Academic publishing and scholarly communications: Good reads, September 2015
This month witnessed a flurry of activity on the global scholarly communications scene, ranging from the end of sanctions in Iran and a budge towards gender equality in Australia to the launch of a one-of-a-kind journal, along with a host of fresh perspectives and proposals collective by academicians. In this post, we bring you some of the most interesting tidbits of information about the goings-on in academia, handpicked by our editorial team. Happy reading!
1. Journal launch: A fresh OA journal called “Research Ideas and Outcomes,” (RIO) launched on September 1 aims to publish not just research outcomes but also proposals, experimental designs, data, and software. Open peer review and limber pricing are some of the unique aspects of RIO. Some academics, however, have voiced doubts about researchers openly sharing their ideas, since the field of research is utterly competitive.
Two. Media coverage of science: Misinformation in science news is widespread and exists for several reasons. While sometimes it is a result of journalists’ misunderstanding of science, at other times, it is the result of fake claims made by researchers. Science Media Center is attempting to protect the public from misinformation through a model for responsible science coverage in the media.
Trio. A fresh era of research in Iran: With the signing of the nuclear deal and the end of sanctions, fresh avenues have opened for science in Iran. Earlier, Iranian researchers found it challenging to get published in international journals and collaborate with international researchers. Now with Western science engagement, Iranian researchers are hopeful of a better future for research and development in the country.
Four. Predatory publishing: Are publishers and journals solely to blame when it comes to predatory publishing? In Predatory Publishing: A Modest Proposal, Richard Poynder argues that all those researchers sitting on the editorial and advisory boards of predatory journals should also be considered “predatory.” He proposes that the OA movement should create a database containing all the names of researchers who sit on the editorial and/or advisory boards of the publishers on Jeffrey Beall’s list.
Five. Retraction: If you don’t have enough money to pay to the journal, your paper might be retracted! A group of researchers submitted a paper to the journal Plant Signaling & Behavior and the paper got published online in the “author accepted version.” However, the paper did not make it to the “version of record” because the authors were not able to pay the fees to get the paper published.
6. Open access: Rogerio Meneghini and Abel Packer discuss the extent to which the scientific community has adapted English as the lingua franca of scientific communication and how this affects authors from non-English-speaking countries in their paper “Any scientist must therefore master English—at least to some extent—to obtain international recognition and to access relevant publications.”
7. Gender equality: The Australian Academy of Science has launched the SAGE Project, Science in Australia Gender Equity, to improve the representation of women in STEM research in Australian universities. The launch of this project marks Australia’s commitment to run a pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter.
8. Academic life: The general perception of the free time or holidays academics’ love is two-sided. Some believe that academics get a lot more holidays, while some others believe that academics are overworked. But the more interesting question is what exactly do academics do when they get a indeed long holiday?
For regular updates on significant happenings in the journal publishing industry, see our Industry News section.