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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

When Authors Get Caught in the Predatory (Illegitimate Publishing) Net – Scholarly Kitchen (December 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on December 27, 2017

Editor’s Note: Today’s Guest Post comes from Phaedra Cress, Executive Editor, Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

Are we losing good articles to predatory journals, with little recourse for unsuspecting authors? Or are authors becoming increasingly complicit and symbiotic in their relationships with illegitimate publishing entities with disregard for the greater good? Maybe it’s both.

This is an excellent piece on the issue, and includes some great links. It also uses the phrase ‘a fly in the chardonnay of scholars’ which we thought sums up the situation perfectly.

Predatory publishing can no longer be called an aberration or a fly in the chardonnay of scholars. In less than ten years, it has wreaked havoc on unsuspecting researchers and academics (more about how they might not be as naïve as you think, later in this article). Rick Anderson recently discussed the issues around so-called predatory publishing (here and here).

But what happens when — and what are the ethics surrounding — an author accidentally submitting to a predatory journal, realizing the error, then trying to submit to a legitimate academic journal? The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) posted advice in 2016 based on the following case:

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Federal Trade Commission and National Institutes of Health Take Action Against Predatory Publishing Practices – Scholarly Kitchen (Rick Anderson | December 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on December 25, 2017

In an interesting and potentially significant move for the scholarly publishing world, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has granted a preliminary injunction against a major journal publisher and conference organizer in response to a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The injunction was granted on the basis of the Court’s analysis of evidence provided by the FTC and its finding that the FTC’s complaint, if allowed to proceed, “is likely to succeed on the merits” and that the public interest would be served by granting it.

The action by the FTC is significant because it’s a formal legal action that not only helps to shed much-needed light on a serious and growing problem in the scholarly communication ecosystem

The FTC alleges that OMICS Group and its affiliates iMedPub LLC and Conference Series Ltd have engaged in a variety of “unfair and deceptive practices with respect to the publication of online academic journals and organization of scientific conferences,” including:

  • Falsely claiming to provide rigorous peer review of articles submitted for publication in their journals;
  • Claiming as “editors” individuals who never received manuscripts to review or edit, or who never even agreed to be appointed as editors — some of whom say that OMICS ignored or refused their demands that they be removed from journal mastheads;
  • Sending solicitations to potential authors on behalf of other academics, without the latter’s permission or knowledge;
  • Giving their journals names “nearly identical to other respected journals, which has led to consumers mistakenly submitting articles to Defendants’ journal”;

Read the rest of this news story

COPE policy and procedure updates added to the resource library0

Posted by Admin in on December 18, 2017

In recent weeks the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has released a number of important updates to its policies, procedures and guidance material. These include:

Core practices
Changes to COPE’s disputes process
COPE Sanctions Policy

Scholarly Kitchen has a useful discussion piece about these changes and their significance for researchers.

COPE’s policies, procedures and resource material reflect good practice used by a significant proportion of publishers around the globe), can be important for international collaborations (e.g. in terms of a shared understanding of authorship criteria) and could be an important reference for Australian research institution if a lot of detail is removed from the Australian Code.

COPE Sanctions Policy0

Posted by Admin in on December 18, 2017

The COPE Complaints process was established in 2010 [revised in 2014] as a means of providing independent guidance to our member editors and publishers on disputed matters of publication ethics. While the members of the Complaints subcommittee have worked tirelessly to provide advice and to assist in resolving complaints brought to the subcommittee’s attention, often those efforts have been frustrated by a number of issues, one of which is the absence of any defined enforcement mechanism. (See here for more information on the newly constituted Facilitation and Integrity subcommittee). Consequently, the Trustee Board have defined an organizational position and policy concerning sanctions against members who demonstrate major or consistent deviations from the principles of publication ethics agreed to when applying for and receiving COPE membership.

When would COPE instigate possible sanctions?
Sanctions would be instigated when a member’s actions—or non-actions—are found to demonstrate a flagrant or consistent unwillingness to abide by COPE principles. NOTE: part of COPE’s mission is to educate publishers and editors about publication ethics, and hence removal of a member means that COPE no longer has any leverage or impact on that member’s behaviour. Consequently, COPE anticipates that sanctions would be used as a last resort in responding to egregious behaviour by members, and only after failed remediation attempts.

Process leading to possible sanctions.
Identification of the events which might trigger a sanction against a COPE member can come from
different sources, either inside or outside of the COPE membership, and will follow the process…

Read the rest of the COPE Sanctions Policy