The launch of Horizon 2020 is probably the most important event in the academic world of the last few months (from an organizational point of view, of course – I’m not comparing it to the supernova blast in M82 or the discovery of the next species of river dolphin). Not only because of the huge amount of money that is going to be spent (€15 billion in the first two years only!), but also because of the strict Open Access policy enforcement. Application calls are open right now and probably some of you have already considered them. The program includes calls both for individual researchers, at any stage of career, and for organizations. What is more, anyone can join, regardless of nationality.
The most interesting part of the program for me is the Pilot on Open Research Data. The goal of this pilot is to examine the possibilities of enforcing the Open Data policy. It introduces Data Management Plans (DMP) (for some participants it will be obligatory, for others optional). Participants are also obligated to deposit their data in repositories. They are allowed to keep some of it closed to third parties, butthese cases have to be explained it in their DMP, citing for example privacy (which might occur, for instance, in qualitative social sciences) or copyright issues. Otherwise data has to be free for everyone. This is a wise approach and I think it will help the European Union to elaborate a universal policy for opening scientific data in full. Continue reading →
Just after I posted my previous piece about the open access publishing process, I realized that some parts of the process mentioned in the graph have not yet been discussed on the blog. The costs and benefits of the DOI number and connected services were in my opinion the biggest gap, so here I am filling it in.
The DOI stands for the Digital Object Identifier, and as you may have already guessed, it is a unique number, which can be assigned to any kind of digital object, such as a picture, graph, database or movie and it is used in a variety of industries. It should be clear therefore that this number is not any kind of certificate and its usage is not restricted to scientific content. Although, the DOI number makes referencing easier and scientists, after all, like references very much, they are the most prolific users of the number. Finally, the DOI database is maintained by a single organization – the International DOI Foundation, but there are several registrants of DOI numbers. One of such is CrossRef, which is an association of scholarly publishers. Thus only scholarly publishers who are a part of CrossRef can register DOI numbers for scientific content.
Having a DOI number also means being indexed in the CrossRef metadata database, which is widely used. But the DOI has one more big advantage – it is persistent and it is connected to a location in the Internet that may be variable. CrossRef stores data on the location of a paper, book, database or graph that can be updated in case of any changes. A reader trying to find your paper with a DOI number is much less likely to hit the 404 error. So, that is why a growing number of researchers use the identifier in references. Continue reading →
Maybe you have been wondering what the whole publishing process looks like and what publishers in fact do? Maybe you were asked to pay an Article or Book Processing Charge and you want to know what are you paying for? Or you want to choose between self-archiving (on a private website or on-line repository) and cooperation with a professional publisher, or between publishers X and Y? Anyway it is good to know, in simple terms, what process your paper or your book should go through. So I have tried to summarize the whole process of publishing in a simple graph. Continue reading →
De Gruyter is consolidating all Open Access publications under a new imprint: De Gruyter Open. This is great news. A global player of the publishing industry fully embracing Open Access: Read press release here.
As recently as five days ago, the Electronic Frontier Foundation organized an Open Access day (as a part of Copyright Week). On this occasion, EFF activist, Adi Kamdar, wrote “In the Open Access Fight, Big Publishers Are the Biggest Hurdle”. Generally speaking, Kamdar claimed that Open Access is against the interests of leading publishers. There is some truth in this, as we could see from the recent example of Elsevier’s campaign against Academia.edu. Traditional publishers (both small and large) earn money from subscriptions and are interested in safeguarding restrictive copyrights, which translate into their profits. However, this is obviously still only part of the truth. All of major publishers (including Elsevier) have already launched open access journals and book series and they search for opportunities to generate revenues in that market (have a look here). The joy of being an Open Access supporter comes not only from the fight, but also from the fact that this promised land is slowly becoming a reality. Indeed, big publishers who promote Open Access are interested in efficient OA models and support technical innovations in the field.
