Stability and Longevity in the Publication Careers of U.S. Doctorate Recipients

Since the 1950s, the number of doctorate recipients has risen dramatically in the United States. In this paper, we investigate whether the longevity of doctorate recipients’ publication careers has changed.

This is achieved by matching 1951–2010 doctorate recipients with rare names in astrophysics, chemistry, economics, genetics and psychology in the dissertation database ProQuest to their publications in the publication database Web of Science.

Our study shows that pre-PhD publication careers have changed: the median year of first publication has shifted from after the PhD to several years before PhD in most of the studied fields. In contrast, post-PhD publication career spans have not changed much in most fields.

The share of doctorate recipients who have published for more than twenty years has remained stable over time; the shares of doctorate recipients publishing for shorter periods also remained almost unchanged.

Thus, though there have been changes in pre-PhD publication careers, post-PhD career spans remained quite stable.

URL : Stability and Longevity in the Publication Careers of U.S. Doctorate Recipients


Numérique et libération de la production scientifique

À mesure que les technologies numériques de l’information et de la communication (TNIC) se déploient dans le champ scientifique (recherche et enseignement supérieur), impulsant, notamment au sein des humanités, de « nouveaux modes de travail », de « nouveaux lieux de production » et de « nouveaux publics » (Citton, 2015 : 172), plusieurs débats émergent quant au sens d’ensemble et à la direction à donner à ces mutations : « À l’heure du cloud, du software as a service (SAS), du big data et des géants mondiaux du numérique, il semble impossible d’éviter le débat sur les initiatives […] en matière d’infrastructures numériques de recherche » (Dacos, 2014).

C’est le cas notamment en ce qui concerne la problématique de l’Open Access, enjeu majeur des mutations numériques de l’université, actuellement très présente dans les discussions institutionnelles, et tout particulièrement en France.

Elle y joue, en effet, un rôle central dans la mesure où elle se trouve au cœur de la loi « pour une République numérique », laquelle a été adoptée par l’Assemblée nationale en première lecture en janvier 2016, et divise actuellement la communauté universitaire, entre des réactions particulièrement enthousiastes ou au contraire très sceptiques.


Open Access Article Processing Charges (OA APC) Longitudinal Study 2015 Preliminary Dataset

This article documents Open access article processing charges (OA APC) longitudinal study 2015 preliminary dataset available for download from the OA APC dataverse.

This dataset was gathered as part of Sustaining the Knowledge Commons (SKC), a research program funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The overall goal of SKC is to advance our collective knowledge about how to transition scholarly publishing from a system dependent on subscriptions and purchase to one that is fully open access.

The OA APC preliminary data 2015 Version 12 dataset was developed as one of the lines of research of SKC, a longitudinal study of the minority (about a third) of the fully open access journals that use this business model.

The original idea was to gather data during an annual two-week census period. The volume of data and growth in this area makes this an impractical goal. For this reason, we are posting this preliminary dataset in case it might be helpful to others working in this area.

Future data gathering and analyses will be conducted on an ongoing basis. We encourage others to share their data as well. In order to merge datasets, note that the two most critical elements for matching data and merging datasets are the journal title and ISSN.

URL : Open Access Article Processing Charges (OA APC) Longitudinal Study 2015 Preliminary Dataset

Alternative location :

Comparing Published Scientific Journal Articles to Their Pre-print Versions

Academic publishers claim that they add value to scholarly communications by coordinating reviews and contributing and enhancing text during publication.

These contributions come at a considerable cost: U.S. academic libraries paid $1.7 billion for serial subscriptions in 2008 alone. Library budgets, in contrast, are flat and not able to keep pace with serial price inflation.

We have investigated the publishers’ value proposition by conducting a comparative study of pre-print papers and their final published counterparts.

This comparison had two working assumptions: 1) if the publishers’ argument is valid, the text of a pre-print paper should vary measurably from its corresponding final published version, and 2) by applying standard similarity measures, we should be able to detect and quantify such differences.

Our analysis revealed that the text contents of the scientific papers generally changed very little from their pre-print to final published versions. These findings contribute empirical indicators to discussions of the added value of commercial publishers and therefore should influence libraries’ economic decisions regarding access to scholarly publications.


A Journal is a Club: A New Economic Model for Scholarly Publishing

A new economic model for analysis of scholarly publishing—journal publishing in particular—is proposed that draws on club theory. The standard approach builds on market failure in the private production (by research scholars) of a public good (new scholarly knowledge).

In that model publishing is communication, as the dissemination of information. But a club model views publishing differently: namely as group formation, where members form groups in order to confer externalities on each other, subject to congestion.

A journal is a self-constituted group, endeavouring to create new knowledge. In this sense ‘a journal is a club’. The knowledge club model of a journal seeks to balance the positive externalities due to a shared resource (readers, citations, referees) against negative externalities due to crowding (decreased prospect of publishing in that journal).

A new economic model of a journal as a ‘knowledge club’ is elaborated. We suggest some consequences for the management of journals and financial models that might be developed to support them.


Open peer review : from an experiment to a model. A narrative of an open peer review experimentation

This article narrates the development of the experimentation of an open peer review and open commentary protocols. This experiment concerns propositions of articles for the environmental sciences journal VertigO, digital and open access scientific publication.

This experiment did not last long enough (4 months) and was not deployed on a large enough corpus (10 preprints) to lead to firm quantitative conclusions. However, it highlights practical leads and thoughts about the potentialities and the limitations of the open review processes – in the broadest sense – for scientific publishing.

Based on the exemplary of the experiment and a participant observation as a copy-editor devoted to open peer review, the article finally proposes a model from the experimented prototype.

This model, named OPRISM, could be implemented on other publishing contexts for social sciences and humanities. Central and much debated activity in the academic world, peer review refers to different practices such as control, validation, allocation and contradiction exercised by the scientific community for itself.

Its scope is wide: from the allocation for funding to the relevance of a recruitment. According to common sense, the control of the scientific community by itself is a guarantee of scientific quality.

This issue became even more important in an international context of competition between universities and between scholars themselves.

URL : Open peer review : from an experiment to a model

Alternative location :

Innovations in scholarly communication – global survey on research tool usage

Many new websites and online tools have come into existence to support scholarly communication in all phases of the research workflow. To what extent researchers are using these and more traditional tools has been largely unknown.

This 2015-2016 survey aimed to fill that gap. Its results may help decision making by stakeholders supporting researchers and may also help researchers wishing to reflect on their own online workflows. In addition, information on tools usage can inform studies of changing research workflows.

The online survey employed an open, non-probability sample. A largely self-selected group of 20663 researchers, librarians, editors, publishers and other groups involved in research took the survey, which was available in seven languages.

The survey was open from May 10, 2015 to February 10, 2016. It captured information on tool usage for 17 research activities, stance towards open access and open science, and expectations of the most important development in scholarly communication.

Respondents’ demographics included research roles, country of affiliation, research discipline and year of first publication.

URL : Innovations in scholarly communication – global survey on research tool usage