"State of Open Science in Cancer Research"


This study has been focused on assessing the Open Science scenario of cancer research during the period 2011–2021, in terms of the derived scientific publications and raw data dissemination. . . .

50,822 papers were recovered, 71% of which belong to first and second quartile journals. 59% of the articles were published in Open Access (OA) journals. The Open Access model and international collaboration positively conditioned the number of citations received. Among the most productive journals stood out Plos One, Cancers, and Clinical and Translational Oncology. 2693 genomics, proteomics and metabolomics datasets were retrieved, being Gene Expression Omnibus the favoured repository.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s12094-024-03468-7

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"Assessing Quality Variations in Early Career Researchers’ Data Management Plans"


This paper aims to better understand early career researchers’ (ECRs’) research data management (RDM) competencies by assessing the contents and quality of data management plans (DMPs) developed during a multi-stakeholder RDM course. We also aim to identify differences between DMPs in relation to several background variables (e.g., discipline, course track). The Basics of Research Data Management (BRDM) course has been held in two multi-faculty, research-intensive universities in Finland since 2020. In this study, 223 ECRs’ DMPs created in the BRDM of 2020 – 2022 were assessed, using the recommendations and criteria of the Finnish DMP Evaluation Guide + General Finnish DMP Guidance (FDEG). The median quality of DMPs appeared to be satisfactory. The differences in rating according to FDEG’s three-point performance criteria were statistically insignificant between DMPs developed in separate years, course tracks or disciplines. However, using content analysis, differences were found between disciplines or course tracks regarding DMP’s key characteristics such as sharing, storing, and preserving data. DMPs that contained a data table (DtDMPs) also differed highly significantly from prose DMPs. DtDMPs better acknowledged the data handling needs of different data types and improved the overall quality of a DMP. The results illustrated that the ECRs had learned the basic RDM competencies and grasped their significance to the integrity, reliability, and reusability of data. However, more focused, further training to reach the advanced competency is needed, especially in areas of handling and sharing personal data, legal issues, long-term preserving, and funders’ data policies. Equally important to the cultural change when RDM is an organic part of the research practices is to merge research support services, processes, and infrastructure into the research projects’ processes. Additionally, incentives are needed for sharing and reusing data.

https://doi.org/10.2218/ijdc.v18i1.873

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"Sorry We’re Open, Come in We’re Closed: Different Profiles in the Perceived Applicability of Open Science Practices to Completed Research Projects"


Open science is an increasingly important topic for research, politics and funding agencies. However, the discourse on open science is heavily influenced by certain research fields and paradigms, leading to the risk of generalizing what counts as openness to other research fields, regardless of its applicability. In our paper, we provide evidence that researchers perceive different profiles in the potential to apply open science practices to their projects, making a one-size-fits-all approach unsuitable. In a pilot study, we first systematized the breadth of open science practices. The subsequent survey study examined the perceived applicability of 13 open science practices across completed research projects in a broad variety of research disciplines. We were able to identify four different profiles in the perceived applicability of open science practices. For researchers conducting qualitative-empirical research projects, comprehensively implementing the breadth of open science practices is tendentially not feasible. Further, research projects from some disciplines tended to fit a profile with little opportunity for public participation. Yet, disciplines and research paradigms appear not to be the key factors in predicting the perceived applicability of open science practices. Our findings underscore the case for considering project-related conditions when implementing open science practices. This has implications for the establishment of policies, guidelines and standards concerning open science.

https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.230595

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The Open Access Tracking Project Is Now 15 Years Old


Peter Suber has announced that the Open Access Tracking Project is now 15 years old. This project has made an invaluable contribution to the Open Access and Open Science movements. Readers are encouraged to considering joining it and posting new works of interest to it. Even occasional contributions are meaningful.

Here is a description of the project from its home page:

OATP is a crowd-sourced social-tagging project running on free software to capture news and comment on open access to research.

Its mission is (1) to create real-time alerts for OA-related news and comment, and (2) to organize knowledge of the field, by tag or subtopic, for easy searching and sharing.

OATP publishes a comprehensive primary feed of new OA developments, and hundreds of smaller secondary feeds on subtopics or subsets, for example, one feed for each project tag, one for each search, and one for each user-created boolean combination of its other feeds.

