Predatory publishers – A guide

The guide to form an opinion about predatory open access journals and publishers was published a couple of weeks ago in Swedish and now it has been translated into English.

It is important always to check the journal you choose to publish in so that you do not choose a journal which is missing all the scientific criteria for accepting, reviewing and publishing scientific articles. New predatory journals are born every week and they have new ways to seem more serious and to get citations. These journals charge article processing charge (APC) to publish your article. The APC will not be as high as for Springer or other well-known publishers but they will not work with your article: it will not go through a review process; it will not be edited etc.

The latest way in trying to up the journals impact factor is to buy citations. Some publishers have started to send thank-you e-mails to those who have cited articles from their journals in other publishers’ journals. In these e-mails they say they will not charge you APC if you ever want to publish in one of their journal with the condition that you continue to cite their articles. The aim with this is to increase the number of citations so that the journal’s impact factor will increase. This kind of play with impact factor is unethical and something serious science should not be a part of. Read more of this and other topics on predatory publishers in Jeffery Beall’s blog.

You will find the guide below. Open Acccess and predatory publishers – the guide

Text: Pieta Eklund

How do you make your research OA?

The Association of Swedish Higher Education and National Library of Sweden have signed the Berlin Declaration but as an individual it might not be something you want to do. In this blog post you will find some tips what you as a researcher, librarian, employee of the university or research funder can do to work to make research freely available. The tips come from the official page for Open Access Week 2012.

As a research you could send your article to an open access journal when a suitable journal exists within your area of research. Just make sure it is not a predatory journal and if you are suspicious contact your library for advice. You may also deposit pre-print of your publication in the institutional repository, BADA. You have even deposit the post-print if the publisher allows it. There is some confusion about the terms pre-print and post-print. Pre-print in this case refers to the version of your article which has not yet gone through peer review and post-print refers to the version which has gone through peer review and possible changes are med but the article is still missing the publishers layout and typeface. Close to 80% of all publishers allow you to upload post-print to your institutional repository. Just remember never to transfer copyright; the publisher does not need the copyright to publish your article or make money of it. If the publisher does not allow you to retain your copyright you should consider if this is a publisher you want to work with. If you still want to publish in one of their journals make sure you at least retain the right to deposit post-print in your institutional repository. A few more tips for researchers.

If your organization does not have an institutional repository you might want to start working for implementing one. If your organization does not have their own repository you might want to look in to the orphan repositories and recommend these to your researchers who want to make their research available for all. You might also want to help researcher to register and upload publications in the repository. You might even want to discuss the options researchers have to publish in an open access journal and the benefits of open access publishing (e.g. results will be used quicker, everyone has access to research, and there will be more citations). A few more tips for librarians.

Even research funders can support open access. A lot of research funder are already demanding open access publishing for all research funded by them (among others National Health Institution, Wellcome Trust, Swedish Research Council, World Bank). Of course there can be exceptions to the rule if research is classified top secret or if there is a patent application pending or that research results are expected to generate income. Research funders might offer to pay for the article processing charge, sponsor open access journals or help these journals cover costs for researchers from countries and institutions with poor economic situation. A few more tips for research funders.

Universities and administrators can also work for open access. They can do this by implementing a policy which supports open access publishing. University of Borås policy can be found here. It could be made clearer when it comes to open access publishing and that researchers should always aim not to transfer their copyright. A few more tips for university and administrators.

In other words there is a lot an individual, in some cases in co-operation with other, can do to promote open access.

Text: Pieta Eklund

Set default to Open Access

Set default to Open Access is this year’s theme for Open Access week. The idea is that Open Access should be the first choice when publishing research. Goal of Open Access week is to raise researchers’ awareness of Open Access as an alternative way to publish instead of the traditional “closed access” way of publishing and distributing research results. The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities was created and signed by many universities and libraries almost ten years ago. The declaration defines open access and states that the research process is only half finished if the results are not spread throughout the society so that the public can easily get access to the results. The declaration basically supports Open Access publishing.

During 2012 Open Access movement has reached several milestones. In April the World Bann announce that they will implement Open Access policy which in the long term means that all research funded by the World Bank will be made available with no cost to the reader. In July some British politicians suggested that the British government should make sure that all research funded by public funds should be made available online with no cost to the reader. During the same month even some American politicians recommended that all research funded by NIH (National Institute of Health) should be freely available no later than six months after publishing.

