Practical Advice for South Korean Medical Researchers Regarding Open-Access and Predatory Journals

Abstract: In recent decades, the volume of scholarly literature worldwide has increased significantly, and open-access publishing has become commonplace. These changes are even more dominant in South Korea. Comparing the periods of 1981-2000 and 2001-2020, the number of medical articles produced in Korea increased by 16.8 times on the Web of Science platform (13,223 to 222,771 papers). Before 1990, almost no open-access articles were produced in South Korea, but in the last 10 years open-access publications came to account for almost 40% of all South Korean publications on Web of Science. Along with the expansion of literature and the development of open-access publishing, predatory journals that seek profit without conducting quality assurance have appeared and undermined the academic corpus. In this rapidly changing environment, medical researchers have begun contemplating publication standards. In this article, recent trends in academic publishing are examined from international and South Korean perspectives, and the significance of open-access publishing and recent changes are discussed. Practical methods that can be used to select legitimate publishers, including open-access journals, and identify predatory journals are also discussed.

Trends for open access to publications | European Commission

“On this page you will find indicators on how the policies of journals and funding agencies favour open access, and the percentage of publications (gold, green, hybrid and bronze) actually available through open access.

The indicators cover bibliometric data on publications, as well as data on funders’ and journals’ policies. Indicators and case studies will be updated over time.

You can download the chart and its data through the dedicated menu within each chart (top right of the image). …”

Webinar Video: Citizen Science At Universities: Trends, Guidelines and Recommendations – LIBER

“A number of European recommendations – including the LERU’s advice paper “Citizen Science at Universities: Trends, Guidelines and Recommendations” – highlight the importance of creating a single point of contact for citizen science within the institution.”

Trends of Publications’ Citations and Altmetrics Based on Open Access Types | Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in 2020

This paper analyzes trends of citation and altmetrics with respect to different OA types (e.g., gold, hybrid, green). The analysis based on Unpaywall, Altmetric, and COCI shows that articles with a green license obtain more citations than other OA types. Regarding patents, hybrid, green, and bronze articles get more mentions compared to closed and gold articles. In terms of social media (e.g., Twitter and Facebook), bronze articles receive the most mentions.

Trends of Publications’ Citations and Altmetrics Based on Open Access Types | Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in 2020

This paper analyzes trends of citation and altmetrics with respect to different OA types (e.g., gold, hybrid, green). The analysis based on Unpaywall, Altmetric, and COCI shows that articles with a green license obtain more citations than other OA types. Regarding patents, hybrid, green, and bronze articles get more mentions compared to closed and gold articles. In terms of social media (e.g., Twitter and Facebook), bronze articles receive the most mentions.

Open Content Survey Report

“Cultural heritage organizations have long struggled to ensure their users cost-effective, widespread information access. This situation presents challenges and opportunities, both of which have evolved over time. The open content movement has expanded that challenge to supporting and advocating for content free of barriers and paywalls. Open content touches many areas of librarianship, but it is often difficult to understand how libraries approach this movement through internal activities and external financial support.

The LYRASIS open content survey was conducted in early 2020 as a mechanism to better understand how (primarily academic) libraries within the United States participate in the open content movement. The survey specifically focused on participation in activities/financial support for open access (OA) scholarship, open data, and open educational resources (OERs).

The core output of this survey is the 2020 LYRASIS Open Content Survey Report. The report is able to identify trends across a wide range of libraries, including: 

 

Across academic libraries, institutional repositories for OA scholarship are widely adopted regardless of institution size. However, libraries have limited sway over faculty participation in their IRs.
 
The majority of American institutions do not financially support independent OA initiatives – the institutions that do financially support OA contribute to a variety of pricing models, with no one dominant trend.
 
Open data adoption and hosting is lower than other areas of open content; academic and public libraries are beginning to host different forms of data, but most are still more likely to advocate for data curation than performing the work itself.
 
The majority of academic libraries do not host or provide access to OERs in their repositories. Rather, they choose to support local or state level initiatives that organize and disseminate OERs….”

Open Access, Open Science, and Coronavirus: Mega trends with historical proportions – Jamali – 2020 – Business Ethics: A European Review – Wiley Online Library

“There have been an impressive number of immediate natural science initiatives in response to COVID?19. For example, COVID?19?related Open Access data repositories have been created (Xu et al., 2020), modeling those established for research into the human genome (Yozwiak, Schaffner, & Sabeti, 2015); real?time data visualization tools are provided by various actors (e.g., John Hopkins University, 2020; Roser, Ritchie, & Ortiz?Ospina, 2020; WHO, 2020); and Nature has established an “Open Peer Review platform” (Johansson & Saderi, 2020). Closer to (our disciplinary) home, noteworthy initiatives include the “COVID?19 Insights” series operated by a number of business sustainability networks (e.g., GRONEN, 2020) or the Academy of Management Learning & Education COVID?19 “Call for Questions” proposal (AMLE, 2020).

