Scholarly publishing is totally broken. Not only, at present, can most of the people (taxpayers) who fund research not get access to it, but plans to fix this look set to screw over Early Career Researchers and anybody else who can’t persuade their funders to give them the up-front fees required by publishers for Open Access journals.
In 2004 the scholarly publisher Elsevier made a written submission to the UK House of Commons Science & Technology Committee. Elsevier asserted that the traditional model used to publish research papers — where readers, and institutions like libraries, pay the costs of producing scholarly journals through subscriptions — “ensures high quality, independent peer review and prevents commercial interests from influencing decisions to publish.”
In March 2012, PLoS Computational Biology took what we hope will be a first step in a new level of interaction between publishers, researchers and the public. “Topic Pages” are a new article type, written in the style of a Wikipedia article. The page, which should fill a gap in Wikipedia’s computational biology content, is peer reviewed. Once accepted, a version of record is published in PLoS Computational Biology, with the text being uploaded to Wikipedia very soon afterwards to undergo the usual updates and edits of articles on the site. In the following guest post, our Topic Pages Editor, Daniel Mietchen, explains the motivations and hopes for this experiment.
From an economics standpoint, self-citation is the easiest method to boost one’s citations. Every author knows this and cites his own articles, however peripheral their relationship is to the topic at hand. Editors know this as well, and some have been caught coercing authors into self-citing the journal. Other editors have published editorial “reviews” of the articles published in their own journal, focusing entirely on papers that have been published in the previous two years — the window from which the impact factor is generated.
WordPress is no doubt a very popular web publishing platform for blogs and other types of websites. But just how popular is it?
We just completed a study and found that WordPress is in use by 48% of the top 100 blogs in the world. This is an increase from the 32% we recorded three years ago.
Other developments since then include that custom blog publishing platforms are more common now, TypePad has all but disappeared from the top 100, Tumblr has made an entrance, and some companies really don’t want to spill the beans about what solutions they use.
Update: Following a comment (see below) we have adjusted the article a bit. TUAW is running BlogSmith, so it has been removed from WordPress self-hosted. TMZ is running CrowdFusion, so it has been removed from BlogSmith, and CrowdFusion added to the list. This bring the total for WordPress to 48.
We are the provosts of 11 large research universities that engage in over $5.6 billion of funded research each year. That research is directed at serving the public good through medical advances, improved defense systems, enhanced agricultural and industrial productivity, technological innovation, and reasoned social policy. In the aggregate, the outcomes of this research fuel America’s global leadership, improve the quality of life in our communities, and enrich the educational experience of our students.
“Open access (OA) journals distribute their content at no charge and use other means of funding the publication process. Publication fees or article-processing charges (APC)s have become the predominant means for funding professional OA publishing. We surveyed 1,038 authors who recently published articles in 74 OA journals that charge APCs stratified into seven discipline categories. Authors were asked about the source of funding for the APC, factors influencing their choice of a journal and past history publishing in OA and subscription journals. Additional information about the journal and the authors’ country were obtained from the journal website. A total of 429 (41%) authors from 69 journals completed the survey. There were large differences in the source of funding among disciplines. Journals with impact factors charged higher APCs as did journals from disciplines where grant funding is plentiful. Fit, quality, and speed of publication were the most important factors in the authors’ choice of a journal. OA was less important but a significant factor for many authors in their choice of a journal to publish. These findings are consistent with other research on OA publishing and suggest that OA publishing funded through APCs is likely to continue to grow.”
I recently attended the Midwinter ALA conference in Dallas. The longest line was at Starbucks.
What brought me to Dallas was an invitation to participate in a panel sponsored by Sage on discovery. Sage had commissioned a white paper on the topic, which you can find here. It’s a good paper, which I recommend to one and all. The authors of the paper were on the panel as well and spoke authoritatively to the question of how libraries are implementing new means of discovery. I had not realized how complicated the situation was. What was clear to me, though, is that librarians and publishers alike have an interest in improving finding mechanisms: librarians because they want their collections to be used, publishers because such usage translates into a stronger brand, which can help in making the case to purchase the next product.
If you can remember the SOPA strike (that day when Wikipedia went black), then it’s possible that you’ve checked the list of the SOPA supporters. You may have noticed, among others, the American Association of Publishers (AAP) and Elsevier, the Dutch publisher that gained much attention recently from American Open Access Advocates. The advocates ranted and raved about AAP and Elsevier all over the web, only to answer their question whether all publicly funded research should be accessible to the public, or not? If you guessed that all parties answered yes, you are wrong.
Here in the UAE, home to the world’s tallest building, playground of the world’s leading architects and birthplace of countless ambitious and globally resonant cultural initiatives, it can sometimes feel as though one is living at the centre of the modern world.
In fact, according to one vision of our times, when it comes to scientific, medical and technical research, the UAE and almost the entire Middle East is living in the dark ages.