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We Need a New Science of Progress - The Atlantic
Progress itself is understudied. By “progress,” we mean the combination of economic, technological, scientific, cultural, and organizational advancement that has transformed our lives and raised standards of living over the past couple of centuries. For a number of reasons, there is no broad-based intellectual movement focused on understanding the dynamics of progress, or targeting the deeper goal of speeding it up. We believe that it deserves a dedicated field of study. We suggest inaugurating the discipline of “Progress Studies.”

Before digging into what Progress Studies would entail, it’s worth noting that we still need a lot of progress. We haven’t yet cured all diseases; we don’t yet know how to solve climate change; we’re still a very long way from enabling most of the world’s population to live as comfortably as the wealthiest people do today; we don’t yet understand how best to predict or mitigate all kinds of natural disasters; we aren’t yet able to travel as cheaply and quickly as we’d like; we could be far better than we are at educating young people. The list of opportunities for improvement is still extremely long.
history  journalism  scholarly 
7 weeks ago by juliusbeezer
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, The Bone & Joint... : JBJS
Preprint servers may be perceived by some (and used by less scrupulous investigators) as evidence even though the studies have not gone through peer review; the public may not be able to discern an unreviewed preprint from a seminal article in a leading journal. We are concerned that publishing in a preprint server may be a self-serving move by individuals with secondary-gain incentives and by those whose work is unlikely to withstand serious scrutiny by peer-reviewed journals.
scholarly  sciencepublishing  archiving  preprint  medicine  peerreview 
march 2019 by juliusbeezer
Mieke Bal: Let’s Abolish the Peer-Review System – Media Theory
When the academy turned “neo-liberal” world-wide, rules were established that have become a “system”, no longer debatable. No consultation, no trial period, revision, or reconsidering. Rules rule, overruling people. One of those rules is the unquestioned system that all respectable, serious academic journals and book series have to obey the requirement to have all submissions for publication “peer-reviewed”. This seemed a good idea at the beginning – to get feedback to optimize quality – but became problematic when generalized into a rule. It has become a term, even part of ordinary language, and I have had it thrown at me many times in totally wrong contexts. I would like to offer no fewer than ten arguments, intricately related yet distinguishable, that make the peer-review system (PRS) highly problematic, and, in my view, ready for abolition. Only when the rule is reregulated – stripped of its rule-character – can alternatives be considered that preserve the positive aspects but eliminate the ten objections I am highlighting here.[1]

The peer-review system is deeply wrong, firstly, because it entails a heavy burden on scholars who should spend the little time they have to do their own work.
peerreview  scholarly  sciencepublishing 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Interestingly: the sentence adverbs of PubMed Central | What You're Doing Is Rather Desperate
Scientific writing – by which I mean journal articles – is a strange business, full of arcane rules and conventions with origins that no-one remembers but to which everyone adheres.

I’ve always been amused by one particular convention: the sentence adverb. Used with a comma to make a point at the start of a sentence, as in these examples...
It seems that the most popular use of the sentence adverb is to draw a close to the proceedings, with finally. The next most common uses: to indicate further points of interest (additionally), label results as interesting (interestingly) or important (importantly) and show that the authors are up to date with their reading (recently).
data  scholarly  sciencepublishing  funny  writing  corpus 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
New Tool for Open-Access Research
A new search engine that aims to connect nonacademics with open-access research will be launched this fall.

Get the Research will connect the public with 20 million open-access scholarly articles. The site will be built by Impactstory -- the nonprofit behind browser extension tool Unpaywall -- in conjunction with the Internet Archive and the British Library.

Funded by a $850,000 grant from Arcadia, the search engine will be a place where “we can tell lay readers, ‘here’s where you can read free, trustworthy research about anything,’” said Jason Priem, Impactstory's co-founder. He added that artificial intelligence techniques will be used to annotate and summarize materials, making them easier to understand.
search  searchengines  openaccess  scholarly 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Ten simple rules for structuring papers
Because you are the world’s leading expert at exactly what you are doing, you are also the world’s least qualified person to judge your writing from the perspective of the naïve reader. The majority of writing mistakes stem from this predicament. Think like a designer—for each element, determine the impact that you want to have on people and then strive to achieve that objective [4]. Try to think through the paper like a naïve reader who must first be made to care about the problem you are addressing (see Rule 6) and then will want to understand your answer with minimal effort.
writing  editing  scholarly 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
Dutch Universities, Journal Publishers Agree on Open-Access Deals | The Scientist Magazine®
he Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), is pushing for academic publishers to adopt a so-called “publish-and-read model,” which combines viewing paywalled articles and publishing open-access reports into one fee. “Our goal is to reach 100 percent open access, but we also want to keep the costs that we pay at a reasonable level,”
netherlands  openaccess  scholarly 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
Language and Academic Identity: Using English at Universities and in Research
What do people think about their own use of English and other people's use of English and how English is tied to identity and image are the main questions of this paper.
Why is it important?

English is a language of communication as well as a language of identification in the scientific community. Currently, English has more status and prestige in the scientific community than other languages and attaches to the user the image of being a successful, international, bilingual or multilingual member of the scientific community.
english  editing  scholarly  international  identity  sciencepublishing 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
Steps to writing a scientific paper based on model results – @KenCaldeira
10. Before submission, double check that the main story of the paper can be obtained by reading (1) the abstract, (2) the first paragraph, (3) the last paragraph, and (4) the figure captions. This is already more than what most ‘readers’ of your paper will actually read. Only experts will read the entire paper. Most readers will just want the idea of the paper and the basic results.
sciencepublishing  writing  editing  scholarly 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
La Polytechnique Total | Mondialisation - Centre de Recherche sur la Mondialisation
On obtiendrait un tableau plus juste encore de ce que représente l’intéressé si on rappelait qu’il fut membre de cette espèce d’université virtuelle de la multinationale existant sous l’appellation « Total Professeurs associés ». Il s’agit d’un réseau d’influence formé de professeurs et d’experts appointés par la firme et chargés d’investir le champ de la recherche afin de peser sur les institutions tant en ce qui concerne leurs délibérations que le fondement idéologique qui régit ces réflexions. Pudiquement, dans les termes de Total, cet étrange corps professoral vise à « promouvoir les relations entre le monde pétrolier et les universités ou les grandes écoles grâce à des présentations techniques ou économiques par des professeurs ou experts ». C’est réussi dans le cas de l’École polytechnique de Montréal.

Cela va de pair avec d’autres stratégies de Total, comme la création d’une « marque pédagogique », Planète énergie, censée outiller le personnel d’établissements d’enseignement sur les enjeux du gaz et du pétrole, avec un fort accent mis sur la géologie et une omission presque complète d’enjeux sociaux, historiques ou écologiques. Dans le domaine de la recherche, la firme ne manque pas de financer également comme « experts » des scientifiques tels que Michel Aubier, qui a été condamné en France pour « faux témoignage » après avoir tu ses liens avec la multinationale alors qu’il avait minimisé, auprès de sénateurs en commission, l’impact de la pollution atmosphérique sur la santé. Combien d’entreprises doctorales ou de centres de recherches universitaires ne se trouvent pas ainsi soutenus par la firme ?
conflict_of_interest  oil  scholarly  politics 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
Fixing Instead of Breaking, Part One - Open Citations - The Scholarly Kitchen
Recent calls to make citation data “open” could move citations into this dubious modern age, and there is a good amount of enthusiasm for the innovation. But are there potential downsides? Could open citations inadvertently foment herd mentality and swarm behavior around citations? Could it feed the dominance of top journals by reinforcing their position with fast feedback loops? Could it increasingly feed the surveillance economy that’s been built around platforms and free content? Could it entice authors and editors to find new ways to cheat their way up the ladder?

Revealing citations in more-or-less realtime may change how articles are cited, and not in a legitimate or informative way. When metrics are so visible, accessible, and responsive, they can create feedback loops that promulgate swarm behavior. Popularity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Seeing that something is cited a lot might make you more likely to cite it
citation  scholarly  open  impact_factor  sciencepublishing 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
New Atheism, Worse Than You Think
Recently though, after realizing that New Atheism is itself a dangerous species of fundamentalism, he became a staunch and vocal critic.

