What Page Are You On? Making Online Texts More Reliable for Teachers and Students | UVA Today

“These older novels, often required reading in survey courses on literature, are in the public domain – and that’s why publishers and companies are racing to put them online without having to worry about copyright law. And while free access is a key component, students are not equipped to evaluate what they are getting.”

Europe set to miss flagship open access target | THE News

“The European Union is set to miss its target of having all scientific research freely available by 2020, as progress towards open access hits a “plateau” because of deeper problems in how research is assessed. Sixty to 70 per cent of universities reported that less than a fifth of their researchers’ peer-reviewed publications are freely available, depending on the type of open access, according to a survey of more than 300 members of the European University Association. 

Only one in 10 universities said that more than 40 per cent of their research was published as “gold” open access, where there is no delay making it public. In 2016, EU member states’ science and industry ministers, supported by the European Commission, backed a move to full open access in just four years. This latest survey asks members about papers published in 2013, 2014 and 2015, so may not capture all progress made to date. But it still concludes that to hit the 2020 target “will require greater engagement by all of the relevant stakeholders”.

This chimes with an EU progress report released at the end of February which concludes that “100 per cent full open access in 2020 is realistically not achievable in the majority of European countries participating in this exercise in the foreseeable future”. Lidia Borrell-Damian, the EUA’s director for research and innovation, said that “unfortunately [full open access] is very difficult to achieve” and that “we have reached a plateau in which it’s very difficult to move forward”.

Open access had taken off in some subjects – like physics, where the open access arXiv pre-print platform is widely used – in which “traditional indicators” of journal prestige such as impact factors and other measures of citations were “less relevant”, she explained. But in most disciplines, these measures were still crucial for burnishing researchers’ career prospects, she added, making it difficult for authors to switch to less prestigious, lower impact factor open access journals. “As long as it [research assessment] is based on these proxy indicators, it’s impossible to change the game,” Dr Borrell-Damian said. Search our database of more than 3,000 global university jobs

This is backed up by the survey findings. The biggest barrier to publishing in an open access repository was the “high priority given to publishing in conventional journals”, a hindrance cited by more than eight in 10 universities. “Concerns about the quality of open access publications” were also mentioned by nearly 70 per cent of respondents. In some disciplines, to publish open access, “you have to be a believer or activist” and it comes “at the risk of damaging your own career”, Dr Borrell-Damian said.

Echoing a long-standing concern in science, she argued that “we need a whole new system” of research assessment that does not rely so heavily on citations and impact factors. The EU’s flagship Horizon 2020 funding scheme requires grant recipients to publish their findings openly, but this was a far from universal policy for national funding bodies, she added. A spokesman for the EU Council acknowledged that “more efforts will be needed overall to accelerate progress towards full open access for all scientific publications”.”

Enough is enough. Academics must stand up against this bullshit | The Spinoff

“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 | Bell | tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society

“‘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’….”

Challenges in PublishingNursing Science Quarterly – Rosemarie Rizzo Parse, 2017

“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….”

Predatory journals: Not just a problem in developing world countries, says new Nature paper – Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch

“‘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.”

A Confusion of Journals – What Is PubMed Now? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“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.”

What can fact-checkers learn from Wikipedia? We asked the boss of its nonprofit owner – Poynter

“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.”