Mapping the German Diamond Open Access Journal Landscape

Authors : Niels Taubert, Linda Sterzik, Andre Bruns

In the current scientific and political discourse surrounding the transformation of the scientific publication system, significant attention is focused on Diamond Open Access (OA).

This article explores the potential and challenges of Diamond OA journals, using Germany as a case study. Two questions are addressed: first, the current role of such journals in the scientific publication system is determined through bibliometric analysis across various disciplines. Second, an investigation is conducted to assess the sustainability of Diamond OA journals and identify associated structural problems or potential breaking points.

This investigation includes an in-depth expert interview study involving 20 editors of Diamond OA journals. The empirical results are presented using a landscape map that considers two dimensions: ‘monetized and gift-based completion of tasks’ and ‘journal team size.’ The bibliometric analysis reveals a substantial number of Diamond OA journals in the social sciences and humanities, but limited adoption in other fields.

The model proves effective for small to mid-sized journals, but not for larger ones. Additionally, it was found that 23 Diamond OA journals have recently discontinued their operations. The expert interviews demonstrate the usefulness of the two dimensions in understanding key differences.

Journals in two of the four quadrants of the map exemplify sustainable conditions, while the other two quadrants raise concerns about long-term stability. These concerns include limited funding leading to a lack of division of labor and an excessive burden on highly committed members.

These findings underscore the need for the development of more sustainable funding models to ensure the success of Diamond OA journals.


Characterizing the effect of retractions on scientific careers

Authors : Shahan Ali Memon, Kinga Makovi, Bedoor AlShebli

Retracting academic papers is a fundamental tool of quality control when the validity of papers or the integrity of authors is questioned post-publication. While retractions do not completely eliminate papers from the record, they have far-reaching consequences for retracted authors and their careers, serving as a visible and permanent signal of potential transgressions.

Previous studies have highlighted the adverse effects of retractions on citation counts and co-authors’ citations; however, the underlying mechanisms driving these effects and the broader impacts beyond these traditional metrics have not been fully explored.

We address this gap leveraging Retraction Watch, the most extensive data set on retractions and link it to Microsoft Academic Graph, a comprehensive data set of scientific publications and their citation networks, and Altmetric that monitors online attention to scientific output. Our investigation focuses on: 1) the likelihood of authors exiting scientific publishing following retraction, and 2) the evolution of collaboration networks among authors who continue publishing after retraction.

Our empirical analysis reveals that retracted authors, particularly those with less experience, tend to leave scientific publishing in the aftermath of retraction, particularly if their retractions attract widespread attention.

Furthermore, we uncover a pattern whereby retracted authors who remain active in publishing tend to maintain and establish more collaborations compared to their similar non-retracted counterparts.

Taken together, notwithstanding the indispensable role of retractions in upholding the integrity of the academic community, our findings shed light on the disproportionate impact that retractions impose on early-career researchers as opposed to those with more established careers.


Criticizing Paywall Publishing, or Integrating Open Access into Feminist Movement

Authors : Meggie Mapes, Teri Terigele

Dominant scholarly publishing models, reliant on expensive paywalls, remain preferential throughout higher education’s landscape. This essay engages paywall publishing from a feminist communicative perspective by asking, how can publishing extend or prohibit feminist movements? Or, as Nancy Fraser (2013) asks, “which modes of feminist theorizing should be incorporated into the new political imaginaries now being invented by new generations” (2)? With these questions in mind, we integrate feminist epistemologies into publishing practices to argue that open access is integral to the feminist movement.

The argument unfolds in three parts: first, we conduct a feminist criticism of paywall publishing by arguing that status quo practices constitute a dominant public based on onto-epistemological foundations of exclusion that systematically subordinate potentially liberatory knowledge Second, we consider open access as a feminist re-tooling that creates new political imaginaries.

In this section, we place open access in conversation with bell hooks’s conception of literacy and Fraser’s counterpublic theory. We conclude by considering how to live feminist lives with these criticisms and re-toolings in mind.

URL : Criticizing Paywall Publishing, or Integrating Open Access into Feminist Movement


It Takes a Researcher to Know a Researcher: Academic Librarian Perspectives Regarding Skills and Training for Research Data Support in Canada

Author : Alisa B. Rod


This empirical study aims to contribute qualitative evidence on the perspectives of data-related librarians regarding the necessary skills, education, and training for these roles in the context of Canadian academic libraries.

A second aim of this study is to understand the perspectives of data-related librarians regarding the specific role of the MLIS in providing relevant training and education. The definition of a data-related librarian in this study includes any librarian or professional who has a conventional title related to a field of data librarianship (i.e., research data management, data services, GIS, data visualization, data science) or any other librarian or professional whose duties include providing data-related services within an academic institution.


This study incorporates in-depth qualitative empirical evidence in the form of 12 semi-structured interviews of data-related librarians to investigate first-hand perspectives on the necessary skills required for such positions and the mechanisms for acquiring and maintaining such skills.


The interviews identified four major themes related to the skills required for library-related data services positions, including the perceived importance of experience conducting original research, proficiency in computational coding and quantitative methods, MLIS-related skills such as understanding metadata, and the ability to learn new skills quickly on the job.

