Weekly digest: preprints, re3data and hybrid OA dashboard

Zheqing Zhang

This week, we read about researchers’ experiences publishing preprints during the COVID-19 pandemic and about the importance of preprint review. We also read about lessons from managing re3data for over 10 years, about the introduction of a dashboard for hybrid open access journals and about the disclosure of research data from the Global Flourishing Study. Finally, we learn from an experimental study about factors affecting code sharing, and we highlight an upcoming 5-day virtual event by OAI.

To read:

Preprint publishing experiences of academic authors during the COVID-19 pandemic via PeerJ | 35-minute read

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a substantial increase in preprints, fuelled by demand for quick and free access to the latest research findings. This article, published in PeerJ, discusses findings from a survey of authors who deposited COVID-19 preprints in four major repositories during 2020. A majority of first-time preprint authors indicated that they plan to continue this practice in their future work. However, from the survey responses, the format and the quality of preprint review were found to have been variable, with most preprint reviews assessed as being less comprehensive and constructive than journal peer reviews. The authors argue that the rising prevalence of preprints should prompt more consideration of how to optimize this avenue of publishing.

The case for preprint review via Research Information | 7-minute read

Preprints are experiencing a surge in popularity, presenting opportunities and challenges for scientific publishing. In this opinion piece, Damian Pattinson (Executive Director at eLife) and Emily Packer (Media Relations Manager at eLife) discuss the advantages and drawbacks of this trend and present some emerging preprint infrastructures that integrate the review and selection associated with peer-reviewed articles with the expedition and transparency of preprints. For example, they share eLife’s efforts to publish reviewed preprints following peer review, as well as discussing an online collection of evaluated preprints on Sciety. Damian and Emily argue that, going forward, changes in attitudes and practices within the research community towards preprints will be needed to ensure positive developments in open science.

The 10-year experience of re3data via Scientific Data | 25-minute read

Since 2012, re3data – a global registry of research data repositories – has been serving as an open science tool for researchers, funding bodies, libraries and institutions. Containing information on more than 3000 research data repositories, the directory covers a wide range of subjects such as medicine, engineering and social sciences. This article looks back on the past decade of managing re3data and explores 10 central themes relevant to handling a large-scale open science service. These include openness, quality assurance and community engagement, among others.

New dashboard for hybrid open access journals via STM Publishing News | 4-minute read

The recently launched Hybrid Open Access Dashboard (HOAD) provides figures and statistics on hybrid journals and their transition to full open access. This freely available tool has compiled data since 2017 from Crossref, OpenAlex and the cOAlition S Journal Checker Tool on the openness of 12 500 hybrid journals. Developed at the Göttingen State and University Library and funded by the German Research Foundation, HOAD features comparisons across countries, publishers and licence types. This platform aims to aid library consortia in tracking transformative agreements and journal portfolios while referencing international standards.

Making data from the Global Flourishing Study openly available via STM Publishing News | 2-minute read

The Global Flourishing Study (GFS) is a longitudinal study aiming to understand the determinants and consequences of human well-being around the world, involving 200 000 participants in 22 countries. The project brings together researchers at Baylor University and Harvard University, in partnership with Gallup and the Center for Open Science. The GFS has now released an open access sample dataset and intends to make all its future data open access, including an option for preregistration and early access. The researchers believe that the freely available data from the GFS has the potential to become an unparalleled resource for global research.

Investigating factors that influence code sharing in the social sciences via PLOS ONE | 30-minute read

Researchers from the University of Munich have undertaken a study to better understand how code sharing is affected by the phrasing of code requests. Each request contained randomly permutated elements in three categories: overall framing, appeal of code sharing and perceived effort. Of the factors assessed, only the overall framing of the request had a significant impact on the levels of code sharing. Unexpectedly, negative phrasing referring to the replication crisis was associated with an increased likelihood of receiving the requested code. The research concludes by saying that compared with individual micro-interventions, institutional changes such as mandating open code would be more effective in enhancing code sharing levels in research.

To engage with:

OAI virtual event on innovations in scholarly communication via OAI

The biennial Open Archives Initiative (OAI) conference, OAI13 – The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication, will take place virtually from 4 to 8 September 2023, with some local watch parties. The programme includes sessions on academic publishing reform, scholarly infrastructure, diamond open access, the UNESCO Recommendation on open science, and research assessment. More information about the event can be found here.

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