Worth a Read: Open Access and the transformation of academic publishing

This short piece by Brad Weiss provides a reflection on Cultural Anthropology’s transition to open access publishing and a thoughtful discussion of the questions which drove this decision and the subsequent questions which exiting from Wiley-Blackwell has raised.

After the American Anthropological Association began publishing its journals through Wiley-Blackwell in 2004, critics from the Society for Cultural Anthropology wondered:

why should academics give the products of their scholarly labor—in the form of both their articles and their work as reviewers—to a for-profit press that generates its revenue by selling those products back to our home institutions in the form of (rather expensive) library subscriptions?

This question sparked the beginning of a journey towards open access. Read the rest of the story here:

Open access and the transformation of academic publishing: A view from Cultural Anthropology

Worth a read: A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions

This paper in BioRXiv is definitely worth checking out.

Abstract is below:

Although the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is widely acknowledged to be a poor indicator of the quality of individual papers, it is used routinely to evaluate research and researchers. Here, we present a simple method for generating the citation distributions that underlie JIFs. Application of this straightforward protocol reveals the full extent of the skew of distributions and variation in citations received by published papers that is characteristic of all scientific journals. Although there are differences among journals across the spectrum of JIFs, the citation distributions overlap extensively, demonstrating that the citation performance of individual papers cannot be inferred from the JIF. We propose that this methodology be adopted by all journals as a move to greater transparency, one that should help to refocus attention on individual pieces of work and counter the inappropriate usage of JIFs during the process of research assessment.

Source: A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions | bioRxiv


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David Novak “The Dubbing of a New Era: Audiocassettes, Open Access and the Dissonances of Digital Democracy”

Please join us for a talk by David Novak, Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Thursday, May 26, 2016 12-1:30pm, Social Science and Humanities, Room 1246
Lunch will be served. RSVP here
David Novak is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with affiliations in Anthropology, Film and Media Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies. His work deals with the globalization of popular music, remediation, protest culture, and social practices of listening. He is the author of the award-winning Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation (2013) and the co-editor of Keywords in Sound (2015), as well as recent essays and sound recordings in Public Culture, Cultural Anthropology, Popular Music, Sensory Studies, and The Wire. He is the founder of the Music and Sound Interest Group in the American Anthropological Association, and co-director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music.

Co-Sponsored by:
Science and Technology Studies
Innovating Communication in Scholarship
The Center for Science and Innovation Studies

Parachute Researchers and Openness and Biopiracy

Interesting article at NPR’s Goats and Soda by Nurith Aizenman.  It discusses the concept of parachute researchers “Scientists from wealthy nations who swoop in when a puzzling disease breaks out in a developing country

Researchers drop in. They take specimens. And they head home and don’t share. That’s no way to fight an epidemic. Can they do things differently when it comes to Zika?

Source: Scientists Fighting Zika Vow To Stop Parachute Research, Share Discoveries Quickly And Widely : Goats and Soda : NPR

It is of relevance to some of the discussions we have been having on the ICIS project regarding biopiracy and the risks of the commons.  Although I note – I think this article did not quite get into a key aspect of the issue which is that even if researchers share everything there are still possible risks for the countries where samples have been taken.  This may be a major topic for a future ICIS meeting so stay tuned.


Frontiers in Publishing: Experiences with Open Access Journals

Frontiers event poster 03-31-2016Thursday, March 31, 2016, 3pm to 6:00pm

Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), Meeting Room 1

RSVP here

Frontiers is a leading Open Access scholarly journal publisher, with 55 journals in many disciplines and growing. In addition to rising journal Impact Factors, Frontiers is advancing article-level and author metrics as new ways of measuring the impact of research. A growing number of UC Davis faculty members edit Frontiers journals and have gained experience with this new publishing model and its benefits and challenges for publishing research. Join us for a look at the benefits of Open Access publishing for improving research impact through increased citations, and a cross-disciplinary panel of five UC Davis editors, on how Frontiers has worked in practice.

MacKenzie Smith, University Library (moderator)
Neelima Roy Sinha, Plant Biology
Cecilia Giulivi, Molecular Biosciences & Vet Med
Patrice Koehl, Computer Science & Genome Center
Mary M Christopher, Vet Med Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
Arne Ekstrom, Psychology
Sandra Hausmann, Frontiers

A presentation and panel will be followed by a networking reception from 5:00-6:00pm

Worth a look: The Fix Ins’t In (regarding SciHub)

Another interesting post relating to open access in Inside Higher Ed:  The Fix Isn’t In | Library Babel Fish

It is by Barbara Fister and discusses some of her thoughts, as a librarian, on Sci-Hub.

Thanks again to Art Shapiro for pointing me to this.

I am still not sure how I feel about SciHub.  I like that people can get access to more literature.  But I would prefer that that happened by legal means and I think I agree with Fister that this is “not the fix for the mess we’re in.”

Anyway – the post is worth a look.