Blogs selected for Week October 26 to November 1, 2020 -



1. In search of equity and justice: Reimagining scholarly communication

Author: Alison Mudditt

While open access is a critical piece of the equity puzzle in scholarly communication, there is a much deeper agenda at play here. PLOS has from the outset been focused on designing broad-scale systemic change. Recently, PLOS has been clear about the limit and barriers of the APC model and have begun to pilot alternatives, including new Community Action Publishing model. Understanding what it means to be ‘anti-racist’ is now the cornerstone of PLOS’ DEI work and has supported increased clarity around long-term strategic direction. A central goal of open access has always been to make access to research more equitable and democratic, but PLOS seeks to expand its vision and objectives.

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. Is pre-publication peer review essential for academic rigour?

Author: Marcus Banks

Roughly 10,000 preprints about the novel coronavirus were available on the preprint servers bioRxiv and medRxiv alone, a remarkable feat given that this virus has existed for less than a year. Collectively, these preprints have put vital research information into circulation much faster than would have been possible under the traditional academic publishing model, in which emerging knowledge is sequestered until it clears peer review. Although peer review has long been held up as the gold standard of academic publication, the flowering of preprints during the pandemic gives the lie to the fiction that pre-publication peer review is essential to ensuring scholarly rigour. In a fast-moving era of digital information, preprints should become the new normal.

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Six innovative examples of enhanced data and visualisations

Author: Dave Davis

Knowledge graphs are emerging as a graphical means of managing and more succinctly expressing the complex, interconnected relationships that result from processing a large volume of data from multiple sources. Knowledge graphs, while emerging as a powerful explanatory tool for researchers as well as for scholarly and scientific publishers, form but a single component in a larger trend of linked data and enhanced data visualisations — tools and components deployed with the aim of getting the most out of reported research results. In this blog, Dave Davis lists out few examples of some innovative data visualisations.

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. How do researchers evaluate research?

Author: PLOS blog

Recently, preprints have created new challenges for researchers who evaluate large amounts of new information outside of the traditional framework of journal peer review. The current system for assessing research is dominated by signifiers of impact. Since impact cannot be known until after time has passed, various proxies have been used that signal perceived, or the potential for, impact such as publication in a high Impact Factor journal. Many have suggested that the focus on proxies for impact in research assessment is at least in part due to the practical limitations in evaluating credibility and impact. By understanding the opportunities to better serve researchers’ needs to assess and discover new research than currently available methods, future research might include a quantitative initiative to validate the findings with a broader group of researchers.

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Guest post — Making the most out of virtual events: The publisher as vendor

Author: Colleen Scollans

Academic and library conferences are an important part of a publisher’s marketing mix. They present a high-impact opportunity to build brand, display new products, engage with customers, and discover new authors. Despite the numerous advantages of physical exhibits, they are costly both in financial and environmental terms. Event organisers are thinking creatively about their exhibit and sponsorship packages. Pre-event workshops, countdown to author showcases, and early access to the virtual booth are useful pre-event strategies. Post-event roundups and re-use of event content marketing assets offer increased promotional opportunity after the event.

The full entry can be read: Here.

6. Canada must embrace new digital developments in scholarly publishing

Author: Rowland Lorimer

In the magazine sector, Canada has produced over the years international innovators who commanded the highest ranks of the global magazine industry. In book publishing, Canadian authors are shortlisted for the world’s most prestigious literary and subject-oriented book prizes, and the presence of Canadian books on all manner of subjects in domestic and foreign markets spells continued success. In Canada, it is necessary to embrace investment in digital developments focused on journal publishing. Extending Canada’s publishing support programs to Canada’s research journals would bolster Canada’s participation in the knowledge economy and open a substantial, socially and personally rewarding sector and profession that has been expanding dramatically around the globe over the past few years.

The full entry can be read: Here.

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