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Open access - success or failure?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 17,492 ✭✭✭✭ r3nu4l


    So Open access has been around a good few years now and I have to admit, there's nothing I like more than clicking on a link to an article and discovering that it's OA :D

    However, I am really getting ticked off that despite the 'support' of major academic institutions and scientific bodies it still just so happens that all of the truly groundbreaking research is still being sent to pay-per-view journals for publication.

    It appears as though the 'impact factor' still rules (don't get me started on IF!!) when people want to publish.

    So with that in mind, has OA been an interesting experiment that has just not worked the way it was supposed to? In my line of work (medical writing) when I want to reference something I try to reference OA articles but more and more I find people coming back to me saying 'Let's reference the [insert PPV journal name] article, instead'...


Comments



  • I've certainly encountered a bias against OA publications. There seems to be a mentality that OA is inferior to PPV and one's research would be devalued if published in the former rather than the latter. Having said that, many of the papers I come across in OA journals are inferior to PPV, in terms of both content and layout/editing.




  • Paywall's aren't fun, :(

    On the other side of the coin , is there a list of recommended third party Open Access publishers ?

    IMHO in an ideal world state funded research would be freely available at from the site of the govt dept doing the funding and / or the institute receiving the funding.

    Anyway.
    Here is one suggested list of sites to avoid, unfortunately Google Scholar likes them. Listed by URL in case anyone wants to add to hosts or rules.


    Beall's List of Predatory, Open-Access Publishers by Jeffrey Beall 2012 Edition
    https://metadata.posterous.com/83235355
    Predatory, open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally exploit the author-pays model of open-access publishing (Gold OA) for their own profit. Typically, these publishers spam professional email lists, broadly soliciting article submissions for the clear purpose of gaining additional income. Operating essentially as vanity presses, these publishers typically have a low article acceptance threshold, with a false-front or non-existent peer review process. Unlike professional publishing operations, whether subscription-based or ethically-sound open access, these predatory publishers add little value to scholarship, pay little attention to digital preservation, and operate using fly-by-night, unsustainable business models.


    Sites listed as dodgy
    http://www.academicjournals.org/
    http://www.academicjournalsinc.com/
    http://www.arpapress.com/
    http://www.ansinet.com/
    http://www.bentham.org/open/
    http://www.cpinet.info/journal.php
    http://www.davidpublishing.com/
    http://www.dovepress.com/
    http://globalopenjournals.org/index.html
    http://insightknowledge.co.uk/index.php
    http://www.i-asr.com/journals.aspx
    http://www.intechweb.org/
    http://idosi.org/index.htm
    http://www.interesjournals.org/index.htm
    http://www.ispub.com/
    http://www.knowledgia.net/
    http://www.la-press.com/
    http://www.medwelljournals.com/home.php
    http://www.omicsonline.org/
    http://www.scihub.org/index.html
    http://www.thescipub.com/
    http://www.sciencedomain.org/
    http://www.scirp.org/


    On the watchlist
    http://www.hindawi.com/
    http://www.medknow.com/
    http://www.pagepress.org/
    http://versitaopen.com/

    I also became aware of this one :(
    www.mdpi.com

    This is on my watchlist :(
    http://www.intechopen.com/




  • Well PLOSone seems to be a success.

    No ?




  • Wow, what a gravedig thread :)

    Well as it happens many PPV journals do 'support' open access to some extent, so long as someone pays for it. The people that pay are usually pharma companies who want the data from clinical trials they have funded to be disseminated as widely as possible.




  • Well some also have 'page charges' for authors. Like Environmental Health Perspectives. Great journal. All articles freely available on their website, but AFAIK there is a hefty page charge to publish in it.


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  • Well some also have 'page charges' for authors. Like Environmental Health Perspectives. Great journal. All articles freely available on their website, but AFAIK there is a hefty page charge to publish in it.
    It's often the case. For example, PLoS charge about $2,000 per article published, putting these open access journals out of the reach of most researchers.




  • Just seen this thread, had a few points to make but I'll post this article from "The Biochemist" instead:

    http://www.biochemist.org/bio/03402/0031/034020031.pdf

    There are a few more related articles that I have not read yet but may be of use from the biochemist as well:

    http://www.biochemist.org/bio/03402/0034/034020034.pdf
    http://www.biochemist.org/bio/03202/0038/032020038.pdf




  • This is interesting also:

    http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e4212

    Apparently the big journals make a ton of money from the pharmaceutical industry through reprints. I didn't know this I must say. Explains why its so expensive for reprints.

