Decoding Academic Fair Use: Transformative Use and the Fair Use Doctrine in Scholarship

Author : Matthew D. Bunker

Fair use in copyright law is an enormously complex legal doctrine. Although much scholarly attention has been paid to fair use in the context of teaching — particularly in on-line education — relatively little research exists on the problem of fair use in scholarship.

This article analyzes reported federal cases on fair use in scholarly contexts, with a particular emphasis on the transformative use doctrine that has become enormously influential in fair use determinations.

The article explores insights from this body of case law that may assist future scholars wishing to fairly use copyrighted expression in their scholarship.

URL : Decoding Academic Fair Use: Transformative Use and the Fair Use Doctrine in Scholarship

DOI : https://doi.org/10.17161/jcel.v3i1.6481

Guidelines for open peer review implementation

Authors : Tony Ross-Hellauer, Edit Görögh

Open peer review (OPR) is moving into the mainstream, but it is often poorly understood and surveys of researcher attitudes show important barriers to implementation.

As more journals move to implement and experiment with the myriad of innovations covered by this term, there is a clear need for best practice guidelines to guide implementation.

This brief article aims to address this knowledge gap, reporting work based on an interactive stakeholder workshop to create best-practice guidelines for editors and journals who wish to transition to OPR.

Although the advice is aimed mainly at editors and publishers of scientific journals, since this is the area in which OPR is at its most mature, many of the principles may also be applicable for the implementation of OPR in other areas (e.g., books, conference submissions).

URL : Guidelines for open peer review implementation

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-019-0063-9

Production and uptake of Open Access publications involving the private sector: the case of big pharma

Authors : Afredo Yegros-Yegros, Thed van Leeuwen

Over the last years Open Access has been ranked very high on science policy agenda’s both internationally as well as nationally. This resulted in many national mandates and international guidelines on OA publishing of scientific results.

One of the reasons OA has been pushed so strongly by science policy is found in the argument that what is financed publicly, should be publicly available. This argument, also known as the ‘tax payers argument’ is used to support and legitimize the push for open accessibility, not only of scientific publications, but also of the underlying research data, in order to guarantee the nonacademic sector, with lower degrees of accessibility to otherwise ‘behind-the-paywall’ information, access to outcomes of scientific research in the public sector.

In this study we will focus on the developments in the OA publishing in one particular institutional sector, the private sector. Business enterprises represent the main sector in terms of R&D investments.

According to Eurostat, in the year 2016 this sector represented 65% of the total R&D expenditures within the EU28. While objectives and incentives in the private sector might not always been aligned with the disclosure of research results in the open scientific literature, there is no doubt that this is the main actor when it comes to R&D performance.

Within the business sector, we will focus our study in the pharmaceutical sector, by selecting a number of large pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies represent an interesting case of study, given that is it one of the most R&D intensive industries, while it si also known for its shift in R&D orientation, from an in-house focus in the development of R&D towards a model much more open and collaborative, with more interactions with academic partners and other companies.

Despite the importance of industrial R&D, until now it remains relatively understudied how private sector institutions which are active in R&D have embraced the OA movement, hence it remains relatively unknown how the private sector adapts to and can benefit from the new paradigm of open scholarship.

Our objective is to shed more light on the extent to which big pharma both has been publishing in OA and also has been benefiting from OA publications to build their own research.

URL : Production and uptake of Open Access publications involving the private sector: the case of big pharma

DOI : https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/zt6kc

Is Scopus Polluting Its Own Database by Indexing Junk articles? A Case Study of Five Journals

Author : Jackie Earle Haley

The aim of this short research note is to demonstrate that Scopus is polluting its own databases, unintentionally or otherwise, by indexing junk articles. I have used five journals indexed by Scopus in this research note as examples in a case study format.

I have found that the publication rate of junk articles for these five journals increased after they began to be indexed in Scopus. These journals are publishing conference papers and graduate students’ initial research reports in which there are many errors.

This makes the indexing of The Journal of Social Sciences Research (Online ISSN: 2411-9458/Print ISSN: 2413-6670) questionable as it was considered for evaluation before its current two year publication history.

The quality of its published articles is very poor, and it has advertised and promoted false figures for its impact factors. These journals publish articles that are out of their scope and publish every article on condition of payment of a fee by the author that averages out to about 400 USD per article.

Given that these journals have been advertising and promoting fake impact factors prior to their being indexed in Scopus and given that Scopus has included them in its central index, they are deceiving young researchers and the broader academic community with false information.

