Sustainable open access for scholarly journals in 6 years – the incubator model at Utrecht University Library Open Access Journals

Authors : Jeroen Sondervan, Fleur Stigter

Key points

  • Humanities and the social science journals need flexible funding models.
  • Pragmatism and collaboration are key to transforming traditional publishing initiatives.
  • The Uopen Journals model sets a 6‐year development target for developing sustainable journals.
  • Actively involved editors are key to a journal’s success.

The future of global research: A case study on the use of scenario planning in the publishing industry

Authors : Samira Rhoods, Anca Babor

Key points

  • Scenario planning is fun and engaging and is a good opportunity to revisit your company’s core strengths and competitive advantage!
  • Scenario planning should drive long‐term thinking in organizations.
  • It will change the nature of the strategic conversation and can be used to help validate business innovation.
  • Scenarios can help to engage with other organizations in the industry and help people work together to create preferred future outcomes.
  • The complexity of scenario planning should not be underestimated and shortcuts do not work.

URL : The future of global research: A case study on the use of scenario planning in the publishing industry

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1152

OpenAPC: a contribution to a transparent and reproducible monitoring of fee-based open access publishing across institutions and nations

Authors : Dirk Pieper, Christoph Broschinski

The OpenAPC initiative releases data sets on fees paid for open access (OA) journal articles by universities, funders and research institutions under an open database licence.

OpenAPC is part of the INTACT project, which is funded by the German Research Foundation and located at Bielefeld University Library.

This article provides insight into OpenAPC’s technical and organizational background and shows how transparent and reproducible reporting on fee-based open access can be conducted across institutions and publishers to draw conclusions on the state of the OA transformation process.

As part of the INTACT subproject, ESAC, the article also shows how OpenAPC workflows can be used to analyse offsetting deals, using the example of Springer Compact agreements.

URL : OpenAPC: a contribution to a transparent and reproducible monitoring of fee-based open access publishing across institutions and nations

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.439

Predatory Open Access Journals Publishing: What, Why and How?

Author : Shamprasad M. Pujar

The Internet has transformed scholarly publishing and made the availability of online resources possible, both in subscription and open access models. Open access, has enabled wider access to the scholarly literature, thus reducing the digital divide among the haves and have-nots.

In the case of journal articles, even though its ‘Gold’ (author pays model) and ‘Green’ access models have risen to the occasion, but some publishers of journals have turned its ‘Gold’ model to their advantage to earn a profit by charging fees for publication and adopting certain unethical practices of publishing.

An effort has been made here to explore what is ‘Predatory’ open access journals publishing, why this kind of publishing is flourishing and how this model works.

URL : http://hdl.handle.net/10760/32032

Towards a Decentralized Process for Scientific Publication and Peer Review using Blockchain and IPFS

Authors : Antonio Tenorio-Fornés, Viktor Jacynycz, David Llop, Antonio A. Sanchez-Ruiz, Samer Hassan

The current processes of scientific publication and peer review raise concerns around fairness, quality, performance, cost, and accuracy. The Open Access movement has been unable to fulfill all its promises, and a few middlemen publishers can still impose policies and concentrate profits.

This paper, using emerging distributed technologies such as Blockchain and IPFS, proposes a decentralized publication system for open science.

The proposed system would provide (1) a distributed reviewer reputation system, (2) an Open Access by-design infrastructure, and (3) transparent governance processes.

A survey is used to evaluate the problems, proposed solutions and possible adoption resistances, while a working prototype serves as a proof-of-concept.

Additionally, the paper discusses the implementation, in a distributed context, of different privacy settings for both open peer review and reputation systems, introducing a novel approach supporting both anonymous and accountable reviews. The paper concludes reviewing the open challenges of this ambitious proposal.

URL : Towards a Decentralized Process for Scientific Publication and Peer Review using Blockchain and IPFS

Is It Such a Big Deal? On the Cost of Journal Use in the Digital Era

Authors : Fei Shu, Philippe Mongeon, Stefanie Haustein, Kyle Siler, Juan Pablo Alperin, Vincent Larivière

Commercial scholarly publishers promote and sell bundles of journals—known as big deals—that provide access to entire collections rather than individual journals. Following this new model, size of serial collections in academic libraries increased almost fivefold from 1986 to 2011.

Using data on library subscriptions and references made for a sample of North American universities, this study provides evidence that, while big deal bundles do decrease the mean price per subscribed journal, academic libraries receive less value for their investment.

We find that university researchers cite only a fraction of journals purchased by their libraries, that this fraction is decreasing, and that the cost per cited journal has increased.

These findings reveal how academic publishers use product differentiation and price strategies to increase sales and profits in the digital era, often at the expense of university and scientific stakeholders.

URL : Is It Such a Big Deal? On the Cost of Journal Use in the Digital Era

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.79.6.785

Gender and international diversity improves equity in peer review

Authors : Dakota Murray, Kyle Siler, Vincent Lariviére, Wei Mun Chan, Andrew M. Collings, Jennifer Raymond, Cassidy R Sugimoto

The robustness of scholarly peer review has been challenged by evidence of disparities in publication outcomes based on author’s gender and nationality. To address this, we examine the peer review outcomes of 23,873 initial submissions and 7,192 full submissions that were submitted to the biosciences journal eLife between 2012 and 2017.

Women and authors from nations outside of North America and Europe were underrepresented both as gatekeepers (editors and peer reviewers) and last authors. We found a homophilic interaction between the demographics of the gatekeepers and authors in determining the outcome of peer review; that is, gatekeepers favor manuscripts from authors of the same gender and from the same country.

The acceptance rate for manuscripts with male last authors was significantly higher than for female last authors, and this gender inequity was greatest when the team of reviewers was all male; mixed-gender gatekeeper teams lead to more equitable peer review outcomes.

Similarly, manuscripts were more likely to be accepted when reviewed by at least one gatekeeper with the same national affiliation as the corresponding author. Our results indicated that homogeneity between author and gatekeeper gender and nationality is associated with the outcomes of scientific peer review.

We conclude with a discussion of mechanisms that could contribute to this effect, directions for future research, and policy implications. Code and anonymized data have been made available at https://github.com/murrayds/elife-analysis

URL : Gender and international diversity improves equity in peer review

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/400515