Standardising and harmonising research data policy in scholarly publishing

Authors : Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Aliaksandr Birukou, Mathias Astell, Sowmya Swaminathan, Amye Kenall, Varsha Khodiyar

To address the complexities researchers face during publication, and the potential community-wide benefits of wider adoption of clear data policies, the publisher Springer Nature has developed a standardised, common framework for the research data policies of all its journals. An expert working group was convened to audit and identify common features of research data policies of the journals published by Springer Nature, where policies were present.

The group then consulted with approximately 30 editors, covering all research disciplines, within the organisation. The group also consulted with academic editors and librarians and funders, which informed development of the framework and the creation of supporting resources.

Four types of data policy were defined in recognition that some journals and research communities are more ready than others to adopt strong data policies. As of January 2017 more than 700 journals have adopted a standard policy and this number is growing weekly. To potentially enable standardisation and harmonisation of data policy across funders, institutions, repositories, societies and other publishers the policy framework was made available under a Creative Commons license.

However, the framework requires wider debate with these stakeholders and an Interest Group within the Research Data Alliance (RDA) has been formed to initiate this process.

This paper was presented at the 12th International Digital Curation Conference, Edinburgh, UK on 22 February 2017 and will be submitted to International Journal of Digital Curation.

URL : Standardising and harmonising research data policy in scholarly publishing


Academics’ behaviors and attitudes towards open access publishing in scholarly journals

Authors : Jennifer Rowley, Frances Johnson, Laura Sbaffi, Will Frass, Elaine Devine

While there is significant progress with policy and a lively debate regarding the potential impact of open access publishing, few studies have examined academics’ behavior and attitudes to open access publishing (OAP) in scholarly journals.

This article seeks to address this gap through an international and interdisciplinary survey of academics. Issues covered include: use of and intentions regarding OAP, and perceptions regarding advantages and disadvantages of OAP, journal article publication services, peer review, and reuse.

Despite reporting engagement in OAP, academics were unsure about their future intentions regarding OAP. Broadly, academics identified the potential for wider circulation as the key advantage of OAP, and were more positive about its benefits than they were negative about its disadvantages. As regards services, rigorous peer review, followed by rapid publication were most valued.

Academics reported strong views on reuse of their work; they were relatively happy with noncommercial reuse, but not in favor of commercial reuse, adaptations, and inclusion in anthologies. Comparing science, technology, and medicine with arts, humanities, and social sciences showed a significant difference in attitude on a number of questions, but, in general, the effect size was small, suggesting that attitudes are relatively consistent across the academic community.


Future Challenges and Opportunities in Academic Publishing

Author : Kyle Siler

Digitization and the rise of Open Access publishing is an important recent development in academic communication. The current publishing system exhibits challenges with cost, where many universities are forced to cancel journal subscriptions for economic reasons, as well as access, as scholars and the public alike often lack access to research published in paywalled subscription journals.

Open Access publishing solves the access problem, but not necessarily cost problems. Universities and researchers are currently in a challenging, interstitial stage of scholarly publishing. Subscription journals still dominate scholarly communication, yet a growing imperative to fund and support Open Access alternatives also exists.

Stakeholders, including faculty, university administrators, publishers, scientific funding institutions and librarians and governments alike currently strategize and fight for their professional and economic interests in the broader publishing system.

Four main trends are suggested that will characterize the future of scholarly publishing: 1) antagonism with scholarly associations; 2) changes and innovations to peer review; 3) Scientific/Intellectual Movements around Open Access 4) publishing and new professional niches in the publishing landscape.

This article suggests potential trajectories and outcomes for these various conflicts over the costs and benefits of academic publishing.


Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

Authors : Martin Paul Eve, Ernesto Priego

“Predatory publishing” refers to conditions under which gold open-access academic publishers claim to conduct peer review and charge for their publishing services but do not, in fact, actually perform such reviews.

Most prominently exposed in recent years by Jeffrey Beall, the phenomenon garners much media attention. In this article, we acknowledge that such practices are deceptive but then examine, across a variety of stakeholder groups, what the harm is from such actions to each group of actors.

We find that established publishers have a strong motivation to hype claims of predation as damaging to the scholarly and scientific endeavour while noting that, in fact, systems of peer review are themselves already acknowledged as deeply flawed.

URL : Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

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The Surge in New University Presses and Academic- Led Publishing: An Overview of a Changing Publishing Ecology in the UK

Authors : Janneke Adema, Graham Stone

This article outlines the rise and development of New University Presses and Academic-Led Presses in the UK or publishing for the UK market. Based on the Jisc research project, Changing publishing ecologies: a landscape study of new university presses and academic-led publishing, commonalities between these two types of presses are identified to better assess their future needs and requirements.

Based on this analysis, the article argues for the development of a publishing toolkit, for further research into the creation of a typology of presses and publishing initiatives, and for support with community building to help these initiatives grow and develop further, whilst promoting a more diverse publishing ecology.

URL : The Surge in New University Presses and Academic- Led Publishing: An Overview of a Changing Publishing Ecology in the UK


Practicing What You Preach: Evaluating Access of Open Access Research

Author : Teresa Schultz

The open access movement seeks to encourage all researchers to make their works openly available and free of paywalls so more people can access their knowledge. Yet some researchers who study open access (OA) continue to publish their work in paywalled journals and fail to make it open.

This project set out to study just how many published research articles about OA fall into this category, how many are being made open (whether by being published in a gold OA or hybrid journal or through open deposit), and how library and information science authors compare to other disciplines researching this field.

Because of the growth of tools available to help researchers find open versions of articles, this study also sought to compare how these new tools compare to Google Scholar in their ability to disseminating OA research.

From a sample collected from Web of Science of articles published since 2010, the study found that although a majority of research articles about OA are open in some form, a little more than a quarter are not.

A smaller rate of library science researchers made their work open compared to non-library science researchers. In looking at the copyright of these articles published in hybrid and open journals, authors were more likely to retain copyright ownership if they printed in an open journal compared to authors in hybrid journals.

Articles were more likely to be published with a Creative Commons license if published in an open journal compared to those published in hybrid journals.

URL : Practicing What You Preach: Evaluating Access of Open Access Research



The changing role of research publishing: a case study from Springer Nature

Author : Steven Inchcoombe

Using Springer Nature as a case study this article explores the future of research publishing, with the guiding objective of identifying how such organizations can better serve the needs of researchers and those that support researchers (particularly academic institutions, institutional libraries, research funding bodies and academic societies) as we work together to help advance discovery for the benefit of all.

Progress in four key areas is described: improving the publishing process, innovating across science communication, driving the growth and development of open research and adding value beyond publishing.

The aim of this article is thus to set out a clear vision of what research publishers can achieve if they especially focus on addressing researchers’ needs and apply their considerable resources and expertise accordingly.

If delivered with care, this vision should enable research publishers to help advance discovery, publish more robust and insightful research, support the development of new areas of knowledge and understanding, and make these ideas and this information accessible, usable and reusable by humans and machines alike.

URL : The changing role of research publishing: a case study from Springer Nature