The importance of being open

 

During the ‘Publish for Impact’ seminar on 27 October different aspects of publishing, visibility and impact – be it academic, societal, or economic, were highlighted. The importance of being open and complementary indicators and methods for measuring impact were also discussed.

The importance of being open

With reproducibility in apparent crisis, transparency and the benefits of open science to the delivery and dissemination of ‘good’ science have never been more pertinent. Anna Treadway, Head of multidisciplinary open access journal Scientific Reports, spoke about ‘The Importance of Being Open’ and the ‘sticks’ driving open access and open data, as well as the ‘carrots’ for researchers in terms of career benefits. She also touched on broader societal benefits of interdisciplinary research, for which open access has led to a new opportunity for reach and dissemination.

How prepaid deals contribute to the Dutch open access uptake

Robert van der Vooren, national program manager focussed on fostering open access publishing of scholarly articles, explained how prepaid deals contribute to the Dutch open access uptake. He argued that a swift and global transition to Open Access depends on well-considered and well-organized strategies for negotiation. Dutch universities started high level administrative negotiations with the top 8 largest publishers. As a result institutional pre-paid open access contracts were concluded. Since then the number of scholarly articles by Dutch affiliated authors grows rapidly. We are able to keep track of the open access uptake by the usage of accurate information provided on openaccess.nl.

Building a grassroots academic publishing movement

Dr. Caroline Edwards talked about the rapidly changing open access (OA) landscape and its impact on academic research, with a particular focus on humanities scholarship. She is a Founder and Director of the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), which launched in September 2015 as a publishing platform for “gold” OA journals, with no author-facing charges. The OLH has been a pioneer in building an academic grassroots movement that champions non-profit OA publishing led by scholars. This initiative demonstrates how subscription journals can be “flipped” to open access in a sustainable way. Dr Edwards outlined how the OLH has grown and what it can offer scholars in terms of bring together the best of traditional publishing and editorial practices with cutting-edge technological innovations in digital publishing and infrastructure.

The next step…

There is an increasing focus on the role of science in society (“societal impact”), more specifically on the socio-economic and cultural benefits/effects that scientific research results have on society at large. The new Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP2015-2021) reflects those changes and requires evaluation methods that do greater justice to the variety of scientific and societal outputs and activities of researchers. But who are the stakeholders (users of research) and how are their interactions with science producers? And if we know the users, how can we find evidence of the use of science? Finally, how do evaluators, scientists and stakeholders alike validate and value the societal impact beyond the scientific realm. Ingeborg Meijer, who collaborates in a number of European projects and manages the CWTS Institutional Projects Board, reflected on research assessment policies, methods on how to trace societal use of science, and on how to balance and contextualize these evaluation systems against scientist behaviour. Only then we will be able to take the next step

The seminar took place in the context of international Open Access week 2016 and was organised by LDE strategic alliance: University Leiden, Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and sponsored by OpenAire.

You can find all the ‘Publish for Impact’ seminar presentations here.

(foto in bijlage ‘Frontiers for Young Minds’)

Watch how this panel of kids explains what criteria should be used when deciding whether a paper should or should not be accepted in the open access journal for kids, Frontiers for Young Minds.

Watch the video

© 2017 TU Delft

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