Defining predatory journals and responding to the threat they pose: a modified Delphi consensus process

Authors : Samantha Cukier, Manoj M. Lalu, Gregory L. Bryson, Kelly D. Cobey, Agnes Grudniewicz, David Moher

Background

Posing as legitimate open access outlets, predatory journals and publishers threaten the integrity of academic publishing by not following publication best practices. Currently, there is no agreed upon definition of predatory journals, making it difficult for funders and academic institutions to generate practical guidance or policy to ensure their members do not publish in these channels.

Methods

We conducted a modified three-round Delphi survey of an international group of academics, funders, policy makers, journal editors, publishers and others, to generate a consensus definition of predatory journals and suggested ways the research community should respond to the problem.

Results

A total of 45 participants completed the survey on predatory journals and publishers. We reached consensus on 18 items out of a total of 33, to be included in a consensus definition of predatory journals and publishers.

We came to consensus on educational outreach and policy initiatives on which to focus, including the development of a single checklist to detect predatory journals and publishers, and public funding to support research in this general area.

We identified technological solutions to address the problem: a ‘one-stop-shop’ website to consolidate information on the topic and a ‘predatory journal research observatory’ to identify ongoing research and analysis about predatory journals/publishers.

Conclusions

In bringing together an international group of diverse stakeholders, we were able to use a modified Delphi process to inform the development of a definition of predatory journals and publishers.

This definition will help institutions, funders and other stakeholders generate practical guidance on avoiding predatory journals and publishers.

URL : Defining predatory journals and responding to the threat they pose: a modified Delphi consensus process

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/19010850

Open Access in developing countries – attitudes and experiences of researchers

Authors : Andy Nobes, Sian Harris

Open Access is often considered as particularly beneficial to researchers in the Global South. However, research into awareness of and attitudes to Open Access has been largely dominated by voices from the Global North.

A survey was conducted of 507 researchers from the developing world and connected to INASP’s AuthorAID project to ascertain experiences and attitudes to Open Access publishing.

The survey revealed problems for the researchers in gaining access to research literature in the first place. There was a very positive attitude to Open Access research and Open Access journals, but when selecting a journal in which to publish, Open Access was seen as a much less important criterion than factors relating to international reputation.

Overall, a majority of respondents had published in an Open Access journal and most of these had paid an article processing charge. Knowledge and use of self-archiving via repositories varied, and only around 20% had deposited their research in an institutional repository.

The study also examined attitudes to copyright, revealing most respondents had heard of Creative Commons licences and were positive about the sharing of research for educational use and dissemination, but there was unease about research being used for commercial purposes.

Respondents revealed a surprisingly positive stance towards openly sharing research data, although many revealed that they would need further guidance on how to do so. The survey also revealed that the majority had received emails from so called ‘predatory’ publishers and that a small minority had published in them.

URL : Open Access in developing countries – attitudes and experiences of researchers

Alternative location : https://zenodo.org/record/3464868

Rebels with a Cause? Supporting Library and Academic-led Open Access Publishing

Authors: Joe Deville, Jeroen Sondervan, Graham Stone, Sofie Wennström

The authors, who all have experience with academic publishing, outline the landscape of new university and academic-led open access publishing, before discussing four interrelated sets of challenges which are often referred when questioning the viability of such publishing ventures.

They are: (1) professionalism, (2) scale, (3) quality, and (4) discoverability & dissemination. The authors provide examples of how, albeit differing in size, form and ambition, these new presses are not just adhering to conventional publishing norms but often innovating in order to surpass them.

URL : Rebels with a Cause? Supporting Library and Academic-led Open Access Publishing

DOI : http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10277

A cross-sectional description of open access publication costs, policies and impact in emergency medicine and critical care journals

Authors : Chante Dove, Teresa M. Chan, Brent Thoma, Damian Roland, Stevan R. Bruijns

Introduction

Finding journal open access information alongside its global impact requires access to multiple databases. We describe a single, searchable database of all emergency medicine and critical care journals that include their open access policies, publication costs, and impact metrics.

Methods

A list of emergency medicine and critical care journals (including citation metrics) was created using Scopus (Citescore) and the Web of Science (Impact Factor). Cost of gold/hybrid open access and article process charges (open access fees) were collected from journal websites.

