Could #Blockchain provide the technical fix to solve science’s reproducibility crisis?

Soenke Bartling and Benedikt Fecher on the use of blockchain technology in research.
Currently blockchain is being hyped. Many claim that the blockchain revolution will affect not only our online life, but will profoundly change many more aspects of our society. Many foresee these changes as potentially being more far-reaching than those brought by the internet in the last two decades. If this holds true, it is certain that research and knowledge creation will also be affected by this. So, what is blockchain all about? More importantly, could knowledge creation benefit from it? One potential area it could be useful is in addressing the credibility and reproducibility crisis in science.

Article on #openaccess scholarly innovation and research infrastructure

In this article Benedikt Fecher and Gert Wagner argue that the current endeavors to achieve open access in scientific literature require a discussion about innovation in scholarly publishing and research infrastructure. Drawing on path dependence theory and addressing different open access (OA) models and recent political endeavors, the authors argue that academia is once again running the risk of outsourcing the organization of its content.

The case of Lingua/Glossa should make us think about Open Access (text in German only)

Letzte Woche trat das Editorial Board der linguistischen Fachzeitschrift Lingua geschlossen zurück. Die Gruppe um den Chefredakteur Johan Rooryck, Sprachwissenschaftler an der Universität Leiden, kündigte an, ein neues Journal unter dem Namen Glossa zu gründen. Rooryck begründet den Rücktritt des Editorial Board damit, dass das Verlagshaus Elsevier, bei dem Lingua erscheint, nicht auf deren Open-Access-Bedingungen eingehen will. Lingua existiert seit 1949 und ist auf Google-Scholar immerhin unter den wichtigsten drei sprachwissenschaftlichen Fachzeitschriftenzu finden.

Reputation instead of obligation: forging new policies to motivate academic data sharing

Despite strong support from funding agencies and policy makers academic data sharing sees hardly any adoption among researchers. Current policies that try to foster academic data sharing fail, as they try to either motivate researchers to share for the common good or force researchers to publish their data. Instead, Sascha Friesike, Benedikt Fecher, Marcel Hebing, and Stephanie Linek argue that in order to tap into the vast potential that is attributed to academic data sharing we need to forge new policies that follow the guiding principle reputation instead of obligation.

Nature makes all articles free (to view)

Interesting move from Nature: All research papers from Nature will be made free to read in a proprietary screen-view format. It can be annotated but not copied, printed or downloaded. Is this open access or public relations? John Wilbanks:
"With access mandates on the march around the world, this appears to be more about getting ahead of the coming reality in scientific publishing. Now that the funders call the tune and the funders want the articles on the web at no charge, these articles are going to be open anyway.”

Open season in science

The change in scientific culture towards openness is a recognition that the public are interested in research and discerning in their support of it. Science thrives when supported by the public; allowing the public and researchers to access work produced by Sanger Institute will help its researchers continue to provide the best science that is most beneficial to society.

Sarion Bowers

The Open Access Interviews: Paul Royster, Coordinator of Scholarly Communications, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Paul Royster is proud of what he has achieved with his institutional repository. Currently, it contains 73,000 full-text items, of which more than 60,000 are freely accessible to the world. This, says Royster, makes it the second largest institutional repository in the US, and it receives around 500,000 downloads per month, with around 30% of those going to international users. Unsurprisingly, Royster always assumed that he was in the vanguard of the OA movement, and that fellow OA advocates attached considerable value to the work he was doing. All this changed in 2012, when...
Open and Shut?.

Path Dependence and Academic Publishing

Publishing in academia still bears the imprints of the book age.
Just as in the story of the QWERTY keyboard, a system of academic publishing prevailed that works, but is suboptimal. The established system of academic publishing, from submission, review, and publication is in the eye of the socio-technological opportunities outdated. It takes too much time, it is too expensive and leads to an artificial scarcity of content. It no longer reflects the zeitgeist.

The Open Knowledge Festival 2014 is starting soon!

To create societies where everyone has both access to key information and the ability to use it to understand and shape their lives, we must build knowledge into the heart of all of our activities. This is a big task which requires not just a global shift in mindset, but also that we build the tools and communities to make such a society possible. We invite you to join us from 15-17 July in Berlin for OKFestival 2014 as we consider how to translate Open Minds to Open Action.

The role of repositories in the future of the journal

The UK Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by Dame Janet Finch, report, “Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications,” helped to crystallize a long simmering debate within the open access (OA) community: should the focus for OA advocates be “green” open access – that is, the use of repositories to make research published through traditional subscription-based venues openly available – or should it be ‘gold’ open access – that is, through publication within venues that are themselves open access?