Negative Effects of “Predatory” Journals on Global Health Research

Authors : Diego A. Forero, Marilyn H. Oermann, Andrea Manca, Franca Deriu, Hugo Mendieta-Zerón, Mehdi Dadkhah, Roshan Bhad, Smita N. Deshpande, Wei Wang, Myriam Patricia Cifuentes

Predatory journals (PJ) exploit the open-access model promising high acceptance rate and fast track publishing without proper peer review. At minimum, PJ are eroding the credibility of the scientific literature in the health sciences as they actually boost the propagation of errors.

In this article, we identify issues with PJ and provide several responses, from international and interdisciplinary perspectives in health sciences.

Authors, particularly researchers with limited previous experience with international publications, need to be careful when considering potential journals for submission, due to the current existence of large numbers of PJ.

Universities around the world, particularly in developing countries, might develop strategies to discourage their researchers from submitting manuscripts to PJ or serving as members of their editorial committees.

URL : Negative Effects of “Predatory” Journals on Global Health Research


Supporting FAIR Data Principles with Fedora

Author: David Wilcox

Making data findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable is an important but challenging goal. From an infrastructure perspective, repository technologies play a key role in supporting FAIR data principles.

Fedora is a flexible, extensible, open source repository platform for managing, preserving, and providing access to digital content. Fedora is used in a wide variety of institutions including libraries, museums, archives, and government organizations.

Fedora provides native linked data capabilities and a modular architecture based on well-documented APIs and ease of integration with existing applications. As both a project and a community, Fedora has been increasingly focused on research data management, making it well-suited to supporting FAIR data principles as a repository platform.

Fedora provides strong support for persistent identifiers, both by minting HTTP URIs for each resource and by allowing any number of additional identifiers to be associated with resources as RDF properties.

Fedora also supports rich metadata in any schema that can be indexed and disseminated using a variety of protocols and services. As a linked data server, Fedora allows resources to be semantically linked both within the repository and on the broader web.

Along with these and other features supporting research data management, the Fedora community has been actively participating in related initiatives, most notably the Research Data Alliance.

Fedora representatives participate in a number of interest and working groups focused on requirements and interoperability for research data repository platforms.

This participation allows the Fedora project to both influence and be influenced by an international group of Research Data Alliance stakeholders. This paper will describe how Fedora supports FAIR data principles, both in terms of relevant features and community participation in related initiatives.

URL : Supporting FAIR Data Principles with Fedora


A Very Long Embargo: Journal Choice Reveals Active Non-Compliance with Funder Open Access Policies by Australian and Canadian Neuroscientists

Authors: Shaun Yon-Seng Khoo, Belinda Po Pyn Lay

Research funders around the world have implemented open access policies that require funded research to be made open access, usually by self-archiving, within 12 months of publication.

Elsevier is unique among major science publishers because it produces several journals with non-compliant self-archiving embargoes of more than 12 months. We used Elsevier’s Scopus database to study the rate at which Australian and Canadian neuroscientists publish in Elsevier’s non-compliant (embargoes > 12 months) and compliant journals (embargoes ≤ 12 months).

We also examined publications in immediate open access neuroscience journals that had the DOAJ Seal and neuroscience publications in open access mega-journals. We found that the implementation of Australian and Canadian funder open access policies in 2012/2013 and 2015 did not reduce the number of publications in non-compliant journals.

Instead, scientific output in all publication types increased with the greatest growth in immediate open access journals. This data suggests that funder open access policies that are similar to the Australian and Canadian policies are likely to have little effect beyond an association with a general cultural trend towards open access.

URL : A Very Long Embargo: Journal Choice Reveals Active Non-Compliance with Funder Open Access Policies by Australian and Canadian Neuroscientists



The Evolution of the Concept of Semantic Web in the Context of Wikipedia: An Exploratory Approach to Study the Collective Conceptualization in a Digital Collaborative Environment

Authors : Luís Miguel Machado, Maria Manuel Borges, Renato Rocha Souza

Wikipedia, as a “social machine”, is a privileged place to observe the collective construction of concepts without central control. Based on Dahlberg’s theory of concept, and anchored in the pragmatism of Hjørland—in which the concepts are socially negotiated meanings—the evolution of the concept of semantic web (SW) was analyzed in the English version of Wikipedia.

An exploratory, descriptive, and qualitative study was designed and we identified 26 different definitions (between 12 July 2001 and 31 December 2017), of which eight are of particular relevance for their duration, with the latter being the two recorded at the end of the analyzed period.

According to them, SW: “is an extension of the web” and “is a Web of Data”; the latter, used as a complementary definition, links to Berners-Lee’s publications. In Wikipedia, the evolution of the SW concept appears to be based on the search for the use of non-technical vocabulary and the control of authority carried out by the debate.

As a space for collective bargaining of meanings, the Wikipedia study may bring relevant contributions to a community’s understanding of a particular concept and how it evolves over time.

URL : The Evolution of the Concept of Semantic Web in the Context of Wikipedia: An Exploratory Approach to Study the Collective Conceptualization in a Digital Collaborative Environment


Unethical aspects of open access

Authors : David Shaw, Bernice Elger

In this article we identify and discuss several ethical problematic aspects of open access scientific publishing.

We conclude that, despite some positive effects, open access is unethical for at least three reasons: it discriminates against researchers, creates an editorial conflict of interest and diverts funding from the actual conduct of research. To be truly open access, all researchers must be able to access its benefits.


Scholars’ temporal participation on, temporary disengagement from, and return to Twitter

Authors : George Veletsianos, Royce Kimmons, Olga Belikov, Nicole Johnson

Even though the extant literature investigates how and why academics use social media, much less is known about academics’ temporal patterns of social media use.

This mixed methods study provides a first-of-its-kind investigation into temporal social media use. In particular, we study how academics’ use of Twitter varies over time and examine the reasons why academics temporarily disengage and return to the social media platform.

We employ data mining methods to identify a sample of academics on Twitter (n = 3,996) and retrieve the tweets they posted (n = 9,025,127). We analyze quantitative data using descriptive and inferential statistics, and qualitative data using the constant comparative approach.

Results show that Twitter use is predominantly connected to traditional work hours and is well-integrated into academics’ professional endeavors, suggesting that professional use of Twitter has become “ordinary.”

Though scholars rarely announce their departure from or return to Twitter, approximately half of this study’s participants took some kind of a break from Twitter.

Although users returned to Twitter for both professional and personal reasons, conferences and workshops were found to be significant events stimulating the return of academic users.


The insoluble problems of books: What does have to offer?

Authors : Daniel Torres-Salinas, Juan Gorraiz, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the capabilities, functionalities and appropriateness of as a data source for the bibliometric analysis of books in comparison to PlumX.

We perform an exploratory analysis on the metrics the Altmetric Explorer for Institutions platform offers for books. We use two distinct datasets of books: the Book Collection included in and the Clarivate’s Master Book List, to analyze’s capabilities to download and merge data with external databases.

Finally, we compare our findings with those obtained in a previous study performed in PlumX. combines and orderly tracks a set of data sources combined by DOI identifiers to retrieve metadata from books, being Google Books its main provider. It also retrieves information from commercial publishers and from some Open Access initiatives, including those led by university libraries such as Harvard Library.

We find issues with linkages between records and mentions or ISBN discrepancies. Furthermore, we find that automatic bots affect greatly Wikipedia mentions to books. Our comparison with PlumX suggests that none of these tools provide a complete picture of the social attention generated by books and are rather complementary than comparable tools.