Going Open Access: The Attitudes and Actions of Scientific Journal Editors in China

Authors : Wenqi Fu, Jie Xu, Qing Fang, Jingjia Ding, Hanqing Ma

This study aims to investigate the attitudes and actions of scientific journal editors in China towards open access. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 Chinese editors from various scientific journals during September and October of 2022.

The results indicate that the editors generally possess knowledge of open access and have implemented an appropriate open access model for their respective journals. However, the Chinese-language journal editors expressed a lack of motivation to adopt open access, unless there is a reform in the mechanism of academic publishing or a policy is imposed.

On the other hand, the English-language journal editors acknowledged that they have no other choice but to adopt open access. This study helps us learn about Chinese editors’ understanding and attitudes towards open access, the current status of open access in China’s scientific journals, and the mechanisms of academic publishing in China.

URL : Going Open Access: The Attitudes and Actions of Scientific Journal Editors in China

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications12010001

Presence of women on the editorial boards of the language and linguistics journals in Spain

Authors : Cristina Rodríguez-Faneca, Alexander Maz-Machado, David Gutiérrez-Rubio, Cristina Pedrosa-Jesús

Many international studies have pointed out the under-representation of women on Editorial Boards of both Science and Social Science journals. Their presence as Editorial Board members is relevant as they influence and reflect the policies of the journal itself.

This study analyses the participation of women on the Editorial Boards of the Spanish Language and Linguistics journals in SCOPUS. To this end, 54 journals indexed in SCOPUS were analysed, thus discriminating the gender of all members and the role that each member plays on the Editorial Board.

The results show no significant differences in the participation of men and women in these Editorial Boards. It was not found any evidence of gender bias in these journals.

URL : Presence of women on the editorial boards of the language and linguistics journals in Spain

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-022-04412-8

Attracting new users or business as usual? A case study of converting academic subscription-based journals to open access

Author : Lars Wenaas

This paper studies a selection of 11 Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies.

By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014–2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase, which can be attributed to the conversion.

Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors.

The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict policies targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00126

Honest signaling in academic publishing

Authors : Leonid Tiokhin, Karthik Panchanathan, Daniel Lakens, Simine Vazire, Thomas Morgan, Kevin Zollman

Academic journals provide a key quality-control mechanism in science. Yet, information asymmetries and conflicts of interests incentivize scientists to deceive journals about the quality of their research.

How can honesty be ensured, despite incentives for deception? Here, we address this question by applying the theory of honest signaling to the publication process. Our models demonstrate that several mechanisms can ensure honest journal submission, including differential benefits, differential costs, and costs to resubmitting rejected papers.

Without submission costs, scientists benefit from submitting all papers to high-ranking journals, unless papers can only be submitted a limited number of times. Counterintuitively, our analysis implies that inefficiencies in academic publishing (e.g., arbitrary formatting requirements, long review times) can serve a function by disincentivizing scientists from submitting low-quality work to high-ranking journals.

Our models provide simple, powerful tools for understanding how to promote honest paper submission in academic publishing.

URL : Honest signaling in academic publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246675

Tracing the context in disciplinary classifications: A bibliometric pairwise comparison of five classifications of journals in the social sciences and humanities

Authors : Linda Sīle, Raf Guns, Frédéric Vandermoere, Gunnar Sivertsen, Tim C. E. Engels

Despite the centrality of disciplinary classifications in bibliometric analyses, it is not well known how the choice of disciplinary classification influences bibliometric representations of research in the social sciences and humanities (SSH).

This is especially crucial when using data from national databases. Therefore, we examine the differences in the disciplinary profile of an article along with the absolute and relative number of articles across disciplines using five disciplinary classifications for journals. We use data on journal articles (2006–2015) from the national bibliographic databases VABB-SHW in Flanders (Belgium) and Cristin in Norway.

Our study is based on pairwise comparisons of the local classifications used in these databases, the Web of Science subject categories, the Science-Metrix, and the ERIH PLUS journal classifications.

For comparability, all classifications are mapped to the OECD Fields of Research and Development classification. The findings show that the choice of disciplinary classification can lead to over- or underestimation of the absolute number of publications per discipline.

In contrast, if the focus is on the relative numbers, the choice of classification has practically no influence. These findings facilitate an informed choice of a disciplinary classification for journals in SSH when using data from national databases.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00110

‘Nepotistic journals’: a survey of biomedical journals

Authors : Alexandre Scanff, Florian Naudet, Ioana Cristea, David Moher, Dorothy V M Bishop, Clara Locher


Convergent analyses in different disciplines support the use of the Percentage of Papers by the Most Prolific author (PPMP) as a red flag to identify journals that can be suspected of questionable editorial practices. We examined whether this index, complemented by the Gini index, could be useful for identifying cases of potential editorial bias, using a large sample of biomedical journals.


We extracted metadata for all biomedical journals referenced in the National Library of Medicine, with any attributed Broad Subject Terms, and at least 50 authored (i.e. by at least one author) articles between 2015 and 2019, identifying the most prolific author (i.e. the person who signed the most papers in each particular journal).

We calculated the PPMP and the 2015-2019 Gini index for the distribution of articles across authors. When the relevant information was reported, we also computed the median publication lag (time between submission and acceptance) for articles authored by any of the most prolific authors and that for articles not authored by prolific authors.

For outlier journals, defined as a PPMP or Gini index above the 95th percentile of their respective distributions, a random sample of 100 journals was selected and described in relation to status on the editorial board for the most prolific author.


5 468 journals that published 4 986 335 papers between 2015 and 2019 were analysed. The PPMP 95th percentile was 10.6% (median 2.9%). The Gini index 95th percentile was 0.355 (median 0.183). Correlation between the two indices was 0.35 (95CI 0.33 to 0.37). Information on publication lag was available for 2 743 journals.

We found that 277 journals (10.2%) had a median time lag to publication for articles by the most prolific author(s) that was shorter than 3 weeks, versus 51 (1.9%) journals with articles not authored by prolific author(s).

Among the random sample of outlier journals, 98 provided information about their editorial board. Among these 98, the most prolific author was part of the editorial board in 60 cases (61%), among whom 25 (26% of the 98) were editors-in-chief.


In most journals publications are distributed across a large number of authors. Our results reveal a subset of journals where a few authors, often members of the editorial board, were responsible for a disproportionate number of publications.

The papers by these authors were more likely to be accepted for publication within 3 weeks of their submission. To enhance trust in their practices, journals need to be transparent about their editorial and peer review practices.

URL : ‘Nepotistic journals’: a survey of biomedical journals

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.03.429520

Visibilité et évaluation des revues scientifiques

Auteur/Author : Françoise Gouzi

Cet article a pour ambition de proposer une approche multicritère et explicitement qualitative pour l’évaluation de la qualité scientifique des revues. Le système d’évaluation des articles scientifiques repose depuis des décennies sur la contribution scientifique et sur le support de publication , donc sur la revue dans laquelle ils sont publiés.

Si la citation (notamment en sciences des techniques et médicales) constitue également un indicateur bibliométrique central de l’évaluation a posteriori des articles scientifiques, aujourd’hui, le lecteur, qu’il fasse partie de la communauté des pairs ou qu’il soit un simple citoyen, prend de plus en plus part à l’évaluation des textes scientifiques par l’intermédiaire de nouvelles fonctionnalités techniques de commentaires associées à certaines plateformes de publication ou de diffusion.

URL : https://hal-univ-tlse2.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03007946