Werleman defines New Atheism as “evangelical atheism,” or, as he emphasizes elsewhere “evangelical anti-theism.” It is the conviction that religion is the leading source of problems around the world, and thus “is an obstacle to creating human perfection and a Western civilization utopia.” Werleman insists, as Hedges did before him, that the New Atheists are “secular fundamentalists.” They display a cultish commitment to science, a childishly simplistic view of religion, a severely bigoted stance toward Islam, and a slavish faith in what they take to be “the beneficent U.S. secular state.”

The book contains 11 chapters. In the first five, Werleman tells the story, in sometimes impressively self-deprecating manner, of his journey from religious indifference to New Atheism to pluralistic accommodationist...
Werleman convincingly demonstrates that the Islam that so troubles the New Atheists, particularly its most popular luminaries, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens, is a cartoonish caricature of the real thing as conceived and practiced by most Muslims; that the motivations of Islamic terrorists are mostly sociopolitical and economic rather than religious; that in its lack of concern for the welfare of Palestinians, in its inability “to see Palestinians beyond their Muslimness,” New Atheism “is a completely illiberal secular ideology”; and that New Atheist discourse provides public relations support for American imperialism and contributes to a climate of fear and resentment leading to increased harassment of and violence against Muslim Americans.
religion  politics  us  scholarly 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Napster vs. Record Labels, Sci-Hub vs. Publishers, Part 2: Differences - The Scholarly Kitchen
In yesterday’s post, I discussed some of the interesting similarities between the conflict that existed between peer-to-peer copying networks (most notably Napster) and record labels during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the conflict that currently exists between Sci-Hub and scholarly publishers. In today’s post I’ll discuss some of the differences between those situations, and then suggest two possible implications of both the similarities and the differences between them.
scholarly  scihub  music 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Napster vs. Record Labels, Sci-Hub vs. Publishers, Part 1: Parallels - The Scholarly Kitchen
Let me begin by revealing my secret identity. I’m in kind of an unusual position as a librarian and scholarly communications commentator because I also have a parallel life as a music critic. Since 1990, I’ve been writing music reviews for newspapers, weeklies, syndicates, and online publications. Between 1997 and 2012 I wrote thousands of reviews for the All-Music Guide, and since 1999 I’ve published a little thing of my own called CD HotList: New Releases for Libraries, which has a loyal (if not huge) international following of music buyers in public and academic libraries. Most of the people who read my music writing are unaware that I also write about scholarly communication, and vice versa.
I share this information about my secret double life because every time someone compares the fate of the music industry with the (surely inevitable) fate of the scholarly publishing industry, it makes me think about parallels and differences between Napster vis à vis the music industry and Sci-Hub vis à vis scholarly publishing. In today’s post I’ll discuss some of the similarities that I believe exist between the two situations; tomorrow’s will address some important differences.
scholarly  music  scihub 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
The unexpected reason researchers choose open access | Nature Index
“We found a significant proportion of responses that say open-access journals are cited more heavily than subscription journals,” Sbaffi says of the global survey of academics — 40% of whom were from the UK — carried out by publishers Taylor & Francis in March 2014. “In the hard sciences they believe this to be truer than in the social sciences.”

Open access has been held up as a way for academics to get a wider audience for their research. Scholars also back the idea that publically funded research should be widely available and not restricted to subscription-based journals. But the paper by Sbaffi and her colleagues points to the importance of quality, reputation, impact factor and peer review as the main criteria for academics in selecting a publication to submit to, whether subscription-based or open access.
openaccess  scholarly  research  sciencepublishing 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
heiUP Philipp Stockhammer, Corinna Forberg, Gustavo Ribeiro, Patrice Ladwig, Susanne Knaller, Jens Schröter, Rune Graulund, Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer, Alexander Schwan, Charlotte Schreiter, Eberhard Ortland, Birgit Mersmann, Christoph Brumann, Michae
since academics also need to be authors, our tendency, as in any other realm, is to abhor copies and praise originality, something made clear by the use of expressions such as “my own theory is” and “in my view.”
In academic life, nowhere is the scorn for copying greater than when the issue is plagiarism, a problem that has consistently grown since “cut and paste” became a popular jargon. Cut and paste problematizes the pedagogical role of copying. One thing is a handwritten copy of a published text, the other is its digital copy. A handwritten copy demands a time of reflection, of getting acquainted with the author’s ideas, of thinking about how to appropriate and criticize interpretations. The digital copy is an almost instantaneous action in which the content being copied may remain completely unknown. I am not so interested in the ethical problems triggered by plagiarism and forgery which, most of the time, are related to moral and professional deceptions and to frustrated economic interests.
copying  copyright  scholarly 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
There is no place in academia for craven submission to Chinese censorship demands | Opinion | The Guardian
Imagine if the British government could eradicate the miners’ strike from history. Not just by deleting all news coverage but by preventing the academic study of it. Imagine if, at university courses on the history of modern conservatism, all mention of it was banned. Imagine if, on top of that, a major global academic publisher voluntarily deleted all discussion of the miners’ strike from a prestigious journal.

You now have a sense of the scale of what Cambridge University Press had done by deleting more than 300 articles from China Quarterly, following a request from the Chinese government. The decision, which has been reversed and the articles reinstated in the face of a threatened academic boycott, could lead to China blocking this and other related content. To which conflict I say: bring it on.

Coming after the decision by Apple to stop selling, and Amazon’s Chinese partner to forbid hosting of virtual private networks – the tool needed to evade internet censorship in China – the move is part of a widespread and craven acquiescence by western corporations and governments with Xi Jinping’s project.
china  censorship  scholarly  economics  marxism 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Who's downloading pirated papers? Everyone | Science | AAAS
Even for journals to which the university has access, Sci-Hub is becoming the go-to resource, says Gil Forsyth, another GWU engineering Ph.D. student. “If I do a search on Google Scholar and there’s no immediate PDF link, I have to click through to ‘Check Access through GWU’ and then it’s hit or miss,” he says. “If I put [the paper’s title or DOI] into Sci-Hub, it will just work.” He says that Elsevier publishes the journals that he has had the most trouble accessing.
scihub  sciencepublishing  scholarly  openaccess 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
What I learned from predatory publishers | Biochemia Medica
I think preprint servers and overlay journals will play a role. Preprint servers, pioneered by arXiv.org are growing in number and are serving more scholarly fields. I expect this to continue. Compared to high-quality scholarly journals, they are inexpensive to operate – especially since they don’t have to manage peer review or do copyediting. They do minimal vetting, but when they do it, it’s usually done at the researcher level rather than at the paper level. That is to say, they blacklist researchers submitting papers that diverge from the scientific consensus.

One advantage of a move from open-access journals to preprint servers is the elimination of author fees and all the corruption that goes along with them.

Overlay journals in each field will select the best articles appearing in the corresponding preprint servers each month or quarter and will prepare a table of contents listing these and linking to them, an eclectic, ad hoc journal issue. The editorial board of each overlay journal, experts in their field, will select preprints that are methodologically sound, novel, scientific, and of importance to the field
openaccess  scholarly  sciencepublishing  overlay  archiving 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Winnower | The selfish scientist’s guide to preprint posting
Posting preprints doesn't only have advantages. It is also risky. What if another group reads the preprint, steals the idea, and publishes it first in a high-impact journal? This could be a personal catastrophe for the first author, with the credit for years of original work diminished to a footnote in the scientific record. Dishonorable scooping of this kind is not unheard of. Even if we believe that our colleagues are all trustworthy and outright stealing is rare, there is a risk of being scooped by honorable competitors...
All the advantages of using preprints to science and society are good and well. However, we also need to think about ourselves. Does preprint posting mean that we give away our results to competitors, potentially suffering a personal cost for the common good? What is the selfish scientist's best move to advance her personal impact and career? There is a risk of getting scooped. However, this risk can be reduced by not posting too early. It turns out that posting a preprint, in addition to publication in a journal, is advisable from a purely selfish perspective, because it brings the following benefits to the authors:
scholarly  archiving  openaccess 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Why we should worry less about predatory publishers and more about the quality of research and training at our academic institutions
Rather than viewing predatory publishers as a disease in themselves, I suggest we should regard them instead as a symptom of malaise within the academic research establishment. Without unhelpful systems of research metrics that reward researchers for the quantity rather than the quality of their output, and which may be easily gamed, predatory journals would disappear as there would be no demand for them. Similarly, if universities and research institutions supported graduate students and faculty in improving research design and reporting, the low-quality output would dry up. As others have argued before, we need less but better research.12

