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
As the open access movement has fostered a shift from subscriber-funded journals to author-pays models, scholars seek funding for the dissemination of their research. In response to this need, some libraries have established open access funds at their institutions. This paper presents an evaluation of an open access fund at a comprehensive university.
Description of program/service
Wanting to learn how faculty have benefitted from an open access publishing fund, Grand Valley State University Libraries surveyed recipients of the fund. The survey asked authors why they chose an open access publishing option and whether the fund influenced this decision. Authors were also asked whether they perceived that selecting an open access option broadened exposure to their work and about their likelihood of choosing open access in the future.
This article shares the results of this small survey and explores next steps in promoting and evaluating the fund and opportunities for focusing educational efforts across campus.
URL : Evaluating an Open Access Publishing Fund at a Comprehensive University
DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1204
In 2012, the Open Access Movement to scientific information celebrated ten years of existence. The period, which represents the first stage of consolidation of the movement, has been analyzed to allow the planning of new phases. With the purpose of providing tools and contributing to these discussions, the article addresses the historical aspects of the international and regional constitution of Open Access Movement.
The approach was developed from a descriptive temporal narrative of the main events and initiatives identified in the scientific literature on the subject. The elements discussed in the present study work were organized under two parameters. The first refers to a temporal perspective, defined from the publication of Budapest Open Access Initiative. The second is related to brief discussion of the participation of Latin America.
As result, we present a timeline of open access in the world and in Latin America, showing the main aspects covered in the study. The goal of the study is achieved by the proposed systematization as we analyze the open access initiatives in Latin America and establish how they influenced and were influenced by other regions of the world.
URL : Open access in the world and Latin America: A review since the Budapest Open Access Initiative
Alternative location : http://ref.scielo.org/9nh4p4
I present the core principles of the “Self-Journal of Science” (SJS), an open repository as well as a new paradigm of scientific publication. Rooted in Science ethics, a full and consistent solution is proposed to address the many flaws in current systems. SJS implements an optimal peer review, which itself becomes a measurable process, and builds an objective and unfalsifiable evaluation system.
In addition, it can operate at very low costs. One of the essential features of SJS is to allow every scientist to play his full role as a member of the scientific community and to be credited for all contributions – whether as author, referee, or editor. The output is the responsibility of each scientist, and no subgroup can dictate scientific policy to all.
By fully opening up the process of publication, peer pressure becomes the force that drives output towards the highest quality in a virtuous self-regulating circle. SJS also provides a self-organizing and scalable solution to handle an ever-increasing number of articles.
URL : Principles of the Self Journal of Science: bringing ethics and freedom to scientific publishing
Alternative location : http://www.sjscience.org/article?id=46
A megajournal is an open-access journal that publishes any manuscript that presents scientifically trustworthy empirical results, without asking about the potential scientific contribution prior to publication. Megajournals have rapidly increased their output and are currently publishing around 50,000 articles per year. We report on a small pilot study in which we looked at the citation distributions for articles in megajournals compared with journals with traditional peer review, which also evaluate articles for contribution and novelty. We found that elite journals with very low acceptance rates have far fewer articles with no or few citations, but that the long tail of articles with two citations or less was actually bigger in a sample of selective traditional journals in comparison with megajournals. This indicates the need for more systematic studies, because the results raise many questions as to how efficiently the current peer review system in reality fulfils its filtering function.
URL : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/leap.1007/abstract