Pubfair: a framework for sustainable, distributed, open science publishing services

Authors : Tony Ross-Hellauer, Benedikt Fecher, Kathleen Shearer, Eloy Rodrigues

Over the last thirty years, digitally-networked technologies have disrupted traditional media, turning business models on their head and changing the conditions for the creation, packaging and distribution of content.

Yet, scholarly communication still looks remarkably as it did in the pre-digital age. The primary unit of dissemination remains the research article (or book in some disciplines), and today’s articles still bear a remarkable resemblance to those that populated the pages of Oldenburg’s Philosophical Transactions 350 years ago.

In an age of such disruptive innovation, it is striking how little digital technologies have impacted scholarly publishing; and this is also somewhat ironic, since the Web was developed by scientists for research purposes.

Pubfair is a conceptual model for a modular open source publishing framework which builds upon a distributed network of repositories to enable the dissemination and quality-control of a range of research outputs including publications, data, and more.

Pubfair aims to introduce significant innovation into scholarly publishing. It enables different stakeholders (funders, institutions, scholarly societies, individuals scientists) to access a suite of functionalities to create their own dissemination channels, with built in open review and transparent processes.

The model minimizes publishing costs while maintaining academic standards by connecting communities with iterative publishing services linked to their preferred repository.

Such a publishing environment has the capacity to transform the scholarly communication system, making it more research-centric, dissemination-oriented and open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.


Rebels with a Cause? Supporting Library and Academic-led Open Access Publishing

Authors: Joe Deville, Jeroen Sondervan, Graham Stone, Sofie Wennström

The authors, who all have experience with academic publishing, outline the landscape of new university and academic-led open access publishing, before discussing four interrelated sets of challenges which are often referred when questioning the viability of such publishing ventures.

They are: (1) professionalism, (2) scale, (3) quality, and (4) discoverability & dissemination. The authors provide examples of how, albeit differing in size, form and ambition, these new presses are not just adhering to conventional publishing norms but often innovating in order to surpass them.

URL : Rebels with a Cause? Supporting Library and Academic-led Open Access Publishing


Does Monetary Support Increase Citation Impact of Scholarly Papers?

Authors : Yasar Tonta, Muge Akbulut

One of the main indicators of scientific development of a given country is the number of papers published in high impact scholarly journals. Many countries introduced performance-based research funding systems (PRFSs) to create a more competitive environment where prolific researchers get rewarded with subsidies to increase both the quantity and quality of papers.

Yet, subsidies do not always function as a leverage to improve the citation impact of scholarly papers. This paper investigates the effect of the publication support system of Turkey (TR) on the citation impact of papers authored by Turkish researchers.

Based on a stratified probabilistic sample of 4,521 TR-addressed papers, it compares the number of citations to determine if supported papers were cited more often than those of not supported ones, and if they were published in journals with relatively higher citation impact in terms of journal impact factors, article influence scores and quartiles.

Both supported and not supported papers received comparable number of citations per paper, and were published in journals with similar citation impact values. Findings suggest that subsidies do not seem to be an effective incentive to improve the quality of scholarly papers. Such support programs should therefore be reconsidered.


Competence-Based Management Research in the Web of Science and Scopus Databases: Scientific Production, Collaboration, and Impact

Authors : Vítor Vasata Macchi Silva, José Luis Duarte Ribeiro, Gonzalo Rubén Alvarez, Sonia Elisa Caregnato

This paper presents a bibliometric study, which seeks to characterize papers that address competence-based management and that are indexed in the Web of Science and Scopus databases in terms of scientific production, collaboration, and impact.

All the papers published in journals or in conference proceedings that contained the terms “competenc* management” or “compentenc* based management” in their titles, abstracts, or keywords were analyzed.

The results show that computational sciences, human resources management, strategic management, and industrial relations and labor correspond to the macro-categories that characterize competence-based management.

This paper also indicates that collaborations between authors do not establish strong co-authorship networks. It also shows that the most cited papers were published in journals of different areas.

It concludes that studies conducted in the area of competence-based management can be developed in a more assertive way if they take into consideration the context of the current state of research in this area.

URL : Competence-Based Management Research in the Web of Science and Scopus Databases: Scientific Production, Collaboration, and Impact

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A cross-sectional description of open access publication costs, policies and impact in emergency medicine and critical care journals

Authors : Chante Dove, Teresa M. Chan, Brent Thoma, Damian Roland, Stevan R. Bruijns


Finding journal open access information alongside its global impact requires access to multiple databases. We describe a single, searchable database of all emergency medicine and critical care journals that include their open access policies, publication costs, and impact metrics.


A list of emergency medicine and critical care journals (including citation metrics) was created using Scopus (Citescore) and the Web of Science (Impact Factor). Cost of gold/hybrid open access and article process charges (open access fees) were collected from journal websites.

Self-archiving policies were collected from the Sherpa/RoMEO database. Relative cost of access in different regions were calculated using the World Bank Purchasing Power Parity index for authors from the United States, Germany, Turkey, China, Brazil, South Africa and Australia.


We identified 78 emergency medicine and 82 critical care journals. Median Citescore for emergency medicine was 0.73 (interquartile range, IQR 0.32–1.27). Median impact factor was 1.68 (IQR 1.00–2.39). Median Citescore for critical care was 0.95 (IQR 0.25–2.06).

Median impact factor was 2.18 (IQR 1.73–3.50). Mean article process charge for emergency medicine was $2243.04, SD = $1136.16 and for critical care $2201.64, SD = $1174.38. Article process charges were 2.24, 1.75, 2.28 and 1.56 times more expensive for South African, Chinese, Turkish and Brazilian authors respectively than United States authors, but neutral for German and Australian authors (1.02 and 0.81 respectively).

The database can be accessed here:


We present a single database that captures emergency medicine and critical care journal impact rankings alongside its respective open access cost and green open access policies.

URL : A cross-sectional description of open access publication costs, policies and impact in emergency medicine and critical care journals


Technical and social issues influencing the adoption of preprints in the life sciences

Authors : Naomi C Penfold, Jessica K Polka

Preprints are gaining visibility in many fields. Thanks to the explosion of bioRxiv, an online server for preprints in biology, versions of manuscripts prior to the completion of journal-organized peer review are poised to become a standard component of the publishing experience in the life sciences.

Here we provide an overview of current challenges facing preprints, both technical and social, and a vision for their future development, from unbundling the functions of publication to exploring different communication formats.


How much research shared on Facebook is hidden from public view? A comparison of public and private online activity around PLOS ONE papers

Authors : Asura Enkhbayar, Stefanie Haustein, Germana Barata, Juan Pablo Alperin

Despite its undisputed position as the biggest social media platform, Facebook has never entered the main stage of altmetrics research. In this study, we argue that the lack of attention by altmetrics researchers is not due to a lack of relevant activity on the platform, but because of the challenges in collecting Facebook data have been limited to activity that takes place in a select group of public pages and groups.

We present a new method of collecting shares, reactions, and comments across the platform-including private timelines-and use it to gather data for all articles published between 2015 to 2017 in the journal PLOS ONE.

We compare the gathered data with altmetrics collected and aggregated by Altmetric. The results show that 58.7% of papers shared on the platform happen outside of public view and that, when collecting all shares, the volume of activity approximates patterns of engagement previously only observed for Twitter.

Both results suggest that the role and impact of Facebook as a medium for science and scholarly communication has been underestimated. Furthermore, they emphasise the importance of openness and transparency around the collection and aggregation of altmetrics.