A growing number of reports in a variety of media point to problems with pre-publication peer review. Now anonymous group has created a mechanism for post-publication peer review. A wave of the future? They are interviewed here: http://www.vox.com/2015/3/14/8203595/pubpeer (“Why you can’t always believe what you read in scientific journals”). Their web site, PubPeer: The Online Journal Club can be found here: https://pubpeer.com/
Kent Anderson writing for the Scholarly Kitchen (“What’s Hot and Cooking in Scholarly Publishing”) asks, “Why is science suffering in the modern age?” Among the causes of the crisis of public confidence in science:
- Political and societal dysfunction.
- Economic dysfunction.
- Mass media dysfunction.
- Scientific dysfunction.
Admitting the complexities of the first three, Anderson observes of the last: “Scientists need to become better communicators.”
The article is available on line: http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2015/02/17/taking-our-eye-off-the-ball-why-is-science-suffering-in-the-modern-age/
The Ebola Nurses: In their own words
Would you like to be published in the same journal that accepted a manuscript written by “Margaret Simpson” and “Edna Krabappel”? If those names sound familiar, it’s not because they’re distinguished researchers. They’re not. They’re not even real people. They’re characters on the long-running evening cartoon situation comedy The Simpsons.
But the “editors” of an American Scientific Publishers journal didn’t know that, or they didn’t care, as reported by Joseph Stromberg for Vox: http://www.vox.com/2014/12/7/7339587/simpsons-science-paper
While Jeffrey Beall’s ScholarlyOA website http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/ has long warned us to the perils of responding to email spam from probably predatory online open-access journals, some intrepid scholars have been writing bogus manuscripts, submitting them, and even paying the publishing fee just to show that these publishing emperors are, as we say in the South, butt nekkid.
In another indication of how unscrupulous some of these publishers can be, Stromberg also reports on one manuscript accepted for publication whose title was “Get me off Your F*****g Mailing List” (a title we’ve censored for the eyes of our more sensitive readers), whose text consisted of the same sentence as the title repeated; details here: http://www.vox.com/2014/11/21/7259207/scientific-paper-scam
While you might have like a guest appearance on The Simpsons, you probably wouldn’t want to appear in the same journal with those characters. So two words to the wise author considering an online open-access journal: Caveat scriptor.
OK, so I’m mixing metaphors here, but the new landscape of online publications does invite both the image of the predatory jungle (“Nature, red in tooth and claw,” as the poet Tennyson wrote) and the lawless American frontier West. Compliments of Edie Brous, nurse attorney—EdieBrous.com—a compilation of recent reports on predatory open-access journals and scholarly conference scams.
Jeffrey Beall, 9/12/12
“Predatory Publishers Are Corrupting Open Access”
Declan Butler, 3/27/13
“Investigating Journals: The Dark Side of Publishing”
Declan Butler, 3/27/14
“Sham Journals Scam Authors: Con Artists Are Stealing the Identities of Real Journals To Cheat Scientists Out of Publishing Fees”
Kyle Crocco, 3/12/14
“Welcome To The Dark Side Of Academia: Fake Conferences And Faux Journals”
Carl Elliott, 6/5/12
“On Predatory Publishers: A Q&A With Jeffrey Beall”
Martha Harbison, 4/9/13
Bogus Academic Conferences Lure Scientists
Gina Kolata, 4/7/13
“Scientific Articles Accepted (Personal Checks, Too)”
Amy Novotney, APA 2014
“Watch Out For Faux Journals and Fake Conferences”
Be careful out there!
Reported today by Jeffrey Beall on the ScholarlyOA web site, a scam involving predatory open-access publishers posing as a distinguished publisher (e.g., Elsevier): http://scholarlyoa.com/2014/05/08/scholarly-publishing-phishing-attempts-noted/
“Phishing” is the practice of attempting to secure information by posing as a reputable entity. In this case, the “phishers” do not direct you to the legitimate web site of the publisher and they insist on conducting business via email.
Always check the official web site of a publisher and the official email of the editor. Typically, most journals will require that you register for a manuscript account on their web site and that you submit your material on such a system.