Call for Papers: “Transforming Scholarship: Open Access, Data Sharing, and Emerging Forms of Publication”

ICIS associates have issued an open call for papers for a panel at the next 4S Annual Meeting (Society for Social Studies of Science), to be held in Denver, CO, November 11-14, 2015

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Transforming Scholarship: Open Access, Data Sharing, and Emerging Forms of Publication

Powerful changes are impacting traditional systems of research publication, academic credit, research quality assessment, and the meaning of “publication.” At the same time, traditional publishing models continue to shape how scholars produce and exchange knowledge. Understanding the scholarly communication system and its balance between transformation and continuity is a key goal for science and technology studies, as publishing practices affect scholars and scientists across all fields and levels. These changes also frame the policies of administrators evaluating and funding them, and of libraries confronting new technologies. The increasing scale and interdisciplinary nature of collaborations, as well as the growing reliance on cyberinfrastructures for producing and disseminating research, are central transformations that require a critical, theoretically oriented approach that encompasses the significance of these trends beyond communication.

The panel turns to different perspectives, such as STS, law, history, ethnography or media studies, to shed light on how scholarly communication systems evolve and interact with broader socio-political transformations. Indeed, we believe that the transformation we point out is posing epistemological and sociological questions about the place of scientific knowledge in contemporary societies. We are particularly interested in papers including, but not limited to, the following sub-topics: the interplay between old and new models of scholarly communication; the impact of Open Access models; the transformation of data from research results to research output itself; new metrics of impact; new forms of misconduct including metrics-based misconduct; the impact of English as the lingua franca of global science; doubts about peer review as quality guarantor; the impact of intellectual property on the content and timing of publications; disciplinary and geographical differences; scholarly norms and incentives that shape scientific institutions and their communication practices. Through this panel we aim to discuss and strengthen a critical research agenda that could inform university policy change for scholarly communication.

The deadline for submissions of individual papers is March 29, 2015

Organizers of this panel are: Alessandro Delfanti (corresponding convenor), Alexandra Lippman, and Mario Biagioli (University of California, Davis).

Provoke! A Special Collection of Digital Sound Studies

Cross-posted on The Sound Ethnography Project

Screen-Shot-2015-01-06-at-12.05.12-PM-e1420564088283Provoke!  published its first online collection of digital sound studies, making scholarly communication just a little bit noisier. As the editors write:

“Provoke! creates a home for creative-critical projects by makers, documentary artists, and sound scholars whose work presses at the boundaries of scholarship. Envisioned as ‘provocations’ to existing forms of publication, these projects relate to one another through their deep engagement with sonic materials and innovative formal presentation….

The editors, known collectively as Soundbox, wish to see audio material featured more abundantly and creatively in scholarly settings. At the heart of our collaboration is a bold aspiration to hear sound used as a primary means of knowledge production.”

Their website privileges listening. Hovering one’s cursor over different projects triggers related sound. The range of scholarship and approaches are impressive. Perhaps the challenges of working between media and fields of expertise fostered frequent collaboration. Dancers, composers, ethnomusicologists, curators, sound artists and others worked together to produce different projects. The pieces include “a city symphony of sounds” collected before the 2010 earthquake in Port-Au Prince; recordings from a music studio set up in the Richmond, VA jail; and an audio effects processor, Paperphone, for giving scholars tools to critically ‘sonify’ their presentations.

For Paperphone’s debut at the UCLA, I had agreed to become one of experimenters. Using the MaxLive software plug-in, I performed “Mixtape Rio,” weaving together soundscapes I recorded with my vocal narration. Everyone’s varying uses of the software revealed and opened up new possibilities for scholarly communication and artistic creation.

But, what of credit and evaluation for this kind of scholarship? How does the work register as scholarship and what challenges does it present for the standardized peer-review model of publishing? Support and guidance from well-respected individuals and institutions helps; Duke’s Franklin Humanities Institute and PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge sponsored the initiative. Also, the online iteration of Provoke! Digital Sound Studies will be followed by an edited volume to be published by Duke in Fall 2015. Perhaps, these multiple modes of publishing can work together to strengthen and push the possibilities for scholarship– sonic or otherwise.

