Tuesday, October 14. 2014
Estimating Open Access Mandate Effectiveness: I. The MELIBEA Score
Philippe Vincent-Lamarre, Jade Boivin, Yassine Gargouri, Vincent Lariviere, Stevan Harnad
ABSTRACT: MELIBEA is a Spanish database that uses a composite formula with eight weighted conditions to estimate the effectiveness of Open Access mandates (registered in ROARMAP). We analyzed 68 mandated institutions for publication years 2011-2013 to determine how well the MELIBEA score and its individual conditions predict what percentage of published articles indexed by Web of Knowledge is deposited in each institution's OA repository, and when. We found a small but significant positive correlation (0.18) between MELIBEA score and deposit percentage. We also found that for three of the eight MELIBEA conditions (deposit timing, internal use, and opt-outs), one value of each was strongly associated with deposit percentage or deposit latency (immediate deposit required, deposit required for performance evaluation, unconditional opt-out allowed for the OA requirement but no opt-out for deposit requirement). When we updated the initial values and weights of the MELIBEA formula for mandate effectiveness to reflect the empirical association we had found, the score's predictive power doubled (.36). There are not yet enough OA mandates to test further mandate conditions that might contribute to mandate effectiveness, but these findings already suggest that it would be useful for future mandates to adopt these three conditions so as to maximize their effectiveness, and thereby the growth of OA.
Monday, October 13. 2014
In response to the HEFCE Open Access Policy for REF2020, the Publishers Association has made the following counter-proposal, which is as predictable as the succession of night upon day:
1. Don't require deposit upon the date of acceptance, because publisher embargoes are timed to begin on the date of publication, not the date of acceptance.Now I find these four points so outrageous and presumptuous -- and so transparently self-interested, running roughshod over the interests of research, researchers, their institutions, their funders, and the tax-paying public -- that they don't need to be answered at all (and of course they need not and should not be heeded in any way).
But past experience has shown that the research community (like Schultz's Charlie Brown and the annual football that Lucy always manages to pull out from under him every time) somehow always manages to fall for publisher FUD. The FUD is invariably formulated to appear as if the publishers are just trying to help, and make things simpler and easier for the research community. But what keeps being missed by the naive research community is that the complications and difficulties that the publishers' proposals to "help" with are invariably complications and difficulties that are being imposed by the publishers themselves, in the form of embargoes and restrictions!
In the present case it's all about ensuring the one thing that is important to publishers about open access and open-access mandates: that publishers' embargoes on Green OA are faithfully obeyed (unless, even better, the author pays for immediate Gold OA). Nothing to do with ensuring OA, and as soon as possible.
The short answers to these four pieces of publisher FUD are, accordingly:
1. No thank you. We want deposit to be done as soon as the paper is refereed and accepted, because (i) that is when the paper is ready to be used by researchers, (ii) many publishers do not embargo OA, and (iii) even if there is a publisher OA embargo and an author wishes to comply, the author can provide individual copies to individual users with the repository's request-copy-Button immediately upon deposit during the embargo -- as long as the final draft is deposited immediately upon acceptance.That said, here is some tit-for-tat for the Publishers Association's letter to HEFCE:
PA: "Following the publication of HEFCE’s statement of policy in March 2014 The Publishers Association and its members have been consulting with other stakeholders as to how best we in the publishing community can assist researchers and institutions to comply with the policy, particularly with regards to the deposit requirements.
With regards (and all due respect), the deposit requirements have nothing to do with publishers (or with publisher embargoes on OA).PA: "In the course of these conversations it has become clear that this aspect of the policy is a source of widespread concern. Therefore I am writing to ask if HEFCE would give serious consideration to reviewing and revising certain elements of it."
No doubt there is publisher concern about the deposit requirement: That concern is precisely because deposits (unlike OA embargoes) cannot be controlled by publishers.PA: "For us, the problematic section is Section 18 which states that “the output must have been deposited as soon after the point of acceptance as possible and no later than three months after this date (as given in the acceptance letter or email from the publications to the author)”.
Section 19 then goes on to require that the output must have been deposited as the author’s accepted and final peer-reviewed text, which may later be updated by the version of record.
Never mind the version of record. It's another matter. We're talking here about the author's final draft, and the time it is to be deposited.PA: "For the avoidance of doubt, The PA and members are of course in no way opposed to the principle of deposit per se; rather we are concerned with the timing and form of the mandatory deposit."
