Perspectives From Authors and Editors in the Biomedical Disciplines on Predatory Journals: Survey Study | Journal of Medical Internet Research

Abstract:  Background: Predatory journals fail to fulfill the tenets of biomedical publication: peer review, circulation, and access in perpetuity. Despite increasing attention in the lay and scientific press, no studies have directly assessed the perceptions of the authors or editors involved.

Objective: Our objective was to understand the motivation of authors in sending their work to potentially predatory journals. Moreover, we aimed to understand the perspective of journal editors at journals cited as potentially predatory.

Methods: Potential online predatory journals were randomly selected among 350 publishers and their 2204 biomedical journals. Author and editor email information was valid for 2227 total potential participants. A survey for authors and editors was created in an iterative fashion and distributed. Surveys assessed attitudes and knowledge about predatory publishing. Narrative comments were invited.

Results: A total of 249 complete survey responses were analyzed. A total of 40% of editors (17/43) surveyed were not aware that they were listed as an editor for the particular journal in question. A total of 21.8% of authors (45/206) confirmed a lack of peer review. Whereas 77% (33/43) of all surveyed editors were at least somewhat familiar with predatory journals, only 33.0% of authors (68/206) were somewhat familiar with them (P<.001). Only 26.2% of authors (54/206) were aware of Beall’s list of predatory journals versus 49% (21/43) of editors (P<.001). A total of 30.1% of authors (62/206) believed their publication was published in a predatory journal. After defining predatory publishing, 87.9% of authors (181/206) surveyed would not publish in the same journal in the future.

Conclusions: Authors publishing in suspected predatory journals are alarmingly uninformed in terms of predatory journal quality and practices. Editors’ increased familiarity with predatory publishing did little to prevent their unwitting listing as editors. Some suspected predatory journals did provide services akin to open access publication. Education, research mentorship, and a realignment of research incentives may decrease the impact of predatory publishing.

Identification of Influencing Factors Regarding the Decision for or Against an Open Access Publication of Scientists of Medical Informatics: Description and First Results of Group Discussions and Interviews

Abstract:  Open Access provides researchers another opportunity of publishing, besides the traditional publication in subscription-based journals. Providing higher dissemination and therefore visibility as well as better accessibility, among others, Open Access helps to fulfil changed needs of authors and readers in our information and communication society of today. Though this publication model provides a lot of advantages both for readers and authors, there are also some obstacles. In order to identify the incentives that can lead scientists of medical informatics to an Open-Access-publication, we conducted a study consisting of group discussions, interviews, and surveys. This tripartite evaluation starts in its first part with group discussions and interviews. First results of them show that, among others, the higher visibility, indexing, Impact Factor and better accessibility are factors for an Open-Access-publication.

A web application to extract key information from journal articles

“Non-expert readers are thus typically unable to understand scientific articles, unless they are curated and made more accessible by third parties who understand the concepts and ideas contained within them. With this in mind, a team of researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center in the University of Texas at Austin (TACC), Oregon State University (OSU) and the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) have set out to develop a tool that can automatically extract important phrases and terminology from research papers in order to provide useful definitions and enhance their readability….”

View of Agricultural Researchers’ Attitudes Toward Open Access and Sharing | Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship

Abstract:  This study involved a thorough examination of attitudes and opinions of agricultural researchers toward open access publishing and data sharing. Utilizing the results of the Ithaka S+R Agriculture Research Support Services project, we reanalyzed our institutional interview transcripts and synthesized information from the project’s publicly available reports. For comparison, we also searched and coded scientific and library literature. Our findings reveal common attitudes related to open access publishing and data sharing and point to potential roles for libraries to help address common impediments, such as lack of trust, time, and money. Overall, this study provides disciplinary context that can inform how librarians approach agricultural researchers about open access publishing and data sharing.

Authors Alliance Partner Program (A2P2) | Authors Alliance

“Authors Alliance assists authors who want to share their creations broadly in order to serve the public good. Since our founding in 2014, we have offered high-quality educational materials that help authors understand and manage their rights. In addition to these resources, we’re pleased to offer the Authors Alliance Partner Program (A2P2), a new subscription option for organizations. 

By joining A2P2, organizations can leverage our expertise in copyright, open access, publication contracts, and getting rights back in order to expand the capacity of library and scholarly communications professionals to serve faculty, researchers, and students. Together, we can help authors manage rights throughout their careers and improve the availability and discoverability of knowledge and culture.