They do so because there is a growing demand for Open Access. Funding agencies, states, universities and academic associations are ready to pay processing charges for books and articles (you can find some information on the blog about the growing sources of funding for OA publishing, and I will discuss them further in my next entries). Moreover, big publishers have to become active players in Open Access to maintain leading positions in the publishing market in general. While their position in journal subscriptions was very stable, Open Access creates a new field of competition and brings to life opportunities for new companies to gain a significant market share. That competitive drive of for-profit organizations will certainly stimulate Open Access. Continue reading →
I have planned to entitle this post “Why Open Access is not growing faster? Part two – the policy of public authorities”, however I changed my mind in the face of positive news form United States of America. The Congress approved 2014 omnibus appropriations legislation and now it is awaiting the President’s signature. This bill introduces an obligation to every federal agency under the jurisdiction of the Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education And Related Agencies Committee and funded under mentioned Act, that has research and development expenditures in excess of $100,000,000 per year, to develop a Federal research public access policy. This policy shall require public, free access to each paper based on researches even partially funded by the agency, submitted to any peer-review journal, no later than 12 months after the publication. We can expect that this kind of policy will be developed by US Department of Labor, Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services, as well as plenty national institutes, connected mostly to medical researches. Continue reading →
People often ask how it is possible that something as idealistic as Open Access (OA) has gained popularity and become a significant part of the scientific publishing market. I think, however, that it is more interesting to ask why it is not happening even faster? There are three important groups of factors that contribute to OA popularity:
1) benefits for authors (which was discussed here) ,
2) policies of public authorities and other grant funders,
3) current situation of the publishing market.
I will try to discuss each of these groups in turn, looking to identify the obstacles facing OA and retrograde trends.
Obviously, the Internet – the global computer network – is the main force behind each of these groups of those factors. The Internet allows an almost infinite multiplication of copies of any text, makes it accessible to anyone and (by and large) easy to find. Gutenberg’s printing press made it possible to issue the first scientific journal, analogously the Internet created the technical opportunity for Open Access to emerge and slowly become a part of the mainstream of scientific publishing. Continue reading →
It is still quite a new phenomenon in scientific publishing, but the idea behind it is simple. When submitting your article online, you would like to know how many people have read it, how many people are talking about it, their opinions and whether your work is important to them. Altmetrics gives you the answer, as well as an opportunity to find out which articles are widely disputed in your field, and could therefore be of significance to you. Moreover, there are also some people who believe that altmetrics could replace the Impact Factor and even peer review.
The altmetrics term emerged in 2010 and may be understood as “metrics of impact alternative to standard citations level”. The term first appeared as a hashtag and its popularity is strongly tied to Twitter.The plural form of this noun is important because it describes a “pack of tools”, which can be as diverse as the ways of promoting scientific content are nowadays. A growing number of important discussions now occur on social media and blogs – generally speaking, outside of professional literature – and these venues react faster and are more flexible. So, the standard citation level is not altogether a sufficient way to assess if an article is worth your attention. Moreover, a significant amount of crucial information is not published in journals, but as notes, posters or raw data on the Internet. Theoretically, altmetrics aims to cover all of this, and therefore helps to track impact of new ideas and the people behind them. Continue reading →
Some events or turning points in history are noisy and receive attention. Others happen silently, with minimum or no public recognition. That is why it is sometimes a good idea to look back and understand the lesser-known moments, which have important implications from today’s perspective, particularly since this gives us an opportunity to investigate trends of development and to prepare for future ones.
One of such silent but crucial point for open access was an announcement made by the European Commission in August last year. According to research, as many as half of peer reviewed articles published in 2011, were freely accessible on the Internet. Moreover, 40% of all peer reviewed papers published between 2004 and 2011 were available free of charge by then. This gave significant context to the major, widely disputed event, which followed a few months later. I am of course referring to the huge campaign on Creative Commons licenses, carried out by Elsevier, a key player in the publishing market. The thousands of takedown notices sent from the company to Academia.edu and other scientific social platforms, will surely have impacted authors’ concerns about copyright contracts. Continue reading →
Last week brought news of positive and interesting developments in the world of Open Access. Among them, a milestone in the development of DOAJ, an injection of cash for the Knowledge Unlatched project, Mikael Laakso’s new article on Green OA, and the digital collection of the British Library. Continue reading →