The measurement of “interdisciplinarity” and “synergy” in scientific and extra‐scientific collaborations

Authors : Loet Leydesdorff, Inga Ivanova

Problem solving often requires crossing boundaries, such as those between disciplines. When policy‐makers call for “interdisciplinarity,” however, they often mean “synergy.” Synergy is generated when the whole offers more possibilities than the sum of its parts. An increase in the number of options above the sum of the options in subsets can be measured as redundancy; that is, the number of not‐yet‐realized options.

The number of options available to an innovation system for realization can be as decisive for the system’s survival as the historically already‐realized innovations. Unlike “interdisciplinarity,” “synergy” can also be generated in sectorial or geographical collaborations. The measurement of “synergy,” however, requires a methodology different from the measurement of “interdisciplinarity.”

In this study, we discuss recent advances in the operationalization and measurement of “interdisciplinarity,” and propose a methodology for measuring “synergy” based on information theory.

The sharing of meanings attributed to information from different perspectives can increase redundancy. Increasing redundancy reduces the relative uncertainty, for example, in niches.

The operationalization of the two concepts—“interdisciplinarity” and “synergy”—as different and partly overlapping indicators allows for distinguishing between the effects and the effectiveness of science‐policy interventions in research priorities.

URL : The measurement of “interdisciplinarity” and “synergy” in scientific and extra‐scientific collaborations

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24416

Do researchers use open research data? Exploring the relationships between usage trends and metadata quality across scientific disciplines from the Figshare case

Authors : Alfonso Quarati, Juliana E Raffaghelli

Open research data (ORD) have been considered a driver of scientific transparency. However, data friction, as the phenomenon of data underutilisation for several causes, has also been pointed out.

A factor often called into question for ORD low usage is the quality of the ORD and associated metadata. This work aims to illustrate the use of ORD, published by the Figshare scientific repository, concerning their scientific discipline, their type and compared with the quality of their metadata.

Considering all the Figshare resources and carrying out a programmatic quality assessment of their metadata, our analysis highlighted two aspects. First, irrespective of the scientific domain considered, most ORD are under-used, but with exceptional cases which concentrate most researchers’ attention.

Second, there was no evidence that the use of ORD is associated with good metadata publishing practices. These two findings opened to a reflection about the potential causes of such data friction.

URL : Do researchers use open research data? Exploring the relationships between usage trends and metadata quality across scientific disciplines from the Figshare case

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1177/0165551520961048

Evaluating the impact of open access policies on research institutions

Authors : Chun-kai (karl) Huang, Cameron Neylon, Richard Hosking, Lucy Montgomery, Katie S Wilson, Alkim Ozaygen, Chloe Brookes-Kenworthy

The proportion of research outputs published in open access journals or made available on other freely-accessible platforms has increased over the past two decades, driven largely by funder mandates, institutional policies, grass-roots advocacy, and changing attitudes in the research community.

However, the relative effectiveness of these different interventions has remained largely unexplored. Here we present a robust, transparent and updateable method for analysing how these interventions affect the open access performance of individual institutes.

We studied 1,207 institutions from across the world, and found that, in 2017, the top-performing universities published around 80–90% of their research open access.

The analysis also showed that publisher-mediated (gold) open access was popular in Latin American and African universities, whereas the growth of open access in Europe and North America has mostly been driven by repositories.

URL : Evaluating the impact of open access policies on research institutions

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.57067

Global electronic thesis and dissertation repositories – collection diversity and management issues

Authors: Fayaz Ahmad Loan, Ufaira Yaseen Shah

This article discovers the collection diversity of electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) repositories based on key parameters such as regional distribution, subject classification, language diversity, etc. and identifies the critical management issues of the ETD repositories related to collection management, software management, content management and metadata policies.

The ETD repositories were identified in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR). The required data were manually collected from the OpenDOAR and websites of repositories to achieve the prescribed objectives of the study. The data were later tabulated, analysed and interpreted using simple arithmetic techniques.

