Retrospective analysis of the quality of reports by author-suggested and non-author-suggested reviewers in journals operating on open or single-blind peer review models

Objectives

To assess whether reports from reviewers recommended by authors show a bias in quality and recommendation for editorial decision, compared with reviewers suggested by other parties, and whether reviewer reports for journals operating on open or single-blind peer review models differ with regard to report quality and reviewer recommendations.

Design

Retrospective analysis of the quality of reviewer reports using an established Review Quality Instrument, and analysis of reviewer recommendations and author satisfaction surveys.

Setting

BioMed Central biology and medical journals. BMC Infectious Diseases and BMC Microbiology are similar in size, rejection rates, impact factors and editorial processes, but the former uses open peer review while the latter uses single-blind peer review. The Journal of Inflammation has operated under both peer review models.

Sample

Two hundred reviewer reports submitted to BMC Infectious Diseases, 200 reviewer reports submitted to BMC Microbiology and 400 reviewer reports submitted to the Journal of Inflammation.

Results

For each journal, author-suggested reviewers provided reports of comparable quality to non-author-suggested reviewers, but were significantly more likely to recommend acceptance, irrespective of the peer review model (p<0.0001 for BMC Infectious Diseases, BMC Microbiology and the Journal of Inflammation). For BMC Infectious Diseases, the overall quality of reviewer reports measured by the Review Quality Instrument was 5% higher than for BMC Microbiology (p=0.042). For the Journal of Inflammation, the quality of reports was the same irrespective of the peer review model used.

Conclusions

Reviewers suggested by authors provide reports of comparable quality to non-author-suggested reviewers, but are significantly more likely to recommend acceptance. Open peer review reports for BMC Infectious Diseases were of higher quality than single-blind reports for BMC Microbiology. There was no difference in quality of peer review in the Journal of Inflammation under open peer review compared with single blind.

URL : Retrospective analysis of the quality of reports by author-suggested and non-author-suggested reviewers in journals operating on open or single-blind peer review models

DOI : 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008707

La protection des données de lecture des livres numériques en bibliothèques aux États-Unis et en France : Étude comparative de la perception des bibliothécaires

Quels sont les livres les plus lus ? Quels sont les thèmes les plus recherchés dans une encyclopédie numérique ? Au bout de combien de pages les lecteurs décident-ils d’acheter/emprunter ou abandonner l’ouvrage sélectionné ? Autant de questions auxquelles des réponses précises et chiffrées peuvent dorénavant être apportées.

De par leur offre de livres numériques et le prêt de liseuses/tablettes, les bibliothèques confrontent leurs usagers à cet environnement et donc, indirectement, à la collecte des données de lecture.

Les bibliothèques n’ont-elles pourtant pas pour rôle de permettre aux lecteurs de s’informer et d’avoir accès à tous types de documents de manière anonyme, sans avoir peur d’être jugé ou surveillé ? Ce rôle risquerait-il d’être menacé par la collecte et l’exploitation des données de lecture ?

Pour tenter d’apporter une réponse à ces questions, une définition des données de lecture et une description de leurs caractéristiques seront tout d’abord proposées. Les dangers, mais également les opportunités que représentent la collecte et l’exploitation des données de lecture par les éditeurs commerciaux, les agrégateurs, les gouvernements et les bibliothèques, ainsi que leurs implications sur la vie privée des lecteurs seront ensuite analysés. Une étude des contextes français et états-unien du livre numérique sera également effectuée, axée sur quatre thématiques : le marché de l’e-book dans sa globalité, ainsi que les pratiques de lecture numérique ; le paysage des livres numériques en bibliothèques; l’avis des internautes concernant la protection de leurs données sur le web ; et les aspects légaux relatifs à la protection des données et de la vie privée.

Pour chacun des deux pays, les différentes actions déjà entreprises par les gouvernements, les associations professionnelles et les bibliothécaires pour lutter contre la collecte et la diffusion des données de lecture, seront ensuite décrites.

Dans le but de connaître la perception des professionnels de l’information concernant cette thématique, les résultats d’une enquête quantitative menée auprès des bibliothécaires français et états-uniens seront présentés. Enfin, le rôle des bibliothèques pour la protection des données de lecture sera récapitulé, tandis que des recommandations pratiques à l’usage des bibliothécaires seront proposées, ces suggestions ayant pour but de guider les professionnels souhaitant s’engager à protéger l’anonymat de l’utilisation de leurs livres numériques.

