Archive for: March, 2015

Some perspective on "predatory" open access journals

Predatory open access journals seem to be a hot topic these days. In fact, there seems to be kind of a moral panic surrounding them. I would like to counter the admittedly shocking and scary stories around that moral panic by pointing out that perhaps we shouldn't be worrying so much about a fairly small number of admittedly bad actors and that we should be more concerned with the larger issues around the limitations of peer review and how scientific error and fraud leak through that system.

I'm hoping my methodology here will be helpful. I hope to counter the predatory open access (OA) journal story with a different and hopefully just as compelling narrative. Fist of all, after gathering together some of the stories about predatory OA journals, I will present some of what's been written recently about issues in scientific peer review, it's problems and potential solutions.

Then I'll be presenting a more direct counter narrative to the predatory one. First of all, I'll present some information about the fantastic resource Retraction Watch. Then I'll present some concrete case studies on how traditional peer reviewed commercial publishing fails in all the same way that supposedly predatory publishing fails.

Finally, using the incredible work of Walt Crawford and others, I'll gather some resources that will further debunk the whole "predatory" open access moral panic and further suggest that perhaps it isn't the bogus OA journals that are the main source of "predatory" publishing, but rather that the big commercial and society publishers perhaps deserve that label more.

I want to be perfectly clear. My issue isn't with the necessity of peer review and it's importance in science. Issues like climate change and vaccination panics highlight why trusting in peer reviewed science is most responsible thing to do. After all, “Research misconduct accounts for a small percentage of total funding”. I think it's probably safe to say that at the end of the day, peer review and scientific publishing work fairly well as far as fraud and general quality levels go.

But.

Both peer review in particular and the scholarly communications ecosystem in general are human systems with all the potential for the full range of human weaknesses that implies: folly, error, bias, fallibility and bad faith. This post will explore some of the dimensions of folly, error, bias and bad faith in scholarly communication.

Let's start our adventures with some media stories and cases studies of bad faith -- true predatory open access journals.

Predatory journals are a real problem, of course, as we can see from the list above. However, I think the moral panic about their extent and impact tends to be exaggerated. I would really love to see more balance in reporting about predatory journals that contrast the real issues with scam journals with what I think are the far more pressing issues in scholarly communications. In other words, the flaws and limitations in the peer review system and the far more "predatory" traditional system of scholarly publishing that's controlled by the big commercial and society publishers. It's those publishers that are the leeches affecting the system.

These stories and anecdotes about predatory journals tend to acquire the mythic stature of the stories and anecdotes about vaccination that drive the anti-vaccine movement. Those tragic, personal stories take on a weight and social impact that's disproportional to the actual scientific and statistical significance.

 

Time to explore bias and human fallibility a little bit. Here are some resources about the general state of peer review, talking in general about the issues around peer review and the potential for reform. This list is meant to contrast the moral panic about "predatory" open access journals with a sober discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of peer review across all of science publishing, not just some fairly specific issues with a limited number of open access journals.

General Resources on Quality in Scientific Publishing, particularly on Issues with and Reform of Peer Review

(The Shit My Reviewers Say tumblr is a lighter-side exploration of some of these issues.)

 

More importantly perhaps, there is another set. There is no shortage of fairly well publicized cases of significant retractions or scientific fraud that got past the peer review process in traditionally published, peer reviewed journals, mostly from the big commercial or society publishers. In other words, where peer review was the issue, not the subscription model.

The brain child of Ivan Oransky, Retraction Watch is an amazing resource in this area, so before we get to the main event here are some advanced reading from and about that fine resource.

If you want to know about the failing of the big publishers when it comes to quality control or about researcher perpetrating scientific fraud, Retraction Watch is the definitive site on the web.

Resources by and about Retraction Watch

The site Science Fraud was taken down by various legal threats. While it existed, it was an amazing resource for uncovering practices such as falsified images or tables. Some posts are retrievable via the Internet Archive.

SCIgen is a website that allow anyone to automatically generate a bogus paper. It is often used to generate garbage papers for predatory open access journal stings. SCIgenDetection is one site that detects SCIgen papers. The SCIgen page has a number of examples and other resources related to automatically generated bogus scientific pages.

Springer has recently teamed up with Université Joseph Fourier to release the a generalized open source software package SciDetect which tries to detect fake scientific papers such as those generated by SCIGen.

 

And yes, the main event where we explore a different dimension of bad faith and human folly and weakness. This time on the side of the supposedly "good guys."

