We recently welcomed Elsevier as an OASPA member in the Publisher category. Elsevier joins almost 200 OASPA members.
We asked Laura Hassink, Managing Director for STM Journals, a few questions so we could learn more about Elsevier and its connection to open scholarship and the decision to become an OASPA member.
Tell us a bit about your organisation, the service it provides and your role within it
Elsevier is a leader in information and analytics for customers across the global research and health ecosystems – in other words we facilitate customers in gaining insights and making decisions critical to advancing science and improving health outcomes. Integral to this mission is our partnership with the research community to empower open science. We believe open science can benefit research and society and drive research performance.
My role is Managing Director for STM Journals. In this capacity, I’m responsible for Elsevier’s portfolio of 2,700 journals. Before my current role, I served as Senior Vice President of Publishing Transformation, overseeing all aspects of operational support for journals, improving and innovating the publication experience for authors, peer reviewers and editors, and have been closely involved in accelerating Elsevier’s substantial progress in open access publishing.
Why did you decide to join OASPA and what do you hope to get out of your OASPA membership?
Providing authors with opportunities to publish open access has been a strong focus of ours since 2009, with the launch of our first open access title, and demonstrated by the rapid expansion of our OA portfolio with on average 100 new OA titles per year over the past 3 years. More broadly, we have developed and implemented a range of initiatives to support Open Science. Our focus on Open Science means that we have often engaged with or even founded collaborative, cross-sector groups to support our goals on openness and transparency.
As a membership community supporting and representing open access publishers, we therefore feel that OASPA is an ideal association with which to engage and collaborate. We are looking forward to learning from OASPA’s membership base and contributing to the ongoing discussions and debate about the fast-evolving Open Science landscape.
What are the short and medium-term priorities for your publication in relation to open scholarship?
Our goal is to ensure that our work in Open Science supports a more transparent, inclusive and collaborative world of research. There is so much to talk about in this respect, but to highlight some examples:
- More than 2,000 institutions around the world are now able to publish open access through one of our transformational agreements. As these agreements come into practice, we are learning more about the best way to offer open access, enabling us to better respond to our customers’ needs. In the same vein, we support authors by providing them with advice on how they can comply with funding body open access policies. We want to ensure that researchers have a seamless experience in publishing open access, and have a range of choices on publication title, while complying with funding body mandates on open access.
- Open Science can help to drive impact, validity, reproducibility, efficiency, and transparency of scientific research, for instance via open research data practices. All Elsevier journals and books enable text and data mining (TDM) and Elsevier has implemented the Force11 data citation principles in all of our journals. We continue to test and learn in this space. For instance, as a signatory of the FAIR data principles, Elsevier has started asking authors during the manuscript submission process to link to their data held in a repository or otherwise share a Data Availability Statement. These will then be included in the PDF of the published article, as well as in the HTML. This workflow is already operational for ~ 800 Elsevier journals and is expanding to close to 2000 journals later in 2022. We are also an active member and co-founder of research data initiatives including Force11, Orcid and Scholix.
- Incentivising transparency while acknowledging researchers’ work and contributions to research is also key to ensuring a fair and collaborative environment for research which engenders high quality and reproducible research outputs. For instance, we encourage researchers to make use of the CRediT schema.
- We care deeply about diversity, equity and inclusion as part of our drive for a world of inclusive research, and we know that we and the wider research community can do more in this area. An example of our work is that we have just announced our partnership with Aries to develop an application programming interface (API) to enable the integration of standardized schemas for self-reported gender identity, race, and ethnicity (GRE) data and allow us to monitor the impact of our growing number of initiatives towards greater inclusion and diversity.
What do you think are the main challenges for the communication of scholarship generally in the near future?
A key challenge is discoverability, as more research outputs are made widely available: how do we support researchers to navigate the overload of information that is available to them? Just one example of how we are thinking about this is our joint pilot with American Chemical Society (ACS), Wiley, Taylor & Francis, and the Royal Society of Chemistry to make selected articles discoverable through ScienceDirect.
Another challenge is in the work to maintain trust in science, in particular via our focus on research integrity: how do we continue to ensure and grow trust in communicated research outcomes? Elsevier shares the research community’s goal to promote the integrity of research – from proper design methodology to ethical article submission, properly reviewed publication, and making research data available for re-use. Elsevier is active in this area, running pilots and sponsoring research in software development – for example, in partnership with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, we have formed the Humboldt-Elsevier Advanced Data & Text (HEADT) Centre to investigate issues related to the integrity of research.
How do you think OASPA can help mitigate those challenges?
We hope that OASPA can take a leading role in convening members from different sectors to discuss these and other challenges in scientific research, and to facilitate broader collaborations and dialogue as a result. We believe that collaboration across different communities is key to understanding and developing practical solutions to the range of challenges we face. OASPA can be a catalyst and conduit to facilitate this kind of dialogue, and to explore new solutions and thinking that perhaps the research community has not alighted on previously. We look forward to being part of these discussions!
Elsevier promotes “research integrity”? After crippling library budgets for decades, while paying their executives salaries in the millions, and now charging increasingly high APCs? The Cost of Knowledge campaign has over 20,000 signatories for a reason. http://thecostofknowledge.com/