Science and Facebook: the same popularity law!

Authors : Zoltán Néda, Levente Varga, Tamás S. Biró

The distribution of scientific citations for publications selected with different rules (author, topic, institution, country, journal, etc.) collapse on a single curve if one plots the citations relative to their mean value.

We find that the distribution of shares for the Facebook posts re-scale in the same manner to the very same curve with scientific citations. This finding suggests that citations are subjected to the same growth mechanism with Facebook popularity measures, being influenced by a statistically similar social environment and selection mechanism.

In a simple master-equation approach the exponential growth of the number of publications and a preferential selection mechanism leads to a Tsallis-Pareto distribution offering an excellent description for the observed statistics.

Based on our model and on the data derived from PubMed we predict that according to the present trend the average citations per scientific publications exponentially relaxes to about 4.


Quantifying the distribution of editorial power and manuscript decision bias at the mega-journal PLOS ONE

Author : Alexander M. Petersen

We analyzed the longitudinal activity of nearly 7,000 editors at the mega-journal PLOS ONE over the 10-year period 2006-2015. Using the article-editor associations, we develop editor-specific measures of power, activity, article acceptance time, citation impact, and editorial renumeration (an analogue to self-citation).

We observe remarkably high levels of power inequality among the PLOS ONE editors, with the top-10 editors responsible for 3,366 articles — corresponding to 2.4% of the 141,986 articles we analyzed. Such high inequality levels suggest the presence of unintended incentives, which may reinforce unethical behavior in the form of decision-level biases at the editorial level.

Our results indicate that editors may become apathetic in judging the quality of articles and susceptible to modes of power-driven misconduct. We used the longitudinal dimension of editor activity to develop two panel regression models which test and verify the presence of editor-level bias.

In the first model we analyzed the citation impact of articles, and in the second model we modeled the decision time between an article being submitted and ultimately accepted by the editor.

We focused on two variables that represent social factors that capture potential conflicts-of-interest: (i) we accounted for the social ties between editors and authors by developing a measure of repeat authorship among an editor’s article set, and (ii) we accounted for the rate of citations directed towards the editor’s own publications in the reference list of each article he/she oversaw.

Our results indicate that these two factors play a significant role in the editorial decision process. Moreover, these two effects appear to increase with editor age, which is consistent with behavioral studies concerning the evolution of misbehavior and response to temptation in power-driven environments.


Laying Tracks as the Train Approaches: Innovative Open Access Book Publishing at Heidelberg University from the Editors’ Point of View

Authors : Andrea Hacker, Elizabeth Corrao

In April 2016, Heidelberg University’s newly founded open access publisher heiUP launched the first volume of the new book series Heidelberg Studies in Transculturality.

This article reports on the challenges, accomplishments, and setbacks that informed the entire editorial production process, not only of the first volume but also of the series and the publishing enterprise overall.

The authors offer insights on crucial issues that any new open access publishing endeavour at an institution might face, namely acquiring manuscripts, designing and building workflows, and collaborating with partners to build an outlet for hosting the finished product.

This article also illustrates how the goal of providing a new digital reading experience through an innovative HTML format, in addition to print-on-demand and PDF versions of each manuscript, affected the progress of the entire project. Finally, we report on what it took to deliver results.


Data Reuse as a Prisoner’s Dilemma: the social capital of open science

Author : Bradly Alicea

Participation in Open Data initiatives require two semi-independent actions: the sharing of data produced by a researcher or group, and a consumer of shared data. Consumers of shared data range from people interested in validating the results of a given study to transformers of the data.

These transformers can add value to the dataset by extracting new relationships and information. The relationship between producers and consumers can be modeled in a game-theoretic context, namely by using a Prisoners’ Dilemma (PD) model to better understand potential barriers and benefits of sharing.

In this paper, we will introduce the problem of data sharing, consider assumptions about economic versus social payoffs, and provide simplistic payoff matrices of data sharing.

Several variations on the payoff matrix are given for different institutional scenarios, ranging from the ubiquitous acceptance of Open Science principles to a context where the standard is entirely non-cooperative. Implications for building a CC-BY economy are then discussed in context.