Bellow are examples where big commercial or society traditional, subscription-based peer review have fallen short, either due to careless or insufficient review or fraud on the part of scientists. Of course, peer review will rarely catch genuine fraud as the books are cooked. But even fraud cases demonstrate the limits of peer review across all scholarly communication, not just in "predatory" open access journals.

I would like to emphasize that this list is extremely selective. I'm mostly only highlighting particularly egregious examples that have made their way into the mass media or onto popular blogs. As above, for much much more, please visit Retraction Watch for more complete coverage. For example, The top 10 retractions of 2014.

This list is meant to contrast in number and severity to the list of examples of "predatory" open access publishing crisis and stings above.

Failure in Scholarly Communications Ecosystem through Stupidity, Error or Fraud

As noted above, this is the tip of the iceberg. Please see Retraction Watch for the rest of the iceberg.

And here are some books about academic fraud.

 

And as a bit of a desert, let's take a brief look at who we should perhaps be considering predatory journals, those big commercial and society journals that soak the library world for every penny of obscene profit.

Oh yes, some resources from this blog and beyond that highlight some of the issues with the big, traditional journals, some of which are society, some of which are commercial. And finally, some resources about the real predatory publishing, the big commercial and society publishers who control so much of scholarly publishing.

This list is extremely partial. Please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

Hearing complaints and panic about predatory open access journals? Send them here for a hopefully more complete and honest picture.

(As usual, if I've mis-characterized or misunderstood any of the incidents or if I'm missing any significant items for any of the lists above, please let me know in the comments or by email at jdupuis at yorku dot ca. Hey, think of this as post-publication open peer review on this blog post. The wave of the future!)

20 responses so far

Reading Diary: Graphic novel catchup: Laika, Neurocomic, In Real Life and The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change

Here's a bunch of graphic novels I've read in the last while that are well worth your time reading and acquiring for your library!

Abadzis, Nick. Laika. New York: First Second, 2007. 208pp. ISBN-13: 978-1596431010

Laika by Nick Abadzis in a fantastic graphic novel recounting the life of the first dog in space, the Russian dog Laika. The book goes into quite a bit of social and political history of the Soviet union in the 1950s, giving a good sense of how totalitarian states sometimes make decisions. We also get an illuminating look into the lives of people around Laika as her fateful one-way journey approaches. I really like the way Abadzis mixes the biographical with the fictionalized to give a sense of history.

In particular, keeping too close to known details and personages might have bled a bit of the drama from the tale. At the same time, inventing too many characters or events would have done a disservice to how amazing the truth is. Great book, great art, highly recommended for all audiences. This would be a great book for any school library, elementary, middle or high school. Academic libraries that collect graphic novels on science should acquire this.

 


Doctorow, Cory and Jen Wang. In Real Life. New York: First Second, 2014. 192pp. ISBN-13: 978-1596436589

Cory Doctorow's story Anda's Game has been adapted before, but this expanded version by Jen Wang is much longer and more engaging than what I've seen done before. In Real Life is the story of a young gamer, Anda, and her introduction to some of the harsher realities of life through a massively multiplayer game. She discovers that the economics aren't so simple -- she might work hard to earn the "gold" she needs to succeed but those with ready cash can exploit sweat shop "gold farmers" in China and pay real life money for game gold. Which is cheating, in a way, but also emblematic of how the off-line world works. Entrenched, wealth interests have an advantage.

And of course, Anda being an idealistic girl wants to help out one such gold farmer, a boy in China who is being exploited by the people who run the gold farms. Action and adventure ensure, In Real Life is a fast-paced tale with a lot to recommend it. Wang's adaptation is solid and her art is both joyful and fun yet still able to convey the grittier parts of the story. If they book has a flaw, it's that it seems a little too pat and simplistic for this young western girl to save the poor developing world boy. The simplification of the world that needs to happen for this to happen weakens a book aimed at an older teen audience who could probably handle a bit more complexity.

Overall, I would recommend this book for any young adult. Any public, high school or middle school library would do well to acquire this book.

