On the Potential of Preprints in Geochemistry: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Authors : Olivier Pourret, Dasapta Erwin Irawan, Jonathan P. Tennant

In recent years, the pace of the dissemination of scientific information has increased. In this context, the possibility and value of sharing open access (OA) online manuscripts in their preprint form seem to be growing in many scientific fields. More and more platforms are especially dedicated to free preprint publishing.

They are published, non-peer-reviewed scholarly papers that typically precede publication in a peer-reviewed journal. They have been a part of science since at least the 1960s.

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web to help researchers share knowledge easily. A few months later, in August 1991, as a centralized web-based network, arXiv was created. arXiv is arguably the most influential preprint platform and has supported the fields of physics, mathematics and computer science for over 30 years.

Since, preprint platforms have become popular in many disciplines (e.g., bioRxiv for biological sciences) due to the increasing drive towards OA publishing, and can be publisher- or community-driven, profit or not for profit, and based on proprietary or free and open source software. A range of discipline-specific or cross-domain platforms now exist, with exponential growth these last five years.

While preprints as a whole still represent only a small proportion of scholarly publishing, a strong community of early adopters is already beginning to experiment with such value-enhancing tools in many more disciplines than before.

The two main options for geochemists are EarthArXiv and ESSOAr. A “one size fits all” model for preprints would never work across the entire scientific community. The geochemistry community needs to develop and sustain their own model.

URL : On the Potential of Preprints in Geochemistry: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083360

The growth of open access publishing in geochemistry

Authors : Olivier Pourret, Dasapta Erwin Irawan, Jonathan P. Tennant, Andrew Hursthouse, Eric D. van Hullebusch

In this communication, we look at Open Access (OA) publishing practices in geochemistry.

We examine a list of 56 journals and assess whether Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Journal Impact Factors (JIFs) appear to influence publication or not. More than 40% of articles in 2018-2019 were published OA, and about 70% of that portion in fully OA journals.

These had a mean APC of US$ 900, whereas the remaining were published in hybrid journals with a higher mean APC of more than $US 1,800. A moderate and positive correlation is found between the number of OA articles published in hybrids journals and their JIF, whereas there is a stronger positive relationship between the number of OA articles published in fully OA journals and the APC.

For OA articles published in hybrid journals, it seems that the proportion of OA articles tends to increase in journals with higher JIF.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ringeo.2020.100001

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)

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/kula.63

The limitations to our understanding of peer review

Authors : Jonathan P. Tennant, Tony Ross-Hellauer

Peer review is embedded in the core of our scholarly knowledge generation systems, conferring legitimacy on research while distributing academic capital and prestige on individuals.

Despite its critical importance, it curiously remains poorly understood in a number of dimensions. In order to address this, we have programmatically analysed peer review to assess where the major gaps in our theoretical and empirical understanding of it lie.

We distill this into core themes around editorial accountability, the subjectivity and bias of reviewers, the function and quality of peer review, the role of the reviewer, the social and epistemic implications of peer review, and regarding innovations in open peer review platforms and services.

We use this to present a guide for the future of peer review, and the development of a new research discipline based on the study of peer review. Such a field requires sustained funding and commitment from publishers and research funders, who both have a commitment to uphold the integrity of the published scholarly record.

This will require the design of a consensus for a minimal set of standards for what constitutes peer review, and the development of a shared data infrastructure to support this.

We recognise that many of the criticisms attributed to peer review might reflect wider issues within academia and wider society, and future care will be required in order to carefully demarcate and address these.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/jq623

Open Up: A Survey on Open and Non-anonymized Peer Reviewing

Authors : Lonni Besançon, Niklas Rönnberg, Jonas Löwgren, Jonathan P. Tennant, Matthew Cooper

We present a discussion and analysis regarding the benefits and limitations of open and non-anonymized peer review based on literature results and responses to a survey on the reviewing process of alt.chi, a more or less open-review track within the CHI conference, the predominant conference in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI).

