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“Paging Dr. Fraud”: The Fake Publishers That Are Ruining Science

Gates Foundation joins shift towards open access platforms

By Jack Grove on March 23, 2017.

One of the world’s biggest funders of scientific research is to establish an open access platform that will allow its grant winners to publish their findings, in a move that could be swiftly followed by the European Commission.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which invests about $1.2 billion (£960 million) a year in global health initiatives, said on 23 March that the Gates Open Research initiative would allow researchers funded by the US charity to publish their work on a free-to-access site, beginning this autumn. Read more…

The OA interviews: Philip Cohen, founder of SocArXiv

Re-posted From Open and Shut – – March 13, 2017

Fifteen years after the launch of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) the OA revolution has yet to achieve its objectives. It does not help that legacy publishers are busy appropriating open access, and diluting it in ways that benefit them more than the research community. As things stand we could end up with a half revolution.

But could a new development help recover the situation? More specifically, can the newly reinvigorated preprint movement gain sufficient traction, impetus, and focus to push the revolution the OA movement began in a more desirable direction?  Read more …


Are universities finally waking up to the value of copyright?

Posted by Elizabeth Gadd  on March 6th, 2017

Whereas a large majority of universities have been proactive about claiming ownership of intellectual property such as patents or teaching materials, only a small percentage have been similarly assertive about copyright. However, amidst continued debate over the affordability of and access to scholarly communication, what practical attempts have been made to retain copyright within the academy rather than assign it to publishers? Elizabeth Gadd has examined copyright policies at 81 UK universities and found that, while a majority still relinquish copyright in scholarly works, an encouraging 20% of university policies sought to share rights with academic staff through licensing. Moreover, the development of a UK equivalent to ‘Harvard-style’ open access policies should help further coordinate efforts to retain copyright within the academy. Read more..

Openness by Default

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation now requires all its grant recipients to make their published, peer-reviewed work immediately available to the public, the latest development in a larger push to make research more accessible.

The foundation rolled out the new policy in 2015, but allowed for a two-year transition period during which grant recipients could embargo their work for 12 months. That option went away on Jan. 1 — from now on, anyone who receives some funding from the foundation must make their research and underlying data available, for example by publishing it in an open-access journal or depositing it in a public repository. Read more…

Max Planck and Taylor & Francis Group sign open access agreement

The Max Planck Digital Library and Taylor & Francis Group have signed an agreement which enables researchers based in Max Planck institutes to publish open access in 2,390 journals, under a centrally funded arrangement. This applies to peer-reviewed papers in full and hybrid Taylor & Francis Group journals, including Routledge and Cogent OA titles.

The agreement offers an increase in open access publishing options for Max Planck researchers, with Taylor & Francis’ portfolio of titles stretching across the sciences, medicine, social sciences and humanities. All corresponding authors based at a Max Planck Institute will now be eligible to have their manuscript published gold open access under a CC BY license.  Read more…

Mystery as controversial list of predatory publishers disappears

A popular blog that lists “potential, possible, or probable predatory” publishers and journals has disappeared, but it is not clear why.

The blog—started in 2010 by librarian Jeffrey Beall of the University of Colorado in Denver (CU Denver)—now states: “This service is no longer is available.”

Beall declined to comment. But a CU Denver spokesperson told ScienceInsider that Beall made a “personal decision” to take down his list of low-quality journals that charge authors a fee to publish, often with little or no review or editing. The spokesperson says the blog was not hacked, nor was it taken down as a result of legal threats, and Beall will remain on the school’s faculty. The spokesperson could not confirm whether the blog’s removal is permanent. Read more…



Ralf Schimmer’sblog“Making the moves for large scale transition toward Open Access” makesthe case to achieve such a transition by means of offsetting deals. The urgency for such atransition is emphasized by the recently announced ambition of the EU to have “Open Access toscientific publications as the best option by default by 2020”i. This should be done “in a cost-effective way, without embargoes, or with as short as possible embargoes”. In this blog, we explore and analyse the scenario whereby this transition will be brought aboutby successful offsetting deals, meaning that ultimately all articles in the hybrid journals willbecome Open Access by changing the business models of these journals into APC-based OpenAccess journals. Success means also that the offsetting de
als will be transformed in pay-as-you-publish pre-finance-agreements. What effect would such a success have on the scholarly journalsystem. How would it look like in terms of numbers and type of journals? Which preconditionsand drivers would be needed to
achieve such a success? And finally, we speculate about possiblenext steps and their cost-
effectiveness. Read more…

Libraries and Open Journal Systems: Hosting and facilitating the creation of Open Access scholarship

There is a growing availability of free tools and software for academic publishing. How might libraries leverage existing platforms? Anna R. Craft describes one experience of an academic library hosting locally-produced open access journals through Open Journals Systems (OJS). But even “free” software is not without costs in relation to time and expertise. Care should be taken in facilitating a supportive environment to meet an institution’s journal-hosting needs.  Read more…

Are there alternatives to traditional academic publishing models ? #OA

As shown by the myriad of events highlighted during International Open Access Week, the amount of talk and initiatives regarding open science and the transition toward an open access model for scholarly communications is growing at a remarkable pace. Advocates around the world are doing an amazing job at spreading the OA gospel!

Endeavours for the advancement of open access, however, are often met with concerns from paid scientific journals regarding the economic consequences of such a model. This past month, a couple of studies addressing these issues were released. Read more…

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