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Critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing

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    I find all Google Scholar metrics questionable. GS can be easily gamed. I recommend against relying on or using Google Scholar metrics in academic evaluation.

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    This journal is from this publisher: International Research Journals (Accra, Ghana) I have this publisher included on my list and recommend that researchers not send any papers to its journals. I recommend finding a better publisher.

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    Hi, I also submitted an abstract and stupidly paid for registration fees as well. I have asked my credit card company to block the payment, does anyone have any luck with this? Also, what will they do with my abstract and picture? Is there any way I can get them to retract this?

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    Reblogged this on <a href="https://kenmitton.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/predatory-publisher-exploits-einstein-debases-science/" rel="nofollow">Ken Mitton, PhD FARVO</a> and commented: Another weekly informative post on another predatory junk publisher. From the Scholarly Open Access blog.

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    Sorry Jeffrey, your remarks seems not fair. Any editor of a journal can make a mistake in selecting a reviewer. This can happen, though it is of course not a sign of professionalism. Again, if a journal sends a reminder to a reviewer, this is not to be considered as Spam. In view of many people, including myself, PLOS One is doing a good job, as it also contributes to decrease the power of a few commercial publishers like Elsevier and Wiley who charge high rates for downloading papers. (We scientists write the papers for free, we do the reviews for free, we advertise our papers for free, hence there is no reason for charging high rates for paper downloads). PLOs One's tries to assist us in getting out of this vicious circle; its IF is around 3, which is not too bad. This journal has nothing to do with the low quality publishers that are generally named 'predatory publishers'. Best greetings, Jan

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    Agree with Wim - the request for Dr Sleep to review was erroneous, not spam. Also, the 'spam' email you linked to at the end of your article was not, actually, directly from PLOS One. If you look at the footer you can see that it was sent on PLOS One's behalf as a 'carefully selected partner' of Scientific Direct, a.k.a. Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters are the spammers, it seems, not PLOS One, or at least you need to update your subscription settings.

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    I think Scientific Direct is a sales/marketing branch of Thomson Reuters, which sells ads to companies (or "carefully selected partners") who want to reach a scientific/academic audience. Whether Dr Beall signed up to receive these updates or not is almost a moot point: the email didn't come from PLOS One directly, so it is not they who are the spammers here.

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    Thomson Reuters/Scientific Direct do seem to be spammers--I get junk from them I never signed up for. If PLOS One hired TR/SD for a marketing campaign, that's certainly a mark against PLOS One, and I would argue that companies that hire spammers are responsible for the resulting spam. But there's also nothing uniquely OA about that. I get spam from TR/SD for pay-access journals, and I get spam directly from Elsevier and IOP for restricted access journals.

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    I actually do not consider this type of email spam. As far as I know, TR is a reputable company that honors unsubscribe requests. That is a far cry from the multiple OMICS-related emails that I get every day, despite multiple requests to remove me from their email lists. Up to a point, I think promotional emails are legitimate. For me, the conditions are 1/ able to unsubscribe, 2/ reasonably targeted (i.e. don't send a geophysicist info on a journal on the neurobiology of sleep), and 3/ only on rare occasions. When we started Genes, Brain and Behavior 16 years ago, we actually did the same thing as PLOS ONE apparently did: Blackwell got a list of email addresses from TR, by providing them keywords and journal names, which they used to identify authors in their Web of Science who might be interested in our new journal. As far as I remember, only one email was sent out (exactly because we wanted to avoid spamming people). Without that, it would have been almost impossible to get the message out that this new journal had come into existence. Having said all this, I do find it curious that PLOS ONE, which now publishes a sizeable proportion of all articles indexed in MEDLINE, thinks it still needs this kind of promotion...

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    "its" has been misspelled as "it's" twice. ;-)

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    Fixed. Thank you.

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    I'm something of an absolutist on the subject. TR gets to send me exactly one unsolicited email, asking if I want to opt-in to their carefully targeted emails that they genuinely believe will be of interest to me. If I don't opt-in, and they send me another email, that's unsolicited commercial email, aka spam. Reputable companies use opt-in; opt-out is spam. Yes, they are aren't as bad as OMICS. That's a very, very low bar.

