Open access readership citations a randomized controlled trial…

Open access, readership, citations: a randomized controlled trial of scientific journal publishing :

“Does free access to journal articles result in greater diffusion of scientific knowledge? Using a randomized controlled trial of open access publishing, involving 36 participating journals in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, we report on the effects of free access on article downloads and citations. Articles placed in the open access condition (n=712) received significantly more downloads and reached a broader audience within the first year, yet were cited no more frequently, nor earlier, than subscription-access control articles (n=2533) within 3 yr. These results may be explained by social stratification, a process that concentrates scientific authors at a small number of elite research universities with excellent access to the scientific literature. The real beneficiaries of open access publishing may not be the research community but communities of practice that consume, but rarely contribute to, the corpus of literature.—Davis, P. M. Open access, readership, citations: a randomized controlled trial of scientific journal publishing.”

URL : http://www.fasebj.org/content/early/2011/03/29/fj.11-183988.abstract

The costs and potential benefits of alternative scholarly…

The costs and potential benefits of alternative scholarly publishing models :

Introduction. This paper reports on a study undertaken for the UK Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), which explored the economic implications of alternative scholarly publishing models. Rather than simply summarising the study’s findings, this paper focuses on the approach and presents a step-by-step account of the research process, highlighting the combination of process mapping, activity costing and macro modelling.

Method. The analysis relies primarily on existing sources, collating activity cost information from the wide-ranging literature on scholarly communication. Where necessary, these sources were supplemented by targeted informal consultation with experts.

Analysis. We examine the costs and potential benefits of the major alternative models for scholarly publishing, including subscription publishing, open access publishing and self-archiving. Adopting a formal approach to modelling the scholarly communication process and identifying activity costs, this paper presents activity and system-wide costs for each of the alternative publishing models. It then explores the potential impacts of enhanced access on returns to R&D.

Results. We find that different scholarly publishing models could make a material difference to the costs faced by various parties and to the returns on investment in R&D that might be realised.

Conclusion. It seems likely that more open access could have substantial benefits in the longer term. While the benefits may be lower during a transitional period they would be likely to be positive for both open access publishing and self-archiving alternatives.”

URL : http://informationr.net/ir/16-1/paper469.html

In search of a new public for scientific…

In search of a new public for scientific exhibitions or festivals: the lead of casual visitors :

“This article examines the public at a science exhibition or festival and tries to determine whether casual visitors are a means of expanding the audience. According to a Swiss survey of public attitudes towards science (2005), the non-public of a science exhibition or festival is distinguished by demographics such as gender and education (more female and less educated), cultural practices (less frequent) and attitudes towards science (less positive). Considering the Swiss science festival of 2009, casual visitors differ from intentional ones in terms of sociodemographic aspects and scientific cultural practices; on the other hand, casual visitors are close to intentional ones in terms of non-scientific cultural practices and attitudes towards science. Consequently, casual visitors are one way of increasing audiences.”

URL : http://jcom.sissa.it/archive/10/01/Jcom1001(2011)A02

Blogs and blogging Current trends and future directions…

Blogs and blogging: Current trends and future directions :

“Adopting an interdisciplinary scope, this paper presents a review of research on blogs and blogging within the social sciences and the humanities. It maps out what kind of research has been completed, how it has been performed and what gaps that might need to be filled in this relatively new area of research. More specifically, the paper will analyze all articles on blogs and blogging published until 2009 and indexed by the ISI Web of Knowledge.”

URL : http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3101/2836

The need and drive for open data in…

The need and drive for open data in biomedical publishing :

“The concept of open data goes beyond making data freely available. Data must also be free to reuse and build upon without legal or technical impediments. Funder and journal policies for data sharing and the growing open science movement are helping open data to spread across biomedical sub-disciplines. Editors should embrace open data to ensure that their decisions can stand up to close scrutiny; journals need open data to help them fulfil their stated goals, and publishers should utilize open data and data publication to serve the growing sector of the scientific community requiring it as a service, and to continue developing novel forms of scholarly communication in an increasingly data-intensive scholarly communication environment.”

URL : http://uksg.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,9,25;journal,1,71;linkingpublicationresults,1:107730,1;

Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: Its Meaning, Locus, and Future

Since 2005, and with generous support from the A.W. Mellon Foundation, The Future of Scholarly Communication Project at UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) has been exploring how academic values—including those related to peer review, publishing, sharing, and collaboration—influence scholarly communication practices and engagement with new technological affordances, open access publishing, and the public good.

