Blogs selected for Week January 7 to January 12, 2020 -

1. Who Is Competing to Own Researcher Identity?

The structural transition wrought by the internet continues to transform the journal-centric model of scholarly publishing into a researcher-centric model of scholarly communication. Success requires engagement with researcher identity, which is a struggle even for most of the largest publishing houses. Who is competing to own researcher identity and how can other publishers engage this vital role? This is the question Roger C. Schonfeld is trying to address through this post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog.

The Blog post says (quote): Perhaps the most important point of competition is between Elsevier and ResearchGate. Many publishers are in a battle royale against ResearchGate; angered by the leakage they see ResearchGate fostering. But Elsevier, which has a competing identity instance and researcher-centric set of services, has a unique rationale for leading the battle against ResearchGate — to promote its investment in analytics and defend against its most significant competition. In contrast, SpringerNature publicly, and others more privately, have examined opportunities to collaborate with ResearchGate. While no major publishing house would likely wish to rely on ResearchGate as the exclusive intermediary for its interactions with researchers, Elsevier has had a particular competitive rationale for pursuing the copyright litigation. ........... (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. Study: Recommender Systems May Increase Citations

TrendMD may drive traffic, saves, and citations, according to a new study by the founders and employees of TrendMD. Deeper analysis of their results reveal overstated results and a lack of context. Phil Davis, in his post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, looks at if these papers should be considered sound science just another form of marketing?

The Blog post says (quote): While I’m convinced that TrendMD has some beneficial effect on the dissemination of related research (as measured by Mendeley saves and Scopus citations), I have a hard time putting this paper in sufficient context to understand these benefits. For instance, we don’t know how TrendMD compares to other article recommender systems. Does TrendMD’s recommender algorithm do a better job (click-through rate) than other algorithms? Are TrendMD links more likely to be selected than the author’s own reference links? Does placement matter? Does the relevancy of recommendations change as the TrendMD network expands, and is their algorithm biased to provide preferential treatment to some journals, publishers, or authors than others?........... (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

Science and technology are propelled forward by the sharing of knowledge. Yet despite their vital importance in today’s innovation-driven economy, our knowledge infrastructures have failed to scale with today’s rapid pace of research and discovery. The many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies, notes James W. Weis, Amy Brand and Joi Ito, in this post in the Inside Higher Ed.

The Blog post says (quote): In conclusion, if we in higher education are to realize the transformative promise of the web for science and scholarship, the control of knowledge infrastructure needs to transition from a commercial oligopoly to academically owned and managed partnerships. For that to occur, universities must continue to assert greater authority over systems for knowledge representation, dissemination and preservation. That will require not only building new open-source tools and protocols but also constructing new platforms for peer review, attribution and impact tracking that actively reward novel and high-quality ideas. ........... (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. Articles in ‘predatory' journals receive few or no citations

Six of every 10 articles published in a sample of “predatory" journals attracted not one single citation over a 5-year period, according to a new study. Like many open-access journals, predatory journals charge authors to publish, but they offer little or no peer review or other quality controls and often use aggressive marketing tactics. The new study found that the few articles in predatory journals that received citations did so at a rate much lower than papers in conventional, peer-reviewed journals. The finding allays concerns that low-quality or misleading studies published in these journals are getting undue attention, says Jeffrey Brainard in this post in the Sciencemag Blog.

The Blog post says (quote): The number of predatory journals has ballooned in recent years, raising alarm among researchers. Previous studies found that their authors are predominantly in Africa and Asia and that some turn to predatory journals for speed and ease of publication, or to satisfy institutional requirements to publish. But some observers fear these journals enable a proliferation of mediocre or flawed research. Others worry authors may use them to spread misinformation—for example, about climate change or vaccine safety—knowing that reputable refereed journals would not accept it. ........... (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. How to access Paywalled Scientific Journal articles

Any time you see splashy headlines about a new study, or some marketer says that “studies show” their diet or product has a certain effect, chances are they’re talking about a paper in a journal that you have dicey odds of being able to access. Fortunately, there are ways to get your eyeballs on some of these journal articles without resorting to outright piracy — and without paying exorbitant per-article fees, notes Beth Skwarecki, in this post in the Lifehacker.

The Blog post says (quote): I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who pays per-article fees. If you read papers as part of your job or classwork, you’ll quickly go bankrupt paying $50 for every paper you need to skim. I suspect the journals’ business model here is for the $50 fee to be a barrier to entry, something that makes you go away if you’re not serious, and find a university library subscription if you are. Open-access journals work a little differently. Their papers are free to read, but the authors have to pay a fee — say, $4000 — so that the publisher still gets paid............ (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

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