Looking at Open Science through the Prism of a Social Dilemma

The journal First Monday just published a paper by Kaja Scheliga and Sascha Friesike from the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. The article is titled “Putting open science into practice: A social dilemma?” What follows is an abstract of the paper.

The essence of open science is to make the whole research process transparent and accessible. The idea of open science can be traced back to the days of the emergence of the scientific journal system when scientists started to publish their insights in the form of scientific papers instead of anagrams. In its current form, open science has gained a new dimension thanks to the internet which provides scientists with the technological means to share their insights on a potentially global scale.

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Virtual Itineraries Through the Speculum Romanae

Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, A125, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, A125, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

The University of Chicago Library takes a cue from nearly 500 year old publishing practices  to curate personalized, “individually bound” introductions to their digital collection of the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae:

In 1540 Antonio Lafreri, a native of Besançon transplanted to Rome, began publishing maps and other printed images that depicted major monuments and antiquities in Rome. These images were calculated to appeal to the taste for classical antiquity that fueled the cultural event we call the Renaissance. After Lafreri published a title page in the mid-1570s, collections of these prints came to be known as the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, the “Mirror of Roman Magnificence.” Tourists and other collectors who bought prints from Lafreri made their own selections and had them individually bound. Over time, Lafreri’s title page served as starting point for large and eclectic compilations, expanded and rearranged by generations of collectors.

The University of Chicago Library has curated their collection of 994 prints–the largest Speculum collection–by creating miniature exhibitions based on theme, place, or an artist. Visitors can choose a “virtual itinerary to explore the collection” with a specialist in the field as their guide. Professor Evelyn Lincoln, who recently visited UC Davis as one of our invited speakers, is one of the expert guides to the collection. She focuses on “Print and Ritual in Renaissance Rome” and discusses her selection through this lens.

Other “tours” through the archive include “Love and the Gods” led by James Grantham Turner (University of California, Berkeley), “Viewing Ruins” led by Christopher P. Heuer (Princeton University), and “The Eternal City: Maps of Rome in the Speculum” led by Jessica Maier (Mount Holyoke College). The virtual itineraries “allow for a more specialized, but still lively and accessible, introduction to selected works from the collection, draw attention to particular intellectual questions associated with these prints, and serve as a new mode of scholarly publishing.”

I highly recommend extended trips into these curated archives. You will be rewarded  richly.

A152
Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, A152, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

 

Quick post – papers for sale

Well, this is much more elaborate than I could ever have imagined: For Sale: “Your Name Here” in a Prestigious Science Journal – Scientific American.  Seems that there are services out there to help people write, in essence, bogus scientific papers filled with pithy somewhat reasonable sounding phrases about certain topics.  Seems we could all use some more comprehensive full text analyses of papers to try and flag such activities.

Today’s Open Science Reading: the Open Science Reviewer’s Oath

Well this certainly is interesting: The Open Science Peer Review Oath – F1000Research.  This emerged apparently from the AllBio: Open Science & Reproducibility Best Practice Workshop.  The “Oath” is summarized in the following text from a box in their paper:

Box 1. While reviewing this manuscript:

  1. I will sign my review in order to be able to have an open dialogue with you
  2. I will be honest at all times
  3. I will state my limits
  4. I will turn down reviews I am not qualified to provide
  5. I will not unduly delay the review process
  6. I will not scoop research that I had not planned to do before reading the manuscript
  7. I will be constructive in my criticism
  8. I will treat reviews as scientific discourses
  9. I will encourage discussion, and respond to your and/or editors’ questions
  10. I will try to assist in every way I ethically can to provide criticism and praise that is valid, relevant and cognisant of community norms
  11. I will encourage the application of any other open science best practices relevant to my field that would support transparency, reproducibility, re-use and integrity of your research
  12. If your results contradict earlier findings, I will allow them to stand, provided the methodology is sound and you have discussed them in context
  13. I will check that the data, software code and digital object identifiers are correct, and the models presented are archived, referenced, and accessible
  14. I will comment on how well you have achieved transparency, in terms of materials and methodology, data and code access, versioning, algorithms, software parameters and standards, such that your experiments can be repeated independently
  15. I will encourage deposition with long-term unrestricted access to the data that underpin the published concept, towards transparency and re-use
  16. I will encourage central long-term unrestricted access to any software code and support documentation that underpin the published concept, both for reproducibility of results and software availability
  17. I will remind myself to adhere to this oath by providing a clear statement and link to it in each review I write, hence helping to perpetuate good practice to the authors whose work I review.

