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Widespread plagiarism detected in many medical journals based in Africa

African medical journals have a plagiarism problem. A study that looked at nearly 500 papers in 100 Africa-based journals found that 63 percent contained some form of plagiarism. The study, published in BMJ Open by researchers based in South Africa, Croatia and the UK, sampled the papers from African Journals Online (AJOL), a database that aims to boost the visibility of journals from the continent. They randomly selected five papers published in 2016 from each of the 100 journals - fewer for journals that did not publish five articles that year. They ran the final sample of 495 papers through plagiarism-checking software. The study also found that only 26 of the 100 journals had a policy on plagiarism posted on their website, and a mere 16 stated that they used plagiarism software. The authors say that this points to a 'major problem with writing and publishing in medical science in Africa.' The numbers are higher than those found in comparable studies for other regions.
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European funders detail their open-access plan

Plan S, the contentious plan that a group of European science funders hopes will end scholarly journals' paywalls, has fleshed out its rules, and softened its tone a bit. The seven page implementation guidance outlines three ways researchers can comply with Plan S, which is backed by national funding agencies of countries including the UK, France, and Austria, as well as private funders including the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation. They can publish in an open-access (OA) journal or platform. They can also publish in a subscription journal provided they also make a final, peer-reviewed version or accepted manuscript immediately available in an OA repository. Finally, contrary to earlier indications, grantees will be permitted to publish in hybrid journals, which charge subscriptions but also offer an OA option, but only if the journal has committed to flip to a fully OA model.
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Time to break academic publishing's stranglehold on research

The academic publishing business model is indefensible. Practically everybody - even the companies that profit from it - acknowledges that it has to change. And yet the status quo has proven extremely resilient. The latest attempt to break the mould is called Plan S, created by umbrella group cOAlition S. It demands that all publicly funded research be made freely available. When Plan S was unveiled in September, its backers expected support to snowball. But only a minority of Europe's 43 research funding bodies have signed up, and hoped-for participation from the US has failed to materialise.
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Attention Earth Sciences: PLOS ONE wants YOUR Preprint

Preprint servers offer a myriad of benefits to authors who are excited to share their work with the community as soon as possible. So PLOS offered their authors the ease of automatically posting their life science submissions on bioRxiv. But PLOS ONE is a community of many different voices and they want to help promote preprints in all disciplines. This includes providing authors with more reasons to post a preprint - on top of the advantages that posting a preprint already offer such as faster dissemination and allowing for input from the whole community. Therefore, PLOS has introduced a new program to invite submissions of posted preprint manuscripts specifically in the Earth and Space sciences. It aims to support authors posting their papers with a fast and efficient peer review process and journal publication of their work.
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The argument for using blockchain to secure scientific research

Blockchain may be known as the computer technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but at its simplest, blockchain is a technology that offers a way to share information safely and protect against fraud and hacking. A blockchain is a distributed database, a sort of digital ledger. It could be used to secure scientific data and even establish who carried out an experiment first.
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White Papers                                                                                      TOP

Monitoring the transition to open access: December 2017

Following the Finch Report in 2012, Universities UK established an Open Access Coordination Group to support the transition to open access (OA) for articles in scholarly journals. The Group commissioned an initial report published in 2015 to gather evidence on key features of that transition. This second report aims to build on those findings, and to examine trends over the period since the major funders of research in the UK established new policies to promote OA.
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Cookies, fake news and single search boxes: the role of A&I services in a changing research landscape

Whitepaper by INSPEC (White Paper - Cookies, fake news and single search boxes: the role of A&I services in a changing research landscape) examines the growing importance of A&I databases in an open web landscape increasingly dominated by advertising and irrelevant results. Librarians and researchers share their thoughts on how they use search tools for academic research and highlight the differences between curated resources and general search engines. The contrast between these search results demonstrates why A&I services have an important role to play in contemporary research.
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The OA effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books?

