Peer reviewing: a private affair between the individual researcher and the publishing houses, or a responsibility of the university?

Authors : Leif Longva, Eirik Reierth, Lars Moksness, Bård Smedsrød

Peer reviewing is mandatory for scientific journals as quality control of submitted manuscripts, for universities to rank applicants for scientific positions, and for funding agencies to rank grant applications.

In spite of this deep dependency of peer reviewing throughout the entire academic realm, universities exhibit a peculiar lack of interest in this activity.

The aim of this article is to show that by taking an active interest in peer reviewing the universities will take control over the management and policy shaping of scientific publishing, a regime that is presently largely controlled by the big publishing houses.

The benefits of gaining control of scientific publishing policy include the possibility to implement open access publishing and to reduce the unjustifiably high subscription rates currently charged by some of the major publishing houses.

A common international clean-up action is needed to move this pivotal element of scientific publishing from the dark hiding places of the scientific journals to where it should be managed: namely, at the universities.

In addition to the economic benefits, we postulate that placing peer reviewing at the universities will improve the quality of published research.

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0020.103

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

Author : Teresa Auch Schultz

Introduction

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.

Method

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.

Results

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

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2131

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

Offsetting and its discontents: challenges and opportunities of open access offsetting agreements

Author : Liam Earney

The growth of open access (OA) via the payment of article processing charges (APCs) in hybrid journals has been a key feature of the approach to OA in the UK. In response, Jisc Collections has been piloting ‘offsetting agreements’ that explicitly link subscription and APCs, seeking to reduce one as the other grows.

However, offsetting agreements have become increasingly contentious with institutions, advocates and publishers.

With reference to issues such as cost, administrative efficiency, transparency and the transition to open access, this paper provides an update on the status of UK negotiations, reflects on the challenges and opportunities presented by such agreements, and considers the implications for the path of future negotiations.

URL : Offsetting and its discontents: challenges and opportunities of open access offsetting agreements

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.345

On the origin of nonequivalent states: How we can talk about preprints

Authors : Cameron Neylon, Damian Pattinson, Geoffrey Bilder, Jennifer Lin

Increasingly, preprints are at the center of conversations across the research ecosystem. But disagreements remain about the role they play. Do they “count” for research assessment?

Is it ok to post preprints in more than one place? In this paper, we argue that these discussions often conflate two separate issues, the history of the manuscript and the status granted it by different communities.

In this paper, we propose a new model that distinguishes the characteristics of the object, its “state”, from the subjective “standing” granted to it by different communities.

This provides a way to discuss the difference in practices between communities, which will deliver more productive conversations and facilitate negotiation, as well as sharpening our focus on the role of different stakeholders on how to collectively improve the process of scholarly communications not only for preprints, but other forms of scholarly contributions.

URL : On the origin of nonequivalent states: How we can talk about preprints

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.11408.1

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.

URL : http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/04/18/128413

Open Science: What, Why, and How

Authors : Barbara A. Spellman, Elizabeth A. Gilbert, Katherine S. Corker

Open Science is a collection of actions designed to make scientific processes more transparent and results more accessible. Its goal is to build a more replicable and robust science; it does so using new technologies, altering incentives, and changing attitudes.

The current movement towards open science was spurred, in part, by a recent “series of unfortunate events” within psychology and other sciences.

These events include the large number of studies that have failed to replicate and the prevalence of common research and publication procedures that could explain why.

Many journals and funding agencies now encourage, require, or reward some open science practices, including pre-registration, providing full materials, posting data, distinguishing between exploratory and confirmatory analyses, and running replication studies.

Individuals can practice and encourage open science in their many roles as researchers, authors, reviewers, editors, teachers, and members of hiring, tenure, promotion, and awards committees.

A plethora of resources are available to help scientists, and science, achieve these goals.

URL : https://osf.io/preprints/psyarxiv/ak6jr