Applying Librarian- Created Evaluation Tools to Determine Quality and Credibility of Open Access Library Science Journals

Authors : Maggie Albro, Jessica L. Serrao, Christopher D. Vidas, Jenessa M. McElfresh, K. Megan Sheffield, Megan Palmer

This article explores the application of journal quality and credibility evaluation tools to library science publications. The researchers investigate quality and credibility attributes of forty-eight peer-reviewed library science journals with open access components using two evaluative tools developed and published by librarians.

The results identify common positive and negative attributes of library science journals, compare the results of the two evaluation tools, and discuss their ease of use and limitations. Overall, the results show that while library science journals do not fall prey to the same concerning characteristics that librarians use to caution other researchers, there are several areas in which publishers can improve the quality and credibility of their journals.


Scientific collaboration on open science in the field of Information Science

Authors : Lígia Parreira Muniz Gäal, César Antonio Pereira


Open Science is a movement largely based on knowledge sharing and its discussion has been carried out by several areas, including Information Science. Scientific collaboration has potential to benefit science in several ways, however, little is known about country collaboration in this area.


Therefore, the objective of this work is to analyze scientific cooperation between countries on the subject of Open Science in the field of Information Science.


The network analysis method (co-authorship between countries) and the frequency of keywords were used to identify the most discussed subjects.


The results showed that England has a central position in the scientific collaboration network. However, it is necessary to improve communication to avoid loss of quality in the information transmission.


The Open Access theme is still the most evident, however, topics such as research data management have gained notoriety in discussions on Open Science in the field of Information Science.

URL : Scientific collaboration on open science in the field of Information Science


Clickbait or conspiracy? How Twitter users address the epistemic uncertainty of a controversial preprint

Authors : Mareike Bauer, Maximilian Heimstädt, Carlos Franzreb, Sonja Schimmler

Many scientists share preprints on social media platforms to gain attention from academic peers, policy-makers, and journalists. In this study we shed light on an unintended but highly consequential effect of sharing preprints: Their contribution to conspiracy theories. Although the scientific community might quickly dismiss a preprint as insubstantial and ‘clickbaity’, its uncertain epistemic status nevertheless allows conspiracy theorists to mobilize the text as scientific support for their own narratives.

To better understand the epistemic politics of preprints on social media platforms, we studied the case of a biomedical preprint, which was shared widely and discussed controversially on Twitter in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Using a combination of social network analysis and qualitative content analysis, we compared the structures of engagement with the preprint and the discursive practices of scientists and conspiracy theorists.

We found that despite substantial engagement, scientists were unable to dampen the conspiracy theorists’ enthusiasm for the preprint. We further found that members from both groups not only tried to reduce the preprint’s epistemic uncertainty but sometimes deliberately maintained it.

The maintenance of epistemic uncertainty helped conspiracy theorists to reinforce their group’s identity as skeptics and allowed scientists to express concerns with the state of their profession.

Our study contributes to research on the intricate relations between scientific knowledge and conspiracy theories online, as well as the role of social media platforms for new genres of scholarly communication.

URL : Clickbait or conspiracy? How Twitter users address the epistemic uncertainty of a controversial preprint


Communication Scholarship and the Quest for Open Access

Authors : Preston Carmack, Michael R. Kearney, Abbey N. McCann

The advent of black, green, and gold open access publication models poses unique questions for scholars of communication. Plato’s (1956) classic critique of writing in the legend of Theuth and Thamus warned that the printed word “rolls about all over the place, falling into the hands of those who have no concern with it” (pp. 69–70).

More than two 2 millennia later, scholars and administrators at all levels of the discipline face just such a phenomenon. As scholars of cyberspace debate whether “information wants to be free” (Levy, 2014), a communication perspective involves consideration of the importance of authorship and attribution amid an ever-shifting array of digital publishing options and subversions.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the ongoing transformation of academic publishing by examining black, green, and gold open access models, the responses of the communication discipline, and ongoing questions surrounding the nature and extent of accessibility.

As access options for research and publication continue to evolve, this study hopes to provide coordinates for administrators seeking to navigate questions concerning the what, how, and why of communication scholarship in a digital age.

URL : Communication Scholarship and the Quest for Open Access

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Open access movement in the scholarly world: Pathways for libraries in developing countries

Authors : Arslan Sheikh, Joanna Richardson

Open access is a scholarly publishing model that has emerged as an alternative to traditional subscription-based journal publishing. This study explores the adoption of the open access movement worldwide and the role that libraries can play in addressing those factors which are slowing its progress within developing countries.

The study has drawn upon both qualitative data from a focused literature review and quantitative data from major open access platforms. The results indicate that while the open access movement is steadily gaining acceptance worldwide, the progress in developing countries within geographical areas such as Africa, Asia and Oceania is quite a bit slower.

Two significant factors are the cost of publishing fees and the lack of institutional open access mandates and policies to encourage uptake. The study provides suggested strategies for academic libraries to help overcome current challenges.


The Oligopoly’s Shift to Open Access. How the Big Five Academic Publishers Profit from Article Processing Charges

Authors : Leigh-Ann Butler, Lisa Matthias, Marc-André Simard, Philippe Mongeon, Stefanie Haustein

This study aims to estimate the total amount of article processing charges (APCs) paid to publish open access (OA) in journals controlled by the five large commercial publishers Elsevier, Sage, Springer-Nature, Taylor & Francis and Wiley between 2015 and 2018.

Using publication data from WoS, OA status from Unpaywall and annual APC prices from open datasets and historical fees retrieved via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, we estimate that globally authors paid $1.06 billion in publication fees to these publishers from 2015–2018.

Revenue from gold OA amounted to $612.5 million, while $448.3 million was obtained for publishing OA in hybrid journals. Among the five publishers, Springer-Nature made the most revenue from OA ($589.7 million), followed by Elsevier ($221.4 million), Wiley ($114.3 million), Taylor & Francis ($76.8 million) and Sage ($31.6 million).

With Elsevier and Wiley making most of APC revenue from hybrid fees and others focusing on gold, different OA strategies could be observed between publishers.

URL : The Oligopoly’s Shift to Open Access. How the Big Five Academic Publishers Profit from Article Processing Charges


Varieties of diffusion in academic publishing: How status and legitimacy influence growth trajectories of new innovation

Authors : Kyle Siler, Vincent Larivière

Open Access (OA) publishing has progressed from an initial fringe idea to a still-growing, major component of modern academic communication. The proliferation of OA publishing presents a context to examine how new innovations and institutions develop.

Based on analyses of 1,296,304 articles published in 83 OA journals, we analyze changes in the institutional status, gender, age, citedness, and geographical locations of authors over time. Generally, OA journals tended towards core-to-periphery diffusion patterns.

Specifically, journal authors tended to decrease in high-status institutional affiliations, male and highly cited authors over time. Despite these general tendencies, there was substantial variation in the diffusion patterns of OA journals. Some journals exhibited no significant demographic changes, and a few exhibited periphery-to-core diffusion patterns.

We find that although both highly and less-legitimate journals generally exhibit core-to-periphery diffusion patterns, there are still demographic differences between such journals. Institutional and cultural legitimacy—or lack thereof—affects the social and intellectual diffusion of new OA journals.

URL : Varieties of diffusion in academic publishing: How status and legitimacy influence growth trajectories of new innovation