Well, it's good to know that the PA are in no way opposed to something that is none of their business, and over which they have no control. But then why mention it at all?PA: "In paragraph 29 of the Consultation Document on the Policy (July 2013) HEFCE stated that:
“We also wish to make the process of compliance as simple as possible for authors and HEIs and have received advice that the point of acceptance would be more suitable.” The PA’s response to the Consultation (October 2013) spoke to this point by saying “it is unclear where this advice has come from and what the justification for it is. To ensure compliance with embargo periods, which commence from the date of publication, it is logical to coincide the deposit or linking of papers with the publication date.”"
Is the PA owed a justification for a deposit policy that is none of its business and out of its control?PA: "Our subsequent discussions have confirmed us in our view that it would be far preferable for HEIs, researchers and publishers that the timing of the deposit of papers be coincident with the date of the publication of the version of record. This is for two principal reasons:
It would allow for the clearer management of embargo periods. Since these begin at the point of publication, deposit in institutional repository at this point removes the potential for any confusion arising between the availability of the accepted author manuscript and the version of record. Repositories will need to know the date of publication in order to respect the embargo period but they cannot know this from the date of acceptance."
As stated, OA embargo periods are reckoned from the (variable) publication date, not from deposit date. They have nothing to do with deposit date.PA: "It would reduce the level of costs to HEIs, many of which have expressed concerns about the financial and administrative burden of ingesting author manuscripts in their repositories. We understand that for many institutions this will require a number of operations (for example, subsequent up-dating of data) to be performed manually which could be fulfilled automatically if deposit of the author manuscript is made upon publication. Not all HEIs have repositories capable of dealing with this requirement at present."
It is terribly good of publishers to worry about institutions' operating expenses! There is a very useful way in which publishers could help lower these expenses: charge less for journals, or drop OA embargoes.PA: "Some stakeholders have made proposals for mitigating what we would see as the adverse effects of the proposed policy: for example encouraging publishers to provide author manuscripts and metadata in a standardised format through the Jisc “Publishers Router”.
However, this would not address the central issue of the clear potential for confusion around the start date of the embargo period, which often will not be known at the point of acceptance. For many publishers, this proposed mitigation would imply an additional cost, which seems somewhat unreasonable to ask publishers to bear when we believe that deposit at the point of publication would eliminate these costs and concerns without compromising the policy’s goals to advance open access."
To repeat: determining the date of publication and the date of the end of the embargo has nothing whatsoever to do with date of deposit.PA: "Ultimately we believe that any of these mitigating or alternative solutions are poor substitutes for amending the underlying policy requirement.
It would greatly help our understanding of the HEFCE stance if you were able to share with us the justification for the policy – as referred to in last year’s consultation – and your perspective on the costs."
Publishers have no right to ask institutions and funders for "justification" of deposit policies if the deposits are not OA.PA: "We would be grateful if you would give consideration to amending this aspect of open access policy. We believe it will act as a hindrance to the widespread take up of open access in the UK research community, whereas a requirement to deposit in an institutional repository on publication would be a policy which would command support from a much wider range of sector stakeholders."
Good of publishers to be so concerned about compliance with the HEFCE deposit mandate, but, no, ceding control to publishers over deposit timing is not the way to ensure compliance. Making compliance a prerequisite for REF eligibility is.Stevan Harnad
Sunday, September 28. 2014
Here they are:
Cornée, Nathalie and Madjarevic, Natalia (2014) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2013/2014 RCUK open access compliance report. The London School of Economics and Political Science, Library, London, UK.Seventy-three (73) OA articles, at about Ł1,000 a shot via Gold -- vs. fifty (50) at no cost via Green!Abstract: In September 2014, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) reported to Research Councils UK on the School’s compliance with the recently introduced RCUK Policy on Open Access (OA). This reports provides detail around the article processing charges (APC) data and RCUK Call for Evidence report. Background In April 2013, the revised RCUK Policy on Open Access came into effect. The policy requires journal articles or conference proceedings arising from research funded wholly or partially by a RCUK grant should be made freely available online (or “Open Access”). There are two main routes to make papers open access: a) the Green route, which is the LSE preferred route, when the full text of papers are deposited into an institutional repository such as LSE Research Online. To select this route, embargo periods must be no longer than the 12 months permitted by RCUK (no charge applies); b) the Gold route, which provides immediate, unrestricted access to the final version of the paper via the publisher's website, often using a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence - it may involve payment of an APC to the publisher. In 2013, we received the RCUK OA block grant for 2013/14 of Ł62,862. We set up the LSE Institutional Publication Fund using this grant and this was managed by the Library, allowing eligible RCUK-funded researchers to apply for APC funds. Additionally, the School was awarded a pump-prime funding allocation from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for open access, which was also added to the fund. Of the 141 papers we identified as RCUK-funded for Year 1, 50 papers are open access via the Green route and 73 via the Gold, resulting in an 87% compliance rate.