Likewise, while commentators bemoan the lack of peer review by predatory publishers, perhaps we should also criticise the absence of internal, collegial peer review which universities should provide before work is submitted to any journal. While peer review by journals can identify problems with research reporting and highlight omissions or ambiguities, it is too late to correct more fundamental weaknesses in research design.
openaccess  sciencepublishing  scholarly  research 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
» Blacklists are technically infeasible, practically unreliable and unethical. Period.
We already have plenty of perfectly good Whitelists. Pubmed listing, WoS listing, Scopus listing, DOAJ listing. If you need to check whether a journal is running traditional peer review at an adequate level, use some combination of these according to your needs. Also ensure there is a mechanism for making a case for exceptions, but use Whitelists not Blacklists by default.

Authors should check with services like ThinkCheckSubmit or Quality Open Access Market if they want data to help them decide whether a journal or publisher is legitimate. But above all scholars should be capable of making that decision for themselves. If we aren’t able to make good decisions on the venue to communicate our work then we do not deserve the label “scholar”.
openaccess  peerreview  archiving  scholarly  sciencepublishing 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
LSE BREXIT – No longer welcome: the EU academics in Britain told to ‘make arrangements to leave’
The first thing that struck me was the level of fear, anger and disgust – and in some cases resignation. I have disguised individual cases – that’s because few people are willing to speak openly, such is the degree of fear about what might happen after Brexit.
The impact on individuals

Some EU academics (along with others) who have been living and working legally in the UK for years decided, after June 23, that they should try to cement their position by applying for one or other of the various routes to permanent residency. The procedures are daunting and of Kafkaesque complexity – one form runs to 85 pages and requires forms of proof that make acquiring Catholic sainthood look simple. As a result many applications are failing – but it is the form of the rejection that is causing much concern. A typical letter from the Home Office says (in part):

“As you appear to have no alternative basis of stay in the United Kingdom you should now make arrangements to leave. If you fail to make a voluntary departure a separate decision may be made at a later date to enforce your removal…”
eu  academic  scholarly  uk  Brexit 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Le vélo comme signature de la modernité – Isabelle et le vélo
Le vélo dans la littérature :
les modernités alternatives d’un moyen de transport à propulsion humaine en Grande-Bretagne et en France, 1880 – 1920.
Thèse de doctorat en Langue et cultures des sociétés anglophones, école doctorale 131, langue, littérature, image. Laboratoire LARCA, (UMR 8225).
Soutenue le 18 novembre 2016
cycling  scholarly  history  literature 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Grad Student Who Never Said "No" - Healthier & Happier
When she arrived, I gave her a data set of a self-funded, failed study which had null results (it was a one month study in an all-you-can-eat Italian restaurant buffet where we had charged some people ½ as much as others). I said, "This cost us a lot of time and our own money to collect. There's got to be something here we can salvage because it's a cool (rich & unique) data set." I had three ideas for potential Plan B, C, & D directions (since Plan A had failed). I told her what the analyses should be and what the tables should look like. I then asked her if she wanted to do them...

Sigirci, Ozge, Marc Rockmore, and Brian Wansink (2016), “How Traumatic Violence Permanently Changes Shopping Behavior,” Frontiers in Psychology, 7:1298. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01298.
Siğirci, Ozge and Brian Wansink (2015), “Low Prices and High Regret: How Pricing Influences Regret at All-You-Can-Eat Buffets,” BMC Nutrition, 1:36, 1-5, doi:10.1186/s40795-015-0030-x.
Kniffin, Kevin, Ozge Sigirci and Brian Wansink (2015), “Eating Heavily: Men Eat More in the Company of Women,” Evolutionary Psychological Science, 1-9. doi: 10.1007/s40806-015-0035-3.
Just, David R., Ozge Siğirci, and Brian Wansink (2015), “Peak-end Pizza: Prices Delay Evaluations of Quality,” Journal of Product & Brand Management, 24:7, 770-778, doi:10.1108/jpbm01-2015-0802.​
Just, David R., Ozge Sigirci, and Brian Wansink (2014), “Lower Buffet Prices Lead to Less Taste Satisfaction,” Journal of Sensory Studies, 29:362-370.
statistics  research  ethics  commenting  sciencepublishing  scholarly 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Edmund Gettier - Wikipedia
Gettier... was short on publications, his colleagues urged him to write up any ideas he had just to satisfy the administration. The result was a three-page paper that remains one of the most famous in recent philosophical history. According to anecdotal comments that Plantinga has given in lectures, Gettier was originally so unenthusiastic about the paper that he wrote it, had someone translate it into Spanish, and published in a South American journal.[citation needed] The paper was later published in the United States. Gettier has since published nothing
philosophy  funny  scholarly  publishing 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Controversial impact factor gets a heavyweight rival : Nature News & Comment
When it comes to their underlying formulae, CiteScore and JIF are near-doppelgängers. To score any journal in any given year, both tot up the citations received to documents that were published in previous years, and divide that by the total number of documents. The most popular version of the JIF looks at research articles published in the previous two years, whereas CiteScore stretches back to the previous three.

But one significant difference leads some high-JIF journals, such as Nature, Science and The Lancet, to do worse in CiteScore. The new metric counts all documents as potentially citable, including editorials, letters to the editor, corrections and news items. These are less cited by scholars, so they drag down the average. The Lancet, for instance, drops from a healthy average of 44 in JIF — putting it in 4th position overall — to a mere 7.7 in CiteScore, where it is outside the top 200.
altmetrics  scholarly 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Doing a Quick Literature Review – Advice for authoring a PhD or academic book – Medium
Instead of freezing our understanding of a field at one time, often indeed a time when we least understand the field, we should see the literature review as a repeated component of any ongoing research. We need more agile ways to surface other relevant research at every stage of our thinking and ‘writing up’, not just at the outset. We also need to consider how researchers actually work now, which is not very well presented by most institutional advice webpages or courses, generally produced by librarians I think, rather than by creative researchers themselves.
search  scholarly  notetaking  reviews 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
PLOS ONE: The Global Burden of Journal Peer Review in the Biomedical Literature: Strong Imbalance in the Collective Enterprise
From 1990 to 2015, the demand for reviews and reviewers was always lower than the supply (Fig 2). In 2015, 1.1 million journal articles were indexed by MEDLINE and we estimated that they required about 9.0 million reviews and 1.8 million reviewers. In contrast, depending on the scenario, the annual supply would be between 10 and 30 million reviews and between 2.1 and 6.4 million reviewers. A substantial proportion of researchers do not contribute to the peer-review effort. In fact, the supply exceeded the demand by 249%, 234%, 64% and 15%, depending on the scenario. The peer-review system in its current state seems to absorb the peer-review demand and be sustainable in terms of volume.
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If the peer-review effort were split equally among researchers, it would generate a demand for 1.4 to 4.2 yearly reviews per researcher, depending on the scenario. However, we found a considerable imbalance in the peer-review effort in that 20% of researchers perform 69% to 94% of reviews (Fig 3A). The imbalance translates into the time spent on peer review. In all, 70% to 90% of researchers dedicate 1% or less of their research work-time to peer review (Fig 3B). Among researchers actually contributing to peer review, 5% dedicate 13% or more of their research work-time to peer review. In 2015, we estimated that a total of 63.4 million hours were devoted to peer review, among which 18.9 (30%) million hours were provided by the top 5% contributing reviewers.
peerreview  scholarly  sciencepublishing 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Help Us, Academia, You Are Our Only Hope. |
the rot in scholarly communication runs much deeper. “People of this country have had enough of experts”, opined Michael Gove just before Brexit. At that moment, scholarly communication was handed the bill for failing spectacularly at making itself understood, relevant, and persuasive. This is not just due to pay walls or too many facts to make a convincing case; the bitter truth is that an increasingly incomprehensible ivory tower – and the academic publishing industry is part of it – has utterly disconnected from the wider public.

