[Coral-List] NYT Article on "Predatory Open-Access Journals"
ceo at lindorm.com
Fri Apr 26 13:51:25 EDT 2013
Although the idea of an ISO standard for research is interesting, I would be reluctant to buy into it since the very essence of scientific enquiry is to think freely. The norm would have to be so general that it would be rather meaningless, or specific for each subject field which also would make it little more than a rehash of what peer-reviewers already know. On a more philosophical level I don't think all religions are created equal, either; some are essentially knowledge systems inherited from generations past (though dressed in mythical terms), while others are belief systems. If we formalize science too much it might end up being just another religion a few thousand years from now.
On 2013-04-26, at 11:30, RainbowWarriorsInternational wrote:
> No all open access journals are out there to make a fast buck. My organization is part of a group that actually wants to create an avenue of peer-reviewed open access journals for sustainable development issues accessible in as many languages as possible and with no cost to publish.
> Sounds impossible? Not really, the key is the "central registry" of intellectual property. I will not give away the business model for now, but it will work.
> Indeed the big problem is the "quality" of scientific publications, which traditional and expensive peer-reviewed journal publishers will be quick to tell is only guaranteed using their business models.
> There is no benchmarking for quality of science nor is there an ISO norm for conducting science? Doesn't the latter strike anyone as odd, that there are quality standards for virtually all human economic and social activities except scientific research (and religion)?
> We are in the process of preparing a position paper to send to the ISO to point out that the exercise of scientific research needs a map of ISO norms for all component activities and a framework quality standard for scientific research as a whole.
> In this process librarians will play a key role because they deal with all activities related to scientific research in terms of information and data storage, retrieval, access, query and processing, categorization, meta data, data mining etc.
> Only in the practice of religion can we accept things on faith alone, every other human activity if it can be monetized, can be subjected to quality standards.
> Science should be no exception.
> Milton Ponson, President
> Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation
> (Rainbow Warriors International)
> Tel. +297 568 5908
> PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
> Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
> Email: southern_caribbean at yahoo.com
> To unite humanity in a global society dedicated to a sustainable way of life
> From: Héctor Reyes Bonilla <hreyes at uabcs.mx>
> To: Magnus Johnson <m.johnson at hull.ac.uk>
> Cc: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 10:29 AM
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] NYT Article on "Predatory Open-Access Journals"
> Coral list, saludos.
> With all this situation of the "predatory journals", I believe that the
> point is being missed, and that some perspective is needed..
> The problem here is not if open access is good in itself or beneficial to
> scientists in developing countries, nor if the new electronic
> journals should have a place in the world to exist. The thing is that
> science needs (begs for...) quality. The only reason science has been
> probably the most successful collective enterprise in human history is that
> not everything is taken as is. We need proof, evidence, and from that point
> on we move on. Each and every day when all of us turn on a light or a
> computer or a tv, and the machine starts, we can see how efficient science
> is. When the quality goes down, everything goes down.
> The new open access "journals" are not looking for a better world for
> everyone, or to open lines for third world academics to flourish. The
> editors just want to make a quick buck, either fooling young scientists (I
> sincerely do not believe that a seasoned researcher is unaware of which are
> the "good journals" and which ones not), or (the worst case) play to the
> need to improve our income. Most people in the developed world do not know
> that scientists in many countries in Latin America or Asia are rated
> annualy by government agencies depeding basically on the number of
> "international" papers that we produce. If you pass, you receive a monthly
> stipend of about 1,000 to 2,500 USD, which practically doubles your salary.
> Before the "predatory journals", one had to do adequate research in order
> to get published in good journals (basically, those in ISI or other similar
> companies). Now, as the government "referees" simply do not know the
> quality of the journals (they are NOT scientists), if the paper is written
> in English or in a journal with a title in English, it is valued equally as
> if it appears in Nature, MEPS or whatever (I am exaggerating, but
> unfortunately, just a little bit....). What is happening? Suddenly, many
> people who has never won a competitive grant in their life and does field
> work or experiments using a 6,000 USD yearly support of their institutions,
> is publishing more papers and earning better salaries, jubilation money and
> climbing faster in the academic ladder than those trying to obtain
> resources from each country´s science agency (equivalent to the NSF).
> In short, maybe in developed countries the new open access journals can be
> seen with some sympathy as they do not seem to hurt anyone, but here in the
> south, things are quite different...
> ¡Saludos a todos!
> Hector Reyes
> UABCS, La Paz
> 2013/4/25 Magnus Johnson <m.johnson at hull.ac.uk>
>> I agree - both have their place. I subscribe and edit for the wonderful
>> Journal of Crustacean Biology (
>> http://thecrustaceansociety.org/Jrl-Crustacean-Biology.html) and value
>> the fact it groups papers together around a theme and encourages me to read
>> stuff I might not stumble upon otherwise. I've also recently started
>> editing for PeerJ, an exciting new OpenAccess venture (https://peerj.com/
>> I like both because they promote access to more people through discounts
>> for those from developing nations or self funded graduate students and the
>> latter allows anyone to view its contents. I would think this is
>> particularly important for tropical research.
>> I used to depend upon MEPS, a traditional journal for much of my
>> information but my university doesn't subscribe to the most up to date
>> volumes because it is so expensive. I have to access it by writing
>> directly to authors. That fact dissuades me from publishing in it.
>> Cheers, Magnus
>> Dr Magnus Johnson
>> Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences
>> School of Biological, Biomedical and Environmental Sciences University of
>> Associate Editor, Journal of Crustacean Biology,
>> Editor: Johnson M & Johnson M (2013) The Ecology and Biology of Nephrops
>> norvegicus (Adv. Mar. Biol.)
>> Nephrops project: www.nephrops.eu
>> To view the terms under which this email is
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> Héctor Reyes Bonilla
> Departamento Académico de Biología Marina
> Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur
> Carretera al sur km 5.5. Col. El Calandrio
> La Paz, B.C.S., C.P. 23080.
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