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The Growing Crisis in Research

From Plagiarism Today:

Last week, two of the largest academic publishers filed a lawsuit against the social networking site ResearchGate, saying that the site is not doing enough to discourage the pirating of academic papers that they hold the copyright to.

It is their second lawsuit against ResearchGate, the first was filed in Germany last year. That case is ongoing.

Meanwhile, China has been working for more than five months on creating a blacklist of “poor quality” journals that their scientists should not submit to. Once the list is complete and implemented, research published in those journals will not count toward a scientist’s promotion prospects or grant funding.

While these two stories might seem completely separate, they are actually both symptoms of a growing crisis in research. It’s a crisis with complicated origins and no easy resolution, but it’s also a problem that strikes to the core how we share the latest scientific knowledge.

However, the crisis can be summed up like this: Reviewing and publishing research costs money and no one is really sure how to best pay for it.

. . . .

Frustratingly, there’s no simple beginning to the problem. Though, as with many things in our modern world, it’d be easy to blame it on the internet, the truth is that many of the dominos were in place and falling long before the internet even existed.

The internet certainly contributed, but can’t be pinned as the cause.

Instead, the cause can be traced back to four separate important parts.

  1. Pressure to Publish: Researchers and have felt a growing pressure to publish. The environment is often described as “publish or perish” as such publication is required to maintain one’s position, seek promotions or to secure funding.
  2. Limited Publication Space: Though publishers have increased the number of journals available, the numbers haven’t risen as quickly as the number of submissions, making competition for the top journal spots especially intense.
  3. Increased Costs of Subscription: At a time where academic libraries either have stagnant or shrinking budgets, the cost of subscribing to even the most noted journals is increasing, causing many to reduce the number of subscriptions they keep.
  4. The Ease of Piracy: The internet has made it easy to share academic research broadly, with or without approval from the copyright holder. Though research was not at the forefront of the early piracy battles, it’s become the subject of a growing piracy landscape, one dominated by Sci-Hub but also compounded by stories like the ResearchGate one.

The issue is that it costs money to publish an academic journal and, whether publishers are profit or non-profit, they have to recoup those costs.  However, as 2008 research showed, the budgets of academic libraries, the primary consumers of such journals, have either shrunk or remained flat. This has resulted in many universities scaling back their subscriptions.

. . . .

Open access is a fairly straightforward concept that says, when an article is published, it should easily and freely accessible to everyone. Usually, such articles are published under a Creative Commons or similar licensing meaning that users are free to copy, share and distribute the research as they please.

The idea began in the early 1990s but began to rapidly expand in the 2000s with the launch of PLOS One, the largest and best-known open access journal.

The benefits of open access are obvious. There is no paywall or barrier between a research paper and those who might use it. Anyone can read or build off of open access research at any time. This is especially positive in cases where research is government-funded but might otherwise be hidden away from public consumption.

For researchers, the benefits are also obvious. Studies have found that open access works are more regularly cited and it helps increase both the impact of their work and their own reputation in the academic community.

However, where traditional journals charge for access to a work, open access journals have to recoup their costs elsewhere. They do this one of two ways:

  1. Charging Article Processing Fees: Either charging the submitter of an article when their work is submitted or after it is accepted. This is the model that approximately 28% of open access journals use, including PLOS One. At PLOS journals, those fees range from $1,595 – $3,000 depending on the specific journal.
  2. Subsidized: Other journals don’t charge article processing or access fees but, instead, either have a direct subsidy from a University, laboratory or other research entity or adopt a different business model such as advertising or selling reprints to make up costs.

While many journals successfully and ethically use both approaches, they also can create problems.

Article processing fees, for example, have led to the rise of predatory journals. Though the issue of journals publishing fake science is as old as research itself, article processing fees have turned it into a business model. No longer having to fight for subscribers, many journals will simply publish anything for a fee, even if it’s nonsense.

