Case for the double-blind peer review

Author : Lucie Tvrznikova

Peer review is a process designed to produce a fair assessment of research quality prior to publication of scholarly work in a journal. Demographics, nepotism, and seniority have been all shown to affect reviewer behavior suggesting the most common, single-blind review method (or the less common open review method) might be biased.

A survey of current research suggests that double-blind review offers a solution to many biases stemming from author’s gender, seniority, or location without imposing any major downsides.


Open Science Practices Adopted by Latin American & Caribbean Open Access Journals

Authors : Andre Appel, Ivonne Lujano, Sarita Albagli

The objective of this study is to investigate how Open Science (OS) values and practices have influenced open access (OA) journals publishers in Latin American and the Caribbean (LA&C) countries.

Our key research question is: to what extent are these practices being adopted by LA&C journals? In order to address this question, we conducted a survey with a sample of LA&C journals listed on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) database.

The results reveal that many journals are somewhat aware of or informed about most of open science practices being discussed, but just some of them have already successfully adopted those practices.


Inequality in Knowledge Production: The Integration of Academic Infrastructure by Big Publishers

Authors : Alejandro Posada, George Chen

This paper attempts to illustrate the implications of a simultaneous redirection of the big publishers’ business strategy towards open access business models and the acquisition of scholarly infrastructure utilizing the conceptual framework of rent-seeking theory.

To document such a transformation, we utilized financial databases to analyze the mergers and acquisitions of the top publicly traded academic publishers. We then performed a service analysis to situate the acquisitions of publishers within the knowledge and education life-cycles, illustrating what we term to be their vertical integration within their respective expansion target life-cycles.

Implications of higher education institutions’ increased dependency towards the companies and increased influence by the companies on the institution and individual researcher were noted from the vertical integration of products.

Said vertical integration is analyzed via a rent theory framework and described to be a form of rent-seeking complementary to the redirection of business strategies to open access. Finally, the vertical integration is noted to generate exclusionary effects upon researchers/institutions in the global south.


Global OA APCs (APC) 2010–2017: Major Trends

Author : Heather Morrison

The open access (OA) article processing charges (APC) project is a longitudinal study of the minority of fully OA journals (27% in 2016) that have APCs. The global average APC shows little change; in USD, 906 in 2010, 964 in 2016, 974 in 2017.

The average masks currency differences and the impact of a growing market; new APC journals often start with an APC of 0. Traditional commercial scholarly publishers are entering the OA market: the largest OA journal publishers’ portfolios in 2017 were Springer, De Gruyter, Elsevier, and Wolters Kluwer Medknow.

However, these are a small portion of OA journal publishing which is still marked by a very long tail and extensive involvement by very small, often university or society publishers. APC pricing shows a wide range and variability. The APC market can be described as volatile.


Zombie Journals: Designing a Technological Infrastructure for a Precarious Journal

Authors : Daniel Paul O’Donnell, Carey Viejou, Sylvia Chow, Rumi Graham, Jarret McKinnon, Dorothea Morrison, Reed Parsons, Courtney Rieger, Vanja Spirić, Elaine Toth


The Meeting of the Minds graduate student journal is edited primarily by students from our Masters programme. This means that our editorial board is subject to high annual turnover and that our technological infrastructure and workflow needed to be easy to train for, accommodate differing levels of technological skill and editorial interest, and provide archiving that did not require a continuing interest in the journal by future generations of students.


This article provides a detailed and comparative account of the “off-the-shelf ” systems and software used in developing the journal with an explanation of the rationale behind our choices.

Conclusion and implications

The choices we made can be adopted by other journals interested in a low-cost, “future-proof ” approach to developing a publishing infrastructure.

URL : Zombie Journals: Designing a Technological Infrastructure for a Precarious Journal


A Case Study for a New Peer-Review Journal on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education

Author : Cristobal Salinas Jr.

In this exploratory case study, the interests, attitudes, and opinions of participants of the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in American Higher Education are presented.

This case study sought to understand how college and university administrators and faculty perceived the need to create a peer-reviewed journal that aimed to support and create opportunities to publish research, policy, practices, and procedures within the context of race and ethnicity in American higher education.

The findings of this study reflect that the vast majority of those surveyed (n = 605) and interviewed (n = 5) support, and are interested in, having a peer-reviewed journal that focuses on race and ethnicity in American higher education.

URL : A Case Study for a New Peer-Review Journal on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education


Prepublication disclosure of scientific results: Norms, competition, and commercial orientation

Authors : Jerry G. Thursby, Carolin Haeussler, Marie C. Thursby, Lin Jiang

On the basis of a survey of 7103 active faculty researchers in nine fields, we examine the extent to which scientists disclose prepublication results, and when they do, why? Except in two fields, more scientists disclose results before publication than not, but there is significant variation in their reasons to disclose, in the frequency of such disclosure, and in withholding crucial results when making public presentations.

They disclose results for feedback and credit and to attract collaborators. Particularly in formulaic fields, scientists disclose to attract new researchers to the field independent of collaboration and to deter others from working on their exact problem.

A probability model shows that 70% of field variation in disclosure is related to differences in respondent beliefs about norms, competition, and commercialization. Our results suggest new research directions—for example, do the problems addressed or the methods of scientific production themselves shape norms and competition?

Are the levels we observe optimal or simply path-dependent? What is the interplay of norms, competition, and commercialization in disclosure and the progress of science?

URL : Prepublication disclosure of scientific results: Norms, competition, and commercial orientation