A perspective on problems and prospects for academic publishing in Geography – Meadows – 2016 – Geo: Geography and Environment – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This commentary highlights problems of inequity in academic publishing in geography that arise from the increasing use of metrics as a measure of research quality. In so doing, we examine patterns in the ranking of geographical journals in the major global databases (e.g. Web of Science, Scopus) and compare these with a more inclusive database developed by the International Geographical Union. The shortcomings of ranking systems are examined and are shown to include, inter alia, linguistic bias, the lack of representation of books and chapters in books, the geographical unevenness of accredited journals, problems of multi-authorship, the mismatch between ranking and social usefulness and alternative or critical thinking, as well as differences between physical and human geography. The hegemony of the global commercial publishing houses emerges as problematic for geography in particular. It is argued that the global community of geographers should continue to challenge the use of bibliometrics as a means of assessing research quality.

[Includes a section, “Is open access an adequate response?”]

Cites & Insights: The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014

“This issue consists of an excerpted version of The Gold OA Landscape 2011- 2014, published September 10, 2015 as a PDF ebook for $55.00 and on September 11, 2015 as a paperback book for $60.00. Both are currently available at Lulu.com (use the links, repeated here: http://www.lulu.com/content/ebook/the-gold-oa-landscape-2011-2014/17262336 for the ebook, http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/the-gold-oa-landscape-2011- 2014/17264390 for the paperback book. Both editions have ISBNs: 978-1- 329-54713-1 for the PDF, 978-1-329-54762-9 for the paperback. The paperback should eventually be available through Amazon, Ingram or Barnes & Noble, but I don’t know when that will happen. This book represents the first overview of essentially all of serious gold OA—that is, what’s published by the journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. I believe it’s important for all OA publishers and for many libraries and OA advocates. If it does well, or if there’s some form of alternative funding, I’ll continue tracking the field in the future … How many open access (OA) articles are published each year? How many open access (OA) journals publish how many OA articles? What proportion of those journals and articles involve fees (usually called Article Processing Charges or APCs)? Those seemingly-simple questions don’t have simple answers. The first one may not have an answer at all. This report provides a reasonably complete set of answers to the second and third questions and provides a detailed picture of the Gold OA landscape—that is, journals that make all refereed articles immediately available for anybody to read and download from the Internet, at no cost and with no barriers. This report is based on an exhaustive study of Gold OA journals as represented by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) as of June 8, 2015, excluding journals that began publishing in 2015 (and two accidental duplications in DOAJ) …”

ResearchGate: Disseminating, Communicating and Measuring Scholarship?

Abstract:  ResearchGate is a social network site for academics to create their own profiles, list their 

publications and interact with each other. Like Academia.edu, it provides a new way for 
scholars to disseminate their publications and hence potentially changes the dynamics of 
informal scholarly communication. This article assesses whether ResearchGate usage and 
publication data broadly reflect existing academic hierarchies and whether individual 
countries are set to benefit or lose out from the site. The results show that rankings based 
on ResearchGate statistics correlate moderately well with other rankings of academic 
institutions, suggesting that ResearchGate use broadly reflects traditional academic 
capital. Moreover, while Brazil, India and some other countries seem to be 
disproportionately taking advantage of ResearchGate, academics in China, South Korea 
and Russia may be missing opportunities to use ResearchGate to maximise the academic 
impact of their publications.