That RCUK Ł62,862 could have funded 4 doctoral research students or 2 postdoctoral researchers. Instead, it is paying publishers even more than they are already being paid for subscriptions (and for hybrid Gold publishers it's even double-paying them).
For 73 articles!
And 73 articles that could have been provided for free via Green -- if instead of dangling scarce money in front of authors RCUK had simply insisted on immediate deposit, irrespective of embargo length.
One can only hope that the spot-on and timely new HEFCE policy of requiring immediate deposit, now, in order to be eligible for REF2020, will stanch this gratuitous, obdurate Finch/RCUK profligacy.
And that the EU's similar policy will help reinforce it.
Meanwhile there's nothing stopping institutions from being more sensible, by requiring immediate deposit and using the RCUK windfall to better purpose (till it is sensibly redirected to research).
Tuesday, September 16. 2014
“The world's most prolific writer: Sverker Johansson has created more than three million Wikipedia articles, around one tenth of the entire content of the site. How, and why, does he do it?” -- Norwegian Inflight Magazine]The question's interesting, though the right description is not that Sverker Johansson “wrote” millions of Wikipedia articles but that he wrote an online search algorithm (a “bot") that generated them automatically (otherwise the writer of a payroll algorithm would be the “author" of gazillions of paychecks…).
How and why indeed! It’s interesting, though, that so many Wikipedia entries can be generated algorithmically. The boundary between an encyclopedia and an almanac or even a chronicle of events has long been blurred by Wikipedia.
But it is a good idea to keep in mind that what is easy to generate algorithmically (and via its close cousin, crowdsourcing) in the googlized digital era, is simple or 1st-order facts: Answers to what?/when?/where? questions: Apples are red, the sky is blue, it rained in Burma on Tuesday, Chelsea beat Burnley 4-2..
The real source of all this factual information is Google’s global digital database, and the fact that Google has reverse-indexed it all, making it searchable by Boolean (and/or/not) search algorithms as well as by more complex computational (Turing) algorithms.
The questions that are much harder to answer algorithmically, even with all of the Google database and all the Boolean/Turing tools, are the higher-order how?/why? questions. If those could all be answered algorithmically, most of theoretical (i.e., non-experimental) science would be finished by now.
And the reason for that is probably that our brains don’t find all those how/why answers just algorithmically either, but also via dynamical (analog, sensorimotor) means that may prove accessible to future Turing-Test scale sensorimotor robots, but certainly not to today's purely symbolic bots, operating on purely symbolic databases.
In other words, it’s down to the symbol grounding problem again…
Friday, September 5. 2014
to rant about publishers
not doing right OA thing
than to do right OA thing?"
-- Master Basho (old Zen Koan)
There are two ways to provide Open Access (OA): (1) Publishing in an OA journal ("Gold OA") or (2) publishing in a subscription journal (like AAAS's Science) and self-archiving the article by depositing the final refereed draft in the author's institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication ("Green OA").
There are two kinds (or degrees) of OA: free online access ("Gratis OA") and free online access plus certain re-use rights ("Libre OA").
What funders and institutions are mandating is Green Gratis OA; not Gold OA. And they are only recommending, not requiring, Libre OA.
60% of journals endorse immediate, unembargoed Green Gratis OA. 40% of journals embargo OA.
The journals that do not embargo Green Gratis OA are the 60% that are advancing OA. (They are "on the side of the angels" regarding OA.)
All the AAAS journals, including Science, are on the side of the angels. They do not embargo immediate Green Gratis OA.
In contrast, Nature used to be -- but is no longer -- on the side of the angels: it embargoes Green Gratis OA for 6 months. (Many journals embargo it for 12 months; some even longer.)
