Discipline-specific open access publishing practices and barriers to change: an evidence-based review

Authors : Anna Severin, Matthias Egger, Martin Paul Eve, Daniel Hürlimann

Background

Many of the discussions surrounding Open Access (OA) revolve around how it affects publishing practices across different academic disciplines. It was a long-held view that it would be only a matter of time for all disciplines to fully and relatively homogeneously implement OA.

Recent large-scale bibliometric studies show however that the uptake of OA differs substantially across disciplines. This study investigates the underlying mechanisms that cause disciplines to vary in their OA publishing practices.

We aimed to answer two questions: First, how do different disciplines adopt and shape OA publishing practices? Second, what discipline-specific barriers to and potentials for OA can be identified?

Methods

In a first step, we identified and synthesized relevant bibliometric studies that assessed OA prevalence and publishing patterns across disciplines. In a second step, and adopting a social shaping of technology perspective, we studied evidence on the socio-technical forces that shape OA publishing practices.

We examined a variety of data sources, including, but not limited to, publisher policies and guidelines, OA mandates and policies and author surveys.

Results

Over the last three decades, scholarly publishing has experienced a shift from “closed” access to OA as the proportion of scholarly literature that is openly accessible has increased continuously.

The shift towards OA is however uneven across disciplines in two respects: first, the growth of OA has been uneven across disciplines, which manifests itself in varying OA prevalence levels. Second, disciplines use different OA publishing channels to make research outputs OA.

Conclusions

We conclude that historically grown publishing practices differ in terms of their compatibility with OA, which is the reason why OA can be assumed to be a natural continuation of publishing cultures in some disciplines, whereas in other disciplines, the implementation of OA faces major barriers and would require a change of research culture.

URL : Discipline-specific open access publishing practices and barriers to change: an evidence-based review

DOI : https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.17328.1

The principles of tomorrow’s university

Authors : Daniel S. Katz, Gabrielle Allen, Lorena A. Barba, Devin R. Berg, Holly Bik, Carl Boettiger, Christine L. Borgman, C. Titus Brown, Stuart Buck, Randy Burd, Anita de Waard, Martin Paul Eve, Brian E. Granger, Josh Greenberg, Adina Howe, Bill Howe, May Khanna, Timothy L. Killeen, Matthew Mayernik, Erin McKiernan, Chris Mentzel, Nirav Merchant, Kyle E. Niemeyer, Laura Noren, Sarah M. Nusser, Daniel A. Reed, Edward Seidel, MacKenzie Smith, Jeffrey R. Spies, Matt Turk, John D. Van Horn, Jay Walsh

In the 21st Century, research is increasingly data- and computation-driven. Researchers, funders, and the larger community today emphasize the traits of openness and reproducibility.

In March 2017, 13 mostly early-career research leaders who are building their careers around these traits came together with ten university leaders (presidents, vice presidents, and vice provosts), representatives from four funding agencies, and eleven organizers and other stakeholders in an NIH- and NSF-funded one-day, invitation-only workshop titled “Imagining Tomorrow’s University.”

Workshop attendees were charged with launching a new dialog around open research – the current status, opportunities for advancement, and challenges that limit sharing.

The workshop examined how the internet-enabled research world has changed, and how universities need to change to adapt commensurately, aiming to understand how universities can and should make themselves competitive and attract the best students, staff, and faculty in this new world.

During the workshop, the participants re-imagined scholarship, education, and institutions for an open, networked era, to uncover new opportunities for universities to create value and serve society.

They expressed the results of these deliberations as a set of 22 principles of tomorrow’s university across six areas: credit and attribution, communities, outreach and engagement, education, preservation and reproducibility, and technologies.

Activities that follow on from workshop results take one of three forms. First, since the workshop, a number of workshop authors have further developed and published their white papers to make their reflections and recommendations more concrete.

These authors are also conducting efforts to implement these ideas, and to make changes in the university system.

Second, we plan to organise a follow-up workshop that focuses on how these principles could be implemented.

Third, we believe that the outcomes of this workshop support and are connected with recent theoretical work on the position and future of open knowledge institutions.

URL : The principles of tomorrow’s university

DOI : https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.17425.1

Open Access in the United Kingdom

Author : Martin Paul Eve

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been a leader in the advance towards open access (OA) to scholarship and research. Indeed, a combination of centralized, state research-funding bodies, coupled with a nationwide openness and transparency agenda has created an economic and political climate in which discourses of open science and scholarship can flourish.

Although different parts of UK policy on open access have not been universally well received by those in the academy and those in publishing, there have also been two official parliamentary hearings into open access; a set of reviews and recommendations, headed by Professor Adam Tickell; and a variety of implementation strategies from different private and public funders and institutions.

In this chapter, I briefly cover the political and economic elements of open access as they have emerged in the UK, spanning: funders, politics, institutions, publishers, and academics. Please note that this chapter will be available openly one year after publication.

URL : http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/16684/

Open Publication, Digital Abundance, and Scarce Labour

Author : Martin Paul Eve

This article examines the challenges of labour provision in the open-access online scholarly publishing environment. While the technological underpinnings of open access imply an abundance, it is also the case that the labour that remains necessary in the publishing processes is based on a set of economics that are scarce: the availability of human time, effort, and expertise.

I here argue, with a demonstration of some of the labours of XML typesetting, that we are unlikely to realise the transformations of an abundant proliferation of scholarship without a substantial change and re-distribution of labour functions to authors, which is unlikely to be socially accepted.

The resultant outputs from this process would also, I argue, be less likely to be machine readable and semantically rich, thereby conflicting with other imagined digital possibilities.

URL : http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/19432/

Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

Authors : Martin Paul Eve, Ernesto Priego

“Predatory publishing” refers to conditions under which gold open-access academic publishers claim to conduct peer review and charge for their publishing services but do not, in fact, actually perform such reviews.

Most prominently exposed in recent years by Jeffrey Beall, the phenomenon garners much media attention. In this article, we acknowledge that such practices are deceptive but then examine, across a variety of stakeholder groups, what the harm is from such actions to each group of actors.

We find that established publishers have a strong motivation to hype claims of predation as damaging to the scholarly and scientific endeavour while noting that, in fact, systems of peer review are themselves already acknowledged as deeply flawed.

URL : Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

Alternative location : http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/867