Bibliodiversity at the Centre: Decolonizing Open Access

Author : Monica Berger

The promise of open access for the global South has not been fully met. Publishing is dominated by Northern publishers, which disadvantages Southern authors through platform capitalism and open access models requiring article processing charges to publish.

This article argues that through the employment of bibliodiversity — a sustainable, anticolonial ethos and practice developed in Latin America — the South can reclaim and decolonize open access and nurture scholarly communities.

Self‐determination and locality are at the core of bibliodiversity which rejects the domination of international, English‐language journal publishing. As articulated by the Jussieu Call, wide‐ranging, scholarly‐community‐based, non‐profit and sustainable models for open access are integral to bibliodiversity, as is reform of research evaluation systems.

Predatory publishing exploits open access and perpetuates the marginalization of Southern scholars. Predatory journals are often also conflated with legitimate Southern journals. The article concludes with a discussion of Southern open access initiatives, highlighting large‐scale infrastructure in Latin America and library‐based publishing in Africa, which express the true spirit of open access as a commons for knowledge as a public good.


Publish or impoverish: An investigation of the monetary reward system of science in China (1999-2016)

Authors : Wei Quan, Bikun Chen, Fei Shu


The purpose of this study is to present the landscape of the cash-per-publication reward policy in China and reveal its trend since the late 1990s.


This study is based on the analysis of 168 university documents regarding the cash-per-publication reward policy at 100 Chinese universities.


Chinese universities offer cash rewards from 30 to 165,000 USD for papers published in journals indexed by Web of Science (WoS), and the average reward amount has been increasing for the past 10 years.


The cash-per-publication reward policy in China has never been systematically studied and investigated before except for in some case studies. This is the first paper that reveals the landscape of the cash-per-publication reward policy in China.


How do scientists perceive the current publication culture? A qualitative focus group interview study among Dutch biomedical researchers


Qualitative focus group interview study.


Four university medical centres in the Netherlands.


Three randomly selected groups of biomedical scientists (PhD, postdoctoral staff members and full professors).

Main outcome measures

Main themes for discussion were selected by participants.


Frequently perceived detrimental effects of contemporary publication culture were the strong focus on citation measures (like the Journal Impact Factor and the H-index), gift and ghost authorships and the order of authors, the peer review process, competition, the funding system and publication bias. These themes were generally associated with detrimental and undesirable effects on publication practices and on the validity of reported results.

Furthermore, senior scientists tended to display a more cynical perception of the publication culture than their junior colleagues. However, even among the PhD students and the postdoctoral fellows, the sentiment was quite negative. Positive perceptions of specific features of contemporary scientific and publication culture were rare.


Our findings suggest that the current publication culture leads to negative sentiments, counterproductive stress levels and, most importantly, to questionable research practices among junior and senior biomedical scientists.

URL : How do scientists perceive the current publication culture? A qualitative focus group interview study among Dutch biomedical researchers

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The Importance of Free and Open Source Software…


The Importance of Free and Open Source Software and Open Standards in Modern Scientific Publishing :

“In this paper we outline the reasons why we believe a reliance on the use of proprietary computer software and proprietary file formats in scientific publication have negative implications for the conduct and reporting of science. There is increasing awareness and interest in the scientific community about the benefits offered by free and open source software. We discuss the present state of scientific publishing and the merits of advocating for a wider adoption of open standards in science, particularly where it concerns the publishing process.”


Main basse sur la science publique : Le «coût de génie» de l’édition scientifique privée

Imaginez un monde où les chercheurs des établissements publics de recherche et des universités seraient rétribués individuellement en fonction de leur contribution au chiffre d’affaire d’un oligopole de grands groupes privés, et où les moyens humains et financiers affectés à leurs recherches en dépendraient.

Projet d’un think-tank ultra-libéral, voire science-fiction pensez-vous ?… ou alors cas particulier de quelques fraudes liées à l’industrie du médicament ? Non, non, regardez bien autour de vous, c’est déjà le cas, dans l’ensemble du monde scientifique (sciences de la nature, médicales, agronomiques…), et ce à l’insu de la grande majorité des gens, et de trop de chercheurs ! Mais une prise de conscience est en train de s’opérer et une bataille s’engage sur tous les continents.”


Scientific Publishing in West Africa A Comparison of…


Scientific Publishing in West Africa: A Comparison of Benin with Senegal and Ghana :

“We compared scientific indicators related to Benin, Senegal and Ghana. We collected data from Web of Science and used indicators like the yearly productivity, the language of publication, the type of publication, the citable documents, the publication fields, and the main international partners as well as the percentage of papers in collaboration. Results showed that Benin productivity is the lowest one; Ghana and Senegal competed over the period; depending on the type of documents under consideration, the positions of the three countries vary. Citable documents had an increasing trend for all the countries. There is less cooperation between African countries and Benin, Senegal and Ghana; colonial ties count much in their international partnership. Cooperation among the three countries is negligible.”


A comparison of subscription and open access journals…


A comparison of subscription and open access journals in construction management and related fields :

“The Internet has profoundly changed the technical infrastructure for the publishing of scientific peer reviewed journals. The traditional business model of selling the content to subscribers is increasingly being challenged by Open Access journals, which are either run at low cost by voluntary academics or which sell dissemination services to authors. In addition authors in many fields are taking advantage of the legal possibilities of uploading free manuscript versions to institutional or subject-based repositories, in order to increase readership and impact. Construction Management is lagging behind many other fields in utilising the potential of the web for efficient dissemination results, in particular to academics outside the leading universities in industrialised countries. This study looks closer at the current publishing situation in construction management and related fields and compares empirical data about 16 OA journals and 16 traditional subscription journals. Of the articles published in 2011 in the subscription journals only 9 % could be found as OA copies. The overall OA availability (including article in OA journals) was 14 % for Construction Management and Economics and 29 for construction IT scholarship.”