Joining Networks in the World of Open Science

Author : Riitta Maijala

Whereas the first digital revolution of science by digitisation changed the scientific practices of data collection, analysis and reporting of results, the second digital revolution, i.e. open science, will also challenge the current roles of researchers, research  organisations, libraries and publishers.

From the early days of development, research libraries have joined different networks
and been among the most active stakeholders working towards open science. Cohesive networks are needed for coordinated actions and support, whereas bridging networks can provide new approaches and novel information.

The Finnish Open Science and Research Initiative is presented in this paper as an example of joining networks, motivating individuals and organisations to deliver high-quality services, infrastructures and competence building to promote a transition towards open science.

This paper also presents milestones such as the publication of the academic publishing costs of Finnish research organisations and the maturity level of open science operating cultures in HEIs.

Based on the experience of the Finnish open science initiative, joining different networks at the national level on an open mode of operation can significantly speed up the transition towards the era of open science.

URL : Joining Networks in the World of Open Science

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Innovation and Market Discipline in Scholarly Publishing

Author : Rowland Lorimer


In the face of extensive, developed-world library endorsement of open access (OA) and not-for-profit publishing, large commercial journal publishers are, paradoxically, increasing market share by means of economies of scale brought about in part by ownership concentration.


While the market success of commercial journal publishers may benefit from ownership concentration, it is argued that market-oriented innovation has also contributed to their market success.

A review of the very lively state of market-oriented innovation in journal publishing and usage metrics is undertaken and three innovation proposals derived from commercial magazines are introduced.

Conclusion and implications

The adoption of reader-focused features of commercial journals and the adaptation of the mobile-oriented strategy of commercial magazine publishers that respond to the modern digital information environment and mindset are recommended as strategically sound.

Partnering with low-cost promoting, OA-oriented libraries may hobble the ability of not-for-profit journals to maximize their value to researchers.


The weakness of OA as a constraining publishing strategy is brought forward and compared to readership building through innovation focused on usage.

URL : Innovation and Market Discipline in Scholarly Publishing

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Etude critique des nouveaux modes « d’éditorialisation » de revues scientifiques en accès-ouvert

Auteur/Author : Pierre-Carl Langlais

Ce rapport commandé par BSN 4 et BSN 7 porte sur les nouveaux modes d’éditorialisation des revues en accès ouvert. La transition vers le libre accès s’est accélérée au cours de ces dernières années.

Plusieurs pays ont instauré un cadre légal pour sécuriser le dépôt en archive ouverte (en France, une disposition de ce type est intégrée au projet de loi sur le Numérique). En mai 2016 le conseil de l’Union Européenne a appelé à faire du libre accès une “option par défaut” d’ici 2020 dans l’ensemble des pays-membres.

Si la conversion de l’édition scientifique vers la diffusion en libre accès paraît acquise à court terme, ses modalités restent incertaines : se limite-t-elle à un simple transfert des budgets consacrés aux abonnements vers le paiement de droits à publier sans fondamentalement changer les structures éditoriales existantes (ou journal flipping) ?

Ou fait-elle émerger des modèles inédits, qui reconfigurent l’ensemble des paramètres existants ? Cette dynamique de changement ouvre la perspective de réformes à grande échelle.

La commande initiale s’inscrit dans ce cadre : quelles formes éditoriales l’État peut-il encourager à l’heure du numérique, de la mutation de l’édition scientifique et de la faillite de l’évaluation scientifique ?

Le rapport dresse une cartographie des pratiques et des initiatives émergentes qui s’étend dans quatre dimensions : les outils d’édition, les formes d’écriture, l’évaluation, et les modèles économiques.

Notre dernière partie porte un constat plus global : dans un écosystème aussi « interdépendant » que l’édition scientifique numérique, cette transformation impliquerait la mise en œuvre de politiques d’infrastructure qui, au-delà du soutien d’usages ou d’outils spécifiques définiraient des articulations convergentes entre dispositifs, acteurs et pratiques.

URL : Etude critique des nouveaux modes « d’éditorialisation » de revues scientifiques en accès-ouvert

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Researchers’ Individual Publication Rate Has Not Increased in a Century

Authors : Daniele Fanelli, Vincent Larivière

Debates over the pros and cons of a “publish or perish” philosophy have inflamed academia for at least half a century. Growing concerns, in particular, are expressed for policies that reward “quantity” at the expense of “quality,” because these might prompt scientists to unduly multiply their publications by fractioning (“salami slicing”), duplicating, rushing, simplifying, or even fabricating their results.

To assess the reasonableness of these concerns, we analyzed publication patterns of over 40,000 researchers that, between the years 1900 and 2013, have published two or more papers within 15 years, in any of the disciplines covered by the Web of Science.

The total number of papers published by researchers during their early career period (first fifteen years) has increased in recent decades, but so has their average number of co-authors. If we take the latter factor into account, by measuring productivity fractionally or by only counting papers published as first author, we observe no increase in productivity throughout the century.

Even after the 1980s, adjusted productivity has not increased for most disciplines and countries. These results are robust to methodological choices and are actually conservative with respect to the hypothesis that publication rates are growing.

Therefore, the widespread belief that pressures to publish are causing the scientific literature to be flooded with salami-sliced, trivial, incomplete, duplicated, plagiarized and false results is likely to be incorrect or at least exaggerated.

