Posts Tagged ‘open access’

Looking for data and data repositories? Check out!

During my search for a suitable repository for publishing data and code of our potato trade network analysis, @hauschke and @pampel pointed me to is a global registry of data repositories with the mission to

present repositories for the permanent storage and access of data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers and scholarly institutions. In the course of this mission aims to promote a culture of sharing, increased access and better visibility of research data.

Currently, contains over 600 data repositories which are accessible either by browsing through the catalogue or via a search facility. A really useful resource!


Tearing down barriers to accessing research: The Open Access Button

A very neat tool to visualize the ubiquity of paywalls that restrict the access to scientific results and to improve the access to scientific work is now available as a plugin for the most popular webbrowsers.

The Open Access Button allows the user to report whenever he or she hits a paywall while searching for research. The hits are shown on a global map, which contributes to making explicit the extent and ubiquity of paywalls that restrict access to research.

The status so far:


Open Access publishing for agricultural sciences

15/10/2013 1 comment

OpenAccess_LogoPublishing open access should become the gold standard for international agricultural research for development.

The fact that most funding comes from public sources of charity organizations makes hiding research results behind paywalls difficult to defend. Also is it a stated goal of many research organizations, e.g., CGIAR, to provide global public goods and make research results openly available. Last but not least, it should be inherent to each researcher’s ethics to make research results freely accessible.

However, open access publishing is a relatively new and very dynamic field. Large numbers of open access publishers and journals are popping up. While some publishers are serious in providing outlets for high quality research, others try to exploit open access publishing through dubious business practices. Predatory publishers accept and publish articles without adequate quality control (e.g., peer review) only to charge author fees. The downside of this phenomenon is that the quality of published research output becomes difficult to judge. Moreover, a list of publications in journal of dubious quality may affect the scientific reputation of individual researchers and entire research organizations alike.

In this context, the identification of serious journals may at times be difficult – many of them are new and still have to build their reputation – but nonetheless necessary. Efforts like Beall’s List of questionable, scholarly open-access publishers and journals can help to avoid low quality publications. However, they are of little help when one is looking for an open access outlet for research in the field of agricultural sciences.

Asking colleagues for their recommendations may offer a way out. Indeed, when discussing the issue at CIP, researchers came up with a list of the publishers and journals they have made good experiences with:

Plos One is perceived as a Golden Open Source with a rigorous and fast publishing process.
The BMC series (Genomics, Genetics, Biology and many more) is considered to have a fast peer review process and a good reputation.
– The Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development (JARTS) publishes with serious peer review.

This list is still rather short, but can offer an entry point into the world of open access publishing in agricultural sciences.

What has been your experience so far? Do you know any other publishers and journals from agricultural sciences you have made good or bad experiences with? Any suggestions and comments are highly welcome.

P.S. Just during the time this blog post was written, Science Magazine published an article titled “Who is afraid of peer review”. Although it has also been criticized, mainly for methodological reasons, the article captures well the principal motivation that’s behind this post.

Open Agrar – Repository for agricultural research from Germany

A new open access repository OPEN AGRAR provides access to the research output of five federal research institutes under the realm of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection.

Unfortunately, the user interface is in German language only. But the papers mostly in English…

Categories: Academic publishing Tags:

Open Economics Principles

With the recognition that

Economic research is based on building on, reusing and openly criticising the published body of economic knowledge [and that] […] empirical economic research and data play a central role for policy-making in many important areas of our economies and societies […]

the Open Economics Working Group of the Open Knowledge Foundation has introduced the Open Economics Principles.

The Open Economics Principles promote openess in economic research by making economic research results, data and analysis be made openly and freely available (wherever possible).

Go to the website of the Open Economics Working Group to learn more about the Open Economics Principles. And endorse them! (as a first step before making your data available)

Interdisciplinary repository: Zenodo

Infobib made me aware of the interdisciplinary repository Zenodo.

ZENODO is a repository service that enables researchers, scientists, projects and institutions to share and showcase multidisciplinary research results (data and publications) that are not part of existing institutional or subject-based repositories.

ZENODO enables researchers, scientists, EU projects and institutions to:

  • easily share the long tail of small research results in a wide variety of formats including text, spreadsheets, audio, video, and images across all fields of science.
  • display their research results and get credited by making the research results citable and integrate them into existing reporting lines to funding agencies like the European Commission.
  • easily access and reuse shared research results.

Elsevier takes over Mendeley – reasons to leave now

10/04/2013 2 comments

Two days ago it was announced that Elsevier has bought the reference manager and academic social network Mendeley.

Luis J. Villanueva explains why this should be a reason to move away from Mendeley.

For example:

Elsevier has been denounced by editorial boards, libraries, thousands of researchers, and many other groups for their greedy behavior over content that is not generated by them. They bundle titles, forcing libraries to buy access to more than what they want. MIT has opted out of this at a premium. The company also was caught doing some shady business:

“[…] Elsevier put out a total of six publications between 2000 and 2005 that were sponsored by unnamed pharmaceutical companies and looked like peer reviewed medical journals, but did not disclose sponsorship, the company has admitted.” – The Scientist

Elsevier was among the companies that supported the draconian SOPA, until it became too hot to handle. As a reference, check the full MIT fact sheet on Elsevier. Basically, they oppose open access, squeeze the budget of libraries, and make an obscene profit from our work. A former developer, that moved to PeerJ, has written an interesting post on the matter.

Luckily, alternatives are available, for example the free and open source software Zotero.