Launching a New Open Access Journal in an Era of Predatory Publishing

October 27, 2016 Asbjorn Jokstad

Monitoring%20Journal%20Performance.jpgThe dissemination of new scientific discoveries in medicine has undergone a rapid transformation from exclusively printed words, to comprise graphs, photographs and radiographs of increasing qualities. It seems obvious that elements such as 3D animation, film videos and tomography imaging can enhance the translation of new scientific findings for both professionals as well as laypeople. For this reason, I am convinced that the future of dissemination of new scientific discoveries is in digital media.

I assume all participants of Open Access Week are familiar with -- and positively endorse -- OA as an approach to egalitarian dissemination of new scientific discoveries. Yet, even if it is exciting to launch a new OA journal from scratch, there are also challenges. I have elaborated on this dualism in an editorial in the inaugural issue of a new OA journal on oral and dental health. A major problem is the proliferation of predatory publishing, which seems to have tarnished the OA publishing model. In this respect, it will be interesting to follow the recent lawsuit that the Federal Trade Commission in USA has filed against one publisher for claims of having engaged in unfair and deceptive acts and practices.

A potential strategic solution to meet the challenges from predatory publishers is to adopt and promote journal policies that are in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals produced by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Hence, several statements specific to the items must be mandatory elements of the Materials & Methods sections:

  • Informed consent must be obtained from all individuals participating in the research comprising the manuscript.
  • Protocol and procedures must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate institutional review committee and must be in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human or animal experimentation. For research involving recombinant DNA, containment facilities and guidelines should conform to those of the US National Institutes of Health or corresponding institutions.
  • All authors (both the corresponding author and all co-authors of a manuscript) must complete and upload a conflict of interest disclosure form together with the manuscript on submission. Advice should be provided on the author guidelines website on examples of potential sources of conflict of interest.

What's your view on how predatory publishing is impacting open access? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet using hashtag #OAWeek.

Image credit: Tolga TEZCAN/Shutterstock

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