Blogs selected for Week October 28, 2019 to November 3, 2019 -

1. Publish or perish: The cost of reformatting academic papers

You've probably heard the expression "publish or perish," which describes the pressure to publish research in order to succeed in an academic career. You'd think that conducting the research needed to write a paper would be the hard part - and it is. But publishing isn't easy either, a new Stanford-led study in PLOS One emphasizes. Even top researchers often have to submit papers to multiple journals before getting one to accept it. This process is very time consuming and frankly a bit painful for most authors. Jennifer Huber, in this post in Stanford Medicine’s Scope Blog, discusses a new study that quantifies the pain and cost of a key part of this resubmission process -- reformatting the manuscript to another journal's guidelines.

The Blog post says (quote): The survey asked about the time spent by the participating authors and their entire research team to reformat resubmissions for their recent paper. Participants also gave input on the overall reformatting process and how it could be improved. The study found that most of the 203 authors spent 1 to 3 days or more on reformatting alone, which delayed resubmissions by over two weeks in most instances and up to three months for 20% of the manuscripts. ……. (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here

2. Leveraging a transformative agreement to incentives funder spend

Press releases announcing a new transformative agreement between a publisher and a library or library consortium hardly cause any notice these days. But, while read-and-publish agreements abound and have quickly settled into a predictable structure, the recently announced agreement between SAGE Publishing and UNC-Chapel Hill represents an interesting innovation. The agreement converts subscription spend to open access support at a cost-neutral level for the University Libraries but then combines that agreement with mechanisms for funder engagement as well as a “rebate” model that increases the value of funder spend for the University Libraries. In this post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, looks at if a library/publisher agreement can attract funder spend.

The Blog post says (quote): Intriguingly, while the agreement is cost-neutral for the University Libraries, it will be either revenue neutral for SAGE or likely revenue positive. The possibility of the agreement being revenue neutral is easy to explain as it is obvious that UNC-Chapel Hill is making the same payment that it would have made for subscription-only. The possibility of the agreement being revenue positive requires understanding how monies from funders are brought into this agreement. ……. (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here

3. Scientist Led or Mission Oriented – How much does it cost research funders to lead science?

Across national research systems, decisions about what research is funded are influenced by both researchers themselves, and policymakers with national priorities. However, beyond short term change in response to grants, it is unclear how the latter mission oriented form of research funding affects research practices over the long term. In this post in the LSE Impact Blog, Kyle Myers, shows that the funding needed to actually alter research trajectories over longer periods of time may in fact be higher than expected.

The Blog post says (quote): The NIH balances this tradeoff by using a combination of both investigator-initiated grants, as well as a number of “targeted” grant mechanisms that solicit proposals for particular types of research. These targeted mechanisms request ideas that focus on a particular disease, methodology, or population, and have become increasingly popular. But the NIH, and most other scientific funding agencies, has long assumed that scientists will be willing to adjust their research trajectories in response to these sorts of targeted grants or mission-oriented policies. However, whether these adjustments actually occur in practice – do scientists do what policymakers ask them to? — And just how costly they are to induce, has been unclear. ……. (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here

4. Citation Contamination: References to Predatory Journals in the Legitimate Scientific Literature

This post by Rick Anderson, in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, is based on a presentation given at the 6th annual World Conference on Research Integrity, in Hong Kong, June 2019. His objective with this small research project was to get an idea of whether (and, if so, to what extent) articles published in predatory journals are being cited in the legitimate scientific literature.To that end, he identified seven journals that had revealed their predatory nature when they were exposed by one of four different “sting” operations, each of which had clearly demonstrated that the journal in question will (despite its public claims of peer-reviewed rigor) either publish nonsense in return for payment of article-processing charges, or take on as an editor someone with no qualifications.

The Blog post says (quote): Despite the paper’s obviously fictional and even absurd nature, it was accepted for publication in these four journals, thus demonstrating that despite their claims, they do not actually exercise any meaningful editorial oversight or peer review, but in fact will publish anything submitted as long as the author is willing to pay an article processing charge — and will then falsely represent that article to the scholarly world as legitimate, peer-reviewed science. ……. (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here

5. How a small learned society is paving the way for a big change in open access

In the same way that microbiology research answers big questions by studying small organisms, the Microbiology Society is now showing us how small learned societies can address the big challenge of open access (OA). Kathryn Spiller, in her post in the Jisc Blog, discusses how Plan S triggered a collective response from not-for-profit publishers, and the formation of the Society Publishers’ Coalition (SocPC), of which Microbiology Society was a founding member.

The Blog post says (quote): Recognising the importance of societies to the scholarly communication ecosystem, and in response to the SocPC statement, the Wellcome Trust and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), in partnership with the ALPSP, initiated the Society Publishers Accelerating Open Access and Plan S project (SPA-OPS). At the same time, the Wellcome Trust agreed to fund extra resource for Jisc, specifically to work with small learned society publishers to enable them to develop compliant transformative agreements. ……. (Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here

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