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NEWS ARCHIVES ACROSS THEMES  
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Growing international collaboration not yet enough to halt decline in Japan's research output, reports Nature Index 2019 Japan supplement
- 21 Mar 2019

The Nature Index 2019 Japan supplement shows that global research performance in Japan continues to fall, but the number of international research partnerships is increasing.

Japan's contribution to high-quality scientific research fell by 19.9 percent between January 2012 and October 2018. But efforts to increase international collaboration, seen as one way to address this trend, are paying off. Since 2014, the proportion of articles from journals tracked by the Index with international co-authors originating from Japanese institutions has increased from 46 to 56 percent.

This supplement discusses the role that international collaboration has in boosting high-quality research output from Japan and also outlines the major changes needed for Japan to become an attractive research destination for international scientists.

An overview article outlines how Japan is seeking to boost its scientific research performance by transforming its universities to better accommodate international collaboration. Then, six scientists with exceptionally strong research links outside Japan describe how they are bringing global research to Japan and taking Japanese research to the world.

Further features in the supplement include an interview with two leading female Japanese researchers who call for more women to seize opportunities to become leaders and principal investigators. Finally, an article on academia-industry partnerships discusses the barriers to getting the two sectors to work more closely together in Japan.

The Nature Index 2019 Japan is based on data from natureindex.com, covering articles published during the period January 1, 2012 to October 31, 2018. All references to the year 2018 in tables and graphs include data for the 12 months preceding October 31.

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IOP Publishing launches 2018 annual report
- 15 Mar 2019

IOP Publishing (IOPP) has launched its annual report for 2018. The report showcases the company's strong performance in 2018, and explains how it plans to respond to the challenges facing scientific publishing.

IOPP recorded an impressive all-round performance in 2018, thanks to the strong relationships its people have developed with its customers - authors, referees, editorial boards, librarians and partner organisations. The report shows how IOPP uses this emphasis on customer experience, as well as its global reach and focus on operational excellence to provide impact, recognition and value for the physical science communities.

Alongside that, as a specialist publisher, IOPP must manage the multiple expectations of researchers, funders, and librarians with ever-greater efficiency, while providing the same high quality of service to all its customers and partners.

The annual report sets out how IOPP is responding to challenges in scientific publishing: increasing the visibility of the research it publishes, through both technical means and an expansion of its open access publishing; increasing impact and recognition for its authors; and supporting the scientific mission of its partners by providing operational excellence and guidance across all stages of the publishing cycle.

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Plan S: HighWire whitepaper explores implementation options publishers are considering
- 11 Mar 2019

The HighWire community recently came together to identify and explore 14 implementation options for publishers and how they could deliver against the 10 principles as set out by cOAlition S. A whitepaper, published earlier this month, summarises the findings and details the four most preferred options. Jim Longo, VP of Product Leadership&Design at HighWire, considers what those four implementation options mean for publishers from a Product perspective.

In the whitepaper, a 'HighWire View' is presented for each of the four preferred implementation options. The Plan S whitepaper outlines the four alternative strategies to comply with the mandate, three of which require sophisticated platform features. Support for the fourth alternative, Stay the Course, for Now, is a gamble that makes even greater demands on their platform vendor than the first three present.

The four alternative strategies discussed in the whitepaper are: Use Green OA to comply; Deposit to an existing compliant server or repository; Post OA final author accepted manuscript; and Stay the Course, for Now.

Interested parties may download the whitepaper and watch a recording of HighWire Press' recent webinar with its founding director, John Sack, who outlined the key outputs and his views on the findings: https://www.highwirepress.com/plans.

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Research4Life and GOALI to develop common online training modules for its programmes
- 08 Mar 2019

Research4Life launched GOALI (Global Online Access to Legal Information) in March 2018 to provide developing countries with access to academic legal content and training. For the first anniversary, the team launched a feedback survey in order to better understand what their users need.

More than 77 users from about 20 low- and middle-income countries shared their experiences. Half of them were librarians, 26 percent researchers, and almost 10 percent work as government officials. This confirms that librarians play a key role in promoting access to high-quality research and scientific resources. One third of the most devoted users work in universities, followed by research institutes and government offices.

Librarians often face a lack of access to legal information. GOALI gives full-text access to publications to which they do not have access most of the time.

Another important aspect is copyright issues and intellectual property rights, which are crucial for researchers. According to Grace O. Tayo from Babcock University, as a research administrator, legal information will help assist researchers with grant writing, IP issues, grant management and entrepreneurial activities of the University.

In the survey, users were asked what they can do to make GOALI even more useful. They noted that they often need to access case law, law reports and statutes from Commonwealth countries, in addition to major legal databases and local content, such as articles from Africa.

Users also asked for more information on social sciences or specific disciplines such as psychology. Some users also requested further training opportunities.

In addition, several free access databases have been added to the GOALI portal, like NATLEX, the ILO database of national labour and social security legislation, and the African Law Library and African Journals OnLine (AJOL), an online library of scholarly journals published in Africa.

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Threats to copyright protections seen as 'Existential', reports Simba Information
- 20 Feb 2019

Copyright protection and the many ways it is perceived to be under threat were a recurring theme to proceedings at the Association of American Publishers annual Professional and Scholarly Publishing conference on February 7, reports market research firm Simba Information. Simba Information covers issues of copyright and emerging technology in its upcoming reports Global Scientific&Technical Publishing 2019-2023, Global Medical Publishing 2019-2023 and STM Online Services 2019-2023.

Copyright industries, which include book and journal publishing, music, film and entertainment software contributed $1.3 trillion, or about 7%, to the U.S. economy in 2017.

Many individual nations and trade groups around the world are examining their copyright laws. The issues are constantly being debated and negotiated.

While copyright laws and treaties around the world need updating to catch up with the internet and new business models, a whole new generation of technology is set to explode, and those technologies need to have copyright laws that strike the right balance as well.

Jule Sigall, associate general counsel, IP policy and strategy, Microsoft Corp., advocated for copyright laws that will allow the use of copyrighted material as data in a machine learning or artificial intelligence environment.

Such laws would allow AI or machine reading to pull out the unprotected ideas, facts, concepts and embodiments in an image or a work without infringement so that the data can be used to power some other capability.

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