Science Communication and Open Access: The Critique of the Political Economy of Capitalist Academic Publishers as Ideology Critique

Author : Manfred Knoche

Starting from a theoretical and methodological foundation of an academic ideology critique, the production, distribution and valorisation of science communication will be analysed in exemplary fashion.

The focus is on the criticism of publishing houses’ business models in the sphere of open Access publishing. These models are propagated and implemented by science and politics.

Thus, academic publications continue to be traded as commodities. The existing relationships of power and domination are thereby reproduced. In contrast, the emancipatory potential of non-commercial science communication based on the digitalisation of production and distribution is shown.

URL : Science Communication and Open Access: The Critique of the Political Economy of Capitalist Academic Publishers as Ideology Critique

DOI : https://doi.org/10.31269/triplec.v18i2.1183

A systematic examination of preprint platforms for use in the medical and biomedical sciences setting

Authors : Jamie J Kirkham, Naomi Penfold, Fiona Murphy, Isabelle Boutron, John PA Ioannidis, Jessica K Polka, David Moher

Objectives

The objective of this review is to identify all preprint platforms with biomedical and medical scope and to compare and contrast the key characteristics and policies of these platforms. We also aim to provide a searchable database to enable relevant stakeholders to compare between platforms.

Study Design and Setting

Preprint platforms that were launched up to 25th June 2019 and have a biomedical and medical scope according to MEDLINE’s journal selection criteria were identified using existing lists, web-based searches and the expertise of both academic and non-academic publication scientists.

A data extraction form was developed, pilot-tested and used to collect data from each preprint platform’s webpage(s). Data collected were in relation to scope and ownership; content-specific characteristics and information relating to submission, journal transfer options, and external discoverability; screening, moderation, and permanence of content; usage metrics and metadata.

Where possible, all online data were verified by the platform owner or representative by correspondence.

Results

A total of 44 preprint platforms were identified as having biomedical and medical scope, 17 (39%) were hosted by the Open Science Framework preprint infrastructure, six (14%) were provided by F1000 Research Ltd (the Open Research Central infrastructure) and 21 (48%) were other independent preprint platforms. Preprint platforms were either owned by non-profit academic groups, scientific societies or funding organisations (n=28; 64%), owned/partly owned by for-profit publishers or companies (n=14; 32%) or owned by individuals/small communities (n=2; 5%).

Twenty-four (55%) preprint platforms accepted content from all scientific fields although some of these had restrictions relating to funding source, geographical region or an affiliated journal’s remit.

Thirty-three (75%) preprint platforms provided details about article screening (basic checks) and 14 (32%) of these actively involved researchers with context expertise in the screening process.

The three most common screening checks related to the scope of the article, plagiarism and legal/ethical/societal issues and compliance. Almost all preprint platforms allow submission to any peer-reviewed journal following publication, have a preservation plan for read-access, and most have a policy regarding reasons for retraction and the sustainability of the service.

Forty-one (93%) platforms currently have usage metrics, with the most common metric being the number of downloads presented on the abstract page.

Conclusion

A large number of preprint platforms exist for use in biomedical and medical sciences, all of which offer researchers an opportunity to rapidly disseminate their research findings onto an open-access public server, subject to scope and eligibility.

However, the process by which content is screened before online posting and withdrawn or removed after posting varies between platforms, which may be associated with platform operation, ownership, governance and financing.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.27.063578

Community curation in PomBase: enabling fission yeast experts to provide detailed, standardized, sharable annotation from research publications

Authors : Antonia Lock, Midori A Harris, Kim Rutherford, Jacqueline Hayles, Valerie Wood

Maximizing the impact and value of scientific research requires efficient knowledge distribution, which increasingly depends on the integration of standardized published data into online databases.

To make data integration more comprehensive and efficient for fission yeast research, PomBase has pioneered a community curation effort that engages publication authors directly in FAIR-sharing of data representing detailed biological knowledge from hypothesis-driven experiments.

Canto, an intuitive online curation tool that enables biologists to describe their detailed functional data using shared ontologies, forms the core of PomBase’s system.

With 8 years’ experience, and as the author response rate reaches 50%, we review community curation progress and the insights we have gained from the project.

We highlight incentives and nudges we deploy to maximize participation, and summarize project outcomes, which include increased knowledge integration and dissemination as well as the unanticipated added value arising from co-curation by publication authors and professional curators.

URL : Community curation in PomBase: enabling fission yeast experts to provide detailed, standardized, sharable annotation from research publications

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1093/database/baaa028

Availability of research articles for the public during pandemic – a case study

Author : Augustine Joshua Devasahayam

The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) disease has affected millions of lives, forcing most of us to stay at home and work. However, there is an immediate need to conduct research on potential drugs against COVID-19.

In this article, the extent to which major publishers have provided access for the public to read research articles relevant to potential drug candidates for the COVID-19 disease are presented.

A systematic search of five electronic databases (Elsevier’s ScienceDirect, Taylor & Francis, SpringerLink, Wiley, and New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)) was conducted on April 12-17, 2020. The total number of research articles containing terms ‘Ribavirin’, ‘Remdesivir’, ‘Hydroxychloroquine OR Chloroquine’, ‘Favipiravir’, ‘Lopinavir OR Ritonavir’, ‘Sarilumab’, and ‘Tocilizumab’, available for the public to read for free were determined.

In this study, there was a lack of full access to research articles related to potential drugs of COVID-19 in commercial academic databases, except for ‘Remdesivir’ and ‘Favipiravir’ from NEJM.

URL : Availability of research articles for the public during pandemic – a case study

DOI : http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10340

Open Access and Altmetrics in the pandemic age: Forescast analysis on COVID-19 literature

Authors : Daniel Torres-Salinas, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, Pedro A. Castillo-Valdivieso

We present an analysis on the uptake of open access on COVID-19 related literature as well as the social media attention they gather when compared with non OA papers.

We use a dataset of publications curated by Dimensions and analyze articles and preprints. Our sample includes 11,686 publications of which 67.5% are openly accessible.

OA publications tend to receive the largest share of social media attention as measured by the Altmetric Attention Score. 37.6% of OA publications are bronze, which means toll journals are providing free access.

MedRxiv contributes to 36.3% of documents in repositories but papers in BiorXiv exhibit on average higher AAS. We predict the growth of COVID-19 literature in the following 30 days estimating ARIMA models for the overall publications set, OA vs. non OA and by location of the document (repository vs. journal).

We estimate that COVID-19 publications will double in the next 20 days, but non OA publications will grow at a higher rate than OA publications. We conclude by discussing the implications of such findings on the dissemination and communication of research findings to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.23.057307

Use of the journal impact factor for assessing individual articles need not be statistically wrong

Authors : Ludo Waltman, Vincent A. Traag

Most scientometricians reject the use of the journal impact factor for assessing individual articles and their authors. The well-known San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment also strongly objects against this way of using the impact factor.

Arguments against the use of the impact factor at the level of individual articles are often based on statistical considerations. The skewness of journal citation distributions typically plays a central role in these arguments.

We present a theoretical analysis of statistical arguments against the use of the impact factor at the level of individual articles. Our analysis shows that these arguments do not support the conclusion that the impact factor should not be used for assessing individual articles.

In fact, our computer simulations demonstrate the possibility that the impact factor is a more accurate indicator of the value of an article than the number of citations the article has received.

It is important to critically discuss the dominant role of the impact factor in research evaluations, but the discussion should not be based on misplaced statistical arguments. Instead, the primary focus should be on the socio-technical implications of the use of the impact factor.

URL : Use of the journal impact factor for assessing individual articles need not be statistically wrong

DOI : https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.23418.1

Towards inclusive scholarly publishing: developments in the university press community

Authors: Niccole Leilanionapae‘aina Coggins, Gisela Concepción Fosado, Christie Henry, Gita Manaktala

This article provides an overview of the ways in which the members of the Association of University Presses are working towards more inclusive practices in scholarly publishing.

The authors consider the Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship Program (now in its fourth year), the work of the Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, the Gender, Equity and Cultures of Respect Task Force and the new Equity, Justice and Inclusion Committee.

They also look at press-based working groups and several ‘Toolkits for Equity’ that are currently in development.

The volunteers engaged in these and other efforts are working to document how bias has shaped universities and university presses, to propose actions to disrupt this powerful force and to share what they have learned with their colleagues as well as with the larger scholarly publishing and academic communities.

URL : Towards inclusive scholarly publishing: developments in the university press community

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.506