Author: Jan Velterop

Openness and quality of a published article

Openness is a scientifically and societally relevant part of a published article’s quality. It is time that openness is recognized as a most important element of the quality of a research publication and that those who judge researchers on their publications (e.g. tenure and promotion committees) take that into account. For the benefit of science and the benefit of society as a whole. Read More →

Science (which needs communication) first, careers (which need selectivity) later

Science communication and career advancement via journal publications are too closely intertwined, to the detriment of science. The selectivity of journals slows, hampers, and distorts the communication process. Therefore, the processes of scientific communication and assessment for career advancement should be separated. As a welcome side effect, publishing, particularly publishing with open access, could be very much cheaper than it is currently (and the money saved used for research). Read More →

What is holding back the transition to open access if it does not cost more?

Transition to Article Processing Charge supported open access from a closed access subscription system is far from straightforward, even if the cost of such an open access system is the same, or even less. There are glimmers of hope, though, in an approach that may help to overcome the hurdles, by taking a large-scale, even nationwide, approach as opposed to the usual one where each individual institution has to weigh up the costs and benefits. Read More →

The fenced-off ‘nice’ publication neighbourhoods of Jeffrey Beall

Jeffrey Beall, librarian at the University of Colorado, describes SciELO as a ‘publication favela’ and commercial publishers as ‘nice neighbourhoods for scholarly publications’. The only way for us to understand that is if we consider his anti-open access, anti-subsidy, and anti-non-western attitudes, which are so clearly visible in his writings. It is a pity a university librarian of an otherwise reputable university thinks like this. He is wrong, and that has to be exposed. Read More →

Science Publishing: the Transition to Open Access Going Dutch

The negotiations between the Dutch universities (VSNU – the Association of Universities in The Netherlands) and three large publishers (Springer, Wiley, Sage) have been concluded and significant steps to include open access in the deals with those publishers have been made. With Elsevier, however, the negotiations are in deadlock, according to the VSNU. They have called for a boycott, but the real question is, of course, why it is that Elsevier, the largest, and Dutch (!) academic publisher, can’t – or won’t – do what other large publishers can – and will. I have no answer to that, but in trying to sketch the situation in some detail, I hope to add some clarity to it. The outcome of the negotiations is surely going to influence other countries. Read More →

Dealing with information overload

Information overload is a major barrier researchers face to capture and ingest the knowledge that is being discovered and created by science. The challenge is how to develop ways to create overviews of the knowledge that has been published related to specific areas of interest. The Lazarus initiative is introduced. Read More →

The Elsevier you know is not the only Elsevier

The current science publisher Elsevier may have the same name as the venerable publishing house that published the work of great scientists in the 16th and 17th century, but there is in fact no historical connection other than the name. Read More →