The post-journal academic publishing landscape – ArcheoThoughts

“As I have argued before, the post-journal academic world is here. We no longer have to build it. The post-journal era of academic publishing does not involve a radical change in the way we do our work, and it doesn’t involve a rejection of academic principles. On the contrary, it is an affirmation of those principles. It allows us to do more of what we have done in the past, and it allows us to do it better and more openly. Without journals, we can get more eyes on our scholarship to evaluate it and to drive our work and the work of others forward, and we can get our results and our thoughts out faster to those who need them.

The post-journal world is a natural evolution of the journal world, which itself was an evolution of the salon-science world. Each transition has allowed an increase in the number of participants in the scholarly process, an acceleration of our work, and an increase in the number of people who have access to its benefits. Journals reach more people than can fit in a salon, and blogs reach more people than can subscribe to journals. More, more useful, and timelier critique can come from a blog post than from a journal article or from a salon presentation….

The post-journal academic publishing landscape allows more diverse types of publication. The expense and the competition now involved in securing a slot in a respected peer-reviewed journal all but precludes several classes of publications that would otherwise be very important:

It is now next to impossible to publish a small interesting, and useful result. It must be part of a larger work which justifies the monopolization of a valuable slot.

Journals are notoriously uninterested in negative results. Yet, these are often very informative, and critically, they are often encountered by graduate students working as part of larger teams. Allowing the publishing of negative results overwhelmingly helps grad students who are starting to establish their academic credentials.

Replication studies are dangerously difficult to publish in traditional journals. …”

Publishing speed and acceptance rates of open access megajournals | Online Information Review | Ahead of Print

“Purpose. The purpose of this paper is to look at two particular aspects of open access megajournals, a new type of scholarly journals. Such journals only review for scientific soundness and leave the judgment of scientific impact to the readers. The two leading journals currently each publish more than 20,000 articles per year. The publishing speed of such journals and acceptance rates of such journals are the topics of the study.

Design/methodology/approach. Submission, acceptance and publication dates for a sample of articles in 12 megajournals were manually extracted from the articles. Information about acceptance rates was obtained using web searches of journal home pages, editorials, blogs, etc.

Findings. The time from submission to publication varies a lot, with engineering megajournals publishing much more rapidly. But on average it takes almost half a year to get published, particularly in the high-volume biomedical journals. As some of the journals have grown in publication volume, the average review time has increased by almost two months. Acceptance rates have slightly decreased over the past five years, and are now in the range of 50–55 percent.

Originality/value. This is the first empirical study of how long it takes to get published in megajournals and it highlights a clear increase of around two months in publishing. Currently, the review process in the biomedical megajournals takes as long as in regular more selective journals in the same fields. Possible explanations could be increasing difficulties in finding willing and motivated reviewers and in a higher share of submissions from developing countries….”

Overlay Journals — the ultimate publication model? (#94) · Issues · Publishing Reform / discussion · GitLab

Quick description (see links for more details)

Articles are archived in open repositories.

Authors are free to decide which version to post as preprints.

When article is accepted, the final version is posted and permanently linked from the journal.

The author is free to post new versions or updates, whereas the journal continues to link to the accepted version.

The final version includes copy-editing if there is any.

The overlay model seems to best address the needs of all participants:

Cheaper archiving done via repositories and mirrors, fast and secure content availability.

Single final version posted to open repository, no confusion between free and published versions, easy accurate referencing to parts of the paper.

Easy and cheap way to post an update, typos or error fixes. The journal continues to link to the official refereed version.

None of these seem to be met by traditional journals:

Archiving is fragmented and expensive, work and staff costs are duplicated for individual journals.

Official published version diverges from the one posted to repositories, updating to the last version is hard and discouraged by publishers only providing final PDFs, where the exact changes are not clear. Different pages, structure, section/formula numbering etc. Different look of citations.

Updates require major work and cost, only by means of sending an Erratum. Authors are discouraged from sending too many Errata, since those appear in their publication lists and may cause repetitional damage. Consequently, many errors are not fixed, readers are confused and suffer….”