The thing is, good writers are incredibly rare in academia and editors are by now seen as a luxury most publishers cannot afford. Both exist almost in spite of a system that on the one hand is insatiable when it comes to new content but on the other considers rhetorical skills and the craft of writing to be a given. Yes, there are writing programs here and there, additional courses offered by graduate academies and the like, but the fundamental skills of communication have not really been at the core of our education for a long time. And now it shows. We get lost in technicalities, unable to clearly convey the bigger picture and relevance of what we do. We cannot thrill, excite, and stimulate a wider audience with our discoveries because we never really learned how to formulate and produce a good story. Our tales are boring, disjointed, and more often than not a stylistic nightmare. Who wants to read this stuff?
scholarly  writing  editing  publishing  politics 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Impact of Social Sciences – What to consider when choosing which journal to submit your paper to
when deciding which journal to send material to most senior staff consider a wide range of factors, not just the obvious things, because they can all in different ways have considerable effects upon impact. There is also now a great service available in Google Scholar Metrics which gives excellent quantitative information about every journal in the world (of any significance), for free from any PC, tablet or smartphone. Just type in the journal name to GSM’s search box and get an instant reply, using two strong indicators discussed below. (Note: be careful to enter the exact journal name into GSM— e.g. if the journal uses ‘&’ as part of its title and you enter ‘and’ instead, GSM will just show nothing as found).

Beyond that what more can we say? Well, there is an interesting and extremely expensive monograph published in 2012 by Stefanie Hauser called, Multi-dimensional Journal Evaluation. I have tried to extract from this (as best I can) the factors that seem to have proven relevance to the choices most researchers will be considering. I have combined information from the factors she tested for with a wide range of factors mentioned to research colleagues or me as relevant to a recent research project on The Impact of the Social Sciences, which also included some STEM academics (for some free-to-view materials on this please visit the web page).
journals  sciencepublishing  scholarly 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Academia, Love Me Back – TIFFANY MARTÍNEZ
This morning, my professor handed me back a paper (a literature review) in front of my entire class and exclaimed “this is not your language.” On the top of the page they wrote in blue ink: “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.” The period was included. They assumed that the work I turned in was not my own. My professor did not ask me if it was my language, instead they immediately blamed me in front of peers. On the second page the professor circled the word “hence” and wrote in between the typed lines “This is not your word.” The word “not” was underlined. Twice. My professor assumed someone like me would never use language like that. As I stood in the front of the class while a professor challenged my intelligence I could just imagine them reading my paper in their home thinking could someone like her write something like this?

In this interaction, my undergraduate career was both challenged and critiqued. It is worth repeating how my professor assumed I could not use the word “hence,” a simple transitory word that connected two relating statements.
scholarly  writing  plagiarism 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
Impact of Social Sciences – Who gives a tweet? After 24 hours and 860 downloads, we think quite a few actually do
We hoped that the paper would be popular, but were surprised to observe just how well it took off on Twitter...

Since the release of the paper, it has been downloaded 3936 times and shared 518 times using social sharing tools, making this paper one of the NCRM’s most popular papers ever.

The on-going debate about changing forms of academic dissemination focuses a lot on the pros and cons of engaging audiences in social media, making research open access and whether hard-copy publication is a thing of the past. The question of resources, time and budgets may force many academics to evaluate their dissemination methods and ask themselves whether it is worth spending £1000 out of the research budget on having a print poster or a brochure designed, printed and posted, or whether they should simply spend a single hour each week engaging (but not spamming) on social media platforms and reaching far wider audiences than any print material ever could. In addition to being mindful about good use of resources, personal online reputation and being in control of it should be of interest to every academic.
twitter  scholarly  sciencepublishing  attention 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Impact of Social Sciences – The current system of knowledge dissemination isn’t working and Sci-Hub is merely a symptom of the problem
Lost revenue is not the only reason for which publishers oppose the operation of Sci-Hub. According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), by providing indiscriminate access to content, Sci-Hub (and by extension LibGen) are making “certain information, regulated for distribution by publishers, available to parties not intended to have this technical know-how.” In other words, the AAP argues that access to certain knowledge should be confined to specific groups of researchers. This is by all means a contentious claim, as restricting access to knowledge seems to go against the rationale which ostensibly justifies the existence of academic publishers. All researchers, but especially the least economically empowered in academia and outside it, are disadvantaged by such attitudes towards knowledge dissemination.
scholarly  sciencepublishing  scihub  freeandopen  agnotology 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
(1) How Academia.edu promotes poor metadata and plays to our vanity… and how it could improve. | Mark Dingemanse - Academia.edu
The process of adding papers is geared towards enriching Academia.edu content rather than towards promoting the sharing of correct and complete scientific information.
After Academia.edu gets your PDF (and that's a requirement for adding a paper), there are very few opportunities for providing metadata, and the primary upload interface cares more about fluff like 'research interests' than about getting the basic bibliographic metadata right. There is no way to import via DOI or PMID (which would prevent many errors), or even to record these identifiers

a fatal lack of concern for interoperability which is quite surprising...

Academia.edu is built for single-authored papers, and its handling of multi-authored papers is surprisingly poor.
The default way of scraping author names leads to many errors and they can only be fixed manually. Take the paper Academia.edu staff published on 'discoverability'

the authors are all jumbled up. Only the original uploader owns the item and can add or fix bibliographic metadata, and for other authors, it's hard to see who's the owner. There is no system for duplicate detection and resolution. It is too easy for multiple authors to upload the same paper with slight differences in bibliographic metadata.
citation  scholarly  socialnetworking 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Scientific publishers are killing research papers | Ars Technica
I blame publishers. In the good old days of print journals, each edition only held a finite amount of information, so paper lengths were limited. Although you may have needed 30 pages of close-spaced text to describe how you accomplished some arcane scientific feat, some journals only gave you half a column. Any scientific results that could not be communicated properly in a short format ended up in another journal that could accommodate them.

This sometimes led to double publications: a short description of your results was published in one journal, while the extensive explanation of what you did appeared in a more technical publication.

Over time, short, direct articles have become more prestigious. Since university administrators are all about prestige, scientists now face increasing pressure to publish shortened forms of their research. The publishing houses, many of whom benefit from this pressure, are happy to accommodate.

To keep papers short, many journals emphasize results and conclusions at the expense of methods, often by moving them to the end and printing them in a font that requires a microscope. When I tried to report on a paper about adiabatic quantum computing recently published in Nature, I was dismayed to discover that all the useful information on methods wasn't in Nature at all, but in a separate document called supplementary information.
sciencepublishing  history  scholarly  science 
august 2016 by juliusbeezer
Language Log » Digital scholarship and cultural ideology
Allington et al. give a plausible account of the history of computational text analysis in the humanities. Their narrative is oriented towards literary studies, without much discussion of fields like history, archeology and musicology; and there's room to argue about their choice of people and works to feature. But from my perspective outside the field, they have cause and effect reversed. Digital Humanities is not a top-down neo-liberal conspiracy aimed at a corporatist restructuring of literary studies. Rather, it's the natural and inevitable response of students and younger scholars to the opportunities afforded by new technologies, entirely comparable to the consequences of the invention of printing...


