Are funder Open Access platforms a good idea?

Authors : Tony Ross-Hellauer​, Birgit Schmidt, Bianca Kramer

As open access to publications continues to gather momentum we should continuously question whether it is moving in the right direction. A novel intervention in this space is the creation of open access publishing platforms commissioned by funding organisations. Examples include those of the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation, as well as recently announced initiatives from public funders like the European Commission and the Irish Health Research Board.

As the number of such platforms increases, it becomes urgently necessary to assess in which ways, for better or worse, this emergent phenomenon complements or disrupts the scholarly communications landscape.

This article examines ethical, organisational and economic strengths and weaknesses of such platforms, as well as usage and uptake to date, to scope the opportunities and threats presented by funder open access platforms in the ongoing transition to open access.

The article is broadly supportive of the aims and current implementations of such platforms, finding them a novel intervention which stand to help increase OA uptake, control costs of OA, lower administrative burden on researchers, and demonstrate funders’ commitment to fostering open practices.

However, the article identifies key areas of concern about the potential for unintended consequences, including the appearance of conflicts of interest, difficulties of scale, potential lock-in and issues of the branding of research.

The article ends with key recommendations for future consideration which include a focus on open scholarly infrastructure.

URL : Are funder Open Access platforms a good idea?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.26954v1

Survey on open peer review: Attitudes and experience amongst editors, authors and reviewers

Authors : Tony Ross-Hellauer, Arvid Deppe, Birgit Schmidt

Open peer review (OPR) is a cornerstone of the emergent Open Science agenda. Yet to date no large-scale survey of attitudes towards OPR amongst academic editors, authors, reviewers and publishers has been undertaken.

This paper presents the findings of an online survey, conducted for the OpenAIRE2020 project during September and October 2016, that sought to bridge this information gap in order to aid the development of appropriate OPR approaches by providing evidence about attitudes towards and levels of experience with OPR.

The results of this cross-disciplinary survey, which received 3,062 full responses, show the majority (60.3%) of respondents to be believe that OPR as a general concept should be mainstream scholarly practice (although attitudes to individual traits varied, and open identities peer review was not generally favoured). Respondents were also in favour of other areas of Open Science, like Open Access (88.2%) and Open Data (80.3%).

Among respondents we observed high levels of experience with OPR, with three out of four (76.2%) reporting having taken part in an OPR process as author, reviewer or editor.

There were also high levels of support for most of the traits of OPR, particularly open interaction, open reports and final-version commenting. Respondents were against opening reviewer identities to authors, however, with more than half believing it would make peer review worse.

Overall satisfaction with the peer review system used by scholarly journals seems to strongly vary across disciplines. Taken together, these findings are very encouraging for OPR’s prospects for moving mainstream but indicate that due care must be taken to avoid a “one-size fits all” solution and to tailor such systems to differing (especially disciplinary) contexts.

OPR is an evolving phenomenon and hence future studies are to be encouraged, especially to further explore differences between disciplines and monitor the evolution of attitudes.

URL : Survey on open peer review: Attitudes and experience amongst editors, authors and reviewers

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0189311

Research Data Services in European Academic Research Libraries

Authors : Carol Tenopir, Sanna Talja, Wolfram Horstmann, Elina Late, Dane Hughes, Danielle Pollock, Birgit Schmidt, Lynn Baird, Robert J. Sandusky, Suzie Allard

Research data is an essential part of the scholarly record, and management of research data is increasingly seen as an important role for academic libraries.

This article presents the results of a survey of directors of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) academic member libraries to discover what types of research data services (RDS) are being offered by European academic research libraries and what services are planned for the future.

Overall, the survey found that library directors strongly agree on the importance of RDS. As was found in earlier studies of academic libraries in North America, more European libraries are currently offering or are planning to offer consultative or reference RDS than technical or hands-on RDS.

The majority of libraries provide support for training in skills related to RDS for their staff members. Almost all libraries collaborate with other organizations inside their institutions or with outside institutions in order to offer or develop policy related to RDS.

We discuss the implications of the current state of RDS in European academic research libraries, and offer directions for future research.

URL : Research Data Services in European Academic Research Libraries

DOI : http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10180

Stepping up Open Science Training for European Research

Authors : Birgit Schmidt, Astrid Orth, Gwen Franck, Iryna Kuchma, Petr Knoth, José Carvalho

Open science refers to all things open in research and scholarly communication: from publications and research data to code, models and methods as well as quality evaluation based on open peer review.

However, getting started with implementing open science might not be as straightforward for all stakeholders. For example, what do research funders expect in terms of open access to publications and/or research data?

Where and how to publish research data? How to ensure that research results are reproducible? These are all legitimate questions and, in particular, early career researchers may benefit from additional guidance and training.

In this paper we review the activities of the European-funded FOSTER project which organized and supported a wide range of targeted trainings for open science, based on face-to-face events and on a growing suite of e-learning courses.

This article reviews the approach and experiences gained from the first two years of the project.

URL : Stepping up Open Science Training for European Research

Alternative location : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/4/2/16

Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Electronic Publishing

Editors : Fernando Loizides, Birgit Schmidt

The field of electronic publishing has grown exponentially in the last two decades, but we are still in the middle of this digital transformation. With technologies coming and going for all kinds of reasons, the distribution of economic, technological and discursive power continues to be negotiated.

This book presents the proceedings of the 20th Conference on Electronic Publishing (Elpub), held in Göttingen, Germany, in June 2016.

This year’s conference explores issues of positioning and power in academic publishing, and it brings together world leading stakeholders such as academics, practitioners, policymakers, students and entrepreneurs from a wide variety of fields to exchange information and discuss the advent of innovations in the areas of electronic publishing, as well as reflect on the development in the field over the last 20 years.

Topics covered in the papers include how to maintain the quality of electronic publications, modeling processes and the increasingly prevalent issue of open access, as well as new systems, database repositories and datasets. This overview of the field will be of interest to all those who work in or make use of electronic publishing.

URL : Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Electronic Publishing

Alternative location : http://ebooks.iospress.nl/ISBN/978-1-61499-648-4