Journals that Rise from the Fourth Quartile to the First Quartile in Six Years or Less: Mechanisms of Change and the Role of Journal Self-Citations

Author : Juan Miguel Campanario

Journal self-citations may be increased artificially to inflate a journal’s scientometric indicators. The aim of this study was to identify possible mechanisms of change in a cohort of journals that rose from the fourth (Q4) to the first quartile (Q1) over six years or less in Journal Citation Reports (JCR), and the role of journal self-citations in these changes.

A total of 51 different journals sampled from all JCR Science Citation Index (SCI) subject categories improved their rank position from Q4 in 2009 to Q1 in any year from 2010 to 2015. I identified changes in the numerator or denominator of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) that were involved in each year-to-year transition.

The main mechanism of change was the increase in the number of citations used to compute the JIF. The effect of journal self-citations in the increase of the JIF was studied. The main conclusion is that there was no evidence of widespread JIF manipulation through the overuse of journal self-citations.

URL : Journals that Rise from the Fourth Quartile to the First Quartile in Six Years or Less: Mechanisms of Change and the Role of Journal Self-Citations

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications6040047

Marketing via Email Solicitation by Predatory (and Legitimate) Journals: An Evaluation of Quality, Frequency and Relevance

Authors: Warren Burggren, Dilip K. Madasu, Kevin S. Hawkins, Martin Halbert

INTRODUCTION

Open access (OA) journals have proliferated in recent years. Many journals are highly reputable, delivering on the promise of open access to research as an alternative to traditional, subscriptionbased journals.

Yet some OA journals border on, or clearly fall within, the realm of so-called “predatory journals.” Most discussion of such journals has focused on the quality of articles published within them.

Considerably less attention has been paid to the marketing practices of predatory journals—primarily their mass e-mailing—and to the impact that this practice may have on recipients’ perception of OA journals as a whole.

METHODS

This study analyzed a subset of the 1,816 e-mails received by a single university biology faculty member during a 24-month period (2015 and 2016) with an update from December 2017 and January 2018.

RESULTS

Of those e-mails sent in 2015, approximately 37% were copies or near-copies of previous e-mail messages sent to the recipient, less than 25% of e-mails from predatory journals mentioned publication fees, only about 30% of soliciting journals were listed in DOAJ, and only about 4% had an identifiable impact factor.

While most e-mails indicated a purported familiarity with, and respect for, the recipient, more than two thirds of the e-mails did not, implying use of mass-e-mailing methodologies.

Almost 80% of the e-mail solicitations had grammar and/or spelling mistakes. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, only a staggeringly small 4% of e-mails were judged highly relevant to the recipient’s area of expertise.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

In light of the marketing practices of many predatory journals, we advocate specific instructions for librarians, faculty mentors, and administrators of legitimate OA journals as they interact with new researchers, junior faculty, and other professionals learning how to discern the quality of journals that send direct e-mail solicitations.

URL : Marketing via Email Solicitation by Predatory (and Legitimate) Journals: An Evaluation of Quality, Frequency and Relevance

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2246

On the value of preprints: an early career researcher perspective

Authors : Sarvenaz Sarabipour​, Humberto J Debat, Edward Emmott, Steven Burgess, Benjamin Schwessinger, Zach Hensel

Peer-reviewed journal publication is the main means for academic researchers in the life sciences to create a permanent, public record of their work. These publications are also the de facto currency for career progress, with a strong link between journal brand recognition and perceived value.

The current peer-review process can lead to long delays between submission and publication, with cycles of rejection, revision and resubmission causing redundant peer review.

This situation creates unique challenges for early career researchers (ECRs), who rely heavily on timely publication of their work to gain recognition for their efforts. ECRs face changes in the academic landscape including the increased interdisciplinarity of life sciences research, expansion of the researcher population and consequent shifts in employer and funding demands.

The publication of preprints, publicly available scientific manuscripts posted on dedicated preprint servers prior to journal managed peer-review, can play a key role in addressing these ECR challenges.

Preprinting benefits include rapid dissemination of academic work, open access, establishing priority or concurrence, receiving feedback and facilitating collaborations. While there is a growing appreciation for and adoption of preprints, a minority of all articles in life sciences and medicine are preprinted.

The current low rate of preprint submissions in life sciences and ECR concerns regarding preprinting needs to be addressed.

We provide a perspective from an interdisciplinary group of early career researchers on the value of preprints and advocate the wide adoption of preprints to advance knowledge and facilitate career development.

URL : On the value of preprints: an early career researcher perspective

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.27400v1

Numérique et régime français des savoirs en~action : l’open en sciences. Le cas de la consultation République numérique (2015)

Auteur/Author : Célya Gruson-Daniel

Cette recherche prend la forme d’une enquête au sein des milieux de production des savoirs français contemporains et vise à comprendre les différentes significations du terme open en sciences. J’ai considéré le qualificatif open comme une formule.

L’analyse de ses traductions en français (ouvert, libre, gratuit), tout autant que des noms qui lui sont associés (science, data, access), constitue le fil directeur de mon étude. Cette enquête, qui a débuté en 2013, s’est surtout centrée sur un évènement particulier, la consultation sur le projet de loi pour une République numérique (septembre octobre 2015), en particulier l’article 9 sur « le libre accès aux publications scientifiques de la recherche publique ».

Cette consultation en ligne a donné une envergure nationale et publique aux problématiques d’accès aux savoirs. En tant qu’épreuve de réalité « équipée » d’un dispositif numérique participatif, elle a été l’occasion d’observer presque « en direct » la défense de différentes conceptions de « ce que devrait être » le régime contemporain des savoirs en France.

