in Research (GFBR) convened in Stellenbosch, South Africa in November 2018, to explore the ethics of data sharing and biobanking in health research. Ninety-five participants from 35 countries drew on case studies and their experiences with sharing in their discussion of issues relating to respecting research participants and communities, promoting equitable sharing, and international and national approaches to governing data sharing and biobanking. In this editorial we will briefly review insights relating to each of these three themes.


ReadAndPublishAgreementsUnethical – Google Docs

“The new ‘Read and Publish’ / ‘transformative’ agreements are just another version of hybrid because subscriptions are combined with APCs (Figures 1 and 2). They are also another version of a ‘Big Deal’ because universities are locked into a contract with a publisher that involves a bundle of journals at prices that are divorced from actual costs….”

ReadAndPublishAgreementsUnethical – Google Docs

“The new ‘Read and Publish’ / ‘transformative’ agreements are just another version of hybrid because subscriptions are combined with APCs (Figures 1 and 2). They are also another version of a ‘Big Deal’ because universities are locked into a contract with a publisher that involves a bundle of journals at prices that are divorced from actual costs….”

Labour of Love: An Open Access Manifesto for Freedom, Integrity, and Creativity in the Humanities and Interpretive Social Sciences · Commonplace

“The undersigned are a group of scholar-publishers based in the humanities and social sciences who are questioning the fairness and scientific tenability of a system of scholarly communication dominated by large commercial publishers. With this manifesto we wish to repoliticise Open Access to challenge existing rapacious practices in academic publishing—namely, often invisible and unremunerated labour, toxic hierarchies of academic prestige, and a bureaucratic ethos that stifles experimentation—and to bear witness to the indifference they are predicated upon….

What can we, as researchers, do? We can reinvigorate ties with journals published by scholarly societies. We can act creatively to reclaim ownership over the free labour that we mindlessly offer to commercial actors. We can conjure digital infrastructures (think of platforms from OJS to Janeway, PubPub, and beyond) that operate in the service of the knowledge commons. Scholar-led OA publishing has the power to bypass gatekeeping institutions, bridge the knowledge gap produced by commercially driven censorship, and provide support to homegrown digital activism in countries where access to scholarship is restricted. All of this, without neglecting scholarly institutions such as a constructive peer review process or other forms of consensus-building and quality assurance proper to the humanities and interpretive social sciences….”

Responsible, practical genomic data sharing that accelerates research | Nature Reviews Genetics

Abstract:  Data sharing anchors reproducible science, but expectations and best practices are often nebulous. Communities of funders, researchers and publishers continue to grapple with what should be required or encouraged. To illuminate the rationales for sharing data, the technical challenges and the social and cultural challenges, we consider the stakeholders in the scientific enterprise. In biomedical research, participants are key among those stakeholders. Ethical sharing requires considering both the value of research efforts and the privacy costs for participants. We discuss current best practices for various types of genomic data, as well as opportunities to promote ethical data sharing that accelerates science by aligning incentives.


Where Does Open Science Lead Us During a Pandemic? A Public Good Argument to Prioritise Rights in The Open Commons | Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics | Cambridge Core

Abstract:  During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, open science has become central to experimental, public health and clinical responses across the globe. Open science is described as an open commons, in which a right to science avails all possible scientific data for everyone to access and use. In this common space, capitalist platforms now provide many essential services and are taking the lead in public health activities. These neoliberal businesses, however, have a central role in the capture of public goods. This paper argues that the open commons is a community of rights, consisting of people and institutions whose interests mutually support the public good. If OS is a cornerstone of public health, then reaffirming the public good is its overriding purpose, and unethical platforms ought to be excluded from the commons and its benefits.

When you are making plans to publish research, you need to plan for data sharing: Climacteric: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  Open data is another step on the pathway of strengthening medical research. Allowing access to data facilitates testing the reproducibility of research findings. It also allows for the testing of new hypotheses, the incorporation of individual level data into meta-analyses and the development of very large data sets in which to develop and test new algorithms. There are now many data repositories that researchers can use to share their protocols, syntax and data. There are strategies both for managing what other researchers do with publically available data and for rewarding researchers who share their data. There is a strong ethical argument for making data publically available and research participants are generally supportive of this approach.