Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

Authors: Martin Paul Eve and Ernesto Priego

Abstract: ‘Predatory publishing’ refers to conditions under which gold open access academ-ic publishers claim to conduct peer review and charge for their publishing services but do not, in fact, actually perform such reviews. Most prominently exposed in recent years by Jeffrey Beall, the phenomenon garners much media attention. In this article, we acknowledge that such practices are deceptive but then examine, across a variety of stakeholder groups, what the harm is from such actions to each group of actors. We find that established publishers have a strong motivation to hype claims of predation as damaging to the scholarly and scien-tific endeavour while noting that, in fact, systems of peer review are themselves already acknowledged as deeply flawed.

Citation: Eve, M.P., & Priego, E. (2017). Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?. TripleC,  15(2), 755-770 . http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/867/1041


Globalization, Open Access, and the Democratization of Knowledge

Author: Harrison W. Inefuku

Abstract: In many ways, developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and open access have disrupted inequities in academic publishing and global information flows. However, efforts to fully globalize and democratize information demand intentional efforts to involve and center perspectives that traditional forms of communication have marginalized. Information professionals and the systems they create must proactively attend to developing equitable and inclusive information systems. Initiatives such as SHARE and FORCE11, discussed below, indicate promise for fulfilling the vision and promise of democratized knowledge.

Citation: Inefuku, H.W. (2017). Globalization, Open Access, and the Democratization of Knowledge, EDUCAUSE Review.


Changing the Culture in Scholarly Communications

Author: Alice Meadows

Abstract: I was delighted to see that the theme for this year’s FORCE2017 meeting is Changing the Culture – a great opportunity to engage with colleagues from across the scholarly communications community on key questions such as: What needs to change in our culture and why? Who are our stakeholders and how are we going to involve them? What are the most effective ways to change the culture; which approach works best – carrot, stick, or both? How will we measure success?

Citation: Meadows, Alice. “Changing the Culture in Scholarly Communications.” The Scholarly Kitchen. Blog post. August 7, 2017.


The enemy of the good: How specifics in publisher’s green OA policies are bogging down IR deposits of scholarly literature

Abstract: In the evolving landscape of scholarly communication, librarians not only spend countless hours educating researchers about copyright, subscription licensing, classroom use, author’s agreements, and open access, but they also pay enormous subscription fees to publishers. This is potentially the reality of a system in flux, the fact of being in the middle of a change: we work for reform and enforce the current system in the same breath. Librarians tend to be risk averse, and rightly so, but this caution should not mean that librarians are pacifiers instead of change agents, that we educate while accepting publisher’s models without question or action.

Citation: Sterman, L. (2017). The enemy of the good: How specifics in publisher’s green OA policies are bogging down IR deposits of scholarly literature. College & Research Libraries News, 78(7). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.78.7.372


Workflow Development for an Institutional Repository in an Emerging Research Institution

Authors: Jeanne Hazzard,  Stephanie Towery

Abstract: INTRODUCTION This paper describes the process librarians in the Albert B. Alkek Library at Texas State University undertook to increase the amount of faculty publications in their institutional repository, known as the Digital Collections. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM Digital Collections at Texas State University is built on a DSpace platform and serves as the location for electronic theses and dissertations, faculty publications, and other digital Texas State University materials. Despite having launched the service in 2005, the amount of faculty work added to the repository has never been at the levels initially hoped for on launch. DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORKFLOW Taking a proactive and cooperative approach, a team of librarians developed and piloted a workflow, in which library staff would retain the already established protocol of gaining faculty permissions prior to uploading material while respecting publisher copyright policies. RESULTS Prior to the vita project, the repository archived 305 faculty publications total. Fifty-seven were added during the pilot, which represents an 18.5% increase. Of a total of 496 articles, seventeen titles were found in the blue category, which allows publisher pdfs to be archived. The majority of articles (233) were found in the green category, which allows either a pre- or a post-print copy of an article to be archived. One hundred ten of the identified titles were in the yellow and white journal categories, representing 22% of our total, and the team was able to archive only five of these. Finally, 16% (81) were not found in the SHERPA/ RoMEO database (color-coded beige). Only 18 of these articles were archived. ASSESSMENT We discovered that our faculty retain nearly none of their pre-print or post-print versions of their published articles, and so we are unable to archive those titles in the repository. Nearly 47% of the articles found were in green journals that allow only pre- or post-print copies. Most faculty were unable to produce versions of their work other than the publisher’s PDF, which many publishers restrict from upload into a repository.

Citation: Hazzard, J. & Towery, S., (2017). Workflow Development for an Institutional Repository in an Emerging Research Institution. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2166


An exploration of collaborative scientific production at MIT through spatial organization and institutional affiliation

Authors: Claudel M, Massaro E, Santi P, Murray F, Ratti C

Abstract: Academic research is increasingly cross-disciplinary and collaborative, between and within institutions. In this context, what is the role and relevance of an individual’s spatial position on a campus? We examine the collaboration patterns of faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, through their academic output (papers and patents), and their organizational structures (institutional affiliation and spatial configuration) over a 10-year time span. An initial comparison of output types reveals: 1. diverging trends in the composition of collaborative teams over time (size, faculty versus non-faculty, etc.); and 2. substantively different patterns of cross-building and cross-disciplinary collaboration. We then construct a multi-layered network of authors, and find two significant features of collaboration on campus: 1. a network topology and community structure that reveals spatial versus institutional collaboration bias; and 2. a persistent relationship between proximity and collaboration, well fit with an exponential decay model. This relationship is consistent for both papers and patents, and present also in exclusively cross-disciplinary work. These insights contribute an architectural dimension to the field of scientometrics, and take a first step toward empirical space-planning policy that supports collaboration within institutions.