The Open Letter: Reaction of Researchers to Plan S: too far, too risky. A response of the Fair Open Access Alliance

“We write to provide a counter view to the recent open letter (“Plan S: Too Far, Too Risky”),1 partly based on our FOAA recommendations for the implementation of Plan S.2 We are glad to note that the researchers who have signed the open letter support open access as their very first principle. However, the letter itself goes on to make a number of highly problematic and logically fallacious statements with which we strongly disagree and here contest….

In conclusion, the Letter offers plenty of unargued criticism, but no viable alternative to the currently unsustainable academic publishing landscape. Worse, it fails to grasp the opportunities offered by Plan S to do so.”

Alternative routes to scholarly articles and research outputs

Many scholarly and peer-reviewed articles can be read open access today on the web. A number of free services and archives have developed tools and services helping users to discover research output in an easy and simple way: through installing a browser extension or plug-in; by using academic search engines and archives, or, by contacting the author directly. In the following text, we list a selection of services and ways to find scientific articles. The choice is yours….”

Will Blockchain Revolutionize Scholarly Journal Publishing? – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Since the 1990s, some academic netizens have predicted that open access will upend scholarly journal publishing, yet an oligopoly still dominates the $25-billion industry.

Orvium, a European start-up, recently joined those taking on the giant players. It offers a publishing and business plan based on blockchain — a coding structure that embeds origins and changes within a file. The format will allow for open-access or other licensing models to be determined by each client journal’s editors. The company’s ultimate objective is “to be the leading publication platform for the research community while returning the benefits of science to society.”

Manuel Martin, Orvium’s 38-year-old CEO and cofounder, said in a phone interview from Geneva that the company is in a period of beta testing and should be operational in 2019. A data scientist who has worked with CERN and NASA, Martin, who was born in Spain, said that he and his fellow cofounders, Antonio Romero and Roberto Rabasco, started the company to make journal publishing cheaper, faster, and more transparent….”

Quality control on a high level is the key | Internet Policy Review

“Open access today means making sure that services of high quality publication are well priced and paid for, and still remain realistic when compared to actual budgets of research institutions. In 2018, the main question regarding open access is: how and by whom is it being paid for?….

When we discuss the financial aspect of open access, we usually talk a lot about article processing charges (APCs). But three quarters of all open access journals operate without APCs….

It seems that Internet Policy Review is dependent on the goodwill of research institutions. There is no steady flow of income outside the publishing institutions. One could argue, there is insecurity vis-à-vis the future. But I see an advantage over other journals of the same make: the backbone of the journal is ensured by a paid position, that of the Managing editor. This lends the journal some level of stability….”


OASPA Member Spotlight: The Internet Policy Review – OASPA

“[Q] Why did the Internet Policy Review decide to adopt an open access publishing model for your journal? Can you talk a bit about your understanding of open access that informs your vision for publishing?

[A] How could we not make our content open access? We’re a non-profit journal and we publish in the public interest. This means we need to make all of our research articles, op-eds, news articles, and special issue articles accessible to the public at no cost. It also means we require no APCs (article processing charges). For us, it’s important to make the way we talk about research in the journal as accessible as possible so that we’re not just speaking to ourselves. As Christina Riesenweber pointed out in one of our Q&A articles, it’s not just about making the text itself available to the public; it’s about making sure lots of people can make sense of the content….”

David Wojick’s writings and stuff: Plan S questions begin to cascade

“The extent to which Plan S mandates gold OA is a big issue. Gold OA is not specified but no other feasible form seems to meet the 10 Principles….

“Diamond option confusion. There is a lot of discussion of diamond OA, where the money comes from someplace besides readers or authors. For example, diamond journals funded from society endowment income was discussed here on TSK last year. A big obstacle here is that membership is often based on getting access to the society’s journals. And of course commercial publishers do not have endowments so this version at least is not feasible. It sounds like Plan S does not include funding diamond journals….”

Hybrid vs author-paid OA vs Diamond OA (#96) · Issues · Publishing Reform / discussion · GitLab

This is inspired by the recent post by Peter Suber @peter.suber in relation with Plan S:

Reasons not to pay APCs at hybrid journals

Here are some thoughts on the issues with each model and more comments are welcome….”