Self-archiving policies were collected from the Sherpa/RoMEO database. Relative cost of access in different regions were calculated using the World Bank Purchasing Power Parity index for authors from the United States, Germany, Turkey, China, Brazil, South Africa and Australia.

Results

We identified 78 emergency medicine and 82 critical care journals. Median Citescore for emergency medicine was 0.73 (interquartile range, IQR 0.32–1.27). Median impact factor was 1.68 (IQR 1.00–2.39). Median Citescore for critical care was 0.95 (IQR 0.25–2.06).

Median impact factor was 2.18 (IQR 1.73–3.50). Mean article process charge for emergency medicine was $2243.04, SD = $1136.16 and for critical care $2201.64, SD = $1174.38. Article process charges were 2.24, 1.75, 2.28 and 1.56 times more expensive for South African, Chinese, Turkish and Brazilian authors respectively than United States authors, but neutral for German and Australian authors (1.02 and 0.81 respectively).

The database can be accessed here: http://www.emct.info/publication-search.html.

Conclusions

We present a single database that captures emergency medicine and critical care journal impact rankings alongside its respective open access cost and green open access policies.

URL : A cross-sectional description of open access publication costs, policies and impact in emergency medicine and critical care journals

DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.afjem.2019.01.015

How libraries can support society publishers to accelerate their transition to full and immediate OA and Plan S

Authors : Alicia Wise, Lorraine Estelle

The relationship between libraries and society publishers has not previously been a close one. While transactions have in the past been mediated by third parties, larger commercial publishers or agents, there is now an opportunity for strategic new collaborations as societies seek to transition to open access (OA) and deploy business models compliant with Plan S.

Wellcome, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) commissioned Information Power Ltd to undertake to support society publishers in accelerating their transition to OA in alignment with Plan S.

Outcomes demonstrate support in principle from library consortia and their members to repurpose existing expenditure to help society publishers to successfully make a full transition to OA.

Principles to inform the short- and medium-term development of OA transformative agreements have been co-developed by consortium representatives and publishers to inform development of an OA transformative agreement toolkit.

URL : How libraries can support society publishers to accelerate their transition to full and immediate OA and Plan S

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.477

Perceptions of Educational Leadership Faculty Regarding Open Access Publishing

Authors : Jayson W. Richardson, Scott McLeod, Todd Hurst

There is a dearth of research on the perceptions of faculty members in educational leadership regarding open access publications. This reality may exist because of a lack of funding for educational leadership research, financial obstacles, tenure demands, or reputation concerns.

It may be that there are simply fewer established open access publishers with reputable impact factors to encourage publication by members in the field.

The current study seeks to answer the following question: “What are the perceptions of educational leadership faculty members in UCEA about open access publishing?”

The results are based on responses from 180 faculty members in the field of educational leadership.

URL : Perceptions of Educational Leadership Faculty Regarding Open Access Publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.22230/ijepl.2019v15n5a817

The Development of the Journal Evaluation Tool to Evaluate the Credibility of Publication Venues

Authors : Nataly Blas, Shilpa Rele, Marie R. Kennedy

INTRODUCTION

A shared concern among librarians who work in an academic environment is finding effective mechanisms to help faculty identify suitable publication venues. Determining the suitability is now also complicated by the need to determine the credibility of the venue itself, to ensure that faculty select a venue that is held in esteem.

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT

At Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a medium-sized, private institution in the United States, three librarians developed a tool to assist faculty in determining the credibility of a publication venue, specifically for open access journals.

This article outlines the development of a tool to evaluate journals, the pilot testing process, and some of the measures taken for the promotion, outreach, and implementation of the tool. The goal of the tool is to inform publishing decisions using an objective measure of credibility and to empower authors to make publishing decisions for themselves.

NEXT STEPS

The authors have released the tool with a Creative Commons CC-BY license in order to enable the broad dissemination, use, and enhancement of it by anyone interested in using or developing the tool further.

It will be valuable to understand the adapted use cases of the tool and learn about experiences from other librarians using this tool at their institutions.

URL : The Development of the Journal Evaluation Tool to Evaluate the Credibility of Publication Venues

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2250