    Interesting comments here:
    http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2012/07/03/richard-smith-medical-journals-a-gaggle-of-golden-geese/




  • Big Pharma has deep pockets so a paywall won't affect them.
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2012/07/3bn-gsk-fine-sets-new-industry-record
    GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been hit by a $3 billion (£1.9 billion) fine in the US for so-called off label marketing – the illegal practice of promoting medical products for uses that have not been authorised by the regulators – as well as failing to report safety data.
    ...
    The previous record was set by Pfizer, which in 2009 was fined $2.3 billion for off label marketing of four of its drugs.


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  • Big Pharma has deep pockets so a paywall won't affect them.
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2012/07/3bn-gsk-fine-sets-new-industry-record


    For sure but thats not the point. The implication is there is incentive for journals to publish pharma sponsored papers as they know they will receive more reprint orders from those studies.




  • r3nu4l wrote: »
    So Open access has been around a good few years now and I have to admit, there's nothing I like more than clicking on a link to an article and discovering that it's OA :D

    However, I am really getting ticked off that despite the 'support' of major academic institutions and scientific bodies it still just so happens that all of the truly groundbreaking research is still being sent to pay-per-view journals for publication.

    It appears as though the 'impact factor' still rules (don't get me started on IF!!) when people want to publish.

    So with that in mind, has OA been an interesting experiment that has just not worked the way it was supposed to? In my line of work (medical writing) when I want to reference something I try to reference OA articles but more and more I find people coming back to me saying 'Let's reference the [insert PPV journal name] article, instead'...

    I don't think there is any true support for open access among academic institutions. Most tenure, promotion, and merit committee would not count OA journals in making their lists - and most reputable academuc would not publish their 'best' work in OA.

    I am a big fan of the peer review journal - it plays a vital role in the development of leading edge studies.




  • I don't think there is any true support for open access among academic institutions. Most tenure, promotion, and merit committee would not count OA journals in making their lists - and most reputable academuc would not publish their 'best' work in OA.

    I am a big fan of the peer review journal - it plays a vital role in the development of leading edge studies.


    You need to get with the times. PLOS One is well respected for example.




  • How to you measure respectability?
    You need to get with the times. PLOS One is well respected for example.




  • I don't think there is any true support for open access among academic institutions.

    Not true, both the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institutes will only allow their academics and researchers to publish in OA journals. They are two examples of what is becoming a growing trend. When I first started this thread OA looked like a failure but I can see now that things are slowly changing and as has been noted above, some very respected journals are now OA :)
    I am a big fan of the peer review journal - it plays a vital role in the development of leading edge studies.
    Almost every OA journal is peer-reviewed and not every fee-based journal is peer-reviewed. Also, as someone who has written dozens of papers I can tell you that the peer-review process can be rigged. Also, some of the people who are assigned to review, get their post-docs or PhD students to do the review instead. I also personally know at least two peer-reviewers for top-tier journals who have deliberately stalled papers in the peer-review stage so that they could get their own work published first to avoid being scooped. Peer review is mostly effective but is also deeply, deeply flawed.




  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18860276
    The government is to develop plans to make publicly funded research results freely available to all.

    Currently, scientists and members of the public have to pay the leading scientific journals to see research that has already been paid for from the public purse.

    Under new proposals the government will pay publishers a fee each time a paper is published.

    In return the research will be available to those who wish to see it.

    The total cost of the subsidy is estimated to be £50m a year which will be taken from funds that would otherwise have been spent on research.




  • r3nu4l wrote: »
    Not true, both the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institutes will only allow their academics and researchers to publish in OA journals. They are two examples of what is becoming a growing trend. When I first started this thread OA looked like a failure but I can see now that things are slowly changing and as has been noted above, some very respected journals are now OA :)

    Ok, I accept that there are some institutions that maybe changing, but my experience of top tier research institutions in both US and Europe is that open access are not yet counted for tenure. Until, such journals are added to journal list, there will be no large uptake.


    Almost every OA journal is peer-reviewed and not every fee-based journal is peer-reviewed.

    Ok - accepted

    Also, as someone who has written dozens of papers I can tell you that the peer-review process can be rigged. Also, some of the people who are assigned to review, get their post-docs or PhD students to do the review. I also personally know at least two peer-reviewers for top-tier journals who have deliberately stalled papers in peer-review so that they could get their own work published first to avoid being scooped. Peer review is mostly effective but is also deeply, deeply flawed.

