‘Predatory’ Open Access Journals as Parody: Exposing the Limitations of ‘Legitimate’ Academic Publishing

Author : Kirsten Bell

The concept of the ‘predatory’ publisher has today become a standard way of characterising a new breed of open access journals that seem to be more concerned with making a profit than disseminating academic knowledge.

This essay presents an alternative view of such publishers, arguing that if we treat them as parody instead of predator, a far more nuanced reading emerges. Viewed in this light, such journals destabilise the prevailing discourse on what constitutes a ‘legitimate’ journal, and, indeed, the nature of scholarly knowledge production itself.

Instead of condemning them outright, their growth should therefore encourage us to ask difficult but necessary questions about the commercial context of knowledge production, prevailing conceptions of quality and value, and the ways in which they privilege scholarship from the ‘centre’ and exclude that from the ‘periphery’.

URL : ‘Predatory’ Open Access Journals as Parody: Exposing the Limitations of ‘Legitimate’ Academic Publishing

Alternative location : http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/870

Dissertation to Book? A Snapshot of Dissertations Published As Books in 2014 and 2015, Available in Open Access Institutional Repositories

Authors : Anna Marie Johnson, Tyler Goldberg, Robert Detmering


Graduate students sometimes express consternation about whether the presence of their dissertation in an open access institutional repository (IR) will harm their chances of being able to publish the manuscript as a book. Several studies have addressed the question from different perspectives, but the avenue of examining what had actually been published had not been explored.


This study examines books published in 2014 and 2015 that were listed as dissertations in one large book vendor database. A list of books was downloaded and searched in both ProQuest’s Dissertations & Theses Global database and Google to identify a matching dissertation.


Only a small percentage of books published as dissertations were found in ProQuest and then subsequently in IRs. The number of libraries holding book titles with corresponding dissertations in IRs dropped between 2014 and 2015. The lists of publishers who published dissertations as books was very similar between 2014 and 2015 data and included large, commercial publishers.


Students should be aware that only a small percentage of the total number of dissertations produced in a year are subsequently published as books, that the time between dissertation and book publication is substantial, and that some subject areas are more likely to be published than others.


These findings provide nuance to the discussions of dissertations in open access repositories and a starting point to monitor trends in this area. They should also provide librarians who are providing supplementary guidance to graduate students with information about the publishing landscape.

URL : Dissertation to Book? A Snapshot of Dissertations Published As Books in 2014 and 2015, Available in Open Access Institutional Repositories

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2177

Assessing the Openness of Anthropology Journals

Authors : Melody Dale, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Sheeji Kathuria, Mary Ann Jones

This study analyses the extent of gold open access (OA) publishing options in 377 anthropology journals by applying a six-level coding scheme (0=non-transparent publishing, 5=fully OA, i.e., free to read and publish without embargo).

This analysis is meant to simplify the process of identifying OA journal publishing options in the discipline of anthropology, in addition to sharing findings on some of the prominent issues in OA publishing as they relate to anthropology journals, including non-transparency among publishers and the prevalence and price of article processing charges (APCs).

We conclude that publishers should be more transparent about their OA publishing options and policies by providing conspicuous and straightforward information to potential authors. Further, we find that in the anthropology scholarly communication ecosystem,

APCs for hybrid journals are more expensive than those for fully gold OA journals, thus contradicting the assumption that gold OA is more costly to researchers.

URL : http://scholar.colorado.edu/libr_facpapers/92/

From paper-based towards post-digital scholarly publishing: an analysis of an ideological dilemma and its consequences

Authors : Jarmo Saarti, Kimmo Tuominen


Even though the current publishing model is based on digital dissemination, it still utilizes some of the basic principles of printed culture. Recently a policy emphasis towards open access has been set for publicly funded research.

This paper reports on a study of the practices, business models and values linked with scholarly publishing.


Conceptual analysis was conducted, drawing on literature on scholarly publishing policies, practices, values and economies, with an emphasis on the structures and conflicts between license-based and open publishing models.


Scholarly interests of sharing collide with commercial interests of generating profits. In the digital era, the scientific community might have a third economically viable alternative. This third way is based on what the authors call post-digital scholarly publishing.


