EDITORS QUIT BRAIN RESEARCH JOURNALS TO PROTEST AGAINST FEES Nature | Vol 616 | 27 April 2023 | 641

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Williams Nwagwu

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Apr 26, 2023, 12:16:07 AM4/26/23
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I loved the idea of open-access. It resonated with my hope, based on my experiences as a young scholar that hails from a developing country, where, by choice, I live and work. Besides facilitating accessing knowledge produced elsewhere, I thought open access would enable me to share how things work in my own environment. I thought my bad English grammar, narrow scope and poorly designed studies, poor editing, and poor packaging skills, among others, would not prevent the circulation of my thoughts. After all, my papers are not English language tutorials! So I pounced on open access. Good, I thought! Elsewhere, there were strikes against closed-access publishing (even at national levels) – whole editorial boards of some journals abandoned their roles clamoring for open access. Several national, regional, and institutional policies emerged to contend for open access. But I was afraid that the promise and methodology of open access were being compelled to tow the path of, or should I say hijacked by hegemony and neoliberalism. Open access was still moored to the packaging and marketing expertise of key players of global knowledge management. I then started guessing that global publishing ecology would become somewhat terribly skewed away from the global promise of egalitarianism, democracy, and free flow of human knowledge, (a la English rhetoric) in the OA era more than during the closed access era. Each time I wish to read the latest research from elsewhere, I find many of them in open-access sources. But if I have an idea and wish to share them, I go closed-access – I cannot just pay. And I am averse to the neoliberal kindness encapsulated in the epithets of underserved, global, inclusive, waivers, participation, etc? Who serves who, and with what? Who has the right and power to include me? Include me in what and where? So I started dragging my open-access feet. Now editors of a brain research journal are striking against open access. So where are we now migrating to?  What new publishing model do we embrace?

 


Johanna Havemann

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Apr 26, 2023, 3:07:35 AM4/26/23
to Williams Nwagwu, osi2016-25-googlegroups.com
Dear Williams Nwagwu and all,

Sorry about the mess with and around Open Access.

I developed an interactive map on open science with of course entails OA. The map was recently featured in the scholarly kitchen: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2023/04/19/guest-post-mapping-open-science-resources-from-around-the-world-by-discipline/


You see, there is way more to explore than overpriced pay to publish aka gold OA journals and especially those that charge excessive amounts in APCs. That model is just screwed and was never fair, to no-one. 

The way forward, which was always available is self archiving (aka green OA), preferably on a institutional, discipline-specific or generalist repository, like Zenodo, Figshare, OSF, etc - make sure to also archive your data, which is the actual research result (the manuscript is nothing but metadata, i.e. the packaging of the actual delivery). 
Then you can work with community owned and journal/publisher-independent peer review services, such as PREreview, PeerRef, a.o. The review reports also get DOI’s with those and make the whole scholarly discourse balanced, mutually supportive and transparent again. Peer review should never be a highly biased bottle neck as you and many others experience. That is just a crime and severe harm to research integrity, imo.
Once you have done all of that with only benefits and remaining in charge of your research output and getting it disseminated to the stakeholders of your research, you can still submit to any journal -and yes, at this point it doesn’t matter if closed or open. Keep your budget to spend it on your research equipment instead of throwing it to any of the richest companies on this planet (aka as the 5 most profitable commercial scholarly publishing houses).

You might want to check AfricArXiv.org and perhaps the country profile we have built for Nigerian OA: https://africarxiv.pubpub.org/nigeria 

Let me know if you’d like to discuss further, here or bilaterally :)
Best
Jo.



Jo Havemann, PhD
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On 26. Apr 2023, at 06:16, 'Williams Nwagwu' via The Open Scholarship Initiative <osi20...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

I loved the idea of open-access. It resonated with my hope, based on my experiences as a young scholar that hails from a developing country, where, by choice, I live and work. Besides facilitating accessing knowledge produced elsewhere, I thought open access would enable me to share how things work in my own environment. I thought my bad English grammar, narrow scope and poorly designed studies, poor editing, and poor packaging skills, among others, would not prevent the circulation of my thoughts. After all, my papers are not English language tutorials! So I pounced on open access. Good, I thought! Elsewhere, there were strikes against closed-access publishing (even at national levels) – whole editorial boards of some journals abandoned their roles clamoring for open access. Several national, regional, and institutional policies emerged to contend for open access. But I was afraid that the promise and methodology of open access were being compelled to tow the path of, or should I say hijacked by hegemony and neoliberalism. Open access was still moored to the packaging and marketing expertise of key players of global knowledge management. I then started guessing that global publishing ecology would become somewhat terribly skewed away from the global promise of egalitarianism, democracy, and free flow of human knowledge, (a la English rhetoric) in the OA era more than during the closed access era. Each time I wish to read the latest research from elsewhere, I find many of them in open-access sources. But if I have an idea and wish to share them, I go closed-access – I cannot just pay. And I am averse to the neoliberal kindness encapsulated in the epithets of underserved, global, inclusive, waivers, participation, etc? Who serves who, and with what? Who has the right and power to include me? Include me in what and where? So I started dragging my open-access feet. Now editors of a brain research journal are striking against open access. So where are we now migrating to?  What new publishing model do we embrace?
 


