Dudley | The Changing Landscape of Open Access Publishing: Can Open Access Publishing Make the Scholarly World More Equitable and Productive? | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  Almost 50% of scholarly articles are now open access in some form. This greatly benefits scholars at most institutions and is especially helpful to independent scholars and those without access to libraries. It also furthers the long-standing idea of knowledge as a public good. The changing dynamics of open access (OA) threaten this positive development by solidifying the pay-to-publish OA model which further marginalizes peripheral scholars and incentivizes the development of  sub-standard and predatory journals. Causal loop diagrams (CLDs) are used to illustrate these interactions.

 

Jourchain: using blockchain to avoid questionable journals | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Scholarly publishing currently is faced by an upsurge in low-quality, questionable “predatory/hijacked” journals published by those whose only goal is profit. Although there are discussions in the literature warning about them, most provide only a few suggestions on how to avoid these journals. Most solutions are not generalizable or have other weaknesses. Here, we use a novel information technology, i.e., blockchains, to expose and prevent the problems produced by questionable journals. Thus, this work presented here sheds light on the advantages of blockchain for producing safe, fraud-free scholarly publishing.

 

Signs of divisiveness, discrimination and stigmatization caused by Jeffrey Beall’s “predatory” open access publishing blacklists and philosophy – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  Jeffrey Beall, a US librarian, coined the term “predatory publishing” specifically to describe a movement or phenomenon of open access (OA) journals and publishers that he and others believed displayed exploitative and unscholarly principles. Using a blog to transmit those ideas, and profiling specific cases using blacklists, one of the most polemic aspects of Beall’s blog was its tendency to attract and incite academic radicalism. Beall targeted both publishers and standalone journals, but how he precisely determined that an OA journal or a publisher was predatory was in many cases an ambiguity. Beall’s deficient and highly subjective criteria, as well as those blacklists’ incapacity to clearly distinguish low quality OA publishers from predatory ones, may have negatively impacted the operations of several Beall-blacklisted OA journals and publishers. Freedom of speech that embraces prejudice, via Beall’s blog, and the establishment of “predatory” blacklists, are enhanced discriminatory ideologies that continue to be carried downstream from Beall to and by other like-minded individuals and groups who proliferate academic divisiveness and may also be formalizing and institutionalizing a culture of discriminative philosophies by cloning Beall’s blacklists and encouraging their continued use.

Commentary: The publication pandemic

“The rise of OA and the megajournals has turned out to be a lucrative model for publishing houses.1,2 But is it good for the scientific community as a whole? Opinions on this differ from field to field, with the more translational fields, like biology and medicine, taking a more enthusiastic stance and more fundamental fields, like mathematics and physics, a more skeptical one. (See the commentary by Jason Wright in Physics Today, February 2020, page 10, and reference 3.)

There is also a noticeable generational difference of opinion. Some younger scientists view the trend toward OA scientific journals more favorably than their older colleagues do. …”

EVALUATION OF OPEN-ACCESS JOURNALS IN OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY – Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada

Abstract:  A retrospective observational study was conducted to evaluate open-access journals in obstetrics and gynaecology, published between 2011 and 2019. Journals were classified based on their registration in open-access journal directories. Of 176 journals, 47 were not registered. Journals registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) demonstrated good overall quality, and their journal metrics were significantly higher than those of non-registered journals or journals registered in other directories. The lack of editor names and indexing information on a journal’s website are the most distinctive features of non-registered journals. Non-registration in an open-access journal directory indicates a lack of transparency and may ultimately indicate that a journal is predatory.

 

 

The Quality of Statistical Reporting and Data Presentation in Predatory Dental Journals Was Lower Than in Non-Predatory Journals

Abstract:  Proper peer review and quality of published articles are often regarded as signs of reliable scientific journals. The aim of this study was to compare whether the quality of statistical reporting and data presentation differs among articles published in ‘predatory dental journals’ and in other dental journals. We evaluated 50 articles published in ‘predatory open access (OA) journals’ and 100 clinical trials published in legitimate dental journals between 2019 and 2020. The quality of statistical reporting and data presentation of each paper was assessed on a scale from 0 (poor) to 10 (high). The mean (SD) quality score of the statistical reporting and data presentation was 2.5 (1.4) for the predatory OA journals, 4.8 (1.8) for the legitimate OA journals, and 5.6 (1.8) for the more visible dental journals. The mean values differed significantly (p < 0.001). The quality of statistical reporting of clinical studies published in predatory journals was found to be lower than in open access and highly cited journals. This difference in quality is a wake-up call to consume study results critically. Poor statistical reporting indicates wider general lower quality in publications where the authors and journals are less likely to be critiqued by peer review. 

