The European Association of Science Editors (EASE) is an international community of individuals and associations from diverse backgrounds, linguistic traditions and professional experience in science communication and editing.

Nature 2018 International Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey


Here is another survey for our members to participate in this week.

SpringerNature have commissioned a survey into science-related careers, titled the 2018 International Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey, implemented by Shift Learning.

They survey doesn’t explicitly say that science-based careers are the intended demographic, but the questions relate to this specific setting, asking about primary position, subject area, education level, institutional setting, duration of positions, research undertakings, mental health, salaries and more.

It is relatively quick to complete, and should take around 5 minutes of your time, and you can enter into a prize draw for Amazon vouchers worth $150.

Here is the link to the survey: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=152907569868

– Friday 22nd June, 2018 –

The gendered system of academic publishing: EASE GPC in the Lancet

Members of the EASE Gender Policy Committee have published an article in The Lancet, addressing “the gendered system of academic publishing”, suggesting that it “is both a reflection and a cause of women’s under-representation and disadvantage in other areas of the scientific enterprise.”

In addition to summarising current developments in gender issues within the publishing community (such as the self-report from Nature and 2015 study of Obstetrics & Gynecology), the article discusses outcomes from a workshop held in November under the title; Gender Equality in Academic Publishing: Challenges and Opportunities in Health Journals. The workshop looked at “identifying strategies to improve gender equity in peer review and publication processes.”

The article is free to access from the journal here

Details of the work and impact of our Gender Policy Committee, including the SAGER Guidelines, can be found on their dedicated pages on the EASE site here.

The gendered system of academic publishing
Lundine, Jamie et al.
The Lancet , Volume 391 , Issue 10132 , 1754 – 1756
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30950-4

– Tuesday 8th May, 2018 –

Article discovery app Kopernio acquired by Clarivate


Interesting new development over at Clarivate, as they announce their acquisition of article discovery app Kopernio.

A free to use browser plug-in similar to UnPaywall, Kopernio searches your library (if you log on with institutional credentials), PubMed, Google Scholar, pre-print servers and other repositories to look for the full text. It then saves it to your online ‘locker’, or you can download to your desktop.

Adding this personal library app to the Clarivate roster, alongside recently acquired Publons for peer review activity, as well as their existing Web of Science and ScholarOne Manuscripts features is an interesting step towards developing what could be a fascinating and highly functional integrated academic activity platform (and all that associated data that goes with it!).

Unsurprisingly, this news is making waves across industry and academia, including a thoughtful post and interview with Kopernio founders Jan Reichelt and Ben Kaube on Scholarly Kitchen, and Times Higher Education running the somewhat contentious headline “’Legal Sci-Hub’ journal access tool set for major expansion”, amongst many others.

Definitely worth putting in your browser.

https://kopernio.com/

– Wednesday 11th April, 2018 –

Hindawi services for institutional repositories

The open access publisher Hindawi have announced a new service for institutions, whereby they will automatically deposit a copy of an article with affiliated authors into the institutional repository as soon as it is published.

The service is designed to reduce the burden on authors and institutions manually transferring files, and looks simple to set up, with Hindawi’s tech team on hand to help with any complications.

See full details on the Hindawi site here: https://about.hindawi.com/institutions/claim/

Hindawi made headlines last year when they left the STM Association as a result of the conservative and obstructive stance the organisation is taking with regards to open access (a position underscored with their open access Statement to the EU open access, published in December and now removed from the web).

This new service looks further their goals of supporting freely available reseach, and should be a very helpful facility for any staff involved in tracking and measuring the research output of their institutions or faculties.

Taylor & Francis to pay reviewers in fast track publishing service

Providing authors with faster peer review and rewarding reviewers for their assistance to publishers in achieving this goal are thorny issues, but one of the large publishers is trying a new initiative.

Taylor & Francis have described how their Accelerated Publication service for authors involves payments of $150 to each peer reviewer who submits their comments within one week.

There are no official details of the payment structure available on the T&F website as yet, but they do present the workflow for this Accelerated Publication service: http://taylorandfrancis.com/partnership/commercial/prioritized-publication/

In a Twitter conversation with science communication journalist Richard Poynder@tandfonline revealed the payment news and provided several details of the process and motives behind it:

“Hi there Accelerated Publication covers submission to online publication and is designed to meet the needs of a select group, primarily in the biomedical sciences. (1/6)

This service is designed to give authors more control over timing of publication to fit with grant deadlines, product launches etc (2/6)

Reviewers are paid an honorarium on completion of their review because we are asking them to complete within a set timeframe. (3/6)

This timeframe is clear in all correspondence to reviewers invited to review Accelerated Publication submissions, and they accept the invitation on this basis. (4/6)

Payment is completely independent of their recommendation to the editor and many papers are in fact rejected e.g. CMRO had rejection rate of 52% on Accelerated Publication submissions in 2017 (5/6)

Hope this explains but if you have any more questions please contact us on communications@tandf.co.uk, and we’ll come back to you as quickly as we can. (6/6)”

This is not the first time a large publisher has tried a fast-track system involving payments to peer reviewers. In 2015, Nature’s Scientific Reports set up a trial with Rubriq to offer a similar service, which saw one of their editors quit the journal in protest.

