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

1. Revisiting — Transformative Agreements: A Primer

Do you know what is meant by the term “transformative agreement” or how “Read and Publish” deals are structured? Today we revisit the 2019 primer by @lisalibrarian explaining the basics concepts behind these increasingly important approaches. In this post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe Mariëlle Prevoo revisits the 2019 primer by @lisalibrarian explaining the basics concepts behind these increasingly important approaches.

The Blog post says (quote): There are many aspects of transformative agreements that are not stipulated by the emerging consensus definition. For example, whether the agreement includes all of the titles in a publisher’s portfolio, whether the agreement is inclusive of hybrid and fully open access journals in that portfolio, and whether the payment for open access publishing is structured ala carte or as an all-you-can-publish buffet-like offering are among the components that are not specifically addressed. A transformative agreement for a portion of a publisher’s portfolio may be supplemented by an additional agreement addressing other titles or provision of services...............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. Open science, publishing, and public research support: Could Trump have it right?

There’s no question that peer review is essential for evaluating and improving scientific manuscripts. But we don’t need profit-motivated publishers to take advantage of unpaid expert reviewers. The money universities would save on journal subscriptions with open science would go a long way toward a system that reduces costs to universities and students, compensates reviewers, and rates the quality of scientific contributions, notes Robert M. Kaplan in his post in the STAT.

The Blog post says (quote): There are nonmonetary problems related to commercial scientific publishing. For one, academic journals are snobby. Much of the research funded by taxpayers is never made public because the most prestigious journals publish only a highly selected subsample of completed research. Reports of research with less-stimulating results are delegated to the file drawer or to obscure journals. Studies with strong commercial backers, such as those supporting the value of an expensive pharmaceutical product, are not only published but are selectively spun in advertising.................(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. A broken system – why literature searching needs a FAIR revolution

The volume of academic research articles is increasing exponentially. However, the ease with which we are able to find these articles depends on the capabilities of the search systems that we use. These systems (bibliographic databases like Scopus and academic search engines like Google Scholar) act as important gatekeepers between authors and readers. A recent study found that many of these systems are difficult to use, non-transparent and do not adhere to scientific standards. As a result, researchers find fewer relevant records, searching takes longer, or does not have the necessary scientific rigour. In this post in the Social Sciences Blog, Neal Haddaway and Michael Gusenbauer argue that to address these issues academic searching needs to adopt the principles of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable), and be radically overhauled.

The Blog post says (quote): These issues are perhaps less significant in day-to-day searches, where we want to locate a particular research paper efficiently. However, systematic reviews in particular need to use rigorous, scientific methods in their quest for research evidence. Searches for articles must be as objective, reproducible and transparent as possible. With systems like Google Scholar, searches are not reproducible – a central tenet of the scientific method. Furthermore, it is virtually impossible to export results for documentation in systematic reviews/maps and if you try to manually download search results in bulk (as would be needed in a systematic review), your IP address is likely to be locked after a short time: an effort to stop ‘bots’ from reverse engineering the Google Scholar algorithm and the information in their databases................ (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. Most major journals’ peer review and preprint policies are unclear

Preprint and peer review policies at top journals, including chemistry ones, are often vague and imprecise. Rebecca Trager, in this post in the Chemistry World, discusses the findings of a survey of 171 major academic journals from across disciplines. The survey found that almost a third offer no information on the type of peer review they use, and nearly 40% have ambiguous rules about whether preprints can be posted or not. Roughly three-quarters of the journals lack clear policies on ‘co-reviewing’ of research papers, citation of preprint articles and publication of reviewer identities.

The Blog post says (quote): Of the disciplines that the team examined, the life and earth sciences have the clearest policies pertaining to preprints. The chemical and material sciences, as well as physics and mathematics, and health and medical sciences, are more clear about preprints than the average journal in the study’s sample..... ...........(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Guest Post: A Plea for Fairer Sharing of the True Costs of Publication

Imagine a university invoicing all graduating students for both the costs of their study program and the tuition fees of their peers who dropped out along the way. While this situation would strike most as unfair, something analogous happens in the world of scholarly publishing through the charging of open access fees. In this post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, Mariëlle Prevoo, Ron Aardening, and Ingrid Wijk from the Maastricht University Library, will explore how restructuring APC (Article Processing Charge) pricing can lead to fairer cost allocation in scholarly communication.

The Blog post says (quote): In the current APC model, the fee is only charged for published articles. The costs (and profits) of the publisher are therefore covered only by the publishing researchers, with high APCs as a result, particularly in selective journals. If we look at the value of the work done by the publisher in each phase of the publishing process, the publishing costs can be distributed more fairly. And, just as important, a researcher will think twice before submitting a paper to a ‘long shot’ journal..............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

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