 

Awareness of predatory journals and open access publishing among orthopaedic and trauma surgeons – results from an online survey in Germany | BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders | Full Text

Abstract:  Background

Along with emerging open access journals (OAJ) predatory journals increasingly appear. As they harm accurate and good scientific research, we aimed to examine the awareness of predatory journals and open access publishing among orthopaedic and trauma surgeons.

Methods

In an online survey between August and December 2019 the knowledge on predatory journals and OAJ was tested with a hyperlink made available to the participants via the German Society for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery (DGOU) email distributor.

Results

Three hundred fifty orthopaedic and trauma surgeons participated, of which 291 complete responses (231 males (79.4%), 54 females (18.6%) and 5?N/A (2.0%)) were obtained. 39.9% were aware of predatory journals. However, 21.0% knew about the “Directory of Open Access Journals” (DOAJ) as a register for non-predatory open access journals. The level of profession (e.g. clinic director, consultant) (p =?0.018) influenced the awareness of predatory journals. Interestingly, participants aware of predatory journals had more often been listed as corresponding authors (p <?0.001) and were well published as first or last author (p <?0.001). Awareness of OAJ was masked when journal selection options did not to provide any information on the editorial board, the peer review process or the publication costs.

Conclusion

The impending hazard of predatory journals is unknown to many orthopaedic and trauma surgeons. Early stage clinical researchers must be trained to differentiate between predatory and scientifically accurate journals.

“No Publication Favelas! Latin America’s Vision for Open Access” by Monica Berger | ACRL 2021 presentation

by Monica Berger, CUNY New York City College of Technology

Abstract: Open access was intended to be the great equalizer but its promise has not come to fruition in many lower-income countries of the Global South. Under-resourcing is only one of the many reasons why these scholars and publishers are marginalized. In order to examine inequality in our global scholarly communications system, we can compare a negative and a positive outgrowth of this imbalance. Predatory publishing represents a a weak imitation of traditional, commercial journal publishing. In contrast, Latin America’s community-based, quality scholarly infrastructure is anti-colonial. It can be argued that Latin America’s publishing infrastructure represents one solution to predatory publishing. As the future of open access is debated, it is critical that we look to Latin America as we support new models that reject legacy commercial journal publishing and support bibliodiversity.

Jeffrey Beall infamously called Brazil’s SciELO a “publishing favela” or slum. Yet Latin America represents an important exception to the problem of underdevelopment of scholarly communications in the Global South. In order to begin to better understand the marginalization of the Global South and Latin America’s success, we need to unpack the history of open access, its overemphasis on the reader as opposed to the author, and how notions of development influenced its discourse. This focus on the reader is neo-Colonialist, positioning scholars from the Global South as “downloaders” and not “uploaders,” whose scholarship is peripheral.

Lacking alternative publishing options, predatory publishing, or amateurish, low quality publishing, exploited this gap. In its pathetic imitation of international, corporate publishing, predatory publishing is neo-Colonial and a form of “faux” open access where subaltern authors, editors, and publishers poorly imitate Global North corporate publishing. Predatory publishing is a sad simulacra with real world damage. Since predatory publishing is overwhelming based in the Global South and many of its authors based in the Global South, it tarnishes the reputation of all scholarship from less developed countries. In contrast, predatory authorship and publishing are rare in Latin America.

Latin America is an exemplar of sustainable and humane open access. Heather Morrison deemed Latin American as a “long-time peerless leader in open access.” The advent of Plan S, a rapid flip to open access, is accelerating the co-option of open access by large, commercial publishers predicating a variety of negative outcomes. In contrast, the Latin American concept of bibliodiversity represents an important alternative model. No one size fits all and a local vision governs. Bibliodiversity interrogates the presumption that all scholarship must be English-language. It also values indigenous and local knowledge as well as lay readers. Redalyc and SciELO include measures for research collaboration. Various regional scholarly organizations cooperate, sharing expertise, providing training in editorial and technical best practices. This cooperation has expanded to a global scale. The Confederation of Open Access Repositories and SPARC are partnering with LA Referencia and others, expanding Latin America’s vision globally, generating a meaningful alternative model for open access.

Comments

Slides with talk transcript and sources as presented at the Association of College and Research Libraries conference, ACRL 2021: Ascending into an Open Future, held virtually, April 16, 2021.

Indonesia should stop pushing its academics to chase empty indicators – Nikkei Asia

“An assessment system that predominantly evaluates research performance based on journal output and citations is steering academics from developing countries like mine to chasing quantity over quality. And being exploited while doing so.

