The Social Dilemma and open academic analytics

Last night I watched the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma (https://www.netflix.com/title/81254224), in which former employees of the big Silicon Valley social media companies expose the serious and sometimes tragic or even fatal consequences that social media may have on individual lives. These social media services are run by commercial companies under pressure from shareholders to make ever increasing profits. In this situation, the ultimate consumers of these services becomes not the individuals using them, but the advertisers, and the users of these services (ourselves) become the commodities whose user profiles and personal preferences are sold by the social media companies to the advertisers for use in targetting adverts.

The Social Dilemma is a compelling documentary, since it is told by those who know (since they helped build and run the systems). It is particularly relevant to those who have pre-teen and teenage children, whose lives and personal interactions are increasingly being shaped and to a large extent controlled by social media, particularly during the current Covid-19 lock-downs. As recent events in the United States have highlighted, social media also pose fundamental issues around the definition of “facts” and “beliefs”, moving the debate from epistemology to politics and affecting the future of our societies.

From social media to academic analytics

Jason Priem’s self-portrait as a phrenology illustration.

From https://www.flickr.com/photos/26158205@N04/4307548673. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Jason Priem is co-founder of ImpactStory, Depsy, UnPayWall and other open analytic and open science infrastructures and services (https://our-research.org/projectsthat deserve ongoing support from the academic community.

Academic analytics is the application of statistical, predictive modelling, data mining and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to analyse, evaluate and summarize various types of organizational, educational and bibliographic data derived from higher educational and research institutions, in order to provide numerical results that can be used to guide strategic planning and decision-making practices in these contexts. It is increasingly used for student and faculty assessment, for deciding the allocation of funding, and for evaluating the standing and productivity both of individual academic departments and of entire universities.

Examples of such analyses include the degree of cross-institutional and international authorship of scholarly publications, and their citation counts excluding self-citations, used as indicators of the importance of research project outputs; the correlation of student grades with their interactions with university services such as libraries and virtual learning environments, used improve the learning performance of individual students; and the drop-out rates and degree distributions of different universities, employed to evaluate the quality of teaching. Those using such analyses include not only university administrators and individual academics, but also, in the case of learning analytics, increasingly the students themselves and their parents.

The relevance of The Social Dilemma to academic analytics is that these, like social media, are increasingly controlled by commercial companies under similar pressures to turn a profit. Here it is the universities and their academic data that become the consumed commodities, while the commercial suppliers of academic analytical services are the financial beneficiaries of these data.

There are, of course, differences between these two situations. While social media companies and academic analytics companies both have shareholders that expect profits and users to whom they provide services, the social media companies have advertisers that bring in revenue, while academic analytics companies get most of their revenue directly from the academic community itself. There is thus a relatively close connection between those who provide the raw data and those who pay for the analytical services built over these data. Since the academic community is both data provider and the one who pays the piper, this means that the social dilemma around research analytics should be easier to resolve than the social dilemma surrounding social media.

A further important difference is the following: while participation in social media is strictly voluntary, most of the academic community are evaluated through data analytics and AI without their express consent. Information on faculty members is being collected and used with little or no recourse for the individuals affected, since there are few, if any, rights to disclosure, rights to opt out of data analytics and AI-powered reviews and decisions, rights to review the data for errors, rights to correct errors, or rights to appeal decisions based on such analytics. Academic positions carry with them the expectation of academic freedom, the principles of which are hard to reconcile with the intense individual scrutiny built into the deployment of academic analytics and AI.

The dangers of commercial analytic platforms in academia

In May 2020, Amy Brand and Claudio Aspesi published their seminal article In pursuit of open science, open access is not enough (Science 368: 574-577. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aba3763), in which they argued cogently about the dangers of commercial dominance of academic data analytics and knowledge infrastructures, and the need for open alternatives. Details of this growing commercial dominance of academic analytics, among other platforms and services, are given in the excellent analysis by Penny C. S. Andrews in her chapter The Platformization of Open (https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/11885.003.0027), in the book Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access edited by Martin Paul Eve and Jonathan Gray (The MIT Press, 2020: https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/11885.001.0001).

