Moving Toward More Equitable Publishing Practices

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Moving Toward More Equitable Publishing Practices

Practical Steps to Achieving an Equitable Transition to Open Access Andrea Powell, Research4Life

On Equitable, Ethical, and Formative Peer Review Shelby Brewster, Public Philosophy Journal

GW Ethics in Publishing Conference 2021

Practical steps to achieving an equitable transition to Open Access – recommendations from the Research4Life OA Task Force Research4Life has enabled free or low-cost access to scholarly publications in over 125 low and middle-income countries for the past 20 years. This collaboration has helped to reduce the knowledge gap for tens of thousands of researchers, but there is evidence that those same researchers experience significant barriers when it comes to publishing their own work, and that the shift to Open Access has created new kinds of obstacles. In July 2020 Research4Life established an Open Access Task Force to investigate ways in which the partnership could support an equitable transition to OA and to inform its future strategic direction. Outputs from the Task Force will be described, including the Best Practice Guidelines for publishers on how to communicate APC waiver policies, an online index to publishers’ inclusion policies and feedback and suggestions from our target community via a webinar presentation of our work and an online survey of Research4Life user institutions. This survey aimed to identify key challenges and ways in which the Research4Life partnership can extend its scope to support lower income country users as producers of research outputs and not just as consumers of the work of others.

Andrea Powell is the Outreach Director for the STM Association and the Publisher Coordinator for Research4Life, a multilateral partnership which provides free or low-cost access to research content for over 10,000 registered institutions in lower and middle income countries. She chairs the Research4Life Open Access Task Force which seeks to ensure that the global transition to OA does not reinforce current inequities in the scholarly communication system. She was previously Executive Director for Publishing and Chief Information Officer at CABI, a global non-profit agency providing knowledge solutions in agriculture and associated disciplines. Andrea is also a Non-Executive Director of the Pharmaceutical Press and an Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University.

On Equitable, Ethical, and Formative Peer Review Since its founding in 2013, the Public Philosophy Journal (PPJ) has been developing a process of peer review to provide an alternative to the often antagonistic and hierarchical structure of traditional peer review. Initially developed by philosophers Christopher Long and Mark Fischer, this practice has grown into Formative Peer Review: a supportive and sustainable practice dedicated to improving scholarship through collegial feedback.

This presentation explores the philosophy behind the process of Formative Peer Review as practiced at the PPJ. First, we illustrate how Formative Peer Review embodies and furthers values of thick collegiality; ethical imagination; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and transparency. Second, we demonstrate how these values not only contribute to a more ethical practice of scholarly publishing, but also have the potential to strengthen scholarship and affect positive change within academic cultures. Finally, we introduce a developing project, the Collaborative Community Review tool, which will enable other publications to adopt these more ethical and equitable practices.

Shelby Brewster, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Public Philosophy Journal (PPJ), received her PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her awards and fellowships include an Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship (Pitt), Cultural Studies Dissertation Fellowship (Pitt), and a National Fellowship from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Career Diversity Summer Workshop. Brewster has published many journal articles, book chapters, and book, film, and performance reviews on topics including environmental activism, the nonhuman, climate change, and humanist theory. She holds a Certificate in Editing from the University of Washington and serves as a Content Editor at Environmental History Now.

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