M’inscrivant dans une démarche par théorisation ancrée, j’ai constitué progressivement, à propos de ce moment particulier de cristallisation des débats sur l’open en sciences, un corpus de documents reflétant le déploiement des échanges sur des espaces/dispositifs numériques distincts : site web de la consultation, blogs scientifiques, revues académiques, médias « grand public », rapports.

Les mouvements itératifs de cette enquête, alliant méthodes numériques (réalisation d’une cartographie de similarité des votes) et analyse qualitative du corpus, tout autant que les concepts théoriques mobilisés à la croisée entre sciences de l’information et de la communication et sociologie pragmatique de la critique, ont donné lieu à une modélisation.

Cette dernière expose les perspectives argumentatives et les stratégies dans l’épreuve mises en oeuvre par diverses parties prenantes pour faire valoir leurs conceptions. Elle montre qu’elles sont sous-tendues par des logiques que j’ai rattachées à des esprits successifs du régime français des savoirs.

Par la suite, en passant de la modélisation à une théorisation transposable à d’autres terrains de recherche, je montre comment, derrière les discours sur l’open, la distinction entre deux logiques (technoindustrielle ou processuelle) peut être pertinente pour analyser les reconfigurations actuelles d’autres agencements sociétaux.

Les stratégies dans l’épreuve employées lors de la consultation illustrent dans ce sens la coexistence de deux conceptions « numériques » de la démocratie (représentative étendue ou contributive), présentes dans le design même de la plateforme consultative.

Dans la dernière partie, je propose d’expliquer les dynamiques de reconfiguration d’un esprit et d’un agencement sociétal dans une interprétation énactive en considérant les couplages permanents entre cognition, actions médiées par les technologies et environnement sociotechnique.

L’expérience même du doctorat narrée tout au long de ce récit constitue aussi l’exemple d’un processus d’énaction sur mes propres conceptions de l’open. En ce sens, elle ouvre une piste de réflexion sur la nature située et incarnée de toute production de savoirs, qui n’échappe pas aux limites tout autant qu’aux potentialités de la métacognition.

URL : Numérique et régime français des savoirs en~action : l’open en sciences. Le cas de la consultation République numérique (2015)

Alternative location : https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01926040

Les enjeux de l’interopérabilité dans la diffusion et la valorisation des données archéologiques

Auteur/Author : Pauline Vignaud

Discipline historique et scientifique, l’archéologie a vu ses pratiques évoluées depuis l’arrivée du numérique. Dès lors, plusieurs problématiques se sont imposées aux archéologues notamment dans leur manière de diffuser et de valoriser leurs données.

Dans ce contexte-là, des questions autour de l’interopérabilité ont émergé notamment les outils à développer (plateformes, applications, projets) et à mettre en place pour permettre le partage et la mise en valeur des données archéologiques.

Ce mémoire propose d’explorer toutes les thématiques (jeux de données, réutilisation…) où l’interopérabilité intervient dans cet environnement scientifique comme un facteur favorisant – ou problématique dans la diffusion et la valorisation.

URL : Les enjeux de l’interopérabilité dans la diffusion et la valorisation des données archéologiques

Alternative location : https://www.enssib.fr/bibliotheque-numerique/notices/68376-les-enjeux-de-l-interoperabilite-dans-la-diffusion-et-la-valorisation-des-donnees-archeologiques

Replication studies in economics—How many and which papers are chosen for replication, and why?

Authors : Frank Mueller-Langer, Benedikt Fecher, Dietmar Harhoff, Gert G.Wagner

We investigate how often replication studies are published in empirical economics and what types of journal articles are replicated. We find that between 1974 and 2014 0.1% of publications in the top 50 economics journals were replication studies.

We consider the results of published formal replication studies (whether they are negating or reinforcing) and their extent: Narrow replication studies are typically devoted to mere replication of prior work, while scientific replication studies provide a broader analysis.

We find evidence that higher-impact articles and articles by authors from leading institutions are more likely to be replicated, whereas the replication probability is lower for articles that appeared in top 5 economics journals.

Our analysis also suggests that mandatory data disclosure policies may have a positive effect on the incidence of replication.

URL : Replication studies in economics—How many and which papers are chosen for replication, and why?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.07.019

“No comment”?: A study of commenting on PLOS articles

Authors : Simon Wakeling, Peter Willett, Claire Creaser, Jenny Fry, Stephen Pinfield, Valerie Spezi, Marc Bonne, Christina Founti, Itzelle Medina Perea

Article commenting functionality allows users to add publically visible comments to an article on a publisher’s website. As well as facilitating forms of post-publication peer review, for publishers of open-access mega-journals (large, broad scope, OA journals that seek to publish all technically or scientifically sound research) comments are also thought to serve as a means for the community to discuss and communicate the significance and novelty of the research, factors which are not assessed during peer review.

In this paper we present the results of an analysis of commenting on articles published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS), publisher of the first and best-known mega-journal PLOS ONE, between 2003 and 2016.

We find that while overall commenting rates are low, and have declined since 2010, there is substantial variation across different PLOS titles. Using a typology of comments developed for this research we also find that only around half of comments engage in an academic discussion of the article, and that these discussions are most likely to focus on the paper’s technical soundness.

Our results suggest that publishers have yet to encourage significant numbers of readers to leave comments, with implications for the effectiveness of commenting as a means of collecting and communicating community perceptions of an article’s importance.

URL : http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/138717/