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Working Groups of the SciELO Network Meeting (September 24th-25th):

WG1 – Yesterday, today and tomorrow of SciELO Network

The SciELO Network has been developing for 20 years as a remarkable international cooperation in scholarly communication in open access. The network consists of national collections of journals published by scientific societies, professional associations, universities and other educational institutions selected according to indexing criteria based on international standards and good practices of scientific publishing. In 2018, the network operates in 15 Ibero-American countries and South Africa. In most of these countries the SciELO collections reflect the implanting of national policies to support the advancement of research and its communication with emphasis on nationally published journals which are financed and led by governmental research funding agencies.

International cooperation is based on the common understanding that nationally produced quality journals fulfill essential functions in national scientific production systems, such as research communication with national or regional focus on the objects of study, priorities and target audiences, and the development of research disciplines and communities, particularly with regard to education and scientific communication infrastructures and capacities, and, from previously mentioned functions, to actively participate in the global flow of scientific information. SciELO journals are from different disciplines and, besides English, they publish research results in the national languages ​​of SciELO Network. SciELO also emphasizes that the ability to publish quality journals is an essential part of the ability of doing quality research.

The SciELO Network is decentralized in its governance, financing and operation. It is structured by a set of principles, objectives and common functions that make up the SciELO Program. The principles refer, firstly, to the conception of scientific knowledge as a public good, best performed by open access communication, secondly, networking to maximize contributions and earnings, and thirdly, by adopting the state of the art with adherence to standards, quality control and innovations in all the stages of research communication. The specific objectives are to actively promote the sustainable increase of editorial quality, visibility, use and impact of journals and the research they communicate. The objectives are achieved through the strengthening and development of national scientific communication infrastructures and capacities. The functions include, firstly, indexing focusing on the selectivity of quality journals and performance follow up, secondly, the storage, preservation and publication of metadata and full texts, and, thirdly, dissemination and interoperability. The methodological and technological implementation of the principles, objectives and functions of the program conform the SciELO Publishing Model.

The main purpose of the Working Group (WG) is to share the development status of the national collections of the SciELO Network, contextualized in the national science and technology system and in the national policies to support journals and to enhance the value of SciELO journals in national research evaluation systems. The WG will also discuss the progress of the national collections according to priority lines of action for the years 2019 – 2023 that is characterized by the adoption of good practices of scientific communication and alignment with research communication in open science. Finally, the WG will also address the updating of methodologies and technologies of the SciELO Publishing Model. The analyzes and debate will be led by representatives of national collections, journal editors and specialists. The group will also be attended by representatives of other national open access journal programs.

WG2 – The historical, academic and social relevance of SciELO journals

The main justification for the existence and importance of the SciELO Program comes from the recognition of the relevance of journals published nationally in the respective national research systems. This recognition is historically evidenced by the fact that in most countries of the SciELO Network, an important part of scientific output is better communicated by journals published in the country by scientific societies, professional associations, universities and other education and research institutions.

Nationally produced quality journals play key roles in national scientific production systems. On the one hand, there is the function of evaluating and communicating research with a national or regional central focus on the objects of study, publication languages and priorities that inform different audiences, most of them academics in research and education activities, but also companies and professionals, and public policy makers. On the other hand, publishing journals of increasing quality strengthens national scientific communication infrastructures and capacities, which is a key function in the flow of scientific output. From these functions, the publication of quality journals contributes to make all disciplines, thematic areas and research communities to actively participate in the global flow of scientific information.

To a large extent, these journals are operationally supported by some contribution of public resources either by the nature of the responsible organizations such as universities, for example, or by government funding programs for journals. However, most depend on the dedication of researchers who make up the editorial staff and often from research communities. In no case the journals indexed by SciELO are for profit, although some of them are published by companies or private foundations. At the same time, national collections of the SciELO Network, led and funded mostly by national scientific research funding organizations, are expressions of public policies to support research infrastructure and communication. In fact, the consolidated SciELO collections bring together the nucleus of the best nationally published journals with the objective of collectively improving their editorial quality following the state of the art and strengthening and increasing their national and international visibility as measured by use, influence and impact.

