Afraid of Scooping – Case Study on Researcher Strategies against Fear of Scooping in the Context of Open Science

Author : Heidi Laine

The risk of scooping is often used as a counter argument for open science, especially open data. In this case study I have examined openness strategies, practices and attitudes in two open collaboration research projects created by Finnish researchers, in order to understand what made them resistant to the fear of scooping.

The radically open approach of the projects includes open by default funding proposals, co-authorship and community membership. Primary sources used are interviews of the projects’ founding members.

The analysis indicates that openness requires trust in close peers, but not necessarily in research community or society at large. Based on the case study evidence, focusing on intrinsic goals, like new knowledge and bringing about ethical reform, instead of external goals such as publications, supports openness.

Understanding fundaments of science, philosophy of science and research ethics, can also have a beneficial effect on willingness to share. Whether there are aspects in open sharing that makes it seem riskier from the point of view of certain demographical groups within research community, such as women, could be worth closer inspection.

URL : Afraid of Scooping – Case Study on Researcher Strategies against Fear of Scooping in the Context of Open Science


Une brève histoire d’Okina

Auteurs/Authors : Stéphanie Bouvier, Daniel Bourrion

Ouverte à sa communauté en février 2015, Okina, l’archive ouverte institutionnelle de l’Université d’Angers, a été développée au sein d’un projet global autour de l’Open Access.

Les lignes qui suivent retracent l’histoire de cette archive et la manière dont Okina est née puis a été portée politiquement. Elles se penchent également sur les choix techniques comme stratégiques ou humains effectués le long du chemin, qui ont permis que de vagues idées se concrétisent dans un objet fonctionnel né de (presque) rien.


Assessing the utility of an institutional publications officer: a pilot assessment

Authors : Kelly D. Cobey, James Galipeau, Larissa Shamseer, David Moher


The scholarly publication landscape is changing rapidly. We investigated whether the introduction of an institutional publications officer might help facilitate better knowledge of publication topics and related resources, and effectively support researchers to publish.


In September 2015, a purpose-built survey about researchers’ knowledge and perceptions of publication practices was administered at five Ottawa area research institutions. Subsequently, we publicly announced a newly hired publications officer (KDC) who then began conducting outreach at two of the institutions.

Specifically, the publications officer gave presentations, held one-to-one consultations, developed electronic newsletter content, and generated and maintained a webpage of resources. In March 2016, we re-surveyed our participants regarding their knowledge and perceptions of publishing.

Mean scores to the perception questions, and the percent of correct responses to the knowledge questions, pre and post survey, were computed for each item. The difference between these means or calculated percentages was then examined across the survey measures.


82 participants completed both surveys. Of this group, 29 indicated that they had exposure to the publications officer, while the remaining 53 indicated they did not. Interaction with the publications officer led to improvements in half of the knowledge items (7/14 variables).

While improvements in knowledge of publishing were also found among those who reported not to have interacted with the publications officer (9/14), these effects were often smaller in magnitude. Scores for some publication knowledge variables actually decreased between the pre and post survey (3/14).

Effects for researchers’ perceptions of publishing increased for 5/6 variables in the group that interacted with the publications officer.


This pilot provides initial indication that, in a short timeframe, introducing an institutional publications officer may improve knowledge and perceptions surrounding publishing.

This study is limited by its modest sample size and temporal relationship between the introduction of the publications officer and changes in knowledge and perceptions. A randomized trial examining the publications officer as an effective intervention is needed.

URL : Assessing the utility of an institutional publications officer: a pilot assessment


Le numérique et le lecteur, retour du nomade : Une enquête dans les médiathèques en Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Auteur/Author : Mabel Verdi Rademacher

Comment les bibliothèques participent-elles à la construction de la pratique de lecture numérique de leurs usagers ?

Cette enquête qualitative menée en 2015 dans la région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes recueille les récits des professionnels de l’information et des usagers inscrits : à la question initiale posée par ce support nomade, se superposent les interrogations sur les contenus nomades quand, en fin de compte, il semble que ce soit l’acte lui-même de lire que l’on souhaite toujours plus mobile, extensible, intégré dans les dimensions de nos vies, fussent-elles numériques.


A Bibliometric study of Directory of Open Access Journals: Special reference to Microbiology

Author : K S Savita

The present study aim is to determine the number of free e-journal in the field of Microbiology available on DOAJ.

For this study the author has adopted bibliometric method and analyzed on the basis of country-wise distribution, language wise distribution and subject heading wise distribution.

URL : A Bibliometric study of Directory of Open Access Journals: Special reference to Microbiology

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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.