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Blogs selected for Week October 26 to November 1, 2015 -

1. Open Access at a Crossroads

Last week marked the annual celebration/marketing event that is Open Access Week, and this year it seemed something of a mixed bag. Open access (OA) is growing into maturity, and has rapidly become integrated into the scholarly publishing landscape over the last fifteen or so years. We have now reached a point where experiments have been in place for a while and results can be analyzed. Early assumptions can now be measured and the move to OA seems to have reached something of a crossroads, notes David Crotty, in his post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog.

The blog post says (quote): The list of business model problems and unintended economic consequences goes on. The largest commercial publishers seem to be reaping significant profits from OA, likely due to the benefits of much greater scale, further concentrating power (and profits) in the hands of this sector of the industry. Productive institutions are doing their own calculations and realizing that OA would cause them to shoulder a greater financial burden then they already carry. Libraries are struggling with the administrative expense caused by inadequately funded policies. Costly and effort-consuming repositories are increasingly looking incomplete and potentially irrelevant due to networks like ResearchGate and, for-profit, venture capital-driven businesses built to spy on researchers and sell their data to the highest bidder............ (Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

2. An antidote to futility: Why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously

Blogs are now an established part of the chattersphere/public conversation, especially in international development circles, but Duncan Green, in his post in The Impact Blog, finds academic take-up lacking. Here he outlines the major arguments for taking blogging and social media seriously. It doesn’t need to become another onerous time-commitment. Reading a blog should be like listening to the person talk, but with links.

The blog post says (quote): Blogs are now an established part of the chattersphere/public conversation, so you get a chance to put your favourite ideas out there, and spin those of others. People in your organisation may well read your blogs and tweets even if they don’t read your emails. Blogging is a great antidote to that feeling of anticlimax and futility that comes after you send off the paper or the book manuscript, and suddenly the true indifference of the universe becomes apparent. You can keep discussing and communicating with interesting people, and keep the existential crisis at bay.............. (Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

3. Negative Citations For Papers - Who Writes Them And Why Distance Makes It More Likely

Citations are a time-honored measure now used to assess scholarly standing and evaluate academic productivity by funding committees that control government research. For that reason, citations that are critical in nature, and point out limitations, inconsistencies or flaws in previous work, can be detrimental. This post in the Science 2.0 Blog discusses a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, according to which negative citations are more likely to criticize highly-read papers, they tended to originate from scholars who were close to the authors of the original articles in academic discipline and social distance - but at least 150 miles away geographically.

The blog post says (quote): The researchers found that while negative citations tended to come from scientists close to the narrow academic topic, the criticism was more likely to involve geographic distance. "We see that the probability of making a negative citation is much, much lower if you are co-located with the scientist whose work is being critiqued," Oettl said. "That potentially speaks to the social component, the social cost of criticism - you don't want to criticize someone you may run into on campus. Another possible interpretation is that these issues may be aired face-to-face among scientists who are located near each other geographically.".............. (unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

4. Survey: What Do Authors Expect From Peer Review?

The vast majority of academic authors are supportive of peer review, believe that the process improves their manuscripts and, if done properly to blind identities, helps to minimize discrimination, a recent study reports. In this post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, Phil Davis discusses the online survey in the white paper, "Peer review in 2015: A global view" released by Taylor & Francis.

The blog post says (quote): If publishers are sincere in their intention to learn about how to improve peer review, the first step is to stop thinking about peer review as a concept and start thinking of it as a toolbox. While this change in thinking may seem like a simple rhetorical flip, it fundamentally changes the way we pose our investigation, from a marketing approach, "What do authors expect from peer review?" to a scientific approach, "Can we identify specific problems and develop tools to solve them?" Surveys, like T&F’s Peer Review in 2015, looks at peer review from a marketing perspective. Regretably, an approach that allows respondents to rate and rank tools based on their overall popularity is not going to improve our understanding of which tools work best in any particular situation............. (Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

5. The changing nature of scientific publishing #pubnperish

Stockholm University Press (SUP) attended the seminar Publish and Perish at the Young Academy Of Sweden on September 30. This post from the Stockholm University Press Blog looks at the discussions held at the seminar. The seminar focused on the rapidly changing nature of scientific publishing, peer review and evaluation among young scientists and their research.

The blog post says (quote): The theme on what is good science went on to focusing on the actual research and data published, not success or ranking. This was something Brandon Stell (Introducing PubPeer) and Tommy Olsson (Open Access Publishing with arXiv) talked about. By having papers freely accessible on line, communities and specialist on a subject or topic could do reviews; give response and comments to papers. It’s an effective and quick way for young scientists to go on with their research and get response on their research............. (Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

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