Blog Archives

Predatory Journals

The problem

Hundreds of new open access journals are being set up by reputable publishers, scholarly societies and universities each year. Unfortunately, alongside these reputable journals, an increasing number of pay-to-publish “vanity” journals continue to appear. Such journals are referred to as ‘predatory’ or ‘bogus’ journals. Some academic authors are being scammed into submitting their research outputs to be published in these journals that do not have proper quality control or peer review processes.

The risks

  • No proper peer review is carried out to preserve the quality of the research output.
  • Damage to the reputation of the researcher and institution.
  • Researchers and institutions lend their reputation to a disreputable publication.
  • Negative impact on the REF submission if the publication is not detected.
  • Your article will most likely not be able to be published elsewhere.
  • Copyright would likely be retained by the publisher.

How to check for predatory journals?

Think   Check   Submit  – Provides a checklist of questions that can be used to identify trusted journals.

Look out for the following warning signs:

  • Board of Editors list shows that members are not recognised in their field or that they are affiliated with questionable institutions; however, this should be done with caution, as Board member names may be used without their permission.
  • Journals with dubious or non-existent addresses for their registered office.
  • Unsolicited email or paper communication inviting publication in journals you don’t know or have never heard of.
  • Unsolicited invitations to conferences run by event managers, not professionals in the research area, often at attractive destinations.
  • Note – Legitimate new journals acknowledge if they are newly created and do not yet have an impact factor.

Further steps to undertake:

  • Consult the Directory of Open Access Journals for reputable journals (doaj.org)
  • Check the publisher’s membership of Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (oaspa.org), Committee on Publication Ethics (www.publicationethics.org), and International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (www.stm-assoc.org).
  • Reputable journals typically will be listed in the Journal Citation Report.
  • Resist the temptation to publish quickly and easily in any journal. Be aware of the publication landscape in your research area and the most reputable journals (check with your research leader if unsure).
  • Jeffrey Beall (librarian at the University of Colorado Denver) has also created lists of ‘Potential, possible or predatory’ scholarly open access journals and publishers. This list is controversial and has been debated, however it has been listed on many university webpages.

Related articles and blogs

University of Edinburgh Standards in Open Access scholarly communication: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/research-support/publish-research/open-access/1.108824

Jeffery Beall’s website on scholarly Open Access: http://scholarlyoa.com/

‘Investigating Journals: The dark side of publishing’ by Declan Butler (in Nature): http://www.nature.com/news/investigating-journals-the-dark-side-of-publishing-1.12666

Berger, Monica and Jill Cirasella. “Beyond Beall’S List Better Understanding Predatory Publishers“. Crln.acrl.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.

Further Information

If you have any further questions on the information displayed here or if you would like advice on a specific journal please contact us at OpenAccess@northampton.ac.uk.

University Open Access Fund

Open Access logoFAQ: Does the University have any funds available to pay publishers’ article processing charges (APCs) and if so, how can I apply for these?

As of August 1st 2016 the University of Northampton has set aside an Open Access (OA) fund to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs).

APCs are the charges levied by publishers to cover the cost of making an individual article OA at the point of publication (aka ‘gold’ OA).  This may be in a fully OA journal or in a ‘hybrid’ journal which makes otherwise subscription only articles available OA on payment of an APC.

Read the rest of this entry

Act on Acceptance: HEFCE policy comes into effect

Act on acceptance leaflet A4 v3The much anticipated HEFCE open access policy came into effect on 1st April and researchers wishing to submit their work to the next REF must now deposit the final peer reviewed copy of any article or conference paper (with an ISSN) into NECTAR as soon as possible after it has been accepted for publication.

This leaflet describes the three simple steps that you should follow to ensure your work is not excluded from the next REF.

 

Related posts:

Further information:

If you have any queries about NECTAR or the HEFCE policy please contact the LLS Research Support team (Miggie Pickton or Nick Dimmock).