However, a key indicator of the journals’ current and future relevance in national research systems is the recognition and appreciation they receive by research evaluation systems.

The proposed scope for this working group includes the analysis and debate of the historical, academic and social relevance of the journals indexed by the SciELO collections as research communication vehicles for the creation, development and consolidation of academic communities and their capacity to do and communicate research in different disciplines and thematic areas, as well as the contribution to education, professional update and public policies. By highlighting the relevance of SciELO journals in the national scientific production systems, the perspective is to promote the proper valuation in the national systems of research evaluation.

WG3 – Relevance of Public Health Journals in informing research, education, health services and citizenship

The SciELO Network Public Health journals have gathered considerable experience in articulating their objectives, interests, functions, expectations and operational and financial sustainability, based on a wide diversity of institutional origins, priority thematic areas, editorial practices and positions on the role of journals in the progress and communication of research. This condition endows the systematization of the management, operation and editorial policies of collective health journals with enormous potential to contribute to the advancement of the discussion about the future of journals and of the SciELO Program itself, especially with regard to editorial improvement and alignment with good communication practices of open science.

The proposals for editorial improvement and adoption of communication innovations advocate increasing the efficiency and performance of journals in accomplishing their functions. Public health journals cover a wide range of research objects, target audience and fields of influence and impact, such as the advancement of academic research and education, the advancement of health care related to health systems and services, including individual care by experts, as well as in the formulation of public policies, and finally, by informing the citizenry of decisions based on the best evidence of scientific research.

The proposed scope of the Public Health Journals Working Group covers three important dimensions. First, the articulation experience between journals. Second, the journals contribution to the advancement of research, health care, informing policies, decision-making by authorities and citizenship. Third, to extend [generalize] the relevance of public health thematic journals to the function of nationally edited journals in general by research communities, non-for-profit, which, in different approaches, contribute to the advancement of knowledge and the national capacity to create, communicate, and use scientific knowledge.

WG4 – Performance of SciELO journals

One of the basic functions of the SciELO Publishing Model is to follow up the performance of journals, national collections, the network and the overall program. In the context of national collections, which in most cases are financed by public resources and are highly selective regarding indexing, the good performance of journals is expected in line with the specific objectives of SciELO to contribute to their sustainable increase of editorial quality, visibility, use and impact. In addition to the specific objectives that apply to the entire network, national collections are governed by priorities determined by national policies and conditions.

The performance of journals and SciELO collections are evaluated by the following criteria:

Institutionality, which refers to institutions responsible for the journals and their respective research communities as indicators of credibility and operational sustainability of journals;

Good practices of editing and scholarly communication, which refers to the adherence to the SciELO indexing criteria that implies in adherence to the good practices of scholarly communication and adoption of innovations;

Visibility, Use and Impact, which refer to the following contexts:

◦ Access and downloads indicators to articles’ full text files in HTML and PDF formats;
◦ Citations indicators or metrics considering different journal indexes;
◦ Web presence indicators or altmetrics.

The scope proposed for this working group encompasses the analysis of journals performance in accordance with the above criteria, taking into account the specificities of different thematic areas and different countries. The analysis and discussion of these three dimensions will be conducted by scholarly communication and bibliometrics experts with the support of representatives of national collections, journal editors and specialists.

WG5 – Scientific Publishing Innovations and the Future of Peer Review and Journals

With the progress towards open science, scientific communication is facing a new wave of innovations towards more openness and speed of research publication which will deeply affect the way the peer review function is carried out and the overall role of journals in assuring quality and adding value to manuscripts.

Several initiatives are promoting the generalized adoption of open access preprints as a formal beginning stage of research publication, which has been common since the 90’s in the physics community. And, in the last decade, new ways to carry out the evaluation of manuscripts have emerged either to replace or to improve the traditional methods, which are widely criticized as being slow and expensive in addition to lacking transparency.

