Opening Up Communication: Assessing Open Access Practices in the Communication Studies Discipline

Author : Teresa Auch Schultz


Open access (OA) citation effect studies have looked at a number of disciplines but not yet the field of communication studies. This study researched how communication studies fare with the open access citation effect, as well as whether researchers follow their journal deposit policies.


The study tracked 920 articles published in 2011 and 2012 from 10 journals and then searched for citations and an OA version using the program Publish or Perish. Deposit policies of each of the journals were gathered from SHERPA/RoMEO and used to evaluate OA versions.


From the sample, 42 percent had OA versions available. Of those OA articles, 363 appeared to violate publisher deposit policies by depositing the version of record, but the study failed to identify post-print versions for 87 percent of the total sample for the journals that allowed it.

All articles with an OA version had a median of 17 citations, compared to only nine citations for non-OA articles.

Discussion & Conclusion

The citation averages, which are statistically significant, show a positive correlation between OA and the number of citations.

The study also shows communication studies researchers are taking part in open access but perhaps without the full understanding of their publisher’s policies.

URL : Opening Up Communication: Assessing Open Access Practices in the Communication Studies Discipline


Social Science Data Repositories in Data Deluge: A Case Study at ICPSR Workflow and Practices

Authors :  Wei Jeng, Daqing He, Yu Chi


We conducted two focus group sessions and one individual interview with eight employees at the world’s largest social science data repository, the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

By examining their current actions (activities regarding their work responsibilities) and IT practices, we studied the barriers and challenges of archiving and curating qualitative data at ICPSR.


Due to the recent surge of interest in the age of the data deluge, the importance of researching data infrastructures is increasing. The Open Archival Information System (OAIS) model has been widely adopted as a framework for creating and maintaining digital repositories.

Considering that OAIS is a reference model that requires customization for actual practice, this study examines how the current practices in a data repository map to the OAIS environment and functional components.


We observed that the OAIS model is robust and reliable in actual service processes for data curation and data archives. In addition, a data repository’s workflow resembles digital archives or even digital libraries.

On the other hand, we find that: 1) the cost of preventing disclosure risk and 2) a lack of agreement on the standards of text data files are the most apparent obstacles for data curation professionals to handle qualitative data; 3) the maturation of data metrics seems to be a promising solution to several challenges in social science data sharing.

Original value

We evaluated the gap between a research data repository’s current practices and the adoption of the OAIS model. We also identified answers to questions such as how current technological infrastructure in a leading data repository such as ICPSR supports their daily operations, what the ideal technologies in those data repositories would be, and the associated challenges that accompany these ideal technologies.

Most importantly, we helped to prioritize challenges and barriers from the data curator’s perspective, and contribute implications of data sharing and reuse in social sciences.


Current Status of Chinese Open Access Institutional Repositories: A Case Study

Authors : K. C. Das, Kunwar Singh

The present study mainly focuses on the current status of Chinese Open Access Institutional Repositories: A Case Study.The present study attempts to determine the current status of open access institutional repositories in China based on the four key constraints, i.e. number of IRs, types, subjects and contents and software used.

To fulfill the specified objectives, the Open access institutional repositories in China were identified by selecting the database of Directory of Open Access Repositories (Open DOAR) and the data were collected analysed for the necessary information.

The study highlights the current status of open access institutional repositories in China and its contribution to a global knowledge base.

URL : Current Status of Chinese Open Access Institutional Repositories: A Case Study

Penser les relations médiatiques du livre et de l’hypertexte à partir de 253 de Geoff Ryman et Luminous Airplanes de Paul La Farge

Auteur/Author : Gaëlle Debeaux

À travers deux exemples d’œuvres romanesques contemporaines à cheval sur deux médias, cet article vise à analyser les processus de remédiatisation et de transmédiatisation qui impliquent le développement narratif d’un récit à la fois dans un livre et dans un hypertexte.

Il s’agit de chercher à comprendre comment on peut transposer la logique hypertextuelle en logique livresque, et comment on raconte des histoires sur ces deux dispositifs, comment une même histoire peut être développée d’un dispositif à l’autre.


TrueReview: A Platform for Post-Publication Peer Review

Authors : Luca de Alfaro, Marco Faella

In post-publication peer review, scientific contributions are first published in open-access forums, such as arXiv or other digital libraries, and are subsequently reviewed and possibly ranked and/or evaluated.

Compared to the classical process of scientific publishing, in which review precedes publication, post-publication peer review leads to faster dissemination of ideas, and publicly-available reviews. The chief concern in post-publication reviewing consists in eliciting high-quality, insightful reviews from participants.

We describe the mathematical foundations and structure of TrueReview, an open-source tool we propose to build in support of post-publication review.

In TrueReview, the motivation to review is provided via an incentive system that promotes reviews and evaluations that are both truthful (they turn out to be correct in the long run) and informative (they provide significant new information).

TrueReview organizes papers in venues, allowing different scientific communities to set their own submission and review policies. These venues can be manually set-up, or they can correspond to categories in well-known repositories such as arXiv.

The review incentives can be used to form a reviewer ranking that can be prominently displayed alongside papers in the various disciplines, thus offering a concrete benefit to reviewers. The paper evaluations, in turn, reward the authors of the most significant papers, both via an explicit paper ranking, and via increased visibility in search.



Anticipated effects of an open access policy at a private foundation

Author : Eesha Khare, Carly Strasser

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF) was interested in understanding the potential effects of a policy requiring open access to peer-reviewed publications resulting from the research the foundation funds.

To explore this question, we collected data on more than 2000 publications in over 500 journals that were generated by GBMF grantees since 2001. We then examined the journal policies to establish how two possible open access policies might have affected grantee publishing habits.

We found that 99.3% of the articles published by grantees would have complied with a policy that requires open access within 12 months of publication. We also estimated the annual costs to GBMF for covering fees associated with « gold open access » to be between $250,000 and $2,500,000 annually.


Strengthening institutional data management and promoting data sharing in the social and economic sciences

Authors : Monika Linne, Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen

In the German social and economic sciences there is a growing awareness of flexible data distribution and research data reuse, especially as increasing numbers of research funders recommend publishing research data as the basis for scientific insight.

However, a data-sharing mentality has not yet been established in Germany attributable to researchers’ strong reservations about publishing their data.

This attitude is exacerbated by the fact that, at present, there is no trusted national data sharing repository that covers the particular requirements of institutions regarding research data.

This article discusses how this objective can be achieved with the project initiative SowiDataNet.

The development of a community-driven data repository is a logically consistent and important step towards an attitude shift concerning data sharing in the social and economic sciences.