For decades, eager young researchers with a new article or paper to submit have been directed towards specific journals in their field based upon their respective rank. The higher the rank the higher the perceived prestige for the journal and, most likely, the higher the subscription fee. The journal would most likely have a rejection rate around 90%, and those submissions that were considered worthy of consideration would likely face a slow but thorough peer review by unpaid but dedicated academic professionals. Over time, different ranking frameworks were developed, each with their respective merits, but underneath them all rested the ubiquitous citation.
Posts Tagged ‘open-access’
Research For The Masses
As it reaches its’ fifteenth birthday, it may be too soon to speak of the ‘history’ of Open Access (OA), but enough time has passed since the launch of the Public Library of Science (PLOS) in 2000 to examine whether the original mission of OA, to challenge the prohibitively high subscription rates of academic journals, has succeeded. The fact that it took the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) thirteen years to get on board with a directive to: “Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures,” to make the published results of that research freely available to the public within one year of publication, might seem to suggest that OA is facing a tough battle for broad acceptance, but the reality is that the argument for freedom of access has been challenged by a preference for quality.
A Deceptive Little Bill
In December 2011, a short Bill (H.R. 3699) was introduced into the US House of Representatives by Representatives Darrell Issa and Carolyn Maloney called the Research Works Act (RWA). It’s stated purpose was to “ensure the continued publication and integrity of peer-reviewed research works by the private sector.” The seemingly innocuous wording actually proposed a more dramatic change in the requirements to gain access to results from federally funded research studies. The bill would have stopped open access to federally funded research by preventing federal agencies from sharing research that had been published in commercial academic journals unless the journal publisher gave its permission.
What Is An Acceptance Rate?
When researchers are looking to select a journal to which they intend to submit their paper for publication, they will typically evaluate a short-list of potential candidates based on the impact factor, which is an external assessment based on the perceived quality of the research content of each journal as indicated by the number of citations of the papers published in each journal.
Journal editors and editorial boards will also track an internal measure of the acceptance or rejection rates of the papers submitted over one year.… Continue Reading
Honor Among Professionals
Many academic historians trace the peer review process back to 1752 when the Royal Society of London created a “Committee on Papers” to review submission for publication in their Philosophical Transactions journal. Others claim an even earlier lineage, citing a similar development at the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1731. The nature of the “review” performed by these early committees was more about assisting the editor with selection rather than authenticating any claims made in the respective submissions.