Tennant et al.: Ten Hot Topics around Scholarly Publishing (2019)


1. Will preprints get your research ‘scooped’?

[No.] “To the best of our knowledge, there is virtually no evidence that ‘scooping’ of research via preprints exists”

2. Do the Journal Impact Factor [JIF] and journal brand measure the quality of authors and their research?

[No.] “[T]here is little basis for connecting JIFs with any quality measure, and inappropriate association of the two will continue to have deleterious effects”.

3. Does approval by peer review prove that you can trust a research paper, its data and the reported conclusions?

[No.] “Scientists understand that peer review is a human process, with human failings, and that despite its limitations, we need it. But these subtleties are lost on the general public, who often only hear the statement that being published in a journal with peer review is the “gold standard” and can erroneously equate published research with the truth.”

4. Will the quality of the scientific literature suffer without journal-imposed peer review?

[No.] “[I]t seems that the strong coupling between journals and peer review as a requirement to protect scientific integrity seems to undermine the very foundations of scholarly inquiry”.

5. Is Open Access [OA] responsible for creating predatory publishers?

[No.] “Associating OA with predatory publishing is […] misleading”.

6. Is copyright transfer required to publish and protect authors?

[No.] “[W]e are unaware of a single reason why copyright transfer is required for publication, or indeed a single case where a publisher has exercised copyright in the best interest of the authors”.

7. Does gold Open Access have to cost a lot of money for authors, and is it synonymous with the APC business model?

[No.] “Not only is there already more than enough money ‘within the system’ to enable a full and immediate transition to OA […], but there is an enormous potential to do so in a cost-effective manner that promotes more equitable participation in publication”.

8. Are embargo periods on ‘green’ OA needed to sustain publishers?

[No.] “[T]here is little evidence or justification supporting the need for embargo periods”.

9. Are Web of Science and Scopus global platforms of knowledge?

[No.] “As a global community, we have not yet been able to develop digital infrastructures which are truly equal, comprehensive, multi-lingual and allows fair participation in knowledge creation”.

10. Do publishers add value to the scholarly communication process?

[Yes.] “[S]cholarly publishing is not a simple process, and publishers do add value to current scholarly communication”.

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