OATP runs on TagTeam, open-source software developed specifically for OATP and now available for open, tag-based research projects on any topic. See the OATP hub within TagTeam. TagTeam stores all OATP tag records for deduping, export, preservation, modification, and search. OATP started on Connotea and moved to TagTeam in September 2012.

Peter Suber launched OATP in April 2009, and wrote a full-length description of it in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter for May 2009. In mid-2011 OATP became part of the Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP).

https://tinyurl.com/m5ku5mxh

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"Benefits of Open Access to Researchers from Lower-Income Countries: A Global Analysis of Reference Patterns in 1980–2020"


The main objective of the open access (OA) movement is to make scientific literature freely available to everyone. This may be of particular importance to researchers in lower-income countries, who often face barriers due to high subscription costs. In this article, we address this issue by analysing over time the reference lists of scientific publications around the world. Our study focuses on key issues, including whether researchers from lower-income countries reference fewer publications in their research and how this trend evolves over time. We also investigate whether researchers from lower-income countries rely more on the literature that is openly available through different OA routes compared with other researchers. Our study revealed that the proportion of OA references has increased over time for all publications and country groups. However, publications from lower-income countries have seen a higher growth rate of OA-based references, suggesting that the emergence of OA publishing has been particularly advantageous to researchers in these countries.

https://doi.org/10.1177/01655515241245952

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Digital Scholarship and DigitalKoans Are Now 19 Years Old

Digital Scholarship and DigitalKoans were established on 4/20/2005. Digital Scholarship provides information and commentary about artificial intelligence, digital copyright, digital curation, open access, research data management, scholarly communication, and other digital information issues. Digital Scholarship is an open access noncommercial publisher. All of its publications are currently under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

DigitalKoans has published over 16,200 posts. Since 2008, over 5,600 job ads have been posted, with slightly over 4,000 of them for digital library jobs.

Digital Scholarship has published the following books and book supplements: the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals (2005; published with the Association of Research Libraries), the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography: 2008 Annual Edition (2009), Digital Scholarship 2009 (2010), Transforming Scholarly Publishing through Open Access: A Bibliography (2010), the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography 2010 (2011), the Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography 2010 (2011), the Institutional Repository and ETD Bibliography 2011 (2011), the Digital Curation Bibliography: Preservation and Stewardship of Scholarly Works (2012), the Digital Curation Bibliography: Preservation and Stewardship of Scholarly Works, 2012 Supplement (2013), and the Research Data Curation and Management Bibliography (2021).

It has also published and updated the following bibliographies, webliographies, and weblogs: the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography (1996-2011), the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (2001-2013), the Electronic Theses and Dissertations Bibliography (2005-2021), the Google Books Bibliography (2005-2011), the Institutional Repository Bibliography (2009-2011), the Open Access Journals Bibliography (2010), the Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography (2010-2011), the E-science and Academic Libraries Bibliography (2011), the Digital Curation Resource Guide (2012), the Research Data Curation Bibliography (2012-2019), the Altmetrics Bibliography (2013), the Transforming Peer Review Bibliography (2014), the Academic Library as Scholarly Publisher Bibliography (2018-2023), the Research Data Sharing and Reuse Bibliography (2021), the Research Data Publication and Citation Bibliography (2022), Digital Curation Certificate and Master’s Degree Programs (2023), the Academic Libraries and Research Data Management Bibliography (2023), and the Artificial Intelligence and Libraries Bibliography (2023).

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"Better Together: BTAA [Big Ten Academic Alliance Libraries] Libraries, CDL and Lyrasis Commit to Strengthen Diamond Open Access in the United States"


Representatives from the Big Ten Academic Alliance Libraries (BTAA Libraries), California Digital Library (CDL) and Lyrasis attended the Global Summit on Diamond Open Access in Toluca, Mexico in October 2023. The Summit convened the international community to engage in dialog about how to advance Diamond Open Access (OA) to secure scholarly research as a public good and ensure equitable access to both the publishing and reading of that research. You can learn more from the recently released Report of the 2nd Diamond Open Access Conference.

https://tinyurl.com/39emttzk

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Predatory Publishing: "The Publication Facts Label: A Public and Professional Guide for Research Articles"


These two questions—on public concerns over misinformation and academic apprehensions over journal and article quality—reflect a spirit of distrust that we, as former school teachers now involved in scholarly publishing, have felt was too important an instructional opportunity for us to leave to others. As a result, we are prototyping an educational strategy to help readers, both the "common reader, " as Virginia Woolf named them (1925) and researchers, learn a little more about what to make of work in the unfamiliar journals that come to their attention.