It is both untrue and extremely unproductive (for OA -- both Gratis and Libre) to describe a publisher that is on the side of the angels for Green Gratis OA as one that "does not advance Open Access."
Once it is universally mandated by all research institutions and funders, Green Gratis OA will be universally provided. That is (Gratis) OA: online access to all peer-reviewed journal articles, not just for subscribers, but free for all.
Global Green Gratis OA will in turn lead to journal cancellations and a conversion of all journals to Libre Gold OA, at a fair price ("Fair Gold") paid out of the subscription cancellation windfall savings.
But Global Green Gratis OA is being held back by publisher embargoes.
To chastise AAAS as "not advancing Open Access" even though AAAS endorses immediate, unembargoed Gratis Green OA is to encourage publishers to embargo OA because they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Jon Tennant's field of geology (and several other fields) would benefit from Libre OA. In contrast, endorsing immediate Libre OA (which includes the right of a 3rd-party rival publisher to free-ride on and undercut the primary publisher's content, immediately, inducing immediate cancellations) is something it is quite understandable that a publisher would not want to do today: Better to wait for Global Green Gratis OA to be reached gradually via mandates, and all journals having to convert to Libre Fair-Gold, rather than having to do it pre-emptively, alone, today.
So please have patience and encourage institutions and funders to mandate Green Gratis OA rather than encouraging publishers to embargo it, by implying that if a publisher does not allow immediate Libre OA, it is slowing progress toward OA.
What is slowing progress toward OA is just the slowness of institutions and funders to mandate it (and hence the slowness of their authors to provide it).
To deprecate publishers that endorse immediate, unembargoed Gratis Green OA is to further slow the progress of OA.
Harnad, S. (2007) The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition. In: Anna Gacs. The Culture of Periodicals from the Perspective of the Electronic Age. L’Harmattan. 99-106.
______ (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed. D-Lib Magazine 16 (7/8).
______ (2013) The Postgutenberg Open Access Journal. In, Cope, B and Phillips, A (eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal (2nd edition). Chandos.
Wednesday, September 3. 2014
Comment on: Lemire, Daniel (2014) Though unrefereed, arXiv has a better h-index than most journals…Arxiv includes both unrefereed and refereed versions of papers.
Distinguish citation from access-date (early access) and access-locus.
Peer-reviewed publication is not the same thing as (or not only) access-provision:
Journals provide both peer review and access (to subscribers only, if journal is subscription-based).
Repositories provide access (to peer-reviewed journal articles and sometimes to earlier unrefereed drafts).
Hence repositories do not have citation counts or h-indexes: just access-locus statistics; their citation counts are parasitic on journal citation counts (and especially journal peer review).
Users access whatever version they can access, but they cite the journal article (the canonical, archival "version of record").
The only exception is unrefereed drafts -- but even there, it is the author's draft that is being cited; the repository is just the access-locus:
Unrefereed drafts used to be cited as "name, title, unpublished (or 'in prep')" and refereed, accepted drafts used to be cited as "name, title, journal, in press)."
Adding an OA access-locus to the journal citation is becoming an increasingly common (and desirable) scholarly practice, but it does not change the fact that what is being cited is the work, and the canonical version of the work is the refereed, published version-of-record, regardless of access-locus.
Hence repositories do not have citation counts; they just have access-locus (download) counts.
(Some interesting statistics can, however, be done on the citation of unrefereed vs refereed versions, i.e., early access.)
Monday, September 1. 2014
For the record: I renounce (and have long renounced) the original 2002 BOAI (and BBB) definition of Open Access (OA) (even though I was one of the original co-drafters and co-signers of BOAI) in favour of its 2008 revision (sic) as Gratis OA (free online access) and Libre OA (free online access plus certain re-use rights, e.g., CC-BY).
The original BOAI definition was improvised. Over a decade of subsequent evidence, experience and reflection have now made it clear that the first approximation in 2002 was needlessly over-reaching and (insofar as Green OA self-archiving was concerned) incoherent (except if we were prepared to declare almost all Green OA — which was and still is by far the largest and most reachable body of OA — as not being OA!). The original BOAI/BBB definition has since also become an obstacle to the growth of (Green, Gratis) OA as well as a point of counterproductive schism and formalism in the OA movement that have not been to the benefit of OA (but to the benefit of the opponents of OA, as well as the publishers that want to ensure -- via Green OA embargoes -- that the only path to OA should be one that comes on their terms, i.e. preserves their current revenue streams: Fool's Gold OA).