Quality nonprofit journals from emerging and developing countries have succeeded to follow the main innovations brought by the Internet. In addition to the technicalities of the digital publishing, there is a wide adoption of Open Access in the international flow of scientific information. The new wave of innovations that affect the peer review function and the changing role of journals pose new challenges to the emerging and developing countries in regard of scientific publishing. The adoption of these innovations is essential for progress of SciELO as a leading open access program to enhance scientific communication.

The scope of this workshop aims at an in-depth analysis and discussion of the state of art and main trends of the peer review function, the modalities of carrying it out as well as of the increasing adoption of mechanisms to speed publication such as preprints and how they affect and potentially renew the role of journals. These recommendations will guide SciELO policies on manuscript evaluation and on the adoption of preprint publications.

WG6 – Workshop on the use of data from the SciELO database

The SciELO database stores and makes available metadata and full-text records of approximately 700,000 articles from different disciplines and languages, originating from the national SciELO Network journal collections of 16 countries. The metadata records contain the data fields of the bibliographic references of the articles (title, author, journal source, date, abstract and key words) and the references of the documents cited in the articles (title, author, source, date) made available by SciELO in open access with CC-BY attribution.

At the same time, the metadata of all articles indexed in SciELO, published in the last 10 years, are also stored and made available in the database of the SciELO Citation Index on the WoS platform and the Dimensions database. Similarly, the metadata of the journal articles indexed are available in the Scopus and WoS databases when indexed by these databases.

SciELO is, therefore, a notable source of bibliometric data for the study of the scientific output of the SciELO Network countries.

The scope of this working group/workshop is to share methodologies and technologies for accessing and exploiting data from the SciELO database, highlighting the introduction to the use of data science techniques with Python as programming language, access to data with R language aiming at statistical analysis and techniques to access and use data from the SciELO Citation Index and Dimensions databases.

WG7 – Institutional journal portals and the transition to open science

Institutional journal portals operate in the main universities and research institutions in countries of the SciELO Network with common objectives to contribute to strengthening sustainability and promoting the improvement of journals and their visibility. In many cases, they share journals indexed in the respective national SciELO Network collections.

The scope of the Working Group will comprise, on the one hand, the analysis of the policies, management models, functions, objectives, methodologies, successful experiences and challenges of institutional portals for the improvement and enhanced visibility of the journals published within the institution. On the other hand, the group will discuss the interoperability and compliance with the SciELO Publishing Model of national journal collections, particularly with regard to the adoption of common standards and practices such as selection criteria, common or compatible indicators of usage and performance, XML/JATS texts and, more specifically, good communication practices of open science such as preprints and research data management. Compatibility will help to rationalize infrastructures, lower costs and increase interoperability.

The group should rely on the participation of leaders of the journal institutional portals and it is expected that sharing experiences, conclusions and recommendations will contribute to improving the portals’ management and operation and their interoperability with SciELO collections.

WG8 – Relevance of Academic Books in Research Communication

The academic book is one of the classic types of scientific literature. Although present in all areas of knowledge, its relevance in research communication is highlighted with more emphasis in the areas of social sciences, literature, and arts. In the other fields, communication is almost exclusively dominated by journal articles or conference and congress proceedings. This fact is evidenced by the thematic composition of the collections of books indexed and published by the SciELO Books program, by international bibliographic indexes and by the distribution of citations from SciELO journal articles.

Besides commercial publishing houses, the vast majority of universities and research and development institutes and a minority of scientific societies and professional associations in the SciELO Network countries operate publishers that, in addition to textbooks and popular science books, publish works that communicate research results. At the same time, the national systems of scientific output evaluation rely on books assessment systems or methodologies complementing those of journals. On a smaller scale than journals’, the publication of scholarly books is also an integral part of research infrastructures.

The online publication of academic books and their indexing radically increase their visibility in relation to the paper version, which contributes to increase their use and impact by citations. One of the positive consequences of online publishing and indexing is to enable the insertion and interoperability of academic books into the flow of scientific communication. Particularly, the SciELO Program has as one of its functions to maximize the interoperability between researches, which requires, besides the journals, the online availability of books meeting international standards.

The scope of this working group is to analyze the relevance of the academic book in research communication, the current state and trends of online publication and indexing of academic books in the SciELO Network countries and the challenges for adopting standards that maximize their visibility, use and impact.

