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


Institutional Repositories and Academic Social Networks: Competition or Complement? A Study of Open Access Policy Compliance vs. ResearchGate Participation

Authors: Julia A. Lovett, Andrée J Rathemacher, Diana Boukari, and Corey Lang

Abstract: The popularity of academic social networks like ResearchGate and Academia.edu indicates that scholars want to share their work, yet for universities with Open Access (OA) policies, these sites may be competing with institutional repositories (IRs) for content. This article seeks to reveal researcher practices, attitudes, and motivations around uploading their work to ResearchGate and complying with an institutional OA Policy through a study of faculty at the University of Rhode Island (URI).

Citation: Lovett, J.A. et al., (2017). Institutional Repositories and Academic Social Networks: Competition or Complement? A Study of Open Access Policy Compliance vs. ResearchGate Participation. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2183


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.


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/

Write up! A Study of Copyright Information on Library-Published Journals

Author: Melanie Schlosser

Abstract: Libraries have a mission to educate users about copyright, and library publishing staff are often involved in that work. This article investigates a concrete point of intersection between the two areas – copyright statements on library-published journals.  Journals published by members of the Library Publishing Coalition were examined for open access status, type and placement of copyright information, copyright ownership, and open licensing.  Journals in the sample were overwhelmingly (93%) open access. 80% presented copyright information of some kind, but only 30% of those included it at both the journal and the article level. Open licensing was present in 38% of the journals, and the most common ownership scenario was the author retaining copyright while granting a nonexclusive license to the journal or publisher. 9% of the sample journals included two or more conflicting rights statements. 76% of the journals did not consistently provide accurate, easily-accessible rights information, and numerous problems were found with the use of open licensing, including conflicting licenses, incomplete licenses, and licenses not appearing at the article level.

Citation: Schlosser, M. (2016). Write up! A Study of Copyright Information on Library-Published Journals. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 4, eP2110. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2110


The State of OA: A large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles

Authors: Heather Piwowar​​, Jason Priem​​, Vincent Larivière, Juan Pablo Alperin, Lisa Matthias, Bree Norlander, Ashley Farley, Jevin West, Stefanie Haustein

Abstract: Despite growing interest in Open Access (OA) to scholarly literature, there is an unmet need for large-scale, up-to-date, and reproducible studies assessing the prevalence and characteristics of OA. We address this need using oaDOI, an open online service that determines OA status for 67 million articles.

We use three samples, each of 100,000 articles, to investigate OA in three populations: 1) all journal articles assigned a Crossref DOI, 2) recent journal articles indexed in Web of Science, and 3) articles viewed by users of Unpaywall, an open-source browser extension that lets users find OA articles using oaDOI.

We estimate that at least 28% of the scholarly literature is OA (19M in total) and that this proportion is growing, driven particularly by growth in Gold and Hybrid. The most recent year analyzed (2015) also has the highest percentage of OA (45%). Because of this growth, and the fact that readers disproportionately access newer articles, we find that Unpaywall users encounter OA quite frequently: 47% of articles they view are OA. Notably, the most common mechanism for OA is not Gold, Green, or Hybrid OA, but rather an under-discussed category we dub Bronze: articles made free-to-read on the publisher website, without an explicit Open license.

We also examine the citation impact of OA articles, corroborating the so-called open-access citation advantage: accounting for age and discipline, OA articles receive 18% more citations than average, an effect driven primarily by Green and Hybrid OA. We encourage further research using the free oaDOI service, as a way to inform OA policy and practice.

Citation: Piwowar H, Priem J, Larivière V, Alperin JP, Matthias L, Norlander B, Farley A, West J, Haustein S. (2017) The State of OA: A large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ Preprints 5:e3119v1 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.3119v1


The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review

Authors: Jonathan P. Tennant, François Waldner, Damien C. Jacques, Paola Masuzzo, Lauren B. Collister, Chris. H. J. Hartgerink

