Tuesday, 7 January 2020

CCSE (The Canadian Center of Science and Education) Publishing Statistics 2019 Released

CCSE (The Canadian Center of Science and Education) Publishing Statistics 2019 Released

Please find details at http://www.ccsenet.org/home/index.php/news/post/id/18


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The Canadian Center of Science and Education (CCSE) is a private for-profit organization delivering support and services to educators and researchers in Canada and around the world.
The Canadian Center of Science and Education was established in 2006. In partnership with research institutions, community organizations, enterprises, and foundations, CCSE provides a variety of programs to support and promote education and research development, including educational programs for students, financial support for researchers, international education projects, and scientific publications.
CCSE publishes scholarly journals in a wide range of academic fields, including the social sciences, the humanities, the natural sciences, the biological and medical sciences, education, economics, and management. These journals deliver original, peer-reviewed research from international scholars to a worldwide audience. All our journals are available in electronic form in conjunction with their print editions. All journals are available for free download online.

Mission

To work for future generations

Values

  • Scientific integrity and excellence
  • Respect and equity in the workplace

Activities

  • Scientific publishing
  • Network development for international education and research
  • Providing scholarships for educational institutions, students, and researchers
  • Providing financial support for research projects

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Articles Sharing-The Canadian Center of Science and Education

The Size of the Open Access Market


The crowd and stage at Woodstock, 1969. Image via Derek Redmond and Paul Campbell. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
Usually discussion of open access (OA) has a utopian cast. It begins with the benefits to researchers and rapidly moves on from there–because it is a foundational premise that what is good for the research community is good for everybody. Expanded access will serve to cure horrible diseases, the science behind new technologies will cool a warming planet, and insights into people and power will make a veritable Woodstock out of the Middle East. Resistance, as the Borg say, is futile, but also immoral:  Who, after all, wants to stand between a parent and an afflicted child?
It is thus refreshing to see an examination of OA publishing that is sober and descriptive, one that examines how OA has been brought within the economy at large. This is what we have with Simba Information’s recent report, “Open Access Journal Publishing 2014-2017.” This is a clear-headed analysis of the business of OA, and it manages to survey the landscape without taking the idealists outside to shoot them. This is not the first Simba report I have had occasion to comment on here at the Kitchen. I was first attracted to them because I know the lead author, Eric Newman, who is a certifiably smart guy.  The report is a snapshot of OA (some of the story will be well known to Kitchen readers), its background, practices, and prospects. I will be curious to see if any OA advocates find anything in it that is wrong or unfairly presented. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
Before we dip into the numbers, let’s acknowledge that research publishing, whether OA or of the traditional variety, captures value that is not always easy to count. While we can look at the public filings of the Public Library of Science and learn how much money is coming in, it’s harder to assess the economics of a journal that is hosted by an academic library, harder still to evaluate the economics of the parallel world of publishing that is Green OA. The full economy of OA, in other words, is still partly hidden. We can only count what we can see. I expect, though, that when all the numbers are ultimately revealed, we will find more hidden costs than hidden revenues. It also appears likely that what surplus or profit to be made from this form of publishing will fall to those who are already in the field or plan to enter it soon. OA, in other words, is beginning to mature and is thus subject to the same economic principles of any maturing business, including a tendency toward consolidation. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
Simba notes that the primary form of monetization for OA journals is the article processing charge or APC. In 2013 these fees came to about $242.2 million out of a total STM journals market of $10.5 billion. I thought that latter figure was a bit high, and I’m never sure when people are quoting figures for STM alone or for all journals; but even so, if the number for the total market is high, it’s not far off.  That means that OA is approximately 2.3% of the total journals market (or is that just STM . . . ?).  That’s a big or small number depending on where you started from. With my personal bias in favor of new things, I see it as a huge number. Building a start-up is simply harder than running established companies. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page:  these fellows truly earned their money, but as for the chieftains sitting atop the large incumbents, it must be said that it is far easier to go from $1 billion to $2 billion than to go from zero to $10 million. The cumulative achievement of the OA publishers is an astonishing success story. Yes, you heard that on the Scholarly Kitchen, which some believe has a problem with OA publishing.
Simba sees OA rising to $440 million by 2017, which sounds reasonable. That would make OA 3.9% of the total market. That is neither a big number nor a negligible one. The more important point to make, which cannot be stressed enough, is that while traditional publishing continues to grow modestly, the OA portion of the market is growing much faster. Any publisher working in the research area would be remiss if they did not develop a strategy to tap into these growing sums. And of course just about all of them are. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
The most interesting part of the Simba report to me is a table that lists the ten largest OA publishers by revenue. Springer, including its BioMed Central unit, is number one. PLOS is number two. By my count, two or three of the top ten are not-for-profit organizations. In other words, the revolutionary ardor that was supposed to come from the not-for-profit sector, where we fight for science for the sake of science, has run into the hard truth that commercial operators are good at what they do and know how to exploit an opportunity when they see one. And has there ever been a clearer opportunity than to rake in the APCs from funding agencies, which seem not to realize what it means to attach dollars to mandates that live outside the realm of end-user demand? The core proposition is that governments and funding organizations such as the Wellcome Trust are willing to pay for what librarians will not. You couldn’t make this up.
As I read through this report, with its many nuanced positions, including the implications of running out of research to publish, I was struck by the astonishing foresight and entrepreneurial genius of Vitek Tracz, who founded BioMed Central and got the whole ball rolling. Also dazzling in its performance is the not-for-profit PLOS, which not only navigated a tricky path through the marketplace, but also altered how we think about such things as the scope of a journal and the nature of peer review. I also began to wonder (I know I am not alone in this) if PLOS has pretty much played through its first inning and is going to have to pitch a different game going forward. There are several dozen organizations that are copying PLOS somewhat mechanically now, but will PLOS surprise everyone and launch an OA 2.0, which will enable them to sprint ahead of the prudent businesspeople who run the copycats? (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
I finished the Simba report just as Open Access Week drew to a close. The celebration had it right and had it wrong. OA has indeed established itself within the world of scholarly communications, though at 2.3% of the market, it is more of a toehold than a revolution. But the real story of OA is that as soon as someone found a way to make economic sense out of it, businesspeople jumped in and began to domesticate it for their own purposes. It is as though Thomas Paine were given a seat in the House of Lords. We will soon be looking back on Open Access Week as we do to Woodstock (I was there, by the way), with affection and nostalgia. As for where OA is headed, it’s just business. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )


 

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Articles Sharing-The Canadian Center of Science and Education

Why Are Publishers and Editors Wasting Time Formatting Citations?

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Actually, we have the citation. It’s the identifiers and the metadata we need. (Image via futureatlas.com https://www.flickr.com/people/87913776@N00). (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
Citations are foundational elements of scholarly publishing. They provide evidence of the reliance of current work on existing literature, background on how research strategies were developed, indication of the thoroughness of the work, and a summary of significant prior related art, as well as facilitating plagiarism detection. As an ancillary benefit, they also have created one metric against which past research is judged. The investment in ensuring references are accurate, complete, and the link (if one exists) to the referenced object is functioning is certainly a core publishing function.
However, all of these things have very little to do with how references are presented in citations, nor the importance of one style over another. Much of the focus on citation style is driven by domain tradition and adherence to one of the many dozens of style guides that exist in the scholarly publishing world. I certainly don’t intend to disparage any of the different manuals, nor their adherents in any field. What concerns me is the fact that there is so much time wasted in the production process of editing references to adhere to the house style, whatever that style may be. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
Anyone who has written a scholarly article, a book chapter, an entire book, or a bibliography understands the challenges of references. Recently, I submitted a book manuscript for a project that I am co-editing. One of the most tedious and painful aspects of pulling together the book was going through and editing the references. While I appreciate and acknowledge the importance of the references, the entirely manual process of checking and formatting the references was an incredible waste of time.
A scholarly reference at its most basic element is a string that provides readers with sufficient information to track back to the original source of the content being referenced. That information, of course, varies by the type of publication, the source document, and the complexity of the resource being referenced. There will always be a variety of citation styles based on the type of resource, but why do we need so many different styles for the same type of resource? (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
The consistent formatting of names, the placement of commas and periods, and the representation of all manner of data are all style issues that should be handled by automated style sheets drawing on linked metadata. Because we are focusing on a string of text, we are inefficiently producing citation content. and wasting effort on post-distribution processing. We are also not taking advantage of all the potential from machine-linking this information, a critical requirement as we move further into a linked data world. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
There have been many studies over the years of citations, their accuracy (just a few more and more), and the types of errors researchers are making. These errors can be serious or minor, with minor errors being the most common. Significant errors can be so bad that discovery of the cited work is impossible. Although the percentage (in the 5-20% range across several studies) is modest, it is still troubling..
Some of the research on citation errors showed inappropriate use or misuse of a referent’s conclusion. If the other identification and metadata errors in a citation are eliminated or reduced significantly in ways discussed below, editors or reviewers might redirect their time to confirming the appropriateness of the reference. This might be a better investment of editorial resources.
Many publishers and vendors who provide copyediting or publishing services have for some time done production transformations of references and validation. Unfortunately, the match rate of these post-production references against CrossRef and PubMed metadata is far short of perfect. This editorial process has been the focus of a lot of process development and programming over the years. There has also been research in how to use pattern matching for names and topics (and another), as well as how to algorithmically parse citations (and just a few more and more). (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
Rather than using text to identify digital resources, we should be taking advantage of the system of identifiers and metadata that exist to streamline the process of reference creation and validation. This would solve the problem at the root rather than after the fact. Instead of identifying people with just their names, we should be using ORCIDs or ISNIs to ensure disambiguation and machine-processability. Identifiers can also be used for institutions and publications. Nearly every article has (or at least should have) a persistent identifier such as a DOI. Publications have ISBNs or ISSNs. Sound and A/V formats use ISRC, ISAN, and ISMN identifiers. Special collections and archive materials have collection identifiers and accession numbers. Data sets are being tagged with DataCite DOIs, or ARKs. Even concepts and other digital materials can be identified with URIs. All of these identifiers should have associated metadata that describe what that object is, be it name, title, or description. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education ) (CCSE)