Overall, the implication of this study regarding the training from MLIS programs concerning data-related librarianship is that although expertise in metadata, documentation, and information management are vital skills for data-related librarians, the MLIS is increasingly less competitive compared with degree programs that offer a greater emphasis on practical experience working with different types of data in a research context and implementing a variety of methodological approaches.


This study demonstrates that an in-depth qualitative portrait of data-related librarians within a national academic ecosystem provides valuable new insights regarding the perceived importance of conducting original empirical research to succeed in these roles.

URL : It Takes a Researcher to Know a Researcher: Academic Librarian Perspectives Regarding Skills and Training for Research Data Support in Canada


Open(ing) Access: Top Health Publication Availability to Researchers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Authors : John L. Kilgallon, Saumya Khanna, Tanujit Dey, Timothy R. Smith, Kavitha Ranganathan


Improving access to information for health professionals and researchers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is under-prioritized. This study examines publication policies that affect authors and readers from LMICs.


We used the SHERPA RoMEO database and publicly available publishing protocols to evaluate open access (OA) policies, article processing charges (APCs), subscription costs, and availability of health literature relevant to authors and readers in LMICs.

Categorical variables were summarized using frequencies with percentages. Continuous variables were reported with median and interquartile range (IQR).

Hypothesis testing procedures were performed using Wilcoxon rank sum tests, Wilcoxon rank sum exact tests, and Kruskal-Wallis test.


A total of 55 journals were included; 6 (11%) were Gold OA (access to readers and large charge for authors), 2 (3.6%) were subscription (charge for readers and small/no charge for authors), 4 (7.3%) were delayed OA (reader access with no charge after embargo), and 43 (78%) were hybrid (author’s choice).

There was no significant difference between median APC for life sciences, medical, and surgical journals ($4,850 [$3,500–$8,900] vs. $4,592 [$3,500–$5,000] vs. $3,550 [$3,200–$3,860]; p = 0.054). The median US individual subscription costs (USD/Year) were significantly different for life sciences, medical, and surgical journals ($259 [$209–$282] vs. $365 [$212–$744] vs. $455 [$365–$573]; p = 0.038), and similar for international readers.

A total of seventeen journals (42%) had a subscription price that was higher for international readers than for US readers.


Most journals offer hybrid access services. Authors may be forced to choose between high cost with greater reach through OA and low cost with less reach publishing under the subscription model under current policies.

International readers face higher costs. Such hindrances may be mitigated by a greater awareness and liberal utilization of OA policies.

URL : Open(ing) Access: Top Health Publication Availability to Researchers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries


How are academic libraries in Spanish-speaking Latin America responding to new models of scholarly communication and predatory publishing?

Author : Jairo Buitrago Ciro

The topic of predatory publishing and ways to combat it is garnering considerable attention in many parts of the developed world, where academic librarians are emerging as leaders in this regard. However, less is known about how this phenomenon is playing out in developing regions, including Spanish-speaking Latin America.

This study presents the results of a survey of 104 academic librarians in this region, along with follow-up interviews with seven respondents. The findings reveal that scholarly publishing literacy in general, and predatory publishing in particular, currently has low visibility in this part of the world, although there is growing recognition of and increasing concern about the issue.

Although there is some debate about whether scholarly publishing literacy should be the sole responsibility of the library, many participants agree that the library has a role to play. Moreover, while most of the librarians who participated perceive that they have a solid knowledge of open access, they are less confident in their understanding of predatory practices and are seeking to increase their skills and knowledge in this regard to better support researchers at their institutions.

To address this shortcoming, academic librarians in the region have expressed an interest in receiving training and in participating in international collaborations with other libraries that have already developed resources or programming in this area.

URL : How are academic libraries in Spanish-speaking Latin America responding to new models of scholarly communication and predatory publishing?


Who Guards the Gates? Feminist Methods of Scholarly Publishing

Authors : Laura Wildemann Kane, Amanda Licastro, Danica Savonick

As demonstrated by recent studies on bias in academic publishing, the traditional tiered system of peer-reviewed journals reproduces social hierarchies in terms of race, class, and gender.

Often, marginalized voices and methods are dismissed as less important, less rigorous, or too narrowly focused. These dismissals perpetuate the myths that only certain scholarship constitutes legitimate knowledge and only certain scholars can count as “knowers.”

In this essay, we explore how digital publishing can intervene in these processes and serve as a form of feminist activism. We take as our focus the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (JITP), founded in 2011 to expand the perspectives and standpoints that count as scholarly knowledge production and provide graduate students with editorial experience.

As three long-standing members of the journal’s editorial collective, we have firsthand knowledge of how JITP’s publishing methods were developed through debate, struggle, and dialogue, including many missteps and failures along the way.

We argue that JITP‘s collaborative knowledge practices of inclusive editorial governance, open access, and open peer review are fundamentally feminist, as they diversify scholarly voices and increase access to the material channels in and through which knowledge circulates.

At stake in our reflective analysis is a broader claim that extends beyond the parameters of our work with one particular journal: that feminist digital publishing methods can expand what counts as knowledge production.

URL : Who Guards the Gates? Feminist Methods of Scholarly Publishing