The Finch report which was published last summer stated that Open Access will be the way for the scholars to publish in the future. Finch report recommends the gold way (publishing in Open Access journals) instead of the green way (depositing publication in an institutional archive). The transition to Open Access journal will not happen immediately and it will not be without costs. At the moment the British universities pay about £200m a year for access to scientific journals. According to the Finch report it will cost about £60m a year to have all British publicly funded research freely available. Now the British government is planning to make all research available by 2014 though there will be no special funds for this reform. It is planned that a part of the existing research funds will be used to fund this change. It is an admirable goal the British goverment is working towards but there are those who criticize the chosen road to Open Access. Stevan Harnad, one of the most influential people within the movement, is of the opinion that the gold road to Open Access is not the best or most effective way to reach the goal, especially when there will be no additional funds. He advocates the green road.

One other great success for Open Access is that the EU Commission has said that all research funded by Horizon 2020, EUs new framework for research with €80 billion to allocate, has to be made open access six to twelve months after publishing. Just a couple a weeks ago the news that the whole area of particle physics will be transitioning to open access was published.

In Sweden the government has published its proposition for research politics for 2013-2016 (Forskning och innovation Prop, 2012/13:30) and in it they have commissioned The Swedish Research Council to develop forms and guidelines for open access, for both research results and research data.

Text: Pieta Eklund

Open Access week 2012

It is again time for open access week. Like last year there will be one blog post a day during the week. The blog post cover different aspects of open access and now there is even a post about OER, Open Educational Resources. While waiting for the new posts you could read all, in this blog, previously published post about open access.

This blog post from Duke University on what open access is not also worth reading. To summarize it in short open access is not 1) more prone to absue than traditional subscribtion based journals, 2) open access is not just one thing, and 3) open access is not a business model.

Text: Pieta Eklund

DOAB – books openly available

A couple of days ago Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) was launched. It is a complement to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) web site. DOAB is a service to the research community, and others, to collect scientific books published under open access license and make the accessible in one and the same place. DOAB is searchable and there are links to the fulltext books either via the publisher or a institutional repository where a researcher has deposited the book.

The aim of DOAB is to make open access books visible and create a valuable resource for researchers, libraries and others who are interested in reading scientific books. At the moment there are about 20 publishers and about 750 open access books available. More are waiting to be made available through the site. Their goal is to increase the number of available books in the coming months. DOAB is open for publishers who publish peer-reviewed open access books.

Lars Bjørnshauge and Salam Baker Shanawa who have been developing DOAB have also been in the group which developed DOAJ.

Bilden är hämtad från doabooks.org

Text: Pieta Eklund

New open access journal ROAD

It is great to see that University of Borås new peer reviewed open access journal has been noticed both on BIBLIST (a Swedish listserv for librarians) and and in the blog Open access i Sverige. The journal is called Recensions for Open Access Discourse (ROAD) and is run by the Master’s students at Swedish School of Library and Information Science. ROAD is open for academic publications about open access publishing and manuscripts are accepted both from scholars and students. The journal aims to create a broad forum for academic discussions on open access and scholarly publication. So far two issues have been published.

Visualize research

Have you ever thought that it would be interesting to see which patterns exists within the scientific publishing? Maybe you need to find both historic and new trends within your research area for your student thesis or your research article? Or maybe you just want to localize the experts within your area of interest?

Then you could use Springer’s AuthorMapper (Maybe we should not be promoting Springer anymore than we do Elsevier but Springer at least is not working against open access and researcher’’s rights the same way as Elsevier is doing.) Anyway, back to AuthorMapper. You could start by doing a search or maybe you just want to browse among the subjects. Just remember that this service only covers Springer Journals and Springer Books, which means that the results do not probably cover everything but they may give you an indication of how research looks within your specific area.

In this picture below a search for University of Boråås has been done. The results show which researchers have been collaborating, which articles have been written, you can even see bibliographic data for the articles. You cannot access the articles directly if you are not somewhere in the University’’s buildings and the library also has to have a subscription to the journal. You can also see in which journals most articles within a field are published, which researchers have written the most etc.

For your sake and for the University’’s sake it is very important to use the name University of Boråås and the official name of your department when writing your address information when publishing articles and not any other names. If we search for University of Boråås in AuthorMapping we would get a different result than if we searched for University College of Boråås. Try searching in AuthorMapping with the different university names and compare the results. You will notice that results differ. This is a good example of how difficult it can be to find all research from a department. It also shows the importance of using uniform names.

In addition to searching institutions you can also search author name, subject, journal name, country, publisher (within Springer’’s umbrella) and you may limit your search by year and to only include articles from open access journals. If you start writing a keyword like bio soon words where bio is a part of will be loaded, e.g. biomedicine, biochemistry or evolutionary biology. You can choose between them and add more keywords if you want.

In this picture (statistik.jpg) a search with keyword biomedicine was done. You can see on the left of the picture which institution has produced most scientific publications where the term biomedicine is present. You can also see which researcher has written most and which journal is the main journal within the area. This type of data may help you to form an opinion about your research area and which important actors there are on the field. This is easy, basic and valuable bibliometrics!

Text: Pieta Eklund