Take, for example, the major university rankings, such as the Times Higher Education ranking. These rankings are extremely powerful. They rely on proprietary data, ironically to a significant extent made freely available to the producers of the rankings by universities, which are then used to define how the performance of universities should be assessed. Times Higher Education, for instance, presents its World University Rankings as “the definitive list of the top universities globally” (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings). The performance criteria used by the Times Higher Education ranking, and a few other major university rankings, now play an important role in the decision-making processes of universities all over the world. However, because the underlying data are proprietary, it is hard to challenge the rankings or to use the data to provide alternative perspectives on university performance. It has become increasingly difficult for universities to develop strategic priorities that do not align with the performance criteria used by the major university rankings. For example, at one major European university, discussions about the development of an open science strategy explicitly take into account the possible negative effects of open science practices on its position in the major university rankings.

Application of the message of The Social Dilemma to the realm of scholarly information shows how the rise of commercially controlled academic analytics might fundamentally threaten academic freedom and access to truth itself. As Penny Andrews points out, several of the big players in academic publishing and scholarly communication are now building suites of products based around scholarly data and analytics, whose platforms rarely have open and transparent governance, and are encouraging universities to subscribe to such suites, sometimes in deals that, in the name of open science, bundle access to the institution’s scholarly data and provision of analytics based upon them with open access publication of that institution’s scholarly outputs, as, for example, in the Dutch Universities’ recent deal with Elsevier (https://tinyurl.com/y5v7ua7u). By gaining proprietorial control of such data, and by providing the default means of information transfer and workflows between a university’s administrative CRIS systems, academic libraries and individual researchers, such commercial companies lock universities and national consortia into non-interoperable situations in which their academic data, whether relating to their own standing, to the sources and distribution of their external research funding, or to the publication records and relative academic merits of their faculty members, are no longer fully under their own control.

The issues posed by the commercial deployment of data analytics are clearly compounded when these services are performed by companies which conduct other business with the academic community. A researcher who is faced with the question of where to publish her next article can be forgiven for deciding that, at the margin, it cannot hurt to submit it to a journal owned by the company tasked with assessing her research performance. There is a massive conflict of interest when companies that derive significant parts of their profits from publishing research also assess it and offer guidance on what projects should be funded next.

The urgent need for open community-governed infrastructures

For the reasons discussed above, the present situation in academia is dire. The academic community should take control of the data analytics infrastructures it uses, which need to be kept open, with transparent governance, to ensure the healthy functioning of the academic community. While the existing scholarly publishing infrastructure is well-established and hard to change quickly, the use of data analytics and AI in academia is still nascent and in flux. Hence it should be relatively easy to prevent ceding complete control of these activities to commercial vendors, who, of course, are merely doing what they exist to do, namely to maximize profits for their owners and shareholders.

Resolving this situation is within the grasp of the academic community, and its clear responsibility, although this will not be without difficulties. It may be much easier for a university administrator to authorize payment for a subscription to academic analytical services from a commercial supplier “that knows what it is doing” than it is to collaborate with colleagues from other academic institutions – often seen as competitors – to develop or fund alternative services that are independent, open and transparently managed, with all the implications that has in terms of the creation of salaried posts, recruitment or retraining of staff, premises, administration, etc. However now is the time to act, even during the current pandemic-induced economic recession, before commercial lock-in becomes a reality. Given the huge sums that universities already spend on subscription services of various types, it is clear that the primary problem is not the redeployment of existing financial resources, but is more fundamentally philosophical: whether or not academia wishes to be in control of its own data, or beholden to commercial interests. The development of community-controlled platforms providing open academic analytical services should now be made a priority, and appropriate sustained financial support for these platforms should be provided by the academic community, including governmental and charitable funders of research.

This week’s online OPERA conference “The Future of Open Research Analytics” (18-19 November 2020; https://deffopera.dk/opera-conference-november-2020/), hosted by the Danish OPERA Project (https://deffopera.dk/), provides a timely forum in which to discuss these issues. 

I would like to acknowledge and thank Ludo Waltman and Claudio Aspesi for reviewing drafts of this blog post, and for their important and insightful suggestions for its improvement and expansion, which I have incorporated with their permission.

Posted in Open academic analytics, Open scholarship, Open Science | 1 Comment

The Initiative for Open Abstracts is launched

OpenCitations is proud to be part of the launch of the Initiative for Open Abstracts, a new cross-publisher initiative calling for the unrestricted availability of abstracts to boost the discovery of research.