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Idowu Adegbilero

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Apr 26, 2023, 12:03:45 PM4/26/23
to Johanna Havemann, Williams Nwagwu, osi2016-25-googlegroups.com
Hi Johanna, Williams and All,
Williams' sad OA tale represents our collective sorry assessment of the OA movement as African OA enthusiasts. Gold OA route shouldn't have been charted in the first place. Looking for a better way to achieve democratic OA is for the scholars themselves to take back the whole process of scholarly communication perhaps as community service. The overbearing publishing 'midwives' have overstayed their welcome. 
Jo's recommendation is very apt but again with the titanic problem of publish or perish waylaying the gesture. Here in Africa, and in many parts of the rest of the world I suppose, preprints are not yet reckoned as publications and thus would not be allowed in tenure/promotion assessment of scholars. Scholarly publishing has more nuances of motivation than just sharing research findings. 



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Cheers!

Idowu Adegbilero-Iwari
Science/Scholarly Communications Librarian
IFLA/OCLC Fellow
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First Things

“For We Brought Nothing into this World, and it is certain we can carry Nothing Out!

 And having FOOD and CLOTHING let us be with these Things CONTENT.

But They that will be Rich fall into Temptation and a Snare, and into many Foolish and Hurtful Lusts, which Plunge Men into Destruction…

But You, o man of God, FLEE these THINGS; and follow after RIGHTEOUSNESS…” 

---- Holy Bible

Johanna Havemann

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Apr 26, 2023, 12:09:33 PM4/26/23
to Idowu Adegbilero, Williams Nwagwu, osi2016-25-googlegroups.com
Agreed Idowu, Preprints are also not well established in Europe and North America (aka “the west” - so there is still a long walk to OA justice.
Meanwhile, we (AfricArXiv) have just published this: https://africarxiv.pubpub.org/pub/peerref-and-africarxiv-partnership/

The meanwhile approach is very much doable: publish closed access, but make sure to share your manuscript either in an institutional repository that assigns it with a DOI and you are sorted.
It’s about knowing what’s doable, there is always a walk around, albeit often those are hidden…

Happy to talk more about this on a Zoom call: https://calendly.com/access2perspectives/30min

Best
Jo.

Glenn Hampson

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Apr 26, 2023, 12:34:41 PM4/26/23
to Johanna Havemann, Idowu Adegbilero, Williams Nwagwu, osi2016-25-googlegroups.com

Williams, Johanna, Idowu---good to hear from you. I do hope that each of you, along with our other OSI colleagues, can find time to read our latest policy paper which was released last Monday: Considering evidence-based approaches to open policy | OSI Global. In this paper---based on our survey of researchers, other surveys of researchers, the mountains of ideas put forward in OSI, and the totality of evidence for what’s happening in the OA world---a path forward is suggested where we simply follow the evidence: What do researchers want from open? What does open even mean in the context of research (hint: it isn’t CC-BY)? What solutions are working now, and what can we learn from these? What does communication reform look like in the broader context of what researchers want and need?

 

The overall recommendation in this paper is to unshackle ourselves from the ideological construct that “open” means something very specific (like CC-BY, no embargo, etc.), and instead recognize that there are many different, attainable, and sustainable open outcomes for different audiences. We also need to step back from the whole PR-driven notion that open is some brand new force in science without which science will not succeed. The history of science is a history of open.

 

The challenge of tomorrow is to ensure that we can make science more EQUITABLE through open on the one hand, and with the other hand attempt to improve the effectiveness of science by making it more accessible, discoverable, and interoperable. Taking an EVIDENCE-BASED approach to OA policy reforms is the only sensible path forward for achieving these objectives. We can’t get there by forcing ideologically-driven one-size-fits-all policies on the world that only serve the interests of the privileged few, and that create a caste system in science that the world of science has never experienced before in its long history.

 

With best regards as always,

 

Glenn

 

 

Glenn Hampson
Executive Director
Science Communication Institute (SCI)
Program Director
Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI)

ric...@gedye.plus.com

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May 8, 2023, 7:00:34 PM5/8/23
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This programme, which was broadcast today by BBC Radio 4, might be of interest to some.

 

The Truth Police

For years, science has had a dirty secret; research has been dogged by claims and instances of fraud, malpractice and outright incompetence. Suspicious-looking data sets, breakthrough results that can’t be replicated, eyebrow-raising statistical sleights of hand - science has been undergoing something of an existential crisis.

And at the forefront of keeping science honest has been a bunch of outsiders, some of them with no formal academic positions, no salaried posts, double-checking the published claims of researchers and academics. Their work is not without controversy, especially when they go public; nevertheless, they’ve achieved impressive results.

Presenter Michael Blastland meets some of these ‘Truth Police’, discovering their methodology and their motives, as well as asking how scientific institutions are reacting to the deep issues they have brought out into the light.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001lqvg

Richard

 

 

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