This track currently is the only implementation of an open-peer-review process in the field of HCI while, with the recent increase in interest in open science practices, open review is now being considered and used in other fields.

We collected 30 responses from alt.chi authors and reviewers and found that, while the benefits are quite clear and the system is generally well liked by alt.chi participants, they are reluctant to see it used in other venues.

This concurs with a number of recent studies that suggest a divergence between support for a more open review process and its practical implementation. The data and scripts are available on https://osf.io/vuw7h/, and the figures and follow-up work on http://tiny.cc/OpenReviews.

URL : Open Up: A Survey on Open and Non-anonymized Peer Reviewing

Alternative location : https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/201905.0098/v2


Ten Hot Topics around Scholarly Publishing

Authors : Jonathan P. Tennant, Harry Crane, Tom Crick, Jacinto Davila, Asura Enkhbayar, Johanna Havemann, Bianca Kramer, Ryan Martin, Paola Masuzzo,  Andy Nobes, Curt Rice, Bárbara Rivera-López, Tony Ross-Hellauer, Susanne Sattler, Paul D. Thacker, Marc Vanholsbeeck

The changing world of scholarly communication and the emerging new wave of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly debated topics.

Evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication.

This article aims to provide a baseline evidence framework for ten of the most contested topics, in order to help frame and move forward discussions, practices, and policies.

We address issues around preprints and scooping, the practice of copyright transfer, the function of peer review, predatory publishers, and the legitimacy of ‘global’ databases.

These arguments and data will be a powerful tool against misinformation across wider academic research, policy and practice, and will inform changes within the rapidly evolving scholarly publishing system.

URL : Ten Hot Topics around Scholarly Publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications7020034

A multi-disciplinary perspective on emergent and future innovations in peer review

Authors : Jonathan P. Tennant, Jonathan M. Dugan, Daniel Graziotin, Damien C. Jacques, François Waldner, Daniel Mietchen, Yehia Elkhatib, Lauren B. Collister, Christina K. Pikas, Tom Crick, Paola Masuzzo, Anthony Caravaggi, Devin R. Berg, Kyle E. Niemeyer, Tony Ross-Hellauer, Sara Mannheimer, Lillian Rigling, Daniel S. Kat, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Josmel Pacheco-Mendoza, Nazeefa Fatima, Marta Poblet, Marios Isaakidis, Dasapta Erwin Irawan, Sébastien Renaut, Christopher R. Madan, Lisa Matthias, Jesper Nørgaard Kjær, Daniel Paul O’Donnell, Cameron Neylon, Sarah Kearns, Manojkumar Selvaraju, Julien Colomb

Peer review of research articles is a core part of our scholarly communication system. In spite of its importance, the status and purpose of peer review is often contested. What is its role in our modern digital research and communications infrastructure?

Does it perform to the high standards with which it is generally regarded? Studies of peer review have shown that it is prone to bias and abuse in numerous dimensions, frequently unreliable, and can fail to detect even fraudulent research.

With the advent of Web technologies, we are now witnessing a phase of innovation and experimentation in our approaches to peer review. These developments prompted us to examine emerging models of peer review from a range of disciplines and venues, and to ask how they might address some of the issues with our current systems of peer review.

We examine the functionality of a range of social Web platforms, and compare these with the traits underlying a viable peer review system: quality control, quantified performance metrics as engagement incentives, and certification and reputation.

Ideally, any new systems will demonstrate that they out-perform current models while avoiding as many of the biases of existing systems as possible. We conclude that there is considerable scope for new peer review initiatives to be developed, each with their own potential issues and advantages.

We also propose a novel hybrid platform model that, at least partially, resolves many of the technical and social issues associated with peer review, and can potentially disrupt the entire scholarly communication system.

Success for any such development relies on reaching a critical threshold of research community engagement with both the process and the platform, and therefore cannot be achieved without a significant change of incentives in research environments.

URL : A multi-disciplinary perspective on emergent and future innovations in peer review

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.12037.1