Learned Publishing Volume 28 No 2 April 2015
Editorial: The evolving landscape
Emerging new methods of peer review in scholarly journals
Bo-Christer BJÖRK and Turid HEDLUND, Hanken School of Economics
ABSTRACT. The long-established peer-review practices in scholarly journals have remained largely unchanged by the introduction of the Internet. Nevertheless, critique of the shortcomings of current practices (bias, slowness, etc.) have led to many publishers and journals experimenting with novel ways of performing and organizing peer review, enabled by e-publishing and new revenue models. This article proposes a taxonomy of such innovations and discusses a number of cases where, for instance, the assignment of reviewers is handled differently from current best practice. New models, which seem particularly attractive to manuscript authors, are acceptance of any scientifically valid articles as practiced in ‘megajournals’. and increased transparency about how the peer-review process in a particular journal works.
Scholarly article seeking, reading, and use: a continuing evolution from print to electronic in the sciences and social sciences
Carol TENOPIR, Donald W. KING, Lisa CHRISTIAN and Rachel VOLENTINE, University of Tennessee
ABSTRACT. Electronic journals are now the norm for accessing and reading scholarly articles. This article examines scholarly article reading patterns by faculty in five US universities in 2012. Selected findings are also compared to some general trends from studies conducted periodically since 1977. In the 2012 survey, over threequarters (76%) of the scholarly readings were obtained through electronic means and just over half (51%) of readings were read on a screen rather than from a print source or being printed out. Readings from library sources are overwhelmingly from e-sources. The average number of articles read per month was 20.66, with most articles read by the medical and other sciences, and on average each article was read for 32 minutes.
The benefits of resource discovery for publishers: a librarian's view
Graham STONE, University of Huddersfield
ABSTRACT. A core goal of librarians is to maximize usage of the content to which their libraries subscribe. Webscale or resource discovery systems offer a single search box for library users to access subscribed content. This article examines usage data at the University of Huddersfield to show how resource discovery has helped to increase the usage of publisher content that has been made available to discovery vendors, and considers the implications for publishers who are yet to do this. The article concludes that resource discovery systems have effectively levelled the playing field, allowing small to medium-sized publishers to make content discoverable to users, and encourages publishers who do not have their content indexed in resource discovery systems to speak to discovery service vendors in order to do so at the earliest opportunity.
Counterpoints about predatory open access and knowledge publishing in Africa
Williams Ezinwa NWAGWU, University of South Africa
ABSTRACT. The promise of open access (OA) as a replacement for existing scientific information dissemination ethos and practice has been contentious, with the interests of different stakeholders – countries, publishers, and OA activists, among others – clashing on an unprecedented scale. This paper examines some of the challenges that have been triggered by the OA movement, particularly at the Africa regional level. Basically, OA is technology heavy and its economic arrangements benefit mainly the developed world. There is evidence of OA initiatives in Africa, but these initiatives are mainly individually based, defragmented, and largely underdeveloped, and sometimes predatory. This author argues that policy-makers in Africa need to embrace OA and establish useful policies – for regional journals and regional repositories and for academic reward, and support this with technical investment to enable quality online publishing.
How the role of the independent editor is changing in relation to traditional and self-publishing
Alison BAVERSTOCK, Robert BLACKBURN, and Marfuga ISKANDAROVA, Kingston University
ABSTRACT. This paper reports on a survey of editors undertaken during 2013. The survey asked about lifestyle and work, and in particular how these are changing with the growth of self-publishing authors. This article reports on the changing opportunities for editorial work and the practices of independent editors, and how their working routines have changed over the past three years. It reveals a shift from working for traditional publishers towards working for new clients, including self-publishing authors; relationships with traditional publishers satisfaction levels are discernible in relationships with experienced self-publishers. The paper considers the consequences of editors’ changing patterns of work and client base, and likely future outcomes. Areas for further close monitoring and research are suggested.
The citation evolution law of papers published in the same year but different month
GAI Shuang-Shuang, LIU Xue-Li, ZHANG Shi-Le, and LIU Rui-Yuan, Henan Research Center for Science Journals
ABSTRACT. To explore the citation evolution of papers published in the same year but different month, we selected papers from a discipline (physical geography), a subject (diabetes: endocrine and metabolism) and a journal (Journal of Biological Chemistry) published in 2005 as research objects. These papers were divided into six groups according to the difference in publication month, and we analyzed citations to these papers for the 9 years after publication. The results showed that within 5 years after papers from physical geography were published, the overall differences in citations of papers in different groups were statistically significant (P < 0.05); after that, the differences were not statistically significant. Within 5 years after papers from diabetes (endocrine and metabolism) were published, the overall differences in citations of papers in different groups were statistically significant (P < 0.05); thereafter, the differences were not statistically significant. Within 7 years after papers from the Journal of Biological Chemistry were published, the overall differences in citations of papers in different groups were statistically significant (P < 0.05); hereafter, the differences were not statistically significant. Citations of papers followed the same pattern irrespective of discipline, subject or journal: citations of papers published in the same year but different month were obviously different in the first few publishing years, but as time went on, only the difference in publication month in a calendar year did not affect the papers’ longer-term citation.
European Publishers Council: making copyright work on the Web
Angela MILLS WADE, European Publishers Council
• An overview of the EPC’s work to collaborate with the EU regulators to achieve a fully copyright-enabled Internet
• How we address the need for technological solutions to make copyright work on the Web; to facilitate the dissemination of online content; to encourage innovation by content providers; to facilitate the legal use and sharing of online content
• Why in June 2014, in preparation for the next round of EU regulatory reform on copyright due in 2015, the EPC published a new ‘Copyright Vision’ including ecommendations to help realize the potential of the media and publishing ecosystem to the benefit of all creators and users
The promise of postpublication peer review: how do we get there from here?
• Post-publication peer review (PPPR) has not achieved its promise and potential.
• Few articles receive PPPR – even those in high-profile journals.
• PPPR is difficult to find and needs to be linked to the original article.
• Academics require recognition if they are to contribute their time to PPPR.
• Improving PPPR would improve the scholarly corpus.
JournalGuide: bringing authors and journals together
Benjamin MUDRAK, Research Square LLC
• As a result of the considerable (and growing) number of scholarly journals, it is difficult for authors to find the best place for their research, even as many journals face challenges in finding new submissions.
• JournalGuide (www.journalguide.com) is a free tool that matches user-inputted keywords or text to article metadata and returns journals that have recently published similar work.
• Users can then compare information about these journals and make an informed decision about where to submit.
Beyond authorship: attribution, contribution, collaboration, and credit
Amy Brand, Digital Science, Liz Allen, Wellcome Trust, Micah Altman, MIT Libraries Marjorie Hlava, Access Innovations, Jo Scott, Wellcome Trust
• As the number of authors on scientific publications increases, ordered lists of author names are proving inadequate for the purposes of attribution and credit.
• A multi-stakeholder group has produced a contributor role taxonomy for use in scientific publications.
• Identifying specific contributions to published research will lead to appropriate credit, fewer author disputes, and fewer disincentives to collaboration and the sharing of data and code.