Attention decay in science

« The exponential growth in the number of scientific papers makes it increasingly difficult for researchers to keep track of all the publications relevant to their work. Consequently, the attention that can be devoted to individual papers, measured by their citation counts, is bound to decay rapidly. In this work we make a thorough study of the life-cycle of papers in different disciplines. Typically, the citation rate of a paper increases up to a few years after its publication, reaches a peak and then decreases rapidly. This decay can be described by an exponential or a power law behavior, as in ultradiffusive processes, with exponential fitting better than power law for the majority of cases. The decay is also becoming faster over the years, signaling that nowadays papers are forgotten more quickly. However, when time is counted in terms of the number of published papers, the rate of decay of citations is fairly independent of the period considered. This indicates that the attention of scholars depends on the number of published items, and not on real time. »

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.01881

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Research data sharing: Developing a stakeholder-driven model for journal policies

« Conclusions of research articles depend on bodies of data that cannot be included in articles themselves. To share this data is important for reasons of both transparency and reuse. Science, Technology, and Medicine journals have a role in facilitating sharing, but by what mechanism is not yet clear. The Journal Research Data (JoRD) Project was a JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee)-funded feasibility study on the potential for a central service on journal research data policies. The objectives of the study included identifying the current state of journal data sharing policies and investigating stakeholders’ views and practices. The project confirmed that a large percentage of journals have no data sharing policy and that there are inconsistencies between those that are traceable. This state leaves authors unsure of whether they should share article related data and where and how to deposit those data. In the absence of a consolidated infrastructure to share data easily, a model journal data sharing policy was developed by comparing quantitative information from analyzing existing journal data policies with qualitative data collected from stakeholders. This article summarizes and outlines the process by which the model was developed and presents the model journal data sharing policy. »

URL : http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/3185/

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Bibliogifts in LibGen? A study of a text-sharing platform driven by biblioleaks and crowdsourcing

« Research articles disseminate the knowledge produced by the scientific community. Access to this literature is crucial for researchers and the general public. Apparently, “bibliogifts” are available online for free from text-sharing platforms. However, little is known about such platforms. What is the size of the underlying digital libraries? What are the topics covered? Where do these documents originally come from? This article reports on a study of the Library Genesis platform (LibGen). The 25 million documents (42 terabytes) it hosts and distributes for free are mostly research articles, textbooks, and books in English. The article collection stems from isolated, but massive, article uploads (71%) in line with a “biblioleaks” scenario, as well as from daily crowdsourcing (29%) by worldwide users of platforms such as Reddit Scholar and Sci-Hub. By relating the DOIs registered at CrossRef and those cached at LibGen, this study reveals that 36% of all DOI articles are available for free at LibGen. This figure is even higher (68%) for three major publishers: Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley. More research is needed to understand to what extent researchers and the general public have recourse to such text-sharing platforms and why. »

URL : http://www.irit.fr/publis/SIG/2015_JASIST_C.pdf

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Online-consultation “scientific publication system”: documentation and main results

« This short report provides a description of an online-consultation on the scientific publication system. German-speaking scientists from all disciplines were invited to articulate their perspectives on principles and current problems in scientific publishing in the dialogical procedure. 697 participants addressed their opinion in two areas of consultation (a) Consultation area “evaluate principles”: the goal in this section was to find out whether there is a general consensus throughout academia of what constitutes a good publication system. For this purpose, principles of a good scientific publication system could be commented on and evaluated with positive or negative votes. (b) Consultation area “name problems”: this section aimed at obtaining the perspective of the participants on current challenges and problems of the publication system. The contributions of the participants focus on eight topics: (1) printed vs. digital publication, (2) business models of large publishing houses, (3) open access, (4) publication-based performance indicators, (5) authorship, (6) peer review, (7) publication bias, and (8) research data. »

URL : Online-consultation “scientific publication system”: documentation and main results

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-SOCSCI.AE2GYG.v1

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Better Sharing Through Licenses? Measuring the Influence of Creative Commons Licenses on the Usage of Open Access Monographs

« Introduction :  Open Access and licenses are closely intertwined. Both Creative Commons (CC) and Open Access seek to restore the balance between the owners of creative works and prospective users. Apart from the legal issues around CC licenses, we could look at role of intermediaries whose work is enabled through CC licenses. Does licensing documents under Creative Commons increase access and reuse in a direct way, or is access and reuse amplified by intermediaries?

OAPEN Library and DOAB The OAPEN Library contains books available under both open licenses, for example Creative Commons, as well as books that are published under terms that only allow for personal use. The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) functions as an intermediary, offering aggregation services exclusively focused on books with an open license.

Methods: Downloads are used as a proxy for the use of books in the OAPEN Library. The data set that this paper analyses data that was captured over a period of 33 months. During this time, 1734 different books were made available through the OAPEN Library: 855 books under a Creative Commons license and 879 books under a more restrictive regime. The influence of open licenses, aggregation in DOAB, and subject and language are evaluated.

Results :  Once the effects of subject and language are taken into account, there is no evidence that making books available under open licenses results in more downloads than making books available under licenses that only allow for personal use. Yet, additional aggregation in the DOAB has a large positive effect on the number of times a book is downloaded.