Panels of the SciELO 20 Years Conference (September 26th-28th):

1.1 – Scientific knowledge as a global public good. The future of research communication. SciELO as a global public good

In development.

1.2 – Open Science: open data, open materials, open methods, and open software

Open Science is a movement to make scientific research, its data and dissemination accessible to all levels of society. This movement considers aspects such as Open Access, Open Data, Reproducible Research and Open Software.

Each of these aspects presents discreteness that need to be evaluated and discussed by the scientific community so that guidelines are established that facilitate the dissemination of scientific information.

The great challenge is to establish effective and efficient practices that allow journals to add these demands in their editorial processes, so as not only to allow data, software and methods to be accessible, but also to encourage the community to do so.

Considering these questions, this panel has as a proposal to discuss important aspects about the advancement of research communication. Some of these aspects are placed in the SciELO indexing criteria, as is the case of referencing research materials in favor of transparency and reproducibility.

Syllabus

FAIR criteria, concepts and implementation; challenges for the publication of data and methods; institutional policies for open data; adoption of TOP guidelines (Transparency and Openness Promotion); software repositories; thematic areas data repositories.

1.3 – Open Science: quality control, transparency, and ethics

In development.

2.1 – Conference Opening – Presentations by the Authorities

In development.

2.2 – Open Access – routes towards universalization: golden national based solutions

The adoption of national, regional and institutional policies to promote free access to scientific knowledge have contributed significantly to boosting the growth of open access. In this context, the gold route represents one of the most important paths for the universalization of open access to scientific literature and the solutions employed complement the advances of open access globally with the contribution of the commercial publishers that started to gradually adopt open access solutions, the emergence of open access megajournals and open access repositories of articles published in restricted access journals. In recent years we have also seen the easing of use licenses that contribute to the increase of the number of open access publications, mainly in line with the principles and practices of open science.

Although the increase of open access publications is noticeable, the distribution of these titles among countries is not homogeneous; two contexts stand out. On the one hand, there are countries with an important tradition in commercial publishing, especially in the USA, UK, the Netherlands and Germany, and whose advance toward open access depends on business models that ensure the financial returns to large publishers; and on the other, there are mainly the emerging economies, whose journals do not draw much commercial interest, being mostly published in open access. Between these two environments, there are also national initiatives in developed countries that publish journals outside the commercial circuit of the large publishers.

In this scenario, Latin America is known to be one of the most advanced regions of the world to use the open access publishing model as a strategy to increase the visibility of the scientific output in the countries of the region. This protagonism is largely driven by national and regional initiatives, underlining the pioneering SciELO, which, through its decentralized model, promoted and developed a network of national collections of open access journals, focusing on each countries’ conditions and priorities. In most of these countries the collections reflect the implementation of public policies supporting research infrastructure and its communication, with emphasis on nationally published journals.

Through similar solutions, other countries have also highlighted the importance of nationally published journals for their national research systems, and have been making efforts to develop national open access journals collections (France, Serbia, and Japan, among others) as one of the essential components of their strategies of active participation in the global flow of scientific output and scholarly communication.

In view of the above, this panel will analyze the main characteristics of the most relevant national solutions, advances already achieved, barriers and challenges toward universalization of open access and alignment with open science.

Syllabus

Open access gold route journals, characteristics of national solutions, funding models for open access, metrics on the state of open access, barriers to universal access, and open access policies in line with open science practices.

2.3 – Open Access – routes towards universalization: gold and hybrid journals, green, and others

Open Access is increasingly a determining part of the structures and processes of scholarly communication, particularly in the emerging open science modus operandi, which presupposes the opening of all research components. Currently, most scholarly communication instances, products and services refer to open access in some way. The bibliographic indexes started to identify open access articles. New publishers were created, most commercial publishers started to publish open access journals or offer authors the possibility to publish open access articles in subscription journals. Open access mega journals have appeared. In developing countries, open access journals predominate, with emphasis on the pioneering SciELO Program, publishing open access journals from 1998, four years before the Budapest Open Access Initiative declaration. The preprints modality with open access availability of manuscripts before evaluation and publication in journals grows and new tools appear. Several innovative models have emerged in recent years to promote open access to journal articles, such as library consortia or crowdfunding. There is still difficulty and resistance from publishers in developing financial models that enable open access, and the calculation of article processing charges (APC) remains opaque. But the main force that can make the universalization of open access viable is public policies, the best example being currently the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program.

