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Time to break academic publishing's stranglehold on research

The academic publishing business model is indefensible. Practically everybody - even the companies that profit from it - acknowledges that it has to change. And yet the status quo has proven extremely resilient. The latest attempt to break the mould is called Plan S, created by umbrella group cOAlition S. It demands that all publicly funded research be made freely available. When Plan S was unveiled in September, its backers expected support to snowball. But only a minority of Europe's 43 research funding bodies have signed up, and hoped-for participation from the US has failed to materialise.
   
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Attention Earth Sciences: PLOS ONE wants YOUR Preprint

Preprint servers offer a myriad of benefits to authors who are excited to share their work with the community as soon as possible. So PLOS offered their authors the ease of automatically posting their life science submissions on bioRxiv. But PLOS ONE is a community of many different voices and they want to help promote preprints in all disciplines. This includes providing authors with more reasons to post a preprint - on top of the advantages that posting a preprint already offer such as faster dissemination and allowing for input from the whole community. Therefore, PLOS has introduced a new program to invite submissions of posted preprint manuscripts specifically in the Earth and Space sciences. It aims to support authors posting their papers with a fast and efficient peer review process and journal publication of their work.
   
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The argument for using blockchain to secure scientific research

Blockchain may be known as the computer technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but at its simplest, blockchain is a technology that offers a way to share information safely and protect against fraud and hacking. A blockchain is a distributed database, a sort of digital ledger. It could be used to secure scientific data and even establish who carried out an experiment first.
   
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Will Blockchain Revolutionise Scholarly Journal Publishing?

Orvium, a European start-up, recently joined those taking on the giant players. It offers a publishing and business plan based on blockchain - a coding structure that embeds origins and changes within a file. The format will allow for open-access or other licensing models to be determined by each client journal's editors. The company's objective is 'to be the leading publication platform for the research community while returning the benefits of science to society.'
   
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The Conundrum of Open-Access Publishing

The complexity surrounding the future funding of research publications is not exactly a frequent topic of conversations among students, but it represents a significant issue for many academic staff members at universities the world over. In a climate of 'publish or perish' among researchers, the battle for a spot in one of publishing's elite journals is extraordinarily competitive. For decades these publications have dictated the spread of scientific knowledge, and profited significantly from exercising such dominance over the field through their subscription-service model. However, the century-old business model of journals is being challenged.
   
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