Preprint posting, predatory journals and peer review: our top five posts on Open Access


The on-going discussion over open access to scholarly research was a regular feature this year on the Impact of Social Sciences blog. The top posts in this category came from a range of voices in higher education, from researchers and journal editors to librarians. While not technically part of the top five, we’ve also included below our eCollection from our event on open access futures in the humanities and social sciences.

MOUNCEEasy steps towards open scholarship

Knowing how and where to share your research may still seem a daunting task given the variety of channels. Ross Mounce, Community Coordinator for Open Science at the Open Knowledge Foundation, presents the best ways to ensure discoverable access to research outputs. He highlights the metadata power of institutional repositories and other services like Zenodo. With a combination of preprint & postprint postings, it is easy to make your research freely available.


Predatory journals and defective peer review are general academic problems, not just open access problems.

The so-called “sting” article in Science exposed certain predatory journals for publishing clearly erroneous scientific results in exchange for money. Ernesto Priego emphasises the bias in the conclusions drawn from this article and its illegitimate attack on open access publication. But regardless of the business model of the publication, peer review, especially in the humanities, is certainly in need of greater attention and improvements. 

pandelisNew forms of open peer review will allow academics to separate scholarly evaluation from academic journals.

Today’s academic publishing system may be problematic, but many argue it is the only one available to provide adequate research evaluation. Pandelis Perakakis introduces an open community platform, LIBRE, which seeks to challenge the assumption that peer review can only be handled by journal editors. By embracing a new culture of open, transparent and independent research evaluation, the academic community can more productively contribute to global knowledge.

Ben head shot1MikeMertensLSEImpactWhat do academics want – a survey of behaviours and attitudes in UK higher education.

A new survey has been undertaken which looks at the changing practices of academics in the UK. Ben Showers of Jisc and Mike Mertens of RLUK discuss three key findings of the survey which demonstrate the influence of new technologies on research, the altering perceptions of support services and the changing role of the academic library.



How institutional repositories are already working to solve the Open Access problem

Mike Taylor recently questioned whether institutional repositories were an adequate solution to the open access problem. In response, Natalia MadjarevicDave Puplettand Neil Stewart clarify the existing capabilities of institutional repositories and highlight the powerful transitional role they can play in providing greater access and benefits for individuals, institutions and disciplines.


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eCollection: Open Access Perspectives in the Humanities and Social Sciences

We also released an eCollection on Open Access this year covering many of the important issues related to OA policy and implementation in the humanities and social sciences.