Research Articles in Simplified HTML: a Web-first format for HTML-based scholarly articles

Authors : Silvio Peroni, Francesco Osborne, Angelo Di Iorio, Andrea Giovanni Nuzzolese, Francesco Poggi, Fabio Vitali, Enrico Motta


This paper introduces the Research Articles in Simplified HTML (or RASH), which is a Web-first format for writing HTML-based scholarly papers; it is accompanied by the RASH Framework, i.e. a set tools for interacting with RASH-based articles. The paper also presents an evaluation that involved authors and reviewers of RASH articles, submitted to the SAVE-SD 2015 and SAVE-SD 2016 workshops.


RASH has been developed in order to: be easy to learn and use; share scholarly documents (and embedded semantic annotations) through the Web; support its adoption within the existing publishing workflow.


The evaluation study confirmed that RASH can already be adopted in workshops, conferences and journals and can be quickly learnt by researchers who are familiar with HTML.

Research limitations

The evaluation study also highlighted some issues in the adoption of RASH, and in general of HTML formats, especially by less technical savvy users. Moreover, additional tools are needed, e.g. for enabling additional conversion from/to existing formats such as OpenXML.

Practical implications

RASH (and its Framework) is another step towards enabling the definition of formal representations of the meaning of the content of an article, facilitate its automatic discovery, enable its linking to semantically related articles, provide access to data within the article in actionable form, and allow integration of data between papers.

Social implications

RASH addresses the intrinsic needs related to the various users of a scholarly article: researchers (focussing on its content), readers (experiencing new ways for browsing it), citizen scientists (reusing available data formally defined within it through semantic annotations), publishers (using the advantages of new technologies as envisioned by the Semantic Publishing movement).


RASH focuses strictly on writing the content of the paper (i.e., organisation of text + semantic annotations) and leaves all the issues about it validation, visualisation, conversion, and semantic data extraction to the various tools developed within its Framework.


Introduction à l’écrilecture scientifique et aux modalités techniques de son augmentation

Auteurs/Authors : Evelyne Broudoux, Gérald Kembellec

L’objectif de cette introduction est de placer l’écrilecture numérique dans le contexte des humanités numériques afin de mieux saisir l’ancrage de ce procédé comme partie prenante de cette mise en mouvement disciplinaire.

L’écrilecture, y compris scientifique, est une pratique ancienne dont les procédés évoluent en même temps que les outils et qui structure la réflexion de générations de penseurs.


Enjeux des « revues hypermédiatisées » pour l’édition scientifique

Auteurs/Authors : Lise Verlaet, Hans Dillaerts

Au sein de cet article nous nous intéresserons aux nouvelles formes de revues scientifiques numériques. Les mutations induites par le numérique ont en effet un impact fondamental sur le secteur de la communication scientifique (Dillaerts, 2012).

Comme nous le démontrerons dans une première partie à travers l’exposé de l’état de l’art, ces dernières se limitent bien souvent dans un premier temps à une simple transposition de la version papier. Toutefois de nouveaux modèles de diffusion sont apparus, notamment le Libre Accès (accès gratuit avec la possibilité de réutiliser et redistribuer l’article) ou encore la science ouverte laquelle prône une démarche scientifique ouverte, des modèles de peer review innovants (open peer review et les méga-revues).

Fort de ces observations et constats, nous développerons ensuite le concept de « revue hypermédiatisée » que nous présenterons au regard du développement de la revue COSSI (Communication, Organisation, Société du Savoir et Information). Inspiré de l’idée de « site médiateur » (Davallon & Jeanneret, 2004), une revue hypermédiatisée propose une redocumentarisation (Pédauque, 2006 ; Salaün, 2007) de son corpus pour en dégager un sens inédit.



Organization and Delivery of Scholarly Communications Services by Academic and Research Libraries in the United Kingdom: Observations from Across the Pond

Author: Christine Fruin


The U.K. library community has implemented collaborative strategies in key scholarly communication areas such as open access mandate compliance, and U.S. librarians could benefit from learning in greater detail about the practices and experiences of U.K. libraries with respect to how they have organized scholarly communication services.


In order to better understand the scholarly communication activities in U.K. academic and research libraries, and how U.S. libraries could apply that experience in the context of their own priorities, an environmental scan via a survey of U.K. research libraries and in-person interviews were conducted.


U.K. libraries concentrate their scholarly communication services on supporting compliance with open access mandates and in the development of new services that reflect libraries’ shifting role from information consumer to information producer.


Due to the difference in the requirements of open access mandates in the U.K. as compared to the U.S., scholarly communication services in the U.K. are more focused on supporting compliance efforts. U.S. libraries engage more actively in providing copyright education and consultation than U.K. libraries. Both U.K. and U.S. libraries have developed new services in the areas of research data management and library publishing.


