Open-Scholar at the CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OA18)

Pandelis Perakakis and Michael Taylor presented a poster on the LIBRE concept at the OA18 CERN Workshop that took place in the University of Geneva between the 19th-21st of June, 2013. The poster was well received, particularly by colleagues in the community who are managing university or institutional green open access repositories. Another positive trend was that several editors of academic journals also agreed that LIBRE could potentially help speed up their own peer review process.

Sessions were attended on:

  1. open annotations — open source codes like Pundit were introduced that enable comments to be linked via metadata tags to online objects like books, articles and images.
  2. semantic web — that higher-level knowledge can emerge from hyperlinked metadata. The main conclusions were that:
    1. this is a rapidly growing field of interest,
    2. new open source scientometric software should include metadata code snippets that allow open annotations to be harvested,
    3. there is an exponential uptake by scholar of Twitter as a mode of instantly commenting on published material.

    LIBRE_OAI8 09-35-44

  3. metrics — indices for measuring the impact of publications and scholars. The main conclusions were that:
    1. all of the single parameter indices (the impact factor, h-index, g-factor, eigenfactor etc) are inappropriate measures,
    2. multi-parametric indices are better but are also problematic as they rely on subjective weightings,
    3. the quality or impact of articles and scholars ideally should be assessed on a case by case basis by experts.CERN_Pandelis
  4. open research data — research logbooks, data tables and figures that are freely-available online. The main conclusions were that:
    1. many new platforms are being developed to facilitate this,
    2. there are initiatives for the development and sharing of protocols (particularly in science),
    3. the sharing of data can help pave the way toward virtual observatories that will help researchers search, access and share data more efficiently – the stunning example of data handling at CERN was provided by Tim Smith in the context of “Big Data”.
  5. transparent peer review — that peer review should become more open. The main conclusions were that:
    1. transparency can safeguard against malpractices,
    2. there are signs that scholars are beginning to engage in online academic review more publicly.
  6. “Gold” open access — providing free online access to published content but with the cost of open access transferred to the authors. The main conclusions were that:
    1. publishing costs should not exceed 2000 Euros,
    2. online access should be restricted to HTML-only versions of content (i.e. readers should pay to download PDF or ePub versions),
    3. subsidies should be provided (initially) to help authors in “intensive research areas” pay,
    4. gold open access journals should mimic green open access infrastructures.

    We intervened strongly in the debate by reminding the speakers that:

    • gold open access introduces a financial firewall to authors without funds
    • that scholars cannot perform research only by having dozens of bookmarks open and need the PDFs to print, share and read
    • that the green open access infrastructures exist as a result of scholars’ need (and desire) to provide free (for both authors and readers) open access and that this is the definition of “open access”
    • that gold open access policies will sharpen the already skewed journal impact factor distribution making many open access journals invisible
    • that quips such as “going for gold”, “the winner takes all” or “one man’s threat is another man’s opportunity” in powerpoint presentations and comments by the speakers – were signs that gold open access is just an oxymoron for an attempt at exploiting (green) open access.

OA18 was attended by over 350 people including among others:

  • preprint server techincal experts from Arxiv, CERN, the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory,
  • national libraries and documentation centres,
  • national research foundations,
  • open universities,
  • national academies of science and medicine,
  • open access initiatives such as SPARC, the Open Knowledge Foundation, CrossRef, ORCID, Flooved, EU-funded projects like Zenodo and OpenAire, from Wikipedia , the Wikimedia Foundation,
  • companies such as Altmetrics, Zenodo, ResearchGate,
  • publishers including PLOS, Copernicus, MacMillan, and Reed-Elsevier.CERN_global

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