Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Tim Ellison

Featuring how libraries can support Plan S implementation, the Incentivization Blueprint encouraging funders to align with the principles of open research, and the effect on citation performance of a journal becoming open access.

How can libraries support the implementation of Plan S? via SPARC Europe

This week, SPARC Europe released a document suggesting 10 ways in which academic and national libraries can support the Plan S Implementation Task Force with the implementation of the 10 Plan S principles. Suggestions included: exploring collective funding approaches to subsidise open access; providing information on publisher relations and publishing needs in a range of disciplines; and providing training on copyright, licensing and author rights to support the implementation of the first principle of Plan S.

Research funders commit to the principles of the Incentivization Blueprint encouraging open research via Open Research Funders Group

Nine research funders, including the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK, have committed to the principles of the Incentivization Blueprint, which provides funders with a stepwise approach to adjust their incentivization schemes to align with open access, open data, open science and open research more closely. The blueprint outlines three aims that will lead to success: change the perception that publishing in high-impact journals is the only important metric; provide evidence that all types of research outputs are important, not only journal articles; and ensure that the journal reputation and impact factor are not used as surrogate measures of quality in researcher assessment.

Half of all articles by authors affiliated to Dutch universities are open access via VSNU

Just as International Open Access Week was closing for another year, the Association of Universities in The Netherlands (VSNU) published the latest open access figures for peer-reviewed articles by authors affiliated to Dutch universities in 2017. Of 55 713 articles, 50% were open access publications, an 8% improvement on the previous year. Although short of the target of 100% open access publishing by 2020 set by the National Open Science Plan at the start of 2017, Koen Becking, executive open access negotiator for the VSNU, said: “It is encouraging to see we are making progress. We need to continue our firm negotiations and international pressure, as recently done by cOAlition S”.

The effect on citation performance of a journal becoming open access via LSE Impact Blog

In this piece, the results from a recent study examining the effect of open access on citation metrics are discussed by the authors. The citation performance of open access journals was compared to that of subscription journals from 2011 to 2015, with particular attention paid to the journals that ‘flip’ from a subscription model to an open access model. The results showed that when a journal becomes open access, its CiteScore improves significantly – by 0.147, on average. This effect varies according to the publisher, research field and quality rank. For example, the effect was not significant for journals in the highest quality rank. Therefore, some journals may benefit from the open access model more than others, with quality being an important determining factor.

The launch of the Retraction Watch Database via Retraction Watch

The tail end of last week saw the launch of the Retraction Watch Database of more than 18 000 articles retracted by journals. Each retracted article has been assigned a reason for retraction, based on a detailed taxonomy taken from retraction notices. At the time of launch, a six-page package of stories and infographics developed in collaboration with Science Magazine was also released. This shows various trends in the data; for example, countries with smaller scientific communities appear to have a higher rate of retractions.