Motivations, understandings, and experiences of open‐access mega‐journal authors: Results of a large‐scale survey

Authors : Simon Wakeling, Claire Creaser, Stephen Pinfield, Jenny Fry, Valérie Spezi, Peter Willett, Monica Paramita

Open‐access mega‐journals (OAMJs) are characterized by their large scale, wide scope, open‐access (OA) business model, and “soundness‐only” peer review. The last of these controversially discounts the novelty, significance, and relevance of submitted articles and assesses only their “soundness.”

This article reports the results of an international survey of authors (n = 11,883), comparing the responses of OAMJ authors with those of other OA and subscription journals, and drawing comparisons between different OAMJs. Strikingly, OAMJ authors showed a low understanding of soundness‐only peer review: two‐thirds believed OAMJs took into account novelty, significance, and relevance, although there were marked geographical variations.

Author satisfaction with OAMJs, however, was high, with more than 80% of OAMJ authors saying they would publish again in the same journal, although there were variations by title, and levels were slightly lower than subscription journals (over 90%).

Their reasons for choosing to publish in OAMJs included a wide variety of factors, not significantly different from reasons given by authors of other journals, with the most important including the quality of the journal and quality of peer review.

About half of OAMJ articles had been submitted elsewhere before submission to the OAMJ with some evidence of a “cascade” of articles between journals from the same publisher.

URL : Motivations, understandings, and experiences of open‐access mega‐journal authors: Results of a large‐scale survey


Attitudes of North American Academics toward Open Access Scholarly Journals

Authors : Elizabeth D. Dalton, Carol Tenopir, Bo-Christer Björk

In this study, the authors examine attitudes of researchers toward open access (OA) scholarly journals.

Using two-step cluster analysis to explore survey data from faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers at large North American research institutions, two different cluster types emerge: Those with a positive attitude toward OA and a desire to reach the nonscholarly audience groups who would most benefit from OA (“pro-OA”), and those with a more negative, skeptical attitude and less interest in reaching nonscholarly readers (“non-OA”).

The article explores these cluster identities in terms of position type, subject discipline, and productivity, as well as implications for policy and practice.


bioRxiv: the preprint server for biology

Authors : Richard Sever, Ted Roeder, Samantha Hindle, Linda Sussman, Kevin-John Black, Janet Argentine, Wayne Manos, John R. Inglis

The traditional publication process delays dissemination of new research, often by months, sometimes by years. Preprint servers decouple dissemination of research papers from their evaluation and certification by journals, allowing researchers to share work immediately, receive feedback from a much larger audience, and provide evidence of productivity long before formal publication.

Launched in 2013 as a non-profit community service, the bioRxiv server has brought preprint practice to the life sciences and recently posted its 64,000th manuscript.

The server now receives more than four million views per month and hosts papers spanning all areas of biology. Initially dominated by evolutionary biology, genetics/genomics and computational biology, bioRxiv has been increasingly populated by papers in neuroscience, cell and developmental biology, and many other fields.

Changes in journal and funder policies that encourage preprint posting have helped drive adoption, as has the development of bioRxiv technologies that allow authors to transfer papers easily between the server and journals.

A bioRxiv user survey found that 42% of authors post their preprints prior to journal submission whereas 37% post concurrently with journal submission. Authors are motivated by a desire to share work early; they value the feedback they receive, and very rarely experience any negative consequences of preprint posting.

Rapid dissemination via bioRxiv is also encouraging new initiatives that experiment with the peer review process and the development of novel approaches to literature filtering and assessment.

URL : bioRxiv: the preprint server for biology


Services de gestion et de partage des données de recherche : ce qu’en pensent les chercheurs

Auteurs/Authors : Violaine Rebouillat, Ghislaine Chartron

En France, les professionnels de l’information scientifique et technique (IST) se positionnent sur le développement de services pour la gestion et la valorisation des données de recherche.

L’article interroge l’utilisation de ces services par les chercheurs. Il s’appuie sur 46 entretiens, réalisés auprès de chercheurs de l’Université de Strasbourg. Le catalogue Cat OPIDoR, référençant les services de données français, a servi de base d’étude pour l’enquête. Les résultats montrent que les services développés par les professionnels de l’IST correspondent pour une faible partie à ceux qu’utilisent les répondants.

Une des explications esquissées est qu’en matière de données les chercheurs sont davantage influencés par les recommandations des éditeurs que par celles des professionnels de l’IST.


Open Access in developing countries – attitudes and experiences of researchers

Authors : Andy Nobes, Sian Harris

Open Access is often considered as particularly beneficial to researchers in the Global South. However, research into awareness of and attitudes to Open Access has been largely dominated by voices from the Global North.

A survey was conducted of 507 researchers from the developing world and connected to INASP’s AuthorAID project to ascertain experiences and attitudes to Open Access publishing.

The survey revealed problems for the researchers in gaining access to research literature in the first place. There was a very positive attitude to Open Access research and Open Access journals, but when selecting a journal in which to publish, Open Access was seen as a much less important criterion than factors relating to international reputation.

Overall, a majority of respondents had published in an Open Access journal and most of these had paid an article processing charge. Knowledge and use of self-archiving via repositories varied, and only around 20% had deposited their research in an institutional repository.

The study also examined attitudes to copyright, revealing most respondents had heard of Creative Commons licences and were positive about the sharing of research for educational use and dissemination, but there was unease about research being used for commercial purposes.

Respondents revealed a surprisingly positive stance towards openly sharing research data, although many revealed that they would need further guidance on how to do so. The survey also revealed that the majority had received emails from so called ‘predatory’ publishers and that a small minority had published in them.

URL : Open Access in developing countries – attitudes and experiences of researchers

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An Analysis of Search Results from Institutional Repository: Econpapers

Authors : Sidharta Chatterjee, Sujoy Dey, Mousumi Samanta

The goal of this research is to examine and explore information retrieval process of patrons who access institutional repositories. Repositories are generally hosted by public universities and run by volunteers which allow researchers to submit their draft versions of their manuscripts in pre-print forms.

In this study, we analyze using search methods to sort out research papers classified according to their levels of relevance that are available from a repository, and report the pattern of search results as our findings.

Our model employs search methods for searching Econpapers which utilize RePEc bibliographic data. Our analysis attempts to highlight how information seekers, scholars and researchers search relevant topics of their interest and how relevant such information is which is retrieved from an institutional repository.

This could aid researchers to modify their search processes to obtain better search results from their queries. The goal is to obtain the most relevant documents from online search.

We discuss about the methods employed to retrieve information which is most pertinent to the requirements of researchers. A broad implication could be better utilization of time and resources for efficient retrieval of the most relevant documents of interest that could be expected from searching institutional repositories.


Collaboration, Consultation, or Transaction: Modes of Team Research in Humanities Scholarship and Strategies for Library Engagement

Authors : Megan Senseney, Eleanor Dickson Koehl, Leanne Nay

With the rise of digital scholarship, humanists are participating in increasingly complex research teams and partnerships, and academic libraries are developing innovative service models to meet their needs.

This paper explores modes of coworking in humanities research by synthesizing responses from two qualitative studies of research practices in the humanities and proposes a taxonomy of multiperson research that includes collaborative, consultative, and transactional research partnerships among scholars, graduate students, academic staff, and a range of other potential stakeholders.

Based on an analysis of humanities scholars’ self-described research behaviors, we provide recommendations for academic librarians who are developing and sustaining service models for digital scholarship.

URL : Collaboration, Consultation, or Transaction: Modes of Team Research in Humanities Scholarship and Strategies for Library Engagement