Blogs selected for Week August 3 to August 9, 2020 -

1. The Frontier beyond open access publishing? Commoning

Author: David Bollier

Academic publishers have shown themselves adept at adapting to open access publishing models while consolidating their proprietary market power and control. The benefits to scholars, students, academic disciplines, university budgets, and freedom of expression have not been what they were cracked up to be. Through inertia, ignorance, and sometimes complicity, universities are not challenging the distinct limits of corporate-controlled ‘openness’ and defending the ideals of academic scholarship. Nor are they adequately investigating the countervailing appeal of the commons, which offer a better framework for reinvigorating the life of the academy.

The full entry can be read: Here

2. Two steps forward, one step back — The pandemic’s impact on open access progress

Author: David Crotty

2019 was a watershed year for progress in the transition of research publishing to open access (OA). The shakeup caused by Plan S had some time to sink in, cancellations of big subscription deals ramped up, and the conversation had shifted from ‘eventually things will move to OA,’ to instead a sense of urgency, ‘publishing is on the clock for a move to OA.’ The value of open science (increased transparency, open data, open access to research results) has become increasingly obvious during the current global health crisis. Both the positives (rapid reporting and sharing of information) and the negatives (the glut of bad science being issued as preprints and promoted via mainstream media without proper curation) are now evident, with the good generally outweighing the bad. Despite the daily evidence of the importance of shifting to an open science environment for research, the economic fallout from the pandemic is going to make necessary progress difficult and slow.

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Will COVID-19 mark the end of scientific publishing as we know it?

Author: Virgie Hoban

When it comes to retrofitting scholarly publishing for a pandemic, though, preprints are just one part of the equation. There is an ocean of important discoveries instantly available, but also an ocean of studies—some deep, some dubious—to wade through. Open access will be essential, researchers say. If a major bottleneck in publishing is the oft prolonged process of peer review, the solution looks something like a global network of scientists all deployed at once.

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. Why fast but good publishing matters

Author: Alan Hyndman

A large number of funders ( around the world now mandate publishing data needed to reproduce findings from the research they fund at the same time as the paper is published. This is a change for academics. Figshare has found through State of Open Data ( reports that the majority of researchers are new to the concept of licensing content when they publish it. Figshare also see lack of knowledge about how to describe datasets - particularly the title of the dataset. The findings highlight the need for free-for-researcher generalist repositories, with human checks on the metadata to ensure FAIR-er, more impactful, and more reproducible research. To enter the world of fast and good academic publishing, there is need of a dataset curation model that scales.

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Is it time to (finally) get serious about submission charges?

Author: Roy Kaufman

A pandemic like COVID-19, with its associated disruption of the economy, creates distortions which can illuminate opportunities and which mandate a rethinking of business as usual. While some have predicted that the number of journal submissions will decline based on closure of wet labs due to social distancing, at least for now, the opposite seems to be true at numerous publishers. While many of the increased journal submissions are good, the number of poor-quality submissions is also rising. This includes a large number of specious COVID-19 papers. Normally an increase in submissions would be cause for celebration — so long as the high-to-poor — quality submissions ratio remains relatively constant.

The full entry can be read: Here.

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