We are also very happy to come and talk about these to your research group or School Research and Enterprise Committee.  If you would like us to do this then just get in touch.

Report: Taylor & Francis – Insights into publishing

Last week I attended an interesting event put on by Taylor and Francis (T&F) and, knowing that quite a few Northampton researchers publish with T&F, I thought I’d share some of the things I learned.

There were several talks during the day, covering support for early career researchers; peer review and journal development; the role of the editorial team; journal production; dissemination; and open access.  The full slide presentation is available here but for me a number of points stood out.

Read the rest of this entry

Advice for senior scientists and the importance of first-author publications

Another thought-provoking post from our own Professor Jeff Ollerton

“The internet is awash with bloggers and dedicated sites giving advice to early-career scientists and graduate research students (what I’ll collectively refer to as ECRs).  Much of it is very good (see for example The Thesis Whisperer, any number of posts over at Dynamic Ecology and Small Pond Science, and the University of Northampton’s own Research Support Hub), though sometimes it’s contradictory and comes down to matters of taste and opinion …

… But there is very little guidance and advice out there for more senior scientists who are mid- to late-career.”

Read what Jeff has to say on the subject, and some interesting comments from his readers: Jeff Ollerton’s biodiversity blog.

Image credit: HeppDesigns

The NECTAR journey: from acceptance to compliance


The University’s new Open Access policy – driven by HEFCE requirements for the post-2014 REF – has a simple message at heart for publishing researchers: act on acceptance. In practice, this means timely deposit of items in NECTAR, and we’ve made a few changes to help with this. This post takes a look at the NECTAR workflow, from acceptance to publication.

Read the rest of this entry

The future of printed academic books

nu-information-services-park-373If you haven’t previously read ‘The Conversation‘ then let me introduce you to this excellent blog with this post on the future of academic print books.

Written by Donald Barclay, Deputy University Librarian at the University of California Merced, the article highlights the impact of falling budgets and rising prices on academic book sales and proposes the open access monograph as a viable alternative.  But first, he argues, academic distrust of digital publication has to be overcome…

Read the rest of this entry

OA and the research lifecycle 7: disseminating your research

OA lifecycle disseminationIn deciding whether and how to provide open access to your published work you need to consider:

  • The nature of the research output
  • Your funder’s open access policy
  • The availability of funds to pay article processing charges (if necessary)
  • Your publisher’s open access policy
  • The availability of an open access subject or institutional repository

Read the rest of this entry

OA and the research lifecycle 6: writing up

OA lifecycle writing upIn terms of writing up, the preparation needed for open access is not dissimilar from that required for other types of publication.

A major consideration is whether you have made use of third party copyright material, i.e. material that you did not create or for which you are no longer the rights holder.

There are a number of useful websites which cover this topic, for example the University of Exeter’s  Third party copyright page or Taylor and Francis’ Using third party material in your article, but the bottom line is that, unless you qualify for an exception to copyright, you will need the rights owner’s permission to use third party material in your open access work.  If you were publishing your paper in a traditional journal, the publisher would make sure that you sought the appropriate permission; if you are making your work open access yourself (for example by uploading your thesis to NECTAR) then it is your responsibility to ensure you do not break the law.

Read the rest of this entry

OA and the research lifecycle 3: bidding for funding

OA lifecycle bid for fundingOpen access to published work

Many funders, especially those awarding public monies, now make it a prerequisite of funding that all published outputs should be made open access.  You should make it clear in your bid how you intend to comply with this requirement.

The main issues you need to address at the bidding stage are:

  • Does your prospective funder have a policy on open access?
  • If so, have they opted for ‘gold’ (made OA by the publisher) or ‘green’ (deposited in an OA repository) open access to published outputs?
  • If ‘gold’, are they willing to pay article processing charges (APCs)?
  • Do they require open access outputs to be released under a particular licence (e.g. CC BY)?
  • Are you and your collaborative partners willing to comply with the funder’s OA requirements?

Read the rest of this entry