Open Access Publishing: The Good, the Bad, and

Open Access Publishing: The Good, the Bad, and

Open Access Publishing: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly* or Caveat Scriptor Robert E. McKeown, PhD, FACE Distinguished Professor Emeritus Arnold School of Public Health University of South Carolina August 17, 2017 *Thanks to Swann Adams for this subtitle with thanks for alternate title and many slides to Dr. Richard Rothenberg, former Editor, Annals of Epidemiology, and Sean Lind, then Digital

Librarian, Georgia State Univ., now University of Minnesota Overview Set context: goals of scholarly publication Overview of strange new world of open access publishing (with some interesting examples) Discussion of the Bohannon Science article and BMJ article on analysis of spam invitations Cost issues Evaluating publishers and journals Other considerations: Promotion, tenure, and professional progress

Where to publish Discussion Why Publish? Ego boost and bragging rights Fame and Fortune viper (Doug Weed) To impress mom, actual or potential mates, colleagues, friends, old

HS teachers Because you have to for promotion or tenure or to impress your boss As part of mutual responsibility to community of scholars To share discovery To contribute to medical knowledge & improve care of patients

To advance profession To enhance health and wellbeing of society Other reasons? What is open access (OA) publishing? Online journals without subscriptions Anyone can access the articles online without charge (no paywall) Charge fee to authors or their institutions to publish the articles Established publishers and emerging

publishers, some reliable, others deemed predatory The Range of Open Access One Example: Note the range of things they invite people to do: all of which make money for them. You can launch a new journal You can join an editorial board

You can even be Editor in Chief Whether you want to be or not If there is something that's written, I had nothing to do with it.

Ed Trapido SciencePG as an exemple Their count of journals varies on the website, but I counted well over 400. Several medical and health related journals with only 1 article in latest issue and only a few articles this year Address given as 548 Fashion Avenue, New York, NY Article Processing Charges (APC) vary by journal within a publishing group, but often offer special discounts. American Journal of Health Research fee is $570, but reductions are given to authors from Low-Income Countries. In one email message, they told Dr. Rothenberg that they expected a

previous publication of his to be published in revised and extended format in one of their journals. (Emphasis added) Another example: More than 200 OA journals, many print & OA a few years ago Claims more than 5,000 editorial board members and By 12/31/12, 30,587 articles published with

SCIRP. Registered corporation in Delaware but place of business is in China, where all customer service and operations are located APC: $299 to $1,299 for those I checked Old screen shot, more compact

Now $1,495 Some open access journals have stronger reputations and are indexed on PubMed, but can be pricey. We will return to this one. Rothenbergs favorite solicitation He has been solicited for his expertise in a broad, diverse range of fields including space exploration and anything.

From Science Journal Publications: HELP REVIEW MANUSCRIPT ENTITLED: INFLUENCE OF INTENSE VIOLIN PLAYING ON FACIAL SYMMETRY IN SERIOUS VIOLIN PLAYERS This is Bella Hristova. A violinist I heard in Brevard. She was wearing this same red dress and facial expression. But is it asymmetric? But they didnt invite me to lunch!

Dont let invitations referring to your work by title flatter you into thinking they have really looked at it. Its just designed to feed your ego. Received March 17: They Adore My Submission Looks like a prominent journal Flattery based on nothing Obviously dont want a paper that will take time

Grey et al, BMJ 2016;355:i5383 analyzed how many spam invitations 5 academics got, how relevant and how easy to suppress Avg: 312 spam emails /month for 3 months. 80 times more than non-spam invitations Unsubscribed: # dropped 39% next month, but was only 20% down by a year later. >75% ... were of no or low relevance Is Spam Good for You?

