Blogs selected for Week August 24 to August 30, 2020 -

1. Sustainable open access – What is next?

Author: Ann Michael

No business model is without limitations. While charging an APC is currently the most prevalent model used to sustain open Access (OA), its limitations are apparent. Depending on funding source, APCs can be a barrier to participation in OA for some authors and research topics. Shifting to an APC-funded OA model also means that the full burden of the cost of publication rests with producers (authors and/or those paying APCs on their behalf). Consumers of research bear none of the cost burden directly but experience no reduced benefit. These issues and others have led some publishers to explore collective action models, most notably the ‘Subscribe to Open’ model pioneered in academic publishing by Annual Reviews. Subscribe to Open was structured to retain subscribers while flipping Annual Reviews’ publications to a fully open model. It is based on collective action principles, but it is a specific instantiation of the principles for journals that have an existing subscription base.

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. Transforming a dissertation chapter into a published article

Author: Faye Halpern and James Phelan

Dissertation chapters and journal articles often differ in the scope of their concerns and in the size of the claims they make about their respective arguments. Many dissertations produce their scholarly intervention more at the level of the whole project than at the level of individual chapters. Because chapters are not stand-alone pieces, they can have diverse functions -- some of which have little to do with making a scholarly intervention of the kind found in journal articles. Some chapters can be devoted to providing methodological or theoretical groundwork, others to extending a previous argument by treating more examples that support it. Indeed, when the dissertation makes its intervention through the cumulative weight of the whole, it may not have a single chapter that directly attempts to meet the criteria for journal articles.

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Three things universities need to do now to make the most of digital learning

Author: Ian Dunn and Gideon Shimshon

How can institutions provide students with the digital learning experience they want and need? Ian Dunn and Gideon Shimshon point that the sector can emerge from the COVID-19 crisis better prepared than ever. Digital learning rebooted suggests that, to make the most of its potential, digital learning in higher education must meet three requirements by 2030. It needs to be intentional, delivering a learning experience that is built from the ground up to improve on current practice; seamless, with a reliable, coherent and integrated foundation; and supportive, designed to help every student and educator to make the most of it no matter their location or background.

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. Maximising peer review efforts more important than ever

Author: Arianne Heinrichs

Peer review – with all its challenges – remains essential to the integrity and robustness of the editorial process. However, peer review takes time and effort, which should not be wasted, especially in the context of vital COVID-19 research that requires rapid dissemination. Authors are encouraged to deposit their submission to a preprint server and work with journals to make their peer-reviewed article and dataset available as quickly as possible.

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. The effect of a strong data archiving policy on journal submissions (Part II)

Author: Tim Vrines, Arianne Albert

The policy that has caused the most angst over the past decade is mandatory data sharing. It is well established that policies ‘recommending’ or ‘encouraging’ open data do very little to increase the proportion of articles that share their data, whereas mandatory policies that require data sharing as a condition of publication are generally more effective. It is also well established that most researchers do not really want to share their data, so bringing in a strong data sharing policy may persuade many to submit to a competitor journal.

The full entry can be read: Here.

6. Why scientific papers are growing increasingly inscrutable

Author: Hannah Seo

Reading a scientific paper can sometimes feel like deciphering a wall of code. Academic writing is usually jam-packed with sophisticated scientific concepts, but in recent decades studies have also become filled with endless acronyms and abbreviations. Some researchers argue that this makes the knowledge and discoveries discussed in the articles unreadable to both scientists and lay people alike.

The full entry can be read: Here.

7. 3 challenges and 3 opportunities for researchers during COVID-19

Author: Dani Guzman

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the world, and research institutions have certainly felt its impact as well. Yet, while the coronavirus has brought many challenges to academic research, it has also created opportunities for research to improve moving forward. The challenges involve: the pandemic has kept researchers from physical lab spaces, delaying projects by months in some cases; social distancing has added to the cost of research projects, forcing institutions to make difficult choices; and the pandemic has made the funding landscape for research more unstable. The opportunities are: public trust in the work of researchers has increased; the pandemic has brought a spirit of collaboration to research institutions; and COVID-19 gives institutions a chance to reimagine what is possible moving forward.

The full entry can be read: Here.

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