Developing indicators on Open Access by combining evidence from diverse data sources

Authors : Thed van Leeuwen, Ingeborg Meijer, Alfredo Yegros-Yegros, Rodrigo Costas

In the last couple of years, the role of Open Access (OA) publishing has become central in science management and research policy. In the UK and the Netherlands, national OA mandates require the scientific community to seriously consider publishing research outputs in OA forms.

At the same time, other elements of Open Science are becoming also part of the debate, thus including not only publishing research outputs but also other related aspects of the chain of scientific knowledge production such as open peer review and open data.

From a research management point of view, it is important to keep track of the progress made in the OA publishing debate. Until now, this has been quite problematic, given the fact that OA as a topic is hard to grasp by bibliometric methods, as most databases supporting bibliometric data lack exhaustive and accurate open access labelling of scientific publications.

In this study, we present a methodology that systematically creates OA labels for large sets of publications processed in the Web of Science database. The methodology is based on the combination of diverse data sources that provide evidence of publications being OA.


Research Management: Combining Platforms, Practices, and Policies

Author : Shawn Martin

Research management is about more than open access and it is about more than creating online publishing platforms. It is about creating online publishing platforms that meet the needs of all of the stakeholders in the higher education enterprise, most notably faculty.

Technological infrastructure needs to be combined with policies that reflect the career needs of faculty members.

So far, the goal of combining open scholarship policies with online infrastructure has been elusive. The answer may be to rethink how the career structure of faculty members is structured and how research managers and librarians can be a part of the solution.



Fair Shares and Sharing Fairly: A Survey of Public Views on Open Science, Informed Consent and Participatory Research in Biobanking

« Context

Biobanks are important resources which enable large-scale genomic research with human samples and data, raising significant ethical concerns about how participants’ information is managed and shared. Three previous studies of the Canadian public’s opinion about these topics have been conducted. Building on those results, an online survey representing the first study of public perceptions about biobanking spanning all Canadian provinces was conducted. Specifically, this study examined qualitative views about biobank objectives, governance structure, control and ownership of samples and data, benefit sharing, consent practices and data sharing norms, as well as additional questions and ethical concerns expressed by the public.


Over half the respondents preferred to give a one-time general consent for the future sharing of their samples among researchers. Most expressed willingness for their data to be shared with the international scientific community rather than used by one or more Canadian institutions. Whereas more respondents indicated a preference for one-time general consent than any other model of consent, they constituted less than half of the total responses, revealing a lack of consensus among survey respondents regarding this question. Respondents identified biobank objectives, governance structure and accountability as the most important information to provide participants.

Respondents’ concerns about biobanking generally centred around the control and ownership of biological samples and data, especially with respect to potential misuse by insurers, the government and other third parties. Although almost half the respondents suggested that these should be managed by the researchers’ institutions, results indicate that the public is interested in being well-informed about these projects and suggest the importance of increased involvement from participants. In conclusion, the study discusses the viability of several proposed models for informed consent, including e-governance, independent trustees and the use of exclusion clauses, in the context of these new findings about the views of the Canadian public. »

URL : Fair Shares and Sharing Fairly: A Survey of Public Views on Open Science, Informed Consent and Participatory Research in Biobanking

DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0129893

What Drives Academic Data Sharing?

« Despite widespread support from policy makers, funding agencies, and scientific journals, academic researchers rarely make their research data available to others. At the same time, data sharing in research is attributed a vast potential for scientific progress. It allows the reproducibility of study results and the reuse of old data for new research questions. Based on a systematic review of 98 scholarly papers and an empirical survey among 603 secondary data users, we develop a conceptual framework that explains the process of data sharing from the primary researcher’s point of view. We show that this process can be divided into six descriptive categories: Data donor, research organization, research community, norms, data infrastructure, and data recipients. Drawing from our findings, we discuss theoretical implications regarding knowledge creation and dissemination as well as research policy measures to foster academic collaboration. We conclude that research data cannot be regarded as knowledge commons, but research policies that better incentivise data sharing are needed to improve the quality of research results and foster scientific progress. »

URL : What Drives Academic Data Sharing?

DOI :10.1371/journal.pone.0118053