Category: Analysis

The Holy Grail does not exist: OPERAS-P and OASPA’s workshops for publishers on innovative business models for books [Originally published in the OAPEN blog in July/2020]

In May 2021, OPERAS and OASPA hosted a series of three European workshops on business models for open access books targeted specifically at small and medium-sized academic book publishers.. As part of the OPERAS-P project work package 6 (Innovation) OPERAS was looking into innovative, non-BPC business models. The feedback gathered in the course of these three workshops informed a report The Future of scholarly communications, published at the end of June 2021.
“The discussion showed that while the Holy Grail of OA book publishing does not exist, what does exist however, is a strong will to experiment with various approaches, spearheaded by small and medium sized academic book publishers.” Read More →

The role of review articles goes beyond synthesizing current knowledge about a research topic

Review articles, besides helping to keep researchers updated on specific topics, play an important role in the curation of academic works and can influence emerging research topics through citation patterns. Read More →

What are preprints? [Originally published in DADOS’ blog in May/2021]

The traditional double-blind assessment model of scientific articles has been challenged in the last two decades by the so-called “preprint servers”. However, there are still many concerns in the Social Sciences about what preprints are and what changes they bring to the traditional framework of scientific assessment and publication. In this mini class, we seek to answer these questions from the experience of the journal DADOS. Read More →

A perspective on ethical and regulatory aspects of research involving humans in the COVID-19 pandemic

The last day of 2019 marked the official start of a major change on the planet, which “… turned the world upside down. Everything has been impacted…” When it comes to science in the COVID-19 pandemic, research involving humans has been in the spotlight, with greater exposure of its relevance and of the ethical challenges posed at the science and society interface, which has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. Read More →

Grim perspectives for Brazilian periodicals [Originally published as the editorial in Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências vol. 93 no. 1]

Covid-19 had devastating effects that go beyond economics and also affected the periodicals published in Brazil. An editorial of the Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências has called attention that no journal published in the country will receive any support from the funding agencies in 2021 and calls for relevant stakeholders to discuss solutions to avoid the collapse of the publication system that is approaching if no measures are taken. Read More →

Editors opine on editorial policy and aspects of peer review

Peer review varies widely between journals and disciplines. A study recently published in eLife aimed to assess the posture of journal editors from five disciplines on their way of conducting peer review. The results suggest that peer review remains largely a closed practice, with some challenges from an ethical point of view. Read More →

Scientific rigor and open science: ethical and methodological challenges in qualitative research

The literature demonstrates growing criticism of the reliability of qualitative research, including claims that it lacks rigor and methodological clarity. In the publication system, several actions reflect this increased attention to rigor. Initiatives by major research funding agencies also emphasize rigor. The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), for example, has fostered efforts to promote strategies to increase rigor and transparency in the reporting of results of qualitative research. Here, we offer a brief panorama, permeated by transformations that include increasing initiatives to promote open science. We explore some questions about the current discussion of scientific rigor, not only in publications, but also in proposing qualitative research projects. Read More →

Towards a more open Soil Science

Most of the data resulting from research conducted in Brazil is not yet available in open access repositories. Here, we urge soil scientists to adopt a more open stance towards research data in the area, aiming to increase science sustainability and foster scientific collaboration. Read More →

‘The government is following the science’: Why is the translation of evidence into policy generating so much controversy? [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in November/2020]

In the UK, the government has presented itself as guided by scientific evidence in its policy responses to COVID-19. This has led to science, in particular epidemiology, itself becoming politicised and contested. However, neither the politicisation of science nor questions surrounding the status of evidence are new. In this post, Luis Pérez-González, outlines how a similar politics of expertise has played out in environmental policy-making. The author argues that for scientific evidence to be successfully communicated in policy, it needs to be informed by bipartisan values. 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 →

Bibliometrics: a new threat to zoological taxonomy?

One of the backbones of the life sciences, taxonomy —the science of biodiversity—suffers from multiples impediments, including the use of bibliometric indexes by organizations. These days such indexes play a big role in the scientific decisions. However, what for-profit companies, which own these bibliometric platforms, have to do with science? Read More →

The path to reproducibility tests is through Registered Reports

The need to reproduce research results for the sake of science transparency and credibility goes through numerous challenges. An article published in Nature indicates that, in order to obtain better results from reproducibility tests, it is important to establish protocols in agreement with the authors of the original study and to align expectations. Registered Reports, submitted to peer review before the experimental stage of the study, present themselves as a promising solution for successful reproducibility tests. Read More →

JCR, Kafka, and MAI!

For the second time, the Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências was surprised to find out that about one quarter of the papers of an issue were gone missing from the Jornal Citation Reports platform, a problem that should come to the attention of the publishing and evaluation industry. Some objective ways to appraise the performance of specific volumes or areas of a journal are presented. Read More →