This was part of a trial for conceptual journal-independent peer review services, where companies conduct a scientific review of papers, then pass them to a suitable journal where the decision process could be accelerated.  However, during 2017, Rubriq and Axiom Review, a company providing similar services, both folded due to lack of take-up. It seems that vision for payment and speed incentives was not right for the time or place.

T&F have been actively involved in trying to determine suitable means of compensating their reviewers for some time. In 2016 they published a white paper titled “Peer Review – a global view”, which investigated many opinions around the process,  one section of which addressed incentives. The survey identified strong support for free access to papers, waivers for open access and page fees, and recognition, in the form of certificates or a published list of names (with stronger support if the name was not directly related to the paper).

On the subject of direct financial compensation, their survey found a lack of consensus, with almost equal numbers of responses stating they would be “less likely”, “more likely”, and neutrally valenced. Deeper analysis of responses showed the:

“youngest age group (20-29 year olds) are most in favour of receiving payment and those who are 60+ are most resistant. Whether this attitude among younger scholars will change as they progress in their careers, or if the call for reviewers to be paid will grow in time, could be an area of future examination.”

T&F appear to have approached this controversial issue as carefully and diligently as possible before launching this service, so we are keen to watch how response to their version unfolds.

– Sunday 21st January, 2018 –

More steps towards transparency in research publishing

An Editorial published in Nature in September presented some “Steps towards transparency in research publishing” (Nature 2017;549(431), doi: 10.1038/549431a)

The Editorial discusses how progress in the transparency of both research and editorial processes is gathering pace, discussing five forms of transparency documented in a project overseen by Malcolm Macleod of the University of Edinburgh.

In addition to the positive steps, the Editorial also poses questions about the risks involved in opening up, considering whether transparency could give rise to a different sort of bias; for example, some authors do not want to know who authored a positive peer review, so that they can avoid future positive peer review bias themselves.

https://www.nature.com/news/steps-towards-transparency-in-research-publishing-1.22661

COPE introduce Core Practices

COPE has recently replaced its “Code of Conduct for Editors” with “Core Practices”.

The reasons COPE provide for these changes are stated on its website, as being that the guidelines were criticised for being overly specific in some areas and not specific enough in others.

It goes on to explain that the core practices have radically simplified the expectations of how all parties will act, and seeks to provide a framework which references the resources available on the COPE website.

Another recent change is the introduction of institutional membership which is being piloted with five institutions.

A discussion of these changes can be read on Scholarly Kitchen.

– Posted: Wednesday 13th December, 2017 –

BMC Research Notes Launches Data Notes

In October, BMC Research Notes launched ‘data notes’.

The BMC describes data notes as “data descriptors that aim to increase data availability and support the reuse of valuable research data.” Data notes are restricted to a limit of 1000 words, and comprise three sections: Objective, Data description and Limitations.

They still come at a price, with a APC of €600 per article, but the goal is to provide a visible platform to make better use of valuable data that may otherwise go unused.

For more information about data notes, and BMC Research Notes, read a blog post by BMC editor Dirk Krüger, here.

– Posted: Monday 11th December, 2017 –

STM Association Statement on Open Access

This week the STM Association published their recommendations for the next EU Framework programme, regarding open access and open science.

It addresses several topics, including funding for Gold OA, hybrid journals, APC caps, embargo periods, existing infrastructure and journal models, longer texts (such as monographs and books), competition and diversity, and ‘open science’ in general.

The statement is publically available here.

Members can add your thoughts to the discussion in our forum here

– Posted: Friday 8th December, 2017 –

New Style Author Toolkit!

Hot on the heels of the Peer Reviewer toolkit, comes a revised Author Toolkit!

In the same style as the PR Toolkit, I have organised all the resources in the toolkit into some main themes and collected them together in different pages.

The main themes of the modules are:

General Writing Tips
Peer Review for Authors
Publishing and Editorial Issues
Ethics for Authors
Other Resources

There is not much new in it yet, but I will be adding new content to the toolkit in the near future, especially an entire module devoted to Open Access, ‘predatory’ journals, pros and cons and more.

http://www.ease.org.uk/publications/ease-toolkit-authors/

Feel free to message me if you would like to be involved in expanding it, or have any comments/questions.

Thanks!

Duncan