Cancelling with the world’s largest scholarly publisher: lessons from the Swedish experience of having no access to Elsevier

Authors : Lisa Olsson, Camilla Hertil Lindelöw, Lovisa Österlund, Frida Jakobsson

This article covers the consequences of the decision of the Bibsam consortium to cancel its journal licence agreement with Elsevier, the world’s largest scholarly publisher, in 2018.

First, we report on how the cancellation affected Swedish researchers. Second, we describe other consequences of the cancellation. Finally, we report on lessons for the future. In short, there was no consensus among researchers on how the cancellation affected them or whether the cancellation was positive or negative for them. Just over half (54%) of the 4,221 researchers who responded to a survey indicated that the cancellation had harmed their work, whereas 37% indicated that it had not.

Almost half (48%) of the researchers had a negative view of the cancellation, whereas 38% had a positive view. The cancellation highlighted the ongoing work at research libraries to facilitate the transition to an open access publishing system to more stakeholders in academia than before.

It also showed that Swedish vice-chancellors were prepared to suspend subscriptions with a publisher that could not accommodate the needs and requirements of open science.

Finally, the cancellation resulted in the signing of a transformative agreement which started on 1 January 2020. If it had not been for the cancellation, the reaching of such an agreement would have been unlikely.

URL : Cancelling with the world’s largest scholarly publisher: lessons from the Swedish experience of having no access to Elsevier


Introducing Massively Open Online Papers (MOOPs)

Authors: Jonathan P. Tennant, Natalia Bielczyk, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Paola Masuzzo, Tobias Steiner

An enormous wealth of digital tools now exists for collaborating on scholarly research projects. In particular, it is now possible to collaboratively author research articles in an openly participatory and dynamic format.

Here we describe and provide recommendations for a more open process of digital collaboration, and discuss the potential issues and pitfalls that come with managing large and diverse authoring communities.

We summarize our personal experiences in a form of ‘ten simple recommendations’. Typically, these collaborative, online projects lead to the production of what we here introduce as Massively Open Online Papers (MOOPs).

We consider a MOOP to be distinct from a ‘traditional’ collaborative article in that it is defined by an openly participatory process, not bound within the constraints of a predefined contributors list.

This is a method of organised creativity designed for the efficient generation and capture of ideas in order to produce new knowledge. Given the diversity of potential authors and projects that can be brought into this process, we do not expect that these tips will address every possible project.

Rather, these tips are based on our own experiences and will be useful when different groups and communities can uptake different elements into their own workflows.

We believe that creating inclusive, interdisciplinary, and dynamic environments is ultimately good for science, providing a way to exchange knowledge and ideas as a community. We hope that these Recommendations will prove useful for others who might wish to explore this space.

URL : Introducing Massively Open Online Papers (MOOPs)


Faire et contrefaire des discours scientifiques : une forme « normale » de communication stratégique ?

Auteur/Author : Lucile Desmoulins

L’émergence dans les médias états-uniens et français de discours questionnant la légitimité du rôle politique joué par les think tanks est en partie liée à des actions de communication stratégique illégales et immorales employées par certaines entreprises, qui fabriquent et promeuvent des discours d’une scientificité contestable pour défendre leurs intérêts économiques et faire du lobbying. Cette forme d’instrumentalisation de l’autorité du discours scientifique bénéficie de l’hybridité des formes organisationnelles « think tanks » et « lobbies ».

La fabrication, la médiatisation et l’instrumentalisation de discours auréolés d’une autorité scientifique interroge la normalité des techniques de communication stratégique.


Open access and research dissemination in Africa

Authors : Katie Wilson, Anthony Kiuna, Richard Lamptey, Susan Veldsman, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Richard Hosking, Karl Huang, Alkim Ozaygen

This paper discusses research undertaken by the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI) and participants during and following an Open Knowledge international workshop held in Mauritius in September 2019.

The workshop brought together key experts to explore the role of open knowledge in the creation of equitable and inclusive global knowledge landscapes.

This paper explores the role of open access and institutional repositories in knowledge sharing and the dissemination of research output from higher education and research institutions within the African continent.

The paper reviews the landscape of research output from the African continent; analyses open access research output, overviews of institutional knowledge sharing positions and the dissemination of research output from Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda.


Open science-based framework to reveal open data publishing: an experience from using Common Crawl

Authors : Andreiwid Correa, Israel Fernandes

The publishing of open data is considered a key element for civic participation paving the way to the ‘public value’, a term which underpins the social contribution. A result of that can be seen through the popularity of data portals published all around the world by governments, public and private organizations.

However, the diffusion of data portals raises concerns about discoverability and validity of these data sources, especially to what extent they contribute to open data and open science.

The purpose of this work is to develop a framework to reveal open data publishing with the use of a freely available open science project called Common Crawl. The idea is to identify open data-related initiatives and to gather information about their availability, having in the framework’s essence an iterative and differential process.

The main outcome is shown through a proposed model for the historical data repository which involves both use and creation of open science to branch new sort of research possibilities based on publishing of derived data.


Towards a typology of edited books and conference proceedings according to the applied peer-review procedures

Author : Iva Zlodi

In the last years here is an increasing need to ensure a more objective and transparent evaluation of scientific research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. This short paper explores some of the underlying issues and suggests a study using the suvey method based on a sample of 146 publications.

The results of this study could contribute to the identification and describing distinctive types of edited books and conference proceedings according to their peer-review procedures, and thus to facilitate the recognition of their scholarly value and reliability.