Blacklisting or Whitelisting? Deterring Faculty in Developing Countries from Publishing in Substandard Journals

Abstract:  A thriving black-market economy of scam scholarly publishing, typically referred to as ‘predatory publishing,’ threatens the quality of scientific literature globally. The scammers publish research with minimal or no peer review and are motivated by article processing charges and not the advancement of scholarship. Authors involved in this scam are either duped or willingly taking advantage of the low rejection rates and quick publication process. Geographic analysis of the origin of predatory journal articles indicates that they predominantly come from developing countries. Consequently, most universities in developing countries operate blacklists of deceptive journals to deter faculty from submitting to predatory publishers. The present article discusses blacklisting and, conversely, whitelisting of legitimate journals as options of deterrence. Specifically, the article provides a critical evaluation of the two approaches by explaining how they work and comparing their pros and cons to inform a decision about which is the better deterrent.

Plan S feedback | Innovations in Scholarly Communication

We have a few overall recommendations:

  • Improve on the why: make it more clear that Plan S is part of a broader transition towards open science and not only to make papers available and OA cheaper. It is part of changes to make science more efficient, reliable and reusable.
  • Plan S brings great potential, and with that also comes great responsibility for cOAlition S funders. From the start, plan S has been criticized for its perceived focus (in intent and/or expected effects) on APC-based OA publishing. In our reading, both the principles and the implementation guidance recognize for all forms of full OA publishing, including diamond OA and new forms of publishing like overlay journals. However, it will depend to no small extent on the actual recognition and support of non-APC based gold OA models by cOAlitionS funders whether plan S will indeed encourage such bibliodiversity and accompanying equity in publishing opportunities. Examples of initiatives to consider in this regard are OJS journal systems by PKP, Coko open source technology based initiatives, Open Library of HumanitiesScoap3Free Journal Network, and also Scielo and Redalyc in Latin America.
  • The issue of evaluation and assessment is tied closely to the effects Plan S can or will have. It is up to cOAlitionS funders to take actionable steps to turn their commitment to fundamentally revise the incentive and reward system of science in line with DORA into practice, at the same time they are putting the Plan S principles into practice. The two can mutually support each other, as open access journals that also implement other open science criteria such as pre-registration, requirements for FAIR data and selection based on rigorous methodological criteria will facilitate evaluation based on research quality.  
  • Make sure to (also) provide Plan S in the form of one integrated document containing the why, the what and the how on one document. Currently it is too easy to overlook the why. That document should be openly licensed and shared in a reliable archive.
  • In the implementation document include a (graphical) timeline of changes and deadlines….”

Plan S feedback | Innovations in Scholarly Communication

We have a few overall recommendations:

  • Improve on the why: make it more clear that Plan S is part of a broader transition towards open science and not only to make papers available and OA cheaper. It is part of changes to make science more efficient, reliable and reusable.
  • Plan S brings great potential, and with that also comes great responsibility for cOAlition S funders. From the start, plan S has been criticized for its perceived focus (in intent and/or expected effects) on APC-based OA publishing. In our reading, both the principles and the implementation guidance recognize for all forms of full OA publishing, including diamond OA and new forms of publishing like overlay journals. However, it will depend to no small extent on the actual recognition and support of non-APC based gold OA models by cOAlitionS funders whether plan S will indeed encourage such bibliodiversity and accompanying equity in publishing opportunities. Examples of initiatives to consider in this regard are OJS journal systems by PKP, Coko open source technology based initiatives, Open Library of HumanitiesScoap3Free Journal Network, and also Scielo and Redalyc in Latin America.
  • The issue of evaluation and assessment is tied closely to the effects Plan S can or will have. It is up to cOAlitionS funders to take actionable steps to turn their commitment to fundamentally revise the incentive and reward system of science in line with DORA into practice, at the same time they are putting the Plan S principles into practice. The two can mutually support each other, as open access journals that also implement other open science criteria such as pre-registration, requirements for FAIR data and selection based on rigorous methodological criteria will facilitate evaluation based on research quality.  
  • Make sure to (also) provide Plan S in the form of one integrated document containing the why, the what and the how on one document. Currently it is too easy to overlook the why. That document should be openly licensed and shared in a reliable archive.
  • In the implementation document include a (graphical) timeline of changes and deadlines….”

