We’ve tackled the topics of open access, as it relates, funding. But we’ve recently come across an interesting spin on the familiar topics in Significance Magazine‘s “Bad reviews: The perils of modern peer review” from contributor Carlos Alberto Gómez Grajales.
In the article, Grajales talks about the shifting process through which scientific publications place increased emphasis on electronic formats to dispense its content with a reduced or non-existent cost to readers.
Grajales highlights a project by John Bohannon (Harvard University–based biologist and science journalist) where he distributed fake scientific articles to online journals in order to test the effectiveness of the review process. “Out of 304 submissions made throughout a period of six months, 157 of the journals (about half) had accepted the paper, 98 rejected it. Of the 49 journals that remain, 29 appeared to be no longer operative and 20 were still evaluating the merit of the text.” Read the hoax in full in Sciences Oct 4 Issue or online.
One of the complications with the pay-to-publish model lies in the possibility of an ineffective review processes. “This is why reviews are important, because we need to criticize each other, not for confronting, nor for glory, but because a fine review is a nice intellectual conversation in which both parties learn from each other.”One journal that approved the fake article, was ready to charge $3,100 USD for publication fees.
Sound off: Has open access changed how you publish? What’s your review of Grajales conclusions and Bohannon’s findings?