Researchers in Indonesia are the second most likely in the world to publish in dubious journals that print articles for a fee without proper scientific peer review, a process where several experts in the field review the merit of the research, according to a new study by economists Vit Machacek and Martin Srholec.

 

These predatory journals prey on academics whose career progressions, and therefore salary increase, are determined by credit points. They exploit the processing fees that authors pay to make articles open to the public. They pocket the payment, an average of $178, an amount close to the basic salary of an entry-level lecturer in a state university in Indonesia, without facilitating proper peer review. The papers published by predatory journals are often low-quality, with typographical and grammatical errors….

In addition to the predatory journal problem, the metric also discourages science collaboration. As the metric values article count, academics who want to turn out several journal articles from a data set has an incentive to hold on to them rather than sharing them for other scientists to analyze….”

The Changing Landscape of Open Access Publishing: Can Open Access Publishing Make the Scholarly World More Equitable and Productive?

Abstract:  Almost 50% of scholarly articles are now open access in some form. This greatly benefits scholars at most institutions and is especially helpful to independent scholars and those without access to libraries. It also furthers the long-standing idea of knowledge as a public good. The changing dynamics of open access (OA) threaten this positive development by solidifying the pay-to-publish OA model which further marginalizes peripheral scholars and incentivizes the development of  sub-standard and predatory journals. Causal loop diagrams (CLDs) are used to illustrate these interactions.

 

Bona Fide Journals – Creating a predatory-free academic publishing environment – Leiden Madtrics

Predatory journals pose a significant problem to academic publishing. In the past, a number of attempts have been made to identify them. This blog post presents a novel approach towards a predatory-free academic publishing landscape: Bona Fide Journals.

Honest signaling in academic publishing

Abstract:  Academic journals provide a key quality-control mechanism in science. Yet, information asymmetries and conflicts of interests incentivize scientists to deceive journals about the quality of their research. How can honesty be ensured, despite incentives for deception? Here, we address this question by applying the theory of honest signaling to the publication process. Our models demonstrate that several mechanisms can ensure honest journal submission, including differential benefits, differential costs, and costs to resubmitting rejected papers. Without submission costs, scientists benefit from submitting all papers to high-ranking journals, unless papers can only be submitted a limited number of times. Counterintuitively, our analysis implies that inefficiencies in academic publishing (e.g., arbitrary formatting requirements, long review times) can serve a function by disincentivizing scientists from submitting low-quality work to high-ranking journals. Our models provide simple, powerful tools for understanding how to promote honest paper submission in academic publishing.

 

Chinese PhD Students’ Perceptions of Predatory Journals: A Survey Study | Journal of Scholarly Publishing

Abstract:  This study investigates the attitudes of Chinese PhD students toward predatory journals. Data were gathered using an online questionnaire to which 332 Chinese PhD students responded. Our main conclusions are 1) in the sciences, technology, and medicine, respondents frequently confused predatory journals with open access journals; 2) in the humanities and social sciences, the respondents identified only Chinese-language (not English-language) journals as predatory and made a number of misidentifications; and 3) most respondents indicated that they would not submit papers to predatory journals, mainly because doing so would hurt their reputation, yet the minority who were willing to do so mentioned easy acceptance and a short wait time for publication as the top reasons for considering it.

 

Redesign open science for Asia, Africa and Latin America

“Research is relatively new in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Across these regions, young scientists are working to build practices for open science from the ground up. The aim is that scientific communities will incorporate these principles as they grow. But these communities’ needs differ from those that are part of mature research systems. So, rather than shifting and shaping established systems, scientists are endeavouring to design new ones….”

How is open access accused of being predatory? The impact of Beall’s lists of predatory journals on academic publishing – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  The aim of this paper is to investigate how predatory journals are characterized by authors who write about such journals. We emphasize the ways in which predatory journals have been conflated with—or distinguished from—open access journals. We created a list of relevant publications on predatory publishing using four databases: Web of Science, Scopus, Dimensions, and Microsoft Academic. We included 280 English-language publications in the review according to their contributions to the discussions on predatory publishing. Then, we coded and qualitatively analyzed these publications. The findings show the profound influence of Jeffrey Beall, who composed and maintained himself lists of predatory publishers and journals, on the whole discussion on predatory publishing. The major themes by which Beall has characterized predatory journals are widely present in non-Beall publications. Moreover, 122 papers we reviewed combined predatory publishing with open access using similar strategies as Beall. The overgeneralization of the flaws of some open access journals to the entire open access movement has led to unjustified prejudices among the academic community toward open access. This is the first large-scale study that systematically examines how predatory publishing is defined in the literature.