Motivations, understandings, and experiences of open‐access mega‐journal authors: Results of a large‐scale survey

Authors : Simon Wakeling, Claire Creaser, Stephen Pinfield, Jenny Fry, Valérie Spezi, Peter Willett, Monica Paramita

Open‐access mega‐journals (OAMJs) are characterized by their large scale, wide scope, open‐access (OA) business model, and “soundness‐only” peer review. The last of these controversially discounts the novelty, significance, and relevance of submitted articles and assesses only their “soundness.”

This article reports the results of an international survey of authors (n = 11,883), comparing the responses of OAMJ authors with those of other OA and subscription journals, and drawing comparisons between different OAMJs. Strikingly, OAMJ authors showed a low understanding of soundness‐only peer review: two‐thirds believed OAMJs took into account novelty, significance, and relevance, although there were marked geographical variations.

Author satisfaction with OAMJs, however, was high, with more than 80% of OAMJ authors saying they would publish again in the same journal, although there were variations by title, and levels were slightly lower than subscription journals (over 90%).

Their reasons for choosing to publish in OAMJs included a wide variety of factors, not significantly different from reasons given by authors of other journals, with the most important including the quality of the journal and quality of peer review.

About half of OAMJ articles had been submitted elsewhere before submission to the OAMJ with some evidence of a “cascade” of articles between journals from the same publisher.

URL : Motivations, understandings, and experiences of open‐access mega‐journal authors: Results of a large‐scale survey


Does Academic Publishing Lead to Work-Related Stress or Happiness?

Author : Jaroslava Kubátová

The topic of work-related stress and happiness has recently been of interest to science as well as in practice. Work-related stress has negative effects on workers, organizations, and the whole of society, whereas happiness has positive effects. It is therefore important to monitor the wellbeing of workers.

This article deals with stress and happiness as related to academic publishing. To answer the research question of whether academic publishing leads to stress or happiness, a narrative analysis was conducted.

Narratives from ten Czech academics were collected and analyzed with the use of a categorical-content approach. The categories used are the general causes of work-related stress and happiness as identified in the literature: work overload, ambiguity, conflict, the sense of meaningful work, job satisfaction, and affective organizational commitment.

It was found that academic publishing leads to both work-related stress and happiness. However, stress is more prevalent. Not only do academics experience all the general causes of work-related stress, unfortunately they often lack the sources of happiness. Many specific causes of stress and happiness, as well as unhappiness, were discovered in the narratives.

Several ways to improve the situation have been suggested. Refining policies in human resources is particularly important if universities wish to retain their academics.

URL : Does Academic Publishing Lead to Work-Related Stress or Happiness?


Open Science in the Humanities, or: Open Humanities?

Author : Marcel Knöchelmann

Open science refers to both the practices and norms of more open and transparent communication and research in scientific disciplines and the discourse on these practices and norms.

There is no such discourse dedicated to the humanities. Though the humanities appear to be less coherent as a cluster of scholarship than the sciences are, they do share unique characteristics which lead to distinct scholarly communication and research practices.

A discourse on making these practices more open and transparent needs to take account of these characteristics. The prevalent scientific perspective in the discourse on more open practices does not do so, which confirms that the discourse’s name, open science, indeed excludes the humanities so that talking about open science in the humanities is incoherent.

In this paper, I argue that there needs to be a dedicated discourse for more open research and communication practices in the humanities, one that integrates several elements currently fragmented into smaller, unconnected discourses (such as on open access, preprints, or peer review).

I discuss three essential elements of open science—preprints, open peer review practices, and liberal open licences—in the realm of the humanities to demonstrate why a dedicated open humanities discourse is required.

URL : Open Science in the Humanities, or: Open Humanities?


A Team Approach: Library Publishing Partnerships with Scholarly Societies

Author : Suzanne Cady Stapleton


The journal publishing service at the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries is structured to use a team-based approach that integrates subject specialists across the library.


Since 2012, the UF Libraries have worked in partnership with a number of scholarly societies to publish their research. The focus, to date, of academic library publishing on institutional publications belies potential partnerships with scholarly societies and organizations external to the library’s institution.

Services provided, challenges faced, and examples of successful publishing partnerships with UF Libraries are described. The team approach enables the library to be innovative and nimble in response to publishing opportunities.

Scholarly societies most interested in entering publishing contracts with the Libraries publishing program are those that share aspects of the library mission such as accessibility and innovation.


Academic library publishing offers unique partnership opportunities for scholarly societies and external organizations that are mutually beneficial and that complement library publishing of institutional material.

