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Steering science through output indicators & data capitalism

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This presentation was given at the 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition held at the University of Turin. It describes how commercial companies create operating systems with highly integrated services, which scientists use in every phase of their daily work and which by the way produce data about this work. These data, in turn, are processed by the commercial providers and converted into further products, which are now offered to the science bureaucracy as a tool for recruitment and research planning. The structure and marketing of both the tools for scientists and the controlling tools for the administration have features that are widely known from electronic environments (compliance through convenience, vendor-lock-in), but also features that show at the same time elements of the centrally planned economy and (although at first sight incompatible with it) a strong competitive connotation. The presentation also discusses the possible consequences of such a data-driven science control for individual researchers as well as for science as a social enterprise.

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Steering science through output indicators & data capitalism

  1. 1. Steering science through Output Indicators & Data Capitalism Torino, 20.09.2019 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin, 18th-20th September 2019 Dr. Ulrich Herb, Saarland University and State Library, Germany
  2. 2. Slide 220.09.2019 > Steering science through Output Indicators & Data Capitalism Output factors in science 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  3. 3. Slide 320.09.2019 > Output factors Bibliometrics (since the mid 1920s) Use of bibliometric information to assess a scientist's performance through logging of ... • her/his own behaviour, e.g. the number of publications • reactive behaviour of others, e.g. through counting citations in scientific publications 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  4. 4. Slide 420.09.2019 > Output factors Event Logging, 2019 Evaluation of science is done through event logging. Logging of the • (digital) traces left behind by persons or their works/information. • references/reactions to these persons or their works/information. 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  5. 5. Slide 520.09.2019 > Event Logging The example of Elsevier 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  6. 6. Slide 620.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Publishing house (1880) • Sales and distribution of scientific publications • January 2019: Elsevier publishes 2,960 scientific journals, Springer Nature 3,113, Wiley 1,724. 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  7. 7. Slide 720.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Bibliometrics (2004) Launch of the citation database Scopus • indexation is attractive for authors and publishers as it … - is a quality criterion in itself - offers added value (impact information) • even competitors of Elsevier are eager to get their context indexed in Scopus and provide data that Elsevier can - sell and - evaluate for its own purposes. 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  8. 8. Slide 820.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Benchmarking (2009) Launch of SciVal • benchmarking of scientific institutions 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  9. 9. Slide 920.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Research Information (2012) Acquisition of Atira and its research information system PURE. Research information systems • provide an external representation of the performance of an institution, • are used internally for benchmarking and protocolling research performance, • are usually fed with project data, financial data, publication information and impact information. 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  10. 10. Slide 1020.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Reference Management (2013) Acquisition of the reference management tool Mendeley. Information about the relevance of texts, • that are not cited yet, • which seem to be of great value, but which are not or rarely cited, • whose citations are not covered by conventional citation databases. Context: Academic status, affiliation, subject, Scopus-ID, rating, ... 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  11. 11. Slide 1120.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Media monitoring (2015) Acquisition of newsflo service, which analyses the impact of science, scientific publications and research results in media reports. Index: 45,000 news outlets from over 20 countries • high-precision search for author IDs and affiliation by connection with Scopus Integrated with … • Mendeley for measuring the societal impact of research • SciVal for the visualization of the resonance of an institution and its researchers • PURE: Live feeds with news coverage about researchers of an institution 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  12. 