Citation: Claudel M, Massaro E, Santi P, Murray F, Ratti C (2017) An exploration of collaborative scientific production at MIT through spatial organization and institutional affiliation. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0179334. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179334


A prospective study on an innovative online forum for peer reviewing of surgical science

Authors:  Almquist M, von Allmen RS, Carradice D, Oosterling SJ, McFarlane K, Wijnhoven B

Peer review is important to the scientific process. However, the present system has been criticised and accused of bias, lack of transparency, failure to detect significant breakthrough and error. At the British Journal of Surgery (BJS), after surveying authors’ and reviewers’ opinions on peer review, we piloted an open online forum with the aim of improving the peer review process.

In December 2014, a web-based survey assessing attitudes towards open online review was sent to reviewers with a BJS account in Scholar One. From April to June 2015, authors were invited to allow their manuscripts to undergo online peer review in addition to the standard peer review process. The quality of each review was evaluated by editors and editorial assistants using a validated instrument based on a Likert scale.

The survey was sent to 6635 reviewers. In all, 1454 (21.9%) responded. Support for online peer review was strong, with only 10% stating that they would not subject their manuscripts to online peer review. The most prevalent concern was about intellectual property, being highlighted in 118 of 284 comments (41.5%). Out of 265 eligible manuscripts, 110 were included in the online peer review trial. Around 7000 potential reviewers were invited to review each manuscript. In all, 44 of 110 manuscripts (40%) received 100 reviews from 59 reviewers, alongside 115 conventional reviews. The quality of the open forum reviews was lower than for conventional reviews (2.13 (± 0.75) versus 2.84 (± 0.71), P<0.001).

Open online peer review is feasible in this setting, but it attracts few reviews, of lower quality than conventional peer reviews.

Citation: Almquist M, von Allmen RS, Carradice D, Oosterling SJ, McFarlane K, Wijnhoven B (2017) A prospective study on an innovative online forum for peer reviewing of surgical science. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0179031. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179031


What do computer scientists tweet? Analyzing the link-sharing practice on Twitter

Authors: Marco Schmitt, Robert Jäschke

Abstract: Twitter communication has permeated every sphere of society. To highlight and share small pieces of information with possibly vast audiences or small circles of the interested has some value in almost any aspect of social life. But what is the value exactly for a scientific field? We perform a comprehensive study of computer scientists using Twitter and their tweeting behavior concerning the sharing of web links. Discerning the domains, hosts and individual web pages being tweeted and the differences between computer scientists and a Twitter sample enables us to look in depth at the Twitter-based information sharing practices of a scientific community. Additionally, we aim at providing a deeper understanding of the role and impact of altmetrics in computer science and give a glance at the publications mentioned on Twitter that are most relevant for the computer science community. Our results show a link sharing culture that concentrates more heavily on public and professional quality information than the Twitter sample does. The results also show a broad variety in linked sources and especially in linked publications with some publications clearly related to community-specific interests of computer scientists, while others with a strong relation to attention mechanisms in social media. This refers to the observation that Twitter is a hybrid form of social media between an information service and a social network service. Overall the computer scientists’ style of usage seems to be more on the information-oriented side and to some degree also on professional usage. Therefore, altmetrics are of considerable use in analyzing computer science.

Citation: Schmitt M, Jäschke R. (2017). What do computer scientists tweet? Analyzing the link-sharing practice on Twitter. PLOS ONE 12(6): e0179630. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179630

Data Availability: All data are available from the Zenodo repository (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.580587)


Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too

Author: Jefferson Pooley

Abstract: Much of the rhetoric around the future of scholarly communication hinges on the “open” label. In light of Elsevier’s recent acquisition of bepress and the announcement that, owing to high fees, an established mathematics journal’s editorial team will split from its publisher to start an open access alternative, Jefferson Pooley argues that the scholarly communication ecosystem should aim not only to be open but non-profit too. The profit motive is fundamentally misaligned with core values of academic life, potentially corroding ideals like unfettered inquiry, knowledge-sharing, and cooperative progress. There are obstacles to forging a non-profit alternative, from sustainable funding to entrenched cynicism, but such a goal is worthy and within reach.

Citation: Pooley, Jefferson. “Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too.” LSE Impact Blog. August 15, 2017.


Source: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2017/08/15/scholarly-communications-shouldnt-just-be-open-but-non-profit-too/

Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity

Author: Kathryn M. Conrad

Abstract: Libraries have a long and distinguished history of publishing, since their earliest days. Traditionally libraries published to expose their collections through bibliographies, facsimiles, and catalogs. While the Internet has made discovery and dissemination of library holdings easier than ever before, digital publishing technologies have also unlocked compelling new purposes for library publishing, including through Open Access publishing initiatives. The self-publishing explosion and availability of self-publishing tools and services geared to libraries have heralded new opportunities for libraries, especially public libraries, to engage their communities in new ways. By supporting self-publishing initiative in their communities, public libraries can promote standards of quality in self-publishing, provide unique opportunities to engage underserved populations, and become true archives of their communities.

Citation: Conrad, K. M. (2017). Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity. Journal of Electronic Publishing, 20(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0020.106


Source: Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity