State of the art report on open access publishing of research data in the humanities

Auteurs/Authors : Stefan Buddenbohm, Nathanael Cretin, Elly Dijk, Bertrand Gai e, Maaike De Jong, Jean-Luc Minel, Blandine Nouvel

Publishing research data as open data is not yet common practice for researchers in the arts and humanities, and lags behind other scientific fields, such as the natural sciences. Moreover, even when humanities researchers publish their data in repositories and archives, these data are often hard to find and use by other researchers in the field.

The goal of Work Package 7 of the the HaS (Humanities at Scale) DARIAH project is to develop an open humanities data platform for the humanities. Work in task 7.1 is a joint effort of Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the University of Göttingen – State and University Library (UGOE-SUB).

This report gives an overview of the various aspects that are connected to open access publishing of research data in the humanities. After the introduction, where we give definitions of key concepts, we describe the research data life cycle.

We present an overview of the different stakeholders involved and we look into advantages and obstacles for researchers to share research data. Furthermore, a description of the European data repositories is given, followed by certification standards of trusted digital data repositories.

The possibility of data citation is important for sharing open data and is also described in this report. We also discuss the standards and use of metadata in the humanities. Finally, we discuss best practice example of open access research data system in the humanities: the French open research data ecosystem.

With this report we provide information and guidance on open access publishing of humanities research data for researchers. The report is the result of a desk study towards the current state of open access research data and the specific challenges for humanities. It will serve as input for Task 7.2., which will deliver a design and sustainability plan for an open humanities data platform, and for Task 7.3, which will deliver this platform.


A review of the literature on citation impact indicators

Citation impact indicators nowadays play an important role in research evaluation, and consequently these indicators have received a lot of attention in the bibliometric and scientometric literature. This paper provides an in-depth review of the literature on citation impact indicators. First, an overview is given of the literature on bibliographic databases that can be used to calculate citation impact indicators (Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar).

Next, selected topics in the literature on citation impact indicators are reviewed in detail. The first topic is the selection of publications and citations to be included in the calculation of citation impact indicators. The second topic is the normalization of citation impact indicators, in particular normalization for field differences.

Counting methods for dealing with co-authored publications are the third topic, and citation impact indicators for journals are the last topic. The paper concludes by offering some recommendations for future research.


Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information in Europe

Executive summary

An important aspect of open science is a move towards open access to publicly funded research results, including scientific publications as well as research data. Based on the structure of Commission Recommendation C(2012) 4890 final and its assorted reporting mechanism (the National Points of Reference for scientific information) this report provides an overview on access to and preservation of scientific information in the EU Member States as well as Norway and Turkey. It is based on self-reporting by the participating states as well as cross-referencing with other relevant documents and further desk research.

Concerning open access to scientific peer-reviewed publications, most EU Member States reported a national preference for one of the two types of open access, either the Green (self-archiving) or the Gold (open access publishing) model. Preference for the Green model is found in Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. Those expressing a preference for the Gold model are Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Other Member States support both models equally, such as Germany, France, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Finland. However, the expressed preferences for one of the two models are not pure models in which only one route is followed. Instead, there is generally a system of predominance of one model with the possibility of using the other model, so a mixture of both routes results.

While few Member States have a national law requiring open access to publications, a mandate put in place by law is not necessarily stronger or more effective than a mandate put in place by a single institution or funder. For example, an open access mandate is strong as it ties open access to possible withdrawal of funds in the case of non-compliance, or to the evaluation of researchers’ careers.

Overall, policies on open access to research data are less developed across EU countries than policies and strategies on open access to research publications. However, individual Member State feedback shows a general acknowledgement of the importance of open research data and of policies, strategies and actions addressed at fostering the collection, curation, preservation and re-use of research data. Based on the self-reporting of the EU Member States and participating associated countries, the following classification is proposed.

  • Very little or no open access to research data policies in place and no plan for a more developed policy in the near future: Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland.
  • Very little or no open access to research data policies in place, but some plans in place or under development: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey.
  • Open access policies/institutional strategies or subject-based initiatives for research data already in place: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, the United Kingdom.

Concerning the curation and preservation of scientific information (another issue covered by the 2012 Recommendation), institutional repositories are very well developed in most Member States although some NPR reports stress that, in many cases, institutional repositories are not certified to properly guarantee the long-term preservation of scientific information.

NPR reports also show that many Member States have made a clear effort to become more efficient and transparent regarding scientific information and research activities in general. This being said, some Member States underline research information purposes rather than the objective of open access to research results, with most CRIS systems containing meta-data and not necessarily full results.

Nevertheless, a tendency can be observed among the latest wave of EU enlargement countries that they are focusing efforts on developing centralised national repositories for preservation to be connected to the existing national CRIS systems and to be inter-operable across the EU with, for example, OpenAIRE protocols.