We [John Willinsky and Daniel Pimentel] are calling it a publication facts label (PFL). It is intended to appear with each research article. It emulates the look and feel of the Nutrition Facts label on food products in the United States. At this point in its development, the PFL draws data and links from the journal’s publishing platform on eight critical elements for scholarly publishing and presents to readers: (a) the publisher’s identity; (b) the journal’s scholarly editorial oversight; (c) the journal’s article acceptance rate; (d) the indexing of the journal; (e) the article’s number of peer reviewers and reviewer backgrounds; (f) the article authors’ competing interests; (g) the research study’s data availability; and (h) the funders of the research (Fig. 1).

https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1599

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"Launch of UPLOpen.com: Revolutionizing Access to Open Knowledge and Empowering Global Sustainability Goals"


In an ambitious move to democratize access to scholarly knowledge and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the De Gruyter eBound Foundation is thrilled to unveil UPLOpen.com, a product of University Press Library Open (UPLO), an innovative website that curates high-quality, open access scholarship from the world’s leading university presses. . . .

At launch, UPLOpen.com proudly hosts more than 350 open access books from over thirty university presses, including two landmark collections: Luminos, from the University of California Press, and TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem), a pilot project of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses), which concluded in 2022 but continues to release new titles. By mid-2024, the number of titles hosted on UPLOpen.com is expected to exceed 2,500, with further plans for significant growth already in motion for 2025 and beyond.

https://tinyurl.com/5ftcmx2p

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"Researchers Need ‘Open’ Bibliographic Databases, New Declaration Says"


Some of the best known databases, such as the Web of Science and Scopus, are proprietary and offer pay-to-access data and services supporting these and other metrics, including university rankings and journal impact factors. But in a declaration posted today, more than 30 research and funding organizations call for the community to commit to platforms that instead are free for all, more transparent about their methods, and without restrictions about how the data can be used.

https://tinyurl.com/2nvzf9dh

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Open Access Press: "UCL [University College London] Press Downloads Hit 10 Million"


UCL Press’s pioneering Open Access (OA) programme spans many of the major academic disciplines, from history to philosophy and the sciences to anthropology. The Press has published 339 books that have been downloaded more than 8.7 million times, while its 14 journals have attracted more than 2.6 million downloads. . . .

Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost at UCL LCCOS (Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science), commented: "Started in 2015, UCL Press continues to get better and better. 10,000,000 downloads and consultations underline the transformative effect that Open Access can have, particularly in the OA monograph space. UCL is proud to be developing a sustainable model for institutional OA publishing in Europe."

https://tinyurl.com/ym76wmbh

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"Gates Open Access Policy Refresh Increases Compliance Burden and Eliminates Financial Support "


Broadly considered, the only grantees who are genuinely free to publish where they wish are those with other funding sources besides Gates with which to pay publication fees. Grantees who do not have other funds will not be able to publish in subscription journals that charge publishing fees or in fully open access journals that charge an APC. . . .

Grantees who do not have other funding sources to pay publication fees will need to identify journals that do not charge a fee to publish open or that do not charge any fees to publish a non-open article. But, it cannot be assumed that such journals will consider a manuscript that asserts the mandated rights retention statement (RRS): "Under the grant conditions of the Foundation, a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License has already been assigned to the Author Accepted Manuscript version that might arise from this submission."

https://tinyurl.com/4mjctu2u

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"CHORUS Forum: 12 Best Practices for Research Data Sharing — Summary And Comments"


At last month’s CHORUS Forum: 12 Best Practices for Research Data Sharing speakers addressed the Joint Statement on Research Data Sharing by STM, DataCite and Crossref. The forum was moderated by Howard Ratner, Executive Director, CHORUS and sponsored by AIP Publishing, Association of American Publishers, Crossref, GeoScienceWorld, and STM.

https://tinyurl.com/3ubnw4db

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"Open Data Ownership and Sharing: Challenges and Opportunities for Application of Fair Principles and a Checklist for Data Managers"


The amount of data generated across various disciplines has been steadily increasing and is projected to experience exponential growth in the foreseeable future. This underscores the pressing need for proficient and streamlined data management. Data has proven to be a crucial tool in addressing complex societal challenges on a global scale. However, the challenge of producing and openly disseminating data that are easily discoverable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) has emerged as a significant concern for policymakers. The potential for data to be repurposed for advancing scientific research and innovation across different disciplines is contingent on its willingness to be shared. This paper employs a systematic literature review to investigate the motivating factors, advantages, and obstacles associated with open data sharing. Additionally, it explores governance frameworks that can create unique opportunities for implementing FAIR principles in real-time scientific research.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jafr.2024.101157

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COMMUNIA: "New Policy Paper on Access to Publicly Funded Research"


Today, COMMUNIA is releasing Policy Paper #17 on access to publicly funded research (also available as a PDF file), in which we propose a targeted intervention in European copyright law to improve access to publicly funded research. . ..

