STM statement on the increase of unethical and deceptive journal practices

“The last decade has seen a worrying increase in the number of unethical research publications, as well as an exponential rise in so-called ‘predatory’ journals and publishers. High levels of trust are vital to ensuring that the publication and sharing of research results helps to advance research, the global pool of knowledge and the careers of researchers and investigators. Publication practices vary across both academic disciplines and countries, but there are common ethical standards and behaviours that ensure that articles that are published in trustworthy peer-reviewed journals are of the highest standards.”

What happens to journals that break away? | Filling a much-needed gap

Although it is still a relatively rare occurrence, several journal boards have broken away from large commercial publishers. A good list is at the Open Access Directory. These journals usually are required to change their name, because the previous publisher will not relinquish it. They are cut off from the enormous support provided by large commercial publishers (after all their subscription prices are so high, the money is surely being put back into developing better infrastructure, rather than, say enriching shareholders, giving inflated honoraria to editors or paying inefficient support staff). Thus one might expect that these journals would struggle.

I looked at the fortunes of the mathematics journals that have taken this route. Below I list the original title name, the approximate date of the breakaway, the new title and publisher, and citation impact measures taken from 2014 data at, and compare them to the results for the original journal….

It seems clear that the new journals are doing considerably better than the old ones overall. I wonder whether the idea often touted by radical leftist OA advocates that large commercial publishers don’t add much value could have a grain of truth in it.”

TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)

“TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) advances the wide dissemination of scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members through open access editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited monographs.

Scholars face growing difficulty in finding publishers for their monographs as academic library budgets shrink and demand for monographs falls. To collaboratively address this problem, the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses) launched this initiative in spring 2017. 

In each of the first five years, colleges and universities participating in TOME are providing at least three baseline publishing grants of $15,000 to support the publication of open access monographs. Publishers accepting these grants—for eligible books that have been approved through the usual editorial and peer-review processes—are making high-quality, platform-agnostic, digital editions freely available. These TOME-supported monographs will make new research freely available online, increasing the presence of humanities and social science scholarship on the web and opening up knowledge to more readers….”

Open Scholarship | Association of Research Libraries® | ARL®

“Open scholarship, which encompasses open access, open data, open educational resources, and all other forms of openness in the scholarly and research environment, is changing how knowledge is created and shared. For research libraries, open scholarship offers opportunities for campus collaborations and new service roles.

SHARE is a higher education initiative whose mission is to maximize research impact by making research widely accessible, discoverable, and reusable. To fulfill this mission SHARE is building a free, open, data set about research and scholarly activities across their life cycle.

Below are links to information and resources on other key topics in open scholarship….”

Trends for open access to publications | European Commission

“On this page you will find indicators on how the policies of journals and funding agencies favour open access, and the percentage of publications (green and gold) actually available through open access.

The indicators cover bibliometric data on publications, as well as data on funders’ and journals’ policies. Indicators and case studies will be updated over time.”

CHORUS Signs Agreement With US Department of Defense to Advance Public Access to Research – CHORUS

“CHORUS, a non-profit organization, announced an agreement with the US Department of Defense (DoD) through its Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) as part of the agency’s continued commitment to expand public access to the results of its funded research….”

News – Open Insights: What’s to Be Done? Thoughts on Moving the Open Access Conversation Forward

“Stephen Buranyi’s piece from last summer “Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?” (short answer: yes) and Jon Tennant’s “Scholarly publishing is broken. Here’s how to fix it” are timely reminders that the open access movement matters to us as a society, that it is a movement that involves fighting against forces with priorities very different from our own, and that–in addition to reminders about what’s at stake in this battle–we need practical, actionable advice to get us where we want to go.”

How Open Commenting on Preprints Can Increase Scientific Transparency: An Interview With the Directors of PsyArxiv, SocArxiv, and Marxiv

“We believe more discourse around research is a good thing. To that end, we have partnered with Hypothesis, a third-party platform, to allow for annotation and discussion on our preprints services.  Annotation on preprints will increase transparency in scientific practices by enabling researchers to collaborate, discuss research with peers, and share additional information directly on preprints both before and after they are posted.”

Clowns to the Left of Me… Jokers to the Right: The Independent Publisher in an Age of Mergers and Acquisitions – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As many smart people have predicted, consolidation within scholarly publishing will continue to make big news well into 2019. Clarivate acquires Kopernio. Elsevier acquires bepress, Plum Analytics, and SSRN. Wiley acquires Atypon, etc., etc. We have also discussed with great interest the desire of the big publishers to offer start-to-finish workflow solutions. Roger Schonfeld warned of “lock in” while others argued business diversification.”

The article itself says little about open access, open source software, or open infrastructure. But the comment section is almost entirely devoted to these topics. 

Coalition supports Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act | R Street

“As organizations committed to the availability of information about our government and its transparency, we write to express our support for the Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act of 2016 (S. 2639), introduced last week. We extend our sincere gratitude for your many years of leadership in support of opening access to these valuable, taxpayer-funded reports. We are appreciative of your efforts, and those of Sen. Patrick Leahy, to make a bipartisan push for a more open government at a time when such work is particularly vital to our democracy.”