Präsentation zum Workshop “Publizieren wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten” online

Ab heute stehen die Folien zum gestrigen Workshop “Publizieren wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten” an der Universität des Saarlandes (UdS) online. Wie sich auf dem Bild unten erkennen lässt, war die Teilnehmergruppe recht gemischt, auch wenn die Fächer aus dem Bereich STM überwogen.

Die Themen, an denen die TeilnehmerInnen zu Beginn des Workshops besonderes Interesse bekundeten, waren die Wahl des richtigen Publikationsorts, Finanzierung von (Buch-)Publikationen und Open Science. In der Diskussion spielten allerdings Verfahren der Qualitätssicherung und -messung eine mindestens ebenso große Rolle.


Ich bedanke mich beim GradUS-Team der UdS für die tolle Unterstützung und die Einladung zum Workshop.

Die Präsentation ist via Slideshare verfügbar, kann aber auch hier eingesehen werden:

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ReseachGate is granted a patent for (semantic) citation analysis

The Library Journal two days ago informed about an interesting patent granted to the Social Network ResearchGate: “ResearchGate Granted U.S. Patent 10,282,424: ‘Linking Documents Using Citations’“. The abstract describes the patent as follows…

“Aspects of the present disclosure relate to linking documents using citations. A server accesses a stored document in a data repository. The server determines a set of candidate citing documents that cite the stored document. The server obtains, for each candidate citing document from the set, first information representing an impact of the candidate citing document taken as a whole and second information representing a citation context within the candidate citing document. The server determines a subset of citing documents, from the set of candidate citing documents, based on the obtained first information and the obtained second information. The server provides a digital transmission of the stored document, including visible indicia of the subset of citing documents, for display at a client device.”

Sounds to me like automated citation analysis enriched with semantic intelligence.


Workshop on scientific publishing at the Saarland University

On 16 May I will be holding a workshop at my home university, Saarland University, on “Publishing scientific texts” in the GradUS Graduate Program. On the GradUS website you can find more information and also a registration form.

Young scientists are at the beginning of their research careers, which at the same time are publishing careers. The latter is more than important for professional advancement and promotion; it is no coincidence that in science the motto “publish or perish” is used – those who do not publish will find it difficult to make professional progress.

This workshop therefore provides an orientation on the possibilities, mechanisms and current developments of scientific publishing as well as on the legal pitfalls that scientists will face throughout their lives.


  • Publications as the key to scientific success
  • Publication processes in various disciplines
  • Quality assurance and measurement in publishing
  • Open Access: How and why you might publish your results Open Access
  • how to find a suitable publication venue
  • Outlook: Text, Data, Software and Social Media



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Use and Usefulness of bibliometric and scientometric Data for Knowledge Management

On 11.05.2019 I will give a visiting lecture at the department of Information Science of the Hochschule für Technik und Wissenschaft in Chur (University of Applied Sciences, Chur/ Switzerland) on the use and usefulness of bibliometric and scientometric data for knowledge management. The focus is not only on classical citation data, but also on altmetrics and data from social networks such as ResearchGate or the recommender functions of commercial services for science management.

Springer Nature reaches £9.6 million agreement in the UK – not included: Nature-branded titles

According to a press release by Springer Nature there is a new contract of the group with Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).

The deal is based on the principle of  “read and publish” and shall fulfill the requirements of Plan S. As noted by Springer Nature the “agreement limits the costs of publishing all UK articles open access (OA) while maintaining access to all of Springer’s subscription articles. The deal converts the previous subscription agreement to one based on OA.” One could also phrase it more critically: The agreement allows Open Access only against continued subscription.

Steven Inchcoombe, chief publishing officer at Springer Nature, emphases in the press release: “By making it easy for researchers, 77% of our UK corresponding authors’ work is now available for free immediately at the point of publication (Gold OA) showing that real progress in advancing open research can be achieved.”

Since in my opinion only articles by corresponding authors from the UK are published Open Access and the rest of the publications are not, I would rather speak of Hybrid Open Access.

According to the press release the new agreement makes it possible that 99.8% of all articles covered by the deal will be published under a Creative Commons ‘Attribution’ licence (CC BY).

As the Times Higher Education states the “three-year agreement, valued at £9.6 million, excludes Springer Nature’s prestigious Nature-branded titles”.

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Norway and Elsevier meet a eighteen million Euro agreement including a Gold Open Access clause


The Norwegian consortium for higher education and research and the publishing house Elsevier agreed two days ago to a national license. This provides Norwegian researchers not only access to articles published in Elsevier’s journals (including the society journals as The Lancet or CELL Press) but also the opportunity to publish their results Open Access. Seven universities and 39 research institutions will benefit from the two-year agreement.

A comment in the Financial Times gives a little more insight in the contract. It mentions, among other things, the sum that will be paid to Elsevier under the agreement and puts it at nine million euros. This means an increase of three percent over the previous agreement, which did not cover Open Access publishing. The article goes on to explain that Elsevier expects about 2,000 publications per year. If one assumes that the calculation is based on publish and read fees, as it is proposed by advocates of the Open Access transformation through national consortia with major publishers, the fee per article would be €2,250 is €4,500.

[begin update]
Many thanks to MarthaR for pointing me to a Nature article that indicated that the sum of €9m per year is charged, in other articles this did not indicated. However, an article in The Scientist explicitly states that the total volume is €18m so that the fee per article is €4,500. This was also confirmed by a mail from the Norwegian consortium.
[end update]

In similar agreements, e.g. in Finland, an Open Access publication was by far not allowed in all Elsevier journals. But according to the contract covers up to 90 percent of the articles published by scientists from members of the consortium. Only the society journals (about 400 in total) will be excluded.