URL : A Team Approach: Library Publishing Partnerships with Scholarly Societies


bioRxiv: the preprint server for biology

Authors : Richard Sever, Ted Roeder, Samantha Hindle, Linda Sussman, Kevin-John Black, Janet Argentine, Wayne Manos, John R. Inglis

The traditional publication process delays dissemination of new research, often by months, sometimes by years. Preprint servers decouple dissemination of research papers from their evaluation and certification by journals, allowing researchers to share work immediately, receive feedback from a much larger audience, and provide evidence of productivity long before formal publication.

Launched in 2013 as a non-profit community service, the bioRxiv server has brought preprint practice to the life sciences and recently posted its 64,000th manuscript.

The server now receives more than four million views per month and hosts papers spanning all areas of biology. Initially dominated by evolutionary biology, genetics/genomics and computational biology, bioRxiv has been increasingly populated by papers in neuroscience, cell and developmental biology, and many other fields.

Changes in journal and funder policies that encourage preprint posting have helped drive adoption, as has the development of bioRxiv technologies that allow authors to transfer papers easily between the server and journals.

A bioRxiv user survey found that 42% of authors post their preprints prior to journal submission whereas 37% post concurrently with journal submission. Authors are motivated by a desire to share work early; they value the feedback they receive, and very rarely experience any negative consequences of preprint posting.

Rapid dissemination via bioRxiv is also encouraging new initiatives that experiment with the peer review process and the development of novel approaches to literature filtering and assessment.

URL : bioRxiv: the preprint server for biology


« Pour commencer, pourriez-vous définir ‘données de la recherche’ ? » Une tentative de réponse

Auteurs/Authors : Joachim Schöpfel, Eric Kergosien, Hélène Prost

Le projet D4Humanities s’inscrit dans le champ des Humanités numériques – comment permettre l’exploration des données de la recherche en SHS (corpus textuels ou oraux, données brutes, images…) avec des techniques numériques (text and data mining, cartographie, visualisation…) afin de construire un sens nouveau ?

Il s’inscrit dans la continuité des travaux du laboratoire GERiiCO et de ses partenaires à l’Université de Lille Sciences Humaines et Sociales (SCD, ED SHS, ANRT…) avec comme objectif d’accélérer la démarche des données de la recherche notamment par rapport aux doctorants et jeunes chercheurs, et de faciliter le montage d’un projet de recherche international.

En particulier, le projet contient trois volets : (1) Pratiques et besoins dans le domaine des données de la recherche (enquête qualitative des comportements, attitudes, motivations et besoins par rapport à la gestion et au partage des données de la recherche) ; (2) workflow pour le dépôt des données des doctorants en SHS (dépôt, préservation et diffusion des données via le service NAKALA de la TGIR Huma-Num) ; (3) recherche sur les données et les thèses (concept et typologie des données en SHS ; évolution des contenus, formats, structures et prescriptions des thèses dans l’environnement de l’Open Science).

Le projet sera mené avec l’ISN Oldenburg et d’autres partenaires étrangers ; il facilitera la création d’un consortium et le montage d’un projet de recherche dans les Humanités numériques sur les thèses de doctorat de l’avenir, avec un financement européen (H2020) ou franco-allemand (ANR/DFG).

Cette communication présente les grandes lignes de l’étude sur les données de l’axe 3, c’est-à-dire l’analyse du concept de données de la recherche, pour mieux cerner l’identification (granularité), pour mieux comprendre la distinction et les relations entre données primaires et secondaires et pour affiner la catégorisation des données en SHS. L’accent est mis sur une triple approche, conceptuelle, typologique et fonctionnelle.


Examining the Impact of the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy on the Citation Rates of Journal Articles


To examine whether National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded articles that were archived in PubMed Central (PMC) after the release of the 2008 NIH Public Access Policy show greater scholarly impact than comparable articles not archived in PMC.


A list of journals across several subject areas was developed from which to collect article citation data. Citation information and cited reference counts of the articles published in 2006 and 2009 from 122 journals were obtained from the Scopus database. The articles were separated into categories of NIH funded, non-NIH funded and whether they were deposited in PubMed Central. An analysis of citation data across a five-year timespan was performed on this set of articles.


A total of 45,716 articles were examined, including 7,960 with NIH-funding. An analysis of the number of times these articles were cited found that NIH-funded 2006 articles in PMC were not cited significantly more than NIH-funded non-PMC articles. However, 2009 NIH funded articles in PMC were cited 26% more than 2009 NIH funded articles not in PMC, 5 years after publication. This result is highly significant even after controlling for journal (as a proxy of article quality and topic).


Our analysis suggests that factors occurring between 2006 and 2009 produced a subsequent boost in scholarly impact of PubMed Central. The 2008 Public Access Policy is likely to be one such factor, but others may have contributed as well (e.g., growing size and visibility of PMC, increasing availability of full-text linkouts from PubMed, and indexing of PMC articles by Google Scholar).

URL : Examining the Impact of the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy on the Citation Rates of Journal Articles

DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0139951