We recommend a three-tiered approach to open publicly funded research outputs to the public, immediately upon publication, where a secondary publication obligation co-exists with a secondary publication right. We consider that an obligation by the funding recipients to republish is a more consequential approach to protect the public interest, as it makes Open Access (OA) mandatory, ultimately ensuring that publicly funded research outputs are republished in OA repositories. A right is, however, necessary to ensure that the authors, and subsequently the funding recipients, retain the rights necessary to comply with the obligation. A right also provides a legal framework for the dissemination in OA repositories of publicly funded research outputs published before the entry into force of a secondary publication obligation.

In addition, we recommend the introduction of a copyright exception for the benefit of knowledge institutions, such as libraries and archives, to further support the task of making available research outputs published before the entry into force of secondary publication rights and obligations.

https://tinyurl.com/5yuaet4v

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"Is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s New OA Policy the Start of a Shift towards Preprints?"


Whether a more decoupled ecosystem emerges will depend on other funders. Will key funders like Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and Wellcome Trust follow Gates? Up until now they have made supportive noises about preprints but stopped short of mandates. Both are supporters of Plan S though, and frankly Plan S 2.0 looks a lot like Plan U. And what of the elephant in the room, National Institutes of Health (NIH)? The recent OSTP memo requires US-government-funded articles to be made free, but does not provide additional funds. If government agencies like NIH were to decide preprints qualify, as bioRxiv and arXiv have suggested, authors would have an easy path to making articles free that doesn’t require them to find an extra $5-10K behind the couch to cover APCs.

https://tinyurl.com/2t7z39vf

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"Guest Post — Speak Finance: Gain University Support for Open Scholarship "


Over the past ten years, Carnegie Doctoral Institutions with Very High Research Activity (R1) have received a significant portion of federal grant dollars. Although the unusual infusion of COVID research dollars will skew trends for years, on average, university revenues from all funding sources, have increased over the past ten years.. . .

During the same period of growth in university revenues, much attributed to R&D dollars, university investments in their libraries has remained around 1% of revenue. In good news, through unpredictable fluctuations in university revenues, an ARL library budget remains consistent. Unfortunately, with continuing cost increases, a flat library budget is an erosion in purchasing power. Without new investments, or substantial resource redistribution, we cannot make progress on new mandates for open data and scholarship.

https://tinyurl.com/25y6xh4d

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"Impact and Development of an Open Web Index for Open Web Search"


Web search is a crucial technology for the digital economy. Dominated by a few gatekeepers focused on commercial success, however, web publishers have to optimize their content for these gatekeepers, resulting in a closed ecosystem of search engines as well as the risk of publishers sacrificing quality. To encourage an open search ecosystem and offer users genuine choice among alternative search engines, we propose the development of an Open Web Index (OWI). We outline six core principles for developing and maintaining an open index, based on open data principles, legal compliance, and collaborative technology development. The combination of an open index with what we call declarative search engines will facilitate the development of vertical search engines and innovative web data products (including, e.g., large language models), enabling a fair and open information space. This framework underpins the EU-funded project OpenWebSearch.EU, marking the first step towards realizing an Open Web Index.

https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24818

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"Life Scientists’ Experience with Posting Preprints during the COVID-19 Pandemic"