A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students

In some educational settings, the cost of textbooks approaches or even exceeds the cost of tuition. Given limited resources, it is important to better understand the impacts of free open educational resources (OER) on student outcomes. Utilizing digital resources such as OER can substantially reduce costs for students. The purpose of this study was to analyze whether the adoption of no-cost open digital textbooks significantly predicted students’ completion of courses, class achievement, and enrollment intensity during and after semesters in which OER were used. T

his study utilized a quantitative quasi-experimental design with propensity-score matched groups to examine differences in outcomes between students that used OER and those who did not. The demographics of the initial sample of 16,727 included 4909 students in the treatment condition with a pool of 11,818 in the control condition. There were statistically significant differences between groups, with most favoring students utilizing OER.

URL : http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12528-015-9101-x

Publier : à quel prix ? Étude sur la structuration des coûts de publication pour les revues françaises en SHS

La publication d’articles dans des revues scientifiques est un enjeu fort pour les institutions de recherche françaises car il s’agit bien d’un vecteur essentiel de la visibilité des travaux des chercheurs et qu’il est fondamental de maximiser l’impact de ces travaux. Cette publication a un coût pour les institutions publiques, que ce soit pour le financement du processus éditorial et de production, ou pour l’achat en bibliothèques et la mise à disposition auprès des chercheurs.

Cet article présente les résultats de l’enquête sur les coûts éditoriaux des revues scientifiques menée par le groupe édition de BSN de mars 2014 à janvier 2015 avec pour objectif de collecter une information récente et représentative de la diversité des situations, au sujet des coûts éditoriaux des revues de recherche, afin de faire un état des lieux complet et à jour.

URL : http://rfsic.revues.org/1716

Strategies for Success: Open Access Policies at North American Educational Institutions

Recognizing the paucity of quantitative and qualitative data from North American educational institutions that have pursued open access policies, the authors devised a survey to collect information on the characteristics of these institutions, as well as the elements of the open access policies, the methods of promoting these policies, faculty concerns about the policies, and how those concerns have been addressed.

The data collected through survey results from fifty-one institutions can inform the strategic decisions being made by other institutions considering an open access policy and illustrates the essential roles that academic libraries can play in the development and passage of open access policies.

URL : http://crl.acrl.org/content/early/2015/09/24/crl15-809.full.pdf

‘Predatory’ open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics

Background

A negative consequence of the rapid growth of scholarly open access publishing funded by article processing charges is the emergence of publishers and journals with highly questionable marketing and peer review practices. These so-called predatory publishers are causing unfounded negative publicity for open access publishing in general. Reports about this branch of e-business have so far mainly concentrated on exposing lacking peer review and scandals involving publishers and journals. There is a lack of comprehensive studies about several aspects of this phenomenon, including extent and regional distribution.

Methods

After an initial scan of all predatory publishers and journals included in the so-called Beall’s list, a sample of 613 journals was constructed using a stratified sampling method from the total of over 11,000 journals identified. Information about the subject field, country of publisher, article processing charge and article volumes published between 2010 and 2014 were manually collected from the journal websites. For a subset of journals, individual articles were sampled in order to study the country affiliation of authors and the publication delays.

Results

Over the studied period, predatory journals have rapidly increased their publication volumes from 53,000 in 2010 to an estimated 420,000 articles in 2014, published by around 8,000 active journals. Early on, publishers with more than 100 journals dominated the market, but since 2012 publishers in the 10–99 journal size category have captured the largest market share. The regional distribution of both the publisher’s country and authorship is highly skewed, in particular Asia and Africa contributed three quarters of authors. Authors paid an average article processing charge of 178 USD per article for articles typically published within 2 to 3 months of submission.

Conclusions

Despite a total number of journals and publishing volumes comparable to respectable (indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals) open access journals, the problem of predatory open access seems highly contained to just a few countries, where the academic evaluation practices strongly favor international publication, but without further quality checks.

URL : ‘Predatory’ open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics

Alternative location : http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/13/230

Sciences with the Science

In the current European environment where the main orientations of research are being redefined, it is fit to reconsider the general principles underlying the Social Sciences & Humanities and their place in Science and Society.

The need for a fruitful dialogue between sciences in order to cope with the major challenges of today’s world invites us to bring again to the fore the figure of ‘the engineer’ as largely open to humanities.

Beyond any specifically scientific consideration, the SSH are addressing anew the question of the purpose of our societies and of the way they will evolve.

This study is the result of an exceptional gathering of searchers and scholars. It aims at restoring the SSH back into their deserved position and at promoting male and female scientists dedicated to avoiding the frauds of technicism, dogmatism and scienticism.

URL : http://books.openedition.org/allianceathena/225