Learned Publishing

Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
North American Editor: Judy Luther 

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. 

CALL FOR PAPERS: Special issue on peer review
Peer review will be the theme of the January 2016 issue, and we'd like to invite case studies, original research, reviews, perspectives, opinions and all other information about how it can be improved, where it is going wrong, and any experiments your journals have undertaken.
Please submit any pre-submission enquiries and your final articles to the editor, Pippa Smart (editor@alpsp.org), or the US Editor, Judy Luther (us-editor@alpsp.org) or 
submit online: http://lp.msubmit.net

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If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the journal please contacting Diane French by email (diane.french@alpsp.org) or telephone (+44 (0) 1827 709188) 

Special Issue to Volume 27 (2014) - Data Publishing

Data has the potential to help us work our way out of the grand challenges of humanity, but what exactly does that entail? This special online-only issue of Learned Publishing provides a snapshot of current thinking about research data from a variety of perspectives. These articles – published under an open access model – will be of use to those working in a wide variety of library and publishing functions, as well as to  policy-makers, funders, and researchers in a range of disciplines.

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Learned Publishing Volume 28 No 1 January  2015  

Access current issue here - ensure you are logged on to the ALPSP website for seamless access


Editorial: 350 years and how are we doing? 
[free access]

The library’s role in the management and funding of open access publishing
Kate LARA, Publishers Communication Group (PCG)

ABSTRACT. This survey presents information on library management of open access resources, 
institutional involvement in open access funding, and the role librarians see themselves playing in this model in the future. 149 responses from 30 different countries were included. 94% of respondents were librarians, and the remaining 6% consisted of faculty, students, and other library staff. Results showed that most libraries are cataloging open access journals, though they usually represent only 1–5% of total listings. The responsibility for funding open access is more likely to fall on the author or a granting organization than the library or institution. 23% of libraries in this survey help finance open access, and one-third of these had established criteria for funding. While librarians disagreed on the appropriate level of their involvement in the publishing process and financing of article charges, the majority viewed the library as an important advocate for open access publishing in their institution.

Industry Update
‘Total cost of ownership’ of scholarly communication: managing subscription and APC payments together
Stuart LAWSON, Jisc, UK 

ABSTRACT. Managing subscription journals and open access charges together has created challenges which may in part be dealt with by offsetting the two revenue streams against each other. In order to do this, it is necessary to have reliable financial data about the extent of the two interacting markets. Jisc Collections has been undertaking data collection regarding universities’ article publication charge (APC) expenditure. This process is difficult without a standardized way of recording data, so Jisc Collections has developed a standard data collection template and is helping institutions to release data openly. If available data become more comprehensive and transparent, then all parties (libraries, publishers, research funders, and intermediaries) will have better knowledge of the APC market and can more accurately predict the effects of offsetting.

Peer Review
Peer review: still king in the digital age
David NICHOLAS, Tomsk State University, Russia; Anthony WATKINSON, Hamid R. JAMALI2 and Eti HERMAN, CIBER Research; Carol TENOPIR, Rachel VOLENTINE, Suzie ALLARD and Kenneth LEVINE, University of Tennessee

ABSTRACT. The article presents one of the main findings of an international study of 4,000 academic researchers that examined how trustworthiness is determined in the digital environment when it comes to scholarly reading, citing, and publishing. The study shows that peer review is still the most trustworthy characteristic of all. There is, though, a common perception that open access journals are not peer reviewed or do not have proper peer-review systems. Researchers appear to have moved inexorably from a print-based system to a digital system, but it has not significantly changed the way they decide what to trust. They do not trust social media. Only a minority – although significantly mostly young and early career researchers – thought that social media are anything other than more appropriate to personal interactions and peripheral to their professional/academic lives. There are other significant differences, according to the age of the researcher. Thus, in regard to choosing an outlet for publication of their work, young researchers are much less concerned with the fact that it is peer reviewed.

Penetration of Nigerian predatory biomedical open access journals 2007–2012: a bibiliometric study
Williams EZINWA NWAGWU, University of South Africa, South Africa and Obinna OJEMENI, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

ABSTRACT. This paper presents the bibliometric characteristics of 32 biomedical open access journals published by Academic Journals and International Research Journals – the two Nigerian publishers in Jeffery Beall’s list of 23 predatory open access publishers in 2012. Data about the journals and the authors of their articles were collected from the websites of the publishers, Google Scholar and Web of Science. As at December 2012, the journals had together produced a total of 5,601 papers written by 5,599 authors, and received 12,596 citations. Authors from Asia accounted for 56.79% of the publications; those from Africa wrote 28.35% while Europe contributed 7.78%. Authors from Africa accounted for 18.25% of the citations these journals received, and this is about one-third the number of citations by authors in Asia (54.62%). At country level, India ranks fi rst in the top 10 citer countries, while Nigeria, the host country of the journals, ranked eighth. More in-depth studies are required to develop further information about the journals such as how much scientific information the journals contain, as well as the science literacy of the authors and the editorial. 