 

Klein, Grady and Yoram Bauman. The Cartoon Guide to Climate Change. Washington: Island Press, 2014. 216pp. ISBN-13: 978-1610914383

The best part of Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman's The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change is the way is very clearly and concisely lays out the the current scientific understanding of climate change, presenting all the evidence in a clear and understandable way. From a brief introduction to earth science through the geological history of earth, the carbon cycle and some basic information on energy all the way to a solid introduction to climate science, Klein and Bauman cover all the basics. They also present one of the best explanations I've seen of the predictions of climate science in terms of extreme weather, water issues as well as implications for life on earth. Taking the long view, they also address what the implications are in a 100 year time frame and touch on what uncertainty means in the context of climate science.

Perhaps a bit weaker is the last section of the book, on actions we can take to combat climate change. They tend to focus on techno fixes that promise major fixes while only changing our lifestyles very little. The case they make that we can use the tools of capitalism and merely tweak our current system and still major changes in our carbon footprint isn't very convincing. Both Philippe Squarzoni's Climate Changed and Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything both make more convincing cases that we'll need more structural changes to deal with reducing our carbon output.

All that being said, this book is still worthwhile as an introduction and perhaps a gift to the climate skeptic in your circle. Bauman's narrative is clear and yet lively and amusing and Klein's art fits perfectly with the slightly zany tone. I'd recommend it to high school libraries and academic libraries that collect science or climate themed graphic novels or popular science.

 

Ros, Hanna and Matteo Farinella. Neurocomic. London: Nobrow, 2014. 144pp. ISBN-13: 978-1907704703

A book project supported by the Wellcome Trust, Hanna Ros and Matteo Farinella's Neurocomic is a bizarre and phantasmagorical visual journey through the world of neuroscience. The narrative is a bit strained at times, but the scientific material they do cover is solid and well presented. The art is a perfect compliment to the dreamy tale of exploration and neuroscience. Recommended, especially for an undergraduate audience.

One response so far

Reading Diary: Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow

While I was reading Cory Doctorow's Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I was reminded of a quote of his that I blogged about a few years ago:

The people in Makers experience a world in which technology giveth and taketh away. They live through the fallacy of the record and movie industries: the idea that technology will go just far enough to help them and then stop. That’s totally not what happens. technology joes that far and them keeps on going. It’s a cycle of booms and busts. There are some lovely things about when you’re riding the wave and some scary things.

The Information Revolution is not bloodless. There’s plenty to like about the pre-Information era and a lot of that will go away. We can mourn it in the same way we mourn the knife sharpener who walked down the road with his wheel, the same way we mourn the passing of the lace tatter and all the other jobs that were made obsolete by one kind of technology or another. But we can mourn it without apologizing for the future that disrupted it.

(Doctorow, C. (2009, November). Cory Doctorow: Riding the wave. Locus, 63(5), 7, 60-61.)

Which is basically what IDWTBF is about -- how to make the bloody information revolution a bit less painful for creative artists trying to make a living is a radically different economic and social environment. But Doctorow isn't making suggestions is a "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss," Animal Farmish "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." kind of way. He's no fan of the big record companies or mega-publishers that want to figure out how to redirect new forms of revenue streams to old-fashioned intermediaries. Doctorow is trying to figure out how creative artists can succeed on their own terms, even if those terms end up requiring the support of those very intermediaries. He doesn't hate the "dinosaurs," he just wants to put the decision-making power where it belongs, with the creators.

Of course, he's a realist too, and doesn't try and convince anybody that the new world order is universally delivering riches to everyone who embraces it. On the contrary, he's quite blunt that almost everyone who wants to make a living as a creative artist will fail to do so. Just as it has pretty well always been. It's hard work, that requires a mixture of grit, luck and drive as well as the embracing of some new skill sets.

Doctorow presents his three laws of the Internet age, for figuring out how to succeed after the revolution:

  1. Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and won't give you the key, that lock isn't there for your benefit.
  2. Fame won't make you rich, but you can't get paid without it.
  3. Information doesn't want to be free, people do.

I won't go into too much detail with what the various laws entail, but basically what Doctorow is saying is that DRM ultimately works against the best interests of the creator by making it harder for the consumers of culture to own their cultural products in the way that makes the most sense for them. Why pay for something you don't really own, after all. The next challenge is recognizing that the creator's biggest challenge is overcoming obscurity, not defeating piracy. Creators shouldn't be blind to the implications of piracy but should spend more time making sure their potential audiences know who they are and what they have to offer and most of all, how consumers can support the creators financially. And finally, what do people want from the Web? They want to use it as openly and freely as possible. Getting in the way of that desire -- which ultimately can't be thwarted in any meaningful way anyways -- doesn't do anybody any good. Embrace the freedom and the only way to succeed rather than a self-fulfilling guarantee of failure.