I would like to agree with Richard Poynder that OA needs some sort of "authoritative" organization -- but of whom should that authoritative organization consist? My inclination is that it should be the providers and users of the OA research itself, namely peer-reviewed journal article authors, their institutions and their funders. Their “definition” of OA would certainly be authoritative.
Let me close by emphasizing that I too see Libre OA as desirable and inevitable. But my belief (and it has plenty of supporting evidence) is that the only way to get to Libre OA is for all institutions and funders to mandate (and provide) Gratis Green OA first — not to quibble or squabble or dawdle about the BOAI/BBB “definition” of OA, or their favorite flavours of Libre OA licenses.
My only difference with Paul Royster is that the primary target for OA is peer-reviewed journal articles, and for that it is not just repositories that are needed, but Green OA mandates from authors’ institutions and funders.
P.S. To forestall yet another round of definitional wrangling: Even an effective Gratis Green OA mandate requires some compromises, namely, if authors elect to comply with a publisher embargo on Green OA, they need merely deposit the final, refereed, revised draft in their institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication -- and set the access as "restricted access" instead of OA during the (allowable) embargo. The repository's automated email copy-request Button will allow any user to request and any author to provide a single copy for research purposes during the embargo with just one click each. (We call this compromise "Almost-OA." It is a workaround for the 40% of journals that embargo Gratis Green OA; and this too is a necessary first step on the road to 100% immediate Green Gratis OA and onward. I hope no one will now call for a formal definition of "Almost-OA" before we can take action on mandating OA...)
Monday, August 25. 2014
A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta üdvözli Kanada kormányának a történelmi igazságtétel irányába tett lépéseit
Montreál, Kanada – 2014. augusztus 25 -- A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta üdvözli a kanadai kormány nyilatkozatát, melyet az 1914 és 1920 közötti internálások századik évfordulóján tett. Az I. Világháború alatt és az azt követő másfél évben, összesen 8.600 ártatlan nőt, gyereket és férfit internáltak mint "idegent és ellenséget" 24 lágerben, csupán azért, mert az Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia területeiről származtak.
A kanadai Miniszterelnöki Hivatal által kiadott közlemény szerint:
"a kormányok kötelessége, hogy védelmet nyújtsanak háborúk idején, ezért sajnálattal tekintünk vissza egy olyan kormányzati politikára, amely ahelyett, hogy védelmet nyújtott volna, a kollektív bűnösség elve alapján cselekedett, és nem vette figyelembe az „ártalmatlanság vélelmét”. Ezzel a közleménnyel Kanada beismeri a múlt bűneit és deklarálja, hogy tanult a múlt hibáiból. Egyben kijelenti: „kötelességünknek tartjuk, hogy megemlékezzünk az áldozatokról”.Bár a legtöbb internált ukrán származású volt, magyar nemzetiségű áldozatai is voltak az internálásnak; így értelemszerűen magyarok is kerültek az elszigetelő lágerekbe. Ezen kívül a kanadai települések rendőrségei több magyar származású személyt is nyilvántartottak a többi 80 ezer szintén "idegennek és ellenségnek" titulált kelet-európaival együtt.
A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta elismeri a kanadai ukrán közösség erőfeszítését és munkáját, melyet annak érdekében végzett, hogy végre ismertté válhasson Kanada történelmének ez a szomorú fejezete. Többek között a Shevchenko (Sevcsenko) Alapítvány, a Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (Ukrán-Kanadai Polgári Jogok Egyesülete) és Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Ukrán Kanadai Kongresszus) dolgozott a történelmi igazságtétel érdekében hosszú éveken keresztül. Ennek a munkának köszönhetően született meg a C-311-es törvény, mely egy 10 millió dolláros alap létrehozását tette lehetővé. Az alap támogatásának és projektjeinek köszönhetően ismerhetik meg a kanadaiak – származásuktól függetlenül – ezt a sokáig elfeledett történelmi tragédiát.