When authors are submitting references, why doesn’t the community simply send in a reference that is submitted like this:
<Author ID>, <Publication ID>, <Object Identifier>, <Publisher identifier>, <Date (of publication/access)>, and specific location (such as page number, etc), if necessary.
Each of these elements, aside from date and specific item location should be represented by unique persistent identifiers. References should not be strings of text that describe the referenced content. In our increasingly digital and machine-intermediated world, the production departments can pull in related metadata using an automated process to retrieve the data and format it in any way the publication’s editors would prefer. Any outliers can be dealt with in traditional ways. (CCSE)
While such a change requires buy-in from the community for broad adoption, providing citation data in these structured ways would actually be easier for authors to do than to correctly gather and format all of the information in references the way they are doing so now. A large number of authors are already doing something similar by using reference managers like Zotero, EndNote, Mendeley, RefWorks or some similar service. All of these services use structured metadata to transform easily from one style to another. Rather than taking that structured data, converting it to text streams, then having editorial services return it back to structured data, publishers should ask for that data and plug it into an automated formatting process. (CCSE)
Making all (or at least most) of the elements of references machine-readable through persistent identifiers will remove through unambiguous reference the errors and confusion about the identity of the author, or publication or whatever is being identified. A greater range of metrics and analytics are possible through machine-processable references. Some of this is already being done by organizations that process references for analytics, such as Thomson-Reuters. Who can say what metrics or services might be possible if all the material were generally available? Additionally, citations can be scanned for appropriate or correct quote attribution. Presently, CrossRef partners to provide a service for plagiarism detection, mediated through the CrossCheck metadata, but there are others. A more robust system might follow with new and different types of providers. (CCSE)
One might respond that the scholarly community has successfully implemented the DOI system and DOIs are regularly included in references, so isn’t that sufficient? In some ways yes, the inclusion of DOIs does address part of the challenge. DOIs do create the functional tie to the metadata regarding the referenced item. However, they do not form the basis for how most references are constructed or formatted or allow the parsing of the reference. Also, DOIs provide an indirect link to information rather than a direct link to, for example, the author’s ORCID profile. This lack of direct connections creates a barrier to simple analytics and information mapping. This is certainly not an insurmountable issue, based on the robust infrastructure that CrossRef provides, but traversing this linked data web directly rather than via the CrossRef metadata also simplifies the collection of metrics for assessment purposes. Relying on DOI metadata also lacks some of the real-time validation services and potential linked data extraction from a master identity record that would be associated with a persistent identifier for that entity, such as a person using ORCID, a book using ISBN, or an institution using an ISNI. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
PLOS hosted a hack day at their offices earlier this month in San Francisco on trying to find ways to improve the machine interoperability of citations. One idea is what PLOS is calling rich citations, essentially using linked metadata to provide richer citation information. PLOS Labs has developed an open source bot that can automatically collect rich citation information. While these might be interesting services, would they be necessary, if the power of identifiers instead of text were already built into the references? (CCSE)
To implement these suggestions would require a cultural shift in the current publication process. Authors will need to view much of their content not as narrative, but rather as structured information and data. Citations are a good place to start since much of this content has existing identifiers that can be assigned and used to replace the textual format with a structured one. Let’s leverage the existing systems and tools to redesign how we manage citations to stop wasting our time on reformatting and add the increased functionality that machine-processable structures can provide. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )

Monday, 7 October 2019

Articles Sharing-The Canadian Center of Science and Education

Making a Case for Open Access

W. S. Gilbert’s illustration for “Now, Jurymen, hear my advice” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Trial by Jury”
Depending on the audience, the case for open access (OA) varies. Opponents of intellectual property, for example, may favor OA simply on principle. To a researcher you might argue for a broader dissemination of his or her own work. A funding agency may accept the dissemination premise as well and tie it to an exercise in branding, where each published OA article becomes an ambassador for the sponsor of the research. A librarian may be persuaded on the basis of cost (the money that does not have to be spent on OA material can be used elsewhere), and an established publisher may see the Gold variety simply as an additive revenue stream. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
I don’t intend to navigate through the merits of any of these arguments here; from my point of view, OA is a fact, not a philosophy. What has caught my attention is how often I am asked to justify a recommendation that a professional society look into the creation of an OA service. In my experience (which I do not pretend to be comprehensive), OA is a tough sell. The officers of professional societies are often skeptical about the claims for OA and need to be persuaded that it is good for science and good for their own particular society. If you are going to try to make a case to a group of accomplished individuals whose stock in trade is to study all assertions with great care, you have to toss the abstractions out the window and bring some facts to bear on the situation. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
This exercise is made more difficult by the fact that no professional group speaks with a single voice. I have never run across a group that has no OA advocates; what differs from society to society is density–what proportion of the society members are in favor of OA–and the relative position of the advocates within the society’s power structure. Thus a large part of the challenge in introducing OA to a professional society is the need to “socialize” the recommendation–deliver it in a way that provides fodder for discussion but does not presume to impinge on the prerogatives of the practicing professionals. No two societies make decisions the same way; there is no way of predicting in advance the outcome of a board discussion or who will or will not speak up on a conference call. The case for any recommendation, whether about OA or anything else, is best made with a written document that creates context for discussion. PowerPoint won’t do it, as there is a need to work through all the options at some length. This document must be shared with the participants well in advance of a meeting. No one who creates such a document should expect to come through the deliberations of such a board unscathed. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
Contrary to popular belief (if the measure is the blogosphere and the runic declarations of various organizations active in or observers of scholarly communications), many scientists don’t know much about OA. In particular, they don’t know about the practical implications of the growing OA publishing ecosystem:  how many OA articles are published and where, and what does this mean or could come to mean for the society’s own publications? If these publications are continuing to see an increase in the number of submissions every year, as many of them are, OA is likely to seem peripheral. A rising tide is of little consequence if you are sailing on a sturdy ship. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
One particularly useful exercise is to suggest that the society review and catalog all the OA articles published in the past year that are relevant to the society’s discipline. This is a tall order, of course, as the number of OA articles is very large and defining relevance is not without ambiguity, but a useful way to begin is simply to analyze the publications of PLOS ONE, whose sheer size provides a healthy sample (depending on discipline, of course). Many societies are surprised to discover how many articles have appeared in PLOS ONE that could have been published in the societies’ own journals, assuming they passed muster under peer review. It is not unusual for a society to “wake up” to OA when it realizes the sheer range of articles that their own editors never got to see.  Such an analysis could lead a society to change the editorial positioning of its own journals, to start a new journal, to create an OA service–or any and all of the above. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )
A more common exercise (I don’t know any journal that has not done this) is to study the journal’s own publications to see which articles are subject to OA mandates. Increasingly traditional journals are having their “Swiss cheese” moment, where some articles are mandated to be OA (perhaps with an embargo) and some are safely tucked behind a pay wall. But it is not enough to stop there by identifying the scope of the mandates. It’s useful to go back in time to some of the journal’s most-cited papers. When we consider the funding sources for these articles retrospectively, how many of these articles would now fall under an OA mandate? Not having an OA option (at a minimum, a hybrid OA policy) could mean that some of the finest scholarship will bypass the society’s publications and find a home elsewhere. This puts the journal’s reputation on the line, which grabs the attention of the society’s editors and officers very quickly.
The question I personally find most interesting is where a rejected paper eventually ends up. While we know that some authors become desperate and seek publication with publishers of dubious merit (whose exposure by Jeffrey Beall we all should be thankful for), most authors shop around until they find a suitable venue. That venue may not be as prestigious as the first one, but it also may be more appropriate in terms of its topic, something that only the journal’s editors can determine. Are these papers good papers? Good-enough papers? Good papers, but with the wrong editorial profile? Bad papers? Except for the truly bad papers, should there not be some publishing outlet for this work? And considering the time and expense a society puts into rejecting a paper, does it not seem practical to find a way to monetize the sunk editorial costs? Once a society begins to consider that publication is more than a question of good versus bad, accepted articles versus rejected articles, the case for an OA service appears to be more reasonable.
Discussions of OA policy rarely take place in the abstract. It’s common for the debate to arise when the society is facing marketplace challenges, the most common of which is declining institutional subscriptions, typically brought on when libraries opt for “big deal” packages from the largest publishers, leaving small society publishers to pick up the crumbs. This is more than a financial matter, though the money can be significant, especially for a society that uses the surplus from its publishing program to underwrite other activities. The real risk is that declining subscriptions may mean that authors’ work cannot reliably be brought to the attention of other people working in the field who happen to be affiliated with an institution that no longer subscribes to the publication. It’s worth remembering that most research is conducted at a small number of institutions, which subscribe to the leading publications: researchers affiliated with these institutions receive little or no benefit from OA publishing. But if an institution cancels a subscription, then OA will begin to seem like a useful alternative. So a vicious cycle begins: cancelled subscriptions mean that some researchers no longer have access to the publications they need, which discourages them from submitting their work to those publications, which lowers the perceived editorial quality of the journal, which makes it easier to cancel the journal if the library budget is tight, which means that even fewer researchers have access to the content, which further discourages them from submitting papers to that journal, and so on. A journal in such a situation may be faced with the choice of partnering with a very large publisher or attempting to flip their publication to Gold OA as a means of preserving the journal’s independence.
What doesn’t work in these discussions is the invocation of the histrionics of OA advocacy. Of course the commercial publishers are greedy capitalists; of course there is an unnamed researcher in the developing world who wants to get access to research materials; of course it is simply unjust that taxpayers should fund research and not get to see the results at no additional cost; of course there are laypeople everywhere who wish to keep abreast of breaking scientific developments–of course. But the leaders of a professional society may not feel that the fight against the world economic order is within their writ or that finding a readership beyond the walls of the small number of institutions that create and consume the majority of research is of paramount importance to them. There is no point in whistling a tune if no one wants to dance. What is important is attracting the best researchers, the prestige of the society and its publications, and the economic viability of the society itself. Speak to these issues and OA gets on the agenda, and not as a Trojan horse but as a practical extension of the society’s activities. (The Canadian Center of Science and Education )