From a historical point of view, at least, this is simply false. People began using computers in humanities research pretty much as soon as computers existed, and they did this because they wanted to get their work done more easily.
digitalhumanities  history  internet  scholarly 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Vienna Principles a vision for scholarly communication
1 Accessibility
2 Discoverability
3 Reusability
4 Reproducibility

5 Transparency
6 Understandability
7 Collaboration
8 Quality Assurance

9 Evaluation
10 Validated Progress
11 Innovation
12 Public Good
openaccess  scholarly 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Open access: All human knowledge is there—so why can’t everybody access it? | Ars Technica
Richard Poynder, perhaps the most seasoned observer of the open access world, sees the continued expansion of publishers as discouraging. He offered a highly pessimistic view of the state of open access today in a recent interview. He concluded:

In the end, the key question is whether the research community has the commitment, the stamina, the organisational chops, and/or the resources to reclaim scholarly communication. While I would love to end on a positive note, I am personally doubtful that it has. The fact is that, OA advocates aside, there does not appear to be much appetite in the research community for giving up publishing in prestigious journals, and abandoning the notorious Impact Factor [IF— supposedly a measure of how "influential" a journal is]. More importantly, university managers and funders do not want to see anything that radical occur.
openaccess  scholarly 
june 2016 by juliusbeezer
Workload survival guide for academics | Times Higher Education (THE)
The downside of university life is that clear leisure time does not exist. There are no weekends with nothing to do. I have always thought that a key purpose of a PhD is to destroy a young person’s ability to enjoy leisure. Presumably, this is what it is like to be in the SAS. Once you have passed through extreme training, most normal activities are no longer stimulating, because your brain’s standard for what counts as excitement has been raised, and indeed can never go back.

For any young person considering an academic career, the following bit of arithmetic is useful. Let’s say that 25 hours a week has to be spent on teaching, seeing students, preparation, departmental meetings and administration. This slice of your life is not particularly negotiable. Then, however, there are another three broad options. You can work another 15 hours on research. You can work another 25 hours on research. Or you can work another 35 hours on research (where “research” includes not just writing articles and books but also any activity such as going to conferences, refereeing and editorial work on journals).

It is straightforward to see the advantage of long hours. If you choose the 35 path, you will do more than double the amount of research of your neighbour who takes the 15 track. Some readers may think that the 35 track, which of course implies a 60-hour week, sounds extreme. Well, I have known literally hundreds of American economists who work far longer than 60 hours a week. If your priority is success in research, when measured by international standards, it will mean hellishly long hours.
scholarly  work 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics: Dramatic Growth of Open Access March 31, 2016
Update April 12: congratulations to Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) - and all of the contributing repositories - now over 90 million documents. On the Global Open Access List, BASE's Dirk Pieper estimates that 60% of the content is open access.

There are now 150 publishers of peer-reviewed open access books listed in the Directory of Open Access Books, publishing more than 4,400 open access books. 620 books were published in this quarter alone, a 16% increase in just this quarter. The Directory of Open Access Journals has been adding titles at a net rate of 6 titles per day, 540 journals added this quarter for a total of over 11,000 journals. This is the highest DOAJ growth rate since this series started!
openaccess  scholarly  archiving  repositories 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Set up a ‘self-retraction’ system for honest errors : Nature News & Comment
such reluctance to retract errors would be avoided if we could easily distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ retractions. In our research on misconduct, my colleagues and I informally use terms such as ‘honest retraction’. However, these carry a judgement inappropriate for formal notices. Using a more neutral term such as ‘withdrawal’ could solve that, but it is probably too late to impose a new word on the scientific system.

A more realistic solution is to mimic the way in which bibliometrics researchers use the term self-citation. Superficially, citations all look the same, and are classified as such in databases. However, citations that authors direct at their own work are a self-evident subcategory, which is easily and objectively marked out in any analysis. We can do the same with retractions.

Simply, we should define a self-retraction as any retraction notice that is signed by all co-authors. This is a natural category, which academics, administrators, policymakers and journalists could use unambiguously.
citation  sciencepublishing  scholarly 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Pacificklaus | What I have Learned in a Year as an Independent Scientist
I am now not employed by a university anymore, but while I left academia, I certainly did not leave science! I am still very interested in the pursuit of knowledge. The way I initially planned things was to swap my weekend and weekday pursuits; In Australia I had already taught scuba on the weekends, something I really enjoyed. My plan was to make this hobby my main source of income, and then do science – real science, not university administration & grant writing – on my evenings and days off. I was going to be an independent scientist (“gentleman scientist” in the words of my friend John J. – who immediately after saying that felt the need to qualify that he didn’t really think I was much of a gentleman)...
Very often, in order to participate in the more formal exchanges of scientific ideas, you need an affiliation. That is, some institute, university or museum where your academic home is. It would come across as odd to just write your home address in the author affiliation line of a scientific paper. I have joined the Neurolinx Institute in La Jolla, CA, founded by my mate Jay Coggan, as a home for independent scientists. I think institutions like Neurolinx will have an important role to play in a future with more “gentleman scientists
scholarly  sciencepublishing  science  work 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Denying language privilege in academic publishing | linguistic pulse
“international” is more or less a euphemism for journals published in English. Faced with this requirement, academics from outside English-speaking countries like the US, the UK, Canada, or Australia have commonly reported that writing for publication in English is a source of disadvantage for them. Furthermore, they have been shown to be less successful at having their work published in these journals than those scholars residing in English-speaking countries.

This has led some critics to point out the inherent advantages and disadvantages of such a system, especially that ‘nonnative’ English users tend to be at a grave disadvantage particularly when compared to those who have acquired English from childhood, that is ‘native’ English users.

In a recent article titled “Academic publishing and the myth of linguistic injustice“, Ken Hyland (applied linguist at the University of Hong Kong) tries to argue, as the title makes clear, that the disadvantages facing ‘nonnative’ English users in the domain of academic publishing are overstated or that they are a “myth”.
scholarly  sciencepublishing  language  english  exclusion 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
[no title]
1. It provides insight into an important issue – for example, by explaining a wide variance when numbers are spread out from the mean or expected value, or by shedding light on an unsolved problem that affects a lot of people.

2. The insight is useful to people who make decisions, particularly long-term organizational decisions or, in our particular field, family decisions.

3. The insight is used to develop a framework or theory, either a new theory or advancing an existing one.

4. The insight stimulates new, important questions.

5. The methods used to explore the issue are appropriate (for example, data collection and analysis of data).

6. The methods used are applied rigorously and explain why and how the data support the conclusions.

7. Connections to prior work in the field or from other fields are made and serve to make the article's arguments clear.

8. The article tells a good story, meaning it is well written and easy to understand, the arguments are logical and not internally contradictory.

"Ideally, we would like to see articles perform well on all eight points, and that the author strives for a good balance amongst these criteria," said Dr. Pieper said.
publishing  learning  writing  sciencepublishing  scholarly 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Astonishingly Crap Science of ‘Counter-Extremism’ — INSURGE intelligence — Medium
Over thirty years ago, Alex P. Schmid, former Office-in-Charge of the UN’s Terrorism Prevention Branch and Albert Jongman of Leiden University’s PIOOM Foundation (Interdisciplinary Research Programme on Root Causes of Human Rights Violations) reviewed over 6,000 academic studies of terrorism published between 1968 and 1988. Shockingly, as they explained in their seminal book Political Terrorism, they found that “perhaps as much as 80 percent of the literature is not research-based in any rigorous sense.”

Of course, that’s a very polite, typically academic way of putting it.
science  scholarly  politics 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Academics can change the world – if they stop talking only to their peers
Learning to write

There is a third factor holding academics back from writing for broader lay audiences: even if they’d like to, they may not know where to start and how to do it.

Writing an article for an academic journal is a very different process to penning one for those outside the academy. Naomi Wolf and Sacha Kopp, in an article examining the issue, wrote:

Academic writing has the benefit of scholarly rigour, full documentation and original thinking. But the transmission of our ideas is routinely hampered … by a great deal of peer-oriented jargon.

Universities have a role to play here by offering workshops and courses to their academics and students. This can help develop creative non-fiction writing skills.
writing  scholarly  education  coaching 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Should there be greater use of preprint servers for publishing reports of biomedical science? - F1000Research
We know remarkably little, formally, about why researchers do and don’t do the things that they do and don’t do. Some efforts to secure research funding to investigate why researchers don’t publish reports of their research have not been successful (Professor Mary Dixon-Woods, personal communication). If the attractive vision of a more efficient publishing model for the life sciences is to be promoted effectively, research is needed to find answers to the questions raised by Tracz and Lawrence themselves: why are researchers reluctant to post preprints, and will sufficient other researchers post useful and critical comments on them to make the effort worthwhile?
sciencepublishing  medicine  preprint  archiving  scholarly  research 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Plain Person’s Guide to Plain Text Social Science
I recommend you write prose and code using a good text editor; analyze quantitative data with R or Stata; minimize error by storing your work in a simple format (plain text is best), and make a habit of documenting what you’ve done. For data analysis, consider using a format like RMarkdown and tools like Knitr to make your work more easily reproducible for your future self. Use Pandoc to turn your plain-text documents into PDF, HTML, or Word files to share with others. Keep your projects in a version control system. Back everything up regularly. Make your computer work for you by automating as many of these steps as you can.