Abstract: Ongoing debates surrounding Open Access to the scholarly literature are multifaceted and complicated by disparate and often polarised viewpoints from engaged stakeholders. At the current stage, Open Access has become such a global issue that it is critical for all involved in scholarly publishing, including policymakers, publishers, research funders, governments, learned societies, librarians, and academic communities, to be well-informed on the history, benefits, and pitfalls of Open Access. In spite of this, there is a general lack of consensus regarding the potential pros and cons of Open Access at multiple levels. This review aims to be a resource for current knowledge on the impacts of Open Access by synthesizing important research in three major areas: academic, economic and societal. While there is clearly much scope for additional research, several key trends are identified, including a broad citation advantage for researchers who publish openly, as well as additional benefits to the non-academic dissemination of their work. The economic impact of Open Access is less well-understood, although it is clear that access to the research literature is key for innovative enterprises, and a range of governmental and non-governmental services. Furthermore, Open Access has the potential to save both publishers and research funders considerable amounts of financial resources, and can provide some economic benefits to traditionally subscription-based journals. The societal impact of Open Access is strong, in particular for advancing citizen science initiatives, and leveling the playing field for researchers in developing countries. Open Access supersedes all potential alternative modes of access to the scholarly literature through enabling unrestricted re-use, and long-term stability independent of financial constraints of traditional publishers that impede knowledge sharing. However, Open Access has the potential to become unsustainable for research communities if high-cost options are allowed to continue to prevail in a widely unregulated scholarly publishing market. Open Access remains only one of the multiple challenges that the scholarly publishing system is currently facing. Yet, it provides one foundation for increasing engagement with researchers regarding ethical standards of publishing and the broader implications of ‘Open Research’.

Citation: Tennant JP, Waldner F, Jacques DC et al. The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review [version 3; referees: 3 approved, 2 approved with reservations]F1000Research 2016, 5:632 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.8460.3)


Against Capital

Author: Stuart Lawson

Abstract: The ways in which scholars exchange and share their work have evolved through pragmatic responses to the political and economic contexts in which they are embedded. So rather than being designed to fulfil their function in an optimal way, our methods of scholarly communication have been distorted by the interests of capital and by neoliberal logic. If these two interlinked political forces – that suffuse all aspects of our lives – are the reason for the mess we are currently in, then surely any alternative scholarly communication system we create should be working against them, not with them. The influence of capital in scholarly publishing, and the overwhelming force of neoliberalism in our working practices, is the problem. So when the new ‘innovative disrupters’ are fully aligned with the political forces that need to be dismantled, it is questionable that the new way of doing things is a significant improvement.

Citation: Stuart Lawson. 2017. Against Capital. ReCon: Publishing for Early Career Researchers – Immortalisation, Recognition & Metrics’. Edinburgh, Scotland. 30 June 2017


Research Access and Discovery in University News Releases: A Case Study

Author: Philip Young

Abstract: INTRODUCTION Many universities promote the peer-reviewed articles of their researchers in online news releases. However, access to the articles by the public can be limited, and information for locating articles is sometimes lacking. This exploratory study quantifies article access, the potential for immediate article archiving, and the presence of discovery aids in news releases at a large research university. METHODS A random sample of 120 news releases over an 11-year period were evaluated. RESULTS At publication, 33% of the peer-reviewed articles mentioned in news releases were open access. Immediate archiving in the institutional repository could potentially raise the access rate to 58% of the articles. Discovery aids in news releases included journal titles (96%), hyperlinks (67%), article titles (44%), and full citations (3%). No hyperlink was in the form of a referenceable digital object identifier (DOI). DISCUSSION Article availability is greater than published estimates, and could result from the university’s STEM focus or self-selection. Delayed access by journals is a significant source of availability, and provides an additional rationale for hyperlinking from news releases. CONCLUSION Most articles promoted in the university’s news releases cannot be accessed by the public. Access could be significantly increased through immediate archiving in the institutional repository. Opportunities for facilitating article discovery could increase the credibility and outreach value of news releases. Published on 2017-02-27 18:35:56

Citation: Young, P., (2017). Research Access and Discovery in University News Releases: A Case Study. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1), p.eP2155. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2155


Women Working In the Open

Author: April Hathcock

Abstract: In this blog post, April Hathcock discusses diversity, inclusion, and representation in scholarly communication. The post discusses the work left to be done in terms of dismantling sexist and racist under-representation within the profession, but also proffers a collaborative list of women working “in the open.”

Citation: Hathcock, A. (2017, June 20). Women working in the open. In the Open. Retrieved from http://intheopen.net/2017/06/women-working-in-the-open/