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.


Replication studies in economics—How many and which papers are chosen for replication, and why?

Authors : Frank Mueller-Langer, Benedikt Fecher, Dietmar Harhoff, Gert G.Wagner

We investigate how often replication studies are published in empirical economics and what types of journal articles are replicated. We find that between 1974 and 2014 0.1% of publications in the top 50 economics journals were replication studies.

We consider the results of published formal replication studies (whether they are negating or reinforcing) and their extent: Narrow replication studies are typically devoted to mere replication of prior work, while scientific replication studies provide a broader analysis.

We find evidence that higher-impact articles and articles by authors from leading institutions are more likely to be replicated, whereas the replication probability is lower for articles that appeared in top 5 economics journals.

Our analysis also suggests that mandatory data disclosure policies may have a positive effect on the incidence of replication.

URL : Replication studies in economics—How many and which papers are chosen for replication, and why?


A reputation economy: how individual reward considerations trump systemic arguments for open access to data

Authors : Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Marcel Hebing, Stephanie Linek

Open access to research data has been described as a driver of innovation and a potential cure for the reproducibility crisis in many academic fields. Against this backdrop, policy makers are increasingly advocating for making research data and supporting material openly available online.

Despite its potential to further scientific progress, widespread data sharing in small science is still an ideal practised in moderation. In this article, we explore the question of what drives open access to research data using a survey among 1564 mainly German researchers across all disciplines.

We show that, regardless of their disciplinary background, researchers recognize the benefits of open access to research data for both their own research and scientific progress as a whole. Nonetheless, most researchers share their data only selectively.

We show that individual reward considerations conflict with widespread data sharing. Based on our results, we present policy implications that are in line with both individual reward considerations and scientific progress.

URL : A reputation economy: how individual reward considerations trump systemic arguments for open access to data

DOI : 10.1057/palcomms.2017.51

Open Access, Innovation, and Research Infrastructure

Authors : Benedikt Fecher, Gert G. Wagner

In this article we argue that the current endeavors to achieve open access in scientific
literature require a discussion about innovation in scholarly publishing and research infrastructure.

Drawing on path dependence theory and addressing different open access (OA) models and recent political endeavors, we argue that academia is once again running the risk of outsourcing the organization of its content.

URL : Open Access, Innovation, and Research Infrastructure

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