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

A Realistic Guide to Making Data Available Alongside Code to Improve Reproducibility

Authors : Nicholas J Tierney, Karthik Ram

Data makes science possible. Sharing data improves visibility, and makes the research process transparent. This increases trust in the work, and allows for independent reproduction of results.

However, a large proportion of data from published research is often only available to the original authors. Despite the obvious benefits of sharing data, and scientists’ advocating for the importance of sharing data, most advice on sharing data discusses its broader benefits, rather than the practical considerations of sharing.

This paper provides practical, actionable advice on how to actually share data alongside research. The key message is sharing data falls on a continuum, and entering it should come with minimal barriers.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/2002.11626

Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS): design and first-year review

Authors : Arfon M Smith, Kyle E Niemeyer, Daniel S Katz, Lorena A Barba, George Githinji, Melissa Gymrek, Kathryn D Huff, Christopher R Madan, Abigail Cabunoc Mayes, Kevin M Moerman, Pjotr Prins, Karthik Ram, Ariel Rokem, Tracy K Teal, Roman Valls Guimera, Jacob T Vanderplas

This article describes the motivation, design, and progress of the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS). JOSS is a free and open-access journal that publishes articles describing research software. It has the dual goals of improving the quality of the software submitted and providing a mechanism for research software developers to receive credit.

While designed to work within the current merit system of science, JOSS addresses the dearth of rewards for key contributions to science made in the form of software. JOSS publishes articles that encapsulate scholarship contained in the software itself, and its rigorous peer review targets the software components: functionality, documentation, tests, continuous integration, and the license.

A JOSS article contains an abstract describing the purpose and functionality of the software, references, and a link to the software archive. The article is the entry point of a JOSS submission, which encompasses the full set of software artifacts.

Submission and review proceed in the open, on GitHub. Editors, reviewers, and authors work collaboratively and openly. Unlike other journals, JOSS does not reject articles requiring major revision; while not yet accepted, articles remain visible and under review until the authors make adequate changes (or withdraw, if unable to meet requirements).

Once an article is accepted, JOSS gives it a DOI, deposits its metadata in Crossref, and the article can begin collecting citations on indexers like Google Scholar and other services. Authors retain copyright of their JOSS article, releasing it under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

In its first year, starting in May 2016, JOSS published 111 articles, with more than 40 additional articles currently under review. JOSS is a sponsored project of the nonprofit organization NumFOCUS and is an affiliate of the Open Source Initiative.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1707.02264

How open science helps researchers succeed

Authors : Erin C McKiernan,  Philip E Bourne, C Titus Brown, Stuart Buck, Amye Kenall, Jennifer Lin, Damon McDougall, Brian A Nosek, Karthik Ram, Courtney K Soderberg, Jeffrey R Spies, Kaitlin Thaney, Andrew Updegrove, Kara H Woo, Tal Yarkoni

Open access, open data, open source and other open scholarship practices are growing in popularity and necessity. However, widespread adoption of these practices has not yet been achieved.One reason is that researchers are uncertain about how sharing their work will affect their careers.

We review literature demonstrating that open research is associated with increases in citations, media attention, potential collaborators, job opportunities and funding opportunities. These findings are evidence that open research practices bring significant benefits to researchers relative to more traditional closed practices.

URL : How open science helps researchers succeed

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16800