There have been many attempts to stop predatory journals, or at least make scientists aware of them. However, many are still caught unaware and, due to the aforementioned “publish or perish” environment, some publish in such journals willingly.

This is why China is working on its list of low quality journals.

Link to the rest at Plagiarism Today

Source: thepassivevoice.com

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Is there a right time to use an Editing Service

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Ripped from the pages at enago
09 September 2015  

Use Editing ServiceIs This An ‘If’ Or A ‘When’ Decision?
For some academic writers, the use of an editing service is not an automatic choice. A postdoctoral researcher working in a department with well-respected peers at a prestigious institution may see no need to add extra time to the writing process by bringing in an outside reviewer. As an experienced writer with access to other experienced writers for a ‘second set of eyes’ to look over the paper prior to submission, the expense of an editing service may seem unnecessary. “I already have all the editing experience I need,” is a perspective that seems to prevail in many institutions.

For a non-native English speaker pursuing publication in an English language journal, the need is more obvious. Even with access to native English speaking colleagues, the need for solid verification of the use of appropriate nuances and idioms is worth the investment of an editing service.

Read more:http://www.enago.com/blog/is-there-a-right-time-to-use-an-editing-service/#ixzz3lRZIJSx9

 

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Is Wikipedia a Reliable Source? Part II

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From the good people at Editors Only

Posted on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 11:43 AM

Editors find it convenient. But can it be trusted?

By William Dunkerley

–“We use it for background…”

–“It’s a great starting point for research…”

–“I personally only use Wikipedia as a jumping off point…”

–“I use Wikipedia primarily for a quick check on information…”

These are a few comments last month’s survey elicited from editors. Admittedly, I use Wikipedia a lot myself, too.

I remember some years ago offering statistics I picked up from Wikipedia while making a point to my physician. She responded, “Where did you get that from?” She sneered when I said Wikipedia. At the time I thought to myself that this doctor was behind the times in ignoring such a great new information resource as Wikipedia.

But after preparing this two-part series for Editors Only, I’ve learned to use Wikipedia with a great deal more caution. I don’t trust it as much as I used to.

A fundamental premise of Wikipedia is that anyone can become an editor at will. Any such editor can enter new information or change text that is already there. Supposedly, through an ongoing process of editing and reediting by various people, a better encyclopedia article will eventuate.

That is probably a good premise if all the editors are doing is polishing the language so that it can be better understood by readers. Beyond that, the process can be problematic. This is particularly true when large segments of the editing population see facts differently.

From the good people at Editors Only

 

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Library Ebooks Still a Mystery to Most

A recent Pew Research survey says that most readers don’t know that they may be able to borrow ebooks from their local library. Pew says 12% of American ebook readers from 16-years-old and up, have borrowed an ebook from a library in the last year. Results show that ebook borrowers also tend to read more books than non-borrowers.

Still, most seem to be in the dark about ebook lending.

According to Pew:

“But most in the broader public, not just e-book readers, are generally not aware they can borrow e-books from libraries. We asked all those ages 16 and older if they know whether they can borrow e-books from their library and 62% said they did not know if their library offered that service. Some 22% say they know that their library does lend out e-books, and 14% say they know their library does not lend out e-books.”

 More than 75% of the nations libraries lend ebooks, says Pew, so it’s surprising that patrons would not know their local libraries offer the service. Many of those who do borrow ebooks, say their libraries have a a good selection (32%); 18% say they have a very good selction and 16% say it’s excellent. On the flip side, 23% complain about a fair selection and 4% say they have a poor selection. Another common complaint was the dreaded wait-list.

SOURCE:  www.econtentmag.com

(www.pewinternet.org)


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First Edition Design Publishing  is the world’s largest eBook distributor. Ranked first in the industry, they convert, format and submit Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic and Children’s Books to AmazonAppleBarnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, scores of additional on-line retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD (Print On Demand) division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. The Company is a licensed and approved eBook Aggregator, Apple Developer and Microsoft Solution Provider.

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