This paper analyses usage statistics, citation data and altmetrics from a university press publishing open access monographs. The data suggests, despite the small sample, that authors can to a greater extent influence how their book is discovered by the readership.
Altruism or Self-Interest? Exploring the Motivations of Open Access Authors
Analysis of survey results and publication data from Scopus suggests that the following factors led authors to choose OA venues: ability to pay publishing charges, disciplinary colleagues’ positive attitudes toward OA, and personal feelings such as altruism and desire to reach a wide audience. Tenure status was not an apparent factor.
There has recently been a significant amount of media concern surrounding the poor mental health of academics. This extended paper sets out the scale of the problem and examines the factors which academics have identified as key causes of stress.
Claims of Causality in Health News: a Randomised Trial
Misleading news claims can be detrimental to public health. We aimed to improve the alignment between causal claims and evidence, without losing news interest (counter to assumptions that news is not interested in communicating caution). We tested two interventions in press releases, which are the main sources for science and health news: (a) aligning the headlines and main causal claims with the underlying evidence (strong for experimental, cautious for correlational) and (b) inserting explicit statements/caveats about inferring causality. The 'participants' were press releases on health-related topics (N = 312; control = 89, claim alignment = 64, causality statement = 79, both = 80) from nine press offices (journals, universities, funders). Outcomes were news content (headlines, causal claims, caveats) in English-language international and national media (newspapers, websites, broadcast; N = 2257), news uptake (% press releases gaining news coverage) and feasibility (% press releases implementing cautious statements). News headlines showed better alignment to evidence when press releases were aligned (intention-to-treat analysis (ITT) 56% vs 52%, OR = 1.2 to 1.9; as-treated analysis (AT) 60% vs 32%, OR = 1.3 to 4.4). News claims also followed press releases, significant only for AT (ITT 62% vs 60%, OR = 0.7 to 1.6; AT, 67% vs 39%, OR = 1.4 to 5.7). The same was true for causality statements/caveats (ITT 15% vs 10%, OR = 0.9 to 2.6; AT 20% vs 0%, OR 16 to 156). There was no evidence of lost news uptake for press releases with aligned headlines and claims (ITT 55% vs 55%, OR = 0.7 to 1.3, AT 58% vs 60%, OR = 0.7 to 1.7), or causality statements/caveats (ITT 53% vs 56%, OR = 0.8 to 1.0, AT 66% vs 52%, OR = 1.3 to 2.7). Feasibility was demonstrated by a spontaneous increase in cautious headlines, claims and caveats in press releases compared to the pre-trial period (OR = 1.01 to 2.6, 1.3 to 3.4, 1.1 to 26, respectively). News claims-even headlines-can become better aligned with evidence. Cautious claims and explicit caveats about correlational findings may penetrate into news without harming news interest. Findings from AT analysis are correlational and may not imply cause, although here the linking mechanism between press releases and news is known. ITT analysis was insensitive due to spontaneous adoption of interventions across conditions. ISRCTN10492618 (20 August 2015)
Rethinking Impact Factors: New Pathways in Journal Metrics
Diversity, transparency, and reliability are essential principles to ensure that a proliferation of metrics does not distort the scholarly communication system, but leads to more granular and transparent assessments
Article Processing Charge Hyperinflation and Price Insensitivity: An Open Access Sequel to the Serials Crisis
Increases in APCs is proceeding at a rate three times that which would be expected if APCs were indexed according to inflation. As increasingly ambitious funder mandates are proposed, such as Plan S, it is important to evaluate whether authors show signs of price sensitivity in journal selection by avoiding journals that introduce or increase their APCs.
Common Struggles: Policy-based Vs. Scholar-led Approaches to Open Access in the Humanities
The thesis argues that the UK governmental policy framework promotes a form of OA that intends to minimise disruption to the publishing industry. The scholar-led ecosystem of presses, in contrast, reflects a diversity of values and struggles that represent a counter-hegemonic alternative to the dominant cultures of OA and publishing more generally.
Productivity, Prominence, and the Effects of Academic Environment
Past studies have shown that faculty at prestigious universities tend to be more productive and prominent than faculty at less prestigious universities. This pattern is usually attributed to a competitive job market that selects inherently productive faculty into prestigious positions. Here, we test the extent to which, instead, faculty's work environments drive their productivity. Using comprehensive data on an entire field of research, we use a matched-pair experimental design to isolate the effects of training at, versus working in, prestigious environments.