It is frequently claimed that open access (OA) has the potential to increase usage and citations. This report substantiates such claims for books in particular, through benchmarking the performance of Springer Nature books made OA through the immediate (gold) route against that of equivalent non-OA books. The report includes findings from both quantitative analysis of internal book data (chapter downloads, citations and online mentions) and external interviews conducted with authors and funders. This enables the comparison of actual performance with perceptions of performance for OA books.
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Exploring Usage of Open Access Books via the JSTOR Platform

This report is the outcome of research commissioned and funded by the four presses. It engages with usage data made available by JSTOR relating to OA books in order to assist publishers in understanding how their OA content is being used; inform strategic decision making by individual presses in the future; and shed light on the potential for data relating to the uses of OA books to support the potential of open access books to reach wide audiences. Additional key aims of the research are to help inform JSTOR in the development of the JSTOR OA Books platform; and to inform the development of JSTOR usage reporting. Ensuring that JSTOR usage reporting reflects the needs of OA publishers is also an important goal of the project. All four publishers have contributed to a discussion of the role and practicalities of usage reporting services provided by JSTOR.
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What might peer review look like in 2030?

This report examines how peer review can be improved for future generations of academics and offers key recommendations to the academic community. The report is based on the lively and progressive sessions at the SpotOn London conference held at Wellcome Collection Conference centre in November 2016. It includes a collection of reflections on the history of peer review, current issues such as sustainability and ethics, while also casting a look into the future including advances such as preprint servers and AI applications. The contributions cover perspectives from the researcher, a librarian, publishers and others.
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Presentations                                                                                     TOP
Where Digital is Going? E-book adoption by the numbers

What can sales data tell us about e-book adoption and digital reading habits? In this presentation Len Vlahos, Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), takes a close look at book industry statistics from the publisher's perspective, identifying trends related to global e-book adoption, and answering questions about where digital reading is going, to help publishers and libraries prepare for the future.
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Around the publishing technology world in 45 minutes

At the annual Project Muse Publishers Meeting held in Baltimore, Todd Carpenter, Executive Director of NISO (National Information Standards Organization), shared a presentation with attendees about his organization and current projects and initiatives they're working on. Following what NISO is up to is a useful (and interesting) way to monitor emerging and current trends/technology as well as seeing how current standards are being adapted for the changing landscape.
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Open Access Author Survey 2013

The survey is a follow up to Wiley's 2012 open access author survey and is the second such survey conducted by Wiley. Consistencies were seen between the 2012 and 2013 surveys in authors' desire to publish in a high-quality, respected journal with a good Impact Factor, but the survey also shed light on differences between early career researchers (respondents between the ages of 26-44 with less than 15 years of research experience) and more established colleagues in their opinions on quality and licenses. Differences were also seen across funding bodies and in the funding available for open access to different author groups.
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Shifts in Scholarly Attention Among World Regions

Dr. Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, presented "Shifts in Scholarly Communications Among World Regions" at the OCLC Research Briefing at UNC Chapel Hill on June 7, 2013. At this event, Dr. Kurzman presented his research on changing academic attention to world regions over the past 50 years, "attention" as measured by analyzing works published about each region of the world and collected in U.S. academic libraries for each year of publication since 1958. The patterns that emerge from this research will help to inform social scientists and educational policymakers about trends and possible gaps in scholarly attention to different regions of the world.
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Introduction to Linked Open Data (LOD)

These 201 slides from a pre-con tutorial titled, 'Introduction to Linked Open Data (LOD)' was presented on September 2, 2013 at Dublin Core 2013 (DC-2013) in Lisbon, Portugal. The instructor was Ivan Herman, Semantic Web Activity Lead at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The goal of the tutorial is to introduce the audience into the basics of the technologies used for Linked Data. This includes RDF, RDFS, main elements of SPARQL, SKOS, and OWL. Some general guidelines on publishing data as Linked Data will also be provided, as well as real-life usage examples of the various technologies.
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