‘Coherence of “Open” Initiatives in Higher Education and Research: Framing a Policy Agenda’ by Sheila Corrall and Stephen Pinfield. ‘“Open” approaches have the potential to advance significantly the mission of higher education and research institutions worldwide, but the multiplicity of initiatives raises questions about their coherence and points to the need for a more coordinated approach to policy development. Drawing on the European e-InfraNet project, we adopt a broad definition of Open, including activity alongside content, and identify the different Open domains, their salient characteristics and relationships. We propose a high-level typology and model of Open to inform policy design and delivery, and employ Willinsky’s framework for open source and open access to discuss the theoretical underpinnings of openness, finding important commonalities among the domains, which suggests that the framework can extend to all the Open areas. We then examine potential shared benefits of Open approaches, which reinforce the argument for a unified policy agenda. We conclude with some observations on limits of openness, and implications for policy.’ More here.
Walt Crawford – Ethics and Access 1: The Sad Case of Jeffrey Beall. “Open access (OA) is all about ethics, economics and equity, and the three interact in various ways. OA is inherently at the intersection of libraries, media, policy and technology – but that’s a different issue. This is the first of a trio of essays: two related to fairly specific situations, one covering a range of ethical discussions. Depending on how you define “ethics,” I could also include sections on Elsevier and OA, embargoes, fallacious and misleading anti-OA arguments and the whole area of peer review. Or maybe not. In any case, we lead off with the sad case of Jeffrey Beall. Since Beall’s chief claim to fame is his ever-growing list of supposedly predatory journals, and since I’m showing the case for treating Beall as a questionable source, I have to say this: In case you’re thinking “Walt’s claiming there are no scam OA journals,” I’m not – and toward the end of this essay, I’ll quote some useful ways to avoid scam journals regardless of their business model.” More here.
SAGE: A researcher shares her inspirational open access tale.”As part of an interview about a new paper on the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory published in SAGE Open, we asked Anna Sircova, freelance researcher based in Copenhagen, Denmark why she decided to submit her research to an open access journal as opposed to a traditional, subscription-based journal. Touched by her inspirational tale, we are delighted to be sharing it with our SAGE Connection readers today.” Read here.
TechCrunch: From Crowdfunding To Open Access, Startups Are Experimenting With Academic Research. “These days may well be the next golden age for universities, and startups are leading the way. For institutions that can feel much like their counterparts from a thousand years ago, universities have witnessed breathtaking change in just a handful of years. The development of Massive Open Online Courses by startups like Udacity, Coursera, and others have forced many staid university administrators to consider how technology can transform higher education, particularly in the dissemination of educational content.And while the hype around these startups may have subsided, the change in mindset they have engendered means that their influence will continue well into the future.” More here.
LSE Blogs: Experiment in open peer review for books suggests increased fairness and transparency in feedback process. “Over two-thirds of Palgrave Macmillan authors thought academic publishers should be experimenting with alternative peer review methods. Hazel Newton, the Head of Digital Publishing at Palgrave Macmillan describes their current peer review pilot investigating how open feedback functions in monograph publishing, from the initial proposal to the finished result. Reflections from Katherine Cartmell and Shepard Masocha, a reviewer and an author in this pilot, are also provided below.” More here.
Slides: ‘Managing a (different) Data Deluge’ – SPARC OA conference, by Cameron Neylon. “Presentation from the Implementation Panel of the SPARC OA conference in Kansas City. The talk discusses the challenges that arise when Open Access publishing rises to be a majority of scholarly publishing. Different systems are required to manage payments, metadata transfer and funder compliance for institutions, researchers, funders and publishers.” View here.
BloombergView: The Real Reason Nobody Reads Academics, by Ezra Klein. “New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently ignited a bit of a firestorm with a column asking why academics are irrelevant to public debates. I’d turn the question around: Why aren’t journalists better at taking advantage of academic expertise? The most efficient arrangement would have academics communicate directly with the public. Thankfully for journalists, they don’t. That presents a kind of arbitrage opportunity for journalists: Although academics write in jargon, they speak in English. And they’re typically happy to donate absurd amounts of time walking reporters through the thickets of their expertise. Their knowledge becomes our stories — and, ultimately, our page views and advertising impressions. It would be a disaster for our profession if academics became good at communicating what they know.” More here.
Harvard Gazette: Copyright meets Internet. “Universities work to maintain fair-use standards, mine open-access materials in online learning. From literary-inspired films like “Doctor Zhivago” to historical biopics such as “The Jackie Robinson Story,” teachers have long used copyrighted audiovisual material to enliven their daily lessons. The pedagogical contribution of such sources can be more than aesthetic. In some cases, the medium is where the message lies: Art history, music, and film courses all rely on “owned” or copyrighted works. Unfortunately, even in small and private class settings, securing permissions for those materials (or using them appropriately in the grab-and-go Internet age) can prove difficult. College students are all too familiar with expensive, awkwardly copied course packs or books that cost them hundreds of dollars because of licensing issues. Open-access materials, in contrast, provide faculty and students with relatively hassle-free sources, but are in painfully short supply. More often than not, universities are in the unenviable position of negotiating the use of jealously guarded intellectual property.” More here.
PLOS’ New Data Policy: Public Access to Data. “UPDATE: A flurry of interest has arisen around the revised PLOS data policy that we announced in December and which will come into effect for research papers submitted next month. We are gratified to see a huge swell of support for the ideas behind the policy, but we note some concerns about how it will be implemented and how it will affect those preparing articles for publication in PLOS journals. We’d therefore like to clarify a few points that have arisen and once again encourage those with concerns to check the details of the policy or ourFAQs, and to contact us with concerns if we have not covered them.” More here.
