“A recent investigation led by an international group of journalists raised concerns over the scale of the problem of deceptive publishing practices, with many researchers of standing and reputation found to have published in “predatory” journals. However, while the findings of this investigation garnered significant media attention, the robustness of the study itself was not subject to the same scrutiny. To Tom Olijhoek and Jon Tennant, the profile afforded to investigations of this type causes some to overstate the problem of predatory publishing, while often discrediting open access publishing at the same time. The real problem here is one of education around questionable journals, and should not distract from more urgent questions around the shifting scholarly ecosystem….”
“Following a Peer Review session at the AAAS meeting this week, I am going to record my thoughts for posterity, proselytizing shamelessly about my vision for the future of peer review.
So… let me begin with the catchy name. The system I propose is entirely reliant on the Internet, and everyone knows that the first requirement for success of any new Internet entity is a catchy name. I trust (especially in context) that the intended connotations are obvious: Peer needs no explanation; the O’ prefix stands variously for of or by peers and for a shortening of Open, which you will see is a key feature. That being said, if you want to call it something else, go for it! This is only a suggestion….
What we really need is a (multiparameter) “credibility profile” for each reviewer of any paper. If every would-be referee were thus rated, it might be feasible to Open up peer review without erasing its effectiveness….”
“If you discount the increasing number of spam invitations clogging up your email in-box, predatory journals are mainly a minor nuisance for us academics, the biggest problem being when you are doing a literature search and have to sift out the crap. In the long-term, work published in the predatory journals will mostly go unrecognised and uncited by the relevant academic communities. The problem arises when a non-expert member of the public or worse still, a journalist comes across what looks like a legitimate paper when searching the internet and takes what they read as gospel. After all, it has been published in a journal, it must be right….”
“The last decade has seen a worrying increase in the number of unethical research publications, as well as an exponential rise in so-called ‘predatory’ journals and publishers. High levels of trust are vital to ensuring that the publication and sharing of research results helps to advance research, the global pool of knowledge and the careers of researchers and investigators. Publication practices vary across both academic disciplines and countries, but there are common ethical standards and behaviours that ensure that articles that are published in trustworthy peer-reviewed journals are of the highest standards.”
The US Federal Trade Commission has filed a motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit against OMICS.
“In order to persuade consumers to submit articles to their journals for publication, Defendants make numerous misrepresentations regarding the nature and reputation of their journals. Defendants also fail to disclose the significant fees associated with their publishing services. Finally, Defendants make additional misrepresentations in connection with the marketing of their scientific conferences….On September 29, 2017, on motion by the FTC, the Court entered a preliminary injunction against Defendants…temporarily enjoining their deceptive practices. The FTC hereby moves the Court, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and Local Rule 56-1, for summary judgment against Defendants. As discussed below, summary judgment is appropriate in this case because the FTC has presented overwhelming and uncontroverted evidence that Defendants violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act…and because there are no genuine issues of material fact requiring a trial….”
“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.”
“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”.”
“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….”