Compliance with ethical rules for scientific publishing in biomedical Open Access journals indexed in Journal Citation Reports | proLéka?

Abstract:  This study examined compliance with the criteria of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing defined by COPE, DOAJ, OASPA and WAME in Biomedical Open Access journals indexed in Journal Citation Reports (JCR). 259 Open Access journals were drawn from the JCR database and on the basis of their websites their compliance with 14 criteria for transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing was verified. Journals received penalty points for each unfulfilled criterion when they failed to comply with the criteria defined by COPE, DOAJ, OASPA and WAME. The average number of obtained penalty points was 6, where 149 (57.5%) journals received ? 6 points and 110 (42.5%) journals ? 7 points. Only 4 journals met all criteria and did not receive any penalty points. Most of the journals did not comply with the criteria declaration of Creative Commons license (164 journals), affiliation of editorial board members (116), unambiguity of article processing charges (115), anti-plagiarism policy (113) and the number of editorial board members from developing countries (99). The research shows that JCR cannot be used as a whitelist of journals that comply with the criteria of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing.

Journal transparency rules to help scholars pick where to publish | Times Higher Education (THE)

“New requirements for journals to be more transparent about their editorial processes could help researchers to make more informed decisions about where to submit their work, as the European-led Plan S initiative moves into its next phase.

Freshly revised requirements for the open access mandate – which is now due to come into force in January 2021, a year later than originally planned – outline a series of mandatory conditions that journals and other platforms must adhere to if academics financed by participating funders are to publish in them.

This states that a journal must provide on its website “a detailed description of its editorial policies and decision-making processes”, with a “solid system” in place for peer review that must adhere to guidelines produced by the Committee on Publication Ethics. “In addition, at least basic statistics must be published annually, covering in particular the number of submissions, the number of reviews requested, the number of reviews received, the approval rate, and the average time between submission and publication,” the guidance says. 

David Sweeney, executive chair of Research England and co-chair of the Plan S implementation task force, described greater transparency in journals’ editorial and publishing practices as the logical “next step in the puzzle” of creating a “fairer, more open publishing landscape”. …

Journals will also be required to price the services they provide, such as reviewing and copy-editing, since funders will find themselves supporting the article processing charges associated with many forms of open access publishing….”

Are open access journals peer reviewed? – Quora

As of today, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists 13,229 peer-reviewed open-access (OA) journals.

DOAJ deliberately limits its coverage to the peer-reviewed variety, and evaluates each listed journal individually.

At the same time, some scam or “predatory” OA journals claim to perform peer review but do not. They give OA a bad name, and get wide publicity, creating the false impression that all or most OA journals are scams.

Analogy: Some police are corrupt, and cases of (actual or suspected) police corruption get wide publicity. But that doesn’t mean that all or most police are corrupt….”

Why Beall’s List Died — and What It Left Unresolved About Open Access – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Why, after toiling so hard for five years — and creating a resource cherished by scientists wary of exploitative publishers — did the University of Colorado at Denver’s Jeffrey Beall abruptly give it all up? Who, or what, forced his hand?

There are several prime suspects:

  • His fellow university librarians, whom Mr. Beall faults for overpromoting open-access publishing models.
  • A well-financed Swiss publisher, angry that Mr. Beall had had the temerity to put its journals on his list.
  • His own university, perhaps fatigued by complaints from the publisher, the librarians, or others.
  • The broader academic community — universities, funders of research, publishers, and fellow researchers, many of whom long understood the value of Mr. Beall’s list but did little to help him out.
  • Mr. Beall himself, who failed to recognize that a bit of online shaming wouldn’t stop many scientists from making common cause with journals that just don’t ask too many questions.

In the end, all played important roles in the demise of Beall’s List. On one level, Mr. Beall’s saga is just another tale of warring personalities. On another, though, it points to a broader problem in publishing: Universities still have a long way to go to create systems for researchers to share and collaborate with one another, evaluate one another’s work, and get credit for what really matters in research….”

