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

Predatory journals recruit fake editor

By Piotr Sorokowski, Emanuel Kulczycki, Agnieszka Sorokowska & Katarzyna Pisanski on 22 March 2017.

An investigation finds that dozens of academic titles offered ‘Dr Fraud’ — a sham, unqualified scientist — a place on their editorial board. Katarzyna Pisanski and colleagues report.  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 …


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…

A Middle-of-the-Road Proposal amid the Sci-Hub Controversy: Share “Unofficial” Copies of Articles without Embargo, Legally

This article summarizes the two sides of the Sci-Hub debate, and raises awareness of the rights of journal article authors to post a certain version online that one is legally allowed to share, with no embargo.  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…

How to switch quickly to diamond open access: The best journals are free for authors and readers

Posted on by Martin Haspelmath

The conventional wisdom among experts is that open access (OA) publication is better in all respects: Publications are not hidden behind paywalls, authors get more citations for their work, and results of publicly funded research are available to the public. This has been widely known for over 12 years, but not much has been happening. Some actors are frustrated, such as Ralf Schimmer, vice-director of the Max Planck Society’s MPDL: He notes that despite all the pro-OA activities at universities and science organizations, the open access movement is stagnating. While one sixth of all publications is open access by open access, the clear majority for subscription seems to be stable.

What explains this strange stability, which defies the politicians’ hopes and the experts’ recommendations? The OA experts do not seem to be interested in finding out.

But the explanation is easy: The main actors are not suffering, so they have no particular incentive to change it. Publishers make good profits with their subscription model, and scientists depend on the publishers for their careers, because the publishers own the prestigious labels. The scientists know that open access is better in principle, but their careers (and funding prospects) are more important, and they manage to access the most relevant research via para-publication channels (personal connections, Academia.edu, etc.). Read more…

Reviewer Fatigue? Why Scholars Decline to Review their Peers’ Work

This is the original article published in the journal  – PS: Political Science & Politics, October 2015, and of which the below post came about.

ABSTRACT: As new academic journals have emerged in political science and existing journals experience increasing submission rates, editors are concerned that scholars experience “reviewer fatigue.” Editors often assume that an overload of requests to review makes scholars less willing to perform the anonymous yet time-consuming tasks associated with reviewing manuscripts. To date, there has not been a systematic investigation of the reasons why scholars decline to review. We empirically investigated the rate at which scholars accept or decline to review, as well as the reasons they gave for declining. We found that reviewer fatigue is only one of several reasons why scholars decline to review. The evidence suggests that scholars are willing to review but that they also lead busy professional and personal lives.

Read more…

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