Inside Higher Education cites Nina Aslaug Karlstrøm, a representative of the consortium, with an interesting detail: “[If] the number of articles exceeds the allocated amount, a list-price article processing charge must be paid if it is to be published open access”. Therefore the nine million euros are Elsevier’s minimum revenue from this contract.

Just as with the Wiley DEAL in Germany, this agreement also strengthens the allegedly unpopular Hybrid Open Access, which was even disallowed by Plan S. The agreement with Elsevier in France is different and should strengthen Green Open Access.

Workshop on scientific publishing in Economics & Business Administration at the Humboldt University of Berlin

Today I held a workshop on scientific publishing in Economics & Business Administration at the Humboldt-University of Berlin. It was my first workshop which dealt specifically with publishing in the disciplines of Economics & Business Administration.

The workshop focussed on these topics:

  • scientific publishing and careers
  • typology of scientific publishing, especially  in the field of Business Administration & Economics
  • dissemination of scientific information: Open Access and Closed Access (with a focus on the disciplines mentioned) and their legal, scientific and financial implications
  • how to place a publication at a suitable publication venue
  • determinants of quality/resonance of scientific publications (e.g. by measuring citation impact or Altmetrics)
  • the role of ratings and ranking in Economics & Business Administration

The topics of quality assurance/ peer review, impact and Open Access services were of particular interest.

The workshop was organized by the Faculty of Economics of the Humboldt University of Berlin, which I thank very much for the invitation.

I would also like to thank Ralf Toepfer and Jan Weiland from the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics for the helpful conversations in preparing the workshop.

The presentation is available via slideshare but can also be viewed here.

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Better than the German Wiley DEAL? The Couperin Consortium reaches a price reduction of more than 13% over four years in an agreement with Elsevier

ElsevierFor some, this may seem better than the Wiley Deal in Germany: French universities and research institutions have agreed in principle, through their Couperin consortium, to renew their national licence with Elsevier. In a letter sent on April 11 to Elsevier by Lise Dumasy, president of Couperin, details of the agreement, which is valid for 4 years, effective as of January 1 this year, are revealed.

With this agreement, French universities and research institutions will have access to the publisher’s “Freedom complete edition” journal bundle including e.g. The Lancet and Cell Press. However, the consortium does not guarantee to the publisher that all its members will adhere to the national licence.

Here are the main points:

  • Most surprising: This agreement provides for a gradual 13.3% reduction in license costs over 4 years -5% in 2019, -4% in 2020, -3% in 2021 and -2% in 2022, in total -13.305% over four years.
  • There is 25% discount on article processing charges (APC). There will also be a compensatory clause if these APCs increase by more than 3.5%. Excluded from this discount are – as I understand it – only the society journals, e.g. The Lancet and the Cell Press titles. Included are all Open Access journals and hybrid journals. The 3.5% threshold refers to annual price increases.
  • Regarding Green Open Access the agreement allows automatic access 12 months after formal publication to the “accepted author manuscript” (AAM) or post print directly on Elsevier’s service Sciencedirect. After 24 months the pdf file of this manuscript will be deposited on the HAL platform (the CNRS Open Access Repository). The license to make AAMs available is more restrictive than most Creative Commons licenses. It allows reading, downloading, printing, translating, text & data mining but does not allow redistribution or re-use (neither commercial or non-commercial).

Finally, the agreement includes the progressive deposit (from 2020 to 2022) of articles published between 2002 and 2012, which will make it possible to apply text & data mining.

Here you can read the letter sent by the president of the Couperin consortium to Elsevier. I would also like to draw your attention to Martin Clavey’s posting that I have mainly reported here. Information about the Wiley DEAL mentioned at the introduction can be found in Marcel Knöchelmann’s posting on Le Publikateur.

Scientific Publishing in Economics & Business Administration

On 24.04.2019 I will hold a workshop on Scientific Publishing in Economics and Business Administration at the faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the Humboldt University of Berlin.

The aim of the workshop is to inform scientists about the functions, contextual conditions (e.g. quality control, selection criteria, perceived quality of a journal/publisher) and parameters (e.g. recommended document types, dissemination in closed access or open access, impact) of scientific publishing. Participants should be enabled to develop informed publication strategies and make career-promoting publication decisions, taking into account context variables and parameters.

Further information can be found on the Humboldt University’s web site.


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scinoptica becomes scidecode

Dear readers and anyone interested,

just in time for Easter scinoptica science consulting changes its name to scidecode science consulting & research. The relocation of the web presence worked and all scinoptica URLs (especially the postings) are forwarding to The scinoptica twitter account remains active and will spread my more personal view while the new (and yet inactive) scidecode account will inform more about scidecode projects, publications and activities. However, the RSS feed remains available at

This information is accompanied by the announcement of a survey on “Monetary and non-monetary income for scientists from scientific publications”. Background: In fact, apart from e.g. law, publishers generally do not pay honoraria to authors of scientific publications, but editors are more likely to receive compensation – be it in the form of monetary payments or vouchers, e.g. for subscriptions. Reviewers in some cases also receive compensation, e.g. an APC voucher as a payoff for a review. Exactly these compensations will be the focus of the survey. I am planning the survey for late summer and will ask the community for some feedback on my drafts.

Best regards

Ulrich Herb