The current phase of the project focuses on peer review in the Academy; this deeper look at peer review is a natural extension of our findings in Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines (Harley et al. 2010), which stressed the need for a more nuanced academic reward system that is less dependent on citation metrics, the slavish adherence to marquee journals and university presses, and the growing tendency of institutions to outsource assessment of scholarship to such proxies as default promotion criteria.

This investigation is made urgent by a host of new challenges facing institutional peer review, such as assessing interdisciplinary scholarship, hybrid disciplines, the development of new online forms of edition making and collaborative curation for community resource use, heavily computational subdisciplines, large-scale collaborations around grand challenge questions, an increase in multiple authorship, a growing flood of low-quality publications, and the call by governments, funding bodies, universities, and individuals for the open access publication of taxpayer-subsidized research, including original data sets.

The challenges of assessing the current and future state of peer review are exacerbated by pressing questions of how the significant costs of high-quality scholarly publishing can be borne in the face of calls for alternative, usually university-based and open access, publishing models for both journals and books.

There is additionally the insidious and destructive “trickle down” of tenure and promotion requirements from elite research universities to less competitive and non-research-intensive institutions.

The entire system is further stressed by the mounting—and often unrealistic—government pressure on scholars in developed and emerging economies alike to publish their research in the most select peer-reviewed outlets, ostensibly to determine the distribution of government funds (via research assessment exercises) and/or to meet national imperatives to achieve research distinction internationally.

The global effect is a growing glut of low-quality publications that strains the efficient and effective practice of peer review, a practice that is, itself, primarily subsidized by universities in the form of faculty salaries. Library budgets and preservation services for this expansion of peer-reviewed publication have run out. Faculty time spent on peer review, in all of its guises, is being exhausted.

As part of our ongoing research, CSHE hosted two meetings to address the relationship between peer review in publication and that carried out for tenure and promotion. Our discussions included: The Dominant System of Peer Review: Types, Standards, Uses, Abuses, and Costs; A Very Tangled Web: Alternatives to the Current System of Peer Review; Creating New Models: The Role of Societies, Presses, Libraries, Information Technology Organizations, Commercial Publishers, and Other Stakeholders; and Open Access “Mandates” and Resolutions versus Developing New Models.

This report includes (1) an overview of the state of peer review in the Academy at large, (2) a set of recommendations for moving forward, (3) a proposed research agenda to examine in depth the effects of academic status-seeking on the entire academic enterprise, (4) proceedings from the workshop on the four topics noted above, and (5) four substantial and broadly conceived background papers on the workshop topics, with associated literature reviews.

The document explores, in particular, the tightly intertwined phenomena of peer review in publication and academic promotion, the values and associated costs to the Academy of the current system, experimental forms of peer review in various disciplinary areas, the effects of scholarly practices on the publishing system, and the possibilities and real costs of creating alternative loci for peer review and publishing that link scholarly societies, libraries, institutional repositories, and university presses.

We also explore the motivations and ingredients of successful open access resolutions that are directed at peer-reviewed article-length material. In doing so, this report suggests that creating a wider array of institutionally acceptable and cost-effective alternatives to peer reviewing and publishing scholarly work could maintain the quality of academic peer review, support greater research productivity, reduce the explosive growth of low-quality publications, increase the purchasing power of cash-strapped libraries, better support the free flow and preservation of ideas, and relieve the burden on overtaxed faculty of conducting too much peer review.”

URL : http://cshe.berkeley.edu/publications/publications.php?id=379

A report of the AAUP Task Force on…

A report of the AAUP Task Force on Economic Models for Scholarly Publishing :

“Within the scholarly communications ecosystem, scholarly publishers are a keystone species. University presses—as well as academic societies, research institutions, and other scholarly publishers—strive to fulfill our mission of “making public the fruits of scholarly research” as effectively as possible within that ecosystem. While that mission has remained constant, in recent years the landscape in which we carry out this mission has altered dramatically.

The expertise residing within university presses can help the scholarly enterprise prosper in both influence and impact as it moves ever more fully digital. However, the simple product-sales models of the twentieth century, devised when information was scarce and expensive, are clearly inappropriate for the twenty-first century scholarly ecosystem.

This report a) identifies elements of the current scholarly publishing systems that are worth protecting and retaining throughout this and future periods of transition; b) explores business models of existing projects which hold promise; c) outlines the characteristics of effective business models; d) addresses the challenges of the transitional period we are entering; and e) arrives at recommendations that might allow us to sustain high-quality scholarship at a time when the fundamental expectations of publishing are changing.

URL : http://aaupnet.org/resources/reports/business_models/