Opening the Heart of Science: A Review of the Changing Roles of Research Libraries

Author : Jorge Revez

In a world of information overload and data deluge, is opening science a research library’s duty? Or is the openness of science deeply changing libraries, ultimately converting them into something else?

The purpose of the review is to highlight the challenging issues stemming from the relationship between research and libraries. A broad literature analysis was performed focused on the intersection of three different perspectives: (1) the future of research libraries, (2) the emerging new roles, and (3) the ongoing openness of science.

Libraries are still at the heart of science but challenged by several stakeholders within the complexity of present science production and communication. Research support services, research data management, or research information management are emerging roles, among others, sustaining an open path where libraries thrive to be more collaborative while looking forward to establishing new partnerships.

URL : Opening the Heart of Science: A Review of the Changing Roles of Research Libraries


Content is King: An Analysis of How the Twitter Discourse Surrounding Open Education Unfolded From 2009 to 2016

Authors : Michael Paskevicius, George Veletsianos, Royce Kimmons

Inspired by open educational resources, open pedagogy, and open source software, the openness movement in education has different meanings for different people. In this study, we use Twitter data to examine the discourses surrounding openness as well as the people who participate in discourse around openness.

By targeting hashtags related to open education, we gathered the most extensive dataset of historical open education tweets to date (n = 178,304 tweets and 23,061 users) and conducted a mixed methods analysis of openness from 2009 to 2016.

Findings show that the diversity of participants has varied somewhat over time and that the discourse has predominantly revolved around open resources, although there are signs that an increase in interest around pedagogy, teaching, and learning is emerging.

URL : Content is King: An Analysis of How the Twitter Discourse Surrounding Open Education Unfolded From 2009 to 2016


Opening Academic Publishing – Development and application of systematic evaluation criteria

Authors : Anna Björk, Juho-Matti Paavola, Teemu Ropponen, Mikael Laakso, Leo Lahti

This report summarizes the development of a standardized scorecard for evaluating the openness of academic publishers. The assessment was completed in January 2018 as part of the Open Science and Research Initiative of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

The project complements the previous reports published by the Open Science and Research Initiative and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, which have covered (i) the openness of universities and polytechnics, (ii) the overall situation of OA publishing costs in Finland, and (iii) research organization and research funding organizations, including selected European research funders.

The project mapped and evaluated the openness of selected major academic publishers: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), American Chemical Society (ACS), Elsevier, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins (LWW), Sage, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley-Blackwell. The dimensions of publisher openness were summarized in a scorecard of seven key factors, providing a new tool for systematic and standardized evaluation.

We used data from the publisher websites to compare the key factors of openness, and the publishers were given a chance to provide comments on the collected information. As complementary sources, we utilized data from commonly acknowledged, open databases: Directory of OA Journals (DOAJ), Gold OA Journals 2011-2016 (GOAJ2), Scopus (title list + Scimago), and Sherpa / Romeo.

The main results include the scorecard and the evaluation of openness of the selected major academic publishers. These are based on seven key factors: (i) Fraction of open access (OA) journals and their articles of the total publication output, (ii) costs of OA publishing (article processing charges, APC), (iii) use of Creative Commons (CC) licensing, (iv) self-archiving policies, (v) access to text and data mining (TDM), (vi) openness of citation data, and (vii) accessibility of information relating to OA practices.

To take a look beyond the publisher level into journal level practices we also sampled individual journals. We use the samples to discuss the distribution of journals according to APCs, their licensing and three impact metrics (CiteScore 2016, Scimago Journal & Country Ranks (SJR) 2016, and Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016).

The evaluation of the selected publishers with the scorecard indicates, for example, that the fraction of OA journals and their articles of the total publication output runs low within this group. In our sample of journals, the most expensive OA journals also seem to bear the highest impact metrics.