Authors Alliance has a limited number of spots available for a 1-year pilot subscription in our new A2P2 program from August 1, 2019 through July 31, 2020. …”

Scientific Authors in a Changing World of Scholarly Communication: What Does the Future Hold? – The American Journal of Medicine

Abstract:  Scholarly communication in science, technology and medicine has been organized around journal-based scientific publishing for the past 350?years. Scientific publishing has unique business models and includes stakeholders with conflicting interests – publishers, funders, libraries, and scholars who create, curate, and consume the literature. Massive growth and change in scholarly communication, coinciding with digitalization, have amplified stresses inherent in traditional scientific publishing as evidenced by overwhelmed editors and reviewers, increased retraction rates, emergence of pseudo-journals, strained library budgets, and debates about the metrics of academic recognition for scholarly achievements. Simultaneously, several open access models are gaining traction and online technologies offer opportunities to augment traditional tasks of scientific publishing, develop integrated discovery services, and establish global and equitable scholarly communication through crowdsourcing, software development, big data management and machine learning. These rapidly evolving developments raise financial, legal and ethical dilemmas that require solutions while successful strategies are difficult to predict. Key challenges and trends are reviewed from the authors’ perspective about how to engage the scholarly community in this multifaceted process.

2019:Libraries/Reaching Authors of Academic Journals about Open Access – Wikimania

“More and more methods are emerging by which individuals and small teams can reach authors of important scholarly articles to encourage them to provide Open Access to their work.

This ideation session will report on some best practices, such as:

the project done in 2017 by Italian Wikipedians to reach out to 96K senior scholars of works cited in English Wikipedia that could have been shared but had not yet been.
the “Open Letter(s) on Open Access” [#OALetters] in which a small team crafted open letters to authors of important works which were not yet shared. This project revealed how capabilities of the Open Access Button could be deployed by small teams to systematically message authors at scale.
new features of the Open Access Button [#OAButton] have come out recently (and there are likely to be more by mid-Sept) which may add to the portfolio of tools/techniques available to this purpose.
an example of a scholarly article where the author went all out to have her cited sources open. It dramatically improves readability (which clearly improves impact)….”

Why we publish where we do: Faculty publishing values and their relationship to review, promotion and tenure expectations | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Using an online survey of academics at 55 randomly selected institutions across the US and Canada, we explore priorities for publishing decisions and their perceived importance within review, promotion, and tenure (RPT). We find that respondents most value journal readership, while they believe their peers most value prestige and related metrics such as impact factor when submitting their work for publication. Respondents indicated that total number of publications, number of publications per year, and journal name recognition were the most valued factors in RPT. Older and tenured respondents (most likely to serve on RPT committees) were less likely to value journal prestige and metrics for publishing, while untenured respondents were more likely to value these factors. These results suggest disconnects between what academics value versus what they think their peers value, and between the importance of journal prestige and metrics for tenured versus untenured faculty in publishing and RPT perceptions.

A cohort study of how faculty in LIS schools perceive and engage with open-access publishing – Wilhelm Peekhaus,

Abstract:  This article presents results from a survey of faculty in North American Library and Information Studies (LIS) schools about their attitudes towards and experience with open-access publishing. As a follow-up to a similar survey conducted in 2013, the article also outlines the differences in beliefs about and engagement with open access that have occurred between 2013 and 2018. Although faculty in LIS schools are proponents of free access to research, journal publication choices remain informed by traditional considerations such as prestige and impact factor. Engagement with open access has increased significantly, while perceptions of open access have remained relatively stable between 2013 and 2018. Nonetheless, those faculty who have published in an open-access journal or are more knowledgeable about open access tend to be more convinced about the quality of open-access publications and less apprehensive about open-access publishing than those who have no publishing experience with open-access journals or who are less knowledgeable about various open-access modalities. Willingness to comply with gold open-access mandates has increased significantly since 2013.

How badly do authors want open access? What priorities do authors really have? Bringing data to the discussion | Dynamic Ecology

“Somewhat contradicting that result is this interesting study by Shaun Yon-Seng Khoo (https://www.liberquarterly.eu/article/10.18352/lq.10280/). It shows a couple of things. First journals that flip and go from free to publish to OA pay to publish have not seen a decline in the number of submissions. This suggests that at the moment plenty of authors are happy with the pay-to-publish OA APC model (although this doesn’t contradict the previous survey that shows that free to publish is even more popular; about 7-11% are Gold or Hybrid OA and another 13-16% ambiguous Bronze OA according to Piwowar et al 2018, which means at 20-25% of papers published by a pay-to-publish model OA this is less than the 35% who said free to read is a high priority). But this article also has some scary results. The cost to publish OA (i.e article publishing charges or APC) is showing hyperinflation, increasing at 3x the rate of inflation. And indeed higher APC charges led to HIGHER submission rates. It is clear that OA is going to be subject to the same dysfunctional prestige or premium goods market rules that earlier models have been subject to as well. If all journals are gold OA, this is only going to result in the rich having easier access to prestigious journals. Notions of all OA APC being $500 or less appears not to reckon with how much authors with grants are willing to pay for prestige/visibility (and also appears not to reckon with the actual costs of publishing journal articles at their current quality levels, but that is a post for a future day)….”