A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta sajnálattal veszi tudomásul, hogy odahaza, a magyar politikai vezetés a mai napig sem tud hasonló példamutatással járni e téren. A KMDH sajnálatosnak tartja, hogy a jelenlegi kormány képtelen őszinte és félreérthetetlen irányt mutatni a huszadik század első felében elkövetett kormányzati igazságtalanságok feldolgozásának érdekében, és ma is inkább másokra keni a felelőséget szomorú múltunk több esetében. A kanadai aktivisták, tudósok, múzeumok és kormányzati tisztviselők együttműködése az ukrán diaszpórával annak ékes bizonyítéka, hogy lehetséges őszintén és nyiltan megemlékezni a történelem sötét és tragikus korszakaira.
A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta - egy, az akadémikusokat és aktivistákat összefogó országos szervezet – fejet hajt az igazságtalanul meghurcolt embertársaink emléke előtt, tiszteleg az internálás magyar és más nemzetiségű áldozatai előtt. Továbbá, kötelességének tekinti, hogy felszólaljon minden olyan jelenlegi kormányzati lépéssel szemben, amely igazságtalanul érinti az embereket.
Dr. Göllner András, alapító és nemzetközi szóvívő
A Concordia University politológia tanszékének emeritus professzora. Montreál, Québec.
Dr. Ádám Christopher, társalapító és szóvívő
A Carleton University történelem tanszékének oktatója. Ottawa, Ontario.
Dr. Balogh Éva, társalapító és szóvívő
A Yale Egyetem korábbi történész professzora és a Morse College egykori dékánja. New Haven, Connecticut.
Dr. Hernád István, társalapító és szóvívő
A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia külső tagja / Université du Québec ŕ Montréal (UQAM) Kanadai kiemelt kutatási katedra kognitív tudományokban. Montreál, Québec.
Dr. Szeman Imre, társalapító és szóvívő
A University of Alberta kiemelt professzora angol irodalomban, szociológiában és filmművészetben.
Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Charter Welcomes Canadian Government's Decision to Acknowledge Historical Injustice
MONTREAL, CANADA - August 25th, 2014 -- The Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter welcomes the Government of Canada's statement on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the country's first national internment operations between 1914 and 1920, in which more than 8,600 innocent men, women and children from the lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and elsewhere in Eastern Europe were unjustly interned as "enemy aliens" in 24 internment camps across Canada.
A statement from the Prime Minister's office notes that:
"governments have a solemn duty to defend against legitimate threats in wartime, but we look back with deep regret on an unjust policy that was implemented indiscriminately as a form of collective punishment and in violation of fundamental principles of natural justice, including the presumption of innocence. In Canada we acknowledge the mistakes of the past, and we learn from them. We are also steadfast in our commitment to remembering those who suffered."While most of those interned were Ukrainians, Hungarian immigrants to Canada were also considered to be enemy aliens, and they were not only among those deported to remote camps, but were also among more than 80,000 residents required to register with local authorities, simply as a result of their ethnic background.
The Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter also acknowledges the Ukrainian community groups and activists that for decades fought for this sad chapter in Canada's wartime history to be recognized. We think especially of the Shevchenko Foundation, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress--all of which persevered in their calls for justice, even as they faced widespread denial and indifference on the part of Canadian authorities. Their persistence is what led to Bill C-331, which opened the way for the creation of the $10 million Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund, thus allowing for Canadians of all backgrounds and generations to explore this previously neglected chapter in our country's history.
The cooperation amongst community activists, the Ukrainian Canadian diaspora, historians and other academics, artists, local museum curators and government officials demonstrates that it is possible to reflect openly on the most painful chapters of a nation's history. This can serve as a positive example for Hungarian society as well.
The Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter -- a national organization of academics and community activists -- remembers the Hungarians and other Europeans who fell victim to wartime xenophobia and prejudice in Canada, and will continue to raise its voice against injustice and oppression in our contemporary world.
Dr. András B. Göllner. Founder and International Spokesperson
Emeritus Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Que.
Dr. Christopher Adam. Co-Founder and Spokesperson
Sessional Lecturer, Department of History, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ont.
Dr. Éva Balogh. Co-Founder and Spokesperson
Former Professor of History and Dean of Morse College at Yale University (Retired) New Haven, Conn.
Dr. Stevan Harnad. Co-fondateur et porte-parole, langue française
Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Science, Université du Québec ŕ Montréal and External Member, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Imre Szeman. Co-Founder and Spokesperson
Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies and Professor of English, Film Studies, and Sociology, University of Alberta.