The role of Twitter in Science Publication and Communication, Infographic by @Katie_PhD
The Guardian: Paywalls or not? It’s as easy as ABC. “So now we can begin to compare the (rough) benefits of paywalls or no-walls around newspaper websites, as external auditors move in. The latest ABC report says the Times has 75,597 tablet subscribers and theSunday Times 88,603. It’s impossible to work out what revenue that tots up to over a year of £6 a week, because ABC doesn’t deal in bargain introductory offers and churn. Let’s say, though, that it’s well over £20m. But, on the separate National Readership Survey, the numbers of paying web readers add only 3.9% to daily readership totals. And the Guardian? No general paywall; £6.99 a month on tablet and smartphone. But relatively open access adds 141.8% to the total readership of the Guardian and Observer, turning 907,000 daily print followers into 2,194,000. Nobody can discern comparative advertising revenues, nor how such charges affect “free” growth. But the dimensions of choice begin to emerge from the mists, just a little.” View article here.
Jargon Or Gibberish? How Springer And Other Scientific Journals Were Fooled By Computer-Generated Papers. ‘For the average reader, the line between jargon-heavy scientific research and unintelligible gibberish is a fine one, but apparently Joe Sixpack isn’t the only one who occasionally has trouble telling the difference. On Thursday, scientific journal publisher Springer announced that it would be removing 16 fake research papers from its archives after learning that they were essentially computer-generated nonsense. The firm said that they were tipped off by Dr. Cyril Labbé, a French researcher who published research on how to detect computer-generated papers last January in the journal Scientometrics. According to AFP reporters Richard Ingham and Laurent Banguet, the fraudulent papers were created using SCIgen, a free program used to create pseudo-academic research. They were then submitted to computer science and engineering conferences and then printed in specialized, subscription-only publications. Ingham and Banguet said that SCIgen allows users to produce “impressive-looking” fake research studies “stuffed with randomly-selected computer and engineering terms.” The document comes “complete with fake graphs and citations – essential features in scientific publishing” and “includes recent references to famous scientists.”’ More here.
Rupert Gatti’s webinar on Open Access in the Humanities available online. “This webinar will increase your understanding of the opportunities provided to HSS scholars by Open Access publication and the approaches scholars, academic societies or HE bodies may take to adopt and develop Open Access publishing initiatives.” Listen/download here.
Times Higher Education: Small firms lack resources to make most of open access. “Achieving the UK government’s goal of full open access to publicly funded research would not have the transformative effect on small business that ministers hope for, a representative of the world’s largest journal publisher has said. David Mullen, Elsevier’s regional sales director of corporate markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, said that small companies lacked time to wade through journals and needed help to find the “nugget” of information they needed. His remarks came in the wake of criticism of the restrictive usage terms of the scheme for free access to academic journals at public libraries launched by publishers earlier this month, known as Access to Research. In the press release for the launch of the scheme, David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said that the scheme would “connect people, including students and small businesses, to a wealth of global knowledge – maximising its impact and value”.” More here.
Open Journal System (OJS) Integration in WordPress via Plugin. “There is a way to synchronize a WordPress Blog with an Open Journal System (OJS) through the OJS REST API. Here you can find instructions on how to enable this function and how to import the articles as WordPress posts. In the end you can use your OJS content with some of our favorite WordPress features.” More here.
‘Is There Anything More Slow-moving than a Publisher?’ by Joseph Esposito. “[H]ow can we explain how the dinosaur publishers, who never met an excuse they didn’t like, have moved so quickly with CHORUS? The answer is that organizations are neither fast nor slow; rather, they know their interests or they don’t, and when they see their interests at stake, they move at the speed of CHORUS. This may serve to explain why publishers were not in the forefront of Creative Commons: What’s in it for them? At this point CC is just another check box, a new piece of overhead. It is not a rallying cry for utopian communications, but simply the cost of doing business. Give up the printing presses? Publishers would love to, and in the journals world they mostly have. Book publishers, on the other hand, are faced with the market reality that people choose print over digital by 3 to 1. Is it in a publisher’s interest to tell its customers that they cannot get books in the format they prefer? (Librarians, with their all-digital agenda, may wish to consider whether they are alienating the patrons they depend on for support.) As for open access, it took a while before the economics were worked out, but thanks to the pioneers at BioMed Central, OA is now part of the overall revenue picture for many publishers. And incremental revenue is definitely in a publisher’s interest.” More here.
Pacific Standard: ‘Scientific Publishing Is Killing Science’, by Michael White. “…Peer review is failing to ensure the quality of published research, and new research fails to get into the hands of those who need it, ending up behind journal paywalls after a review process that can take more than year. To fix these problems, we need to recreate scientific publishing for the Internet, argues Richard Price, the CEO ofAcademia.edu, a site that offers a suite of social media tools aimed at helping scientists and other academics share their research. Price, who holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Oxford University, told me that what gets him going in the morning is the possibility of making the world’s research endeavors more efficient and more rigorous by changing how we publish academic work. He believes that an improved publishing process should have three features: 1) speed: Researchers should be able to upload their manuscripts as soon as they’re written; 2) community peer review: Manuscripts should be evaluated by the whole community, not just two or three reviewers; and 3) open access: Papers should be accessible to all who want to read them.” More here.