Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access

« This paper makes the strong, fact-based case for a large-scale transformation of the current corpus of scientific subscription journals to an open access business model. The existing journals, with their well-tested functionalities, should be retained and developed to meet the demands of 21st century research, while the underlying payment streams undergo a major restructuring. There is sufficient momentum for this decisive push towards open access publishing. The diverse existing initiatives must be coordinated so as to converge on this clear goal.

The international nature of research implies that this transformation will be achieved on a truly global scale only through a consensus of the world’s most eminent research organizations. All the indications are that the money already invested in the research publishing system is sufficient to enable a transformation that will be sustainable for the future. There needs to be a shared understanding that the money currently locked in the journal subscription system must be withdrawn and re-purposed for open access publishing services.

The current library acquisition budgets are the ultimate reservoir for enabling the transformation without financial or other risks. The goal is to preserve the established service levels provided by publishers that are still requested by researchers, while redefining and reorganizing the necessary payment streams. By disrupting the underlying business model, the viability of journal publishing can be preserved and put on a solid footing for the scholarly developments of the future. »

URL : MPDL_OA-Transition_White_Paper

Related URL : http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0026-C274-7

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Apprenticeship in Scholarly Publishing: A Student Perspective on Doctoral Supervisors’ Roles

« Although a large body of literature has suggested that doctoral supervisors play an important role in their students’ attempts at scholarly publishing, few studies have focused specifically on what roles they play. This study sought to address this gap by zooming in on the various roles a group of Chinese doctoral students found their supervisors playing in their scholarly publishing endeavors. Our analysis revealed four important roles played by the supervisors: ‘prey’ searchers, managers, manuscript correctors and masters. The results showed that the supervisors not only facilitated the doctoral students’ publishing output, but also fostered their apprenticeship in scholarly publishing and the academic community. However, the results also unveiled a general unavailability of sorely-needed detailed and specific guidance on students’ early publishing attempts and some supervisors’ limited ability to correct students’ English manuscripts. These findings underscore the important contributions doctoral supervisors can make to their students’ academic socialization. They also suggest a need for external editorial assistance with doctoral students’ English manuscripts and ample opportunities for their scaffolded initiation into the tacit conventions and practices of scholarly publishing. »

URL : Apprenticeship in Scholarly Publishing: A Student Perspective on Doctoral Supervisors’ Roles

DOI : 10.3390/publications3010027

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English Writing for International Publication in the Age of Globalization: Practices and Perceptions of Mainland Chinese Academics in the Humanities and Social Sciences

« Much scholarly attention has been given to the English writing and publishing practices of the academics in non-Anglophone countries, but studies on such practices in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) have in general been limited. The case of Mainland Chinese HSS academics is potentially interesting. On the one hand, international publications in these disciplines have been on the increase, which are also encouraged by the national research policy of “going-out”. On the other hand, unlike those in science and technology (S&T), such practices in the HSS are still much less institutionalized at the local level. In the study reported in this article, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine academics in economics, sociology and archaeology from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and all nine participants had prior experience in international publishing. With a focus on participants’ experiences and perceptions, findings from this study demonstrated the relatively passive role participants played in their international publications, the importance of various resources in bringing forth these publications, and the relations between participants’ alignments with the local or international community and their voluntary investment in participating in their practices. Implications of the study were also discussed. »

URL : English Writing for International Publication in the Age of Globalization: Practices and Perceptions of Mainland Chinese Academics in the Humanities and Social Sciences

DOI :10.3390/publications3020043

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Landscapes of Research: Perceptions of Open Access (OA) Publishing in the Arts and Humanities

« It is widely known now that scholarly communication is in crisis, resting on an academic publishing model that is unsustainable. One response to this crisis has been the emergence of Open Access (OA) publishing, bringing scholarly literature out from behind a paywall and making it freely available to anyone online. Many research and academic libraries are facilitating the change to OA by establishing institutional repositories, supporting OA policies, and hosting OA journals. In addition, research funding bodies, such as the Australian Research Council (ARC), are mandating that all published grant research outputs be made available in OA, unless legal and contractual obligations prevent this. Despite these broader changes, not all scholars are aware of the new publishing environment. In particular, the rate of adoption of OA models in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) has historically been lower than Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) disciplines. Nevertheless, some local and international OA exemplars exist in HSS. At Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, the faculty-administered environmental humanities journal, Landscapes, was migrated to the institutional open access repository in 2013. Subsequently, researchers in the Faculty of Education and Arts were surveyed regarding their knowledge, understandings, and perceptions of OA publishing. The survey was also designed to elicit the barriers to OA publishing perceived or experienced by HSS researchers. This article will present the findings of our small faculty-based OA survey, with particular attention to HSS academics (and within this subject group, particular attention to the arts and humanities), their perceptions of OA, and the impediments they encounter. We argue that OA publishing will continue to transform scholarship within the arts and humanities, especially through the role of institutional repositories. The “library-as-publisher” role offers the potential to transform academic and university-specific publishing activities. However, the ongoing training of university researchers and personnel is required to bring into balance their understandings of OA publisher and the demands of the broader Australian and international research environment. »

URL : Landscapes of Research: Perceptions of Open Access (OA) Publishing in the Arts and Humanities

DOI : 10.3390/publications3020065

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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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