Scholarly communications selected links from December 2016 – January 2017

Lists of possibly “predatory” journals and publishers: Jeffrey Beall, Colorado librarian, removed his blog site from the web in mid-January. There was a lot of speculation about this move and much was written about the usefulness of these lists, even though their flaws are well-recognized. Our first line of defense is to ensure scholars are aware of the issues and use caution when they publish or submit papers for conferences. Think, Check, Submit is a nice site. Also see our library guides: Author Beware and Tools for Authors: Selecting a Journal for Publication (from Becker Medical Library.) Here are a few links in case you missed the story:

Also related, the first item in Becker Medical Library’s Scholarly Publishing Round-up January 2017 calls attention to the updated ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals which puts responsibility on authors: “A growing number of entities are advertising themselves as “medical journals” yet do not function as such (“predatory journals”). Authors have a responsibility to evaluate the integrity, history, practices and reputation of the journals to which they submit manuscripts.” (Section C.1.a.) [emphasis mine]

Becker Medical Library’s Scholarly Publishing Round-up January 2017 also has useful stories about CiteScore, a new journal metric from Elsevier/Scopus, and launching of the Open Research Funders Group

Preserving content from websites: If You See Something, Save Something – 6 Ways to Save Pages In the Wayback Machine The Beall’s lists story (above) and multiple stories in January about government sites going dark, such as, The Whitehouse.gov reset broke Wikipedia links en masse: Here’s what editors are doing about it, lead me to believe that scholars need to know about the Internet Archive!

Two upcoming talks by Brian Nosek, Department of Psychology University of Virginia Center for Open Science, about reproducibility and publishing:

  • Shifting incentives from getting it published to getting it right March 21, 2017 – 3:00pm, Psychology Building Room 216 (space limited) The currency of academic science is publishing. Producing novel, positive, and clean results maximizes the likelihood of publishing success because those are the best kind of results. There are multiple ways to produce such results: (1) be a genius, (2) be lucky, (3) be patient, or (4) employ flexible analytic and selective reporting practices to manufacture beauty. In a competitive marketplace with minimal accountability, it is hard to avoid (4). But, there is a way. With results, beauty is contingent on what is known about their origin. With methodology, if it looks beautiful, it is beautiful. The only way to be rewarded for something other than the results is to make transparent how they were obtained. With openness, I won’t stop aiming for beautiful papers, but when I get them, it will be clear that I earned them.
  • Assembly Series, Improving Openness and Reproducibility in Scholarly Communication, March 22, 2017 – noon, Graham Chapel Knight Hall Emerson Auditorium. [More info] Updated 3/14/17. Brian Nosek has been very active with the reproducibility project in psychology. See also: Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science 28 Aug 2015: Vol. 349, Issue 6251, DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4716.

Announcements of wide-spread, even country-wide cancellations of Elsevier journals in the news:
Scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan to lose access to Elsevier journals Nature 541:13. (05 January 2017) doi:10.1038/nature.2016.21223
So your institute went cold turkey on publisher X. What now? is a blog post about the story in Germany with comments about alternative access methods.

Copyright in the news:

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation celebrated Copyright Week with a series of blog posts and links to others.
  • Several library copyright specialists (including our own Micah Zeller) signed a letter to the House Judiciary Committee responding to their proposals for copyright reform, which includes revising the structure of the Copyright Office. Copyright Report, #8, by Nancy Sims, gives links to other responses and more background.

About the author

Ruth is a librarian at Washington University for biology, math, history of science; she is also scholarly communications coordinator. Email: rlewis@wustl.edu Phone: 314-935-4819