Recent controversies highlighting substandard peer review in Open Access (OA) and traditional (subscription) journals have increased the need for authors, funders, publishers, and institutions to assure quality of peer-review in academic journals. I propose that transparency of the peer-review process may be seen as an indicator of the quality of peer-review, and develop and validate a tool enabling different stakeholders to assess transparency of the peer-review process.
Methods and Findings
Based on editorial guidelines and best practices, I developed a 14-item tool to rate transparency of the peer-review process on the basis of journals’ websites. In Study 1, a random sample of 231 authors of papers in 92 subscription journals in different fields rated transparency of the journals that published their work. Authors’ ratings of the transparency were positively associated with quality of the peer-review process but unrelated to journal’s impact factors.
In Study 2, 20 experts on OA publishing assessed the transparency of established (non-OA) journals, OA journals categorized as being published by potential predatory publishers, and journals from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Results show high reliability across items (α = .91) and sufficient reliability across raters. Ratings differentiated the three types of journals well.
In Study 3, academic librarians rated a random sample of 140 DOAJ journals and another 54 journals that had received a hoax paper written by Bohannon to test peer-review quality. Journals with higher transparency ratings were less likely to accept the flawed paper and showed higher impact as measured by the h5 index from Google Scholar.
The tool to assess transparency of the peer-review process at academic journals shows promising reliability and validity. The transparency of the peer-review process can be seen as an indicator of peer-review quality allowing the tool to be used to predict academic quality in new journals.
URL : Peer Review Quality and Transparency of the Peer-Review Process in Open Access and Subscription Journals
Health practitioners and policy makers translate health research into practice and policy. However, these end users have limited access to full versions of peer-reviewed literature in subscription journals. Thus, the essential information bypasses the people it is designed to help and the health benefits of medical research are limited and delayed. Open access (OA) publishing is one strategy to facilitate the translation of research to improve health. This review explores the evidence that OA publishing is an effective strategy to facilitate the translation of research and improve health.
The review examines citation benefit, knowledge translation, diffusion impact, self-archiving and regional responses, and found entrenched views about OA publishing but little empirical research.The many biases and flaws in published research lead to a high level of waste and limit the ability to find innovative solutions to the burgeoning health costs. Evidence is presented here that OA publishing would facilitate a reduction in these flaws and biases, reduce waste in research and facilitate innovation. Although there are positive signs of change, more action and more research are needed.
URL : Open Access Publishing of Health Research: Does Open Access Publishing Facilitate the Translation of Research into Health Policy and Practice?
URL : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/4/1/2
This bibliometric study analyzes the research output produced by Spain during the 2005-2014 time period in Open Access (OA) journals indexed in Web of Science. The aim of the paper is to determine if papers published in Open Access journals contribute to the improvement of citation impact and collaboration indicators in Spanish research.
The results are shown by scientific areas and compared with 17 European countries. Spain is the second highest ranking European country with gold OA publication output and the fourth highest in Open Access output (9%). In Spain OA output is especially high in the fields of Arts and Humanities (28%). Spain’s normalized citation impact in Open access (0.72) is lower than the world average and that of the main European countries. Finally, we discuss how these results differ from the so-called Open Access citation advantage.
URL : http://www.elprofesionaldelainformacion.com/contenidos/2016/ene/03.html
This study examines the kinds of open access scholarly publication or information resources accepted and adopted by federal university libraries in South East Nigeria. The purpose was to determine the factors that affect open access scholarly publication or information resources acceptance and adoption in university libraries.
The study adopted descriptive survey research design. Findings revealed that university libraries accepts and adopts open access such as institutional repository, open journals, subject repository, e-books, personal websites among others with the use of computers, internet facilities and services among others.
Inadequate internet facilities and services were identified as a major factor that affects open access acceptance and adoption in university libraries. The study concluded that open access scholarly communication or information resources are vital tool of solving not only financial problems in libraries in general and university libraries in particular but also enable university libraries to keep pace with information explosion or changing trends in libraries.
