Archive for the Open Access Category

“New” Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , on September 15, 2022 by telescoper

It’s time once again for me to announce the publication of another paper at the Open Journal of Astrophysics. The new paper, published last week, is the 14th paper in Volume 5 (2022) and the 62nd in all. The latest publication is entitled “Gravitational Stability of Vortices in Bose-Einstein Condensate Dark Matter”. This paper is another one for the folder marked Cosmology and Non-Galactic Astrophysics and the authors are Mark N Brook Now at the Institute for Cancer Research in London) and Peter Coles (Who he? Ed).

There is a bit of a story behind this one. The work on which this paper is based was done while both authors (Mark and I) were at the University of Nottingham. Mark was my PhD student at the time.  I left Nottingham for Cardiff in 2007 but Mark stayed behind to finish his thesis and write this paper, which appeared on the arXiv in 2009. The paper wasn’t accepted in its original form, Mark left the field after obtaining his PhD, and I was working on other things at Cardiff so the paper remained unpublished on the arXiv.

Last year, however, I was updating my publication list and noticed the old preprint so looked it up on NASA/ADS. Although not Earth-shattering, I found it had been acquiring a reasonable number of citations (16 according to ADS, including some this year) as an unpublished work largely because of increased interest in the field of condensate dark matter. I therefore approached the Editorial Board of the Open Journal of Astrophysics to ask their opinion about whether it would be appropriate to consider it for publication. They agreed and the paper was assigned to an Editor. Obviously I recused myself from the process.

Somewhat to my surprise, given that it’s basically an old paper, the referee comments were supportive. I’ve been very busy for the past year and communication with Mark was slow so it’s taken a while to revise and update the paper in line with the referee requests. We also took the opportunity to include a brief review of some papers that had come out since the original version of the paper appeared. Mark and I agreed a final text l and the paper was accepted last week. I uploaded the agreed version to arXiv and now the paper is now published. It was all a bit unconventional but there we are. It was interesting to be on the author side of the process for a change!

Anyway, here is a screen grab of the overlay which includes the  abstract:


You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so. You can find the accepted version of the paper on the arXiv here.

Making (Dark Matter) Waves: Untangling Wave Interference in Multi-Streaming CDM

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on September 13, 2022 by telescoper

A couple of days ago I announced the publication of a new paper in the Open Journal of Astrophysics called Making (dark matter) waves: Untangling wave interference for multi-streaming dark matter by Alex Gough and Cora Uhlemann. I forgot on that occasion to mention that there is a video of a talk by the first author in the series Cosmology at Home, so I’m remedying that now by posting the video here. Enjoy!

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on September 11, 2022 by telescoper

It’s time once again for me to announce another new paper at the Open Journal of Astrophysics. The new paper, published last week, is the 13th paper in Volume 5 (2022) and the 61st in all. The latest publication is entitled “Making (dark matter) waves: Untangling wave interference for multi-streaming dark matter” and the authors are Alex Gough and Cora Uhlemann (both of Newcastle University). The paper is another one for the folder marked Cosmology and Non-Galactic Astrophysics.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay which includes the  abstract:

You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so. You can find the accepted version of the paper on the arXiv here.

This is a paper that’s close to one of my current research interests. I think it’s really excellent and I am very happy the authors chose to publish it in the Open Journal of Astrophysics.

As a bonus here is a groovy animated version of Figure 1 from the paper showing the development of a multi-stream region.

And if that weren’t enough here is a short talk about their work in the Cosmology From Home series by the first author Alex Gough.

A Memory of Dunsink

Posted in Biographical, History, Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , on September 2, 2022 by telescoper
Dunsink Observatory

Just time for an early morning post before I get the train in order to attend the second day of this year’s Irish National Astronomy Meeting at Dunsink Observatory (in the above picture, which I took yesterday morning). Incidentally, Dunsink Observatory is Réadlann Dhún Sinche in the Irish language.

Thinking about this meeting ahead of the event reminded me of a loose end, which I managed to tidy up this week.

Once upon a time, before the pandemic, I was involved in various events to celebrate the centenary of the famous eclipse expeditions of May 1919 which had a strong connection with Dunsink Observatory (see e.g. here). Among these things was an invitation to write a paper on the subject, which appeared in Contemporary Physics in June 2019.

