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.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2018.1537789

What Value Do Journal Whitelists and Blacklists Have in Academia?

Authors : Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Panagiotis Tsigaris

This paper aims to address the issue of predatory publishing, sensu lato. To achieve this, we offer our perspectives, starting initially with some background surrounding the birth of the concept, even though the phenomenon may have already existed long before the popularization of the term “predatory publishing”.

The issue of predation or “predatory” behavior in academic publishing is no longer limited to open access (OA). Many of the mainstream publishers that were exclusively subscription-based are now evolving towards a state of complete OA.

Academics seeking reliable sources of journals to publish their work tend to rely on a journal’s metrics such as citations and indexing, and on whether it is blacklisted or whitelisted.

Jeffrey Beall raised awareness of the risks of “predatory” OA publishing, and his blacklists of “predatory” OA journals and publishers began to be used for official purposes to distinguish valid from perceived invalid publishing venues.

We initially reflect on why we believe the blacklists created by Beall were flawed, primarily due to the weak set of criteria confusing non-predatory with true predatory journals leading to false positives and missing out on blacklisting true predatory journals due to false negatives.

Historically, most critiques of “predatory publishing” have relied excessively on Beall’s blacklists to base their assumptions and conclusions but there is a need to look beyond these.

There are currently a number of blacklists and whitelists circulating in academia, but they all have imperfections, such as the resurrected Beall blacklists, Crawford’s OA gray list based on Beall’s lists, Cabell’s new blacklist with about 11,000 journals, the DOAJ with about 11,700 OA journals, and UGC, with over 32,600 journals prior to its recent (May 2018) purge of 4305 journals.

The reader is led into a discussion about blacklists’ lack of reliability, using the scientific framework of conducting research to assess whether a journal could be predatory at the pre- and post-study levels. We close our discussion by offering arguments why we believe blacklists are academically invalid.

URL : What Value Do Journal Whitelists and Blacklists Have in Academia?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2018.09.017

Sustainable open access for scholarly journals in 6 years – the incubator model at Utrecht University Library Open Access Journals

Authors : Jeroen Sondervan, Fleur Stigter

Key points

  • Humanities and the social science journals need flexible funding models.
  • Pragmatism and collaboration are key to transforming traditional publishing initiatives.
  • The Uopen Journals model sets a 6‐year development target for developing sustainable journals.
  • Actively involved editors are key to a journal’s success.

The future of global research: A case study on the use of scenario planning in the publishing industry

Authors : Samira Rhoods, Anca Babor

Key points

  • Scenario planning is fun and engaging and is a good opportunity to revisit your company’s core strengths and competitive advantage!
  • Scenario planning should drive long‐term thinking in organizations.
  • It will change the nature of the strategic conversation and can be used to help validate business innovation.
  • Scenarios can help to engage with other organizations in the industry and help people work together to create preferred future outcomes.
  • The complexity of scenario planning should not be underestimated and shortcuts do not work.

URL : The future of global research: A case study on the use of scenario planning in the publishing industry

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1152

OpenAPC: a contribution to a transparent and reproducible monitoring of fee-based open access publishing across institutions and nations

Authors : Dirk Pieper, Christoph Broschinski

The OpenAPC initiative releases data sets on fees paid for open access (OA) journal articles by universities, funders and research institutions under an open database licence.

OpenAPC is part of the INTACT project, which is funded by the German Research Foundation and located at Bielefeld University Library.

This article provides insight into OpenAPC’s technical and organizational background and shows how transparent and reproducible reporting on fee-based open access can be conducted across institutions and publishers to draw conclusions on the state of the OA transformation process.

As part of the INTACT subproject, ESAC, the article also shows how OpenAPC workflows can be used to analyse offsetting deals, using the example of Springer Compact agreements.

URL : OpenAPC: a contribution to a transparent and reproducible monitoring of fee-based open access publishing across institutions and nations

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.439

Predatory Open Access Journals Publishing: What, Why and How?

Author : Shamprasad M. Pujar

The Internet has transformed scholarly publishing and made the availability of online resources possible, both in subscription and open access models. Open access, has enabled wider access to the scholarly literature, thus reducing the digital divide among the haves and have-nots.

In the case of journal articles, even though its ‘Gold’ (author pays model) and ‘Green’ access models have risen to the occasion, but some publishers of journals have turned its ‘Gold’ model to their advantage to earn a profit by charging fees for publication and adopting certain unethical practices of publishing.

An effort has been made here to explore what is ‘Predatory’ open access journals publishing, why this kind of publishing is flourishing and how this model works.

URL : http://hdl.handle.net/10760/32032

Towards a Decentralized Process for Scientific Publication and Peer Review using Blockchain and IPFS

Authors : Antonio Tenorio-Fornés, Viktor Jacynycz, David Llop, Antonio A. Sanchez-Ruiz, Samer Hassan

The current processes of scientific publication and peer review raise concerns around fairness, quality, performance, cost, and accuracy. The Open Access movement has been unable to fulfill all its promises, and a few middlemen publishers can still impose policies and concentrate profits.

This paper, using emerging distributed technologies such as Blockchain and IPFS, proposes a decentralized publication system for open science.

The proposed system would provide (1) a distributed reviewer reputation system, (2) an Open Access by-design infrastructure, and (3) transparent governance processes.

A survey is used to evaluate the problems, proposed solutions and possible adoption resistances, while a working prototype serves as a proof-of-concept.

Additionally, the paper discusses the implementation, in a distributed context, of different privacy settings for both open peer review and reputation systems, introducing a novel approach supporting both anonymous and accountable reviews. The paper concludes reviewing the open challenges of this ambitious proposal.

URL : Towards a Decentralized Process for Scientific Publication and Peer Review using Blockchain and IPFS