Based on this, it recommends that university libraries should ensure that users are provided with adequate and quality open access information resources for there is a need for access and use of information materials in all formats and acceptance and adoption of open access information resources could incite users to quickly access and utilize university library resources to a high extent.
URL : Acceptance and Adoption of Open Access Publication (OAP) in University Libraries in South East Nigeria
Alternative location : http://iiste.org/Journals/index.php/JEP/article/view/27291
This report, prepared for SPARC Europe, sketches the landscape of university-‐based not-‐for-‐ profit publishing in Europe with a primary focus on open access publishing of journals. It provides a view of the different types of initiatives in terms of their size, operational and business models, technologies used, stakeholder involvement, concentration of scientific fields, growth, as well as regional characteristics and recommendations for SPARC Europe and DOAJ.
The report attests to a rich and continuously evolving ecology of open access publishing initiatives in universities in Europe and elsewhere. Beyond the commercial publishing models, it appears that university libraries are largely the foci of intense activity in journal publishing and books (primarily where a university press exists), while national governments are moving towards building national collections, national portals and services paid for by public funds to make research published within the country more relevant and accessible internationally.
This ecology is primarily populated by small publishers who are largely invisible, and much smaller numbers of large and medium-‐ sized university-‐based activities. At the same time, a growing number of innovative initiatives in the University and outside, mostly initiated by scholars and University Presses, eager to experiment in developing a fair and sustainable scholarly communications system, attests to a vibrant and swiftly-‐evolving landscape.
URL : University-based open access publishing
Alternative location : http://sparceurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/SE_UPublishing_Report_0315.pdf
Recent research has tried to calculate the “total cost of publication” in the British academic sector, bringing together the costs of journal subscriptions, the article processing charges (APCs) paid to publish open-access content, and the indirect costs of handling open-access mandates. This study adds an estimate for the other publication charges (predominantly page and colour charges) currently paid by research institutions, a significant element which has been neglected by recent studies.
When these charges are included in the calculation, the total cost to institutions as of 2013/14 is around 18.5% over and above the cost of journal subscriptions—11% from APCs, 5.5% from indirect costs, and 2% from other publication charges. For the British academic sector as a whole, this represents a total cost of publication around £213 million against a conservatively estimated journal spend of £180 million, with non-APC publication charges representing around £3.6 million.
A case study is presented to show that these costs may be unexpectedly high for individual institutions, depending on disciplinary focus. The feasibility of collecting this data on a widespread basis is discussed, along with the possibility of using it to inform future subscription negotiations with publishers.
URL : Considering Non-Open Access Publication Charges in the “Total Cost of Publication”
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/publications3040248
The aim of this study was to establish the role of academic libraries in the context of open access (OA) journal publishing, based on the perceived needs of the journals and/or their editors. As a study sample, 14 OA journals affiliated to the University of Zürich, Switzerland, were taken. They were very different in nature, ranging from well-established society journals to newly founded titles launched by dedicated individuals. The study comprised two approaches: a comprehensive journal assessment and subsequent editor interviews.
The journal assessments evaluated the functionalities, ease of use, sustainability and visibility of the journal. The interviews were used to get additional background information about the journals and explore editors’ needs, experiences and viewpoints. The results show that journals affiliated to publishing houses or libraries are technically well provided for. Unaffiliated journals offer fewer functionalities and display some unconventional features, often described as innovations by the editors. More resources – financial or human – is seen by nearly all editors as the most pressing need and as a limitation to growth.
In comparison, IT/technical needs are mentioned much less often. The article also describes the launch of an Editors’ Forum, an idea suggested by the editors and implemented by the library. This Forum offered further valuable insight into the potential role of libraries, but also specifically addressed several of the editors’ needs as expressed in the interviews.
URL : Library support for open access journal publishing: a needs analysis
DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.256