Editorial: Can Journals, as Trusted Intermediaries, Cut Through the Signal-to-Noise Problem in Medical Publishing?

“Although open-access publication has its upsides, for purposes of this essay, I am going to lump publishing in open-access journals in with posting to preprint servers as potentially problematic. My reason for doing so is that both make it harder for clinicians to separate helpful research from distracting, unhelpful, and in the case of preprint servers, unvetted material. In previous editorials, I’ve highlighted some redeeming qualities of open-access publication [17, 18]; I also note that open access is a publication option here at CORR®. But from where I sit today, it’s becoming clear to me that the distortion of publication incentives that are inherent to fully open-access journals does not serve readers (or their patients) very well….”

eLife announces new approach to publishing in medicine | For the press | eLife

eLife is excited to announce a new approach to peer review and publishing in medicine, including public health and health policy.

One of the most notable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the desire to share important results and discoveries quickly, widely and openly, leading to rapid growth of the preprint server medRxiv. Despite the benefits of rapid, author-driven publication in accelerating research and democratising access to results, the growing number of clinical preprints means that individuals and institutions may act quickly on new information before it is adequately scrutinised.

To address this challenge, eLife is bringing its system of editorial oversight by practicing clinicians and clinician-investigators, and rigorous, consultative peer review to preprints. The journal’s goal is to produce ‘refereed preprints’ on medRxiv that provide readers and potential users with a detailed assessment of the research, comments on its potential impact, and perspectives on its use. By providing this rich and rapid evaluation of new results, eLife hopes peer-reviewed preprints will become a reliable indicator of quality in medical research, rather than journal impact factor.

Open Access: Understanding the Mission, the Models, and the Mindsets

“Over the past 20 years, Open Access publishing has evolved from an aspirational idea into a widely accepted practice in scholarly communications. For those just getting started in publishing and scholarly communications, it can seem like everyone just “knows” what is meant by open access. But how OA is defined and how widely it is adopted differs among institutions, regions, and disciplines. Understanding how open access is funded, how it is operationalized, and to what extent content it is truly “open” can vary widely depending on the stakeholder—librarian, funder, publisher, or researcher. 

Attendees of this introductory workshop will learn about the history and evolution of open access, from the Budapest Open Access Initiative to Plan S, and explore the evolution from the original green and gold OA models to the latest transformative agreements and other business models.

Specifically, the workshop will cover:

Brief history of open access and its position in the broader context of Open Science
Different types of open access and how these definitions are contested
Affordances and limitations of open access
Perspectives of different stakeholders 
Approaches to funding models: transformative agreements, pure publish agreements, memberships, subventions, and micro-payments
Ways that open access may develop in the future…”

Open science in practice: 300 published research ideas and outcomes illustrate how RIO Journal facilitates engagement with the research process

Abstract:  Since Research Ideas and Outcomes was launched in late 2015, it has stimulated experimentation around the publication of and engagement with research processes, especially those with a strong open science component. Here, we zoom in on the first 300 RIO articles that have been published and elucidate how they relate to the different stages and variants of the research cycle, how they help address societal challenges and what forms of engagement have evolved around these resources, most of which have a nature and scope that would prevent them from entering the scholarly record via more traditional journals. Building on these observations, we describe some changes we recently introduced in the policies and peer review process at RIO to further facilitate engagement with the research process, including the establishment of an article collections feature that allows us to bring together research ideas and outcomes from within one research cycle or across multiple ones, irrespective of where they have been published.


LPC welcomes a new member: the University of Oklahoma | Library Publishing Coalition

“University of Oklahoma (OU) Libraries offers journal hosting for faculty-driven, open access publications. Their scholarly publishing services team – Jen Waller, Nicholas Wojcik, Sara Huber, and Catherine Byrd – works with OU-affiliated stakeholders to create new journals or migrate existing journals to their library-hosted OJS platform. OU Libraries provides a suite of services to seven (very soon to be nine) journals and are committed to hosting journals that cover diverse, unique, and underrepresented fields and topics. The team also works on OER publishing and supporting OU’s institutional repository, SHAREOK.”

