Open access publishers: The new players

Authors : Rosângela Schwarz Rodrigues, Ernest Abadal, Breno Kricheldorf Hermes de Araújo

The essential role of journals as registries of scientific activity in all areas of knowledge justifies concern about their ownership and type of access. The purpose of this research is to analyze the main characteristics of publishers with journals that have received the DOAJ Seal.

The specific objectives are a) to identify publishers and journals registered with the DOAJ Seal; b) to characterize those publishers; and c) to analyze their article processing fees.

The research method involved the use of the DOAJ database, the Seal option and the following indicators: publisher, title, country, number of articles, knowledge area, article processing charges in USD, time for publication in weeks, and year of indexing in DOAJ.

The results reveal a fast-rising oligopoly, dominated by Springer with 35% of the titles and PLOS with more than 20% of the articles.

We’ve identified three models of expansion: a) a few titles with hundreds of articles; b) a high number of titles with a mix of big and small journals; and c) a high number of titles with medium-size journals.

We identify a high number of titles without APCs (27%) in all areas while medicine was found to be the most expensive area.

Commercial publishers clearly exercise control over the scope of journals and the creation of new titles, according to the interests of their companies, which are not necessarily the same as those of the scientific community or of society in general.

URL : Open access publishers: The new players

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233432

Canadian OA scholarly journals: An exhaustive survey

Author : Marc Couture

This report presents the results of an exhaustive study of more than 500 active, legitimate, Canadian, Open Access scholarly journals.

After an extensive discussion on the definition chosen for each of these terms, which determines the number of journals retained for the study, I present various characteristics of these journals, followed by a discussion on the issues faced by journals not indexed in DOAJ that would consider to apply.

I present next the results of a detailed investigation on the way these journals manage copyright, and the various problems I detected in this regard.

URL : https://r-libre.teluq.ca/106/

Scholarly journal publishing in transition: from restricted to open access

Author : Bo-Christer Björk

While the business models used in most segments of the media industry have been profoundly changed by the Internet surprisingly little has been changed in the publishing of scholarly peer reviewed journals.

Electronic delivery has become the norm, but the same publishers as before are dominating the market, selling content to subscribers. This article asks the question why Open Access (OA) to the output of mainly publicly funded research hasn’t yet become the mainstream business model.

OA implies a reversal of business logic from readers paying for content to authors paying fro dissemination via universa free access. The current situation is analyzed using Porter’s five forces model.

The analysis demonstrates a lack of competitive pressure in this industry, leading to so high profit levels of the leading publishers that they have yet to feel a strong need to change the way they operate.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1912.12646

Transparent, Reproducible, and Open Science Practices of Published Literature in Dermatology Journals: Cross-Sectional Analysis

Authors : J Michael Anderson, Andrew Niemann, Austin L Johnson, Courtney Cook, Daniel Tritz, Matt Vassar

Background

Reproducible research is a foundational component for scientific advancements, yet little is known regarding the extent of reproducible research within the dermatology literature.

Objective

This study aimed to determine the quality and transparency of the literature in dermatology journals by evaluating for the presence of 8 indicators of reproducible and transparent research practices.

Methods

By implementing a cross-sectional study design, we conducted an advanced search of publications in dermatology journals from the National Library of Medicine catalog. Our search included articles published between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2018.

After generating a list of eligible dermatology publications, we then searched for full text PDF versions by using Open Access Button, Google Scholar, and PubMed. Publications were analyzed for 8 indicators of reproducibility and transparency—availability of materials, data, analysis scripts, protocol, preregistration, conflict of interest statement, funding statement, and open access—using a pilot-tested Google Form.

Results

After exclusion, 127 studies with empirical data were included in our analysis. Certain indicators were more poorly reported than others. We found that most publications (113, 88.9%) did not provide unmodified, raw data used to make computations, 124 (97.6%) failed to make the complete protocol available, and 126 (99.2%) did not include step-by-step analysis scripts.

Conclusions

Our sample of studies published in dermatology journals do not appear to include sufficient detail to be accurately and successfully reproduced in their entirety. Solutions to increase the quality, reproducibility, and transparency of dermatology research are warranted.

More robust reporting of key methodological details, open data sharing, and stricter standards journals impose on authors regarding disclosure of study materials might help to better the climate of reproducible research in dermatology.

URL : Transparent, Reproducible, and Open Science Practices of Published Literature in Dermatology Journals: Cross-Sectional Analysis

DOI : https://doi.org/10.2196/16078

Attitudes of North American Academics toward Open Access Scholarly Journals

Authors : Elizabeth D. Dalton, Carol Tenopir, Bo-Christer Björk

In this study, the authors examine attitudes of researchers toward open access (OA) scholarly journals.

Using two-step cluster analysis to explore survey data from faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers at large North American research institutions, two different cluster types emerge: Those with a positive attitude toward OA and a desire to reach the nonscholarly audience groups who would most benefit from OA (“pro-OA”), and those with a more negative, skeptical attitude and less interest in reaching nonscholarly readers (“non-OA”).

The article explores these cluster identities in terms of position type, subject discipline, and productivity, as well as implications for policy and practice.

URL : https://preprint.press.jhu.edu/portal/sites/ajm/files/20.1dalton.pdf

Intellectual and social similarity among scholarly journals: An exploratory comparison of the networks of editors, authors and co-citations

Authors : Alberto Baccini, Lucio Barabesi, Mahdi Khelfaoui, Yves Gingras

This paper explores, by using suitable quantitative techniques, to what extent the intellectual proximity among scholarly journals is also proximity in terms of social communities gathered around the journals.

Three fields are considered: statistics, economics and information and library sciences. Co-citation networks represent intellectual proximity among journals. The academic communities around the journals are represented by considering the networks of journals generated by authors writing in more than one journal (interlocking authorship: IA), and the networks generated by scholars sitting on the editorial board of more than one journal (interlocking editorship: IE).

Dissimilarity matrices are considered to compare the whole structure of the networks. The CC, IE, and IA networks appear to be correlated for the three fields. The strongest correlation is between CC and IA for the three fields.

Lower and similar correlations are obtained for CC and IE, and for IE and IA. The CC, IE, and IA networks are then partitioned in communities. Information and library sciences is the field in which communities are more easily detectable, whereas the most difficult field is economics.

The degrees of association among the detected communities show that they are not independent. For all the fields, the strongest association is between CC and IA networks; the minimum level of association is between IE and CC.

Overall, these results indicate that intellectual proximity is also proximity among authors and among editors of the journals. Thus, the three maps of editorial power, intellectual proximity, and authors communities tell similar stories.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00006

Do we need to move from communication technology to user community? A new economic model of the journal as a club

Authors : John Hartley, Jason Potts, Lucy Montgomery, Ellie Rennie, Cameron Neylon

Much of the argument around reforming, remaking, or preserving the traditions of scholarly publishing is built on economic principles, explicit or implicit. Can we afford open access (OA)?

How do we pay for high‐quality services? Why does it cost so much? In this article, we argue that the sterility of much of this debate is a result of failure to tackle the question of what a journal is in economic terms.

We offer a way through by demonstrating that a journal is a club and discuss the implications for the scholarly publishing industry.

We use examples, ranging from OA to prestige journals, to explain why congestion is a problem for club‐based publications, and to discuss the importance of creative destruction for the maintenance of knowledge‐generating communities in publishing.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1228