Blogs selected for Week December 9 to December 15, 2019 -



1. Academic affiliation should not be a requirement to publish

This post in The times Higher Education Blog, Paul Ostwald, argues that this strict rule discourages article submissions from a variety of authors, including displaced scholars. One of the most commonly required qualifications to publish in a scholarly journal is an academic affiliation. There is a good reason for this. Anyone can add “independent scholar” to their business card or, the modern-day equivalent, their Twitter biography. In contrast, an academic affiliation signals that the author knows the ins and outs of research and works in a scientific context, surrounded by peers who provide feedback.

The Blog post says (quote): Open access publications, which make research available to those without university journal subscriptions, has bolstered this trend. Not only do they enable displaced scholars to read current publications, but these journals also appear to be more tolerant regarding academic affiliation. The share of unaffiliated articles published under an open access licence grew threefold from 7 per cent in 2009 to 21 per cent in 2018. Yet, the numbers are still meagre and most unaffiliated researchers are from the US, UK or Australia. The voices of those fleeing from war and persecution are rarely heard, meaning noteworthy research remains lost or silenced. Young scholars without prior connections to journals are particularly affected............ (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. The need to simplify indexing and data sharing

Indexing and metadata sharing are the lifeblood of scholarly journals. Even with services and infrastructure available to all journals, the effort needed to participate is not small. Journals that are self-published and on their own platforms need significant resources to implement metadata sharing and depositing. This guest post in the in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog by Einar Ryvarden, serves as a case study and provides suggestions for how to make it easier.

The Blog post says (quote): The standard for submitting content to PubMed for indexing dates back to 2008 and discusses “electronic journals.” Journals publishing both in print and online have to create two different XML files in a custom format, log on, and upload these files to PubMed manually. In PDF-format, the documentation for creating and uploading the XMLs is 43 pages long. It probably cost us at least a week of developer time going back and forth, creating and tuning the XMLs............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Predatory journals: no definition, no defence

Predatory journals are a global threat. They accept articles for publication — along with authors’ fees — without performing promised quality checks for issues such as plagiarism or ethical approval. Naive readers are not the only victims. Many researchers have been duped into submitting to predatory journals, in which their work can be overlooked notes this post in the Nature Blog.

The Blog post says (quote): The publish-or-perish culture, a lack of awareness of predatory publishing and difficulty in discerning legitimate from illegitimate publications fosters an environment for predatory publications to exist. Predatory journals are also quick to adapt to policies and measures designed to foil them. As scientific publishers experiments with new formats and business models online, it has become increasingly easy for fake publishers to masquerade as legitimate ones..............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. Why are Librarians Concerned about GetFTR?

Twitter was abuzz this past week with the announcement of Get Full Text Research (GetFTR) at the STM association meeting in London. GetFTR attempts to reduce friction between discovery and access through a new kind of linking data service, and Roger Schonfeld’s same day analysis here in The Scholarly Kitchen provided some information from a publisher perspective. Developed by a group of five of the largest publishers, and built on top of RA21’s Seamless Access service, GetFTR was very effectively kept under wraps until the formal announcement — so much so that the staff of NISO, a lead partner in Seamless Access, was completely unaware of the project. Some were surprised GetFTR wasn’t immediately welcomed by the library community. In this post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, analyzes why.

The Blog post says (quote): Revising the visualisation and adding language to the FAQ about how GetFTR does not replace the link resolver would address this miscommunication. Better would be to have a demonstration of how GetFTR and link resolvers will work together (perhaps drawing upon the Dimensions implementation) rather than only a statement that they can. Libraries work closely with their discovery providers and would welcome the opportunity to understand how GetFTR can be integrated in those settings for improved user experience.................(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Old-fashioned peer review is still seen as the best way to allocate grants, but reviewers deserve greater recognition

The allocation of research funding on the basis of peer review has recently come under scrutiny, due to the difficulty of assessing the difference between growing numbers of high quality applications. Presenting evidence from a large-scale survey of academics involved in the peer review of grant applications, in this post, in the LSE Impact Blog, James Hardcastle, argues that academics largely see peer review as the best mechanism for allocating research funds, but that issues around peer review could be improved through increased recognition and support of reviewing as an essential requirement of academic life.

The Blog post says (quote): Peer review has many benefits and is widely supported researchers, but it is not above reproach and there are several areas highlighted by our interviews with funders and researcher survey for improvement. Over 85% of researchers believed the system would be improved from better peer review training for grants; improved systems for managing peer-review; and improved communications between the various stakeholders involved. The highest ranked factor for improving the grant peer review process was greater recognition for reviews................(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

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