Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Sarah Hewitt

This week, we look at a study that suggests that the most cited research may be the least reliable, and we discuss Clarivate’s new Journal Citation Indicator. We also learn that the EU will adopt a more cautious approach to global research sharing and that MedEdPublish will be migrating to a new platform utilizing F1000 technology. Finally, we consider a critical analysis of Clarivate’s acquisition of ProQuest.

Unreproducible research highly cited via The Guardian | 3-minute read

A recent study suggests that non-replicable research is cited far more than robust, reproducible research. The study analysed future citations of studies tested for reproducibility in three large replication projects. Research that could not be replicated amassed an average of 153 more citations than research that could be reproduced. The authors suggest that factors such as catchy titles and exciting conclusions may usher studies past peer review with less scrutiny than more mundane research, although, undeniably, their study itself has yet to be replicated.

Levelling the fields via Clarivate Web of Science | 4-minute read

Clarivate’s Journal Citation Indicator provides a normalized measure of the citation impact of a journal’s publications across fields. The metric will account for field, publication type and publication year, and will be published in the 2021 Journal Citation Reports for all journals in the Web of Science Core Collection. Briefly, a Journal Citation Indicator value of 1.0 would mean that publications in a given journal had received citations equal to the average number of citations within that journal’s field. Unlike the existing Journal Impact Factor, citations from the last three years will be taken into account.

More tools needed? via The Scholarly Kitchen | 6-minute read

In this opinion piece, the new Journal Citation Indicator is compared to the existing Journal Impact Factor metric. A key drawback of the new metric appears to be the classification of subject fields, with Clarivate currently using 235 subject categories of varying size and breadth. Additionally, about one-third of these journals belong to more than one category, which may further distort the metric. This commentary discusses the history of cross-journal normalization and potential solutions to assess journal impact accurately.

Open to most of the world via Science|Business | 6-minute read

The European Commission recently presented a new global research agenda, which indicates a more cautious approach to global cooperation in research than previously asserted. The openness of research outside of the EU will now be more selective of reciprocity, mutual gains and shared values, amid growing concerns over intellectual property and authoritarian use of technology, including artificial intelligence. Another driver behind the decision for selective cooperation is the fact that quantum and space are likely to become increasingly important in national security.

MedEdPublish to migrate via Taylor & Francis | 3-minute read

The Association for Medical Education in Europe has announced that the open access medical and health education journal MedEdPublish will be migrating to a new platform that will utilize the technology provided by F1000. F1000 supports FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse of digital assets) data principles, allowing MedEdPublish to retain its own principles of openness and transparency, while making publication smoother and faster for authors. The new platform will be launched in October 2021.

Publish first, perish later via Commonplace | 7-minute read

Following Clarivate’s recent US$5.3 billion acquisition of ProQuest, a content and technology company that provides research software, data and analytics, this commentary piece argues that open access science is in danger of becoming driven by data-mining profits. The authors argue for the Publish, Review, Curate model that circumvents the traditional publishing model of editorial selection of articles. The benefits of this model include fast dissemination of research, highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the removal of editorial decision on which research is considered valuable to society. The drawbacks are, of course, the potential for disinformation and low-quality science.

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Mind UK

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US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention