Monthly Archives: October 2020

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Open but Unfair – The role of social justice in Open Access publishing [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in October/2020]

Stage one of the Open Access (OA) movement promoted the democratization of scholarly knowledge, making work available so that anybody could read it. However, publication in highly ranked journals is becoming very costly, feeding the same vendor capitalists that OA was designed to sidestep. In this Q&A, Simon Batterbury argues that when prestige is valued over publication ethics, a paradoxical situation emerges where conversations about social justice take place in unjust journals. Academic freedom and integrity are at risk unless Open Access becomes not simply about the democratization of knowledge, but the ethics of its publication too. Read More →

Are preprints a problem? 5 ways to improve the quality and credibility of preprints [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in September/2020]

Preprints are research reports have that have not yet been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They have increased rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, high profile discredited studies have led to concerns that speed has been prioritized over the quality and credibility of evidence. Joeri Tijdink, Mario Malicki, Lex Bouter and Gowri Gopalakrishna argue that all stakeholders of the science system have a responsibility in improving the quality and credibility of pre-prints. They outline 5 steps by which this can be achieved. Read More →

How effective are funding mandate for open access?

Plan S, launched in Europe late 2018 to accelerate the transition to open access starting in January 2020, imposes open access mandates to all publicly funded research. But would such mandates really be effective in promoting open access? A study showed that the results vary greatly among disciplines and funders. However, between the gold route and the green route, two-thirds of the articles are, in fact, available for reading. Read More →

Data protection laws apply to anyone who collects information about a living individual. So what do researchers in arts, humanities and social sciences need to know? [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in September/2020]

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has significant implications for academic researchers. The Royal Historical Society recently published a set of guidelines to help researchers navigate the legal requirements around data protection. Dr Katherine Foxhall, RHS Research and Communications Officer explains some of the key factors that researchers in SHAPE subjects should be aware of. Read More →