12. Slide 1220.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Research data management (2015) Mendeley Data provides free-of-charge storage capacity for storing research data. • Elsevier journals or Society Journals (e.g., CELL Press) use Mendeley Data to publish research data referenced in articles • Data sets are also referenced and linked to the corresponding article in ScienceDirect 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  13. 13. Slide 1320.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Disciplinary Open Access Repositories (2016) Acquisition of the Open Access service Social Science Research Network (SSRN). • Access to information from not yet formally published research, e.g. not yet registered in Scopus or Mendeley. • Rolling out the SSRN technology: In 2016, Elsevier launched two publication services for working papers from the natural sciences, ChemRN and BioRN. 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  14. 14. Slide 1420.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Electronic lab data (2016) Acquisition of Hivebench: • software for the management of experiments, protocols, analyses and data • convenient and simple data storage in combination with other Elsevier services, e.g. through integration of Hivebench and Mendeley Data to ensure long-term archiving of research data 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  15. 15. Slide 1520.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Institutional Open Access Repositories (2017) Acquisition of the repository provider Bepress Incentives (Elsevier 2017a): Showcase und Impact „Campuses can promote faculty and their expertise with scholarly profiles and expert galleries. And administrators can use industry- leading readership analytics to track impact and share it with stakeholders.“ Elsevier‘s press release (2017b) quotes Bepress CEO Jean-Gabriel Bankier: „Now with Elsevier we’ll be stronger and better by applying more technologies and data and analytics capabilities to help more institutions achieve their research goals.” 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  16. 16. Slide 1620.09.2019 > Event logging in Elsevier manner Altmetrics (2017) Acquisition of the Altmetrics provider PLUM Analytics and its service PLUM X • measuring the impact of scientific objects that does not (only) manifest itself in citations • strong competitive approach and benchmarking functionalities • provides information on the dissemination of scientific objects in social media, news, reference management systems and a variety of other communication channels of scientific and non-scientific nature. 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  17. 17. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 1720.09.2019 Mendeley Hivebench
  18. 18. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 1820.09.2019 bepress SSRN Mendeley Hivebench
  19. 19. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 1920.09.2019 bepress SSRN Mendeley Hivebench Elsevier Publishing
  20. 20. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 2020.09.2019 bepress SSRN Mendeley Hivebench Mendeley Data Elsevier Publishing
  21. 21. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 2120.09.2019 bepress SSRN Mendeley Hivebench Mendeley Data Elsevier Publishing Scopus
  22. 22. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 2220.09.2019 PLUM Xbepress SSRN Mendeley Hivebench Mendeley Data Elsevier Publishing Scopus
  23. 23. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 2320.09.2019 PURE PLUM Xbepress SSRN Mendeley Hivebench Mendeley Data Elsevier Publishing Scopus
  24. 24. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 2420.09.2019 newsflo PURE PLUM Xbepress SSRN Mendeley Hivebench Mendeley Data Elsevier Publishing Scopus
  25. 25. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 2520.09.2019 SciVal newsflo PURE PLUM Xbepress SSRN Mendeley Hivebench Mendeley Data Elsevier Publishing Scopus
  26. 26. Slide > The operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin 2620.09.2019 SciVal newsflo PURE PLUM Xbepress SSRN Mendeley Hivebench Mendeley Data Springer Nature Scopus