The Initiative for Open Abstracts (I4OA), launched on September 24th, calls on all scholarly publishers to open their abstracts, and specifically to deposit them with Crossref, in order to facilitate large-scale access and promote discovery of critical research.

Making abstracts openly available helps scholarly publishers to maximize the visibility and reach of their journals and books. Open abstracts make it easier for scholars to discover, read and then cite these publications; promotes their inclusion in systematic reviews; expands and simplifies the use of text mining, natural language processing and artificial intelligence techniques in bibliometric analyses; and facilitates scholarship across all disciplines by those without subscription access to commercial bibliographic services.

Many abstracts are already available in various bibliographic databases, but these sources have limitations, for example because they require a subscription, are not machine-accessible, or are restricted to a specific discipline. I4OA thus calls on all scholarly publishers using Crossref DOIs to make their abstracts openly available by depositing them with Crossref. This can be done as part of established workflows that publishers already have in place for submitting publication metadata to Crossref.

As detailed on the I4OA web site at https://i4oa.org, 40 publishers have already agreed to support I4OA and to make their abstracts openly available. I4OA is also supported by 56 other stakeholders including research funders, libraries and library associations, infrastructure providers, and open science organizations, demonstrating the importance and relevance of this Initiative to the scholarly community. The launch press release is available at https://i4oa.org/press.html#pressrelease.

I4OA was inspired by the success of the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC, https://i4oc.org/), which encourages the submission of references to Crossref. Since the launch of I4OC in 2017, over two thousand scholarly publishers have chosen to make the reference lists of their journal articles and book chapters openly available through Crossref. I4OA aims to replicate the success of I4OC by achieving a rapid jump in the open availability of scholarly abstracts via Crossref.

Further information may be obtained from the I4OA web site at https://i4oa.org, from the I4OA poster at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4047454, by attending the free I4OA launch webinar on October 5th 2020 at 4 pm CEST (register at https://tinyurl.com/i4oa-webinar), by emailing Professor Ludo Waltman (CWTS, Leiden University; coordinator of I4OA) at openabstracts@gmail.com, or by following @open_abstracts on Twitter.

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More than 733M citations now available in COCI

Today, we have published the bi-monthly release of COCI, the OpenCitations Index of Crossref open DOI-to-DOI citations. In this latest release (dated 6 September 2020), we extended COCI with more than 11 million additional citations. Now, COCI contains more than 733 million DOI-to-DOI citation links between more than 59.4 million bibliographic entities.

These new citations were harvested from the most recent Crossref data dump, downloaded on 19 August 2020, which includes the references of articles deposited in Crossref between 4 June 2020 and 3 August 2020.

We remind you that COCI has been fully described in our open-access article

Ivan Heibi, Silvio Peroni & David Shotton (2019). Software review: COCI, the OpenCitations Index of Crossref open DOI-to-DOI citations. Scientometrics, 121 (2): 1213-1228. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-019-03217-6

and that all the bibliographic and citation data in COCI:

A final remark: COCI and other OpenCitations services will be the topic of a presentation that we will have in the context of the Workshop on Open Citations and Open Scholarly Metadata 2020. The workshop is a 3-hour event for researchers, scholarly publishers, funders, policymakers, and opening citations advocates, interested in the creation, reuse, and improvement, of open citation data and open scholarly metadata, with invited speakers. No registration is needed to follow it – we hope to see you there on 9 September at 15:00 CET!

Where you can follow the Workshop on Open Citations and Open Scholarly Metadata 2020.
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OpenCitations updates: interviews, outreach, research positions, citations

Several important recent events have involved OpenCitations directly as a participant. Here we introduce some of the most significant ones:

  • Our interviews during a Fireside Chat with John Chodacki during the Open Publishing Fest;
  • The SCOSS poster about OpenCitations and the other two selected infrastructures during LIBER 2020, which won the LIBER 2020 Peoples Choice Poster Award;
  • The availability of two new short-term research positions with OpenCitations for our Wellcome Trust funded project (application closing deadline: 23 July 2020); and
  • A new release of COCI, bringing the total number of open citations available in this dataset to more than 721 million.

Open Publishing Fest

The Open Publishing Fest was a decentralized on-line public event held from 18 May to 29 May

to bring together communities supporting open source software, open content, and open publishing models.