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    Though it's not made clear on the journal's website, it is published by PharmaIntelligence, a horrible publisher from India. They hide the publisher on the journal's website because the publisher is on my list. I strongly recommend avoiding this journal and all other journals from PharmaIntelligence.

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    This is a very big question, perhaps too big for a blog's comment section. The use of whitelists in academic evaluation is widespread, yet such use has many problems and weaknesses. Most lists used as whitelists — such as scholarly indexes — are not designed to be used that way. Thus the use is "off label" and probably not a good idea. Thomson Reuters, a company you refer to in your question, actually produces dozens of different databases. I have identified problems with several of these, including JCR, the source of impact factors. Their new database, Emerging Sources Citation Index, is full of junk journals. They have a master list of all journals included in at least one of their databases, the TR Master List, and this most definitely should not be used as a whitelist. Choosing a journal is an acquired skill and depends on many factors. A good way to identify top journals is to read widely in one's field. Talk to your librarian. Talk to your senior colleagues. In time, you will learn which journals are the most respected, and you can aim for those.

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    I guess they are equal "de facto". The most important OA journals are APC (PLoS, BMC, ...). You have to go quite down in the "impact/importance" list to find a OA journal that is not APC.

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    I do not see how charging $2,500 to anyone willing to give an opinion fosters scientific discussion. I'd say it restricts scientific discussion to people/groups with a lot of money/resources.

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    From what I can see of this meandering discussion there is confusion between popular science and quality science. Impact Factor is more a measure of the popularity of a paper than of its quality, although the two quite often do go together. Publications on important and familiar subjects by big names tend to get selected as being of more value and importance for other scientists, the press, and the general public. While this has benefits it also has a negative effect on the pursuit of novel research or provocative ideas, which may later become breakthroughs. Another problem with IF is that it is a rigged game to which everyone has become shackled by the need to obtain recognition and future funds. IF favours well-connected research leaders who already have extensive funds and connections. Often these individuals are very good researchers but the converse, that poorly connected scientists are always inferior, is not true. How does this relate to Oncotarget? in my opinion most of the criticisms on this board are unfounded and sound like sour grapes or a desire to bring down a good journal that is working for many. As a journal editor myself I can say that it is the job of the editor to work with the authors, the reviewers and the publication team to get the best out of the science that is being produced. If some reviewers return blatantly biased or inadequate reviews it is the job of the editor to intervene. By having many reviewers it is possible to mitigate some effects of bad or biased reviewers. As already said by another commentator, and as should be clear to all research professionals the process of science is self-correcting. Bad research always gets exposed and in this regard the elite journals have quite a share of such kinds of papers, which don’t seem to have done them too much harm. Good scientists should be assisted in publishing their papers and obtaining recognition for their work in whatever way they can. The editors of elite journals who reject papers in an offhand fashion because they are deemed to not appeal to an elite audience are doing good for the journal but not doing any favours for science as a whole.

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    If it is an error of an editor you are correct that it is not spam. But I think the point of the post is not the error. The point is that the nature of the error shows that it could be that invitations to review articles are being sent by some automatic system. That's a completely different issue from the error. If indeed an automatic system identifies reviewers based on keyword matching and sends invitations to review articles, these invitations are very close to spam.

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    As someone with first-hand experience with the PLOS ONE system (I have been an academic editor since very early on), I can tell you that reviewers are absolutely not selected by an automatic system. Each reviewer has to be selected by an editor. In this particular case, the editor goofed. Editors are not infallible, after all, they're just humans like everybody else.

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    Hi thank you sir for your liste it helped me a lot please can you help me I am searching for a journal that does not take much time to answer and I found that fee journals can be the solution because I have to finich my work ( Phd student) so can you recomend any good journals paied or not in engeeniring biomedicals science with a short time to response Thank you and keep the good work

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