Thursday, August 21. 2014
If, as rumoured, google builds a platform for depositing unrefereed research papers for “peer-reviewing” via crowd-sourcing, can this create a substitute for classical peer-review or will it merely supplement classical peer review with crowd-sourcing?
In classical peer review, an expert (presumably qualified, and definitely answerable), an "action editor," chooses experts (presumably qualified, and definitely answerable), "referees," to evaluate a submitted research paper in terms of correctness, quality, reliability, validity, originality, importance and relevance in order to determine whether it meets the standards of a journal with an established track-record for correctness, reliability, originality, quality, novelty, importance and relevance in a certain field.
In each field there is usually a well-known hierarchy of journals, hence a hierarchy of peer-review standards, from the most rigorous and selective journals at the top all the way down to what is sometimes close to a vanity press at the bottom. Researchers use the journals' public track-records for quality standards as a hierarchical filter for deciding in what papers to invest their limited reading time to read, and in what findings to risk investing their even more limited and precious research time to try to use and build upon.
Authors' papers are (privately) answerable to the peer-reviewers, the peer-reviewers are (privately) answerable to the editor, and the editor is publicly answerable to users and authors via the journal's name and track-record.
Both private and public answerability are fundamental to classical peer review. So is their timing. For the sake of their reputations, many (though not all) authors don't want to make their papers public before they have been vetted and certified for quality by qualified experts. And many (though not all) users do not have the time to read unvetted, uncertified papers, let alone to risk trying to build on unvalidated findings. Nor are researchers eager to self-appoint themselves to peer-review arbitrary papers in their fields, especially when the author is not answerable to anyone for following the freely given crowd-sourced advice (and there is no more assurance that the advice is expert advice rather than idle or ignorant advice than there is any assurance that a paper is worth taking the time to read and review).
The problem with classical peer review today is that there is so much research being produced that there are not enough experts with enough time to peer-review it all. So there are huge publication lags (because of delays in finding qualified, willing referees, and getting them to submit their reviews in time) and the quality of peer-review is uneven at the top of the journal hierarchy and minimal lower down, because referees do not take the time to review rigorously.
The solution would be obvious if each unrefereed, submitted paper had a reliable tag marking its quality level: Then the scarce expertise and time for rigorous peer review could be reserved for, say, the top 10% or 30% and the rest of the vetting could be left to crowd-sourcing. But the trouble is that papers do not come with a-priori quality tags: Peer review determines the tag.
The benchmark today is hence the quality hierarchy of the current, classically peer-reviewed research literature. And the question is whether crowd-sourced peer review could match, exceed, or even come close enough to this benchmark to continue to guide researchers on what is worth reading and safe to trust and use at least as well as they are being guided by classical peer review today.
And of course no one knows whether crowd-sourced peer-review, even if it could work, would be scaleable or sustainable.
The key questions are hence:
1. Would all (most? many?) authors be willing to post their unrefereed papers publicly (and in place of submitting them to journals!)?My own prediction (based on nearly a quarter century of umpiring both classical peer review and open peer commentary) is that crowdsourcing will provide an excellent supplement to classical peer review but not a substitute for it. Radical implementations will simply end up re-inventing classical peer review, but on a much faster and more efficient PostGutenberg platform. We will not realize this, however, until all of the peer-reviewed literature has first been made open access. And for that it is not sufficient for Google merely to provide a platform for authors to post their unrefereed papers, because most authors don’t even post their refereed papers in their institutional repositories until it is mandated by their institutions and funders.
Harnad, S. (1998/2000/2004) The invisible hand of peer review. Nature [online] (1998), Exploit Interactive 5 (2000): and in Shatz, B. (2004) (ed.) Peer Review: A Critical Inquiry. Rowland & Littlefield. Pp. 235-242.
Harnad, S., Carr, L., Brody, T. & Oppenheim, C. (2003) Mandated online RAE CVs Linked to University Eprint Archives: Improving the UK Research Assessment Exercise whilst making it cheaper and easier. Ariadne 35.
Harnad, S. (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed. D-Lib Magazine 16 (7/8).
Harnad, S. (2011) Open Access to Research: Changing Researcher Behavior Through University and Funder Mandates. JEDEM Journal of Democracy and Open Government 3 (1): 33-41.
Harnad, Stevan (2013) The Postgutenberg Open Access Journal. In, Cope, B and Phillips, A (eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal (2nd edition). Chandos.
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