To help you get started, I provide a drop-in set of useful defaults to get started with Emacs (a powerful, free text-editor). I share some templates and style files that can get you quickly from plain text to various output formats. And I point to several alternatives, because no humane person should recommend Emacs without presenting some other options as well.
Two ongoing computing revolutions are tending to pull in opposite directions. On one side, the mobile, cloud-centered, touch-screen, phone-or-tablet model has brought powerful computing to more people than ever before. This revolution is the one everyone is talking about, because it is happening on a huge scale and is where all the money is. In practice it puts single-purpose applications in the foreground and hides from the user both the workings of the operating system and (especially) the structure of the file system where items are stored and moved around.

On the other side, open-source tools for plain-text coding, data analysis, and writing are also better and more accessible than they have ever been. This has happened on a smaller scale than the first revolution, of course. But still, these tools really have revolutionized the availability and practice of data analysis and scientific computing generally. They continue to do so, too, as people work to make them better at everything from slurping up data on the web to presenting it there. These tools mostly work by gluing together separate, specialized widgets into a reproducible workflow. They are “bitty” or granular because the process of data analysis is that way as well. They do much less to hide the operating system layer—instead they often directly mesh with it—and they also presuppose a working knowledge of the file system underpinning the organization of the things the researcher is using or creating, from data files to code to figures and final papers.
writing  tools  text_tools  sciencepublishing  scholarly  opensource  coding  git 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
‘It is all a bit of a mess’ – observations from Researcher to Reader conference | Unlocking Research
Journals are dead – the publishing future is the platform
Journals are not dead – but we don’t need issues any more as they are entirely redundant in an online environment
Publishing in a journal benefits the author not the reader
Dissemination is no longer the value added offered by publishers. Anyone can have a blog. The value-add is branding
The drivers for choosing research areas are what has been recently published, not what is needed by society
All research is generated from what was published the year before – and we can prove it
Why don’t we disaggregate the APC model and charge for sections of the service separately?
You need to provide good service to the free users if you want to build a premium product
The most valuable commodity as an editor is your reviewer time
Peer review is inconsistent and systematically biased.
The greater the novelty of the work the greater likelihood it is to have a negative review
Poor academic writing is rewarded
sciencepublishing  scholarly  reading  writing  journals 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Next moves in the Sci-Hub game | Gavia Libraria
Sci-Hub has come as close as anything to Napsterizing paywalled journals yet surviving the experience. If it (or its successor) manages to continue darknetting itself (and it has done decently well so far, though the Loon sees one obvious weakness she will detail later) usably enough to keep its userbase (and this is tricky, as BitTorrenters will tell you at great length)...
Sci-Hub has been quite clever so far in setting up its technology to fly under the radar. The obvious technological hurdle for a would-be Sci-Hub, one of the ones that caught Swartz, is publishers monitoring each subscribing campus’s download activity to cut off obvious mass downloads. Sci-Hub avoids this style of detection by spreading its downloading across as many institutional accounts as possible. The Loon sees a weak point in this scheme, however: Sci-Hub’s proxy accounts, the campus logins that academics contributed to it. (The Loon will do Sci-Hub the courtesy of assuming that its logins were donated rather than cracked.)
scholarly  sciencepublishing  copyright  law 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
What does a researcher do all day? | Unlocking Research
the team shadowed 10 academics over a 48-hour period. They followed them through their day, literally sitting next to them. They watched lectures, sat in supervisions and took notes. As researchers did tasks the team asked questions about how they felt about the task – whether it was worth their time for example. The number was small because of the time intensity of this approach, however the process revealed good insights. Paul mentioned that they looked at the workarounds academics have for tasks and were able to determine how academics know what is succeeding and what ought they be doing.

The information gathering phase also included 12 co-design sessions looking at research and publishing tools, where they invited a group of participants to act as a designer. These were one on one co-design sessions. The academics were asked to design the journal they would like to publish in. As part of the process they took notes about how the participants talked about the publishing process...

Paul noted that being an academic is really three or four jobs – each person needs to decide what they will be very good at. He observed that academics have to discover things that are new to the world as well as all of their other administration and work.

Many of the academics observed had between six and eight, sometimes 10 different roles. Some of these come with a job title, and others are unofficial because the academic wants to be a good supervisor, tutor, or a good colleague. The longer someone is around, the more roles they collect. The team started trying to graph people’s job titles as part of the project but this proved challenging because academia is not like a company where people have a fixed job title...
What causes one of the greatest emotional lows for a researcher is being rejected for a paper. They have often put all of their effort and knowledge into a journal paper. If it is rejected after peer review they are being told they have wasted two years of their life. Paul noted that some reviewing boards are brutal and the feedback given is, frankly, rude.
scholarly  openaccess  sciencepublishing  academic  universityeducation  teaching  research  psychology  coaching  repositories 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
mathematica by rejecta
Rejecta Mathematica is an open access, online journal that publishes only papers that have been rejected from peer-reviewed journals (or conferences with comparable review standards) in the mathematical sciences.

At Rejecta Mathematica we believe that many previously rejected papers (even those rejected for legitimate reasons) can nonetheless have a very real value to the academic community. This value may take many forms:
rejecta  mathematics  internet  sciencepublishing  scholarly 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Why Science Needs to Publish Negative Results | SciTech Connect
recent launch of the open access journal New Negatives in Plant Science, a platform for negative, unexpected or controversial results in the field. The journal is viewed as a pilot and may lead to New Negatives in… titles for other research disciplines.
scholarly  sciencepublishing  openaccess 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Lexington Series | Rowman & Littlefield
The Studies in Philosophy of Sport series encourages scholars from all disciplines to inquire into the nature, importance, and qualities of sport and related activities. The series aims to encourage new voices and methods for the philosophic study of sport while also inspiring established scholars to consider new questions and approaches in this field. The series encourages scholars new to the philosophy of sport to bring their expertise to this growing field. These new voices bring innovative methods and different questions to the standard issues in the philosophy of sport. Well-trodden topics in the literature will be reexamined with fresh takes and new questions and issues will be explored to advance the field beyond traditional positions.
scholarly  philosophy  sport  cycling 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Ph.D. criterion: to 'merit publication' | Dr. Martin Paul Eve | Senior Lecturer in Literature, Technology and Publishing
Yesterday, I attended my university’s official training course for Ph.D. examiners. It was an extremely useful day to familiarize myself with the regulations at the University of London and to hear about incoming procedures for independent viva chairs.

However, one thing did leap out at me that I’d forgotten but that, in light of much thinking about scholarly communications, struck me as interesting. One of the criteria for the award of a Ph.D. is that the work should “merit publication”.

I duly raised my hand and, in a gesture that others might have thought facetious, asked “where?”

