News: Academic Publishing Weekly

Diversity in publishing remains low, Digital Science releases custom GPTs, and eLife reflects on a year of its publishing model

By Choice Staff
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Building Inclusive Library Collections and Little Progress in Industry Diversity

Lee & Low’s third Diversity Baseline Survey found little growth in the diversity of the publishing industry. Publishers Weekly explained that this year’s survey revealed that “white people made up 72.5% of this year’s 8,644 respondents, down from 76% in 2019 and 79% in 2015.” The survey also found that the proportion of nonbinary and gender-diverse respondents remains low, and the “percentage of disabled people in the industry increased to 16.5%.” In other news, Ithaka S+R announced a project centered on increasing the diversity of library collections. Libraries participating in the project will assess their collections and develop a plan to further diverse collection development. The libraries will be able to share insights with one another at several online meetings, and “At the conclusion of the project, each institution will have drafted or reviewed a DEIA collection priority statement and developed a plan for further collection development, while building up the capacity to regularly self-assess their progress on DEIA success metrics.”

AI’s Impact on Scientific Publishing and Digital Science Rolls Out Custom GPTs

Digital Science released two custom GPTs, Dimensions Research GPT and Dimensions Research GPT Enterprise. Digital Science explained that users can ask the GPTs custom research questions and the large language models will provide them with answers based on data from Dimensions’ database. Commenting on the GPTs, Christian Bode, Head of Product at Dimensions, said, “Powered by the data contained in Dimensions and combined with ChatGPT’s now well-known conversational interface, they give researchers the benefits of Generative AI technology with results based firmly on scientific evidence.” Next up, McKenzie Prillaman of Nature examined ChatGPT’s impact on academia’s culture of hyper-productivity. As warned by Prillaman, an influx of papers and increased publication speed can lead to “stretching editors and peer reviewers even thinner than they already are.” Prillaman also considered policies scientific journals currently have in place around AI, citing a study published in The BMJ that found that “By last October, 87 of 100 top scientific journals had provided guidance to authors on generative AI.”

A Review of Plan S, New Oxford University Press Agreement, and Advancing Open Science

cOAlition S has published its annual review of Plan S. The report features insights on the percentage of gold, hybrid, and green open access (OA) articles published in 2023, recent policy advancements, and plans to further equitable publishing practices. Next up, Oxford University Press (OUP) and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) announced a read-and-publish agreement. The partnership will enable open access publishing in OUP’s journals for CRKN-affiliated researchers, and it’s “estimated that the agreement will result in the publication of over 900 open access articles by Canadian authors per year throughout its duration.” Last, open science analytics provider and IOP Publishing launched a project that aims to identify researchers’ use of open science practices. As emphasized by Daniel Keirs, Head of Journal Strategy and Performance at IOP Publishing, “Our partnership with DataSeer will provide an important insight into open science practices across the physical sciences and support our future efforts to help accelerate scientific discovery and promote a culture of transparency and reproducibility in scientific research.”

United2Act to Tackle Paper Mills, Wikipedia Partnership, and eLife Progress Report

eLife reflected on a year of its publishing model, originally launched in January 2023 to provide peer reviews for preprints. eLife underlined that it has published “more than 1300 Reviewed Preprints” under the new model and shared that 27.7 percent of papers undergo review “compared to 31.4% of submissions sent for review in our legacy model.” eLife also emphasized that the model has increased publication speed, further highlighting positive comments from authors on eLife’s public reviews. In a piece for The Scholarly Kitchen, Deborah Kahn, Co-Chair of United2Act, and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Professor/Coordinator for Research and Teaching Professional Development in the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, detailed United2Act, a collaborative endeavor to address paper mills. Building on five action items outlined in a Consensus Statement published in January, Hinchliffe and Kahn noted that United2Act has received support from additional stakeholders and centers on taking a proactive approach to research fraud. Finally, Taylor & Francis expanded its agreement with The Wikipedia Library. Volunteer editors will have “free access to all Taylor & Francis and Routledge journals” and Taylor & Francis emphasized that “there are now almost 67,000 citations in Wikipedia articles to Taylor & Francis journals.”

University Press News: UX Award and Yale University Press Director Announces Retirement

Cambridge University Press took home this year’s OpenAthens’ UX Award. The judges emphasized the benefits of Cambridge University Press’s Research Directions series, also noting the Press’s accessibility and utilization of user behavior data. Commenting on the award, Rubem Barbosa-Hughes, head of user experience at Cambridge University Press, shared, “Our user-centric approach and commitment to innovation has the potential to truly transform the research process.” Turning to Yale University Press, director John Donatich announced that he will retire in June 2025 after more than twenty years with the press. Peter Salovey, president of Yale University, expressed his gratitude for Donatich’s leadership, noting, “Since arriving at the Press in 2003, John has expanded its award-winning trade list, transformed its scholarly publishing programs, and forged numerous new publishing and distribution partnerships.”