In the COVID-19 pandemic, it was much more critical for many life science researchers to rapidly disseminate research results—so they used preprints as upstream publication opportunities. This was rather new to the life sciences where preprint servers had only appeared as early as 2013. With a mixed-methods-study we examined this development and investigated whether preprint posting is a temporary phenomenon or the beginning of a cultural shift in publishing behavior in the life sciences. First, we conducted a survey of researchers who have posted COVID-19 related preprints. We investigated experiences with posting preprints during the COVID-19 pandemic, motivations for and concerns about posting preprints, the role of research institutions or funders, and the future of preprint publishing. Answers were grouped to compare differences between respondents’ gender, career stage, region of origin (global south or global north) and experience with posting preprints before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We further analyzed eight popular preprint repositories regarding the number of posted preprints and preprint characteristics, such as the number of authors and citations. Interestingly, survey and preprint server analysis have presented different, if not contradicting results: While the majority of surveyed researchers was willing to continue posting preprints, the numbers of preprints published, especially on servers for the life sciences, have stagnated or declined. Also, while certain preprints garnered substantial citations during the COVID-19 pandemic, this has not resulted in a significant shift in researchers’ publishing behavior, and the posting of preprints has not become a routine. We concluded that the sustainability of preprint publishing practices is more strongly influenced by disciplinary norms and practices than by external shocks as the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-024-04982-9

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Paywall: "Global Status of Dataset Repositories at a Glance: Study Based on OpenDOAR"


Developed countries like the United Kingdom and the USA are primarily involved in the development of institutional open-access repositories comprising significant components of OpenDOAR. The most extensively used software is DSpace. Most data set archives are OAI-PMH compliant but do not follow open-access rules. . . . Furthermore, the study concludes that the number of data sets kept in repositories is insufficient, although the expansion of such repositories has been consistent over the years.

https://doi.org/10.1108/DLP-11-2023-0094

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"Transitional Agreements Aren’t Working: What Comes Next?"


Most important is the question of whether TAs deliver on their promise of their name to be transitional and transformative. Overall, the rate of journal "flipping" is low (with the exception of some smaller publishers). Most shocking, if not entirely unsurprising, to me was the following finding: based on the journal flipping rates observed between 2018 -2022 it would take at least 70 years for the big five publishers to flip their TA titles to OA.

https://tinyurl.com/n2ukvxr6

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"VeriXiv Supports Gates-Funded Researchers to Comply with New Open Access Policy"


F1000 and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced plans to launch a new verified preprint platform that will enable the rapid availability of new findings and promote research integrity. VeriXiv [pronounced very-kive] will support researchers in complying with the Gates Foundation’s refreshed open access policy that requires all their funded research to be made available as a preprint from January 2025. . . .

Twenty different ethics and integrity checks will assess a range of issues, including plagiarism, image manipulation, author verification and competing interests. In addition, open research transparency checks will check whether the data is available in an appropriate repository and that methods have been included to support reproducibility. Each preprint will have clear labelling so that readers know the level of verification conducted on the article, and which levels have been passed.

https://www.f1000.com/verixiv/

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"The Future of Data in Research Publishing: From Nice to Have to Need to Have?"


Science policy promotes open access to research data for purposes of transparency and reuse of data in the public interest. We expect demands for open data in scholarly publishing to accelerate, at least partly in response to the opacity of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. Open data should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), and also trustworthy and verifiable. The current state of open data in scholarly publishing is in transition from ‘nice to have’ to ‘need to have.’ Research data are valuable, interpretable, and verifiable only in context of their origin, and with sufficient infrastructure to facilitate reuse. Making research data useful is expensive; benefits and costs are distributed unevenly. Open data also poses risks for provenance, intellectual property, misuse, and misappropriation in an era of trolls and hallucinating AI algorithms. Scholars and scholarly publishers must make evidentiary data more widely available to promote public trust in research. To make research processes more trustworthy, transparent, and verifiable, stakeholders need to make greater investments in data stewardship and knowledge infrastructures.

https://doi.org/10.1162/99608f92.b73aae77

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"New Report on the Sustainability of Diamond OA in Europe"


A new report from the DIAMAS work package that SPARC Europe looks at understanding how institutional publishing is sustained today. Institutional publishers and service providers are diverse due to their missions, size and service provision. In addition, there is no definitive set of tasks that all institutional publishers share. These characteristics influence the sustainability options available to them and the choices they make. . . .

Diamond OA publishing needs more stable and long-term funding. IPSPs utilise diverse funding models, and 40% depend on time-limited grants to support their operations and many are burdened by the administration that these grants demand. They rely primarily on parent organisations for basic support, especially in-kind support, such as personnel, and services. Personnel are more central to IPSPs’ financial sustainability than revenue streams, but they are often employed outside the boundary of the IPSP itself, which means that IPSPs have to negotiate for resources.

https://tinyurl.com/yw9ythtx

Report

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