    I couldn't disagree with you more, and I speak from both sides of the divide. Of course there are exceptions, and outlier cases and events - but in general peer review is an effective selection and developmental mechanism. The cases you mention are very very rare




  • How to you measure respectability?

    Your the one who brought it up - how do you measure it ?




  • I couldn't disagree with you more, and I speak from both sides as an author and reviewer. Of course there are exceptions, and outlier cases and events - but in general peer review is an effective selection and developmental mechanism. The cases you mention are very very rare

    Believe me they are nowhere near as rare as you seem to think and what is most important is not the rarity of these events happening but rather the nature of the papers being published, or in some cases delayed from being published, due to underhanded tactics in the peer-review system. It is the best system we have but it's full of holes and open to far more abuse than you seem to realise.

    Also, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is a top-tier research insitution as is the EBI! WTSI sequenced one-third of the human genome and they run and manage ENSEMBL and some of the most important data resources in the world that are relied on by bioinformaticists and hundreds of thousands of bench scientists globally. The fact that they are now OA only is a massive deal!




  • Ok, I accept that there are some institutions that maybe changing, but my experience of top tier research institutions in both US and Europe is that open access are not yet counted for tenure. Until, such journals are added to journal list, there will be no large uptake.
    I don't know where you're getting this information from? I work in a very high profile institute in London where PLoS ONE is held in very high regard.


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  • I don't think there is any true support for open access among academic institutions. Most tenure, promotion, and merit committee would not count OA journals in making their lists - and most reputable academuc would not publish their 'best' work in OA.
    I don't know any "reputable" academic who wouldn't, they may try some of the believed "top tier" journals first off they believe the work is exceptionally interesting (although I have seen some awful rubbish in some very "reputable" journals)
    I am a big fan of the peer review journal - it plays a vital role in the development of leading edge studies.
    Most OA are peer reviewed, why do you think they are not?
    How to you measure respectability?
    Quality of board, quality of papers published, general view of the fields peers.
    r3nu4l wrote: »
    Also, as someone who has written dozens of papers I can tell you that the peer-review process can be rigged. .... I also personally know at least two peer-reviewers for top-tier journals who have deliberately stalled papers in the peer-review stage so that they could get their own work published first to avoid being scooped. Peer review is mostly effective but is also deeply, deeply flawed.
    I have seen this happen in both my old group and I would hear rumours of it from other groups. It is flawed but peer review is the only way to go. It just could do with some better regulation, ie don't send the paper to be reviewed by someone who is known to be doing the exact same thing, or the more common place, your paper disagrees with someone well known so they send back either a list of pointless, long winded experiment that does not contribute to the paper but either delays you or makes your paper not worth resending to them cost wise.
    I couldn't disagree with you more, and I speak from both sides as an author and reviewer. Of course there are exceptions, and outlier cases and events - but in general peer review is an effective selection and developmental mechanism. The cases you mention are very very rare
    It is effective but they are far from rare (I wouldn't say they are common either, it's just not rare, uncommon might be a better way of phrasing), I hear it joked about at conferences all the time about papers getting getting rejected, or needless clarifications requested to waste time and money, all because you know "so and so" is on the review panel.
    r3nu4l wrote: »
    Believe me they are nowhere near as rare as you seem to think and what is most important is not the rarity of these events happening but rather the nature of the papers being published, or in some cases delayed from being published, due to underhanded tactics in the peer-review system. It is the best system we have but it's full of holes and open to far more abuse than you seem to realise.
    Its a great system, its just, as with everything, it would work brilliantly only for the people. That said, IMO it does work well but it is stifling to young researchers who aren't use to it to have their paper rejected because a view is disagreed with but I do feel that it is changing over the last few years and not as prevalent as it used to be (opinion not fact).
    Also, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is a top-tier research insitution as is the EBI! WTSI sequenced one-third of the human genome and they run and manage ENSEMBL and some of the most important data resources in the world that are relied on by bioinformaticists and hundreds of thousands of bench scientists globally. The fact that they are now OA only is a massive deal!
    It's awesome
    djpbarry wrote: »
    I don't know where you're getting this information from? I work in a very high profile institute in London where PLoS ONE is held in very high regard.
    In Ireland too, I don't know any researchers who do not hold it in high regard, maybe not when it started but it is definitely now (IMO).


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