Category: Analysis

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Preprints are research reports have that have not yet been peer reviewed and accepted for publication.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 →

Notice to mariners – times have changed

Open access… and everything. Finally, what happened 20 years ago and felt like a utopia of copyright pirates is becoming irreversible, like a tsunami. Publishers and scientific information cannot ignore the theme of open access, so that they can compete and don’t stay out of this market. Things are changing and there’s no going back. Read More →

Bibliodiversity – What it is and why it is essential to creating situated knowledge [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in December/2019]

Vibrant scholarly communities are sustained by publishing outlets that allow researchers to address diverse audiences. Whereas, attention is often focused on international publication, much of this work is supported by publications that address national and regional audiences in their own languages. In this post, Elea Giménez Toledo, Emanuel Kulczycki, Janne Pölönen and Gunnar Sivertsen explain the importance of bibliodiversity to sustaining knowledge ecosystems and argue that bibliodiversity is essential to ensuring that the transition to an open book future continues to support the creation of situated knowledge. Read More →

The re-use of qualitative data is an under-appreciated field for innovation and the creation of new knowledge in the social sciences [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in June/2020]

The value and potential of data re-use and the associated methodology of qualitative secondary analysis (QSA) is often overlooked. Dr Anna Tarrant and Dr Kahryn Hughes propose, that as COVID-19 limits opportunities for qualitative research for the foreseeable future, now, more than ever the social sciences need to address the under-use of existing qualitative data. Read More →

SciELO Books and open access in epidemic times: More important than ever

The COVID-19 pandemic has spelled out the decisive role of open access (OA) to knowledge and scientific evidence. Globally, there is a temporary opening of collections of paid-for books and subscription journals to support overcoming the pandemic. SciELO Books permanently indexes, publishes and disseminates a collection of more than 700 books in OA, contributing to support public and professional policies, the expansion of the university, valuing the academic book, and the disciplines that make intensive use of the book. Read More →

Why does reform of scientific communication seem so difficult and slow?

The world faces global problems for which science is needed as part of the solution. Yet the scientific communication system is not nearly as quick and open as necessary for efficient worldwide collaboration. The powers that are in a position to reform the system are too timid. Will crises like COVID-19 shake them awake? Read More →

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak highlights serious deficiencies in scholarly communication [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in March/2020]

As research and government responses to the COVID-19 outbreak escalate in the face of a global public health crisis, Vincent Larivière, Fei Shu and Cassidy R. Sugimoto reflect on efforts to make research on this subject more widely available. Arguing that a narrow focus on research published in high ranking journals predominantly in English has impeded research efforts, they suggest that the renewed emphasis on carrying out open research on the virus presents an opportunity to reassess how research and scholarly communication systems serve the public good. Read More →

What do researchers think about their cultural work environment?

Policies, incentives, evaluation processes, leadership approaches… are they undermining scientific research? A quantitative online survey of more than 4,200 researchers conducted by the Wellcome Trust foundation of the United Kingdom seems to show clear evidence that there are widespread problems in the research culture. Those who finance, publish, evaluate or conduct research can now use this evidence as a starting point to implement solutions. However, are these human management problems with scientific research staff different from other fields of activity, such as work or sports? Read More →