Motivations, understandings, and experiences of open?access mega?journal authors: Results of a large?scale survey – Wakeling – 2019 – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Open?access mega?journals (OAMJs) are characterized by their large scale, wide scope, open?access (OA) business model, and “soundness?only” peer review. The last of these controversially discounts the novelty, significance, and relevance of submitted articles and assesses only their “soundness.” This article reports the results of an international survey of authors (n = 11,883), comparing the responses of OAMJ authors with those of other OA and subscription journals, and drawing comparisons between different OAMJs. Strikingly, OAMJ authors showed a low understanding of soundness?only peer review: two?thirds believed OAMJs took into account novelty, significance, and relevance, although there were marked geographical variations. Author satisfaction with OAMJs, however, was high, with more than 80% of OAMJ authors saying they would publish again in the same journal, although there were variations by title, and levels were slightly lower than subscription journals (over 90%). Their reasons for choosing to publish in OAMJs included a wide variety of factors, not significantly different from reasons given by authors of other journals, with the most important including the quality of the journal and quality of peer review. About half of OAMJ articles had been submitted elsewhere before submission to the OAMJ with some evidence of a “cascade” of articles between journals from the same publisher.

Motivations, understandings, and experiences of open?access mega?journal authors: Results of a large?scale survey – Wakeling – 2019 – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Open?access mega?journals (OAMJs) are characterized by their large scale, wide scope, open?access (OA) business model, and “soundness?only” peer review. The last of these controversially discounts the novelty, significance, and relevance of submitted articles and assesses only their “soundness.” This article reports the results of an international survey of authors (n = 11,883), comparing the responses of OAMJ authors with those of other OA and subscription journals, and drawing comparisons between different OAMJs. Strikingly, OAMJ authors showed a low understanding of soundness?only peer review: two?thirds believed OAMJs took into account novelty, significance, and relevance, although there were marked geographical variations. Author satisfaction with OAMJs, however, was high, with more than 80% of OAMJ authors saying they would publish again in the same journal, although there were variations by title, and levels were slightly lower than subscription journals (over 90%). Their reasons for choosing to publish in OAMJs included a wide variety of factors, not significantly different from reasons given by authors of other journals, with the most important including the quality of the journal and quality of peer review. About half of OAMJ articles had been submitted elsewhere before submission to the OAMJ with some evidence of a “cascade” of articles between journals from the same publisher.

Why engage with preprints? | The Official PLOS Blog

“Preprints enable authors to share their work early, openly, and in a way that is free from journal influence or stylistic preferences. They also open up possibilities for pre-publication commentary that have previously been limited to a group of trusted confidants and hand-selected (often anonymous) peer reviewers invited by the editors. The opening up of comments via email, Twitter, or on the preprint server has the potential to expand the number of voices involved in the peer review of manuscripts, to allow the development of a preprint in parallel with the formal peer review, and to accelerate the research process.

To explore these opportunities, we recently launched a preprint commenting pilot, which will enable handling editors at PLOS Journals* to better access and utilize comments left on preprinted submissions for consideration in their review of the manuscript.

While the announcement speaks for itself, we also wanted to give more context for our work in engaging with preprints and facilitating comments more broadly. Driven by our work alongside the research community, these fall into three major strategic directions:

1. A more equitable platform for community review….

2. Published outputs should be shaped by the scholarly process, and not by publishers’ preferences or requirements….

3. More editorial activity is better for all concerned, including researchers but also publishers, and may save everyone time….”

Peer Review Transparency | The Substance of Scholarly Authority

“The unique authority of scholarly publishing arises from the rigorous evaluation and assessment works must go through before they are published—known as the peer review process. Peer Review Transparency is an initiative of scholarly publishers, academic librarians, technology innovators, and thought leaders in scholarly communication, with support from the Open Society Foundations, to create agreed definitions of how peer review is conducted, and to disclose clearly and efficiently to readers the kind of review a published work has undergone. …

 

The unique authority of scholarly works—whether journal articles or books, and whether in the sciences, humanities, the arts, or the humanistic social studies—derives from the painstaking prior review of works submitted for consideration by experts qualified to evaluate an author’s methods and arguments. But peer review has historically been a “black box” phenemenon—one publishers conduct, but don’t describe or disclose.

It’s time to change that.”

 

Community Comments and Peer Review: A preprint commenting pilot at PLOS  | The Official PLOS Blog

“Researchers have told us that posting manuscripts as preprints before—or at the same time as—submitting them to a journal is a great way to gain additional feedback from the community and improve their paper. Could the same community feedback also help improve the quality and speed of the review process at a journal? We’re launching a pilot to find out….”

How journals are using overlay publishing models to facilitate equitable OA

“Preprint repositories have traditionally served as platforms to share copies of working papers prior to publication. But today they are being used for so much more, like posting datasets, archiving final versions of articles to make them Green Open Access, and another major development — publishing academic journals. Over the past 20 years, the concept of overlay publishing, or layering journals on top of existing repository platforms, has developed from a pilot project idea to a recognized and growing publishing model.

