Global Diversity in Higher Education Workforces: Towards Openness

Authors : Katie Wilson, Cameron Neylon, Lucy Montgomery, Chun-Kai (Karl) Huang, Rebecca N. Handcock, Aniek Roelofs, Richard Hosking, Alkim Ozaygen

In this article we discuss the collection and nature of diversity data relating to origin (ethnicity, race, nationality, indigeneity), gender/sex and disability in higher education institutional workforces across 24 locations within Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania.

The research emerges from the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative project (n.d.), in which we analyse data relating to published research literature, its open access status, citations and collaborations for institutions, publishers and research funding bodies.

Our project explores demographic data relating to workforce diversity and research production; we examine who creates knowledge and how diversity is transmitted through research.

Collecting and analysing higher education workforce demographic diversity data reveals a global datascape with considerable variation in practices and data collected. The data reflect political and social histories, national and international policies and practices, priorities and funding.

The presence and absence of public data provide an opportunity to understand differing national situations and priorities beneath the statistics. We open a conversation about how the concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion differ between groups of countries, which makes global comparisons difficult.

By identifying higher education data and gaps, we also encourage institutions and countries to review their workforce demographics and their intersection with research production. Awareness of institutional diversity levels through data analysis can guide institutions towards knowledge openness.

URL : Global Diversity in Higher Education Workforces: Towards Openness


OA isn’t free, it costs folks like you and me. How open access ideology obscures labour inequity in academia

Author : John Bryans

Despite the framing of open access (OA) as a progressive movement that challenges neoliberalism and champions the public good, academic labour is often left out of these analyses (Eve, 2017).

In a bid to liberate academic labour from the neoliberal hands of commercial publishing, advocates of OA have argued that making scholarly work “free” can help to establish an academic commons (de Rosnay, 2021).

However initiatives to mandate OA in academia like “Plan S” set the stage for academic labourers to be compelled to give up rights to their intellectual property (Frantzvag & Stromme, 2019). In this essay I argue that the broad acceptance of OA as the liberatory savior of academic publishing is misguided, as it obscures the right-wing libertarian roots of the movement and would see academics voluntarily alienate themselves from their labour (Golumbia, 2016).

Drawing on Golumbia’s (2016) Marxist reading of the political economy of OA, I argue that devaluing academic labour by characterizing it as unproductive and immaterial negates the abstract labour that produces scholarly works.

Undoubtedly, libraries have an important role to play in the OA “revolution” (Burns, 2018), although not as assenting boosters but as critical voices that advocate for the rights of workers.

URL : OA isn’t free, it costs folks like you and me. How open access ideology obscures labour inequity in academia


Organized Scientific Diaspora and Its Contributions to Science Diplomacy in Emerging Economies: The Case of Latin America and the Caribbean

Authors : Luisa F. Echeverría-King, Reina Camacho Toro, Pedro Figueroa, Laura A. Galvis, Alejandra González, Verónica Rossana Suárez, Ivonne Torres Atencio, Claudia Natalie Widmaier Müller

The current knowledge society has driven an unprecedented mobility of people, especially scientists, from emerging economies to developed countries. This mobility can allow the development of human talent and the access to first class infrastructure and resources, but it can also mean a loss for emerging economies due to the phenomenon of brain drain.

To counteract this situation, some countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have developed models for the articulation of their scientific diaspora in projects and programs, with the aim of exchanging knowledge and capitalizing on human and technical resources to advance science, technology and innovation systems.

Likewise, science diplomacy has become a tool for interlinking the work of various actors in order to advance the solution of national, transnational or global problems through scientific advice. Scientific diasporas are vital in new structures of cooperation, enabling them to innovate and solve problems jointly, advising their countries of origin and articulating policies and programs.

This research seeks to analyze the interactions and initiatives identified between the organized scientific diaspora from Latin America and the Caribbean and their countries of origin in relation to science diplomacy processes, providing recommendations and proposals for public policy to improve the interaction between the diaspora and the governments of their countries of origin.

Results show that diaspora organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean engage with governmental and non-state actors and are active science diplomacy stakeholders promoting the scientific developments of their country or their researchers, as well as enabling access to research resources creating alliances for scientific, institutional and academic collaborations.

In the cases studied, these efforts are planned and executed by the diaspora without responding to any science diplomacy strategy of the country. Policies and programs are needed to effectively link the scientific diaspora organizations to the interests of the countries.