This was not just me being a contrarian. The criteria for different journals in different fields can vary wildly. Should it merit publication in an ultra-selective journal, perhaps like Nature, Cell, or Science? (In my discipline, perhaps PMLA, Modern Fiction Studies, Textual Practice etc.) Or should it merit publication in PLOS One where the criterion is “technical soundness”? What about the swathes of low-quality journals who will publish work without a pre- or post- publication review process?
sciencepublishing  education  scholarly 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Selecting for impact: new data debunks old beliefs | Frontiers Blog
As you can see, Figure 1 shows there is absolutely no correlation between rejection rates and impact factor (r2 = 0.0023; we assume the sample of 570 journals is sufficiently random to represent the full dataset, given that it spans across fields and publishers). In fact, many journals with high rejection rates have low impact factors and many journals with low rejection rates have impact factors that are higher than the bulk of journals with rejection rates of 70-80%. Clearly, selecting “winners” is hard and the belief that obtaining a high impact factor simply requires high rejection rates is false.
citation  scholarly 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Science in the Open » Blog Archive » The Marginal Costs of Article Publishing – Critiquing the Standard Analytics Study
In this post I will critique those claims and attempt to derive a cost that fully represents the base marginal cost of article publishing, while pointing out that such average estimates are probably not very useful. The central point is that the paper shows not marginal costs but (a proportion of) the per particle technical platform costs. It is however the case that their central point, that modular, low cost and flexible platforms that create efficiencies of scale, offer the opportunity for radically cheaper scholarly publishing systems.
openaccess  scholarly  finance  sciencepublishing 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Elsevier Granted Injunction Against Research Paper 'Pirate Site;' Which Immediately Moves To New Domain To Dodge It | Techdirt
Not officially part of the open-access movement are repositories run by Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher born and educated in Kazakhstan. Elbakyan's first efforts to liberate documents from behind publisher paywalls were limited to fulfilling requests made by other researchers in online forums. When she saw the demand far exceeded the supply, she automated the process, stashing the documents at Sci-Hub.org.
archiving  arxiv  scholarly  finance  dccomment 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Upon Leaving Academia.edu | Mittelalter
The venture capitalists behind Academia.edu, like those backing ResearchGate, did not invest in a charity. (Mendeley is now owned by the publicly traded Elsevier and SSRN is produced by a privately held corporation; incidentally, its advisory board appears to be all male). As such, they are steering it towards an Initial Public Offering or IPO, as I was told in no uncertain terms by Price. Their working and very plausible assumption is that an enterprise needs to be profitable or show much promise of profit, for its IPO to be an attractive option, and they are presumably pressuring Price and his team to prepare the ground for it before a new round of fundraising. I speculate that under these circumstances, new publishing-related services offered by the site will likely begin to cost money, especially in the form of Article Processing Charges or APCs.
scholarly  socialmedia  business 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Response to Controversy: Sam Harris
secular scholars refuse to take it at face value; they always look for the “deeper” reasons—economic, political, or personal—behind it. However, when given economic, political, or personal motives (e.g. “I did it because they stole my family’s land, and I felt totally hopeless.”), these researchers always seem to take a person at his word. They never dig for the religious motive behind apparently terrestrial concerns.
religion  theory  scholarly  us  politics  torture 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Elsevier stopped me doing my research | Chris H.J. Hartgerink's Notebook
I am a statistician interested in detecting potentially problematic research such as data fabrication, which results in unreliable findings and can harm policy-making, confound funding decisions, and hampers research progress.

To this end, I am content mining results reported in the psychology literature. Content mining the literature is a valuable avenue of investigating research questions with innovative methods. For example, our research group has written an automated program to mine research papers for errors in the reported results and found that 1/8 papers (of 30,000) contains at least one result that could directly influence the substantive conclusion [1].

In new research, I am trying to extract test results, figures, tables, and other information reported in papers throughout the majority of the psychology literature. As such, I need the research papers published in psychology that I can mine for these data. To this end, I started ‘bulk’ downloading research papers from, for instance, Sciencedirect. I was doing this for scholarly purposes and took into account potential server load by limiting the amount of papers I downloaded per minute to 9. I had no intention to redistribute the downloaded materials, had legal access to them because my university pays a subscription, and I only wanted to extract facts from these papers.

Full disclosure, I downloaded approximately 30GB of data from Sciencedirect in approximately 10 days. This boils down to a server load of 0.0021GB/s, 0.125GB/h, 3GB/day.
textmining  openaccess  scholarly  research 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Impact of Social Sciences – What will the scholarly profile page of the future look like? Provision of metadata is enabling experimentation.
What all these Facebook-mimicking services have in common is that all of the information entered in the database of these services, from simple facts about a researcher’s work to whole papers that can be self-archived directly into these services, is owned solely by the commercial enterprises behind them. In this way, these services exemplify the “web 2.0” principle of being free (as in free beer), with the caveat that you cede control over your aggregated profile data. This is not only a matter of data-freedom principles. If you try to harvest large chunks of content from these databases for reuse elsewhere (as undertaken regularly by Google and other search engines), you soon learn that this is not permitted...
With the growing expectations of cultivating one’s own scholarship profile online completely and conveniently, things have become more interesting, and sometimes confusing. The whole area still seems to be in its infancy. A strong indicator of the ongoing development of this ecosystem is the consolidation of freely available metadata streams – besides ORCID, we now have CrossRef’s DOI event tracker pilot as a free source of impact metadata across many scholarly articles. In the area of institutional research information systems, open approaches such as VIVO ontologies and software are constantly gaining greater traction, enabling custom developments and experimentation. So, interesting times ahead!
altmetrics  sciencepublishing  peerreview  scholarly 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Which philosopher would fare best in a present-day university? | Higher Education Network | The Guardian
Immanuel Kant might look worthy of the nod – his three Critiques shaped a lot of the philosophy that came afterwards. However, those works were preceded by an 11-year hiatus in which he published nothing whatsoever – which means there would have been an entire Ref cycle for which he would not have been eligible.
Five reasons why the REF is not fit for purpose‬‬‬
Read more

We may presume that his justification for this career break – that he had used that time to wake up from his dogmatic slumber – would have cut little ice with his (admittedly fictional) research coordinator.
philosophy  scholarly  funny  research 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
Impact of Social Sciences – The arXiv cannot replace traditional publishing without addressing the standards of research assessment.
In Mathematics, a period of one year between submission and publication is quite common, while periods of 3-4 years are nothing exceptional. A major reason for those long lead times is the thorough refereeing that is expected...
Because of the long time between submission and publication, the existence of “preprints” or “reports” was standard in the mathematical community...
So the arXiv is not something that came into existence because of the move towards Open Access. It’s more that it was the solution to a practical problem: “if it will take several years before my paper will be published, how do I tell the world about my brilliant work in the meantime?”. Of course, the arXiv is now seen as a prime example of Open Access: it is completely free to search and download all publications. It allows uploading new versions of a paper, while at the same time keeping previous versions accessible...
So could we see a more prominent role of completely open repositories such as the arXiv in the scientific publication process? Maybe. But two main obstacles remain, from my point of view. How do you set up a review process that makes it possible to recognise (top-)quality among the publications in the repositories?
arxiv  repositories  overlay  peerreview  mathematics  sciencepublishing  scholarly 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
A New and Stunning Metric from NIH Reveals the Real Nature of Scientific Impact | ASCB
Today we received strong evidence that significant scientific impact is not tied to the publishing journal’s JIF score. First results from a new analytical method that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is calling the Relative Citation Ratio (RCR) reveal that almost 90% of breakthrough papers first appeared in journals with relatively modest journal impact factors. According to the RCR, these papers exerted major influence within their fields yet their impact was overlooked, not because of their irrelevance, but because of the widespread use of the wrong metrics to rank science.

In the initial RCR analysis carried out by NIH, high impact factor journals (JIF ≥ 28) account for only 11% of papers that have high RCR (3 or above). Here is hard evidence for what DORA supporters have been saying since 2012. Using the JIF to credit influential work means overlooking 89% of similarly influential papers published in less prestigious venues.
citation  altmetrics  scholarly  sciencepublishing 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
Are learned societies an endangered species? | Research Consulting : Research Consultancy UK, Rob Johnson, Consultancy Services, Research Systems Strategy, Business Process Analysis and Redesign, Research Information Management, Research Performance Repor
the changing publishing landscape presents risks to some learned societies, but also opportunities. The recent trend towards market consolidation makes it more difficult for smaller society publishers to compete on a level playing field, and the ‘Big Deal’ discount packages used by major publishers can potentially reduce the available revenues to smaller players. At the same time, however, partnership with commercial publishers can give learned society access to marketing clout and technical infrastructure, and increase the dissemination of their publications.