Dutch universities give open access another boost

The Dutch universities will give open access an extra boost from 2019 by starting a pilot titled ‘You share, we take care’ to make publications available after six months in collaboration with researchers. 

In order to achieve the Dutch ambition of 100% open access in 2020, we have made agreements with many publishers regarding open-access publishing. Currently, this is not yet possible for all types of publications or journals. That is why, starting 31 January, authors will be facilitated in making their academic works available to the general public online six months after publication through university repositories….

The Dutch Copyright Act allows for this due to Section 25fa, also known as the Taverne amendment. This amendment has been translated into a number of concrete principles and will now be implemented as a pilot by the VSNU. Pursuant to the amendment, there are a few conditions that authors must meet in order to participate in the pilot. The academic research on which the work is based must have been funded wholly or partly with Dutch public funds, and the author or co-author must have an employment contract with a Dutch institution. Furthermore, the work must not exceed a certain length. During the pilot, authors who wish to share their work online will receive additional support where necessary. …”

Open Science challenges, benefits and tips in early career and beyond

Abstract:  The movement towards open science is an unavoidable consequence of seemingly pervasive failures to replicate previous research. This transition comes with great benefits but also significant challenges that are likely to afflict those who carry out the research, usually Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Here, we describe key benefits including reputational gains, increased chances of publication and a broader increase in the reliability of research. These are balanced by challenges that we have encountered, and which involve increased costs in terms of flexibility, time and issues with the current incentive structure, all of which seem to affect ECRs acutely. Although there are major obstacles to the early adoption of open science, overall open science practices should benefit both the ECR and improve the quality and plausibility of research. We review three benefits, three challenges and provide suggestions from the perspective of ECRs for moving towards open science practices.

Plan S: An American Librarian in the Netherlands – Micah Vandegrift – Medium

“The simple point that I plan to return with is this?—?alignment is the new hustle. When Plans, Programmes, and Policies align with Sustainability, Stability, and Standardization then we’ll be riding a wave into the setting sun, whistling while we work on locavore open knowledge (to fully integrate all my ridiculous metaphors.)”

Payouts push professors towards predatory journals

If South Africa truly wants to encourage good research, it must stop paying academics by the paper…

Why are South Africans relying so much on journals that do little or nothing to ensure quality? In an effort to boost academic productivity, the country’s education department launched a subsidy scheme in 2005. It now awards roughly US$7,000 for each research paper published in an accredited journal. Depending on the institution, up to half of this amount is paid directly to faculty members. At least one South African got roughly $40,000 for research papers published in 2016 — about 60% of a full professor’s annual salary. There is no guarantee (or expectation) that a researcher will use this money for research purposes. Most simply see it as a financial reward over and above their salaries….

In my experience, publication subsidies promote several other counterproductive practices. Some researchers salami-slice their research to spread it across more papers. Others target low-quality journals that are deemed less demanding….”

 

10 ans d’Open Access à l’Université de Liège – YouTube

From Google’s English: “Il y a 10 ans naissait ORBi (Open Repository and Bibliography), un répertoire institutionnel qui vise à collecter, préserver et diffuser la production scientifique des membres de l’Université de Liège. “

A manifesto for reproducible science | Wonkhe | Analysis

What can we do? A group of UK researchers recently published a Manifesto for Reproducible Sciencewhere we argue for the adoption of a range of measures to optimize key elements of the scientific process: methods, reporting and dissemination, reproducibility, evaluation and incentives. Crucially, most of the measures we propose require the engagement of funders, journals and institutions. However, while many funders and journals have begun to engage seriously with these issues – increasing the use of reporting checklists, and allowing the inclusion of methodology annexes on grants, for example – most institutions have been slow to do anything. And institutions control the strongest incentives – hiring and promotion.

We identified two broad areas where institutions could foster higher quality research – methods (e.g., by providing improved methodological training, and promoting collaboration and team science), and incentives (e.g., by rewarding open science and reproducible research practice). …”

Congratulations on the Promotion. But Did Science Get a Demotion? – The New York Times

“Moves toward open science, and for a change in the academic environment that currently incentivizes secrecy and the hoarding of data, are perhaps our best chance to improve research reproducibility Recent studies have found that an alarmingly high share of experiments that have been rerun have not produced results in line with the original research….”