Changes in the role of the commissioning editor in academic book publishing
Francis DODDS, Formerly Woodhead Publishing Limited

ABSTRACT. This article reviews research on the role of the commissioning editor in academic book publishing. It argues that there has been a historic shift from a primarily ‘gatekeeper’ role to a more proactive role in shaping what authors write, driven by the requirements of business strategy, the need to focus more closely on end-user needs, and, increasingly, by the new challenges of commissioning within a digital environment.

Who are the independent editors, how did they reach their role and what are their associated job satisfactions? 
Alison BAVERSTOCK, Robert BLACKBURN and Marfuga ISKANDAROVA, Kingston University

ABSTRACT. This paper presents new evidence on the world of the independent editor in the publishing industry, analysing their demographic background, education and training, working practices, links with professional organizations, motivations for ‘going it alone’, and job satisfaction. The results help contribute to the understanding of this important and growing segment of the publishing industry, challenge some of the commonly held beliefs about their role in the industry and set these within the broader context of changes in work organization in publishing. Contrary to the assumption that self-publishing largely takes place without the involvement of an editor, research into the processes of self-publishing (previously published in this journal) found that editors (and other providers of publishing services) were in fact often involved. The results are significant for the traditional publishing industry, the users of independent editorial services, and the editors themselves.

The reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated (with apologies to Mark Twain)
Andrea POWELL and Michael PEARSON, CABI, UK

Key points
• A&I services continue to thrive even against Google
• We need both scope and specialty
• Understanding and integrating with researcher workflows is key to success

Point of View
Identifying legitimate open access journals: some suggestions from a publisher

Tom HILL, Libertas Academica Ltd

Key points
• New publishing models lead to new players – not all of them good.
• No commonly accepted criteria aid scholars to select ‘good’ journals.
• Journals (and publishers) need to assert their good practice.
• How do publishers serve their different customers – readers, authors, reviewers, and the public?

Stories and statistics from library-led publishing
Casey BUSHER and Irene KAMOTSKY, bepress

ABSTRACT. Library-led publishing is one of the new approaches to journal publishing and open access that has grown tremendously in the last few years. A 2010 IMLS-funded survey found that 55% of respondents – from US academic libraries of all different types and sizes – were already implementing or developing a publishing program. Library-led publishing has garnered such momentum because, by offering low - or no-cost publishing to university scholars, it addresses needs that traditional publishing has not been able to meet. This article presents a series of small case studies to illustrate different journals that have benefited from the library-publishing model: (i) a journal that struggled to find an affordable publisher in its emerging field; (ii) a small society journal that could no longer afford to support itself in print; (iii) society publications that go beyond the traditional journal format; and (iv) a student journal with a revolving editorial board.

Predatory journals and their article publishing charges
Jingfeng XIA, Indiana University, Indianapolis

ABSTRACT. This study examines the payment policies of a list of standalone predatory open access journals available on scholarlyoa.com. It is found that 72% do charge article publication fees (APCs), which is a higher percentage than found in DOAJ journals. The mean number of articles published during 2013 was 227, but ranged from 4 to 2,286 articles. The majority of journals charge low APCs and can be assumed to have modest annual incomes. There was no correlation between the amount of APC charged and the number of articles published. Comparing the number of journals charging APCs compared to the percentage from DOAJ, the findings suggest a connection between predatory practices and charging author fees. However, a comprehensive assessment of the dynamics of open access journal publishing beyond author charges should be done to avoid using APCs alone as a measure of whether a journal is predatory or not.

Industry Update
Evolution of the Transfer Code of Practice
James PHILLPOTTS, Tim DEVENPORT and Alison MITCHELL, Transfer Working Group

ABSTRACT. The Transfer Code of Practice was launched in 2008 as a set of best-practice guidelines to be followed when a journal changes publisher, with the aim of ensuring uninterrupted access to content for subscribers. The Code has now been updated to reflect the continued evolution of the academic publishing process driven by new technologies, policies, and publishing practices.

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 Pippa Smart, Editor or Judy Luther, North American Editor.
Before submitting material you might also want to check out our Guidance Notes for Authors.

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