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Policy Change of Free Print Journals of the Canadian Center of Science and Education

As you are aware, printing and delivery of journals results in causing a significant amount of detrimental impact to the environment. Being a responsible publisher and being considerate for the environment, we have decided to change the policy of offering free print journals for authors.
From July 1, 2018, we will not automatically provide authors free print journals (The Canadian Center of Science and Education). However, when authors really need free print copies, they are requested to kindly complete an application form to order printed copies. Once approved, we will arrange print and delivery, for a maximum of two copies per article. If authors require more than two copies, they are requested to order online at: store.ccsenet.org.
Additionally, we are happy to provide journal’s eBook in PDF format for authors, free of charge. The eBook is the same as the printed version, but it is completely environmentally friendly. Please contact the journal editor to request eBook of the journal’s issues.
We are committed to saving the planet for our future generations.
The Canadian Center of Science and Education

Monday, 5 August 2019

The Canadian Center of Science and Education (CCSE) publishes open access journals

Open access (OA) is a mechanism by which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other barriers, and, in its most precise meaning, with the addition of an open license that removes most restrictions on use and reuse.
The main focus of the open access movement is "peer reviewed research literature."Historically, this has centered mainly on print-based academic journals. Conventional (non-open access) journals cover publishing costs through access tolls such as subscriptions, site licenses or pay-per-view charges. Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, and monographs.
from Wikipedia
The Canadian Center of Science and Education (CCSE) is an publisher which publishes open access journals. All journals are available for free download online.