From: Grey et al, BMJ 2016;355:i5383 A Few Tidbits of Spam Examples of tasty academic spam We would be really happy to anchor with you Looking forward for an everlasting scientific relationship! I would like to extend my sincere congratulations on the publication of your highly cited original article . . . As of today, this article has been cited more than 4 times* (Emphasis added by authors) We have been through your articles and we are enthralled to know about your reputation and commitment in the field Lipids 2015Solving the impetus of innovations in lipid world

World Congress of Oral and Dental MedicineKeep the door of lives The 7th Annual International Congress of CardiologyBring new vitality into life Journals International Journal of Advances in Case Reports Hair: Therapy and Transplantation

Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management Journal of Ancient Diseases and Preventive Remedies From: Grey et al, BMJ 2016;355:i5383 The 2013 Science article by John Bohannon Lessons of the Bohannon Article Summary of his hoax Links to publishers, papers, and correspondence at

http:// 6154.60.DC1 Of 304 submissions, 157 accepted, 98 rejected, 29 were non-responsive, 20 said paper was still under review ~60% of 255 had no indication of peer review Of 106 with some peer review, 70% accepted, only 36 commented on scientific problems, 16 of which were accepted anyway How the papers break out

Interpreting the diagrams: Shades of blue are journals listed on DOAJ (Directory of OA Journals; cream / tan are journals on Bealls List of Predatory Journals; orange are journals on both lists. Concentric circles from outside in reflect decreasing level of review. Note large number of the rejections were DOAJ journals with no review, meaning editors recognized paper wasnt worth sending out. Acceptance without review is much worse than rejection without review. Note from Sage Journal Journal had accepted the paper and asked for $3,100. Editor-in-chief wrote: The publishers requested payment because the

second phase, the technical editing, is detailed and expensive. Papers can still be rejected at this stage if inconsistencies are not clarified to the satisfaction of the journal. He also contended that this sting has a broader, detrimental effect as well. An element of trust must necessarily exist in research including that carried out in disadvantaged countries, he writes. Your activities here detract from that trust. Article stirred debate Concerns that print pubs not targeted and

focus on OA rather than peer review Is OA a good thing? More balanced piece in Ann Emerg Med: 44(13)00547-7/fulltext#copyright Even highly regarded print / subscription journals often have publication charges. Page charges for American Journal of

Epidemiology, print version. There are provisions for a waiver of charges. Many print / subscription journals now offer an OA option for authors who want the article to be freely available. Article appears in print

but available for free online if author pays the OA fee of $3,400 or $3,000, depending on type of open access. Note this is a journal in the Oxford University Press group. No Access (aka Paywall) Annual charges are based on number of users at an institution.

Typical: 2013 Annual subscription to Thompson/Reuters Web of Science: $107,000

2013 Annual cost share for Galileo (incl. EBSCO databases): $115,000 2013 Annual subscription to Elsevier's ScienceDirect: $1,100,000 Alternatives to the cost of OA NIH Public Access Policy:

Requires manuscripts based on NIH funded projects must now be deposited in PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication Papers must be accessible to the public no later than 12 months after publication Institutional arrangements with publishers: pay fee for free or discounted publication with OAP Institutional arrangements for making pubs available, e.g. Scholar Commons at USC:

Do we really need OA? All who need access to scholarly literature already have it (Waller, Revelle, & Shrimplin, 2013). True? Waller, J., Revelle, A., & Shrimplin, K. (2013). Keep the change: Clusters of faculty opinion on open access. ACRL Conference Papers, 2013. Chicago: ALA. Why Should We Care? What does it mean to be a profession? Three characteristic of professions:

1. Commitment to expertise in a discipline and excellence in its practice 2. Commitment to a set of shared values 3. Commitment to accountability and responsible conduct May be relatively more or less emphasis on a particular ethical value or obligation according to professional roles or specialties Why Should We Care? (pt. 2) Excellence in Practice Valued because the violation of it, i.e., sloppy

work, is also contrary to the goal of the research enterprise Violation is also contrary to our mutual obligations to the profession, the broader scientific community, and society Violation has consequences with moral weight, so it is a valid topic for ethical consideration Why Should We Care? (pt. 3) Knowledge as responsibility By pursuing knowledge we commit to its value Committing to its value implies a responsibility to

nurture it Responsibility implies an obligation to take positive action to increase our knowledge and understanding. Therefore, publication in reliable journals with strong peer review and reliance only on publications that have undergone such review is necessary. And Its Not Just OA Journals Evaluating Open Access Publishers Is the publisher a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (

Is the publisher for-profit or not-for-profit? How many titles does the publisher publish? Is the publisher on Bealls List? ( is an archived list. Beall was forced to remove his original under threat of lawsuit from Omics: see https :// ortedly-removed-due-threats-and-politics ) (Thanks to Janet Evatt for finding this.) Does the publisher adhere to one of the recognized OA statements of principles: Is there a submission charge or publication charge? What advertising and solicitation methods does the publisher use? Are they

credible? Dont be swayed by emails that are designed to feed your ego but are clearly blast emails, aka SPAM. Evaluating Open Access Journals Is the journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals ( (No guarantee, as Bohannon discovered) Is the journal listed in Ulrichs Global Serials Directory? (May need to link through your library) Is the journal indexed by major databases? OAJs now seem to have formed their own indices. What is the journals subject coverage?

Does the journal have an impact factor? What is it? (Journal Citation Reports) What are the journals peer review guidelines? Evaluating Open Access Journals Who is on the editorial board? (Contact editors to verify) How many issues does the journal publish each year? In the last year? How many articles are typically in an issue? Are many of the articles authored by members of the editorial board? Beware of ostensibly personal invitations to submit an

already published article in a longer or slightly modified form. Librarians can be an excellent source of information and advice call on them Evaluating Open Access Articles Are author affiliations listed? Does the subject matter, length, or quality of articles vary greatly? Are there multiple articles by the same author(s) in the same issue or short period? Are the articles being cited? (use Web of

Science or Science Direct or Google Scholar other citation tools) Thinking about OA Issues Is it more difficult today to be an author or a reader? Are scholarly journals produced to serve publishers, editors, authors, or readers? Whats the purpose of peer review? Validation? Evaluation of importance and/or relevance? Evaluation of scientific rigor, validity, or merit? What is the goal of a medical journal or public health journal or other health related journal?

How will scholarly journals continue to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and the creation of new ideas? *Inspired (in part) by: Anderson, K. (2013). Have we forgotten readers in our worries over access? The Scholarly Kitchen. Available at: What about Career Advancement? Legitimate concerns about the value placed on open access publications by administrators and committees who determine our future Online-only journals often unfairly disparaged or depreciated

Some online-only journals have strong peer review and good impact factors if that matters e.g. PLOS Medicine in 2015: IF: 13.585, but doesnt put much stock in IF, prefers Article-Level Metrics (ALM) Ranks 6th among general medical journals What about Career Advancement? If you have pubs in good OA journals, give data to your supervisor / chair / head to substantiate status and impact (IF of journals, citations of articles, etc.)

Ask supervisor or lead / chair and dean to inform those up the line about legitimate and reputable OA journals Dont publish in predatory or crappy journals. Choosing Where to Publish: Not all of equal or importance Whoever will accept my article I have friends on editorial board Has good artwork

Has (does not have) ads Has easiest submission and formatting Has most generous allowance for tables & figures Has fast turn around time Has highest impact factor Journal most relevant to my field Journal likely to be read by colleagues Journal with reputation for

timely, helpful review Journal affiliated with professional society Journal that published similar topics Journal I cite in my paper Other factors? Ask a librarian or respected researcher Other resources related to authorship and reviewing

Mulford Health Science Library at the Univ. of Toledo that has links to hundreds of journals instructions for authors pages. Also has links to resources below Perhaps best known: recommendations from the ICMJE: International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, but dont deal with open access issues: Other resources related to

authorship and reviewing Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, including for authors, reviewers, editors, publishers (including how to handle authorship disputes) Also of interest: European Association of Science Editors (EASE) guidelines:, again more for other help than for open access issues Note that the Mulford site has links to all of these Finally, I couldnt find anything from the European Acronym Society Yearbook, though you would think that would be, well, you know . . .

My mailbox Questions and Discussion

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