The hidden map of science: Pre-publication history of articles tells us that rejection leads to higher citations

No-one wants to have their paper rejected by a top journal, but is there a silver lining to an initial disappointment? Vincent Calcagno finds that papers that are resubmitted to a second or third choice journal enjoy a ‘benefit of rejection’ and are more likely to receive a higher number of citations when published. Every scientific author or editor has […]

October 25th, 2012|Citations, Impact|7 Comments|

The Finch Report and RCUK Open Access policy: How can libraries respond?

Open Access is now central to academic publishing, regardless of whether your team colours are green or gold. Ahead of Open Access Week, Natalia Madjarevic writes that she has witnessed increased media coverage as a result of green OA and that libraries must respond with a touch of creativity to open access policies. Libraries have always been advocates of Open […]

The onset of the REF means that developing an academic publishing strategy is vital

In a rush to publish papers before the forthcoming cut-off point for the Research Excellence Framework, academics and publishers might find themselves facing a long publishing back-log. Alex Hope finds that the only way to cope is to develop an academic publishing strategy. Recently I tweeted the fact that I had received a rejection email from a high ranking journal […]

The undervalued book collection and peer review

Articles in an edited book shouldn’t be less valuable because they’re not peer reviewed in the same way as journal articles. The editor of a book places their academic reputation on the line in a way that journals do not. Martin Eve warns against snubbing book collections and advises to ‘trust the editor, trust the material’. I’ve had several conversations […]

The glacial pace of change in scientific publishing

Most journals have not yet published papers submitted to them last November while in the meantime, NASA have managed to send a rocket to Mars and beam back images. Michael Eisen writes that academics must harness their own power to reshape how we communicate. I was excited this week when my Twitter stream started lighting up with links to an […]

Hybrid gold open access and the Chesire cat’s grin: How to repair the new open access policy of RCUK

Unintended consequences of RCUK policy mean that if academics want open access publishing, publishers are happy to sell it to them, writes Stevan Harnad. He argues that researchers should not have to choose gold publishing when green open access is available. Suppose you’re a subscription journal publisher. Offering a Hybrid (Subscription/Gold) Open Access (OA) option means you keep selling subscriptions just as […]

September 3rd, 2012|Impact, Open Access|2 Comments|

Deep impact: Our manuscript on the consequences of journal rank

Bjoern Brembs has argued that journal rank has no persuasive predictive property for any measure of scientific quality. In an attempt to set a standard for the evidence used in debates on journal rank, Brembs and Marcus Munafo release their latest manuscript assessing one of the most important infrastructures in academia. For the better part of this year, Marcus Munafò […]

Taking the Impact Factor seriously is similar to taking creationism, homeopathy or divining seriously

There is no evidence that journal rank has any persuasive predictive property for any measure of scientific quality. Every scientist who is not aware of the unscientific nature of the Impact Factor should ask themselves if they are in the right profession, writes Bjoern Brembs. I wasn’t planning to write anything on Stephen Curry’s latest piece on the negotiated, irreproducible […]

Blog inequality in scholarly research will not end until digital preservation techniques improve

Academic blogs are transient, ephemeral and present a problem for citation, but their faults are not necessarily because of a distinct lack of mechanisms for preservation of digital material. Martin Eve writes that until we can be confident following a ‘paper’ trail of knowledge, blogs will not be merited with being cited as full-blown academic research. At the risk of […]

All sources are equal but some are more equal than others – (how) should blogs be referenced?

Blogs are increasingly recognised as a legitimate academic output, but they still remain second to traditional publications. Sarah Quinnell asks if we should be looking for a culture of equivalence between blogs and articles, and what can be done to reach that point. A recent re-read of an article that originally appeared in the Times Higher Education has raised some […]

Peer review is vital but its closed nature belongs to a bygone age. It’s time to open up

Biases, deliberate delay, repeated rejection – peer review has its problems but it is a crucial part of research dissemination, writes Rebecca Lawrence, who explains that open publication of all good science followed by open peer review is the key to future publishing. Discontent with the traditional peer review system and the problems it brings has been building for many […]

How can scholarly societies survive as we move ever closer to Open Access?

The question of the fate of scholarly societies is one of the most contentious in the Open Access debate. Cameron Neylon argues that the only societies to survive will be those that decouple the value they offer through peer review from the costs of publication services. With major governments signalling a shift to Open Access it seems like a good time […]

What about the authors who can’t pay? Why the government’s embrace of gold open access isn’t something to celebrate

Dismayed by news that the Government has embraced the Finch Report findings, Mark Carrigan asks what will happen to authors and early careers researchers who have not yet secured a steady stream of funding and cannot pay the upfront fees required of gold open access.  Sometimes I worry that Twitter is an echo chamber, reflecting my own prejudices back at […]

How journals manipulate the importance of research and one way to fix it

Our methods of rewarding research foster an incentive for journal editors to ‘game’ the system, and one in five researchers report being pressured to include citations from the prospective journal before their work is published. Curt Rice outlines how we can put an end to coercive citations. Over 20 per cent of researchers have been pressured by journal editors to […]

Scholarly publishing is broken: Is it time to consider guerrilla self-publishing?

Aimee Morrison has been congratulated and gained professional credit for ‘publishing’ her article in a high profile journal. Except, her work will not be printed for another two years. She writes that commercial publishers are exploiting academics’ desire for reputation against a true public good. Scholarly publishing is broken – at least journal publishing, and at least in my experience–and I […]

How to move towards a system that looks to ‘publish, then filter’ academic research

Both the ‘green’ and the ‘gold’ models of open access tend to preserve the world of academic journals, where anonymous reviewers typically dictate what may appear. David Gauntlett looks forward to a system which gets rid of them altogether. Every week there’s something new in the open access debate. A couple of weeks ago the Finch report concluded that all […]

Do ‘prestigious’ journals make academics lazy? An unlikely parallel with the art world

In the art world, the dealer’s brand often becomes a substitute for aesthetic judgement. Mark Carrigan wonders if it the same could be said of academia; does inclusion in a prestigious journal become a substitute for, and act as a reinforcement of, intellectual judgement?   In a recent book economist Don Thompson explores the crucial role that branding has in the contemporary […]

Why the UK Should Not Heed the Finch Report

If we heed the advice of the Finch Report, the UK will lose its lead in open access publishing… and a great deal of public money. Stevan Harnad writes why he believes that the recommendations of the Finch Report could set worldwide open access back by at least a decade. The UK’s universities and research funders have been leading the rest […]

The Finch Report illustrates the new strategy wars of open access

Commercial publishers appear to have conceded defeat but Bjoern Brembs wonders if their new strategy is to delay the inevitable transition to Open Access publishing for as long as possible, and to charge as much as possible when OA publishing does become the norm. The recent “Finch Report” on Open Access has generated a shower of online commentary both from […]

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