News: Academic Publishing Weekly

AI implementation across the globe, journal transparency to reduce self-censorship, and more 2023 booklists

By Choice Staff
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AI Service Acquisition and Is Artificial Intelligence Used Evenly Across the Globe?

Despite the popularity of artificial intelligence in the news as of late, new reports reveal that students and higher education leaders in the United States trail behind in their use of AIInside Higher Ed collected several surveys on AI, including one from educational technology company Anthology that found that “38 percent of [U.S.] students reported using AI at least monthly, with only the United Kingdom having a lower usage rate.” The Anthology report also underlined concerns regarding plagiarism despite nearly half of students and a third of university leaders in the United States seeing the potential of AI to boost student engagement. A second study from Chegg similarly found low AI usage among students in the United States, also revealing widespread support for “human expertise in generating answers” and AI training across the globe. Continuing on the topic of AI, Digital Science acquired Writefull after partially owning the scholarly language service since 2018. Commenting on the acquisition, Digital Science noted plans to include Writefull in its Collaboration Hub, enabling the publisher to incorporate Writefull’s services with other products.

New Sustainability Journal and a Call for Mandatory OA

This week, Frontier Research Foundation organized an Open Science Charter to advocate for “mandatory open access to all publicly funded scientific knowledge by 2030.” Citing the current climate crisis, the foundation noted the importance of quick publication times and accessible research. Frontier Research Foundation also underscored the need to bolster trust in science and the role universities play in “empowering innovators to deliver practical solutions by ensuring the immediate and unrestricted sharing of research findings funded by taxpayers.” Next up, IOP Publishing will open submissions in January for a new open access journal on sustainabilitySustainability Science and Technology will be interdisciplinary in nature and each publication “will be required to demonstrate its potential to deliver sustainability benefits, whether environmentally, socially, or economically.” IOP Publishing emphasized that the journal also aims to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and authors will not be required to pay article publication charges for the initial three years the journal is in publication.

Reflections from Charleston and a Look at Trade Publishing Salaries

Miss this year’s Charleston Library Conference? Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe of The Scholarly Kitchen caught us up with several reflections on the conference’s vendor showcase, underscoring the popularity of artificial intelligence and open access. In particular, Hinchliffe noted that although AI was a hot topic, vendors fell short of informing “customers about how the different approaches to AI will impact research and library collections and services.” Hinchliffe also mentioned the growing popularity of Subscribe to Open, the increased targeting of libraries for OA agreements, and her disappointment concerning a lack of conversation about research integrity. Turning to trade publishing, Publishers Weekly’s annual publishing salary survey revealed a modest median raise of 3.4 percent in 2022. PW emphasized that a fifth of the 618 respondents failed to receive a raise, despite high job satisfaction and the percentage of those making under $50,000 dropping to 17 percent.

Call for Transparency to Reduce Scientific Censorship

A recent paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is calling for increased transparency in academic publishing after citing widespread self-censorship among scientists. Reporting on the paper, Inside Higher Ed’s Johanna Alonso explained that the publication claims that “scientists commonly censor scientific findings for ‘prosocial’ reasons, such as the fear that those findings could have harmful impacts, especially on marginalized groups.” The paper’s authors addressed how ethics boards and professors can turn down submissions on controversial subjects, proposing that journals be more open about their editorial decisions to provide insight into why papers are rejected. The authors further recommended investigating bias within journals, prompting John Slattery, director of the Grefenstette Center for Ethics in Science, Technology and Law at Duquesne University, to ponder the financial side of implementing these suggestions and to warn against underplaying the harm scientific articles can inflict upon communities. [Inside Higher Ed]

Wolfson History Prize and 2023 Reads

Last week Resistance: The Underground War in Europe, 1939-1945 by Halik Kochanski took home the UK’s Wolfson History Prize. The title centers on European citizens’ acts of resistance during World War II, with jury chair David Cannadine commenting, “This book does more than recount the past; it breathes life into forgotten voices and untold tales of bravery, illuminating the spirit of ordinary people who challenged oppression.” Next, several chefs from The Scholarly Kitchen shared the best books they read this year. The chefs plugged both old and new titles, such as Black Joy, edited by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff and Timi Sotire, along with a few “cultural creations” including Tooth of a Lion’s debut album Sonne von unten.

End of Year Booklists Continue

Looking for a winter read? The New York Times Book Review rolled out its top 10 titles of the year, narrowed down from its list of “100 Notable Books of 2023.” The New York Public Library also shared its favorite reads, breaking down its recommendations for children, teens, and adults in categories such as Activism & Social Justice, Science Fiction, and History. Several university presses dot the adults list, including To Be Named Something Else by Shaina Phenix from the University of Arkansas Press in the Women & Gender and Society & Culture categories. Last, NPR revealed its “Books We Love” for 2023, featuring over 3,600 recommendations filtered by categories including “Book Club Ideas,” “Eye-Opening Reads,” and the ominous “The Dark Side.”