The last two years have seen a lot of talk about the issues of science and scientific publishing – and how the incentives prevalent in science (publish or perish, preferably with high-impact stories with lots of news coverage) are actually bad for science. Corina Logan, a zoologist and part of a group of postdocs from the University of Cambridge is eager to push for a change in the publishing culture. They argue that the current way of publishing is hindering the progress of science. A recent column by Brian Martinson in Nature summarises the problem nicely: “[The fact that researchers need publications encourages] all manner of corner-cutting, sloppiness in research, and other degradations in the quality of publications, not to mention an obvious motive for plagiarism. A quest for high-profile papers leads researchers to favour a spectacular result, even if it is specious. Authors cite themselves to boost the impact of publications, and cite colleagues to curry favour.” Continue reading
In November 2014, 150 early-career researchers and students met in Washington D.C. for OpenCon, organized by the Right to Research Coalition, to talk about the movement to open science up – be it through Open Access to published literature, Open Data, or Open Educational Resources. The three day event offered lectures and panels on the state of the open today, but also served as an incubator for the future of the whole debate that spans universities, research funders, and publishers. It was an opportunity for the already experienced advocates and academics to interact with the younger generation of students and researchers interested in these issues. Continue reading
A continually growing body of student organizations, as well as scientists, have been advocating for an Open Access to scientific publications. The European Federation of Psychology Students Associations (EFPSA) has been part of this effort for a long time and this blog hosts an extensive cover of the numerous aspects of the Open Access initiative. Checking the Open Access tag, here at the bulletin, will give you a comprehensive list of the already covered topics by the JEPS editors and their associates.
To begin, in working for advocating and raising awareness, the collaboration of many organizations and institutions has already produced results and we have seen governmental and intergovernmental bodies already taking steps to favour open publication policies. For instance, the United Kingdom’s Research Councils’ policy on Open Access and EU Commission’s inclusion of Open Access as a general principle in the Horizon 2020 projects are high level decisions that will ensure extended access to scientific knowledge and awareness of the issues amongst researchers.
It happens often. You are searching for the latest research on your topic of interest, you come across the perfect article to expand your knowledge of this topic but then – BAM! You hit the paywall. Access to scholarly articles is a huge issue for students. This is due to the simple fact that many institutions cannot afford the exorbitant prices of academic journals. It’s not only students that experience barriers to accessing the latest research though. Approximately 40% of researchers do not have access to the articles they need (Research Information Network, 2009). Continue reading
Have you ever wondered which scientific journal was the first of its kind? Or why there are scientific publications at all? In this post you will learn how far we have come since the first journals, what it means to communicate science today and what the future might hold for traditional journals and publishers.
Probably these issues crossed your mind, but you never found the time to dig deeper. I don’t blame you. It’s tough to be a young and upcoming researcher these days. Today’s advances in scientific literature are so fast-paced that it can be hard to keep up, let alone ask such remote questions.
At the same time I think you will agree that it may be useful (or, just plain interesting) to have a broader perspective on how scientific journals came to be and how this might help us understand today’s publishing landscape. This article will guide you through the different stages of science communication, going back to ancient civilizations, the invention of the printing press, all the way to a present where to “publish or perish” is the name of the game and restrictions in the access to science are an harsh reality. Continue reading
In the scientific world, there is an unspoken rule that researchers must be fluent in English in order to obtain international recognition for their work. Even if one does not speak fluent English, the researcher should at least possess a certain level of understanding in the language in order to access and read scientific literature, which are usually only available in English. In fact, it has become one of the main characteristics that employers actively seek for in young research talents. As a result, it is common for scholars to publish their academic work in English, even though English is not their native language, whereas scientists who are not fluent in English struggle to gain recognition for their work, or even survive in the ever increasingly competitive world of academia.
While having an international scientific language allows for better communication among researchers from all around the world, there are two caveats in applying this readily-accepted rule: 1) What happens to research findings that are published in languages other than English? 2) How do researchers readily apply knowledge and insights gained from scientific research findings published in English in non-English-speaking countries?
The conclusion of our State of Open Access in Europe series (see the first and the second post here) is a piece on a vitally important EU legislation – Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is a €80 billion heavy EU programme for research and innovation. In Brussels, they call it a flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. A natural question that arises when considering such an enormous fund is – will the end results of that funding be Open Access? Since Horizon 2020 is still in the works, so to say (it has to pass numerous steps before being implemented, including a vote in the European Parliament), it is important to stay informed and possibly take part in the public discussion that follows such a grand project.
As regular readers of the JEPS bulletin will know, EFPSA is a staunch supporter of the open access movement. The JEPS Bulletin has led the way in the organisation’s support of this most important issue for modern science and has provided regular informative digests of the latest developments for the open access movement and what these mean for the psychology students of Europe (and beyond!).
As someone who was introduced this issue through following updates of the bulletin, I was honoured to get the chance to be involved in EFPSA’s first steps into greater involvement in the open access movement. In July, Ivan Flis, the Editor-in-Chief of JEPS, and I travelled to Budapest to take part in the first annual Right to Research Coalition General Assembly. Before going into how this will impact the future of EFPSA, let’s recap on some R2RC history!
These are some turbulent times for open access in Europe. Since we try to be the information hub for psychology students on the subject of open access, we will cover the two hot OA topics currently happening in Europe and the development of one student initiative (of which EFPSA is also a member) — Right to Research Coalition — that should become quite vocal on the topic in the near future. The two OA ‘hot potatoes’ currently being discussed in the research community are the Finch Report in the UK and the European Union Horizon 2020 research framework.
For our first part of the triptych, let’s talk about the Finch Report. At first it might seem like a country specific topic, but its implementation might have European and worldwide implications, since the UK is the de facto leader in open access policies and practices.
Also some advice before you continue reading — if you are not too familiar with the topic, please consult our Open Access Basics post so you understand all the OA specific terminology used in this post.
Last year we did an analysis, here at the JEPS Bulletin, trying to find out how many of the most reputable journals in psychology are open access. The conclusion was, to say the least, defeating. But as Stevan Harnad likes to remind us, gold open access journals are far from being the only route to achieving widespread access to scientific literature. Green open access is a way to go too. But can scholars, and under what conditions, archive the articles they publish in topmost psychology journals? That’s what we’re going to find out in today’s post.