The study was limited to the ETD repositories available in the OpenDOAR, and findings cannot be generalized across repositories and directories. It provides insights about ETD repositories worldwide, highlights their critical management issues and suggests mechanisms for their sustainable growth and development.

This article is purely based on research and its findings are valid for scholars, faculty members, institutions – as well as administrators and managers of the ETD repositories.

URL : Global electronic thesis and dissertation repositories – collection diversity and management issues

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.524

Data journals: incentivizing data access and documentation within the scholarly communication system

Authors : William H. Walters

Data journals provide strong incentives for data creators to verify, document and disseminate their data. They also bring data access and documentation into the mainstream of scholarly communication, rewarding data creators through existing mechanisms of peer-reviewed publication and citation tracking.

These same advantages are not generally associated with data repositories, or with conventional journals’ data-sharing mandates. This article describes the unique advantages of data journals. It also examines the data journal landscape, presenting the characteristics of 13 data journals in the fields of biology, environmental science, chemistry, medicine and health sciences.

These journals vary considerably in size, scope, publisher characteristics, length of data reports, data hosting policies, time from submission to first decision, article processing charges, bibliographic index coverage and citation impact. They are similar, however, in their peer review criteria, their open access license terms and the characteristics of their editorial boards.

URL : Data journals: incentivizing data access and documentation within the scholarly communication system

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.510

How often do leading biomedical journals use statistical experts to evaluate statistical methods? The results of a survey

Authors : Tom E. Hardwicke, Steven N. Goodman

Scientific claims in biomedical research are typically derived from statistical analyses. However, misuse or misunderstanding of statistical procedures and results permeate the biomedical literature, affecting the validity of those claims.

One approach journals have taken to address this issue is to enlist expert statistical reviewers. How many journals do this, how statistical review is incorporated, and how its value is perceived by editors is of interest.

Here we report an expanded version of a survey conducted more than 20 years ago by Goodman and colleagues (1998) with the intention of characterizing contemporary statistical review policies at leading biomedical journals.

We received eligible responses from 107 of 364 (28%) journals surveyed, across 57 fields, mostly from editors in chief. 34% (36/107) rarely or never use specialized statistical review, 34% (36/107) used it for 10–50% of their articles and 23% used it for all articles.

These numbers have changed little since 1998 in spite of dramatically increased concern about research validity. The vast majority of editors regarded statistical review as having substantial incremental value beyond regular peer review and expressed comparatively little concern about the potential increase in reviewing time, cost, and difficulty identifying suitable statistical reviewers. Improved statistical education of researchers and different ways of employing statistical expertise are needed. Several proposals are discussed.

URL : How often do leading biomedical journals use statistical experts to evaluate statistical methods? The results of a survey

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0239598

La vulgarisation des recherches sur le phénomène de harcèlement dans The Conversation France : analyse du traitement thématique et discursif d’une question de société

Auteur/Author : Bérengère Stassin

The Conversation France (TCF) est un média indépendant en ligne à but non lucratif. Il résulte d’une collaboration entre chercheurs et journalistes. Les premiers écrivent des articles en lien avec l’actualité, mais dans une perspective de vulgarisation scientifique.

Les seconds, qui jouent un rôle d’éditeurs, en assurent la publication et la mise en visibilité. Le média aborde différents sujets de société parmi lesquels le harcèlement. Cette étude s’intéresse à la manière dont ce sujet est traité dans les articles, tant sur le plan thématique que discursif.

En appui sur un corpus de 73 articles qui ont tous été indexés « harcèlement » par les éditeurs, l’étude met en exergue qu’il est abordé sous trois angles (harcèlement scolaire, harcèlement moral au travail et cyberharcèlement) et principalement dans trois types d’articles (la présentation d’une recherche, l’analyse scientifique d’un fait d’actualité et l’exposé de mise au point).

Elle montre cependant que 42,5 % des articles portant le tag « harcèlement » ne l’abordent que de manière périphérique. Ce tag a donc été choisi dans une logique d’accroche et d’optimisation pour les moteurs de recherche.

URL : https://journals.openedition.org/rfsic/9437