“Developments in the open access world seem to be moving at a lightning pace lately.Plan Shas added a realism and urgency to OA discussions. Never to be behind on any ‘scholcomm’ development, Elsevier has started a pilot program of launching what they are calling ‘Mirror Journals’. Open Access (OA) ‘copies’ of existing peer reviewed journals.Journals that are“fully gold open access but share the same editorial board, aims and scope and peer review policies as their existing “parent” journals – and the same level of visibility and discoverability.”
Angela Cochrane gave a good analysis of Mirror Journals as a route to the full OA future in October. Worth a read! She argues that Mirror Journals have the potential to solve several problems publisher face when trying to publish OA, including accusations of double-dipping and the steep challenge of starting a new OA journal from scratch….”
Abstract: On 25 August 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued OMICS Group Inc., iMedPub LLC, Conference Series LLC, and Srinubabu Gedela, all affiliated with open access mega-publisher OMICS International, for deception in their solicitation of journal articles and advertising of conferences. The ongoing lawsuit seeks to stop OMICS’s deceptive practices and disgorge US $50.5 million in ill-gotten gains. OMICS has in turn claimed over $2.1 billion for harm caused by the lawsuit to its business and employees. This article describes the main arguments, counter-arguments, and court decisions in the 5920 pages of pleadings, exhibits, and orders that have been filed through 14 October 2018. The article then evaluates the case to formulate key take-aways for publishers, editors, academics, and universities. Depending on its ultimate outcome, the case against OMICS may be a turning point in the practices of questionable open access online publishers, making this interim case assessment pertinent to all concerned about the future of academic publishing.
“What might happen if the provost of a highly visible research university that had recently reconfirmed its public-facing mission gathered the entire campus together – deans, department chairs and faculty – in rethinking the university’s promotion and tenure standards from top to bottom? What might become possible if that provost were to say that our definitions of “excellence” in research, teaching and service must have that public-facing mission at their heart? What might be possible if that public mission really became Job One?
The provost paused. Then he gave his answer: “Any institution that did that would immediately lose competitiveness within its cohort.” …
The pursuit of prestige is not the problem in and of itself, and excellence is, of course, something to strive for. In fact, friendly competition can push us all to do better. But excellence and prestige and the competitiveness that fuels their pursuit are too often based in marketing – indeed, in the logic of the market – rather than in the actual purposes of higher education. It’s a diversion from the on-the-ground work of producing and sharing knowledge that can result in misplaced investments and misaligned priorities….”
“To conclude, there is need of a well-formulated, uniform terminology for predatory publishing practices. The responsibility collectively lies with journal editors, institutions and organizations. Educators and researchers should avoid publishing in deceptive or parodical (spoofy) journals and help raise the standards of legitimate, low-quality journals. It is time for the scientific community to decide which path to take: towards deception or towards helping low-quality journals.”
“The publishing model that most politicians and funders now seem to embrace, is called ‘Open Access’. Access to the manuscript is free, but the researchers (yes, you) foot the bill; in which case, it could be argued that the cost of open access publication should be included in the research budget….
If an individual researcher pays then, maybe, the quality of a study or manuscript is no longer necessarily the concern of the publisher. So-called ‘predatory’ journals discovered this hole in the market, and accept whatever paper of whatever quality as long as it is being paid for. Alternatively, articles are now being deposited in open access repositories, without any peer review or formatting requirements….”
“Mr Chi said that when he joined Elsevier 14 years ago, he “saw that we were publishing a lot because that was a way to make more money, but that wasn’t really serving the long-term benefit of our company or the community of researchers”. Acting on that insight, he said, the publishing giant decided to publish fewer papers but of higher quality.
As a consequence, Elsevier “lost several percentage points of market share in those 14 years” but “gained about 25 per cent in the FWCI [field-weighted citation index], which means that we really raised the quality of the papers we publish”.
While he stressed that he was “not at all against the goal of the open access model”, Mr Chi said that Elsevier’s emphasis on high-grade work in effect opened a publishing niche and “left others to fill the vacuum”, which they did by publishing “without the quality control” and sometimes “without peer review”. …”
“The Court finds that a permanent injunction against Defendants is appropriate under the circumstances to enjoin them from engaging in similar misleading and deceptive activities. Here, Defendants did not participate in an isolated, discrete incident of deceptive publishing, but rather sustained and continuous conduct over the course of years. An injunction is therefore necessary to prevent future misconduct and protect the public interest….
Where, as here, consumers suffer broad economic injury resulting from a defendant’s violations of the FTC Act, equity requires monetary relief in the full amount lost by consumers….Accordingly, the Court finds Defendants jointly and severally liable for restitution in the amount of $50,130,811.00….”
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has expressed its concerns about predatory journals using the list of ICMJE Recommendations (ICMJE-R) followers to “gain the appearance of legitimacy.” We assessed the presence of potential predatory journals on the ICMJE-R list and their adherence to ICMJE recommendations.
A random sample of 350 journals from the estimated 3,100-3,200 biomedical journals listed as ICMJE-R followers was chosen. Data collected from the ICMJE and journal webpages in English were: adherence to six ICMJE-R policies/requirements, year of journal’s listing as ICMJE-R follower, discipline covered, publisher and its country of origin and existence of article processing charge. Potential predatory journal was considered as one open access journal not being a member of a recognized listing in COPE, DOAJ, OASPA, AJOL and/or INASP.
Thirty-one percent of journals were considered to be potentially predatory; 94% of them were included in the ICMJE-R list in 2014-2018. Half were published in the United States and 62% were devoted to medicine. Adherence to five of the six policies/requirements was infrequent, ranging from 51% (plagiarism) to 7% (trial registration). Seventy-two percent of journals mentioned a policy on authors’ conflicts of interest. Information on article processing charge was available for 76% journals and could not be found for 22%. Authorship policy/ instructions were significantly more present in journals with publishers from India than from the USA (53% vs 30%; p = 0.047), with no differences in the other five policies.
Predatory journals should be deleted from the ICMJE-R list of followers to prevent misleading authors. ICMJE-R following journals need to be reevaluated with pre-defined published criteria.
Abstract: The changing world of scholarly communication and the emergence of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly-debated topics. Yet, evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication. The aim of this article is to provide a baseline evidence framework for ten of the most contested topics, in order to help frame and move forward discussions, practices and policies. We address preprints and scooping, the practice of copyright transfer, the function of peer review, and the legitimacy of ‘global’ databases. The presented facts and data will be a powerful tool against misinformation across wider academic research, policy and practice, and may be used to inform changes within the rapidly evolving scholarly publishing system.
Abstract: We’ll define open educational resources (OER), examine the impact of OER use in higher education, discuss copyright and open licensing, and explore avenues for identifying existing OER that can be remixed and reused. The presentation will cover updates on federal and state OER initiatives and highlight support for open educational practices at UTA, including access to and technical support for Pressbooks, a web-based publishing platform.