Contemporary Physics being a commercial journal the paper was published behind a paywall. The publication rules however allowed the paper to be made freely available after an embargo period of one year.

I had intended to put the paper on arXiv in June 2020 when the embargo period lapsed, but at that point Covid-19 had taken hold, my workload went through the roof and I forgot about it until this week when a combination of my forthcoming trip to Dunsink and the appearance of my student’s first paper on arXiv conspired to remind me. Finally, therefore, the paper has now appeared in a fully open-access form on the arXiv here, just over two years later.

The title is A Revolution in Science: the Eclipse Expeditions of 1919 and the abstract reads:

The first direct experimental test of Einstein’s theory of general relativity involved a pair of expeditions to measure the bending of light at a total solar eclipse that took place one hundred years ago, on 29 May 1919. So famous is this experiment, and so dramatic was the impact on Einstein himself, that history tends not to recognise the controversy that surrounded the results at the time. In this article, I discuss the experiment in its scientific and historical background context and explain why it was, and is, such an important episode in the development of modern physics.

Open Access USA

Posted in Open Access with tags , , on August 26, 2022 by telescoper

There was an important announcement yesterday about Open Access from the Office of Science & Technology Policy at the White House which I picked up from Twitter. Here is a summary:

More detailed documents can be found here and here.

The principle that research that is funded by the public should be available to the public is one of the foundations of Open Access publishing and it is laudable to see this enforced more strictly. Previously journals were able to keep articles behind a paywall for an embargo period, just withholding access for up to a year. The deadline for ending this practice is December 31st 2025. I would have made it sooner, but at least it has not been kicked into the very long grass.

The problem that I can see with the policy is that it will probably involve researchers having to pay thousands of dollars in article processing fees associated with the “Gold” Open Access of the form offered by commercial publishers. When the summary says “without cost” it means “without cost to the reader”. The way it will work is that these costs are transferred to the authors. The publishers will still gather their profits.

It will take stronger policies than this to break the stranglehold of the academic publishing cartels. It is more likely in my view that radical change will emerge from the grass roots, as researchers find novel ways of publishing their work without handing huge dollops of cash to profiteers.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2022 by telescoper

It’s time once again for me to announce another new paper at the Open Journal of Astrophysics. The new paper, published yesterday, is the 12th paper in Volume 5 (2022) and the 60th in all. The latest publication is entitled “Minkowski Functionals in Joint Galaxy Clustering & Weak Lensing Analyses” and the authors are Nisha Grewal, Joe Zuntz and Tilman Tröster of the Institute for Astronomy in Edinburgh and Alexandra Amon of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. The paper is in the folder marked Cosmology and Non-Galactic Astrophysics.

Incidentally, Dr Alexandra Amon is the winner of this year’s Caroline Herschel Lectureship in Astronomy, so congratulations to her for that too!

The new paper is about the application of topological characteristics known as Minkowski Functionals to cosmological data. This approach has been used in the past to study the pattern cosmic microwave background temperature fluctuations; see e.g. here for one of my forays into this way back in 2008. Now there are more high-quality datasets besides the CMB so there are more opportunities to use this elegant approach. Perhaps I should do a blog post about Minkowski Functionals? Somewhat to my surprise I can’t find anything on that topic in my back catalogue here In The Dark

Anyway, here is a screen grab of the overlay which includes the  abstract:

 

 

You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so. You can find the accepted version of the paper on the arXiv here.

The Wrong Sort of Open Access

Posted in Open Access with tags , , , , , on August 14, 2022 by telescoper

I came across two articles this week on the subject of Open Access and thought I’d share them here with a few comments of my own.

The first article was published in the LSE blog on 11th August with the title Article Processing Charges (APCs) and the new enclosure of research. For those of you not in the know, an Article Process Charge (APC) is a fee that authors are required to pay a publisher to allow Open Access to the paper on publication, i.e. without readers having to pay. The fees for some journals can many thousands of dollars. The lede for the LSE blog post reads:

Drawing on a recent analysis of APC pricing and movements within the commercial publishing sector, Gunnar Sivertsen and Lin Zhang argue that APCs have now firmly established themselves as the predominant business model for academic publishing. Highlighting the inequalities inherent to this model, they posit now is the time to consider alternatives.