URL : Data Reuse as a Prisoner’s Dilemma: the social capital of open science


Openness of Spanish scholarly journals as measured by access and rights

Authors : Remedios Melero, Mikael Laakso, Miguel Navas-Fernández

Metrics regarding Open Access (OA) availability for readers and the enablers of redistribution of content published in scholarly journals, i.e. content licenses, copyright ownership, and publisher-stipulated self-archiving permissions are still scarce.

This study implements the four core variables (reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights) of the recently published Open Access Spectrum (OAS) to measure the level of openness in all 1728 Spanish scholarly journals listed in the Spanish national DULCINEA database at the end of 2015.

In order to conduct the analysis additional data has been aggregated from other bibliographic databases and through manual data collection (such data includes the journal research area, type of publisher, type of access, self-archiving and reuse policy, and potential type of Creative Commons (CC) licence used).

79% of journals allowed self-archiving in some form, 13.5% did not specify any copyright terms and 37% used CC licenses. From the total journals (1728), 1285 (74.5%) received the maximum score of 20 in reader rights. For 72% of journals, authors retain or publishers grant broad rights which include author reuse and authorisation rights (for others to re-use).

The OAS-compliant results of this study enable comparative studies to be conducted on other large populations of journals.


Publicisations, lettrures scientifiques et évolutions des modes éditoriaux

Auteur/Author : Gabriel Gallezot

Lettrure scientifique à l’ère du numérique.  La lettrure désigne de manière interdéterminée les activités de lecture et d’écriture perçues comme une seule et même activité, quand la littératie désigne selon l’OCDE (2000) « l’aptitude à comprendre et à utiliser l’information écrite dans la vie courante, à la maison, au travail et dans la collectivité en vue d’atteindre des buts personnels et d’étendre ses connaissances et ses capacités ».

Il y a donc l’activité de l’activité de lecture-écriture (lettrure) et l’aptitude à comprendre et à utiliser l’information écrite (littératie). Quelques 700 années séparent ces termes et cette appréhension de l’appropriation des objets culturels. Il sont aussi fortement liées par un processus, car c’est bien par un travail répété de lecture et d’écriture que l’on acquiert les connaissances qui permettent l’intelligibilité du monde sensible.

En contexte numérique les dispositifs de communication rendent indissociables les pratiques de lecture-écriture. Quand le « clavier » s’impose au « stylo »,  « l’écran » réuni le « livre » et « la page blanche », les blogs (et autres CMS) proposent un « web inscriptible », les réseaux sociaux négocient la « clôture du texte » et les moteurs de recherche ordonnent le « sommaire »… nos schémas cognitifs, nos pratiques informationnelles et communicationnelles se modifient.

Analyser « la lettrure scientifique à l’ère du numérique » c’est mettre en lumière ce processus, ces modifications en contexte scientifique. Le terme de Lettrure est ici préféré au terme Litteratie pour renforcer l’aspect « littérature savante » énoncé au 13e siècle, mais comme nous l’avons indiqué il s’agit bien de la même démarche reconduite, renouvelée par des techniques intellectuelles et dispositifs de communication.

URL : Publicisations, lettrures scientifiques et évolutions des modes éditoriaux

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Humanités numériques responsables

Auteur/Author : Bernard Reber

Les humanités numériques sont bien loin de se résumer aux seules sciences documentaires augmentées. Elles affectent les savoirs eux-mêmes. Cet article part donc des humanités dans leur origine historique pour comparer et lier de diverses manières les sciences qui lisent et celles qui comptent.

Il aborde également les façons dont ces sciences se répondent, un des sens de responsabilité (responsiveness). Nous esquisserons cinq itinéraires de pensée au sein des humanités numériques, entre technologies de l’information et de communication et sciences humaines et sociales.

Cela fera le lien entre les humanités numériques et la notion émergente, principalement en Europe, d’Innovation et de recherche responsables (IRR). Elle est différente des évaluations éthiques qui s’imposent déjà à toute recherche (Ethical complicance).

Celles qui comportent des technologies d’information (TIC) ont détrôné par leur nombre celles qui préoccupaient la bioéthique. Nous verrons alors la richesse des conceptions de la responsabilité morale. Nous terminerons avec des problèmes liés à l’ontologie des humanités numériques, à celle de l’action, et à la décontextualisation qu’elles induisent.