There are three primary takeaways from the experience of U.K. scholarly communication practitioners for U.S. librarians: increase collaboration with offices of research, reconsider current organization and delegation of scholarly communication services, and increase involvement in legislative and policy-making activity in the U.S. with respect to access to research.

URL : Organization and Delivery of Scholarly Communications Services by Academic and Research Libraries in the United Kingdom: Observations from Across the Pond



Amending Published Articles: Time To Rethink Retractions And Corrections?

Authors : Virginia Barbour, Theo Bloom, Jennifer Lin, Elizabeth

Academic publishing is evolving and our current system of correcting research post-publication is failing, both ideologically and practically. It does not encourage researchers to engage in consistent post-publication changes.

Worse yet, post-publication « updates » are misconstrued as punishments or admissions of guilt. We propose a different model that publishers of research can apply to the content they publish, ensuring that any post-publication amendments are seamless, transparent and propagated to all the countless places online where descriptions of research appear.

At the center, the neutral term « amendment » describes all forms of post-publication change to an article. We lay out a straightforward and consistent process that applies to each of the three types of amendments: insubstantial, substantial, and complete.

This proposed system supports the dynamic nature of the research process itself as researchers continue to refine or extend the work, removing the emotive climate particularly associated with retractions and corrections to published work.

It allows researchers to cite and share the correct versions of articles with certainty, and for decision makers to have access to the most up to date information.

URL : Amending Published Articles: Time To Rethink Retractions And Corrections?


Shadow Libraries and You: Sci-Hub Usage and the Future of ILL

Authors : Gabriel J. Gardner, Stephen R. McLaughlin, Andrew D. Asher

Scholars have shared copyrighted material outside official channels for decades, but recent market forces, professional pressure, and novel technical exploits have allowed the large-scale automation of these practices.

As a result, millions of scholarly articles, chapters, books, and papers have been aggregated in illicit collections known as “shadow libraries,” available for free download by anyone with an Internet connection.

The best-known shadow libraries are Library Genesis (LibGen) and the associated website Sci-Hub, which uses pooled university credentials to access articles and add them to LibGen’s repository. AvaxHome and the defunct website Library. nu are two others, with numerous smaller collections scattered across the web.

Since Elsevier, in June 2015, filed a civil suit against Sci-Hub, its creator Alexandra Elbakyan, LibGen, and several John Does associated with LibGen, many articles and opinion pieces have been published on the role and possible effects of shadow libraries in the scholarly communication ecosystem.

Though they clearly violate U.S. copyright law, many scholars are quick to offer praise rather than condemnation for the site. Sci-Hub is easy to use, offering simple and fast access to full-text articles in PDF format in a manner more straightforward than many library or publisher websites.

To date, however, only a few scholars have examined the phenomenon empirically. There is a dearth of information on questions such as whether shadow libraries will reduce publishers’ revenues and disrupt the scholarly publishing industry, and whether they are affecting academic library usage or decreasing the use of interlibrary loan.

This study attempts to shed light on some of the questions facing libraries and publishers. Specifically, it examines the effects of Sci-Hub on interlibrary loan in select cities using various quantitative methods.

In addition, we explore Sci-Hub usage in the United States qualitatively along subject-based and pricing-based lines of inquiry. Other general qualitative findings of note are included in an effort to expand the literature on this relatively new and understudied topic.


Emerging trends in peer review—a survey

Authors : Richard Walker, Pascal Rocha da Silva

“Classical peer review” has been subject to intense criticism for slowing down the publication process, bias against specific categories of paper and author, unreliability, inability to detect errors and fraud, unethical practices, and the lack of recognition for unpaid reviewers.

This paper surveys innovative forms of peer review that attempt to address these issues. Based on an initial literature review, we construct a sample of 82 channels of scientific communication covering all forms of review identified by the survey, and analyze the review mechanisms used by each channel.

We identify two major trends: the rapidly expanding role of preprint servers (e.g., ArXiv) that dispense with traditional peer review altogether, and the growth of “non-selective review,” focusing on papers’ scientific quality rather than their perceived importance and novelty.

Other potentially important developments include forms of “open review,” which remove reviewer anonymity, and interactive review, as well as new mechanisms for post-publication review and out-of-channel reader commentary, especially critical commentary targeting high profile papers.

One of the strongest findings of the survey is the persistence of major differences between the peer review processes used by different disciplines. None of these differences is likely to disappear in the foreseeable future.

The most likely scenario for the coming years is thus continued diversification, in which different review mechanisms serve different author, reader, and publisher needs. Relatively little is known about the impact of these innovations on the problems they address. These are important questions for future quantitative research.

URL : Emerging trends in peer review—a survey