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Scholarly Communication and Publishing Developments: A Sampling


By: Ramune Kubilius, Collection Development / Special Projects Librarian

This month, we’re focusing on recent developments in the scholarly communication and publishing ecosystem.

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Preprints, complete and public drafts of scientific documents that are not yet peer reviewed, have risen in prominence in the last few years. NIH’s Preprint Pilot, launched in June 2020, made PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed. A 10-month report, released by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (April 2021), summarized pilot findings, including: “Of the preprints included in the pilot, ~60% are currently discoverable only as a preprint version, having not yet been linked to a published article.” A PMC pilot eligible preprint service, bioRxiv, reported user survey results in February 2021: “in general, 42% of authors post their preprints prior to, whereas 37% post concurrently with journal submission.

PLOS supports preprint sharing (July 2021), and a NISO (National Information Standards Organization) preprint webinar’s program (April 2021) spotlights other aspects of the landscape under scrutiny, including existing model sustainability, infrastructure, communicating limitations, and roles.

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Peer Review

Peer review is another area where new models are being developed to keep up with the voluminous data emerging and finding its way online. The COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) site describes recommended peer review processes. Society for Scholarly Publishing blog“Scholarly Kitchen” guest authors noted in an article (October 2020) on peer review taxonomy: “To make timely evidence-based decisions, scientists and non-scientists alike need to be able to understand how an emerging result has been vetted...,” also observing: “Under pressure from both researchers and consumers of research, the practice of peer review is changing and new models are proliferating.

eLife announced its “publish, then review” model, emphasizing preprints and public review (December 2020). COAR (the Confederation of Open Access Repositories), of which Galter Library is a member, launched Notify: Repository and Services Interoperability Project, aiming to develop a standard and interoperable approach that will link reviews and endorsements from different services with the research outputs housed in the distributed network of preprint servers, archives, and repositories” (January 2021). Peer Review Week participants can explore “Identity in Peer Review”- roles of personal and social identity, and ways the scholarly community can foster more diverse, equitable, and inclusive practices (September 2021).

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Software Citation

Breakthroughs columns have spotlighted data management best practices (September 2018), code archiving (April 2019), and style consistency in manuscript references (October 2019). What about software, an important and citable product of research? The Software Citation Policies Index, produced by non-profit organization, CHORUS, in collaboration with the FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation Working Group (June 2021), is a centralized index of policies with links to the publishers’ sites, to be updated at least annually.

These are just a sampling of publishing-related topics affecting the research community. Galter Library team members provide information and support during various stages of scholarly publishing and data management cycles, from Publication Support to DataLab, and more. Request a consultation or feel free to contact us for more information.

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Updated: November 15, 2021