It’s a holiday in the US, so I’m taking a day off from fresh posts, but providing this in case you want to catch up on things. It’s easy to miss things from the busy keyboard of “The Geyser,” with its weekday schedule.
The following list is based on what readers have shared and read at the highest rate, so represents at least by distribution the top articles since January 1, 2019, in no particular order.
Four posts on Plan S:
Day One from APE 2019 in Berlin. A review of the meeting immediately after it happened, including talks from Robert-Jan Smits, other EU representatives, and the Wiley representative announcing their splashy deal.
Plan S Gets More Puzzling. A review of the implications of statements at the APE 2019 meeting from Plan S representatives, many of which proved confusing, confounding, or confrontational.
Plan S, Elitism, and Power. A contemplation on how allowing rich funders dominance in the scientific and scholarly publishing space seems part of the overall trend of giving powerful entities more control, rather than supporting institutions that speak truth to power.
Policy Without Practice. A discussion of how Plan S is different from other OA initiatives, in that it is led by someone with no apparent history of publishing in or interacting with journals as a professional.
- Why Digital Expenses Continue to Rise. Digital was supposed to improve access by driving down costs. While distribution is cheaper, it was always cheap — meanwhile, digital has increased the fixed costs associated with creating and maintaining content, and trends indicate it’s only going to get more expensive.
- Editor Interview: Marc Swiontkowski, MD. An interview with the Editor-in-Chief of a group of clinical and surgical journals, including reflections on how he became an editor, the amount of training and learning involved, the role of an EIC, and the changing information landscape.
- OA Advocates Jump the Shark. An examination of the database of publisher margins assembled by a librarian, including the assumptions and faulty analysis used to arrive at conclusions that seemed pre-ordained to shame.
- Framing Effect, OA, and the Impact Factor. A review of a study framed to link impact and quality, noting that reframing the impact factor as a measure of centrality might have led the authors to look at different and more useful things.
- Time for an Updated Ingelfinger Rule? A group of orthopaedic journals refuses to accept papers published via preprint, joining a trend of clinical medicine journals. Is it time to update the Ingelfinger Rule for the modern information age, to preserve the newsmaking function of journals and thwart big tech?
- AOC, Drugs, Risk, and Publishers. A new congresswoman takes on pharma, with a claim we’ve heard before — the public funds research, so shouldn’t drugs be cheaper? The ways this is wrong reflect why the same claim about papers is flawed.
- “The Digitization of Mistakes.” Starting from the Jeff Bezos response to the National Enquirer, a contemplation of how mistakes in judgment — and how they’re amplified and preserved routinely — are leading to anxiety, depression, and exploitation on a widespread basis.
- The Risks Haunting Preprints and Plan U. A review of three major risks preprint advocates seem to be ignoring when they promulgate the notions that preprints are going to work out long-term.
- Are KPIs Making Us Crazy? Measuring and benchmarking may be just creating crazy-making and manipulable metrics nobody needs. Maybe focusing on what really matters — management and profits — is the more sensible approach?
- Marty Frank on the History of E-Biomed. Plan S is not the first rodeo for government-imposed publishing policies. Marty Frank, formerly of the American Physiological Society, provides a history of a late-1990s initiative via this interview.
- Interview with Bryan Alexander. Bryan Alexander is an internationally known futurist, researcher, writer, speaker, consultant, and teacher, working in the field of how technology transforms education. This interview covers a wide variety of topics, including the inception of Future Trends in Technology and Education (FTTE), academia in crisis, the move to subscriptions from free, and concerns about our ability to work across divides to solve problems.
Thanks for reading (and subscribing, for those of you who have subscribed and therefore have access to all these posts). There’s a lot of good stuff in the pipeline, including interviews, book reviews, and news from meetings.