Stanford University leads latest group to join PeerJ. “We are pleased to announce the latest universities to have signed up with PeerJ to centrally fund Publication Plans for their faculty (meaning that authors from their institutions will have their publication plans automatically paid using funds made available via the library). With the most recent addition of Stanford University, we now have 20institutions signed up with PeerJ (a list which also includes Cambridge, Berkeley, Duke, and University College London for example). In addition to these 20 universities, numerous others have committed to supporting Open Access charges in some form and have public pages on PeerJ.” More here.
The Conversation: Are universities turning into giant newsrooms? “Like many of my fellow journalism lecturers, I often get asked for tips on turning academic research into journalism pieces. These requests have been getting more frequent. It’s a compliment, but why is there a sudden interest in making academic work more accessible? The answer could lie in the blurring boundaries of academia, social media and altmetrics. Traditionally the way governments and funding bodies evaluate research has been left wanting. Usually “research impact” and a scholar’s reach has been measured in a few ways, usually through narrow citations counts or through peer review. Article level metrics (altmetrics) are becoming the new currency to measure research impact. They measure reach through article views, downloads, traditional media or mentions in social media. The past five years has seen a bunch of altmetric and social media websites that help measure individual research performance. Increasingly, social media is triggering further collaboration and changing how we produce knowledge, providing another space for practicing scholarship. A recent study on the connection between Twitter and academia shows social media speeds up interdisciplinary research to create ‘new connections with other scientists, which can lead to the development of new collaborations and scientific outputs… [and] promote the popularisation of scientific findings.'” More here.
ipg: Open Access: driving innovation in academic markets? “Any summary is inevitably flawed, and partial. But here’s my take: OA means full and free access to content. Its proponents have been motivated on the one hand by a high-minded belief in the desirability of the unimpeded flow of research information to anyone who wants to receive it, and on the other hand by frustration at the cost of accessing research material published under paid-for business models. Initially, and still overwhelmingly, fingers point at the subscription costs for STM journals, but the debate does not end there: Humanities and Social Sciences research have also become part of the issue, and books as well as journals are up for discussion.” More here.
demotrends: Open Access and Demographic Research. “As demographers and academics, we should consider what effect the current seismic changes in the dissemination of research are likely to have on our own activities, and how we should now go about getting our research published. What is clear is that the traditional system of academic publishing is no longer tenable. The internet has changed the way we communicate and access information, meaning that we need no longer rely on printed media to keep us up to date. The costs now associated with actually disseminating research appear negligible, in the sense that anyone can upload documents to the internet in the blink of an eye, and the per-article cost of maintaining these on the server is presumably very small. Despite all this, journal subscription fees have risen steadily over the last couple of decades, meaning less money for science. Open access offers one way to avoid this problem.” More here.
Ethos: Open Access and the Fight for Higher Education: A View from the Art History Guild. “The President’s recent dig at art history—which can be read more broadly as a dig at the humanities in general—is only the most recent and prominent devaluation of cultural literacy and a humanistic education. There are a variety of factors that have led to a diminished appreciation for study outside of a trade or STEM field. Yet part of the blame is to be laid at the feet of those who work within the humanities, as professors and academics have failed to adequately educate the public about what they do and why it is important. To push this further, it is also likely that many in these ranks have failed to consider whether their focus is in fact important, or whether their efforts might be better directed toward different goals. One exception to this failure is the Art History Guild, an organization formed by Victoria H.F. Scott in the spring of 2012, which hopes to inspire not only a dialogue about these issues, but steps toward meaningful change as well. Many of the failings of the modern university are directly related to the diminishing value of a humanistic education. Working conditions of adjuncts, the commodification of higher education, the increasing exploitation of part-time and contingent faculty—all seem to point to a central problem with how education is viewed and valued in today’s cultural climate. While recognizing the multivalent nature of what is a complex problem, the Art History Guild believes that Open Access policies in research and higher education ought to be explored as viable means of addressing the current crisis. If we humanities scholars are to remain faithful to our (ostensible) goals of fostering an enlightened, thoughtful citizenry, then transparency, encouraged by greater access to our work, is a tangible step worth taking.” More here.
The Open Access Button has mapped 5,000 paywalls so far.
The Telegraph: Twitter introduces ‘Data Grants’ for researchers. “Twitter has announced that it will give researchers access to its public and historical data, helping them to get insights on a wide variety of issues. The company has teamed up with data reseller Gnip to provide selected institutions with free access to Twitter datasets. These institutions will also have to oppotunity to collaborate with Twitter engineers and researchers on specific projects. “With more than 500 million Tweets a day, Twitter has an expansive set of data from which we can glean insights and learn about a variety of topics, from health-related information such as when and where the flu may hit to global events like ringing in the new year,” said Twitter’s VP of platform engineering, Raffi Krikorian in a blog post.” More here.
