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….”

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