Learned Publishing

Editor: Alan Singleton
North American Editor: Diane Scott-Lichter
Reviews Editor:
Pippa Smart

Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January, April, July, October; ISSN 0953-1513 (Print), 1741-4857 (Online); it is the successor to the Bulletin of ALPSP, founded 1977, ISSN 0260-9428.  Since January 2008 articles in Learned Publishing have been made freely available 12 months after their first publication.  

Current Issue            All online issues (from 1997)          Search Learned Publishing

ALPSP Members: Please log in (top right of this page) to access full content via the Learned Publishing (Members) page.  (If you do not have a username and password please contact Melanie Goinden or Lesley Ogg.)
SSP Members: please log in to the Member Center on the SSP website using your membership username and password.  Further information info@sspnet.org

Learned Publishing Volume 27 No 2 April 2014

ISSN 0953-1513, Online ISSN: 1741-4857


Editorial: Learned societies: resilience not reliance required
pp083 [free access]

Case Study
Access to Research: the experience of implementing a pilot in public libraries
pp085 [Open Access]
Sarah FAULDER and Shinwha CHA
Publishers Licensing Society

ABSTRACT. The Access to Research project is a collaboration between scholarly publishers and librarians to provide free licensed access to research journals via terminals in public libraries. The project is an element of the ‘balanced package’ proposed by the Finch Working Group on how to expand access to published research in the UK, which reported its recommendations to the UK government in June 2012. We describe the setting up of the project and the findings from a three-month technical pilot prior to the launch of a two-year national pilot in February 2014. The project has already attracted support from the major scholarly publishers, with about 8,400 journal titles now available. The access platform has been shown to be usable by public librarians and library patrons. We are now addressing the challenge of understanding how the public will make use of the system and exploring how best to provide training and education for librarians and users.

How research funders can finance APCs in full OA and hybrid journals
pp093 [Open Access]
B0-Christer BJÖRK and Davis SOLOMON
Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland and Michigan State University, USA

ABSTRACT. Open access (OA) publishing is steadily growing in both full OA journals and hybrid journals where authors can pay to open up individual articles. Funding for article processing charges (APCs) is still a strong barrier for many authors, particularly for subscription journals where the hybrid option is expensive and an added extra feature after an article is accepted for publication. Many research funders in Europe have started or are considering mechanisms for paying APCs with earmarked funding in order to increase the uptake of OA. At the same time they are well aware that their actions may influence the way the OA market will develop in the near future. This article discusses a number of scenarios for ways in which funders could cover the cost of APCs, while encouraging the development of a competitive and transparent market for APC-funded OA scholarly publishing. We provide evidence that the current APC-funded full OA market is sensitive to journal prestige/impact. We present a value-based cap funding scheme which could help maintain transparency, bringing hybrid market pricing in line with the full OA market. We also consider a scenario that addresses hybrid ‘double dipping’ while limiting the cost of transitioning to full OA for research-intensive universities as well as cost-sharing as a mechanism for providing authors with an incentive for considering cost as well as value in choosing where to publish.

Author-initiated repurposing of reviews: the Streamline Reviews initiative at Virology
Editor-in-Chief, Virology

ABSTRACT. The Elsevier journal Virology has started a trial program of author-initiated repurposing of reviews from papers previously rejected from high-impact journals. The program, called Streamline Reviews, is described and compared to other recent initiatives in portable reviews.

Journal author rights and self-archiving: the case of Spanish journals
¹Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos – CSIC, Valencia, Spain, ²Universitat de Barcelona, Spain and ³Universidad de Valencia, Spain

ABSTRACT. Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. The lack of clarity of publisher permissions for archiving in OA repositories affects the adoption of the green OA route. This paper explores editorial policies and self-archiving conditions in 1,615 Spanish scholarly journals. 48% are published by university and research institutions, 25% by associations/societies, and 17% by commercial publishers; social sciences and humanities (SSH) accounted for 67% of the journals (44.5% and 22.5%, respectively) followed by health sciences (20%); 71% offered gratis access immediately after publication, and 11% after an embargo; 31% provided some mention of author rights. Self-archiving was specifically allowed by 65% of the journals; 52% were classified as ROMEO-blue, 12% as green and 15% as white, and 21% could not be classifi ed; 21%, mostly in SSH, used some type of Creative Commons license.

