Category: Academic Publishing

The open scholarship ecosystem faces collapse; it’s also our best hope for a more resilient future

The COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting universities and higher education institutions, reducing budgets and presenting new design challenges that will fundamentally alter how research and scholarship operate. Economic volatility is also constraining support for key systems and services that the academy relies on, especially those that are community-led. Kaitlin Thaney argues that there’s a need to converge … Continued

You can publish open access, but ‘big’ journals still act as gatekeepers to discoverability and impact

One of the proposed advantages of open access publication is that it increases the impact of academic research by making it more broadly and easily accessible. Reporting on a natural experiment on the citation impact of health research that is published in both open access and subscription journals, Chris Carroll and Andy Tattersall, suggests that … Continued

Writing for edited collections represents a model for a creative academic community unfairly rejected by the modern academy

Edited collections, are one of the most disparaged forms of academic writing, often written off as low quality, or a poor career choice. In contrast, Peter Webster argues for the unique benefit of edited collections, as a creative form of collective academic endeavour that does not sit easily within an academy that is averse to … Continued

Chinese state censorship of COVID-19 research represents a looming crisis for academic publishers

Issues of censorship surrounding the publication of scholarly research in China have been prominent since a series of press reports and publisher statements revealed that works had been removed from circulation that were deemed sensitive by Chinese buyers. As George Cooper observes, evidence that Chinese authorities are conducting pre-publication vetting of COVID-19 related research, raises … Continued

Without stronger academic governance, Covid-19 will concentrate the corporate control of academic publishing

Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a short term uptick in open research practices, both in response to the virus and the need for remote access to research and teaching materials. Samuel Moore argues that the long term impact of Covid-19 and its related economic impact will likely increase the corporate control of academic … Continued

Between fast science and fake news: Preprint servers are political

Preprints servers have become a vital medium for the rapid sharing of scientific findings. This has been made clear by the speed with which researchers have developed new knowledge about the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this speed and openness has also contributed to the ability of low quality preprints to derail public debate and feed conspiracy … Continued

Read-and-Publish Open Access deals are heightening global inequalities in access to publication.

One of the most significant impacts of Plan S (the drive to initiate an open access transition in scholarly publishing) has been to accelerate interest in national level read-and-publish deals. Whilst these deals have streamlined open access provision in the Global North, Jefferson Pooley argues that they lock in and exacerbate existing inequalities in scholarly … Continued

Retractions: the good, the bad, and the ugly. What researchers stand to gain from taking more care to understand errors in the scientific record

Retractions play an important role in research communication by highlighting and explaining how research projects have failed and thereby preventing these mistakes from being repeated. However, the process of retraction and the data it produces is often sparse or incomplete. Drawing on evidence from 2046 retraction records, Quan-Hoang Vuong discusses the emerging trends this data … Continued

CRediT Check – Should we welcome tools to differentiate the contributions made to academic papers?

Elsevier is the latest in a lengthening list of publishers to announce their adoption for 1,200 journals of the CASRAI Contributor Role Taxonomy (CRediT). Authors of papers in these journals will be required to define their contributions in relation to a predefined taxonomy of 14 roles. In this post, Elizabeth Gadd weighs the pros and … Continued

To address the rise of predatory publishing in the social sciences, journals need to experiment with open peer review.

Predatory journals are here, but our attention to them is unevenly distributed. Most studies on predatory publishing have looked at the phenomenon in the natural and life sciences. In this post, Maximilian Heimstädt and Leonhard Dobusch analyse the harmful potential of predatory journals for social science and specifically management research. Identifying key threats posed by predatory publishing, they argue that […]