Before this landscape, this panel will analyze progress already achieved, the promising solutions and the persistent barriers in the routes towards the universalization of open access.

Syllabus

The classical open access modalities – gold route journals, green route, new models of open access financing, metrics on the status of open access, barriers to the universalization of open access, and open access policies.

3.1 – Fast communication: preprints, peer-review, continuous publishing

Free and open access, transparent assessment and dissemination of research in a fast, shared, collaborative, participative and clear manner for all of society are some of the principles of Open Science. The recognition and adoption of open research practices is growing, including new policies that increase public access to scholarly literature and encourage openness of codes and data sharing for its reproduction. Among these initiatives which are reconfiguring scientific communication, preprints have been consolidating themselves as a promising space for free, open and transparent knowledge, streamlining the editorial process. Preprints are the first formal step in making the manuscripts publicly available before being approved by a journal.

The logics of publishing based on science guiding principles have always been in the decision-making power of the editor. From the choice of referees to the distribution of articles approved in publishing editions, the time management to publish keeping quality, periodicity and celerity regarding feedback on the output was always a challenge to editors. Moreover, this time management becomes an even greater challenge to the publishing process in Brazil, and in some parts of Latin America, whose journals’ management is mainly based on voluntary work. Given this scenario, initiatives that seek to make scientific communication faster and more transparent appear as solutions to the daily difficulties of scientific publishing, such as, for instance, preprints, continuous publication and open peer review.

In view of this new reconfiguration of the editorial process, this panel aims to discuss the panorama of fast and transparent scientific communication, seeking to share experiences that have been developed that respond to the editorial demands on the management of time and quality of the papers published in scientific journals and, particularly, to support the development of the SciELO Program preprints policy.

Syllabus

The challenges of scientific publishing and editorial ethics regarding time management and quality; initiatives for fast research communication; metrics and alternative indicators of scientific visibility; preprints and continuous communication experience in the national and international scenario; editorial dynamics of preprints and its models in the market; the demands of the continuous publication flow; open modalities of peer review: peer-review, open peer-review, and crowd-based peer review; the spaces of fast communication in scholarly social platforms.

3.2 – Structuring of scientific articles: standards, XML, authoring

In development.

3.3 – Interoperability, visibility, credibility

In development.

4.1.1 – The political and social impact of journals and the research they communicate

More than an umbrella term, open science is moving towards broadening and integrating the open access movement to scholarly literature on other fronts, such as open scientific data, open scientific tools, open notebook science, open education, and citizen science.

This “movement of movements” transforms the scenario and the dynamics of science collaboration, communication and dissemination, expanding its ability to respond to contemporary new and complex issues, while posing new challenges. On the one hand, new possibilities arise for the generation of social, economic and environmental benefits, as well as innovation, associated to increased reach, speed and quality of production and circulation of scientific knowledge, its results and possible uses. On the other hand, new institutional and technological requirements are imposed on the adoption of open research policies, strategies, and practices (regulations, capacities, infrastructures, and tools), and the costs derived therefrom. A new economics of open science is being developed, together with new business models, with repercussions on the present and future of scientific journals and their relationship with other scientific publication and publicization systems emerging from this framework, as well as with the monitoring, evaluation and research financing apparatuses.

At the same time, it is about facing the challenge of bridging the gap between science (and its various forms of data availability) and policy. Today there is an abyss in this interface that should be narrowing so that, increasingly, political decisions, particularly those that affect social and environmental issues more directly are based on quality and plural science. To strengthen this relationship, efforts are needed to reconcile languages and times that allow virtuous dialogue between these two fields.

In the end, it is also important to recognize the different implications of this changing scenario regarding more and less developed countries, placing new opportunities and barriers for their science, technology and innovation systems and their respective repositioning in the global scenario.

