Motherboard: Archivists Create a Searchable Index of 107 Million Science Articles. “The General Index is here to serve as your map to human knowledge. Pulled from 107,233,728 journal articles, The General Index is a searchable collection of keywords and short sentences from published papers that can serve as a map to the paywalled domains of scientific knowledge. In full, The General Index is a massive 38 terabyte archive of searchable terms. Compressed, it comes to 8.5 terabytes.”
Wired: Humans Can’t Be the Sole Keepers of Scientific Knowledge. “Writing scientific knowledge in a programming-like language will be dry, but it will be sustainable, because new concepts will be directly added to the library of science that machines understand. Plus, as machines are taught more scientific facts, they will be able to help scientists streamline their logical arguments; spot errors, inconsistencies, plagiarism, and duplications; and highlight connections. AI with an understanding of physical laws is more powerful than AI trained on data alone, so science-savvy machines will be able to help future discoveries. Machines with a great knowledge of science could assist rather than replace human scientists.” I have so many conflicting thoughts about this article that I gave myself a headache. Be warned.
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Mysterious Case of the Nonsense Papers. “The paper appeared last month in the Arabian Journal of Geosciences, which is one of several thousand journals put out by the publishing giant Springer Nature. If this was just one weird paper in an obscure journal, it probably wouldn’t be noteworthy. But hundreds — 412, to be exact — of equally bizarre papers have popped up in the same journal in recent months…. One minute you’re being lectured on ecological risk assessment, and the next you’re learning about the many similarities between badminton and tennis. So what exactly is going on here? And what does it tell us, if anything, about the state of academic publishing?”
Boing Boing: A web tool that converts PDF scientific papers into HTML. “The folks at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence just released an intriguing tool — ‘Paper to HTML’, which lets you upload a scientific paper and it turns it into an HTML web page. The goal, as they wrote in their email, is to improve accessibility: Screen-readers and accessibility tech usually finds it a lot easier to parse HTML than PDFs.” Ooo!
Techdirt: Sci-Hub Celebrates 10 Years Of Existence, With A Record 88 Million Papers Available, And A Call For Funds To Help It Add AI And Go Open Source
Techdirt: Sci-Hub Celebrates 10 Years Of Existence, With A Record 88 Million Papers Available, And A Call For Funds To Help It Add AI And Go Open Source. “To celebrate ten years offering a large proportion of the world’s academic papers for free — against all the odds, and in the face of repeated legal action — Sci-Hub has launched a funding drive.”
Times Higher Education: The push for open access is making science less inclusive. “To avoid publishing becoming economically prohibitive, the push for open access above all other publication priorities must be substituted by a push for true inclusiveness. Required measures include, at the minimum, the extension of full waivers to lower-middle-income countries and the extension of substantial automatic discounts to upper-middle-income countries such as ours. The scientific community must also ensure fair practice and pricing in academic publishing. Consortia of national funding agencies could collect and analyse publishers’ budgets, comparing them with estimated publishing costs and deciding on a maximum fair price that they are prepared to pay.”
Stanford Cyber Policy Center: Announcing the Journal of Online Trust and Safety. “The Journal of Online Trust and Safety will be a cross-disciplinary, open access, fast peer-reviewed journal that publishes research on how consumer internet services are abused to cause harm and how to prevent those harms.”
Nature: ‘Tortured phrases’ give away fabricated research papers. “In April 2021, a series of strange phrases in journal articles piqued the interest of a group of computer scientists. The researchers could not understand why researchers would use the terms ‘counterfeit consciousness’, ‘profound neural organization’ and ‘colossal information’ in place of the more widely recognized terms ‘artificial intelligence’, ‘deep neural network’ and ‘big data’. Further investigation revealed that these strange terms — which they dub ‘tortured phrases’ — are probably the result of automated translation or software that attempts to disguise plagiarism.”
Science: Major U.K. science funder to require grantees to make papers immediately free to all. “The United Kingdom currently has one of the highest rates of open-access publication in the world, with many researchers posting their research papers on websites that make them publicly available for free. But the country’s leading funding agency today announced a new policy that will push open access even further by mandating that all research it funds must be freely available for anyone to read upon publication.”
Penn Today: Women are undercited and men are overcited in communication. “A new study from the Addiction, Health, & Adolescence (AHA!) Lab at the Annenberg School for Communication found that men are overcited and women are undercited in the field of communication. The researchers’ findings indicate that this problem is most persistent in papers authored by men.”
Fermilab: Scientific publishing organizations and national laboratories partner on transgender-inclusive name-change process for published papers
Fermilab: Scientific publishing organizations and national laboratories partner on transgender-inclusive name-change process for published papers. “All 17 U.S. national laboratories and many prominent publishers, journals and other organizations in scientific publishing announced today the beginning of a partnership to support name change requests from researchers on past published papers. Previously, individual researchers shouldered the burden, administratively and emotionally, of initiating name-change requests with each publisher of their past papers…. This partnership streamlines these previously ad hoc processes and offers an official validation mechanism to all involved by enabling researchers to ask their respective institutions to pursue name changes on their behalf directly with the publishers and journals.”
Nature: Scientific publishers expedite name changes for authors. “In an effort to expand inclusivity for transgender researchers, some scientific publishers and societies worldwide have adopted policies that allow rapid and discreet author name changes to be made on digital editions of published works. These include research articles, conference papers, books and book chapters.”
Google Scholar Blog: 2021 Scholar Metrics Released. “Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Today, we are releasing the 2021 version of Scholar Metrics. This release covers articles published in 2016–2020 and includes citations from all articles that were indexed in Google Scholar as of July 2020.”
PsyPost: The “Sci-Hub effect” can almost double the citations of research articles, study suggests. “Scientific articles that get downloaded from the scholarly piracy website Sci-Hub tend to receive more citations, according to a new study published in Scientometrics. The number of times an article was downloaded from Sci-Hub also turned out to be a robust predictor of future citations.”