URL : Organized Scientific Diaspora and Its Contributions to Science Diplomacy in Emerging Economies: The Case of Latin America and the Caribbean


Institutional repositories and copyright in Greek academic libraries

Authors : Konstantinos Kyprianos, Ekaterini Lygnou

Institutional repositories were created to collect, preserve, and make available the academic institution’s scientific output. The purpose of this study is to investigate and illustrate how Greek academic libraries with institutional repositories deal with copyright challenges.

The study aims to identify and describe if institutional repository managers apply a certain copyright clearance protocol, the problems they encounter, and how they deal with them. For this study, a quantitative research method based on questionnaires was employed.

The questionnaire consisted of twenty-nine (29) questions separated into three (3) sections and was sent to thirty-one (31) academic libraries.

According to the survey results, the majority of academic libraries have an institutional repository and provide open access to its content. It was found that academic institutional repositories face intellectual property difficulties.

The biggest issue highlighted was a lack of knowledge of the notion of copyright. Finally, communication amongst libraries seems to be the foundation for developing a common policy and addressing the difficulties that have arisen in institutional repositories as a result of Greek copyright legislation limits.

URL : Institutional repositories and copyright in Greek academic libraries


Characteristics of ‘mega’ peer-reviewers

Authors : Danielle B. Rice, Ba’ Pham, Justin Presseau, Andrea C. Tricco, David Moher


The demand for peer reviewers is often perceived as disproportionate to the supply and availability of reviewers. Considering characteristics associated with peer review behaviour can allow for the development of solutions to manage the growing demand for peer reviewers.

The objective of this research was to compare characteristics among two groups of reviewers registered in Publons.


A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used to compare characteristics between (1) individuals completing at least 100 peer reviews (‘mega peer reviewers’) from January 2018 to December 2018 as and (2) a control group of peer reviewers completing between 1 and 18 peer reviews over the same time period.

Data was provided by Publons, which offers a repository of peer reviewer activities in addition to tracking peer reviewer publications and research metrics. Mann Whitney tests and chi-square tests were conducted comparing characteristics (e.g., number of publications, number of citations, word count of peer review) of mega peer reviewers to the control group of reviewers.


A total of 1596 peer reviewers had data provided by Publons. A total of 396 M peer reviewers and a random sample of 1200 control group reviewers were included. A greater proportion of mega peer reviews were male (92%) as compared to the control reviewers (70% male).

Mega peer reviewers demonstrated a significantly greater average number of total publications, citations, receipt of Publons awards, and a higher average h index as compared to the control group of reviewers (all p < .001). We found no statistically significant differences in the number of words between the groups (p > .428).


Mega peer reviewers registered in the Publons database also had a higher number of publications and citations as compared to a control group of reviewers. Additional research that considers motivations associated with peer review behaviour should be conducted to help inform peer reviewing activity.

URL : Characteristics of ‘mega’ peer-reviewers


The Academic, Societal and Animal Welfare Benefits of Open Science for Animal Science

Authors : Christian Nawroth, E. Tobias Krause

Animal science researchers have the obligation to reduce, refine, and replace the usage of animals in research (3R principles). Adherence to these principles can be improved by transparently publishing research findings, data and protocols.

Open Science (OS) can help to increase the transparency of many parts of the research process, and its implementation should thus be considered by animal science researchers as a valuable opportunity that can contribute to the adherence to these 3R-principles.

With this article, we want to encourage animal science researchers to implement a diverse set of OS practices, such as Open Access publishing, preprinting, and the pre-registration of test protocols, in their workflows.

URL : The Academic, Societal and Animal Welfare Benefits of Open Science for Animal Science


From library budget to information budget: fostering transparency in the transformation towards open access

Author: Heinz Pampel

The discussion on the transformation of scholarly journals to open access (OA) increasingly concerns financial aspects. Considering the variety of funding strategies for article processing charge (APCs), the array of cost types for scientific information and the need for data monitoring to promote cost transparency, an integrated view of the financial dimension of the OA transition is needed.

This commentary describes the need for implementing an information budget that looks beyond just the library budget and comprehensively targets all financial flows from universities and other research performing organizations to publishers.

An information budget promotes an integrated perspective on the distributed costs at a given institution. This centralized approach of assessing financial flows can be used to strengthen the position of research institutions when negotiating with publishers.

URL : From library budget to information budget: fostering transparency in the transformation towards open access