Smith, R. & Roberts, I. (2016). Time for sharing data to become routine: the seven excuses for not doing so are all invalid.  F1000Res. 2016; 5: 781.

Data are more valuable than scientific papers but researchers are incentivised to publish papers not share data. Patients are the main beneficiaries of data sharing but researchers have several incentives not to share: others might use their data to get ahead in the academic rat race; they might be scooped; their results might not be replicable; competitors may reach different conclusions; their data management might be exposed as poor; patient confidentiality might be breached; and technical difficulties make sharing impossible. All of these barriers can be overcome and researchers should be rewarded for sharing data. Data sharing must become routine.

Keywords: Data sharing, data analysis, data management, publishing

Harnad, S. (2017). OA Overview January 2017. (email sent 06-01-17  Repositories discussion list <JISC-REPOSITORIES@JISCMAIL.AC.UK>.

(1) The old librarians’ “double-payment” argument against subscription publishing (the institution pays once to fund the research, then a second time to “buy back” the publication) is false (and silly, actually) in the letter (though on the right track in spirit).

(2) No, the institution that pays for the research output is not paying a second time to buy it back. Institutional journal subscriptions are not for buying back their own research output. They already have their own research output. They are buying in the research output of other institutions, and of other countries, with their journal subscriptions. So no double-payment there, even if you reckon it at the funder- or the tax-payer-level instead of the level of the institution that pays for the subscription.

(3) The problem was never double-payment (for subscriptions): It was (a) (huge) overpayment for institutional access and (b) completely intolerable and counterproductive access-denial for researchers at institutions that couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for subscriptions to any given journal (and there are tens of thousands of research journals): The users that are the double losers there are (i) all researchers at all the institutions that produce all research output (who lose all those of their would-be users who are at non-subscribing institutions for any given journal) and (ii) all researchers at all the non-subscribing institutions for any given journal, who lose access to all non-subscribed research. Now take a few minutes to think through the somewhat more complicated but much more accurate and informative version (3) of the double-payment fallacy in (1). The solution is very clear, and has been clear for close to 30 years now (but not reached — nor even grasped by most):


Jones, H. (2016). IRUS-UK and ORCIDS. JISC Scholarly Communications Blog.  01-12-16.

In a changing research environment, we are seeing increased importance placed on Open Access materials available via institutional repositories. Providing open access to research outputs, via institutional repositories, offers institutions an opportunity to gain a clearer understanding of their organisational research profile. This includes understanding what is being accessed and the extent to which it is being accessed.   In order to gain a fuller and more accurate picture of usage it is not only important to be able to access standardised statistics but it is also important to be able to accurately identify individual authors even in cases where the authors may share the same name. The Open Researcher and Contributor IDentifier (ORCID) is clearly of value in this scenario. In this respect, recent work by IRUS-UK points to improvements that will benefit the research community.

Crotty, D. (2016). A painful (but true-to-life) look at data availability and reuse. The Scholarly Kitchen Blog. 09-11-16. Full Text

While there’s a growing recognition in the value of data archiving and public availability of research data for reuse, putting things into practice is proving a long, slow process. One of the biggest stumbling points is that researchers only rarely receive formal training in data management, and are often left to work out their own schemes for how they will collect and store information.

Comment: This short piece includes a video and some heated discussion which highlights the fact that “training… is sparse, and that this harms our ability to maximize the value we can derive from that data”.

(2016, July). Report on the Proceedings of the International advances in digital scholarship JISC and CNI conference. Oxford University, UK.

This report describes the diversity of the discussions, conclusions, and potential follow-on actions that took place during this JISC and the Coalition of Networked Information CNI conference.  The following are three compelling results from the conference.

  • There are new concerns around openness and transparency when it comes to analytics, whether for research or learning; this is about the openness of algorithms and being transparent about the data used to drive any analytics or draw insights and metrics
  • There is a common desire and need for consistent and open identifiers, for example for digital outputs, people, places, organisations, etc. Progress in this area has been made but there is much further work to do. We need a commitment to global solutions and serious commitments to interoperability here
  • Shared infrastructure and services is a very live issue on both sides of the Atlantic and how to create sustainable infrastructure is key, but also there was, we think more strongly than ever before a desire not to re-invent the wheel and to genuinely think about sharing services more widely, while recognizing the real organisational challenges of finding ways to do so



Boselli, B., & Galindo-Rueda, F. (2016). Drivers and Implications of Scientific Open Access Publishing (OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers). Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This paper presents the results of a new and experimental study on the research and publishing activities of scientific authors. It also aimed to test the feasibility of an OECD global survey on science with a focus on major emerging policy issues. This online, email-based pilot survey was based on a stratified random sample of corresponding authors of publications listed in a major global scientific publication index across seven diverse, hand-picked science domains. More

Bankier, J.-G., & Chatterji, P. (2016). 100 Stories: The Impact of Open Access.

This pre-print attempts to answer the question: “why does open access matter?” It begins to bridge that gap by presenting a framework, drawn from 100 real stories that describe the impact of open access. Collected by bepress from across 500 institutions and 1400 journals using Digital Commons as their publishing and/or institutional repository platform, these stories present information about actual outcomes, benefits, and impacts. This report brings to light the wide variety of scholarly and cultural activity that takes place on university campuses and the benefit resulting from greater visibility and access to these materials.  The authors aspire to move the open access conversation forward by making the case, backed by data, that the benefits of open access are real, widespread and significant.