Blogs selected for Week September 28 to October 4, 2020 -



1. Guest post — On clarifying the goals of a peer review taxonomy

Author: Micah Altman, Philip N. Cohen

Under pressure from both researchers and consumers of research, the practice of peer review is changing and new models are proliferating. Recently, the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers (STM), a major academic publishing association (representing academic societies, commercial publishers, and scholarly publishing organisations), has made an effort to categorise these disparate models, which resulted in a draft from their Working Group on Peer Review Taxonomy. This comment emerged as a response to their call for feedback to the proposal. The proposal draft would be clarified by an explicit, clear, and detailed discussion of how it would add value in these or other scenarios, what outcomes or performance indicators might be used to evaluate its success, and what ultimate goals these outcomes advance.

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. Making the news: Who’s tired of peer review? and COVID-19 round-up

Author: Sarah Richardson

Under the headline, ‘Western peer reviewers most sought after and ‘fatigued’,’ Research Professional News recently reported the results of a survey from academic publisher IOP Publishing. The survey found that 40% of US, German and UK reviewers complained of receiving too many review requests. IOP, which has a portfolio of more than 90 journals in physics, surveyed more than 1200 researchers across the globe. By contrast to their Western counterparts, only 12% of Chinese reviewers said they receive too many requests, while 28% of Indian reviewers—far higher than average—said they had more time to spend on peer review.

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. For academic publishing to be trans-inclusive, authors must be allowed to retroactively change their names

Author: Dr. Lilian Hunt

Many trans researchers change their names to match their gender identity. However, there is currently no clear, simple, or standardised way for publications to be updated to reflect this. As a result, many trans authors are caught between losing their publication record and involuntarily being ousted. Lilian Hunt explains the existing name change policies and outlines the experiences of trans researchers in the current system. She calls on publishers to adopt processes that will allow authors to retroactively change their name and highlights the good practice that the coalition, EDIS- Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Science- has spearheaded.

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. Guest post — Why federated access matters: One library’s pandemic story

Author: Emily Singley

Why federated access? Because during the pandemic the one major vendor, in the Scholarly Publishing setup, is Elsevier — saw usage go up, not down. This came as a complete surprise: previously, almost all Elsevier access had been coming through IP, with only a tiny percentage through federated. But once the students went off campus, federated access rose sharply. It seemed now off-campus users understood federated access better than IP. Federated access requires a SAML authentication infrastructure as well as membership in an identity federation — two things that are normally controlled by IT, not the library.

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Copyright and licensing in the time of COVID-19

Author: Roy Kaufman

Fortunately, photocopying is relatively inexpensive, and low-cost materials – whether they are in the public domain, are commercially-published materials protected by traditional copyright or are Open Educational Resources (OERs) protected by Creative Commons licenses or otherwise – can make up the bulk of the copies. Also, many publishers have been lowering copyright license fees to enable reuse while students are home. The longer the pandemic lasts, the more important it becomes for the education community to learn about copyright, and the more important it becomes for the creative community to continue to offer easy licensing solutions that meet the ever-changing – and indeed not yet known – needs of the classroom.

The full entry can be read: Here.

6. Peer review, DORA, and science

Author: Haakon Gjerløw

This blog discusses the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and how its criticism of the use of publication metrics in research assessment relates to peer review in journals. The system of peer review and the hierarchy of journal prestige are tightly connected for two reasons. First, more prestigious journals attract more prestigious, and hopefully better, reviewers. Second, when researchers review for more prestigious journals, they are stricter than when reviewing for less prestigious journals, since they are aware that more stringent expectations are placed on the editorial process. The goal of peer review is to demand the proper use of the toolkit for anything that wants the stamp of science.

The full entry can be read: Here.

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