(from the Open Publishing Fest website, last visited 4 July 2020)

Within this event, John Chodaki and Cameron Neylon organised a series of sessions named “Fireside Chats” in which they invited people from the open publishing community to discuss their careers and projects. David Shotton and Silvio Peroni were the guests in one of these chats with John Chodaki, in which we talked about the origins of OpenCitations and the plans for OpenCitations’ future. The video of our chat (see link below) is available on YouTube.

The recording of the fireside chat that David Shotton and Silvio Peroni had on May 28th 2020 with John Chodaki in the context of the Open Publishing Fest.

SCOSS at LIBER 2020: promoting open infrastructures

SCOSS, the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services, which selected OpenCitations last December as worthy of community crowd-funding support as part of its second funding cycle, participated in LIBER 2020 with a poster which showcases the infrastructures that they recommend that the community financially supports.

Tweet by SCOSS on the poster presented at Liber 2020.

This poster won the People’s Choice Award and confirms the crucial activity that SCOSS is doing in making the academic community aware of the importance of providing financial support to open infrastructures like OpenCitations for the benefit of the whole of society.

A tweet by SCOSS on the document they wrote on the importance of supporting open infrastructures.

Furthermore, Giannis Tsakonas, Director in the Library & Information Center at the University of Patras (Greece), and a member of the LIBER Executive Board as head of its Innovative Scholarly Communication Steering Committee, shared a wonderful thread on Twitter about OpenCitations and the other open infrastructures (DOAB, OAPEN, and PKP) that have been selected by SCOSS in its second funding cycle.

A thread by Giannis Tsakonas about us and the other open infrastructures selected by SCOSS for their second funding cycle.

Short-term research positions open at OpenCitations in Bologna for our Wellcome Trust funded project

Wellcome Trust announced they have extended all their grants that were due to end in 2020 or 2021, including our Open Research Fund funded project entitled “Open Biomedical Citations in Context Corpus”. This project aims at providing data for each individual in-text reference pointer (aka in-text citation) and its semantic context, making it possible to distinguish references that are cited only once in the text of a paper from those that are cited multiple times, to see which references are cited together (e.g. in the same sentence), to determine in which section of the article references are cited (e.g. Introduction, Methods), and, potentially, to retrieve the function of each citation.

Some preliminary outcomes of the project have already been described in a recent blog post, and a preprint describing some of the activities of the project has also been also made available on arXiv. That paper focuses on the extensions we have made to the OpenCitations Data Model, used for the storage of data in all the OpenCitations datasets, to enable the additional metadata types resulting from the Citations in Context project to be recorded.

In the context of the funding extension to this Wellcome Trust project, the Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies (FICLIT) at the University of Bologna has just opened two new positions for short-term (5 months) research fellowships from August to December 2020 inclusive, for which the application closing deadline is 23 July 2020. The main goals of these the short-term research fellowship are (a) to develop the software for handling the data stored in the Open Biomedical Citations in Context Corpus, and (b) to develop indexing mechanisms to analyse a large number of documents simultaneously within our local computing environment, without having to use external services.

The net salary for each research fellowship is 1,600 EUR per month, tax free. The minimal requirement to apply for one of these positions is to have a Bachelor degree, although higher qualifications in Computer Science would be beneficial. Since these are University of Bologna positions, the application forms are in Italian. However, the description of the activity plan of the research fellowships is available in both Italian and English.  We would be happy to provide further information, and help in completing the application forms if necessary, so please do not hesitate to email us.

New release of COCI with an additional 18 million citations

Every two months we are able to publish additions to COCI, the OpenCitations Index of Crossref open DOI-to-DOI citations. This latest release (dated 4 July 2020) extended COCI with more than 18 million additional citations, so that COCI now contains more than 721 million DOI-to-DOI citation links between more than 58.8 million bibliographic entities.

These new citations were harvested from the most recent Crossref data dump, downloaded on 8 June 2020, which includes the references of articles deposited in Crossref between 4 April 2020 and 4 June 2020. As before, we will use this new release of COCI to update the Coronavirus Open Citations Dataset, the third release of which will include details about relevant additional references and publications.

