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New scholarly communications website coming in December 2018

23 November 2018

The Scholarly Communications website has been hosting news and information about academic publishing and HKUST research. We are in the process of redesigning this site; in a few weeks it will have a new look. If you have subscribed to our news feed through RSS, please note that the link will change. Visit us in late December in the new platform to stay in touch with us!

European funding organizations launch “Plan S” to aim at making open access to scientific publications by 2020

04 September 2018

Eleven national research funding organisations, with the support of the European
Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), are announcing the launch of cOAlition S (Plan S), an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality.  Its main principle is “By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.”

Manuscript Exchange Common Approach (MECA) – a new framework for transferring manuscript across systems

25 July 2018

Authors lose time and effort when their manuscript is rejected by a journal and they have to repeat the submission process in subsequent journals. Plus, it is estimated that 15 million hours of researcher time is wasted each year repeating reviews. A group of manuscript-management suppliers has taken up this challenge and is working together with National Information Standards Organization (NISO) to develop a common approach that can be adopted across the industry.

More than 5,000 German scientists have published papers in pseudo-scientific journals through predatory publishers

20 July 2018

More than 5,000 German scientists have published papers in pseudo-scientific journals, according to reporting undertaken by German public broadcasters NDR and WDR together with the Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin and additional national and international media outlets. Reporters found that researchers from German universities, institutes and federal agencies have frequently published articles, many of them supported with public funding, in worthless online scientific journals belonging to pseudo-scientific publishers, so-called predatory publishers, that fail to uphold basic standards of quality control. Globally, it is a problem involving fully 400,000 scientists, the reporting has found.

Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research – a consensus report released by The U.S. National Academies of Sciences (NAS)

17 July 2018

While significant progress has been made in providing open access to scientific research, a range of challenges — including the economics of scientific publication and cultural barriers in the research enterprise — must be overcome to further advance the openness of science, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  The report recommends coordinated action from the academic community and other research stakeholders, and the use of an “open science by design” framework to foster openness throughout the research process.

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) 2018 update: 20 journals were suppressed (14 for Journal Self-Citation, 6 for Citation Stacking)

26 June 2018

Clarivate Analytics announced the 2018 update of its Journal Citation Reports (JCR). One of the key highlights was that 20 journals were suppressed to ensure the integrity of the reports. (14 for Journal Self-Citation, 6 for Citation Stacking). The details of the title suppressions could be found via

FORCE11 introduces a new standard for the citation of research data

08 May 2018

The Identifiers Expert Group of the FORCE11 Data Citation Implementation Pilot (DCIP) has achieved a significant step toward the harmonization of identifier resolution standards for data citation in research articles. Working with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the California Digital Library (CDL), they have established interoperability of compact identifiers and developed a global approach for the formal citation of research data in the life sciences. The approach and its development are described in an article published today in the journal Scientific Data, which has also announced its adoption of the standard.

ResearchGate announces new cooperation with 3 publishers regarding legal sharing of academic journal articles

19 April 2018

In a cooperation agreement, Springer Nature, Cambridge University Press, Thieme and ResearchGate will work together on the sharing of articles on the scholarly collaboration platform in a way that protects the rights of authors and publishers. As part of the agreement:

    • ResearchGate and publishers will cooperate in educating users about their rights in relation to copyright-protected content by providing users with more and better information about how and when they may share their journal articles on the network
    • ResearchGate will continue to promptly remove copyright-infringing content when alerted by publishers
    • Publishers will get better visibility into the usage of new content on the platform that was originally published in their journals
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