Ten Hot Topics around Scholarly Publishing

Abstract:  The changing world of scholarly communication and the emerging new wave of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly debated topics. Evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication. This article aims to provide a baseline evidence framework for ten of the most contested topics, in order to help frame and move forward discussions, practices, and policies. We address issues around preprints and scooping, the practice of copyright transfer, the function of peer review, predatory publishers, and the legitimacy of ‘global’ databases. These arguments and data will be a powerful tool against misinformation across wider academic research, policy and practice, and will inform changes within the rapidly evolving scholarly publishing system.

Flaws in Academic Publishing Perpetuate a Form of Neo-Colonialism

Some publications charge up to $3,900 (Rs 2.7 lakh) as APCs, which leaves researchers from lower to middle-income countries such as India much poorer. And if academic publication is skewed in favour of high-income countries, science becomes skewed in favour of them.

Explaining real-world phenomena objectively has always been touted as the “white man’s burden” and has been the backbone of the colonising mission. Often only researchers and academics from certain privileged pockets have the resources to conduct and publish cutting-edge research. After all, they enjoy superior infrastructure and funding opportunities.

This disparity is exacerbated when they have sufficient resources to publish their work, often allowing knowledge to be created by only a certain kind of individual. Further, their blinkers and biases may continue to play a role in what they propose is a universal phenomenon – a form of neo-colonialism. Therefore, making science open access from both the production and the consumption perspectives is essential to make knowledge more democratic….”

Academics Raise Concerns About Predatory Journals on PubMed | The Scientist Magazine®

“PubMed, the National Library of Medicine’s repository of millions of abstracts and citations, has long been one of the most highly regarded sources for searching biomedical literature. For some members of the scientific community, the presence of predatory journals, publications that tend to churn out low-quality content and engage in unethical publishing practices—has been a pressing concern….

In 2017, Manca, Franca Deriu, a professor of physiology at the University of Sassari, and their colleagues conducted two studies that pinpointed more than 200 predatory journals across the disciplines of neuroscience, neurology, and rehabilitation, and discovered that several of those also appeared on PubMed….

According to Manca, content from predatory publishers likely seeps into PubMed via PMC, where he and his colleagues have been able to find papers from several predatory journals….”

Open Access Journals in the Middle East and Iran

Almost 650 journals are currently published in the Middle East ( Almost two-thirds of these journals are published in Iran ( Many research institutions publish their own journals. For some incentives, even a single university publishes several journals. For example, currently Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences publishes 62 journals (; Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 57 ( This large number of journals published by a scientific institution such as a university in a developing country, is because the raison d’être for scientific publishing in developing countries is quite different from that in developed nations….

All, but a few, of these journals are OA. In fact, almost all biomedical journals published in the Middle East (and many other developing countries) have been published and distributed internationally gratis long before the era of the Internet, online publishing, and the OA movement. They have merely published for enjoying the prestige and bringing promotion credit for the institution and the faculty members. After the introduction of OA movement, nonetheless, another incentive has come into play—making money….”

Predatory Journals on Trial: Allegations, Responses, and Lessons for Scholarly Publishing from FTC v. OMICS | Journal of Scholarly Publishing

Abstract:  On 25 August 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued OMICS Group Inc., iMedPub LLC, Conference Series LLC, and Srinubabu Gedela, all affiliated with open access mega-publisher OMICS International, for deception in their solicitation of journal articles and advertising of conferences. The ongoing lawsuit seeks to stop OMICS’s deceptive practices and disgorge US $50.5 million in ill-gotten gains. OMICS has in turn claimed over $2.1 billion for harm caused by the lawsuit to its business and employees. This article describes the main arguments, counter-arguments, and court decisions in the 5920 pages of pleadings, exhibits, and orders that have been filed through 14 October 2018. The article then evaluates the case to formulate key take-aways for publishers, editors, academics, and universities. Depending on its ultimate outcome, the case against OMICS may be a turning point in the practices of questionable open access online publishers, making this interim case assessment pertinent to all concerned about the future of academic publishing.

Revisiting the Term Predatory Open Access Publishing

To conclude, there is need of a well-formulated, uniform terminology for predatory publishing practices. The responsibility collectively lies with journal editors, institutions and organizations. Educators and researchers should avoid publishing in deceptive or parodical (spoofy) journals and help raise the standards of legitimate, low-quality journals. It is time for the scientific community to decide which path to take: towards deception or towards helping low-quality journals.”