Turning the Tables: A University League-Table Based On Quality Not Quantity
League tables predominantly reward measures of research output, such as publications and citations, and may therefore be promoting poor research practices by encouraging the “publish or perish” mentality. The authors examined whether a league table could be created based on good research practice.
An Open Toolkit for Tracking Open Science Partnership Implementation and Impact
An open toolkit to guide and facilitate data collection about Open Science (OS) and non-OS collaborations with the aim of measuring the implementation and impact of OS partnership across these organizations.
New Preprint: Scholar-Led Publishing and the Pre-History of the Open Access Movement
There is an often-neglected pre-history of open access that can be found in the early DIY publishers of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, including involvement of the humanities and social sciences. Policymakers are advised to keep in mind this separate lineage in the history of open access as the movement goes mainstream.
Meta-Research: Tracking the Popularity and Outcomes of All BioRxiv Preprints
The growth of preprints in the life sciences has been reported widely and is driving policy changes for journals and funders, but little quantitative information has been published about preprint usage. Here, we report how we collected and analyzed data on all 37,648 preprints uploaded to bioRxiv.org, the largest biology-focused preprint server, in its first five years.
A new trend in scientific misconduct involves listing fake coauthors on one’s publication. I trace some of the incentives behind faking coauthors, using them to highlight important changes in global science publishing like the increasingly important source of credibility provided by institutional affiliations, which may begin to function like ‘brands’.
Sexual Harassment is Pervasive in US Physics Programmes
Survey of undergraduate women finds that most experienced some type of unwanted sexual attention during their physics studies. "A lot of times, people study how women can change to better fit in a field or be more successful. Perhaps physics needs to think about changing itself.”
The results of this study strongly suggest that when male and female authors publish articles that are comparably positioned to receive citations, their publications do in fact accrue citations at the same rate. This raises the question: Why would gender matter “everywhere but here”?
Figure Errors, Sloppy Science, and Fraud: Keeping Eyes on Your Data
Recent reports suggest that there has been an increase in the number of retractions and corrections of published articles due to post-publication detection of problematic data. Moreover, fraudulent data and sloppy science have long-term effects on the scientific literature and subsequent projects based on false and unreproducible claims. The JCI introduced several data screening checks for manuscripts prior to acceptance in an attempt to reduce the number of post-publication corrections and retractions, with the ultimate goal of increasing confidence in the published papers.
What Words Are Worth: National Science Foundation Grant Abstracts Indicate Award Funding
Can word patterns from grant abstracts predict National Science Foundation (NSF) funding? The data describe a clear relationship between word patterns and funding magnitude: Grant abstracts that are longer than the average abstract, contain fewer common words, and are written with more verbal certainty receive more money.
Is Blinded Review Enough? How Gendered Outcomes Arise Even Under Anonymous Evaluation
Blinded review is an increasingly popular approach to reducing bias and increasing diversity in the selection of people and projects. We explore the impact of blinded review on gender inclusion in research grant proposals submitted to the Gates Foundation from 2008-2017. Despite blinded review, female applicants receive significantly lower scores.
The National Institutes of Health uses small groups of scientists to judge the quality of the grant proposals that they receive, and these quality judgments form the basis of its funding decisions. In order for this system to fund the best science, the subject experts must, at a minimum, agree as to what counts as a “quality”proposal. We investigated the degree of agreement by leveraging data from a recent experiment with 412 scientists.
The Peer Review Game: an Agent-based Model of Scientists Facing Resource Constraints and Institutional Pressures
This paper looks at peer review as a cooperation dilemma through a game-theory framework. We built an agent-based model to estimate how much the quality of peer review is influenced by different resource allocation strategies followed by scientists dealing with multiple tasks, i.e., publishing and reviewing.
Assessing Peer Review by Gauging the Fate of Rejected Manuscripts: the Case of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
This paper investigates the fate of manuscripts that were rejected from JASSS- The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, the flagship journal of social simulation. We tracked 456 manuscripts that were rejected from 1997 to 2011 and traced their subsequent publication as journal articles, conference papers or working papers.
This paper investigates the impact of referee behaviour on the quality and efficiency of peer review. We focused on the importance of reciprocity motives in ensuring cooperation between all involved parties. We modelled peer review as a process based on knowledge asymmetries and subject to evaluation bias. We built various simulation scenarios in which we tested different interaction conditions and author and referee behaviour. We found that reciprocity cannot always have per se a positive effect on the quality of peer review, as it may tend to increase evaluation bias. It can have a positive effect only when reciprocity motives are inspired by disinterested standards of fairness.