  27. 27. Slide 2720.09.2019 > Steering science through Output Indicators & Data Capitalism From a publishing house to an operating system 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  28. 28. Slide 2820.09.2019 > The operating system Elsevier 2019 • „Global Information Analytics Company“ (Elsevier 2019a) • provider of an operating system with highly integrated services/apps that scientists can use in every work phase and that produces data about this work in every phase • resonance and impact of research within science are measured by Scopus and PLUM X, outside science by Newsflo • Posoda & Chen (2018): Integration of services produces dependency on two levels … a) consumer [= c) producer a.k.a. scientist] • b) individual and institutional decision-making processes 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  29. 29. Slide 2920.09.2019 > The operating system Dependence through Convenience: Googleisierung? An escape from Google's data collection mania is possible through loss of comfort, there are discrete alternatives. Scientists cannot escape : • scientists have to publish in prestigious journals • scientists increasingly have to publish their data • publishers and authors are aiming for indexation in Scopus • publications are tracked by Elsevier anyway (and in every way): Mendeley Libraries, PLUM X (via Twitter, etc.), Newsflo 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  30. 30. Slide 3020.09.2019 > The operating system Digital Science (Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, holds 53 % of the shares of SpringerNature) • Figshare: repository for publishing texts, data, software, etc. • Symplectic: system for their collection, management and analysis • Labguru: lab data management • Readcube: reference management and research tool • Overleaf: collaborative writing tool • Transcriptic: location-independent execution and control of experiments • Altmetric.com: measuring alternative impact • AboutResearch: deciding aid for science funders • Peerwith: "to ensure (...) academic work is ready to be communicated in the best possible way to enhance its scientific impact" (Digital Science 2019) • Dimensions: SciVal counterpart 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  31. 31. Slide 3120.09.2019 > The operating system Clarivate Analytics • Web of Science: impact/citation database • Journal Citation Reports: calculating of the Journal Impact Factor • Endnote: reference management software • Converis: research Information System • Publons: tracking Peer Review Activities • Authorea: collaborative writing tool • Professional Services & Essential Science Indicators: SciVal counterparts with external and internal perspectives, including recruiting functionalities 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  32. 32. Slide 3220.09.2019 > Steering science through Output Indicators & Data Capitalism So what? 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  33. 33. Slide 3320.09.2019 > So what? Economisation • Publication, curation and assessment of science are increasingly in the hands of private sector actors. • European Commission Report "Open innovation, open science, open to the world - a vision for Europe" (2016) identifies only Elsevier, Springer Nature and its subsidiary Digital Science, Google and Wikimedia as stewards of scientific information. • Service not provided: Elsevier secretly shut down his search engine Scirus 2014, which it praised as the "most comprehensive scientific research tool on the web" (Elsevier, 2013). 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  34. 34. Slide 3420.09.2019 > So what? Steering science Orchestration of offers: highly competitive, reminiscent of a planned economy, mixed with metaphors of breeding and war „Arm your researchers to compete for funding“ „You can organize your research into user-defined groups and hierarchies to analyze and understand what is happening with research in your organization. You can group your metrics by researcher or groups within your organization such as by lab, by subject, by journal or any other group where you need to tell the story of research.” (PLUM Analytics 2016) 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  35. 35. Slide 3520.09.2019 > So what? Steering science • “Gain powerful insights into cutting-edge science and the contributions made by researchers, institutions and funding bodies. Use this data to plan your recruitment, retention, collaborative outreach, and funding investment strategies“ (Clarivate Analytics 2019) • “We are expanding SciVal from being a purely evaluative and analytical tool to being an integral part of your research planning process. Topic Prominence in Science will revolutionize the way in which you develop your research strategy” Elsevier (2019c) • “Identify and analyze existing and potential collaboration opportunities based on publication output and citation impact” Elsevier (2019b) • “Test scenarios by modelling (…) groups of researchers to apply for a large-scale grant program” Elsevier (2019b) 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  36. 36. Slide 3620.09.2019 > So what? Control and adaption Exact identification of an individual scientist in all his professional shades and activities enables ... • full control • continuous benchmarking • continuous assessment of research, e.g. with regard to its ability to connect to (international) trends. Possible reactions • choice of research topics, cooperation/project partners or co- authors out of fear of negative effects • "digital paternalism" and renunciation of "informational autonomy" (Bendel, 2018, translated by UH) 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  37. 