Trust and Authority in Scholarly Communications in the Light of the Digital Transition: setting the scene for a major study
David NICHOLAS¹, Anthony WATKINSON¹, Rachel VOLENTINE², Suzie ALLARD², Kenneth LEVINE², Carol TENOPIR² and Eti HERMAN¹

¹Ciber Research and ²University of Tennessee, USA

ABSTRACT. The paper provides the results of the first phase of the research project Trust and Authority in Scholarly Communications in the Light of the Digital Transition. It provides for an examination of the behaviours and attitudes of academic researchers as producers and consumers of scholarly information resources in the digital era in respect to how they determine authority and trustworthiness in the sources they use, cite, and publish in. The first phase of the study utilized focus groups to formulate research questions for the project as a whole. It provided the direction for the literature review, interviews, and questionnaires studies that would follow. Fourteen focus groups were held in the UK and US in order to obtain this information. A total of 66 science and social science researchers participated. The main findings were: (a) researchers play down difficulties of establishing trustworthiness, not because there are none, but because they have well-developed methods of establishing trust; (b) citation-derived metrics are becoming more important in regard to where researchers publish; (c) social media are ancillary to research, but are used for promotion of research and idea generation; (d) researchers are suspicious and confused about open access, but less so if produced by a traditional publisher; (e) there was a uniformity of perceptions/behaviour of researchers irrespective of differences in subject, country, and age; (f) although some early career researchers behave the same as their more senior colleagues this is because of a fear of the system: they actually think differently.

Comparison between user affinity with digital libraries and virtual communities
Yalan YAN and Xianjin ZHA
Wuhan University of Science and Technology, China and Wuhan University, China

ABSTRACT. There is ongoing discussion about the value and reliability of information produced by experts and organized by digital libraries in universities versus information produced by the crowd in virtual communities. This study compares users’ perceptions of digital libraries and virtual communities in terms of affinity. In this study, affinity with digital libraries or virtual communities is defined as the degree of importance that users place on digital libraries or virtual communities. Data collected from 334 users of digital libraries and virtual communities were used for data analysis. The statistical method of ‘compare means’ is employed. We find the mean of affinity with digital libraries is significantly larger than that of virtual communities, suggesting users are likely to perceive higher levels of affinity with digital libraries than with virtual communities. More analysis oriented to different groups is also conducted. The findings and their implications are discussed.

Point of View
Trash journals in China

Songqing LIN and Lijuan ZHAN
Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Wuhan, China, and Journal of Wuhan Technical College of Communications, Wuhan, China

ABSTRACT. Over the last two decades, China has seen an enormous rise in the number of scientifi c journals, second only to the USA. However, their overall academic level has not been high as expected. In fact the frequent occurrence of ‘trash’ journals has been a very negative development. In this regard, we will defi ne trash journals and analyze their characteristics. In addition, we explore how such journals come into existence and look at their relationship with ‘legal’ journals. The development of trash journals is directly associated with market demand and profi t, and a fl awed academic evaluation system. We advocate action by government departments to purge academia of trash journals and give examples of how this could be done.

Book Reviews
pp155[free access]  

Write for Learned Publishing

We invite news and articles concerning all aspects of academic and professional publishing. Contributions submitted for publication, and correspondence concerning the journal, should be sent to Alan Singleton, Editor or Diane Scott-Lichter, North American Editor.
Before submitting material you might also want to check out our Guidance Notes for Authors.

"I find Learned Publishing really valuable … provides vital information about new developments and trends that I would otherwise be unaware of."
Kerry Moir, Dietitians Association of Australia

"Learned Publishing is essential reading for anyone involved in journal publishing"
Robert Campbell, Wiley-Blackwell

"Learned Publishing is one of those rare things - a journal with an unusually high proportion of must-read articles which is a pleasure to read at the same time. It manages to cover a wide range of refreshingly topical issues … with contributions which are stimulating as well as practical."
Hugh Jones, Copyright Counsel to the Publishers Licensing Society, the Publishers Association and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers"

"Learned Publishing gets my work expeditiously into print with class, courtesy and style … I am full of appreciation. It is also a beautiful publication."
David Gordon Wilson, MIT, Cambridge MA, USA