Response to: ‘Bibliometric Analysis and Impact of Open-Access Editorials in Spain’ report from ANECA

“On 1 October 2021, ANECA released a public report entitled “Bibliometric analysis and impact of open-access publishers in Spain”, raising controversy in the Spanish academic community. Stakeholders have quickly responded with surprise, criticism and rebuttal. In our own report analysis, we were perplexed by the evident lack of academic rigor and inappropriate methodology.

We were surprised and concerned that ANECA established the principles for the evaluating of researchers in Spain based on a report with a clear bias against open access journals. Similarly, we do not understand why such a report has been prepared by researchers specializing in marketing and tourism, without experience in the field of bibliometrics….

The report follows a perverse logic: whatever is not standard is considered negative, based on a standard defined by the average value of publication volume and rate of self-citations, without considering additional factors that may affect the parameters analyzed. Thus, the analysis is based on a series of non-contrasted or referenced statements that the authors use to manufacture their own paradigms.

The authors assume that a more significant number of articles inevitably implies lower “quality, rigor and degree of contribution and originality” (page 7 of the report). However, they do not provide any evidence or references to support this claim. Such a statement lacks logic and could also be used to discredit the best-known traditional publishers, many of which have published more than open-access publishers. Furthermore, many JCR Q1 subscription journals have also been designated as non-standard behavior due to the number of articles they publish….”

Who we are – ENJOI – Science communication

“ENJOI (ENgagement and JOurnalism Innovation for Outstanding Open Science Communication) will explore and test engagement as a key asset of innovation in science communication distributed via media platforms, with a strong focus on journalism. Through a combination of methodologies and in collaboration with producers, target users and stakeholders of science communication, ENJOI will co-create and select a set of standards, principles and indicators (SPIs) condensed to a Manifesto for an Outstanding Open Science Communication.

ENJOI will deploy a series of actions via Engagement Workshops, Labs, field and participatory research, evaluation and testing phases. It will also build an Observatory as its landmark product to make all results and outputs available to foster capacity building and collaboration of all actors in the field. ENJOI will work in four countries: Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain, taking into account different cultural contexts.

ENJOI’s ultimate goal is that of improving science communication by making it more consistently reliable, truthful, open and engaging. Contextually, ENJOI will contribute to the active development of critical thinking, digital awareness and media literacy of all actors involved in the process….”

Why Open Access: Economics and Business Researchers’ Perspectives

Abstract:  Public research policies have been promoting open-access publication in recent years as an adequate model for the dissemination of scientific knowledge. However, depending on the disciplines, its use is very diverse. This study explores the determinants of open-access publication among academic researchers of economics and business, as well as their assessment of different economic measures focused on publication stimulus. To do so, a survey of Spanish business and economics researchers was conducted. They reported an average of 19% of their publications in open-access journals, hybrids or fully Gold Route open access. Almost 80% of the researchers foresee a future increase in the volume of open-access publications. When determining where to publish their research results, the main criterion for the selection of a scientific journal is the impact factor. Regarding open access, the most valued aspect is the visibility and dissemination it provides. Although the cost of publication is not the most relevant criterion in the choice of a journal, three out of four researchers consider that a reduction in fees and an increase in funding are measures that would boost the open-access model.


Read & Publish agreement with CSIC | The Company of Biologists

“The Company of Biologists is pleased to announce a new Read & Publish agreement with the Spanish National Research Council.

This cost-neutral agreement, which runs until 31 December 2023, enables researchers at more than 100 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) institutes to publish an uncapped number of Open Access research articles in Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology at no cost to them. They will also benefit from free and unlimited access to the journals and their archives dating back to 1853….”


“HERMES aims at providing educational institutions high quality, fast and free access to knowledge by building capacity to implement and share, within and beyond the European educational community, a comprehensive vision and wide spread competencies on resource sharing accompanied by an open source system to support effective access to knowledge for all….”

Springer Nature leads drive for Open Access across Europe with latest Transformative Agreement with Spain | Corporate Affairs Homepage | Springer Nature

“Since 2014, when Springer Nature pioneered its first transformative agreement (TA), the publisher has been leading the way enabling country level flips to open access (OA). Its latest national TA with Spain takes Springer Nature’s number of national TA’s to 14, 13 of which are in Europe. Through its TAs Springer Nature supports researchers from over 2,100 institutions, double that of any other publisher, in publishing OA.

This latest TA for Springer Nature, agreed with the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (Crue Universidades Españolas) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), is a clear example of the publisher’s continued commitment to driving OA and enabling sustainable open science practices globally. 

The agreement will enable the 58 affiliated Universities of Crue & CSIC,  responsible for over 90% of scientific research production in Spain, to publish OA in Springer Nature’s portfolio of over 2,300 titles including the Adis titles. With their work freely and universally available from the point of publication, this agreement will further enable the world’s students, scholars and scientists to read, share, use and reuse Spanish-funded research on a global scale.  Affiliated researchers from Crue & CSIC institutions will also have full access to all Springer and Adis subscription journal content. The agreement is expected to see over 2200 articles a year from researchers in Spain published OA, and will run for four years up to 31 December 2024….”

Wiley and Crue-CSIC Alliance Sign Transitional Agreement to Advance Open Access in Spain

This read and publish agreement, initially for one year, is part of a longer partnership between Wiley and Crue-CSIC. The agreement allows researchers at participating institutions to both access Wiley’s journals and to publish accepted articles open access in Wiley’s hybrid journals, which contain both subscription and open access content. As a result of the agreement, an estimated 70% of articles published by participating institutions in 2021 will be open access, enabling more research from leading Spanish institutions to be read, cited and built upon.