A longstanding concern expressed in some quarters is that the spread of open access could severely undermine revenue generation, and therefore threaten learned societies’ very existence. However, our work has not evidenced any decline in publishing revenues so far, and while the threat cannot be ruled out altogether, all the indications are that a full transition to open access remains many years off. The good news for learned societies is that open access is likely to increase their readership and may also open up new business opportunities – such as through the use of second-tier OA journals that publish articles rejected by the flagship journals.
sciencepublishing  openaccess  scholarly 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
Author Rights: Using the SPARC Author Addendum to secure your rights as the author of a journal article | SPARC
You would never knowingly keep your research from a readership that could benefit from it, but signing a restrictive publication agreement limits your scholarly universe and lessens your impact as an author.

Why? According to the traditional publication agreement, all rights —including copyright — go to the journal. You probably want to include sections of your article in later works. You might want to give copies to your class or distribute it among colleagues. And you likely want to place it on your Web page or in an online repository if you had the choice. These are all ways to give your research wide exposure and fulfill your goals as a scholar, but they are inhibited by the traditional agreement. If you sign on the publisher’s dotted line, is there any way to retain these critical rights?

Yes. The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles.
openaccess  sciencepublishing  scholarly  law  copyright 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
Writing an open-access encyclopedia in a closed-access world « Wikimedia blog
[Wikipedia was given 35 accounts for 'senior editors' by some paywall publisher a few days ago]
"Unfortunately limited or restricted access is common in today’s research climate. The best research materials may be behind paywalled online holdings or in expensive print journals and monographs. Wikipedia editors will use closed access materials if they are the best sources for advancing our mission of sharing knowledge. As Wikipedian Martin Poulter explained: Wikipedia aims to be an open-access summary of all reliable knowledge—not a summary of only open-access knowledge."
wikipedia  openaccess  sciencepublishing  scholarly 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
I am supporting RIO Journal. I think you should too - Ross Mounce
RIO uses an integrated end-to-end XML-backed publication system for Authoring, Reviewing, Publishing, Hosting, and Archiving called ARPHA. As a publishing geek this excites me greatly as it eliminates the need for typesetting, ensuring a smooth and low-cost publishing process. Reviewers can make comments inline or more generally over the entire manuscript, on the very same document and platform that the authors wrote in, much like Google Docs. This has been successfully tried and tested for years at the Biodiversity Data Journal and is a system now ready for wider-use.
sciencepublishing  openaccess  journals  tools  peerreview  scholarly 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
Publons — Peer review essentials for the beginning peer...
Nice HOWTO:
"As I am reading the manuscript for the first time, I will have a text editor open in which I immediately write down small comments on specific parts of the manuscript, such as a typo in line 15 or an unclear sentence in the introduction. While I go through the paper, I will start to write down more general thoughts as well, such as remarks about the length of the introduction or a misinterpretation of results. After reading the whole paper, I will then re-read the abstract to see if it correctly captured hypothesis, experiments, results and interpretation. At the end of my read-through, I try to structure my peer review into three parts."
peerreview  sciencepublishing  scholarly 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
Whose problem is the “reproducibility crisis” anyway? | Fumbling towards tenure
a single funky data point out of almost 60 is not a "result," but a...data point...the answer is no, I do not "usually" replicate. Look, I get that in some labs it's super easy to run an experiment in an afternoon for like $5. If this is the situation you're in, by all means replicate away! Knock yourself out, and then give yourself a nice pat on the back. But in the world of mammalian behavioral neuroscience, single experiments can take years and many thousands of dollars. When you finish an experiment, you publish the data, whatever they happen to be. You don't say, let's spend another couple of years and thousands more dollars and do it all again before we tell anyone what we found! So I thought, OK, this guy runs an insect lab, maybe he doesn't know what's involved.
statistics  science  sciencepublishing  peerreview  twitter  scholarly 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
Science Isn’t Broken | FiveThirtyEight
After the deluge of retractions, the stories of fraudsters, the false positives, and the high-profile failures to replicate landmark studies, some people have begun to ask: “Is science broken?”

I’ve spent many months asking dozens of scientists this question, and the answer I’ve found is a resounding no. Science isn’t broken, nor is it untrustworthy. It’s just more difficult than most of us realize. We can apply more scrutiny to study designs and require more careful statistics and analytic methods, but that’s only a partial solution. To make science more reliable, we need to adjust our expectations of it.
sciencepublishing  scholarly  statistics  misconduct 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
Too much of a good thing? An observational study of prolific authors [PeerJ]
While special techniques are currently required to analyse the output of all biomedical researchers, and thus get information about normal and abnormal productivity, it is straightforward to assess the output of a small number of individuals and to validate this manually. We therefore suggest that institutions and funders should be alert to the possibility of excessive authorship. One simple technique would be to require job or research funding applicants to include a total publication count in their application or CV. Spotting or verifying over-prolific authors should become easier in future if journals and databases adopt researcher identification systems such as ORCID (http://orcid.org) rather than relying simply on author names for identification. Although the absolute number of highly prolific authors in each field is probably small, asking researchers to justify their authorship, if there are any suspicions, shows that institutions take research integrity seriously. Abusive authorship patterns, such as senior figures who demand to be listed on publications despite having had little or no involvement in research are well documented (Kwok, 2005) and can have damaging effects on junior researchers because they send a signal that honest authorship is unimportant.
scholarly  ethics  sciencepublishing  authorship 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
To hell with good intentions: open access is not the problem | scholarly skywritings
What these kinds of arguments do is push the burden of the broken system away from the institutions, governments and publishers that perpetuate the problem and place it on new and innovative methods of scholarly communication. If we want to start treating research as a commons (which I do) then we should be questioning the practices of those institutions that encourage credentialism, metricisation and proprietary ownership of scholarship, rather than trying to wrap up researchers in cotton wool by warning them of the dangers of confronting the old ways of doing things.
openaccess  scholarly 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
Defending Regional Excellence in Research or Why Beall is Wrong About SciELO | The Scholarly Kitchen
What the authors are saying is that in order to develop the best research policy for Latin America (and by extension perhaps other regions) it is important to maintain a locally run publishing industry. Why? For example, when editors-in-chief and publishers are drawn from the local community, it creates a platform to publish and promote work that serves the public good in that specific region
sciencepublishing  scholarly  openaccess  beall 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
The fenced-off ‘nice’ publication neighbourhoods of Jeffrey Beall | SciELO in Perspective
Beall nonetheless seems to associate quality primarily with American and European owned publishers. Cameron Neylon, a much more diplomatic person than I am, expressed it like this on Twitter: “There is [a] definite undercurrent of cultural bias/imperialism, sometimes shading to racism, around ideas of quality in schol[arly] comm[unication]s.”4 And it is not just about quality: by calling the publishers on his list ‘predatory’ he accuses them of unethical behaviour. I am sure there are unethical publishers in his list, but Beall’s definition of ‘predatory’ is peculiar, to say the least. The publishers and journals on his list are exclusively open access ones, as if unethical behaviour, taking payment – or requiring copyright transfer – from authors without offering much of value in return, is the province of open access only. Yet the commercial subscription publishers and their journals that do that are not on Beall’s list.
scholarly  openaccess  sciencepublishing  beall 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
Predatory Publishing Isn't The Problem, It's a Symptom of Information Inequality - Digital Science
So who does fall for it? Somebody must do. The answer to this apparent incongruity can be found by having a quick look at a predatory journal. Here’s an example, the website of Science Publishing Group. Just pick any journal there and look at the authors. You’ll notice that there aren’t any Western names on the lists. If you look at the affiliations you see places like Gaza, Iraq, Ethiopia, Indonesia, India and predictably, China. All troubled or emerging markets where information is not as freely available as it is in more established ones. When you look at it like this, predatory publishing starts to look less like an underlying problem and more a symptom of global information inequality.
scholarly  openaccess  sciencepublishing 
july 2015 by juliusbeezer
(1) Open Access Meets Discoverability: Citations to Articles Posted to Academia.edu | Yuri Niyazov, Josh Schwartzman, Carl Vogel, Maxwell Shron, David Judd, Adnan Akil, Ben Lund, and Richard Price - Academia.edu
a typical article posted on Academia.edu recieves approximately 37% more citations compared to similar articles not available online in the first year after upload,rising to 58% after three years, and 83% after five years.
openaccess  citation  scholarly  sciencepublishing 
june 2015 by juliusbeezer
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