I note – I reformatted the presentation a tiny bit here.   The Roman numerals in the paper annoyed me.  Regardless of the formatting, this is a pretty long oath.  I think it is probably too long.  Some of this could be reduced.  I am reposting the Oath below with some comments:

  1. I will sign my review in order to be able to have an open dialogue with you.  I think this is OK to have in the oath. 
  2. I will be honest at all times. Seems unnecessary.
  3. I will state my limits. Not sure what this means or how it differs from #4.  I would suggest deleting or merging with #4.
  4. I will turn down reviews I am not qualified to provide.  This is good though not sure how it differs from #3. 
  5. I will not unduly delay the review process. Good. 
  6. I will not scoop research that I had not planned to do before reading the manuscript. Good. 
  7. I will be constructive in my criticism. Good. 
  8. I will treat reviews as scientific discourses.  Not sure what this means or how it is diffeent from #9. 
  9. I will encourage discussion, and respond to your and/or editors’ questions.  Good though not sure how it differs from #8. 
  10. I will try to assist in every way I ethically can to provide criticism and praise that is valid, relevant and cognisant of community norms. OK though this seems to cancel the need for #7. 
  11. I will encourage the application of any other open science best practices relevant to my field that would support transparency, reproducibility, re-use and integrity of your research.  Good.  Seems to cancel the need for #13, #14, #15, #16. 
  12. If your results contradict earlier findings, I will allow them to stand, provided the methodology is sound and you have discussed them in context. OK though I am not sure why this raises to the level of a part of the oath over other things that should be part of a review. 
  13. I will check that the data, software code and digital object identifiers are correct, and the models presented are archived, referenced, and accessible.  Seems to be covered in #11. 
  14. I will comment on how well you have achieved transparency, in terms of materials and methodology, data and code access, versioning, algorithms, software parameters and standards, such that your experiments can be repeated independently. Seems to be covered in #11. 
  15. I will encourage deposition with long-term unrestricted access to the data that underpin the published concept, towards transparency and re-use. Seems to be covered in #11. 
  16. I will encourage central long-term unrestricted access to any software code and support documentation that underpin the published concept, both for reproducibility of results and software availability. Seems to be covered in #11. 
  17. I will remind myself to adhere to this oath by providing a clear statement and link to it in each review I write, hence helping to perpetuate good practice to the authors whose work I review.  Not sure this is needed.

The paper then goes on to provide what they call a manifesto.  I very much prefer the items in the manifesto over those in the oath:

  • Principle 1: I will sign my name to my review – I will write under my own name
  • Principle 2: I will review with integrity
  • Principle 3: I will treat the review as a discourse with you; in particular, I will provide constructive criticism
  • Principle 4: I will be an ambassador for good science practice
  • Principle 5: Support other reviewers

In fact I propose here that the authors considering reversing the Oath and the Manifesto.  What they call the Manifesto shoud be the Oath.  It is short.  And works as an Oath.  The longer, somewhat repetitive list of specific details would work better as the basis for a Manifesto.

Anyway – the paper is worth taking a look at.  I support the push for more consideration of Open Science in review though I am not sure if this Oath is done right at this point.

The future of Google Scholar

There is an interesting interview out in Nature where Richard van Noorden interviewed Anurag Acharya from Google Scholar: Google Scholar pioneer on search engine’s future : Nature News & Comment.  Definitley worth a look.  It has tidbits on the past, present and future of Google Scholar.

There are also some follow ups to this.  For example on Twitter I saw the following exchange:

I am in general agreement here that the cmmnity needs to start thinking about an open alternative.  Yes, I like Google Scholar (e.g., see my post on the Google Scholar blog: Using Google Scholar in Scholarly Workflows that I wrote in honor of the 10th Anniversary og GS.  But the lack of an API interface and the givng in to publishers demands seems lame.  So I do think we need to start to build up new strategies.