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Joined 2Y ago
Cake day: Nov 27, 2020

Guest post at Reddit. ------- Hi all, Forgive me if this isn't relevant to this community. Myself and a couple of friends noticed the lack of publishing opportunities available to early-career scientists. We all desperately wanted to find somewhere we could submit some writing and the only thing we found was one or two undergraduate research journals, and let's face it, most undergrad/master's students don't have publication worthy research. We think that all scientists should be able to contribute to the conversation and publishing in scientific journals is really limited to people within academic circles. We really thought it was a shame that the opportunity wasn't out there for early-career scientists so we decided to create a peer-reviewed academic magazine publishing short works from early-career bioscientists. We are absolutely dedicated to open science and will never charge anyone to publish with us and the articles we publish will always be free to read. We only launched a few weeks ago and we would love feedback on how we could improve the platform/reach more people who could be interested in publishing. https://ngbpress.com

Scientific vocabulary is a major problem producing translations from English to other languages as well. Making dictionaries is also an important task to make science more open. On our Wiki we have started collecting scientific dictionaries.

The University of Delft had a great service when I did my PhD there, they had a translator who corrected our English articles. She was really good and sometimes even gave good suggestions to improve the science. ;-) The university did this to get higher acceptance rates and thus more publications; my guess is that that was a good bet for their university rating.

A next step could be that I write an article in Dutch and the translator translates it in English. Then it would be no problem to use the English terms for science specific terms.

I was working on cloud structure at the time. My work would probably have been better if more work from Russian scientists were translated. They do top research on turbulence. No one ever punished me for not knowing the state-of-art (Russian) literature because the others also did not know, but as a science we would have been better of.

Thanks for the feedback. That is valuable. There are many people who have trouble seeing the value of translations. I was one not too long ago. So these are questions we need to be able to answer and likely the topic of an upcoming blog post. We only mentioned some reason briefly in the introduction.

P.S. Translating our English blog post to German also helped me see which formulations in English were not optimal. Next time I will translate my posts before publishing to have that added quality benefit.

When I was young, I also put conference contributions on my CV, publication list. In some fields they are important, in my field, not really. As the post mentions the title of the translation should mention it is a translation so that they are not confused with original research.

In other STEM fields, like mine (climatology), they are highly valuable. Many of the colleagues I work with at national weather services around the world are not good in English and were educated in French or Spanish.

Also in your field, some may be good scientists, able to read English enough, but lack the English skills to write a good article. If they could write the article in their mother tongue and have it translated they could contribure to scientific progress. You may not see those people because the current system wastes this talent.

I have not heard about shortages in Europe, but the labor conditions are also quite bad here. There is an enormous overproduction of post-docs compared to the number of real positions available next. Here in Germany that is even more excessive because postdocs (and PhD students) mostly work on project funding. The relatively rich federal government is only allowed to pay for project, while the poor states do the funding for the universities and their permanent positions.

Today the Open Update podcast of Liberate Science interviews Iryna Kuchma about the undesired boundaries of openness, biblio diversity and geopolitics.
This season is about the UNESCO recommendations on open science. Past guests this season were Samuel Moore and Brian Nosek.

In America there are people who claim that taxation is theft and one should only support people with charity. I have a hard time believing that they really think a sufficient level of support for necessities is possible from charity, even more so that this funding would be enough to ensure people flourish and contribute fully to society.

Similarly, the authors seem to argue that this Democratic Citizen Science model should do a large part (maybe all) of science. At least they complain that currently citizen science is a specialised niche product. That would require an enormous amount of people donating their free time to science.

Even in a society where people are no longer forced to do paid work to survive, I have a hard time believing so many people will do this on the side. If you do it on the side, you will need many times the participants that are currently doing it full time. Science would be a hobby that requires a big time investment (especially overhead) if the participants are to be really involved and take control.

Greater editorial staff representation correlated moderately with more published articles reporting research conducted in LMICs (Spearman ρ = 0.51; 95% CI, 0.25-0.70; P < .001).

It is funny how different people interpret correlations. I would not call a correlation of 0.5 for just one predictor “moderate”. That may be low for lab experiments or artificial objects, but it is pretty high for real life data.

This even punishes people sharing data to help their community:

Some of the scientists whose data were originally proprietary became active co-authors on the paper. By contrast, researchers whose data were accessible from the start are credited in the paper’s citations and acknowledgements, as is the convention in publishing.

If the reason for having a notability standard is to have enough people who are interested in reading and editing an article, then maybe the latter should be the actual rule. When an article is no longer current because too few people care, it is deleted. Might work better than trying to predict which articles may fail in future.

If you mean the abstract, that is for experts, not particularly educational in most cases.

I think you are right that many downloads are because Sci-Hub is much more convenient than the terrible landing pages of the publishers; only of the tell-tale signs of monopoly is terrible service; NO I DO NOT WANT YOUR SURVEILLANCE CUBE PDF and I do not want an additional click to get to the real PDF. Still my university in Bonn is reasonably well funded, but we still do not have subscriptions to many journals I regularly need. Even Harvard does not have all journals.

And they can create their own hell where the far-right is not criticized (“censored”). Although Trump Social will have to do some moderation, otherwise Google and Apple will remove them from the app store, which would eat into profits and Trump only cares about money.

Maybe people I hang out with are different. Climate scientists and especially female scientists get a lot of hate. People I know tend to be fed up with the terrible atmosphere and harassment, but they are locked in.

To explain why the fediverse is such a nice place, I like to say that it is made up of communities that have their own rules and keep their own neighbourhood clean. That also explains why we have less problems with moderation than a global monopolistic platform, but that may not be a good opening sentence. The disadvantage is that you then have to additionally explain that you can still talk to (almost) anyone. For explaining how it works technically, the email system is really helpful.

It is a pity if people downvoted this post because they did not like the idea. I feel the criterion should be whether people should know this is happening.

Hot tip. Publish your manuscript on a preprint server before sending it to Nature.

Exactly. In the past, when dealing with paper journals, publishers did many useful things, nowadays their monopoly power comes from determining the quality of a scientific article and otherwise they are many in the way and block innovation. That is the power we need to break.

I have a suggestion for a journal and publisher independent peer review system and found an editorial board for my own field of study, but I have not yet found people willing to collaborate on making the software and community. https://grassroots.is

Also just feedback on the system is very much welcome. That makes it better.

A military dictatorship. The US military budget just passed Congress (without any worries about the budget or inflation). It is a fine line between mafia extortion and businesses offering free food to police officers.

If there were a limited number of ransomware gangs that could be a solution. To end political violence freedom fighters/terrorists are often offered political power and jobs.

Higher education was basically free when it was only for the elite. When also normal folks started going to universities they increased the price; they do not want our kids to compete with theirs.

Do you know the OER Commons? https://www.oercommons.org

This is not enough. You need to have resources to invest the time to learn it and the interaction with other students and teachers is a big part of education. And the network is a big part of education being valuable for your career; that is the main reason the top universities can ask for so much money.

Acknowledgements We are thankful to James Heathers and three anonymous reviewers for providing valuable feedback on an earlier version of the manuscript.