Enforcing public data archiving policies in academic publishing: A study of ecology journals

Authors : Dan Sholler, Karthik Ram, Carl Boettiger, Daniel S Katz

To improve the quality and efficiency of research, groups within the scientific community seek to exploit the value of data sharing. Funders, institutions, and specialist organizations are developing and implementing strategies to encourage or mandate data sharing within and across disciplines, with varying degrees of success.

Academic journals in ecology and evolution have adopted several types of public data archiving policies requiring authors to make data underlying scholarly manuscripts freely available. The effort to increase data sharing in the sciences is one part of a broader “data revolution” that has prompted discussion about a paradigm shift in scientific research.

Yet anecdotes from the community and studies evaluating data availability suggest that these policies have not obtained the desired effects, both in terms of quantity and quality of available datasets.

We conducted a qualitative, interview-based study with journal editorial staff and other stakeholders in the academic publishing process to examine how journals enforce data archiving policies.

We specifically sought to establish who editors and other stakeholders perceive as responsible for ensuring data completeness and quality in the peer review process. Our analysis revealed little consensus with regard to how data archiving policies should be enforced and who should hold authors accountable for dataset submissions.

Themes in interviewee responses included hopefulness that reviewers would take the initiative to review datasets and trust in authors to ensure the completeness and quality of their datasets.

We highlight problematic aspects of these thematic responses and offer potential starting points for improvement of the public data archiving process.

URL : Enforcing public data archiving policies in academic publishing: A study of ecology journals

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951719836258

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