Open and inclusive collaboration in science: A framework

Authors : Qian Dai, Eunjung Shin, Carthage Smith

Open science can be variously defined.  In some communities it is related principally to open access to scientific publications, for others it includes open access to research data and for others still it includes  opening  up  the  processes  of  academic  research  to  engage  all  interested  civil  society  stakeholders.

The  absence  of  a  common  understanding  of  what  is,  and  isn’t,  included  in  open  science  creates  confusion  in discussions  across  these  different  communities.  It  is  potentially  holding  back  efforts  to  develop  effective  policies for promoting open science at the international level.

This paper builds on the limited conceptual work that has been published to date and proposes a broad framework for open science. The framework is not  meant  to  be  prescriptive  but  should  help  different  communities  and  policy  makers  to  decide  on  their  own  priorities  within  the  open  science  space  and  to  better  visualise  how  these  priorities  link  to  different  stage of the scientific process and to different actors.

Such a framework can be useful also in considering how  best  to  incentivise  and  measure  various  aspects  of  open  science.  Digitalisation  is  fundamentally  changing  science  and  the  paper  lays  out  some  of  the  opportunities,  risks  and  major  policy  challenges  associated with these changes.


Trends in E-book Research: Review of Literature Published in 2016

Author : Rajendra Kumbhar

The research intended to identify current trends in research on e-books. Specifically it aimed to know the facets of e-books attended to by the research published during 2016. It also intended to review significant results and their supportive or contradictory nature with reference to each other.

For this review research literature on e-books was searched from LISA, Emerald, Ebsco, Google Scholar and other databases using the statement ‘e-books OR ebooks’. The query was restricted to journal articles published in English language during January to December 2016.

The review finds that the focus of current research on e-books is clearly on usage of e-books. Themes such as e-book collection development and management; search and discovery are also paid more attention to.

Usage of e-books by children is emerging as a prominent area of e-book research. Designing of e-books and e-book reading devices are also topics of interest to e-book researchers. Many non-LIS disciplines and professions have interest in researching e-books.

URL : Trends in E-book Research: Review of Literature Published in 2016

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Predatory Publishers using Spamming Strategies for Call for Papers and Review Requests : A Case Study

Author : Alexandru-Ionut Petrisor

Spam e-mail and calls from the predatory publishers are very similar in purpose: they are deceptive and produce material losses. Moreover, the predatory publishers show evolving strategies to lure potential victims, as their number increases. In an effort to help researchers defending against their constant menace, this article aims to identify a set of common features of spam e-mail and calls from predatory publishers.

The methodology consisted of a comparative analysis of data found on the Internet and e-mails received at several addresses during December 2017 – January 2018. The results indicate that concealed, fake or disguised identity of the sender and/or of the message, mass mailing, missing or useless opt-out option and an obvious commercial character are the most prominent common features.

Moreover, the location of predatory publishers is well disguised; the analysis of the real location, found using web-based tools, suggests a joint management or at least a concerted action of several publishers, and raises additional questions related to the reasons of masking the true location.

From a theoretical standpoint, the results show, once again, that predatory publishers are a part of the worldwide scam, and should be ‘convicted’ in a similar way, including the means of legal actions. From a practical perspective, distinct recommendations were phrased for researchers, policy makers, libraries, and future research.

URL : Predatory Publishers using Spamming Strategies for Call for Papers and Review Requests : A Case Study

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Electronic Information Resource Optimisation in Academic Libraries: A Comparative Study on Licensing Provision of Commercial Publisher

Authors : Arvind Kumar Singh, Bhaskar Mukherjee

Electronic information resources are increasingly become an important component of the collection-building activities of libraries. This paper attempts to understand how far the licenses of commercial publishers support resource optimisation in general and what other important issues that are usually ignored by publishers, knowingly or unknowingly, but are essential for better resource optimisation.

Five international publishers namely Elsevier, EBSCO, Sage, Springer, and Taylor & Francis were identified and analysed their agreements that are available in public domain with some model agreements like Liblicense model and model license developed by John Cox Associate.

Study indicates that core part of the negotiations still remain price, IP access, display, ILL/document supply, etc. while important issues like perpetual access, archiving, self-archiving, copy of individual articles and share the same for non-commercial use by authorised users were minor issues of the contract.

Furthermore, most of the obligations of the publishers that are identified as core issues in Liblicense model are also absent in commercial publishers’ license. A greater awareness of this to library managers is essential.

They must be acquainted with the clause of the license agreement of commercial publishers and must negotiate to that extent so that the access should be uninterrupted.

URL : Electronic Information Resource Optimisation in Academic Libraries: A Comparative Study on Licensing Provision of Commercial Publisher

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Data sharing in PLOS ONE: An analysis of Data Availability Statements

Authors : Lisa M. Federer, Christopher W. Belter, Douglas J. Joubert, Alicia Livinski, Ya-Ling Lu, Lissa N. Snyders, Holly Thompson

A number of publishers and funders, including PLOS, have recently adopted policies requiring researchers to share the data underlying their results and publications. Such policies help increase the reproducibility of the published literature, as well as make a larger body of data available for reuse and re-analysis.

In this study, we evaluate the extent to which authors have complied with this policy by analyzing Data Availability Statements from 47,593 papers published in PLOS ONE between March 2014 (when the policy went into effect) and May 2016.

Our analysis shows that compliance with the policy has increased, with a significant decline over time in papers that did not include a Data Availability Statement. However, only about 20% of statements indicate that data are deposited in a repository, which the PLOS policy states is the preferred method.

More commonly, authors state that their data are in the paper itself or in the supplemental information, though it is unclear whether these data meet the level of sharing required in the PLOS policy.

These findings suggest that additional review of Data Availability Statements or more stringent policies may be needed to increase data sharing.

URL : Data sharing in PLOS ONE: An analysis of Data Availability Statements


Reflections on the Future of Research Curation and Research Reproducibility

Authors : John Baillieul, Gerry Grenier, Gianluca Setti

In the years since the launch of the World Wide Web in 1993, there have been profoundly transformative changes to the entire concept of publishing—exceeding all the previous combined technical advances of the centuries following the introduction of movable type in medieval Asia around the year 10001 and the subsequent large-scale commercialization of printing several centuries later by J. Gutenberg (circa 1440).

Periodicals in print—from daily newspapers to scholarly journals—are now quickly disappearing, never to return, and while no publishing sector has been unaffected, many scholarly journals are almost unrecognizable in comparison with their counterparts of two decades ago.

To say that digital delivery of the written word is fundamentally different is a huge understatement. Online publishing permits inclusion of multimedia and interactive content that add new dimensions to what had been available in print-only renderings.

As of this writing, the IEEE portfolio of journal titles comprises 59 online only2 (31%) and 132 that are published in both print and online. The migration from print to online is more stark than these numbers indicate because of the 132 periodicals that are both print and online, the print runs are now quite small and continue to decline.

In short, most readers prefer to have their subscriptions fulfilled by digital renderings only.


Redistributing Data Worlds: Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Democracy

Author : Jonathan Gray

Open data, defined as a set of ideas and conventions that transform information into a reusable public resource, is promoted for various purposes: to improve the transparency of public institutions, to create projects that strengthen democracy, to stimulate economic growth.

The social and technical infrastructures that support open data recompose the « worlds of data »: new social collectives are formed, new practices creating meaning appear. Transnational political initiatives are emerging. Far from being a simple « release » of data, it does not go without translation, mediation, and new social practices.

But can this movement serve as a basis for a richer democratic deliberation, or is it destined to socially institutionalize various forms of bureaucratization and commodification?