URL : Researchers’ Individual Publication Rate Has Not Increased in a Century


Do Younger Researchers Assess Trustworthiness Differently when Deciding what to Read and Cite and where to Publish?

Authors : David Nicholas, Hamid R. Jamali, Anthony Watkinson, Eti Herman, Carol Tenopir, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard, Kenneth Levine

An international survey of over 3600 academic researchers examined how trustworthiness is determined when making decisions on scholarly reading, citing, and publishing in the digital age and whether social media and open access publications are having an impact on judgements.

In general, the study found that traditional scholarly methods and criteria remain important across the board. However, there are significant differences between younger (age 30 & under) and older researchers (over 30).

Thus younger researchers: a) expend less effort to obtain information and more likely to compromise on quality in their selections; b) view open access publishing much more positively as it offers them more choices and helps to establish their reputation more quickly; c) compensate for their lack of experience by relying more heavily on trust markers and proxies, such as impact factors; d) use all the outlets available in order to improve the chances of getting their work published and, in this respect, make the most use of the social media with which they are more familiar.


How subscription-based scholarly journals can convert to open access: A review of approaches

Authors : Mikael Laakso, David Solomon, Bo-Christer Björk

This article reviews the ways through which subscription-based scholarly journals have converted to open access. The methodology included a comprehensive literature review of both published and ‘grey’ literature, such as blog posts and press releases.

Eight interviews were also conducted with stakeholders representing different parts of the scholarly publishing landscape. Strategies of conversion for different types of journals are presented at multiple levels (publishers, national, research funders, organizational, and so on).

The identified scenarios are split into two main categories, those that rely heavily on article processing charges and those that can operate without relying on author-side financing.

Despite there being interesting and important shared traits among many converted journals, individual circumstances largely dictate what options for conversion are viable for a journal. There is no single solution that works for every journal but rather a broad selection of different solutions, among which selection should be well informed.

URL : How subscription-based scholarly journals can convert to open access: A review of approaches

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Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences

Authors : David Solomon, Mikael Laakso, Bo-Christer Björk

This report identifies ways through which subscription-based scholarly journals have converted their publishing models to open access (OA).

The major goal was to identify specific scenarios that have been used or proposed for transitioning subscription journals to OA so that these scenarios can provide options for others seeking to “flip” their journals to OA.

The report is based on the published literature as well as “gray” literature such as blog posts and press releases. In addition, interviews were conducted with eight experts in scholarly publishing.

The report identifies a variety of goals for converting a journal to OA. While there are altruistic goals of making scholarship more accessible, the literature review and interviews suggest that there are also many practical reasons for transitioning to an OA model.

In some instances, an OA business model is simply more economically viable. Also, it is not unusual for a society or editorial board to transition to an OA business model as a means of gaining independence from the current publisher.

Increasing readership, the number and quality of submissions, and impact as measured in citations are important goals for most journals that are considering flipping. Goals and their importance often differ for various regions in the world and across different disciplines.

Each journal’s situation is unique and it is important for those seeking to flip a journal to carefully consider exactly what they hope to achieve, what barriers they are likely to face, and how the changes that are being implemented will further the goals intended for their journal.

We found that there are many issues that must be addressed in the process of changing a journal’s business model to OA.

The transition process is complex and in most cases requires at least a year. For example, it is necessary to address manuscripts in process and how to manage back issues. Obligations to subscribers must be negotiated, particularly when the journal’s subscription is bundled with other journals in multi-journal contracts, called “big deal” agreements.

A great deal of effort should go into marketing so that authors and readers are adequately informed of the change. Implementing the transition at the beginning of a volume also helps to avoid confusion.

Society-owned journals have specific challenges, such as losing the membership perk of free or discounted subscriptions for members. The wishes of the society’s membership and its willingness to accept sacrifices, such as increased dues or reduced services, must be considered if the society must give up income to flip.

Commercial publishers have a somewhat different set of goals from nonprofit or small societies. The goals and funding options for flipping journals to OA vary across disciplines and in different parts of the world. While there are many similarities across journals, each has its own unique challenges when converting from subscription to OA.

There are a variety of factors that facilitate conversion to OA. These forces are both top down and bottom up. Governments, funding agencies, and library cooperatives through large-scale initiatives such as mandates and special funding programs can facilitate conversion and directly and indirectly influence journals converting to OA.

Also, individuals and small groups, such as editors, the editorial board, or society members, have converted journals through their own efforts. There is no process that works for all journals and there are important variations in circumstances for each journal.

There are also barriers and risks to consider. Whether or not article processing charges (APCs) are used, ensuring adequate resources to publish the journal over the long term is critical.

Unintended consequences are also a concern. APCs, or even just the change to OA, may discourage submissions or decrease their quality. Loss of free or discounted subscriptions may decrease membership for societies.

Obtaining a good understanding of the potential risks and benefits of flipping through surveys, focus groups, and pilot programs, such as flipping only a section of a journal, are strategies for understanding and substantially reducing the risks associating with changing the business model.

The scenarios are organized into those based on APC funding and those based on obtaining resources or funding through other sources. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis was performed on a number of journal scenario examples to assess the risks and benefits of each scenario.

URL : Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences

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