The Open Scholarship Initiative
Working together in partnership with UNESCO to create the global future of open

Issue briefs


Big picture

OSI issue briefs represent perspectives and lessons of experience from all stakeholder groups in scholarly communication, not just single stakeholder viewpoints.


Too often, debates in scholarly communication revolve around what advocates in the global north and west want. OSI manages a global dialogue.


OSI issue briefs identify where progress can be made and what actors need to be involved. Some also take the form of policy briefs which are supported by UNESCO.

Recent Briefs


Issue briefs under consideration (or development)

  1. The future of Beall’s list & blacklists
  2. Author attitudes toward CC-BY
  3. What do we really know about embargos?
  4. How fast is open growing?
  5. Can we measure the economic impact of open?
  6. How much profit do commercial publishers really make (and why do we care)?
  7. Disaggregating publisher services
  8. Workable models of peer review
  9. The moral case for open
  10. The OA2020 global flip pros/cons
  11. Cash incentives in scholarly publishing
  12. The open access citation advantage—fact or fiction?
  13. The impact factor scourge
  14. Information underload in the developing world
  15. SciHub
  16. Open IP
  17. The central role of scholarly societies
  18. P&T reform and why this is a necessary for the future of publishing
  19. Working together on common infrastructure solutions
  20. Including HSS in the reform conversation
  21. What is publishing anyway?
  22. Journal article retraction facts and figures (how much of this is driven by reproducibility, fraud, or a few bad actors, how is this changing over time, what is being done to address this, etc.)
  23. Can OA publishing hurt your career?
  24. Can society afford open access (the pros and cons of open policies unfolding in the EU)?
  25. Who decides what is open?
  26. Evolving open solutions
  27. Readability in journals—is this an issue (does it really help anyone to make a lot more unreadable articles open)?
  28. Why researchers use ResearchGate (and should they?)
  29. How much research spending is allocated to publishing anyway?
  30. Can scientists help combat the spread of fake science news?
  31. Why academics might find “new wave” journals appealing
  32. The US Federal Trade Commission’s ruling against OMICS
  33. Does junk publishing pose a threat to science?
  34. The structure of publishing (for-profit, nonprofit, etc.)
  35. global journal editing standards
  36. global peer review standards
  37. Has the time come for journal accreditation standards?
  38. Are open protocols doable?
  39. Is an iTunes model workable?
  40. Issues at the intersection of open access and open data
  41. The open matrix—taking the spectrum into more dimensions
  42. A scholcomm definitions/glossary
  43. A scholcomm how-to resource list: How to start an IR, how to publish in OA, etc.
  44. Comparing regional issues and perspectives in OA (what’s most important in Africa, Latin America, Europe, China, etc.)
  45. The culture of communication in academia: Overview
  46. How to recognize predatory publishers & publishing
  47. Misc stats/facts (how many journals, what percent open, etc.)
  48. Journal methodology myths and facts (Is methodology important in evaluating research papers? Do some journals do a better job of evaluating the methodological aspects of submitted papers than others? Do some journals think “novelty” is more important than “rigor”? Is journal prestige a real thing? Are some journals better than others? Is a journal’s impact factor a good proxy for the rigor of its evaluation process?)
  49. What are the open policies of different funding institutions, by funder, stakeholder group, institution, discipline, size, etc.