All of these initiatives have in common that they aim to make research more inclusive and more immediately available, and thus blend into more general developments that have been labeled as Open Access and Open Science. While Open Access refers to the free availability of research outputs, typically in digital format, Open Science goes beyond that in calling for public accessibility of research data and more generally a collaborative research process (OECD, 2015). Ultimately, Open Access and Open Science are complementary ways of confronting the contemporary for?profit publishing model as we know it (Hiltzik, 2020)….

Open Science can help accelerating the pace of knowledge generation based on the fact that datasets are publicly and readily available for fellow researchers. There is also a quality dimension to Open Science, as a more transparent handling of datasets pushes professionalism and seeks to ensure the implementation of scientific norms that are otherwise difficult to check in the social sciences….”

Equitable access to research in a changing world: Research4Life Landscape and Situation Analysis · The Knowledge Futures Commonplace

“This Research4Life Landscape and Situation Analysis, therefore, provides extremely pertinent and valuable insights into the shifting dynamics and external influences at play, from Global Megatrends down to Trends in Scholarly Communication, which will serve as an invaluable scene-setting contextualisation for the whole Research4Life Reviews project.  Given the extremely interesting and useful reflections provided here, the Research4Life Executive Council is happy to share its insights and conclusions with other stakeholders in the wider research communication ecosystem and indeed the broader world.” 

2020 top trends in academic libraries: A review of the trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education | Research Planning and Review Committee | College & Research Libraries News

“Open access: Transitions and transformations

The past few years have brought major developments in the OA landscape—from major big deal cancellations to new agreements between libraries and publishers. Following the University of California system’s Elsevier cancellation in early 2019,16 the University of North Carolina announced in late 2019 that their license renewal negotiations with Elsevier will continue into 2020.17 Resources for institutions considering this route include SPARC’s “Big Deal Knowledge Base and Big Deal Cancellation Tracking,”18 University of California’s “Negotiating with Scholarly Journal Publishers Toolkit,”19 “Guidelines for Evaluating Transformative Open Access Agreements,”20 and “Guide to Transitioning Journals to Open Access Publishing.”21

Many new transformative agreements were announced between publishers and libraries or library consortia over the past year.22 A transformative agreement can be defined as a contract seeking “to shift the contracted payment from a library or group of libraries to a publisher away from subscription-based reading and towards open access publishing.”23 There are various flavors, including offsetting agreements, read-and-publish agreements, and publish-and-read agreements. Since 2018, many read-and-publish agreements have been signed between publishers and institutions.

After hundreds of responses from publishers, academic libraries, and researchers, cOALition S made some changes to its Plan S, which “aims for full and immediate Open Access to peer-reviewed scholarly publications from research funded by public and private grants.”24 Noteworthy differences: plan implementation is delayed to 2021, no cap on the cost of OA publication, tweaked rules around hybrid titles and transformative agreements, ignore the prestige of journals when making funding decisions, and more restrictive open licenses will be allowed when approved by the funder.25

Further transitions are happening at the society publishing level. The group Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (TSPOA) formed at the October 2018 Choosing Pathways to OA Working forum. They “aim to provide relevant resources/experience working in collaboration with society publishing partners to help them develop an open access publishing model that is appropriate, effective and sustainable.”26 …”

David Worlock | Developing digital strategies for the information marketplace | Supporting the migration of information providers and content players into the networked services world of the future.

“MicroPublishing in this context means the publication of short , single experiment, peer reviewed OA articles , with DOIs and metadata to make them citable and discoverable. Typically this might be supplementary or ancillary material that might have been once grouped into a major research program report , delaying it and making it too dense or bulky . Or it might be work on reagents that has genuine scientific interest but, as an incidental finding , only clutters the main report . And MicroPublishing might be a first chance for a post grad or even a student doing lab support work to get their name onto a collaborative publication for the first time . And in all of this work of adding small pieces to the jigsaw and making sure they did not get lost or overlooked – curation is clearly at the heart of these efforts – I heard  nothing described in terms of workflows or process  that would not have been identical in a commercial environment . And that is important . There is a great deal of bogus hype around “ publishing expertise” . If you are clever enough to be a Professor of Genomics , then mastering publishing does not seem to be a huge intellectual challenge .And the digitally networked world has democratised all processes like publishing . We can all be publishers now – and we all are! …

And we should be attentive not just because of the competitive element . I have a 30 year record of saying that the competitor to the information provider in a digital network is the user doing it for himself , and I am not altering that view now . But we really need to pay attention because this is where and how innovation takes place . This is where and how needs are discovered . If granularity , discoverability and speed to market are the critical issues here., then those are the issues that we must attend to , instead of packing articles with greater amounts of supplemental material , holding articles in peer review until they are “complete”  or using citations to game journal impact factors . Above all , we have to remember that scholarly communication  is communication by and for scholars . They will , and are , re-inventing it all the time . Rather than propagandising the virtues of “ traditional publishing “ commercial publishers should be forming relationships  that help change take place cost-effectively and at scale .”