Category: Analysis

Lack of sustainability plans for preprint services risks their potential to improve science [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in March/2023]

Fotografia de um servidor de rede.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, preprint servers became a vital mechanism for the rapid sharing and review of vital research. However, discussing the findings of a recent report, Naomi Penfold finds much of the infrastructure supporting non-commercial preprint publications is precariously governed and at risk of being acquired by commercial publishers. Read More →

Shuffle the cards and deal again

Photograph of a check mark made up of several red plastic "X's" on a black background.

Research must be well planned, carried out correctly and reported in a clear and transparent way, as the reliability of the results depends on the rigor of the experimental design. However, in the published reports, there seems to be a lack of commitment by those responsible for assessing the quality of the research. Experts pointed out that the current incentive structures in research institutions do not sufficiently encourage researchers to invest in solidity and transparency, instead encouraging them to optimize their aptitude in the fight for publications and grants. Over the past decade, large-scale replication studies have shown that reproducibility is far from favorable in many scientific fields, and questionable research practices are becoming more prevalent. Clearly something is not working in the scientific enterprise. Read More →

Researchers engaging with policy should take into account policymakers’ varied perceptions of evidence [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in January/2023]

Illustration of a board, with wires connecting the elements.

There is often an assumption in evidence based policy, that evidence means the findings of quantitative studies or randomised control trials. However, in practice evidence is often understood differently. Drawing on a study of Welsh policy actors, Eleanor MacKillop and James Downe highlight four different approaches to evidence in policymaking and suggest how researchers and policy organisations might use these findings to engage differently with policy. Read More →

Why is it important to support open infrastructure for preprints?

Color photograph showing a child's hands building a building with Legos.

The importance of preprints in scholarly communication has been increasing, as well as their credibility and use in every discipline. However, the preprint ecosystem is not yet financially sustainable, and most preprints are not shared using open infrastructure. A report by the Invest in Open Infrastructure initiative examines the current preprint landscape in detail and makes important recommendations that aim at making a system for open infrastructure services for preprints viable, robust, and reliable. Read More →

Open Access and Closed Research. Who benefits from the APC?

Photograph of a pole with six speakers.

Recent research published in Scientometrics raises questions about unforeseen consequences of the spread of Open Access scientific publishing that have to do with the growth of total expenditures and who would be the economic beneficiaries of this paradigm shift. Read More →

Research assessment should go beyond comparing impact metrics

Photograph of a 15 cm wooden ruler resting on an orange support on a yellow background.

The assessment of research results that mainly relies on citation-based metrics has limitations that lead to distortions in the management of human and financial resources in research institutions around the world. The innovative Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, created by the initiative of the European Commission and organizations from this continent with the support of 350 public and private organizations from more than 40 countries, has just been published, and establishes criteria that value qualitative assessment and limit the use of quantitative indicators. Read More →

Data papers… and FAIR [Originally published in the Road to FAIR blog in June/2022]

Photograph of a laptop, a notebook and a sheet of paper with images of graphics on a gray table.

In a scientific ecosystem increasingly oriented towards the perspective of Open Science, data papers are a new species of scholarly publication, especially in the social sciences and humanities (SSH). Read More →

Scholarly publishing and electric cars: A comment on “The big idea: should we get rid of the scientific paper?”

The big idea: should we get rid of the academic paper?, published in the Guardian, argues that because scholarly publishing is an old practice and because it’s flawed, it should be replaced by something more “modern”. Glenn Hampson, Executive Director of the Science Communication Institute (SCI) and Program Director of the Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI) comments on the article. Read More →

A comment on “The big idea: should we get rid of the scientific paper?”

In The big idea: should we get rid of the scientific paper?, published in The Guardian, Stuart Ritchie argues for a radical action: scientists should abandon the current format of the scientific paper, which is static and not interactive. Adeilton Brandão, Editor in Chief of Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz and researcher at Fiocruz, comments on the article. Read More →

Society has a strong demand for open access science

Analysis of more than 1.6 million comments left on downloads by the US National Academies shows that half are for academic use and the other half reveal adults across the country who seek highest quality information to improve the way they work, satisfy their curiosity, and learn. Knowing the importance of such information, policymakers should be encouraged to protect it. Read More →

Measuring and comparing Brazilian and Latin-American universities in terms of academic and industry related knowledge production

The use of the multidimensional academic ranking U-Multirank to compare academic and industry-related knowledge production of Brazilian Universities with other Latin American countries, shows that, while Brazil leads in number of academic publications, Chile is ahead in both citation numbers and patents awarded, with Brazil lagging behind in these Indicators’ world averages. Read More →

How altmetrics are used to evaluate scientific output in Latin America

Altmetrics are a group of alternative metrics that capture mentions made to scientific papers on social networks, news sites and blogs; policies and patents; Wikipedia, and other sources to assess the impact of publications on the social web. A study using journals and articles from the SciELO network in Latin America was carried out to qualify the web presence of Latin American research results and explore the potential of altmetrics. Read More →

How the rhetoric of excellence influences research evaluation

Lineart Flat e-learning website hero image vector illustration. Online education knowledge concept. Laptop, profile of school studding graduation certificate, first place medal on screen.

Academic institutions advertise their teaching and research programs associated with prominent positions in university rankings, or names that are synonymous with success, prestige, and reputation. This post reviews an article that shows how the “rhetoric of excellence” is used in the academic world and favors the lack of reproducibility, fraud and the ineffective distribution of research grants and proposes strategies to overcome it. Read More →

OJS Community Priorities Survey Report [Originally published in the PKP site]

The PKP Technical Committee completed its first community survey, with a focus on trying to better understand what specific features journal managers and editors of OJS would find most useful for their work. We distributed this survey broadly, and were delighted by the enthusiastic response, resulting in more than 524 completed surveys. Read More →

The latest blows from predatory (or pirate) journals

Albertus Seba, Locupletissimi rerum naturalium via the Wellcome Collection

Piracy and, specifically, scams by predatory publishers are growing around the world, becoming a growing concern in academic publishing, drawing the attention of the most serious publishers. This problem is not so serious in Latin American scientific publications. Post available only in Spanish. Read More →