An Exploration of Faculty Experiences With Open Access Journal Publishing at Two Canadian Comprehensive Universities

Authors : Barbara McDonald, Ian Gibson, Elizabeth Yates, Carol Stephenson

Introduction

This exploratory study was intended to shed light on Canadian academics’ participation in, knowledge of and attitudes towards Open Access (OA) journal publishing. The primary aim of the study was to inform the authors’ schools’ educational and outreach efforts to faculty regarding OA publishing.

The survey was conducted at two Canadian comprehensive universities: Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario) and Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario) in 2014.

Methods

A web-based survey was distributed to faculty at each university. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Limitations: Despite the excellent response rates, the results are not generalizable beyond these two institutions.

Results

The Brock response rate was 38%; the Laurier response rate was 23% from full-time faculty and five percent from part-time faculty. Brock and Laurier faculty members share common characteristics in both their publishing practices and attitudes towards OA.

Science/health science researchers were the most positive about OA journal publishing; arts and humanities and social sciences respondents were more mixed in their perceptions; business participants were the least positive. Their concerns focused on OA journal quality and associated costs.

Conclusion

While most survey respondents agreed that publicly available research is generally a good thing, this study has clearly identified obstacles that prevent faculty’s positive attitudes towards OA from translating into open publishing practices.

URL : An Exploration of Faculty Experiences With Open Access Journal Publishing at Two Canadian Comprehensive Universities

Alternative location : https://journal.lib.uoguelph.ca/index.php/perj/article/view/3703

Scholarly journal publishing in transition – from restricted to open access

Authors : Bo-Christer Björk

While the business models used in most segments of the media industry have been profoundly changed by the Internet surprisingly little has changed in the publishing of scholarly peer reviewed journals. Electronic delivery has become the norm, but the same publishers as before are still dominating the market, selling content to subscribers.

This article asks the question why Open Access (OA) to the output of mainly publicly funded research hasn’t yet become the mainstream business model. OA implies a reversal of revenue logic from readers paying for content to authors paying for dissemination via universal free access.

The current situation is analyzed using Porter’s five forces model. The analysis demonstrates a lack of competitive pressure in this industry, leading to so high profit levels of the leading publishers that they have not yet felt a strong need to change the way they operate.

OA funded by article publishing charges (APCs) might nevertheless start rapidly becoming more common. The driving force currently consists of the public research funders and administrations in Europe, which are pushing for OA by starting dedicated funds for paying the APCs of authors from the respective countries.

This has in turn lead to a situation in which publishers have introduced “big deals” involving the bundling of (a) subscription to all their  journals, (b) APCs for their hybrid journals and (c) in the future also APCs to their full OA journals.

This appears to be a relatively risk free strategy for the publishers in question to retain their dominance of the market and high profit levels also in the future.

URL : http://www.openaccesspublishing.org/Landscape%20Green%20versionacr.pdf

Where and how early career researchers find scholarly information

Authors : David Nicholas, Chérifa Boukacem-Zeghmouri, Blanca Rodríguez-Bravo, Jie Xu, Anthony Watkinson, Abdullah Abrizah, Eti Herman, Marzena Świgon

This article presents findings from the first year of the Harbingers research project started in 2015. The project is a 3-year longitudinal study of early career researchers (ECRs) to ascertain their current and changing habits with regard to information searching, use, sharing, and publication.

The study recruited 116 researchers from seven countries (UK, USA, China, France, Malaysia, Poland, and Spain) and performed in-depth interviews by telephone, Skype, or face-to-face to discover behaviours and opinions.

This paper reports on findings regarding discovery and access to scholarly information. Findings confirm the universal popularity of Google/Google Scholar. Library platforms and web-scale discovery services are largely unmentioned and unnoticed by this user community, although many ECRs pass through them unknowingly on the way to authenticated use of their other preferred sources, such as Web of Science.

ECRs are conscious of the benefits of open access in delivering free access to papers. Social media are widely used as a source of discovering scholarly information. ResearchGate is popular and on the rise in all countries surveyed. Smartphones have become a regularly used platform on which to perform quick and occasional searches for scholarly information but are only rarely used for reading full text.

URL : http://ciber-research.eu/download/20170103-Where_and_How_ECRs_Find_Scholarly_Information-LEAP1087.pdf

The openness buzz in the knowledge economy: Towards taxonomy

Authors : Anna Lundgren, Hans Westlund

In the networked information and knowledge-based economy and society, the notions of ‘open’ and ‘openness’ are used in a variety of contexts; open source, open access, open economy, open government, open innovation – just to name a few.

This paper aims at discussing openness and developing a taxonomy that may be used to analyse the concept of openness. Are there different qualities of openness? How are these qualities interrelated?

What analytical tools may be used to understand openness? In this paper four qualities of openness recurrent in literature and debate are explored: accessibility, transparency, participation and sharing. To further analyse openness new institutional theory as interpreted by Williamson (2000) is used, encompassing four different institutional levels; cultural embeddedness, institutional environment, governance structure and resource allocations.

At what institutional levels is openness supported and/or constrained? Accessibility as a quality of openness seems to have a particularly strong relation to the other qualities of openness, whereas the notions of sharing and collaborative economics seem to be the most complex and contested quality of openness in the knowledge-based economy.

This research contributes to academia, policy and governance, as handling of challenges with regard to openness vs. closure in different contexts, territorial, institutional and/or organizational, demand not only a better understanding of the concept, but also tools for analysis.

URL : http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0263774X16671312

Open Access and the Graduate Author: A Dissertation Anxiety Manual

Authors : Jill Cirasella, Polly Thistlethwaite

The process of completing a dissertation is stressful—deadlines are scary, editing is hard, formatting is tricky, and defending is terrifying. (And, of course, postgraduate employment is often uncertain.)

Now that dissertations are deposited and distributed electronically, students must perform yet another anxiety-inducing task: deciding whether they want to make their dissertations immediately open access (OA) or, at universities that require OA, coming to terms with openness.

For some students, mostly in the humanities and some of the social sciences, who hope to transform their dissertations into books, OA has become a bogeyman, a supposed saboteur of book contracts and destroyer of careers.

This chapter examines the various access-related anxieties that plague graduate students. It is a kind of diagnostic and statistical manual of dissertation anxieties—a « Dissertation Anxiety Manual, » if you will—describing anxieties surrounding book contracts, book sales, plagiarism, juvenilia, the ambiguity of the term online, and changes in scholarly research and production.

URL : http://academicworks.cuny.edu/gc_pubs/286/

Fairness in scientific publishing

Author : Philippa C. Matthews

Major changes are afoot in the world of academic publishing, exemplified by innovations in publishing platforms, new approaches to metrics, improvements in our approach to peer review, and a focus on developing and encouraging open access to scientific literature and data.

The FAIR acronym recommends that authors and publishers should aim to make their output Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. In this opinion article, I explore the parallel view that we should take a collective stance on making the dissemination of scientific data fair in the conventional sense, by being mindful of equity and justice for patients, clinicians, academics, publishers, funders and academic institutions.

The views I represent are founded on oral and written dialogue with clinicians, academics and the publishing industry. Further progress is needed to improve collaboration and dialogue between these groups, to reduce misinterpretation of metrics, to minimise inequity that arises as a consequence of geographic setting, to improve economic sustainability, and to broaden the spectrum, scope, and diversity of scientific publication.

URL : Fairness in scientific publishing

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.10318.2

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.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1701.04906