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Oxytropidoceras

Who Isn’t Profiting Off the Backs of Researchers?

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doushantuo

Thanks,Paul.

Some of the marketing practices of sites offering free scientific literature,or purport to freely disseminate scientific information, are weird,or at least slightly agressive

(i hesitate to call them "dubious").

Edit: Oops,did I just totally accidentally called their modus operandi "marketing?

Must be a Freudian slip of sorts

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Kane

The issue of exploitation is already present in the traditional form of journal publishing, in many respects. Apart from books, I know I haven't received a dime for any peer-reviewed article with respect to royalties, but instead being paid in "prestige" (i.e., being part of the dialogue, raising awareness of one's research niche, leveraging publications for securing grants or to satisfy the demands of tenure review). All of this became a bit more problematic with the introduction of the Hirsch-Index (H-Index), which arguably favours STEM disciplines in terms of citation counts = academic value.

 

Emerging from this may be a bit of gaming the system by a few, but more serious being the rise in the predatory journal industry (J. Beall used to maintain a handy list) whereby fly-by-night journals will try to target early-career researchers with promises of quick turnaround from submission to publication (generally with a printing fee involved!). Such journals send out cold-call emails soliciting submissions, and almost right away announce its indexing in SCOPUS et al (methinks the lady doth protest too much!). They usually have some nebulous title like The International Journal of X, Y, and Z, and list as many topics as possible. It should be understood that such journals, catering to the rushed and desperate-to-publish, have virtually no editorial peer review process.

 

But the real issue, to my mind, is one I think shared by many others; namely, the barrier to access. Subscription rates to some of the A-list journals can be prohibitively expensive. I might once have viewed Academia.edu's method of breaking down those barriers in a positive light, but if they are seeking to replicate "pay to play" mechanisms through offering premium services that will bump an article to the top of the algorithm, this skews visible results on the basis of ability to pay rather than intrinsic quality of the article. I see it as hardly different than those who purchase the services of a bot-net to add multiple "likes" on Facebook or inflate the number of followers on Twitter.

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doushantuo

Well put sir

Apparently we share similar views on scientific publishingB)(you know my ideas about the stranglehold of the BIG THREE)(although ...T&F and CUP are

not great either )

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Kane

Agreed... I tend to look at the issue from the double whammy of price barrier and the creation of surplus value by some of these journals (generated from unpaid content producers and peer review editorial boards). The new rumour running around is that a lot more academic presses are ditching in-house editors, tasking "readers" to perform this task gratuit. Ditto with indexing services.

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doushantuo

i have understood E**evi*r use(d?) unpaid editors.

Cost of publishing,indeed.

 

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Kane

It's a bit of a snowball effect as ever more uni library budgets are cut by starry-eyed admin seeking "efficiencies." And so some of the journals raise rates to make up for subscription losses, which only...creates more subscription losses!

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