Many Member States have devised global policies and strategies for developing e-infrastructures in a comprehensive way. Such strategies often contain specific chapters or sections addressing scientific information, research and innovation, covering storage and high-performance computing capabilities as well as the appropriate dissemination, access and visibility of research results. As is the case in other areas, the stage of e-infrastructure development varies greatly among Member States, and it is worth noting differences in funding capabilities in this area. The support provided by EU-funded projects and initiatives is of significant importance here.

Concerning participation in multi-stakeholder dialogues and activities, several countries have set up national coordination bodies or networks (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland, Portugal). Other countries rely on a university or a university library (or an association of libraries) to coordinate national stakeholders (Czech Republic, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta) or on their research promotion agency/research councils (Cyprus, Sweden, the United Kingdom) or their academy of science (Slovakia).

Specific events, such as open-access workshops or activities during the annual open-access week, have also been identified as a way to galvanise stakeholder interaction at the national level (Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Romania). Additionally to EU fora (such as ERA, ERAC, the NPR, the Digital ERA Forum and the E-IRG), EU funded projects such as OpenAIRE FOSTER and PASTEUR4OA as well as PEER, Dariah and Serscida were mentioned as important support mechanisms. Furthermore, Belgium and the Netherlands have established bilateral cooperation and among the Nordic states (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) part of the dialogue on open science is conducted within the framework of the NordForsk organisation.

URL : Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information in Europe

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Open access in the world and Latin America: A review since the Budapest Open Access Initiative

In 2012, the Open Access Movement to scientific information celebrated ten years of existence. The period, which represents the first stage of consolidation of the movement, has been analyzed to allow the planning of new phases. With the purpose of providing tools and contributing to these discussions, the article addresses the historical aspects of the international and regional constitution of Open Access Movement.

The approach was developed from a descriptive temporal narrative of the main events and initiatives identified in the scientific literature on the subject. The elements discussed in the present study work were organized under two parameters. The first refers to a temporal perspective, defined from the publication of Budapest Open Access Initiative. The second is related to brief discussion of the participation of Latin America.

As result, we present a timeline of open access in the world and in Latin America, showing the main aspects covered in the study. The goal of the study is achieved by the proposed systematization as we analyze the open access initiatives in Latin America and establish how they influenced and were influenced by other regions of the world.

URL : Open access in the world and Latin America: A review since the Budapest Open Access Initiative

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Bibliometric and benchmark analysis of gold open access in Spain: big output and little impact

This bibliometric study analyzes the research output produced by Spain during the 2005-2014 time period in Open Access (OA) journals indexed in Web of Science. The aim of the paper is to determine if papers published in Open Access journals contribute to the improvement of citation impact and collaboration indicators in Spanish research.

The results are shown by scientific areas and compared with 17 European countries. Spain is the second highest ranking European country with gold OA publication output and the fourth highest in Open Access output (9%). In Spain OA output is especially high in the fields of Arts and Humanities (28%). Spain’s normalized citation impact in Open access (0.72) is lower than the world average and that of the main European countries. Finally, we discuss how these results differ from the so-called Open Access citation advantage.


University-based open access publishing

This report, prepared for SPARC Europe, sketches the landscape of university-­‐based not-­‐for-­‐ profit publishing in Europe with a primary focus on open access publishing of journals. It provides a view of the different types of initiatives in terms of their size, operational and business models, technologies used, stakeholder involvement, concentration of scientific fields, growth, as well as regional characteristics and recommendations for SPARC Europe and DOAJ.

The report attests to a rich and continuously evolving ecology of open access publishing initiatives in universities in Europe and elsewhere. Beyond the commercial publishing models, it appears that university libraries are largely the foci of intense activity in journal publishing and books (primarily where a university press exists), while national governments are moving towards building national collections, national portals and services paid for by public funds to make research published within the country more relevant and accessible internationally.

This ecology is primarily populated by small publishers who are largely invisible, and much smaller numbers of large and medium-­‐ sized university-­‐based activities. At the same time, a growing number of innovative initiatives in the University and outside, mostly initiated by scholars and University Presses, eager to experiment in developing a fair and sustainable scholarly communications system, attests to a vibrant and swiftly-­‐evolving landscape.

URL : University-based open access publishing

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Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Croatia

There is a vibrant Open Access environment in Croatia and several academic and research institutions initiate different activities concerning open access to the scientific information (Ruđer Bošković Institute, School of Medicine, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Faculty of Organization and Informatics at University of Zagreb, University of Zadar, University of Osijek, National and University Library, etc.). It is very important to improve collaboration among different stakeholders, as well as to provide top-down guidance harmonized with EU practices.

Important blocks of the existing Open Access research infrastructure are presented in the paper: the Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI, the Croatian portal for Open Access journals HRČAK, and the common infrastructure for digital academic repositories DABAR. Future development of Open Access infrastructure in Croatia is discussed.