37. Slide 3720.09.2019 > Steering science through Output Indicators & Data Capitalism Perspectives 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  38. 38. Slide 3820.09.2019 > Perspektiven Science as … ... competition? ... war? ... planned economy project? ... breeding program? 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  39. 39. Slide 3920.09.2019 > Perspektiven Breeding and planning versus Libido Sciendi • Libido Sciendi (Bourdieu 1997) as a driving motivation in science is replaced by commercial science dating agencies. • Data-driven and output factor-oriented science becomes uniform (Münch 2011) • Elimination of innovation? Every improvement and every selection advantage is preceded by a deviation from the genetic plan, a mutation, a rule violation, in short: a mistake. • Does data-driven and output-factor-oriented scientific control lead us to incest, degeneration and sterility? 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  40. 40. Slide 4020.09.2019 > Perspektiven Remedies? Non-commercial services & infrastructures? often underfunded, with a stronger focus on innovation than on maintenance, financial sustainability or support. Scientific advisory boards with representatives? These could identify which data in which discipline are really useful for the evaluation of research & perhaps find a balance between the allocation of resources, the sovereignty of science and the financial interests of commercial actors. Will the commercial players accept such regulation? 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  41. 41. Slide 4120.09.2019 > Steering science through Output Indicators & Data Capitalism Appendix Herb, U. (2018). Zwangsehen und Bastarde. Information - Wissenschaft & Praxis, 69(2–3), 81–88. https://doi.org/10.1515/iwp-2018-0021 Open Access unter: https://zenodo.org/record/1284176 Herb, U. (2018). (2018). Zucht oder Libido Sciendi? Eine Dystopie der Wissenschaftssteuerung. Laborjournal. Sommer 2018. https://www.laborjournal.de/rubric/essays/essays2018/e18_08.la sso 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  42. 42. Slide 4220.09.2019 > Steering science through Output Indicators & Data Capitalism Literature Bendel, O. (2018). Big Data. In Gablers Wirtschaftslexikon. Springer Gabler. https://wirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de/definition/big-data-54101/version- 206361 [04.01.2019]. Bourdieu, P. (1997). Die verborgenen Mechanismen der Macht. Schriften zu Politik & Kultur, Band 1. VSA-Verlag Hamburg. Clarivate Analytics. (2019). Professional Services – Clarivate. https://clarivate.com/products/professional-services/ [04.01.2019]. Digital Science. (2019). Peerwith – Digital Science. https://www.digital- science.com/products/peerwith/ [04.01.2019]. Elsevier. (2013). Scirus Homepage. http://web.archive.org/web/20130217135017/http://www.scirus.com/ [04.01.2019]. Elsevier. (2017a). Bepress and Elsevier – an update. https://www.elsevier.com/connect/bepress-and-elsevier-an-update [04.01.2019]. Elsevier. (2017b). Elsevier acquires bepress, a leading service provider used by academic institutions to showcase their research. https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/corporate/elsevier-acquires- bepress,-a-leading-service-provider-used-by-academic-institutions-to-showcase- their-research [04.01.2019]. 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  43. 43. Slide 4320.09.2019 > Steering science through Output Indicators & Data Capitalism Literature Elsevier. (2019a). Elsevier | An Information Analytics Business | Empowering Knowledge. https://www.elsevier.com/ [04.01.2019]. Elsevier. (2019b). SciVal Features. https://www.elsevier.com/solutions/scival/features [04.01.2019]. Elsevier. (2019c). Topic Prominence in Science. https://www.elsevier.com/solutions/scival/releases/topic-prominence-in-science [04.01.2019]. European Commission. (2016). Open innovation, open science, open to the world – a vision for Europe. http://doi.org/10.2777/061652 [04.01.2019]. Klein, S., & Hüllmann, J. (2018). Datenkapitalismus – eine ökonomische Betrachtung. Wirtschaftsdienst, 97(7), 477–480. https://archiv.wirtschaftsdienst.eu/jahr/2018/7/datenkapitalismus-eine- oekonomische-betrachtung/#res5 [04.01.2019]. Münch, R. (2011). Akademischer Kapitalismus. Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag GmbH. 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  44. 44. Slide 4420.09.2019 > Steering science through Output Indicators & Data Capitalism Literature PLUM Analytics (2016). PlumX +Grants. https://web.archive.org/web/20160419235843/http://plumanalytics.com:80/pro ducts/plumx-grants [04.01.2019]. Posada, A., & Chen, G. (2018). Inequality in Knowledge Production: The Integration of Academic Infrastructure by Big Publishers. In L. Chan & P. Mounier (Hrsg.), ELPUB 2018. Toronto, Canada. https://doi.org/10.4000/proceedings.elpub.2018.30 [04.01.2019] 23rd Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. University of Turin
  45. 45. Thank you very much for your attention.

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