We remind you that COCI has been fully described in our open-access article

Ivan Heibi, Silvio Peroni & David Shotton (2019). Software review: COCI, the OpenCitations Index of Crossref open DOI-to-DOI citations. Scientometrics, 121 (2): 1213-1228. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-019-03217-6

and that all the bibliographic and citation data in COCI:

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COCI has surpassed 700M citations

We are excited to share that COCI, the OpenCitations Index of Crossref open DOI-to-DOI citations, was on 12 May 2020 extended with more than 47 million additional citations, and has reached a total number of more than 702 million DOI-to-DOI citation links between more than 58 million bibliographic entities.

The citations added in this the fifth release of COCI came from the most recent Crossref dump downloaded on 22 April 2020, which includes the references of the articles deposited in Crossref between 4 October 2019 and 4 April 2020. Such updates to COCI will now occur regularly at bimonthly intervals.

As a consequence, COCI now contains 702,772,530 citations, and also includes publications about the COVID-19 pandemic. We will use this new release of COCI to update the Coronavirus Open Citations Dataset, the second release of which will include details about these additional references and publications.

COCI, which is fully described in our open-access article, was one of the subjects of a multidisciplinary comparison between the major citation indexes recently published on arXiv. In addition, it has been recently mentioned on the Scholix web site as one of the implementors of the Scholix citation data format.

Finally, we wish to remind you that all the bibliographic and citation data in COCI:

Posted in Bibliographic references, Citations as First-Class Data Entities, Data publication, open access, Open Citations, Open Science, Semantic Publishing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Additional 31 million citations in COCI

We are proud to announce that COCI, the OpenCitations Index of Crossref open DOI-to-DOI citations, has just been extended with more than 31 million additional citations.

As introduced in an earlier blog post and an open-access article recently published on Scientometrics, COCI is our first OpenCitations Index of open citations. In COCI, we have applied the concept of citations as first-class data entities, each identified using a unique persistent Open Citation Identifier (OCI). COCI indexes the contents of one of the major databases of open scholarly citation information, namely Crossref, and renders and makes available this information in machine-readable RDF and in other formats.

The fourth release of COCI contains more than 655 million DOI-to-DOI citation links between more than 55 million bibliographic entities. The additional 31 million citations added in the new release come from the reprocessing of previous dumps of Crossref  data. In particular, we retrieved all the citations that involve references in citing articles that were in the Crossref ‘Limited’ set when we downloaded it in October 2018. Such citing articles currently appear in the Crossref ‘Closed’ dataset due to more recent restrictive policy decisions taken by their publishers.

Finally, we wish to remind you that all the bibliographic and citation data in COCI:

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The French National Fund for Open Science supports OpenCitations

The French National Fund for Open Science (FNSO) has decided to support OpenCitations, PKP, and DOAB as part of SCOSS, the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services.

FNSO has identified OpenCitations as an infrastructure disseminating bibliographic and citation metadata in open access with a level of quality and coverage that provides a workable, free and open alternative to the academic community’s current dependency on proprietary tools, therefore freeing up possibilities for citation analysis, promoting the evolution of bibliometric indicators and broadening knowledge of science.

The FNSO is contributing € 250,000, which is 16.3% of the amount that was requested under SCOSS and is committing to a political and technical partnership with OpenCitations.

OpenCitations is deeply honoured and delighted that the French Open Science Committee has chosen to award such a substantial portion of its open science budget to support our work. These funds will be spent (a) on strengthening our computational infrastructure, (b) on employing software engineers to develop new data sources and services, and data curators to ensure the highest possible quality of our data, and (c) on community engagement through workshops and publications.

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OpenCitations described

OpenCitations is an infrastructure organization for open scholarship dedicated to the publication of open bibliographic and citation data. We at OpenCitations are proud to announce the publication, in the first issue of Quantitative Science Studies, of a canonical paper in which we introduce and describe OpenCitations and outline its achievements and goals [1].

Here, I outline the contents of our paper, and provide definitive links on the topics described. Many of these topics have been the subjects of earlier blog posts.

This paper appears in the first Special Issue of QSS, dedicated to the description of the bibliometric data sources that lie at the heart of scientometric research, which aims to characterize the most important data sources currently available and to show how they differ in various dimensions, for instance in the data they provide, their level of openness, and their support for making research reproducible. The first three papers in this special issue cover the most important commercial bibliographic data sources: Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics), Scopus (Elsevier), and Dimensions (Digital Science), while the remaining three articles describe open data sources: Microsoft Academic, Crossref and OpenCitations.