In the overlay publishing model, a journal performs refereeing services, but it doesn’t publish articles on its website. Rather, the journal’s website links to final article versions hosted on an online repository….”

Journal practices (other than OA) promoting Open Science goals | Zenodo

“Journal practices (other than OA) promoting Open Science goals (relevance, reproducibility, efficiency, transparency)

Early, full and reproducible content

preregistration – use preregistrations in the review process
registered reports – apply peer review to preregistration prior to the study and publish results regardless of outcomes
preprint policy – liberally allow preprinting in any archive without license restrictions
data/code availability – foster or require open availability of data and code for reviewers and readers
TDM allowance – allow unrestricted TDM of full text and metadata for any use
null/negative results – publish regardless of outcome
 

Machine readable ecosystem

data/code citation – promote citation and use standards
persistent IDs – e.g. DOI, ORCID, ROR, Open Funder Registry, grant IDs
licenses (in Crossref) – register (open) licenses in Crossref
contributorship roles – credit all contributors for their part in the work
open citations – make citation information openly available via Crossref
 

Peer review

open peer review – e.g. open reports and open identities
peer review criteria – evaluate methodological rigour and reporting quality only or also judge expected relevance or impact?
rejection rates – publish rejection rates and reconsider high selectivity
post-publication peer review – publish immediately after sanity check and let peer review follow that?
 

Diversity

author diversity – age, position, gender, geography, ethnicity, colour
reviewer diversity – age, position, gender, geography, ethnicity, colour
editor diversity – age, position, gender, geography, ethnicity, colour

Metrics and DORA

DORA: journal metrics – refrain from promoting
DORA: article metrics – provide a range and use responsibly…”

In bid to boost transparency, bioRxiv begins posting peer reviews next to preprints | Science | AAAS

“BioRxiv, the server for life sciences preprints, has begun an experiment that allows select journals and independent peer-review services to publicly post evaluations of its papers should the authors make the request.

The idea is to make the peer-review process more transparent, and help authors more easily strengthen their manuscripts before they are submitted to journals. But some authors might balk at making critical reviews of their work available for anyone to read.

The experiment, called Transparent Review in Preprints, launched last week. To run it, bioRxiv has teamed with two publishers and two independent services that are providing peer reviews. In addition to increasing the transparency and usefulness of bioRxiv’s preprints, the initiative is also a platform to test models of “portable” peer reviews, or independent reviews that authors can share with any journal considering their work. (Traditionally, reviews are arranged and reviewed only by the journal considering a particular submission, not a third party.)…”

Scholarly Article or Book Chapter | Thoughts on Publishing Survey – how can we improve scientific publishing? | ID: sf268918d | Carolina Digital Repository

Abstract:  There are various pathways for scientists to share their work, but the most important method is the peer-reviewed manuscript. Lately, publishing in academic journals has become more competitive and time consuming, but fraudulent work and errors still occur in many journals. We propose an alternative publishing model that fits within our current model and could improve access to readers and support more efficient review. The goal of thoughts on publishing survey (TOPS) is to measure satisfaction levels of the current publishing model, propose an alternative publishing model, obtain feedback on the new model, and learn more about quality scientific articles and peer review. With this feedback, we highlight some areas that may improve publishing, for the reader, writer, and reviewer. We also assess the acceptance of an alternative model and identify ways that it could be implemented. Whatever scientific publishing may look like in the future, consumers and producers of these works should keep the goal in mind: “How can we make the peer-reviewed manuscript fit our workload and budget, and improve its value and reach to foster scientific advancement?”

 

Comparing quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles in the biomedical literature | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Preprint usage is growing rapidly in the life sciences; however, questions remain on the relative quality of preprints when compared to published articles. An objective dimension of quality that is readily measurable is completeness of reporting, as transparency can improve the reader’s ability to independently interpret data and reproduce findings. In this observational study, we compared random samples of articles published in bioRxiv and in PubMed-indexed journals in 2016 using a quality of reporting questionnaire. We found that peer-reviewed articles had, on average, higher quality of reporting than preprints, although this difference was small. We found larger differences favoring PubMed in subjective ratings of how clearly titles and abstracts presented the main findings and how easy it was to locate relevant reporting information. Interestingly, an exploratory analysis showed that preprints with figures and legends embedded within text had reporting scores similar to PubMed articles. These differences cannot be directly attributed to peer review or editorial processes, as manuscripts might already differ before submission due to greater uptake of preprints by particular research communities. Nevertheless, our results show that quality of reporting in preprints in the life sciences is within a similar range as that of peer-reviewed articles, albeit slightly lower on average, supporting the idea that preprints should be considered valid scientific contributions. An ongoing second phase of the project is comparing preprints to their own published versions in order to more directly assess the effects of peer review.