“A growing number of scientists are reporting their methods and data online and in real time, rather than only publishing their most exciting results behind a paywall in some academic journal. It’s called open science, but is nowhere near being the accepted way to carry out scientific research. This has to change. Now. Maintaining public trust in science depends on it….”
“‘Predatory’ Open Access Journals as Parody: Exposing the Limitations of ‘Legitimate’ Academic Publishing Kirsten Bell Abstract The concept of the ‘predatory’ publisher has today become a standard way of characterizing a new breed of open access journals that seem to be more concerned with making a profit than disseminating academic knowledge. This essay presents an alternative view of such publishers, arguing that if we treat them as parody instead of predator, a far more nuanced reading emerges. Viewed in this light, such journals destabilize the prevailing discourse on what constitutes a ‘legitimate’ journal, and, indeed, the nature of scholarly knowledge production itself. Instead of condemning them outright, their growth should therefore encourage us to ask difficult but necessary questions about the commercial context of knowledge production, prevailing conceptions of quality and value, and the ways in which they privilege scholarship from the ‘centre’ and exclude that from the ‘periphery’….”
“The rapid escalation of Open Access journals is another reflection of the times—quantity outstrips quality. These journals are many and varied in substance and accuracy. The original idea came from a desire to provide immediate availability of new knowledge, particularly that from medical science research findings. Now, however, the proliferation of Open Access is just for rapid publication of manuscripts based on the economic interest of publishers and the desires of authors for a quick avenue for publishing their works. These for-profit journals are popular venues for scholars even though the authors must pay to have their manuscripts published. The lure of the Open Access publication arises, for example, when faculty members are required to produce numerous publications to be granted tenure. The Open Access services provide rapid turnaround and offer authors an opportunity to demonstrate publication productivity. Many Open Access journal editors solicit manuscripts from authors regularly and capitalize on the perceived advantages for seasoned and budding scholars….”
“‘Common wisdom,’ according to the authors of a new piece in Nature, “assumes that the hazard of predatory publishing is restricted mainly to the developing world.” But the authors of the new paper, led by David Moher of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, found that more than half — 57% — of the 2,000 articles published in journals they determined were predatory were from high-income countries. In fact, the U.S. was second only to India in number of articles published in such journals. We asked Moher, who founded Ottawa Hospital’s Centre for Journalology in 2015, a few questions about the new work.”
“Now, a new twist is emerging, and that seems to be that PubMed may be consciously or unwittingly acting as a facilitator of predatory or unscrupulous publishing.
In a paper published in Neuroscience, the authors analyzing the neurology and neuroscience journals included in PubMed found that:
- Twenty-five predatory neurology journals were indexed in PubMed, accounting for 24.7% of all predatory neurology journals.
- Fourteen predatory neuroscience journals were indexed in PubMed, accounting for 16.1% of all predatory neuroscience journals.
- Only one of the 188 predatory neuroscience or neurology journals appeared in the DOAJ index.
- Only 54.6% of the journals deemed predatory in neuroscience actually contained articles.”
“Several studies have shown that Wikipedia is as reliable if not more reliable than more traditional encyclopedias. A 2012 study commissioned by Oxford University and the Wikimedia Foundation, for example, showed that when compared with other encyclopedic entries, Wikipedia articles scored higher overall with respect to accuracy, references and overall judgment when compared with articles from more traditional encyclopedias. Wikipedia articles were also generally seen as being more up-to-date, better-referenced and at least as comprehensive and neutral. This study followed a similar 2005 study from Nature that found Wikipedia articles on science as reliable as their counterparts from Encyclopedia Britannica.”
“With growing calls for transparency and data disclosure, global publications leaders find themselves in a balancing act—ensuring both scientific credibility and commercial viability. To help publications leaders navigate this emerging landscape, research and consulting leader Best Practices, LLC undertook benchmarking research to investigate how top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies shape their global scientific publication strategies to maintain credibility in the scientific community and deliver publications that drive brand success.
The study found that open access platforms are gaining popularity for publication processes; 44% of companies in the study believe such platforms will impact publication strategy going forward. Part of the allure for open access platforms is they make information readily available to physicians and patients alike. In the wake of open access platforms, companies foresee an impact on areas such as journal selection, publication approval and delivery, and speed of data disclosure.
In particular, this study provides benchmarks around publications structure and leadership; staffing and budget levels; publication strategy creation and data delivery; publication channel utilization across product lifecycle; and measuring publication effectiveness. In addition, the 85-page study identifies publication strategy changes for the new marketplace, best practices for maximizing the effectiveness of strategic publication planning, top publication challenges and lessons learned for implementing successful scientific publication strategy.”
In 2014 over 400,000 articles were published in about 8000 journals that many regard as predatory. The term “predatory publishers” was first used by Jeffrey Beall of the University of Colorado, who until recently documented this phenomenon on his blog and in an annual list. Although this term, and variants such as “predatory journals”, are widely used, they have been criticised. One problem is that the term predator may cover a spectrum of organizations, business activities and publications ranging from the amateurish but genuine to the deliberately misleading.