In the introduction to our own paper, we describe the origins of OpenCitations, discuss the growth and benefits of open science, and introduce the Semantic Web techniques used at OpenCitations for recording and publishing our data. We then go on to describe OpenCitations’ services and data, namely Open Citation Identifiers, the OpenCitations Data Model, the SPAR (Semantic Publishing and Referencing) Ontologies, the OpenCitations Corpus, and the OpenCitations Indexes of citation data, of which the first and largest is COCI, the OpenCitations Index of Crossref open DOI-to-DOI citations, that currently holds information on over 624 million citations. We conclude our survey of OpenCitations’ services and data by outlining the generic open source software developed at OpenCitations, including OSCAR, the OpenCitations RDF Search Application for searching over RDF datasets, LUCINDA, OSCAR’s associated OpenCitations RDF Resource Browser, and RAMOSE, OpenCitations’ application for creating REST APIs over SPARQL endpoints, thus opening Semantic Web datasets to those not familiar with SPARQL, the RDF query language.

In the second half of the paper, we describe OpenCitations as an organization in terms of its compliance with the principles for the sustainability of open infrastructures proposed by Bilder, Lin and Neylon (2015) [2], and report the selection of OpenCitations by the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) as an open infrastructure organization worthy of crowd-funding support by the stakeholder community. We then provide usage statistics for our datasets and web site, and describe the adoption of OpenCitations data and services by the community, before concluding with a forward look at our proposed developments of OpenCitations activities.

References

[1] Silvio Peroni and David Shotton (2020). OpenCitations, an infrastructure organization for open scholarship. Quantitative Science Studies 1 (1): 428-444. https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00023

[2] Geoffrey Bilder, Jennifer Lin and Cameron Neylon (2015). Principles for open scholarly infrastructures. Figshare. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1314859

Posted in Bibliographic references, Citations as First-Class Data Entities, Data publication, open access, Open Citation Identifiers, Open Citations, Open scholarship, Open Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The first issue of Quantitative Science Studies

The memorable date 20/02/2020 saw the publication by MIT Press of the first issue of Volume One of a new journal, Quantitative Science Studies (QSS), the official open access journal of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI). QSS’s Editor in Chief is Ludo Waltman (CWTS, University of Leiden, Netherlands), Vincent Larivière (Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada) and Staša Milojević (Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana, USA) are its Associate Editors, and it has a large and distinguished editorial board.

What makes the launch of this new journal remarkable is the story of how it came into being. In 2019, the entire editorial team of the Journal of Informetrics (JOI), a leading journal in this field published by Elsevier, resigned en masse and decided to start an alternative journal, QSS, both because of Elsevier’s position on open citations, and because, in their opinion, the financial model used by Elsevier violates the scientific ethos.

Reproducibility in the field of scientometrics requires scientific metadata that are both of high-quality and open, particularly those relating to bibliographic citations. The JOI editorial board was deeply concerned by the refusal of Elsevier to join almost all other large scholarly publishers in supporting the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC). As we have previously reported on this blog, Elsevier is the largest contributor of bibliographic references to Crossref, but insists that these data should be kept closed.

Elsevier’s position, driven by commercial interests (since it sells access to citation data through Scopus), flies in the face of the scientific community’s clear move towards open science, with hundreds of scientometricians having signed an ISSI open letter urging scholarly publishers to support I4OC.

Science is a self-governing system, and the editorial team held the view that the ultimate responsibility for a scholarly journal should fall with the scientific community, who serve as the gatekeepers, producers, and consumers of scientific content.

The editorial team also believed Elsevier’s subscription fees to be excessive, and its article processing charges (APCs) for open access publishing to be unfairly high, thus limiting both those who can afford to read Elsevier journals and those who can afford to publish in them, so that publishing with Elsevier inevitably places major limits on scholarship, harming both science and society. It was for all these reasons that they forsook JOI and started QSS.

We at OpenCitations congratulate the editorial team for their courage in deciding to make this journal flip, and wish them, together with the ISSI and MIT Press, every success for this important new journal. We also commend the Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and the Communication, Information, Media Centre (KIM) of the University of Konstanz, who, in collaboration with the Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA), have generously agreed to cover APCs for the first three years of the QSS journal.

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