Outstanding Developments of the Past Year in Scholarly Communication

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Dear Scholarly Communication Colleagues:

It has been an important year in the evolution of open scholarly communication. I am interested in what you think are the major developments of the past 12 months? I will combine these thoughts (acknowledging them of course) with my own to provide a summary at the closing of the FORCE16 meeting in Portland next week.

Any noteworthy development, new tool, new policy, emergent standards, new business model, changing behavior of one or more stakeholder groups are all game. What change matters most to you?

Log into FORCE11 and leave a comment below or join the FORCE11 Google Forum www.force11.org/discussions and comment on the post there.  

Thanks for your input by April 16, 2016.  


Associate Director for Data Science, NIH



I think in the last year I saw more press about Figshare, Overleaf etc which is good for them but also shows a trend towards greater consciousness and acceptance of innovative solutions. Also I think new tools/publishing platforms that deserve a mention: Ferret (have used it personally and find it quite useful), hypothes.is, sciencematters.io, Riojournal-the idea of submitting Fig1A and building the story up publically, visibly and under open access.

The emergence of the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation ( http://coko.foundation/ ) as a player is sudden, and the development of PubSweet is planned to be equally rapid. This project is ambitious and could turn out to be a major shared architecture in our space.

The medics have done this for >15 years now, but finally it seems the rest of us are finally catching up on the open peer review game. On top of the increasing number of journals doing it (been rumblings, though still waiting for PLOS) nearly 60K authors have taken matters into their own hands and posted their reviews on Publons (https://publons.com/). The last year has seen a huge increase to >300K open reports, many with DOI integration (another new feature) so they can be listed on ORCID profiles, so we have to be finally reaching a critical mass with this.

There's developing momentum within Europe towards Open Science - as evidenced by the efforts of the current Dutch Presidency of the EU - http://english.eu2016.nl/events/2016/04/04/open-science-conference. It's particularly encouraging to see that changing practices of research evaluation are seen as a key part of this.

Lots of universities passing OA mandates National deals for ORCID (e.g. in Australia, Italy) and publisher mandating of ORCID too (e.g. Royal Society) Lingua / Glossa Growing awareness of / interest in SciHub (even from outside academia) ... tipping points??

The Peer Review Openness Initiative (https://opennessinitiative.org/) is a valuable step forward in enshrining the idea that peer reviewers can drive change that is beneficial to authors and readers.

Depsy (http://depsy.org/) helps identify the "hidden" software that scholarly research depends on. Given that we are increasingly seeing software as a directly citable research object, tools like Depsy enable the community to start recognising the value of software.

The LIGO collaboration published its recent discovery of gravitational waves by accompanying the full paper with a release of the entire data and analysis (for the signal processing part) in their open science center, in the form of a fully commented Jupyter notebook: https://losc.ligo.org/s/events/GW150914/GW150914_tutorial.html. This reproduces they key figures of the main paper (http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102). By deploying this notebook as a "Binder" (http://mybinder.org), anyone can execute this notebook without installing anything: http://mybinder.org/repo/minrk/ligo-binder/GW150914_tutorial.ipynb. Using this Binder, readers can run the original analysis, change parameters, load new data, etc. This provides full inspectability and reproducibility in addition to open communication with both specialists and the general public. [Disclaimer: I lead the Jupyter project.]