Conclusion : The application of open licenses to books does not, on its own, lead to more downloads. However, open licenses pave the way for intermediaries to offer new discovery and aggregation services. These services play an important role by amplifying the impacts of open access licensing in the case of scholarly books. »

URL : Better Sharing Through Licenses? Measuring the Influence of Creative Commons Licenses on the Usage of Open Access Monographs

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1187

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The Educational Value of Truly Interactive Science Publishing

« Interactive Scientific Publishing (ISP) has been developed by the Optical Society of America with support from the National Library of Medicine at NIH. It allows authors to electronically publish papers which are linked to the referenced 2D and 3D original image datasets. These image datasets can then be viewed and analyzed interactively by the reader. ISP provides the software for authors to assemble and link their source data to their publication. But more important is that it provides readers with image viewing and analysis tools. The goal of ISP is to improve learning and understanding of the presented information. This paper describes ISP and its effect on learning and understanding. ISP was shown to have enough educational value that readers were willing to invest in the required set–up and learning phases. The social aspects of data sharing and the enlarged review process may be the hardest obstacles to overcome. »

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0018.201

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Hybrid Review: Taking SoTL Beyond Traditional Peer Review for Journal Publication

« Developments in emergent technology offer innovative solutions for facilitating a hybrid review process; we examine a unique combination of private–peer and open–public review uniquely relevant for disseminating the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) through development of the Journal of Instructional Research (JIR). An analysis of the hybrid review process (combining the strengths of traditional peer review with an integrative public review process) revealed substantial reviewer participation that contributed to a well–rounded, engaged review process. Public review feedback constructively addressed the value and relevance of the implications, methodology, content and written quality of the manuscripts; an additional layer of private, peer review further refined the manuscripts to determine suitability for publication. This, in turn, created a space where refinement of content, structure, and design of SoTL research was achieved through an interactive process of scholarly inquiry and dialogue. »

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0018.202

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Peer review: still king in the digital age

« The article presents one of the main findings of an international study of 4,000 academic researchers that examined how trustworthiness is determined in the digital environment when it comes to scholarly reading, citing, and publishing. The study shows that peer review is still the most trustworthy characteristic of all. There is, though, a common perception that open access journals are not peer reviewed or do not have proper peer-review systems. Researchers appear to have moved inexorably from a print-based system to a digital system, but it has not significantly changed the way they decide what to trust. They do not trust social media. Only a minority – although significantly mostly young and early career researchers – thought that social media are anything other than more appropriate to personal interactions and peripheral to their professional/academic lives. There are other significant differences, according to the age of the researcher. Thus, in regard to choosing an outlet for publication of their work, young researchers are much less concerned with the fact that it is peer reviewed. »

URL : http://ciber-research.eu/download/20140120-Peer_review-Learned_Publishing_2015.pdf

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How scholars implement trust in their reading, citing and publishing activities: Geographical differences

« In an increasingly digital environment, many factors influence how academic researchers decide what to read, what to cite, where to publish their work, and how they assign trust when making these decisions. This study focuses on how this differs according to the geographical location of the researcher, specifically in terms of the country’s level of development. Data were collected by a questionnaire survey of 3650 authors who had published articles in international journals. The human development index (HDI) was used to compare authors’ scholarly behavior. The findings show that researchers from less developed countries such as India and China (medium HDI) compared to those in developed countries, such as the USA and UK (very high HDI) are more reliant on external factors and those criteria that are related to authority, brand and reputation, such as authors’ names, affiliation, country and journal name. Even when deciding where to publish, the publisher of the journal is more important for developing countries than it is for researchers from the US and UK. Scholars from high HDI countries also differ in these aspects: a) they are less discriminatory than authors from developing countries in their citation practices; b) for them the fact that a source is peer reviewed is the most important factor when deciding where to publish; c) they are more negative towards the use of repositories and social media for publishing and more skeptical about their potential for increasing usage or reaching a wider audience. »

URL : http://ciber-research.eu/download/20141207-LISR_Trust.pdf

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The “total cost of publication” in a hybrid open-access environment: Institutional approaches to funding journal article-processing charges in combination with subscriptions

« As open-access (OA) publishing funded by article-processing charges (APCs) becomes more widely accepted, academic institutions need to be aware of the “total cost of publication” (TCP), comprising subscription costs plus APCs and additional administration costs. This study analyzes data from 23 UK institutions covering the period 2007–2014 modeling the TCP. It shows a clear rise in centrally managed APC payments from 2012 onward, with payments projected to increase further. As well as evidencing the growing availability and acceptance of OA publishing, these trends reflect particular UK policy developments and funding arrangements intended to accelerate the move toward OA publishing (“Gold” OA). Although the mean value of APCs has been relatively stable, there was considerable variation in APC prices paid by institutions since 2007. In particular, “hybrid” subscription/OA journals were consistently more expensive than fully OA journals. Most APCs were paid to large “traditional” commercial publishers who also received considerable subscription income. New administrative costs reported by institutions varied considerably. The total cost of publication modeling shows that APCs are now a significant part of the TCP for academic institutions, in 2013 already constituting an average of 10% of the TCP (excluding administrative costs). »

URL : The “total cost of publication” in a hybrid open-access environment

DOI: 10.1002/asi.23446

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