Which is brutal, of course, because most creators will fail at making a living at their art, as it was always been. But Doctorow's advice would be to embrace his laws as a way of at least giving yourself the best show at success. Engage and delight your audience, that's the key.

This is a short book, full of sharp shocks. I would recommend it to everyone who either produces or consumes culture in the modern world. Which is just about everyone! Did I agree with everything? Not really. Doctorow is maybe a bit cavalier about what we loose in new business models. Thinking of the knife sharpener in the quote above, it's still better to get your knife sharpened than to leave them dull or just treat cheap knives as disposable. Or even to not need knives anymore because you don't ever prepare your own food. Sometimes old ways and old things are worth fighting for, as tough and useless as that fight might end up being. After all, if you don't fight back and resist you can be sure you'll lose. And I'm sure other readers will pick other bits to argue or dispute. Which is one of the pleasures of the book in a way. Doctorow is pretty confident in his opinions, and that provocation can a healthy exercise. He's thought these things through pretty thoroughly over the course of many years and many books and articles, after all, so spotting flaws is a challenge.

In the end, this is a worthwhile read, one that would benefit pretty well any library.

Doctorow, Cory. Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age. San Francisco: McSweeney's, 2014. 162pp. ISBN-13: 978-1940450285

One response so far

Around the Web: Love in the time of austerity and other stories of library apocalypse

Mar 12 2015 Published by under acad lib future, around the web, librarianship

No responses yet

Around the Web: What is the Internet of Things and other reports relevant to libraries and librarianship

Mar 11 2015 Published by under acad lib future, academia, around the web

I'm always interested in the present and future of libraries and higher education. There's a steady stream of reports from various organizations that are broadly relevant to the (mostly academic) library biz but they can be tough to keep track of. I thought I'd aggregate some of those here.

Of course I've very likely missed a few, so suggestions are welcome in the comments.

I've done a few similar posts recently here, here and here.

2 responses so far

Reading Diary: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein

We live in a k-cup culture. Focused on the near term but willfully blind to the longer term implications of our daily decisions.

Just before the holidays I was watching the CBC TV show Power and Politics and they were discussing a bunch of "Top 5s" in an end-of year story. You know the type, the Top 5 this's and that's from the previous year, 2014, as well as a couple looking ahead to 2015. With a federal election scheduled in 2015, were the top 5 election issues that Canada that Canadians should keep on their radar in the coming year?

  1. Economy/Jobs
  2. Leadership/Ethics
  3. Energy/Climate Change
  4. Security/Defence
  5. Surplus Spending

Wow, I was really glad to see Energy and Climate change on the list, looking forward to a substantive discussion of how the onrushing reality of climate change would shape the issues discussed during the election campaign. Especially how the Canadian government's energy policies shackle us to the big energy companies, selling our economic and environmental heritage to rapacious resource developers? After all, this is the CBC, right? Right? Bastion of honest political discourse and certainly not beholden to government dictate.

Well, what ensued was pretty disappointing. The discussion didn't revolve around how the discussion of real issues should shape the election campaign or how climate change is the most important issue of our day. No, it was mostly about how political partisanship and spin and point-making around pipeline projects would distort the campaign. Never once did the idea that we really need to leave all that oil in the ground come up at all. In other words, the issues are important in the way they allow the parties to attack each other but not as issues in and of themselves.

My only thought? We're doomed. I was disappointed not only in the commentators and the CBC but in the crushing shallowness of the entirety of Canadian political culture.

“Even if a small fraction of the Arctic carbon were released to the atmosphere, we’re fucked…We’re on a trajectory to an unmanageable heating scenario, and we need to get off it. We’re fucked at a certain point, right? It just becomes unmanageable. The climate dragon is being poked, and eventually the dragon becomes pissed off enough to trash the place.”
James Box

We're fucked.

And if we want to have any chance of unfucking ourselves in the near future we all need to wake up and realize that everything has to change in our politics and our culture. And no matter how much the science seems to tell us to change, we can't seem to wrap our collective heads around the political and social imperative to change.

Which brings me to Naomi Klein's strident manifesto, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. Which isn't so much a science book as a pay-attention-to-science book.

