Scholarly communications links from June 2016

OpenCon 2016: Only one week left to apply to attend OpenCon 2016 on November 12-14 in Washington, DC! Applicants can request a travel scholarship, which will be awarded to most of those accepted. OpenCon seeks to bring together students and early career academic professionals from around the world who want to advance Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data—regardless of their ability to pay for travel costs. A program of keynotes, panels, workshops, hackathons, and meetings with policy makers will build participant’s skills in key areas, but the benefits of applying for OpenCon 2016 extend far beyond attending the Washington event. Find out more and apply before July 11th at

More on ArXiv reboot:
– The ArXiv Use Survey Report is now available.
– Analysis in Nature: ArXiv preprint server plans multimillion-dollar overhaul, by Richard Van Noorden.

Interesting study of changes made during the publishing process for a group of ArXiv papers: preprint and discussion on Retraction Watch, Do publishers add value? Maybe little, suggests preprint study of preprints.

Two on peer review:
Best Practices in Peer Review (for scholarly monographs) from the Association of American University Presses (AAUP). This document is primarily for editors and editorial committees.
What are the challenges of open peer review?, by Stephanie Harriman; nice summary of issues on BioMed Central blog

Effective statistical practice: This open access article is getting a very high number of views: Kass RE, Caffo BS, Davidian M, Meng XL, Yu B, Reid N. Ten Simple Rules for Effective Statistical Practice. PLOS Comput Biol. 2016 Jun 9;12(6):e1004961. I posted it on my math blog but because it relates to data management, it seems to have broader implications to scholarly communication in many disciplines.

Topics in the news:
– 2015 Impact Factors were released and publishers have begun to tout their numbers. WU Libraries provides access to impact factor information via Journal Citation Reports/JCRweb. Remember there is much written about use and abuse of impact factors, for example see San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).
– BREXIT: No one seems to know what the BREXIT vote will mean for UK scholarship but folks are already beginning to speculate; here are a couple of examples: Brexit Implications: EU Funding Received by UK Institutions in the Last Ten Years #BrexitScience on Digital Science blog and Open access and Brexit, by Richard Poynder.
– Fake URLs (primarily from Wiley) was the topic of many blog posts and tweets. Nature did a nice summary: Publisher under fire for fake article webpages

Predatory conferences: Deceptive publishing, sometimes called predatory publishing/journals/publishers, has been discussed quite a lot, but less is said about “predatory conferences.” Proposed Criteria for Identifying Predatory Conferences was posted this month. You may have additional comments to add? I continue to gather selected information on these topics at

Locating free-to-read and open-access versions of articles: As the open access trend grows and many funders are requiring an open or public access version of publications they supported, it is not always safe to assume that WU users do not have access to a particular article in an unsubscribed journal. It is increasingly useful to click on the publisher site or DOI link (even if the Get it! menu says “not available online”). I also like to check the “All x versions” links in the Google Scholar display. New this month, CHORUS now offers a DOI search with a public access indication; certainly this will be better than searching individual funder sites such as NSF and DOE, etc.; more: CHORUS Adds Public Access Flag to Search Results. I expect SHARE Notify BETA to grow in usefulness also. In my opinion, none of these tools work very well right now, except for possibly Google Scholar, but they are all worth watching.

Open textbooks and other educational resources: The #GoOpen District Launch Packet from the U.S. Office of Educational Technology is about open educational resources (OER) in K-12 programs and curricula, but, it seems to me, may have implications to college level textbooks in the future. There is also a lot of activity in college level OER, especially in community colleges. OER-based Degrees: Momentum is a nice summary blog post on that.

I recommend the Scholarly Publishing Round-up July 2016 post from Becker Medical Library as another source of news and interesting articles!

About the author

Ruth is a librarian at Washington University for biology, math, history of science; she is also scholarly communications coordinator. Email: Phone: 314-935-4819