EORI Bulletin

10/05/2021 5-minute update

EORI keeps an eye on changes in the fields of Open Science, FAIR data principles, and others, and directs any interested parties to important updates:

  • Many people will know of Scihub, a website which gives access to research articles by cycling through IP addresses until it finds one which is permitted. The founder, Alexandra Elbakyan, is being chased up by the FBI as the American legal system is trying to have it shut it down (here). Amusingly, Sci-Hub may be beneficial to research as Indian research which is available on Sci-Hub garners more citations than work which is not (here). Considering this, and the morality of Open Access (here), researchers should be in favour of the website, yet journals and publishers are not. As a website that gives access to (usually publicly funded) research, it seems to occupy a legal grey zone of being morally right but legally wrong. Worth keeping an eye on developments.
  • There’s an interesting question in the debate about predatory journals and conferences. Even if the journals/ conferences are predatory, the science held within the journals may still be perfectly sound, and the conferences may still yield genuine networking opportunities. Additionally, some publish in them as their articles may not be accepted elsewhere, meaning that without predatory journals/ conference that work & data may not be reported for some time, if at all. The question is, considering these (and cost aside), are predatory journals & conferences actually a bad thing? Influencing the answer, one group found that research in predatory journals are less statistically sound and data presentation worse (here). This finding runs against potential ‘benefits’ from predatory publishers. 
  • Nice and quickly, Dr Rhodri Leng presented to the Riot Science Club recently about citation biases (here). Well worth watching!

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