Beall (2016) has previously pointed out the issue of the falsified impact factor information in his list of predatory journals. Many universities subscribe to Scopus to, among other reasons, measure the impact of their faculty members’ research.

There is therefore a need to address the ethics of this situation, and this study recommends that Scopus carefully index new journals but observe the publication rates of junk articles, and if an indexed journal makes such an error, to take a decision within three months and impose a lifetime ban on indexing the journal.

URL : https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3322183

Intellectual contributions meriting authorship: Survey results from the top cited authors across all science categories

Authors : Gregory S. Patience, Federico Galli, Paul A. Patience, Daria C. Boffito

Authorship is the currency of an academic career for which the number of papers researchers publish demonstrates creativity, productivity, and impact. To discourage coercive authorship practices and inflated publication records, journals require authors to affirm and detail their intellectual contributions but this strategy has been unsuccessful as authorship lists continue to grow.

Here, we surveyed close to 6000 of the top cited authors in all science categories with a list of 25 research activities that we adapted from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) authorship guidelines.

Responses varied widely from individuals in the same discipline, same level of experience, and same geographic region. Most researchers agreed with the NIH criteria and grant authorship to individuals who draft the manuscript, analyze and interpret data, and propose ideas.

However, thousands of the researchers also value supervision and contributing comments to the manuscript, whereas the NIH recommends discounting these activities when attributing authorship.

People value the minutiae of research beyond writing and data reduction: researchers in the humanities value it less than those in pure and applied sciences; individuals from Far East Asia and Middle East and Northern Africa value these activities more than anglophones and northern Europeans.

While developing national and international collaborations, researchers must recognize differences in peoples values while assigning authorship.

URL : Intellectual contributions meriting authorship: Survey results from the top cited authors across all science categories

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0198117

Quality of reports of investigations of research integrity by academic institutions

Authors : Andrew Grey, Mark Bolland, Greg Gamble, Alison Avenell

Background

Academic institutions play important roles in protecting and preserving research integrity. Concerns have been expressed about the objectivity, adequacy and transparency of institutional investigations of potentially compromised research integrity.

We assessed the reports provided to us of investigations by three academic institutions of a large body of overlapping research with potentially compromised integrity.

Methods

In 2017, we raised concerns with four academic institutions about the integrity of > 200 publications co-authored by an overlapping set of researchers. Each institution initiated an investigation.

By November 2018, three had reported to us the results of their investigations, but only one report was publicly available. Two investigators independently assessed each available report using a published 26-item checklist designed to determine the quality and adequacy of institutional investigations of research integrity. Each assessor recorded additional comments ad hoc.

Results

Concerns raised with the institutions were overlapping, wide-ranging and included those which were both general and publication-specific. The number of potentially affected publications at individual institutions ranged from 34 to 200.

The duration of investigation by the three institutions which provided reports was 8–17 months. These investigations covered 14%, 15% and 77%, respectively, of potentially affected publications.

Between-assessor agreement using the quality checklist was 0.68, 0.72 and 0.65 for each report. Only 4/78 individual checklist items were addressed adequately: a further 14 could not be assessed.

Each report was graded inadequate overall. Reports failed to address publication-specific concerns and focussed more strongly on determining research misconduct than evaluating the integrity of publications.

Conclusions

Our analyses identify important deficiencies in the quality and reporting of institutional investigation of concerns about the integrity of a large body of research reported by an overlapping set of researchers.

They reinforce disquiet about the ability of institutions to rigorously and objectively oversee integrity of research conducted by their own employees.

URL : Quality of reports of investigations of research integrity by academic institutions

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-019-0062-x

Peer Review Bias: A Critical Review

Authors : Samir Haffar, Fateh Bazerbachi, M. Hassan Murad

Various types of bias and confounding have been described in the biomedical literature that can affect a study before, during, or after the intervention has been delivered.

The peer review process can also introduce bias. A compelling ethical and moral rationale necessitates improving the peer review process. A double-blind peer review system is supported on equipoise and fair-play principles.

Triple- and quadruple-blind systems have also been described but are not commonly used. The open peer review system introduces “Skin in the Game” heuristic principles for both authors and reviewers and has a small favorable effect on the quality of published reports.

In this exposition, we present, on the basis of a comprehensive literature search of PubMed from its inception until October 20, 2017, various possible mechanisms by which the peer review process can distort research results, and we discuss the evidence supporting different strategies that may mitigate this bias.

It is time to improve the quality, transparency, and accountability of the peer review system.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2018.09.004