Are mega-journals a publication outlet for lower quality research? A bibliometric analysis of Spanish authors in PLOS ONE | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

Open-access mega-journals (OAMJs), which apply a peer-review policy based solely on scientific soundness, elicit opposing views. Sceptical authors believe that OAMJs are simply an easy target to publish uninteresting papers that would not be accepted in more selective traditional journals. The purpose of this paper is to investigate any differences in scholars’ considerations of OAMJs by analysing the productivity and impact of Spanish authors in Biology and Medicine who publish in PLOS ONE.


Scopus was used to identify the most prolific Spanish authors in Biology and Medicine between 2013 and 2017 and to determine their publication patterns in PLOS ONE. Any differences in terms of citation impact between Spanish authors who publish frequently in PLOS ONE and the global Spanish output in Biology and Medicine were measured.


Results show a moderate correlation between the total number of articles published by prolific authors in Biology and Medicine and the number of articles they publish in PLOS ONE. Authors who publish frequently in PLOS ONE tend to publish more frequently than average in Quartile 1 and Top 10 per cent impact journals and their articles are more frequently cited than average too, suggesting that they do not submit to PLOS ONE for the purpose of gaining easier publication in a high-impact journal.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to one country, one OAMJ and one discipline and does not investigate whether authors select PLOS ONE for what they might regard as their lower quality research.


Very few studies have empirically addressed the implications of the soundness-based peer-review policy applied by OAMJs.

Open knowledge – UOC (Universitat Oberta de Cataluntya

“Through our Open Knowledge Action Plan we aim to make the UOC a hub for open knowledge, one with global reach capable of providing solutions to the global challenges identified in the 2030 Agenda….”


Open University of Catalonia | DORA

“The Open University of Catalonia (UOC) shifted the focus of their assessment criteria and practices for recruitment and career progression away from journal-based outputs to a much broader discussion of achievements. Due to the centralization of career progression for faculty nationally, the new assessment criteria apply to postdoctoral fellows and UOC research staff, not professorial staff. Because the history and academic culture at UOC are rooted in Open Knowledge,1 there were several internal drivers to push career progression and recruitment evaluations to promote open scholarship. After initial advocacy by researchers and staff at UOC, the Research and Innovation Committee, chaired by the Vice President for Research, created a DORA task force, which published the university’s DORA action plan online in 2018….”

DIGITAL.CSIC: monitor del Mandato de Acceso abierto del CSIC – Home

From Google’s English:  “The objective of this website is to periodically analyze the degree of compliance with the CSIC’s institutional open access mandate that came into effect on April 1, 2019. [CSIC = Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.]

This institutional mandate is part of the so-called “green route mandates” since it chooses the DIGITAL.CSIC repository as a channel for opening the research results of its research community.

The mandate affects a wide range of types of research results. On the one hand, the CSIC provides that the bibliographic references (metadata) of all peer-reviewed publications (articles, book chapters, books, conference communications) be made public and permanently in DIGITAL.CSIC from the moment of their publication. editorial acceptance and that their full texts are freely available on DIGITAL.CSIC as soon as publishers allow.

On the other hand, it provides that the bibliographic references (metadata) of the datasets associated with journal articles be made public permanently in DIGITAL.CSIC from the moment of the editorial acceptance of the associated articles and that such datasets are in open access in DIGITAL.CSIC as long as there are no legitimate reasons for confidentiality, intellectual property and / or security.

We inaugurate this website with the publication of the results of a first monitoring carried out by the Technical Office of DIGITAL.CSIC throughout the summer of 2020.

We hope that this website will be a useful and transparent instrument to monitor the degree of compliance with the institutional mandate at the CSIC institute level and as a basis for analytical studies of various kinds….”

Researchers’ attitudes and perceptions towards data sharing and data reuse in the field of food science and technology – Melero – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This work analyses the perception and practice of sharing, reusing, and facilitating access to research data in the field of food science and technology. The study involved the coordination of a focus group discussion and an online survey, to understand and evince the behaviour of researchers regarding data management in that field. Both the discussion group and the survey were performed with researchers from several institutes of the Spanish National Research Council. The lack of a data sharing culture, the fear of being scooped, and confusion between the concepts of the working plan and the data management plan were some of the issues that emerged in the focus group. Respondents’ previous experience with sharing their research data has been mainly in the form of appendices to peer?reviewed publications. From the survey (101 responses), the most important motivations for publishing research data were found to be facilitating the reproducibility of the research, increasing the likelihood of citations of the article, and compliance with funding body mandates. Legal constraints, intellectual property, data ownership, data rights, potential commercial exploitation, and misuse of data were the main barriers to publishing data as open data. Citation in publications, certification, compliance with standards, and the reputation of the data providers were the most relevant factors affecting the use of other researchers’ data. Being recent or recently updated, well documented, with quality metadata and ease of access were the most valued attributes of open research data.


The future of Open Science initiatives in Spain | RDA

“The Research Data Alliance (RDA) Spanish node is hosting a webinar to present RDA global and national activities, RDA adoption cases, and related Open Science initiatives in Spain, such as OpenAIRE, EOSC, and the National Network for E-Science.

  The purpose of this webinar is to promote the activities of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), specifically to the Spanish research data community, present national adoption cases and provide an overview of related ongoing Open Science initiatives. In a round table discussion, questions related to ongoing initiatives and the future of RDA in Spain after the end of the RDA EU 4.0 project in September 2020 will be raised. The webinar is open to all and specifically aimed at researchers, data scientists, students, and representatives from private and public sectors….”