The core idea of Klein's book is that nothing is going to save us from the climate crisis unless we start to take seriously the idea that the only way we're going to be able to take the climate crisis seriously and leave all that oil in the ground is to essentially change everything about the relationship between our society and the environment, every single aspect of the way we live and the way we govern ourselves. A pretty tall order, and Klein is pretty persuasive in making her case.

This Changes Everything is a wide-ranging book that covers a lot of ground in quite a bit of detail, all the way from education to explication to advocacy and a call to action. It's long and detailed, Klein is not afraid to go into specifics to make her case either that action is needed or what kind of action is needed. It's a political tract as much as an environmental one, which is partly why the book is quite lengthy. She just needs all that space to talk about what she wants to talk about.

Beginning with the realities of globalization, the ground Klein covers includes everything from the shady political and economic elite driving so much energy policy to the very real dangers of fracking, from the failure of well-intentioned, top-down "green" campaigns to the reality of greenwashing, from the insanity of climate engineering to fossil fuel resistance campaigns, from the role of trade deals to the role of indigenous peoples in blockading resource development, from taxing the rich and making polluters pay to divestment campaigns, from the ineffectiveness of government environmental policies all the way to a clarion call for a fundamental shift in our values that will drive an economic and social revolution in the way we relate to the natural world.

This thing, the threat of human-caused global warming, forces us to change everything or face the consequences. In other words, we must pay attention to science. We need more pay-attention-to-science books, documentaries, web sites, podcasts, YouTube channels. Everything.

This is a wonderful book, not without its faults (a bit wordy and repetitive at times, for example, not to mention perhaps a whiff of "ends justify the means" in the final sections on climate advocacy), but one I would recommend without hesitation to anyone interested in the future of our planet. Buy this book, read it, give your copy to your local conservative politician. Buy another copy and make sure all the young people in your social circle read it too. Buy yet another copy and donate it to your local public library.

This Changes Everything belongs in the collection of pretty well every public and academic library. Probably most high school libraries could benefit from it as well. If it was shorter and perhaps less strident, it would be fantastic for one-book-one-campus programs.

(Review copy provided by publisher.)

Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2014. 566pp. ISBN-13: 978-0307401991

10 responses so far

Canada's new Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

Finally, the Canadian government's Tri-Agency funding councils (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) have released the consolidated final version of it's open access policy. The draft version came out some time ago. The consultation process garnered quite a few responses, which the Tri-Agencies were kind enough to summarize for us.

And finally it is here. I have to admit I was getting a bit concerned. The final version was rumoured to have been kicking around the various departments waiting for final sign-off for months. With the rumours of the Conservatives possibly dropping the writ and calling a spring election I was concerned that the policy would just fall off everyone's radar and then a new government would just restart at least part of the process.

The press release is here. The FAQ is here as well as a toolbox of resources.

Here's the official text of the policy:

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications
1. Preamble
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (“the Agencies”) are federal granting agencies that promote and support research, research training and innovation within Canada. As publicly funded organizations, the Agencies have a fundamental interest in promoting the availability of findings that result from the research they fund, including research publications and data, to the widest possible audience, and at the earliest possible opportunity. Societal advancement is made possible through widespread and barrier-free access to cutting-edge research and knowledge, enabling researchers, scholars, clinicians, policymakers, private sector and not-for-profit organizations and the public to use and build on this knowledge.

Information and communications technology, and in particular the advent of the internet, has transformed the way that science and scholarly research is conducted and communicated. Indicative of this changing landscape has been the steady growth in open access publishing and archiving, which facilitates widespread dissemination of research results. Open access enables researchers to make their publications freely available to the domestic and international research community and to the public at large, thereby enhancing the use, application and impact of research results.

Momentum for open access has been growing as numerous funding agencies and institutions worldwide implement open access policies. The Agencies strongly support open access to research results which promotes the principle of knowledge sharing and mobilization – an essential objective of academia. As research and scholarship become increasingly multi-disciplinary and collaborative, both domestically and internationally, the Agencies are working to facilitate research partnerships by harmonizing domestic policies and aligning with the global movement to open access.

The following principles guide the Agencies in their approach to promoting open access to research publications:

  1. Committing to academic freedom, and the right to publish;
  2. Recognizing the critical importance of peer review to the scholarly communication ecosystem;
  3. Maintaining the high standards and quality of research by committing to academic openness and responsible conduct of research;
  4. Promoting recognized research best practices and standards across disciplines, and embracing and sharing emerging practices and standards;
  5. Advancing academic research, science and innovation;
  6. Effective dissemination of research results; and
  7. Aligning activities and policies between Canadian and international research funding agencies.