Cameron Neylon: Improving on “Access to Research”. “Access to Research is an initiative from a 20th Century industry attempting to stave off progress towards the 21st Century by applying a 19th Century infrastructure. Depending on how generous you are feeling it can either be described as a misguided waste of effort or as a cynical attempt to divert the community from tackling the real issues of implementing full Open Access. As is obvious I’m not a neutral observer here so I recommend reading the description at the website. Indeed I would also recommend anyone who is interested to take a look at the service itself. was interested in possibly doing this myself. In many ways as a sometime researcher who no longer has access to a research library I’m exactly the target audience. Unfortunately the Access to Research website isn’t really very helpful. The Bath public library where I live isn’t a site, nor is Bristol. So which site is closest? Aylesbury perhaps? Or perhaps somewhere near to the places I visit in London. Unfortunately there is no map provided to help find your closest site. For an initiative that is supposed to be focused on user needs this might have been a fairly obvious thing to provide. But no problem, it is easy enough to create one myself, so here it is…” Read on here.
biomickwatson: The UK’s funding for open-access publications is not enough. “The clear answer is “no”, and of course it was always “no” from the very beginning. But let’s explore a few ideas below, just to show you how far off the funding actually is. I want to start off by saying, categorically, that this is not the fault of my employer, the University of Edinburgh. They are doing all that they can. The fault lies with the UK government and their refusal to provide sufficient funds.” More here.
Free Publications in PeerJ Until End-March 2014. “we are pleased to announce that from now through the end of March 2014, any article that is submitted to PeerJ PrePrints (including any articles which have already been submitted there) can go on to be published in PeerJ (the journal) entirely for free (assuming it passes peer review and assuming you initiate the PeerJ submission process before end of day Mar 31st 2014)*. As we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Berlin Declaration (one of the seminal moments in the history of Open Access), we want to make sure that researchers realize that Open Access publishing has evolved, and we want as many as possible to experience what it has become!” More here.
The Scholarly Kitchen: The Legal Hot Zone — The Hidden Role of Publishers in Academic and Scientific Legal Disputes. “I’ve tried to make it clear that there are large tasks lurking under the waves for publishers, with a growing list of things publishers do (now up to 73 and expanding still). Others have also chimed in on the topic of all the roles publishers play in book and journal publishing. Part of the reason these roles aren’t touted much is because they often go unseen. Authors see peer-review and publication, and mistakenly think that’s all publishers do. That’s a classic “availability error,” the same as thinking that what happens on the field is all there is to winning the game, much less fielding a team. Many of the things publishers do require a great deal of discretion to be done well — they are, by definition, done without the expectation that trumpets will sound and parades will be convened. Fundamentally, publishers try to serve readers and authors simultaneously, while working to keep the bureaucracy and infrastructure of scholarly publishing overall running well. Besides, nobody wants to hear about how hard their publishers work. We’re supposed to be a dignified group, a reward to work with, and a happy phase of an academic’s experience.” More here.
The Scholarly Kitchen: The UK Government Looks to Double Dip to Pay For its Open Access Policy. “The UK government continues to refine its policies toward public access to journal articles based on publicly funded research. After a scathing rebuke from the Business, Skills and Innovation Committee, the Finch Group, responsible for the initial report that has driven much of UK policy, met last November to reaffirm their approach. Recently, David Willetts, the UK Minister for Universities and Science issued a letter to Dame Finch, thanking her committee for their work. This letter offers perhaps an unintended glimpse at the deep questions that remain about the economic feasibility of the UK policy, and what appears to be a request for some economic sleight of hand to help make ends meet.” More here.
“Open Access is inevitable,” said Dutch State Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Sander Dekker at the Academic Publishing in Europe 2014. Dekker also highlighted the Open Access Button and other open access projects. Listen to his talk here.
ImpactStory is further encouraging users to make their articles openly accessible by directly linking to free fulltext versions on users’ profiles and giving users Open Access Badges for their profile.
The University of Queensland in Australia adopted a new open access policy. This policy requires university authors to make their publications openly accessible as soon as possible or within 12 months via the university’s institutional repository, recommends authors not to transfer their copyright to publishers, and encourages the use of Creative Commons licenses.
IOP Publishing announced a new open access funding pilot for Austria. This pilot program will provide funding for Austrian researchers to publish in IOP hybrid open access journals.