News: Academic Publishing Weekly

New AI tools, defining plagiarism, and the latest open access agreements

By Choice Staff
Academic publishing weekly graphic. Reads "the latest curated news from around the industry." Dark purple background with geometric shapes.

New Certification Nonprofit Tackles Copyrighted Use of AI

In response to the growing number of copyright lawsuits against AI companies like OpenAI, a new nonprofit organization is taking steps to certify AI models that have a license to use copyrighted work as training data. Publishers Weekly explained that Fairly Trained, operated by “composer and technologist” Ed Newton-Rex, has already provided nine companies with a “Licensed Model certification” and does not certify AI models that claim to fall under fair use. Publishing Perspectives also weighed in, addressing certification pricing, future plans for Fairly Trained to “address more nuanced questions about dataset acquisition,” and hopes that the inclusion of the Association of American Publishers’ President and CEO Maria Pallante on the nonprofit’s advisory board will lead to more publishing-centered AI models becoming certified.

Thoughts on Plan S’s “Towards Responsible Publishing”

In a recent piece for The Scholarly Kitchen, the Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing, American Institute of Physics (AIP) Publishing, and American Physical Society (APS) commented on cOAlition S’s “Towards Responsible Publishing” plan. In particular, the publishers agreed that researchers’ needs should be prioritized, but argued that cOAlition S’s proposal failed to acknowledge the benefits society publishers can provide. For instance, the publishers defended the speed of publishing and emphasized the importance of quality checks due to the growing impact of paper mills and AI. The publishers also mentioned peer review developments like sharing reviewer reports, concluding that “Funders and other vital stakeholders should engage with society publishers and avoid building new systems from scratch with all the duplicative cost, effort, and risk that might entail.” [The Scholarly Kitchen]

AI Tools and Platforms: Insight, Copilot Pro, and Scopus AI

Several new AI tools were released this week, providing enhanced ways to use the technology in publishing and research. First up, Elsevier officially launched Scopus AI after releasing an alpha version for testing last summer. Elsevier touted the benefits of the feedback period and explained that Scopus AI has improved its research summaries and now includes an “Academic Expert Search” that can pinpoint top researchers in a specific discipline. Next up, the technology company Veristage released Insight, an AI platform that uses large language models like ChatGPT to aid the publishing workflow. Covering the announcement, Publishers Weekly’s Sophia Stewart commented that “Insight also includes tools for extracting and describing images within a document, generating audiobooks, and downloading reports.” Last, Microsoft announced a premium version of its chatbot Copilot. Copilot Pro users will be able to use GPT-4 Turbo and benefit from business features including the integration of Copilot into Word, Excel, and Outlook.

Academics Debate What Constitutes Plagiarism

Following the resignation of Harvard University President Claudine Gay, Jeff Tollefson of Nature investigated discrepancies among academics over what constitutes plagiarism. While many agree that copied work should be cited appropriately, Tollefson stressed that “the official definition [of plagiarism] does not differentiate between what some consider the innocuous borrowing of phrases and wholesale theft of ideas and prose.” In response, Tollefson found that scholars are calling for new regulations and rethinking the benefits of requiring researchers to summarize their work in their own words. Tollefson also commented on the impact of AI on plagiarism detection efforts and considered when plagiarism counts as research misconduct. [Nature]

The Latest Open Access Agreements

Wiley has entered a three-year open access agreement with the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), making “more research eligible for open access publication than any partnership of its kind in California.” Under the partnership, SCELC researchers will be able to publish open access in Wiley’s hybrid and gold open access journals. As for pricing, the agreement “redirects existing library subscription funds” to reduce publishing fees for students and researchers. Next, ResearchGate and Sage are building on their Journal Home collaboration, enabling members access to 100 open access Sage journals on ResearchGate. Articles published in the affiliated journals will be automatically added to ResearchGate and authors’ profiles. The partnership aims to increase the readership and reach of Sage’s journals and will include “all frontlist and backlist content from open access journals covering a broad range of disciplines.”