Blogs selected for Week April 6 to April 12, 2020 -



1. Are we all digital scholars now? How the lockdown will reshape the post-pandemic digital structure of academia.

Publishers, aggregators and libraries are helping to make research and course materials available online open access. But is there a knack to finding them? With the global scientific community united in their search for a coronavirus vaccine, hundreds of scientific papers have now been made available open access (OA). This immediate and unrestricted access to the latest research has enabled collaboration between hospitals and laboratories around the globe. But it’s not only research related to COVID-19 that has been made accessible. With students and staff no longer able to visit physical libraries, millions of research papers have been released online, while tutors are pointing to online resources so that studies can continue. But how do you find this newly available open access content? In the wake of the crisis, libraries and aggregators have worked hard to alter their library management systems to make open access collections easier to find, notes Bethan Ruddock in her post.

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. Clever tricks to find open access content during the pandemic

With the global scientific community united in their search for a coronavirus vaccine, hundreds of scientific papers have now been made available open access (OA). This immediate and unrestricted access to the latest research has enabled collaboration between hospitals and laboratories around the globe. But it’s not only research related to COVID-19 that has been made accessible. With students and staff no longer able to visit physical libraries, millions of research papers have been released online, while tutors are pointing to online resources so that studies can continue. In the wake of the crisis, libraries and aggregators have worked hard to alter their library management systems to make open access collections easier to find. The new search and labelling systems are a huge help but, finding OA documents can require a bit of digging. Some URL links are directed to a university login, so it’s worth looking for links that are direct to the resource and lead to openly accessible material. Open access resources are indicated on the library hub discover service website by an OA symbol, and these usually have a link that leads directly to the resource.

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Seeking sustainability: Publishing models for an open access age

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe recently had the privilege of serving as the keynote speaker for “Seeking Sustainability: Publishing Models for an Open Access Age.” This virtual event was originally developed as a preconference for the annual UKSG conference, which like so many events was cancelled to help fight the global pandemic. This piece is a reconstruction of her remarks, highlighting the main points that as she thinks about open access, business models, and sustainability. Open access, scholarly publishing, business models, and sustainability. The past is prologue. The present is complex. @lisalibrarian provides SSP a primer.

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. The future of responsibly evaluating research

Decisions about where to publish research are often clouded by the pressure that arises from poor metrics. Sam Rose, Publisher at Hindawi, reports from LIS-Bibliometrics, a conference focused on shifting to responsible metrics and appropriate evaluation for research. The conference is aimed primarily at librarians and university staff working in research evaluation and analytics. Representatives and stakeholders from across the industry were present. Institutions were seen spreading the message that researchers should publish their work where it will be read by the most appropriate audience and this should take priority over metrics and will become a much more supportive message than ‘publish in high impact journals’. It is a clear U-turn away from the current system, which rewards researchers based on the Impact Factors of journals they publish in, not only using a largely irrelevant metric as the primary focus of evaluation, but also opening the process to misuse and abuse.

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Academic libraries at a pivotal moment

Supported by publishers and vendors, academic libraries have been leaders in the digital transformation of higher education institutions. Well before the pandemic, they developed collections that are more digital — from journals to archives to streaming media — and more accessible remotely, than most of the other academic offerings of the typical college or university. The successes, but also the limitations, of libraries’ digital transformation have become apparent in the disruptions that the pandemic has wrought over the past month across higher education. In this post, co-authors, Roger C. Schonfeld and Christine Wolff-Eisenberg of Ithaka S+R, discuss the new findings from Ithaka S+R that provide the most recent and comprehensive evidence for how academic library acquisitions and open access initiatives may proceed in light of the present disruptions.

The full entry can be read: Here.

6. Filling in the scientific record: The importance of negative and null results

PLOS strives to publish scientific research with transparency, openness, and integrity. Does that mean giving authors the choice to preregister their study, publish peer review comments, or diversifying publishing outputs? PLOS has expressed support for researchers as they work to uncover and communicate discoveries that advance scientific progress. Negative and null results are an important part of this process. Positive results are often viewed as more impactful. From authors, editors, and publishers alike, there is a tendency to favor the publication of positive results over negative ones and, yes, there is evidence to suggest that positive results are more frequently cited by other researchers. Negative results, however, are crucial to providing a system of checks and balances against similar positive findings. Studies have attempted to determine to what extent the lack of negative results in scientific literature has inflated the efficacy of certain treatments or allowed false positives to remain unchecked. The effect is particularly dramatic in meta-analyses which are typically undertaken with the assumption that the sample of retrieved studies is representative of all conducted studies.

The full entry can be read: Here.

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