Science should aim at as complete openness as possible. Scholarly activities advance best when the whole scientific community has access to both publications and research data.

What seems to stand in the way of scientific sharing is the global publishing industry in its present form. In the future, post-digital scholarly publishing might provide a means for finding an economically viable way between sharing economy and commercial interests.

URL : http://www.informationr.net/ir/22-3/paper769.html


Standardising and harmonising research data policy in scholarly publishing

Authors : Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Aliaksandr Birukou, Mathias Astell, Sowmya Swaminathan, Amye Kenall, Varsha Khodiyar

To address the complexities researchers face during publication, and the potential community-wide benefits of wider adoption of clear data policies, the publisher Springer Nature has developed a standardised, common framework for the research data policies of all its journals. An expert working group was convened to audit and identify common features of research data policies of the journals published by Springer Nature, where policies were present.

The group then consulted with approximately 30 editors, covering all research disciplines, within the organisation. The group also consulted with academic editors and librarians and funders, which informed development of the framework and the creation of supporting resources.

Four types of data policy were defined in recognition that some journals and research communities are more ready than others to adopt strong data policies. As of January 2017 more than 700 journals have adopted a standard policy and this number is growing weekly. To potentially enable standardisation and harmonisation of data policy across funders, institutions, repositories, societies and other publishers the policy framework was made available under a Creative Commons license.

However, the framework requires wider debate with these stakeholders and an Interest Group within the Research Data Alliance (RDA) has been formed to initiate this process.

This paper was presented at the 12th International Digital Curation Conference, Edinburgh, UK on 22 February 2017 and will be submitted to International Journal of Digital Curation.

URL : Standardising and harmonising research data policy in scholarly publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/122929

Academics’ behaviors and attitudes towards open access publishing in scholarly journals

Authors : Jennifer Rowley, Frances Johnson, Laura Sbaffi, Will Frass, Elaine Devine

While there is significant progress with policy and a lively debate regarding the potential impact of open access publishing, few studies have examined academics’ behavior and attitudes to open access publishing (OAP) in scholarly journals.

This article seeks to address this gap through an international and interdisciplinary survey of academics. Issues covered include: use of and intentions regarding OAP, and perceptions regarding advantages and disadvantages of OAP, journal article publication services, peer review, and reuse.

Despite reporting engagement in OAP, academics were unsure about their future intentions regarding OAP. Broadly, academics identified the potential for wider circulation as the key advantage of OAP, and were more positive about its benefits than they were negative about its disadvantages. As regards services, rigorous peer review, followed by rapid publication were most valued.

Academics reported strong views on reuse of their work; they were relatively happy with noncommercial reuse, but not in favor of commercial reuse, adaptations, and inclusion in anthologies. Comparing science, technology, and medicine with arts, humanities, and social sciences showed a significant difference in attitude on a number of questions, but, in general, the effect size was small, suggesting that attitudes are relatively consistent across the academic community.

URL : http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/114578/

Future Challenges and Opportunities in Academic Publishing

Author : Kyle Siler

Digitization and the rise of Open Access publishing is an important recent development in academic communication. The current publishing system exhibits challenges with cost, where many universities are forced to cancel journal subscriptions for economic reasons, as well as access, as scholars and the public alike often lack access to research published in paywalled subscription journals.

Open Access publishing solves the access problem, but not necessarily cost problems. Universities and researchers are currently in a challenging, interstitial stage of scholarly publishing. Subscription journals still dominate scholarly communication, yet a growing imperative to fund and support Open Access alternatives also exists.

Stakeholders, including faculty, university administrators, publishers, scientific funding institutions and librarians and governments alike currently strategize and fight for their professional and economic interests in the broader publishing system.

Four main trends are suggested that will characterize the future of scholarly publishing: 1) antagonism with scholarly associations; 2) changes and innovations to peer review; 3) Scientific/Intellectual Movements around Open Access 4) publishing and new professional niches in the publishing landscape.

This article suggests potential trajectories and outcomes for these various conflicts over the costs and benefits of academic publishing.

URL : https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/cjs/index.php/CJS/article/view/28140