Ten years of AoB PLANTS the open access journal for plant scientists: inception and progress since 2009

Author : Michael B Jackson

AoB PLANTS is a not-for-profit, open access, plant science journal and one of three peer-reviewed journals owned and managed by the Annals of Botany Company. This article explains events and thinking that led to the starting of AoB PLANTS and how the unique features of the Journal came to be formalized prior to its launch in September 2009.

The article also describes how the Journal’s management developed over the first 10 years and summarizes the Journal’s achievements in a decade where open access journals have proliferated despite subscription journals continuing to dominate the publishing of peer-reviewed botanical science.

URL : Ten years of AoB PLANTS the open access journal for plant scientists: inception and progress since 2009

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plz025

Over-optimization of academic publishing metrics: observing Goodhart’s Law in action

Authors : Michael Fire, Carlos Guestrin

Background

The academic publishing world is changing significantly, with ever-growing numbers of publications each year and shifting publishing patterns. However, the metrics used to measure academic success, such as the number of publications, citation number, and impact factor, have not changed for decades.

Moreover, recent studies indicate that these metrics have become targets and follow Goodhart’s Law, according to which, “when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”

Results

In this study, we analyzed >120 million papers to examine how the academic publishing world has evolved over the last century, with a deeper look into the specific field of biology. Our study shows that the validity of citation-based measures is being compromised and their usefulness is lessening.

In particular, the number of publications has ceased to be a good metric as a result of longer author lists, shorter papers, and surging publication numbers. Citation-based metrics, such citation number and h-index, are likewise affected by the flood of papers, self-citations, and lengthy reference lists.

Measures such as a journal’s impact factor have also ceased to be good metrics due to the soaring numbers of papers that are published in top journals, particularly from the same pool of authors.

Moreover, by analyzing properties of >2,600 research fields, we observed that citation-based metrics are not beneficial for comparing researchers in different fields, or even in the same department.

Conclusions

Academic publishing has changed considerably; now we need to reconsider how we measure success.

URL : Over-optimization of academic publishing metrics: observing Goodhart’s Law in action

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/giz053

Altruism or Self-Interest? Exploring the Motivations of Open Access Authors

Authors : Robert Heaton, Dylan Burns, Becky Thoms

More than 250 authors at Utah State University published an Open Access (OA) article in 2016. Analysis of survey results and publication data from Scopus suggests that the following factors led authors to choose OA venues: ability to pay publishing charges, disciplinary colleagues’ positive attitudes toward OA, and personal feelings such as altruism and desire to reach a wide audience.

Tenure status was not an apparent factor. This article adds to the body of literature on author motivations and can inform library outreach and marketing efforts, the creation of new publishing models, and the conversation about the larger scholarly publishing landscape.

URL : Altruism or Self-Interest? Exploring the Motivations of Open Access Authors

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.80.4.485

Impact Assessment of Non-Indexed Open Access Journals: A Case Study

Authors : Daniela Solomon, Mark Eddy

This case study assesses the impact of a small, open-access social sciences journal not included in citation tracking indexes by exploring measures of the journal’s influence beyond the established “impact factor” formula. An analysis of Google Scholar data revealed the journal’s global reach and value to researchers.

This study enabled the journal’s editors to measure the success of their publication according to its professed scope and mission, and to quantify its impact for prospective contributors.

The impact assessment strategies outlined here can be leveraged effectively by academic librarians to provide high-value consultancy for scholar-editors of open access research journals.

URL : https://preprint.press.jhu.edu/portal/sites/ajm/files/19.2solomon.pdf

Remediation Data Management Plans : A Tool for Recovering Research Data from Messy, Messy Projects

Author : Clara Llebot

Data Management Plans (DMPs) have been used in the last decade to encourage good data management practices among researchers. DMPs are widely used, preventive tools that encourage good data management practices. DMPs are traditionally used to manage data during the planning stage of the project, often required for grant proposals, and prior to data collection.

In this paper we will use a case study to argue that Data Management Plans can be useful in improving the management of the data of research projects that have moved beyond the planning stage of the research life cycle.

In particular, we focus on the case of active projects where data has already been collected and is still being analyzed.

We discuss the differences and commonalities in structure between preventive Data Management Plans and remedial Data Management Plans, and describe in detail the additional considerations that are needed when writing remedial Data Management Plans: the goals and audience of the document, the data inventory, and an implementation plan.

URL : Remediation Data Management Plans : A Tool for Recovering Research Data from Messy, Messy Projects

DOI : https://doi.org/10.2218/ijdc.v13i1.667