What’s Wrong with Paying for Peer Review? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“It’s also worth quantifying the additional direct costs — especially in a system that is already considered too expensive by many. In an APC world, the authors of the accepted articles cover the costs of reviewing all those other articles that get rejected. For an Open Access journal with a 25% acceptance rate and an average of 2.2 reviews per article, paying the reviewers for one article’s worth of review comes in an 2.2 * $450 = $990. The journal reviews 1/0.25 = 4 articles to find one that is publishable, and the authors of the publishable article pay the costs for reviewing the other three. So, the modest proposal of a $450 fee for each review balloons to an additional $3960 being added to the Article Processing Charge for an average journal. …”



“GigaByte (ISSN:2709-4715) aims to promote the most rapid exchange of scientific information in a formal peer-reviewed publishing platform. Modern research is data-driven, iterative, and aims to be FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. It is also fast moving, with available data and computational tools changing constantly and swiftly evolving fields continuously being tested, updated and modified by the community. Given that, GigaByte is focused on publishing short, focused, data-driven articles using a publishing platform that will allow nearly immediate online publication on acceptance as well as an ability to update published articles. This drastically reduces writing and reviewing. With that, GigaByte provides scientists a venue to rapidly and easily share and build upon each other’s research outputs.

Currently we publish two types of articles: Data Release highlight and contextualizing exceptional and openly available datasets, while Technical Release articles are present an open-source software tool or an experimental or computational method for the analysis or handling of research data.

GigaByte is an open access and open science journal. As with our sister-journal GigaScience— we publish ALL reusable and shareable research objects, such as data, software tools and workflows, from data-driven research. …”

Transformative Journals – Delta Think

“This month we look at Transformative Journals (TJs). We examine what their measures of compliance mean and how the criteria for growing OA in TJs compares with the typical growth of OA in hybrid journals….

The data suggest that historically, the OA proportion of journals’ output has not grown as fast as TJ requirements require:

Over the last three years, the total number of papers published across all journals currently marked as TJs is growing at roughly half the rate needed for them to continue to enjoy TJ status.
The number of journals meeting TJ requirements of OA growth is small. Only a dozen or so (out of around 2,000) have met TJ targets for each of the last three years. However, around two thirds have met TJ targets for at least one year out of the last 3.

The data also showed that only 20 or so journals (less than 1%) had over 75% OA uptake, while two thirds (68%) had 20% OA uptake or less. Smaller journals show the fastest growth in OA. Most of the larger ones appear to be virtually static….

The data suggest that the OA growth criteria for TJ status are aggressive, but not impossible. The current crop of TJs are on average growing OA proportions at around half the pace needed to be in compliance. (The average growth in OA uptake of hybrid journals from major publishers follows broadly similar patterns.) Many journals have previously met TJ targets for one year or even two, suggesting the challenges lie in adding to existing momentum, rather than building OA uptake from scratch.


However, the biggest caveat is timing. Support for TJs is due to be withdrawn completely in 2024, but two thirds of current TJs have less than 20% OA uptake. So many could meet their TJ targets, but still have only around one third OA uptake in 2024. Publishers would then be faced with a tough choice: flip minority-OA journals to fully OA, risk at least one third of output as zero-embargo Green impacting subscriptions … or fall out of Plan S compliance completely and lose one third of their submissions.”

VACANCY: Managing Director, DOAJ | DOAJ News Service

DOAJ is looking for a new Managing Director, a visionary, who will take DOAJ to the next level on its exciting journey. You will play a key role in ensuring that the service continues to grow and develop. You will be vital in ensuring the longevity of the key activity—the journal review and indexing service—and that its future is secured and can develop in a way that the community needs it to. DOAJ is a small organisation with lots to do so you will also be required to do the day-to-day work. Working with the DOAJ Team, the Advisory Board and the Council, you are the lynchpin moving the organization forward.