In the text the authors reveal that in 2020 alone APCs contributed over $2Bn in revenue to academic journal publishers. I agree with the authors’ conclusion that the APC model is unfair and unsustainable. Indeed I would go further: it’s a complete con. The actual cost of processing an article for publication is a tiny fraction of the APC – the rest is just profit. The academic community is being fleeced. The right “time to consider alternatives” was many years ago, however, when we could have prevented this ridiculous model from being established in the first place. I still believe that the model will collapse under the weight of it’s own contradictions, however, so it’s not too late to change.

The second paper (which was published in January 2022) is entitled Open Science – For Whom? and is published in the Data Science Journal. It was drawn to my attention by the first author, Martin Dominik. Here is an excerpt:

So-called “Open-Access journals” lift the economic barrier to reading scholarly articles, but flipping the paywall from the reader to the author is not a viable solution and inhibits global participation in the scientific process. While article processing charges as well as read-and-publish deals currently on offer appear to be unaffordable to many institutions or individuals (not only in low- and middle-income countries), already the requirement of somebody else having to sign off for getting research published collides with the principles of academic freedom.

and later:

Flipping the paywall is not a solution for scholarly communication in a global Open Science ecosystem. Author-pays-charge models for disseminating research results are not viable in practice and simply absurd.

Simply absurd is right; see the above comments. How on Earth did we let the APC model take hold? I think the answer to that is inertia and lack of imagination within the academic community. It seems many researchers are willing to complain publicly about the absurdity of APCs but far fewer are willing to do something about the situation.

I pointed out the unfairness of APCs in a blog post ten years ago. I ended that post with this paragraph:

I for one have no intention of ever paying an Article Processing Charge. If the journals I publish in insist on levying one, I’ll just forget about the journals altogether and put my papers on the arXiv. I urge my colleagues to do the same.

I’m glad to say that I’ve kept that pledge and have never paid an APC. I recently completed a survey about Open Access which included a question about what level of APC I thought was reasonable; I put zero.

The way forward, I believe, is Diamond Open Access (i.e. free for both authors and readers), such as that offered by the Open Journal of Astrophysics. This is not the only model, of course, but we have at least demonstrated that it is viable (and indeed rather successful). And at least in setting up the Open Journal of Astrophysics I’ve done a bit more than whinge.

Ethics Statement for the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access with tags , , , on August 3, 2022 by telescoper

For various reasons I spent yesterday evening, the last evening of my “break”, concocting an Ethics Statement for the Open Journal of Astrophysics. I don’t know much about this sort of thing so some of the text is based on similar statements elsewhere, e.g. at the AAS Journals site. So far we haven’t had many instances of misconduct but I have had to ban a couple of authors for violations.

Anyway, you can find the statement on the OJAp website but I’ve copied it below in case anyone has suggestions of things we might wish to add. If you have any such comments please use the box below:

