Blogs selected for Week August 31 to September 6, 2020 -

1. Articles Are the Fundamental Unit of Data Sharing

Author: Tim Vines

The FAIR principles are the community consensus answer to the ‘How’ question of data sharing, in that they describe best practice for how to share a particular dataset. Community consensus about anything is very welcome, but by themselves, the FAIR principles do not have the leverage to bring more data into the public sphere and thereby achieve the manifold benefits of an open research data ecosystem. The obvious ‘fundamental unit’ of data sharing is the research article. Articles have a similar feature, in that the key moment for data sharing is just before acceptance for publication – the contents of the article are set and the datasets defined, and the authors can be pressured to share the data before the article moves out into the public sphere.

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. What Is Scientific Peer Review?

Author: Sciencealert blog

In science, peer review is the critical evaluation of an academic's work by others in the same or similar field of study. Typically performed to ensure the quality of work that is published is of a suitable standard, the peer-review process is widely regarded to be a good indicator that the study or paper contains reliable information. Even though peer review greatly increases the validity of published research and reduces the chance that an incorrect or seriously flawed paper makes it to publication, a peer-reviewed study is not necessarily the final word on a subject. Different publications will enforce their own peer-review policies, which in turn reflects their reputation within the academic community.

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Do not be a prig in peer review

Author: Jeff C. Clements

The process of peer review is meant to be highly critical. Many researchers, however, do not receive proper training on being effective peer reviewers. Peer reviewers should be critical as reviewers, but are rarely taught to be kind and courteous. Although some journals redact ad hominem reviewer comments, many do not, and authors commonly receive them. Some journals are experimenting with publishing the full text of peer reviews in a manuscript. This could help to raise awareness of the problem, but because reviewers’ identities are hidden, there might still be little reason for them to be courteous.

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. Guest Post — Assessing User Perceptions of an Open Access Subvention Fund

Author: Gail McMillan, Leslie O’Brien, Edward F. Lener

After eight years of funding open access (OA) articles, University Libraries at Virginia Tech has a wealth of quantitative data on article processing charges (APC). However, there is lack of qualitative information on authors’ perceptions about funding OA articles, how the funding supports research in specific disciplines, and how authors view OA publishing in general. Since the fund’s inception, the Library’s expenditures on APCs has increased over 500 percent, prompting to ask authors about their perceptions of the Open Access Subvention Fund (OASF), considering its future development and sustainability.

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Popular Available Data Sources and How Researchers Use Them: Exploring PubMed

Author: Elizabeth Wolf

PubMed, from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), is a well-known and beloved search engine for biomedical literature. PubMed has been available free to the public since 1997 and currently includes over 30 million citations, of which 20 million include abstracts and/or links to full text. PubMed receives about 2.5 million users per day. The popularity of PubMed allows for the collection of vast amounts of usage data, and for the intelligent use of that data to improve the search experience. PubMed researchers want the most recent research regardless of whether it was reported by a British or American team.

The full entry can be read: Here.

6. Adapting to a Changing Research Landscape: the University of Edinburgh’s Agile Approach

Author: Dani Guzman

Finding grants to support their work is a key challenge for researchers, who must navigate a funding landscape marked by ever-changing regulatory hurdles and shifting political winds. In the United Kingdom, for instance, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) — which directs public funding for research — is encouraging research teams to coordinate with industry partners. Meanwhile, Brexit has everyone wondering what impact the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union might have on the research community. Having an agile research support team with very diverse expertise can help universities keep up with rapid changes, even amid the pandemic. At Edinburgh, where about 72 percent of the cost of research is covered via external funding sources, the Research Office helps faculty identify funding opportunities and craft winning proposals — and the office is staffed with people who come from wide-ranging backgrounds, including both academics and the private sector.

The full entry can be read: Here.

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