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Blogs selected for Week February 11, 2019 to February 17, 2019 -

1. A Brief History of History Responding to Open Access

History as a discipline has a history of responding to Open Access Initiatives. Karin Wulf, in her post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, discusses what they can learn from this history of history that could push faster, farther toward collaboratively designed and implemented OA.

The blog post says (quote): Rather than being against openness, what concerns many historians who deal with this issue is the narrowness of the definition of "open". They see five major areas vital to historical scholarly communication, that have been the focus of a number of these responses to mandates over the years, and that will have to be accommodated in any effort at fully multidisciplinary, widely adopted OA: the role of editing; funding differentials; the distinction between book and journal disciplines; the need for coherence in published work, making necessary a flexible attitude toward OA licenses; and the threat to international collaboration. Every one of these has been covered in depth elsewhere, but in bringing them together in a brief post assaying what seems now like a long history of responding to initiatives designed for other disciplines they are struck anew at the consistency………(unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

2. Debate on New Mission of an Australian University Press

Contentious changes at Australia's oldest university press have raised questions about the degree to which in-house publishers should produce general interest literature. The decision to refocus Melbourne University Publishing as a "high-quality scholarly press" triggered bitter protests and the resignations of the chief executive and five directors of the press, notes John Ross, in his post in the Inside Higher ED Blog.

The blog post says (quote): MUP's parent institution was accused of censoring academic freedom and killing off one of its most effective arms of community engagement, by neglecting a compromise deal that would have allowed MUP to continue publishing popular nonacademic works while using the profits to cross-subsidize academic monographs. But some academics lauded the University of Melbourne's decision, saying that they had found it all but impossible to get their books produced by the publisher. MUP's website lists 1,629 books that it has published since early 2004. Just 135 are academic books, typically paperbacks retailing for 50 Australian dollars ($36), with some of these also available as separate ebook titles. Meanwhile, it is not clear that profits from the 1,000-plus trade books have been cross-subsidising the relatively few academic books. MUP posted a profit of $204,000 in 2017 and a preliminary profit of $157,000 in 2018, after pocketing an $889,159 annual subsidy from the university………(unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

3. Introducing the Observatory of International Research: A simple research discovery tool for everyone

The Observatory of International Research (OOIR) is a research tool that provides users with easy to use overviews and information for whole fields of social science research. Reflecting on the advantages and limitations of other discovery tools and the potential for information overload, Andreas Pacher, in his post in the LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog, points to the utility of OOIR in producing search results that are both broad based and tailored to specific academic interests.

The blog post says (quote): CrossRef data is perfect, if one merely wants the title, journal, and DOI of each article, but scholarly metadata beyond such basic information are inconsistent. For instance, not all publishers make their references public; this currently affects 261 out of 850 journals covered. As a result, OOIR's citation statistics are necessarily of a low quality. OOIR also refrains from listing authors and their affiliations, as such metadata are far from uniform and institutional affiliations are frequently missing. OOIR is thus highly sympathetic to the cause of I4OC (Initiative for Open Citations), ROR (Research Organization Registry, a project developing unique identifiers for research organisations), and Metadata 2020 (a collaboration advocating for richer research metadata). Almost every research discovery tool contains impressive functions, but most of them are useful only for specified literature searches with precise preconceptions………(unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

4. Editorial Independence and Journal Ownership in the Age of Open Science

When an editorial board resigns it can disrupt the journals ecosystem, and the recent announcement from the editorial board for the Journal of Informetrics (JOI) has led to yet more discussion about open access (the ostensible reason for the resignation). But was it just about open access, or are there bigger issues at play here? Journal editors often sit at the intersection of research and publishing, and have to navigate differing perceptions of ownership in the journals that they manage, notes Lettie Y. Conrad, in her post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog.

The blog post says (quote): The issue of ownership is one that is rarely discussed, and yet it underpins a great deal of conflict within their arena. Legal (copyright) ownership is only one facet and there are potential conflicts over who-can-do-what with content. Complete openness and public ownership is supported by some, whereas others want controlled, private ownership. Editors often sit at the crux of this, navigating a route that fits the publisher, society and author communities, while fitting in with the identity of their discipline community. Where there are shared objectives and vision, the subject of ownership becomes less important, but where there are conflicts it becomes a prime motivator for drastic action. The priorities of scholarly societies and publishers, of course, are not always at odds, in fact there are many shared goals and alliances to be found - for example, in the partnership of Wiley and ALPSP that makes Learned Publishing possible………(unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

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