–o–

  1. Ethics and Professionalism
    Authors of papers published in the Open Journal of Astrophysics (OJAp) are expected to adhere to basic standards of professional ethics and conduct that are common across all areas of scholarly publishing. Because we are an arXiv overlay journal we also require adherence to the specific standards stipulated in the arXiv code of conduct of conduct. By submitting a paper authors affirm that their work is theirs, is original and has not been published elsewhere. All parties are also expected to conform to common standards of professional respect and civility. This page summarizes the expected standards of professional and ethical conduct required for OJAp.
  2. Plagiarism (including Self-Plagarism)
    Plagiarism (understood as the act of reproducing text or other materials from other papers without properly crediting the source) represents a serious ethical breach, and may constitute legal breach of copyright if the reproduced material has been previously published. This includes repeating text from previously published papers by the author or authors (i.e., “self-plagiarism”). The arXiv submission process does an initial screen for plagiarism, and we will look very carefully at submissions that have triggered the arXiv filter.
  3. Citations and References
    Articles published in OJAp should include citations to previously published articles which are directly relevant to the results being presented. This requirement is especially important when new ideas or results are being presented. Deliberate refusal to credit or cite prior or corroborating results represents a breach of professional ethics, and can result in summary rejection of a manuscript but an unintentional failure to cite a relevant article does not necessarily imply misconduct. Responsibility for updating references after acceptance (but before publication) of an article rests fully with the authors, but the same principles should apply.
  4. Conflicts of Interest
    The referees selected by the editor assume responsibility for evaluating the scientific veracity, clarity, and significance of the results presented. For such a system to function effectively it is essential that the referee be free of any conflicts of interest that might influence the content or the promptness of the review. Authors may identify individuals who they believe are conflicted and should not serve as referees. Referees also have a responsibility to recuse themselves if they feel a conflict may arise. Editors are required to disqualify themselves whenever a real or perceived conflict is present.
  5. Confidentiality
    The Editorial Board of OJAp will not reveal the identities of referees nor the contents of peer-review-related materials to individuals outside of the respective peer-review process. Referees are also bound by strict confidentiality; neither the manuscripts nor the contents of referee correspondence may be shared with other parties without written permission from the editor. Authors are not bound by similar confidentiality requirements (for example, they may choose to consult with co-authors and colleagues when revising a manuscript in response to a referee report), but public dissemination of the contents of referee reports and editorial correspondence is highly inappropriate.
  6. Professional Conduct
    All participants in the publication process, including Editors, Authors and Referees, are expected to conform to basic standards of professional courtesy, and respect the basic rules and guidelines that govern the peer-review and publication process. Authors should also recognize that all our Editors and Referees are volunteers who give their time freely; that’s part of the reason why the journal is free. Personal attacks or verbal abuse are unacceptable and OJAp reserves the right to refuse submissions from individuals who repeatedly violate these guidelines or refuse to cooperate with editors and referees in the normal peer review and publication processes.
  7. Allegations of Misconduct
    The integrity of OJAp rests on the professionalism of its authors, referees, and editors. Alleged cases of unethical conduct within the editorial process will be investigated vigorously by the Editor-in-Chief or an appropriately delegated individual or individuals and with respect for confidentiality. Accusations of misconduct falling outside of the peer review or publication process may be more properly directed elsewhere. OJAp also recognizes its obligation to protect their authors and referees against malicious, frivolous, vexatious or unfounded allegations of misconduct. Repeated complaints of this type by individuals may be summarily dismissed.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2022 by telescoper

It seems we’re on a bit of a roll at the Open Journal of Astrophysics as we have yet another new paper for me to announce. I think with the end of teaching quite a few authors are finding time to make their revised versions (which I should also be doing, come to think of it….)

Anyway the new paper, published yesterday, is the 11th paper in Volume 5 (2022) and the 59th in all. The latest publication is entitled “Bayesian error propagation for neural-net based parameter inference” and is written by Daniela Grandón of the University of Chile and Elena Sellentin of Leiden University.

It being mainly about the application of parameter inference to cosmology, this is another paper in the Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics folder.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay which includes the  abstract:

 

You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so. You can find the arXiv version of the paper here.

A Clarivate Apology

Posted in Open Access with tags , , on July 19, 2022 by telescoper

Well, it seems that my recent post about Impact Factors has had some effect. Today I received an email from Clarivate, the salient part of which is appended below. I applied for inclusion on the Web of Science Collection in April 2021, so they have sat on this request for over a year.

Now I have to start the process  all over again. Sigh. I’m taking a wild guess here but I wonder if access to the Web of Science Publisher Portal might require the payment of a hefty subscription, so only big commercial publishers can afford it?

I suspect If I hadn’t posted about this on social media they would have ignored my submission request indefinitely.

To think so many people take this company seriously….

–0–

We are contacting you regarding the evaluation of the Open Journal of Astrophysics for the Web of Science Core Collection and following up from a recent post on social media.

Unfortunately we have not been able to evaluate your journal to this date due to the large amount of journal submissions we are continuously receiving and the implementation of new internal management systems. We are taking several actions to improve the efficiency of the editorial process, one of them is the migration of our submission platform to the Web of Science Publisher Portal. The Portal allows publishers to securely log in and submit journals for inclusion in the Web of Science Core Collection and provides a way to view the status of all journals submitted.

All journals previously submitted using the Journal Submission Form on the Master Journal List that have not received a decision regarding inclusion in the Web of Science Core Collection, have to be re-submitted through the Web of Science Publisher Portal; that is the case of the Open Journal of Astrophysics, which needs to be re-submitted. Please remember that only publishers can submit journals through the portal.