2. Policy Objective
The objective of this policy is to improve access to the results of Agency-funded research, and to increase the dissemination and exchange of research results. All researchers, regardless of funding support, are encouraged to adhere to this policy.

3. Policy Statement
3.1 Peer-reviewed Journal Publications
Grant recipients are required to ensure that any peer-reviewed journal publications arising from Agency-supported research are freely accessible within 12 months of publication. Recipients can do this through one of the following routes:

a. Online Repositories
Grant recipients can deposit their final, peer-reviewed manuscript into an institutional or disciplinary repository that will make the manuscript freely accessible within 12 months of publication. It is the responsibility of the grant recipient to determine which publishers allow authors to retain copyright and/or allow authors to archive journal publications in accordance with funding agency policies.

b. Journals
Grant recipients can publish in a journal that offers immediate open access or that offers open access on its website within 12 months. Some journals require authors to pay article processing charges (APCs) to make manuscripts freely available upon publication. The cost of publishing in open access journals is an eligible expense under the Use of Grant Funds.

These routes to open access are not mutually exclusive. Researchers are strongly encouraged to deposit a copy of the final, peer-reviewed manuscript into an accessible online repository immediately upon publication, even if the article is freely available on the journal’s website.

Grant recipients must acknowledge Agency contributions in all peer-reviewed publications, quoting the funding reference number (e.g. FRN, Application ID).

3.2 Publication-related Research Data

CIHR only
Recipients of CIHR funding are required to adhere with the following responsibilities:

  1. Deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database (e.g. gene sequences deposited in GenBank) immediately upon publication of research results. Please refer to the Annex for examples of research outputs and the corresponding publicly accessible repository or database.
  2. Retain original data sets for a minimum of five years after the end of the grant (or longer if other policies apply).This applies to all data, whether published or not. The grant recipient's institution and research ethics board may have additional policies and practices regarding the preservation, retention, and protection of research data that must be respected.


4. Implementation Date

CIHR
For research funded in whole or in part by CIHR, this policy applies to all grants awarded January 1, 2008 and onward. While not required, researchers holding grants that were awarded prior to January 1, 2008 are encouraged to adhere to the requirements of this policy.

NSERC and SSHRC
For research funded in whole or in part by NSERC or SSHRC, this policy applies to all grants awarded May 1, 2015 and onward. While not required, researchers holding grants that were awarded prior to May 1, 2015 are encouraged to adhere to the requirements of this policy.

5. Compliance with the Policy
Grant recipients are reminded that by accepting Agency funds they have accepted the terms and conditions of the grant or award as set out in the Agencies’ policies and guidelines. In the event of an alleged breach of Agency policy, the Agency may take steps outlined in accordance with the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research to deal with the allegation. For research funded by the Agencies, the Institution shall enable researchers to comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Publication Policy, as amended from time to time.

6. Policy Review
The Agencies will review and adapt this policy as appropriate.

7. Additional Information
A) Various resources to assist researchers in complying with this policy can be found in the Toolbox.

B) Further information regarding how to comply with the open access policy can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions.

How do I feel about the final version? Overall, happy to finally have a policy in hand that will move forward and get the research funded by the government of Canada out there and available to the public. Frankly, it is a bit disappointing to have waited so long for a final policy that is so close to the original draft. What could have possibly taken so long?

As such, my comments on the original very closely mirror my comments on this version. I'm disappointed that the Feds didn't invest any kind of effort of new money into a process to ease the transition to open access or to bring stakeholders together. I'm disappointed that they aren't topping up grants or making dedicated funds to pay for at least a little bit of publication charges. I'm disappointed that they didn't extend data requirements beyond CIHR. I'm disappointed that the policy only applies to journal articles and not other funded research outputs. Twelve months is too long, it should be six months until materials need to be made open.

But at the end of the day, those are quibbles. We have a policy. Let's get down to business.

Heather Morrison has some commentary here.

Back in June 2013 I did a post on open access resources in Canada. That post definitely needs updating!

And speaking of resources, Walt Crawford has done an amazing job of chronicling and analyzing open access and the open access movement in his online zine, Cites & Insights, especially over the last year or so with his coverage of "predatory" journals, the costs of open access and the Science journal "sting." He's kindly gathered together links to all those issues on one master post.

I'm copying those links here. Thanks, Walt!

2 responses so far