A definite view on the matter, however, would require more extensive data and further research. We
conclude by discussing key aspects and complexities in quantitative evaluation and in the design of a standardized assessment of publisher openness, and note also further factors that could be included in future versions of the scorecard.

URL : Opening Academic Publishing – Development and application of systematic evaluation criteria

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Open scientific journals: Emerging practices and approaches

Authors : Andre Luiz Appel, Sarita Albagli, Maria Lucia Maciel

This study aims to show how the concept of openness has been manifested and amplified in the universe of open access scholarly journals, pointing out emerging characteristics and practices linked to processes of submission, evaluation, revision, editing, publishing, editing, distribution, access and use of texts for publication.

We proceeded to an overview and discussion of the pertinent literature and the identification and analysis of open access journals which have addressed the issue, and to the identification and analysis of cases of open access journals which have been adopting innovative practices, based on information on editorial policies available on their websites.

Among the results, we have pointed out aspects of the publications examined, such as the types of licenses used, policies regarding access to research data, publishing formats, charges and alternative metrics of evaluation.

URL : Open scientific journals: Emerging practices and approaches

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Striving Toward Openness: But What Do We Really Mean?

Author : Vivien Rolfe

The global open education movement is striving toward openness as a feature of academic policy and practice, but evidence shows that these ambitions are far from mainstream, and levels of awareness in institutions is often disappointingly low.

Those advocating for open education are seeking to widen engagement, but how targeted and persuasive are their messages? The aim of this research is to explore the voices often unheard, those of the teachers and professional service staff with whom we are engaging.

This research presents a series of interviews with those involved in open education at De Montfort University in the UK, with the aim of gaining a better perspective of what openness means to them. T

he interviews were analysed through an interpretive lens allowing each individual to create their own story and reflect their own personal view of openness. The results of this study are that in this university, openness is represented by five elements – staff pedagogy and practice, benefits to learners, accessibility and access to content, institutional structures, and values and culture.

This work shows the importance of adopting critical approaches to gain a deeper understanding of the philosophical and pedagogic stances within institutions. By giving a voice to all those involved we will be able to develop appropriate and more persuasive arguments to widen our sphere of influence as a community of open educators.

URL : Striving Toward Openness: But What Do We Really Mean?

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Imagining the “open” university: Sharing scholarship to improve research and education

Author : Erin C. McKiernan

Open scholarship, such as the sharing of articles, code, data, and educational resources, has the potential to improve university research and education as well as increase the impact universities can have beyond their own walls.

To support this perspective, I present evidence from case studies, published literature, and personal experiences as a practicing open scholar. I describe some of the challenges inherent to practicing open scholarship and some of the tensions created by incompatibilities between institutional policies and personal practice.

To address this, I propose several concrete actions universities could take to support open scholarship and outline ways in which such initiatives could benefit the public as well as institutions. Importantly, I do not think most of these actions would require new funding but rather a redistribution of existing funds and a rewriting of internal policies to better align with university missions of knowledge dissemination and societal impact.

URL : Imagining the “open” university: Sharing scholarship to improve research and education

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Assessing the Openness of Anthropology Journals

Authors : Melody Dale, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Sheeji Kathuria, Mary Ann Jones

This study analyses the extent of gold open access (OA) publishing options in 377 anthropology journals by applying a six-level coding scheme (0=non-transparent publishing, 5=fully OA, i.e., free to read and publish without embargo).

This analysis is meant to simplify the process of identifying OA journal publishing options in the discipline of anthropology, in addition to sharing findings on some of the prominent issues in OA publishing as they relate to anthropology journals, including non-transparency among publishers and the prevalence and price of article processing charges (APCs).

We conclude that publishers should be more transparent about their OA publishing options and policies by providing conspicuous and straightforward information to potential authors. Further, we find that in the anthropology scholarly communication ecosystem,

APCs for hybrid journals are more expensive than those for fully gold OA journals, thus contradicting the assumption that gold OA is more costly to researchers.