How publishing in open access journals threatens science and what we can do about it – Romesburg – 2016 – The Journal of Wildlife Management – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  The last decade has seen an enormous increase in the number of peer-reviewed open access research journals in which authors whose articles are accepted for publication pay a fee to have them made freely available on the Internet. Could this popularity of open access publishing be a bad thing? Is it actually imperiling the future of science? In this commentary, I argue that it is. Drawing upon research literature, I explain why it is almost always best to publish in society journals (i.e., those sponsored by research societies such as Journal of Wildlife Management) and not nearly as good to publish in commercial academic journals, and worst—to the point it should normally be opposed—to publish in open access journals (e.g., PLOS ONE). I compare the operating plans of society journals and open access journals based on 2 features: the quality of peer review they provide and the quality of debate the articles they publish receive. On both features, the quality is generally high for society journals but unacceptably low for open access journals, to such an extent that open access publishing threatens to pollute science with false findings. Moreover, its popularity threatens to attract researchers’ allegiance to it and away from society journals, making it difficult for them to achieve their traditionally high standards of peer reviewing and of furthering debate. I prove that the commonly claimed benefits to science of open access publishing are nonexistent or much overestimated. I challenge the notion that journal impact factors should be a key consideration in selecting journals in which to publish. I suggest ways to strengthen the Journal and keep it strong. © 2016 The Wildlife Society.

Elsevier defends its value after Open Access disputes | The Bookseller

Not even the opening paragraph is OA. [Note that the paywall is from The Bookseller, not Elsevier.]

Update (May 3, 2016): The article is now OA. Excerpt: 

“Elsevier has sought to set aside public criticism of its Open Access (OA) and pricing policies and to restate its value for the academy, emphasising how, as a profit-generating company, it has the means to invest in innovation to serve researchers’ fast-changing needs.

The publisher’s record of success is clear: 2015 results from parent company RELX Group show Elsevier with operating profits of £760m on revenue of £2,070m, with underlying revenue growth of 2% and underlying profit up 3%. The prediction for 2016 is of further profit growth.  But public perceptions of Elsevier have been dogged by accusations of profiteering through excessive charges and reluctance to make its material available through OA, most notably from the online academic protest group The Cost of Knowledge ( which has racked up 16,000 signatories to its Elsevier boycott over five years.

Other widely aired disputes—a year-long deadlock with Dutch universities over institutional subscriptions; the departure of the entire editorial board of journal Lingua in 2015 in a row over OA—have added fuel to the fire for Elsevier’s critics. But director of access and policy Alicia Wise, vice-president of global corporate relations Tom Reller and policy director Gemma Hersh say criticism from a vocal minority is unrepresentative of the publisher’s regular contact with millions of researchers. The trio say that detractors obscure a key fact: that Elsevier is seeking to negotiate the new landscapes of OA and content-sharing in such a way that its economic sustainability, and therefore ability to maintain quality, is not compromised….”


Open access meta-analysis for psychotherapy research

Use the link to access pay-per-view options for the article published in PsycNET. [Abstract] Meta-analysis has played a key role in psychotherapy research for nearly 40 years. There is now an opportunity for technology to assist with transparent and open meta-analyses. The authors describe an open-access database of effect sizes and a corresponding web application for performing meta-analyses, viewing the database, and downloading effect sizes. The initial databases provide effect sizes for family therapy for delinquency studies and for alliance-outcome correlations in individual psychotherapy. Disciplinary norms about data sharing and openness are shifting. Furthermore, meta-analyses of behavioral interventions have been criticized for lacking transparency and openness. The database and web application are aimed at facilitating data sharing and improving the transparency of meta-analyses. The authors conclude with a discussion of future directions for the database. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

As an Open-Access Megajournal Cedes Some Ground, a Movement Gathers Steam – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“The world’s largest scientific journal, the open-access giant PLOS ONE, is feeling some pullback. Last year the free site published 10 percent fewer papers than it did two years ago. Its impact factor — a measure that uses citations to track its influence — has been on a five-year slide.

Rather than signaling a failure of the open-access movement, however, the declines are looking like the byproduct of a broader victory in a hard-fought campaign. More and more, major publishers are creating their own open-access journals, with articles freely available to anyone. And in many other cases they’re offering hybrid models that let authors pay for open access. An increasingly common version of author-paid open access is the “megajournal,” copying the PLOS ONE innovation of publishing a large volume of papers online across various disciplines.

In short, PLOS ONE — now consistently publishing around 30,000 articles a year — has attracted much more company in its mission to build huge stocks of freely available scientific research. “Since PLOS ONE’s tremendous success, everyone and their grandmother has created a megajournal,” said David J. Solomon, an emeritus professor of medicine at Michigan State University who studies open-access economics….

Officials with the library say the end of PLOS ONE’s rapid growth is not indicative of an underlying problem. Instead, it is due largely to the increased competition in open-access publishing and the finite supply of scientist-authors, especially at a time of tighter research budgets, said Elizabeth Marincola, chief executive officer of PLOS….”

Recognition for open science and reproducibility. The +Chronicle of Higher E…

“The +Chronicle of Higher Education just named +Brian Nosek one of the top 10 influencers of 2015. Nosek is the Director of the Center for Open Science. Kudos to him and the COS. Unfortunately the Chronicle articles on the individual influencers are behind paywalls. In case you have a subscription, here’s the link to the piece of Nosek


As Grows, Some Scholars Voice Concerns – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“For, numbers matter. Numbers are how the website promotes itself — more than 29 million registered users have posted more than eight million academic papers to the site, the “about” page boasts — and numbers are how the site makes money. Despite its domain name, is not an educational institution. It is a for-profit company, but it doesn’t charge academics to post or read research. So far, it has been funded by venture capital and job ads, and its success depends on its large user base. But its business model makes some academics uncomfortable. “ and platforms like that are kind of piggybacking off a public university system, but they’re doing nothing to sustain it,” said Gary Hall, a professor of media and performing arts at Coventry University and co-founder of Open Humanities Press. Mr. Hall is part of a small but influential group of doubters. He’s concerned that is profiting from academics’ free labor, and he worries that one company controls access to so much scholarly research….”

Rights & Reproductions: The Handbook for Cultural Institutions

“Rights & Reproductions: The Handbook for Cultural Institutions  is the first comprehensive resource to focus solely on the rights and reproductions guidelines, established standards and emerging best practices at cultural institutions. This publication was co-published in 2015 by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and American Alliance of Museums. With intellectual property laws and rights and reproductions methodologies ever-changing with new technologies, this digital publication, produced using the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI) Toolkit platform, will be a living document that can be updated to remain current with trends and best practices….”

Librarians Leap to the Aid of Researchers Whose Funding Will Soon Depend on Open Access

“As more federal agencies begin requiring grant recipients to make research results freely available to the public, college librarians have taken on a new role: helping researchers comply with open-access rules.

A February 2013 memorandum from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said federal agencies with more than $100 million in research-and-development expenditures would have to require that results be available within a year of publication.

New open-access rules will take effect in October at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, among other agencies. Researchers will risk losing grant support from those sources if they don’t make their findings freely available to the public. Several private funders, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are also shifting to public-access requirements. In response, many college libraries are working with institutional research offices and others to let researchers know what’s expected of them….”