Syllabus

Open science, science communication and the challenges of sustainable development; open publications and innovation; the new economy (politics) of open science and its infrastructures of scholarly communication: costs and benefits (academic, social, and economic); political and institutional requirements; business models emerging from open scientific publications; opportunities and challenges for developing countries.

4.1.2 – Web presence of journals and the research they communicate

This panel will address the assessment of the web presence of journals and the research they communicate in the context of transition to open science

Open science is a scientific practice with lines of action in consonance with the development of digital culture, and it encompasses the openness and transparency of research, its methods and materials, the promotion of visibility and open access to information sources, the collaborative construction of knowledge and public participation. One of the important features of open science is the use of alternative metrics of research impact and its (re) uses.

For journals, having a good online presence has been an initial strategy in this scenario to increase visibility and audience, to make their articles more accessible, and to allow connections and engagement with the scientific community. From the journals’ institutional website to the journal portals to which they belong, to the national and international databases that index them, such as Google Scholar profiles or on blog platforms and scholarly social media such as Academia.edu, Mendeley, Research Gate and general social media such as Facebook and Twitter, investing in the web presence of journals and the research they communicate requires planning and dedication from editors and editorial staff.

This panel seeks to contribute to the debate on these web presence channels that favor the visibility and impact of the journal and their research, either before their scientific community or towards the public, taking into account their distinct purposes of use and application.

Syllabus

Web technologies, channels to promote the visibility of journals and their research. Challenges for keeping up the web presence. Digital scientific marketing and performance indicators. Web-based approaches and the applicability of indicators such as the Web Impact Factor (WIF) and Social Media Impact Factor (SMIF) for journals. Online attention and alternative research metrics. Comparative performance studies between web and traditional metrics.

4.2 – Scientific/academic impact of journals – citation based and other indicators

This panel addresses the application of bibliometric and scientometric methods applied in the assessment of journals and the research they publish.

The measurement of impact of scientific journals through citations has its origin in the documentalists activities at the late nineteenth century to organize the publications of specific areas. The unfolding of these efforts soon undertook quantitative approaches aiming at understanding trends which allowed us to establish, for example, the nucleus of journals and authors in the various areas, making it an important input for science historians and sociologists.

Regarding the treatment of scientific information, the essays of the first half of the twentieth century were materialized into a system that would offer a new form of information retrieval – in the diachronic sense – allowing to identify the relation that literature establishes from the publishing of an article. This relationship, which expresses the repercussion of a new knowledge in the literature, did not take much time to attribute the idea of scientific impact, whose expression occurs through citations. The citation index then revolutionizes the way of accessing literature in the second half of that century, at the same time as it becomes a unique source for impact indicators, which from there would represent the world science in evaluative processes around of the world.

At the turn of the twenty first century, many factors – such as subscription costs, the underrepresentation of the scientific literature of non-English-speaking countries, as well as the different practices of scientific communication among areas of knowledge – have given rise to initiatives aimed at broader sources of information, while at the same time facilitating free access to scientific information. However, besides the access issue, the already established need for impact measurement could not be ignored in order to provide the consolidated processes of evaluation of scientific output with more adequate indicators.

In this sense, it is necessary that the new information sources, taking advantage of the new methodologies proposed by the community specialized in quantitative methods of science evaluation, may contribute with indicators that make the assessment of national (Brazilian) scientific output more adequate to the national scenario. In doing so, it is hoped that the group’s discussions will contribute not only to evidence the best that has been produced locally, but also to allow scientific journals edited nationally, particularly those of the SciELO Network, to have their impact recognized, allowing circulation of global and inclusive scientific knowledge.

Syllabus

Information sources for generating impact indicators; specificity of the culture of scientific communication in the different areas, especially the Human and Social Sciences; the limitations of the Impact Factor and mainstream journal-based indicators; methodologies for generating alternative impact indicators; national assessment systems and the use of bibliometric indicators; multilingualism and journals from non-English-speaking countries; the circulation of scientific knowledge and the types of journals.

4.3 – The future is open

In development.

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