Researchers Beware: Is That Journal Really Peer Reviewed?

The various flavors of Open Access publishing have changed the publishing industry and publishing processes.  Open Access offers researchers more opportunities for publishing.  However, with the increased publishing opportunities come risks.  How do you know you are publishing with a reputable publisher?  Does the publisher really offer peer review?  The risks may impact both the researcher publishing a paper, and the researcher writing a paper for class.  How do researchers determine if the journal or article they are using meets the standards they would like to have represented in their own work?

A recent article in Science Magazine (v.342-October 4, 2013) examines the issue of open access journals that seem to exist only to part researchers from their money.  A spoof research project was created and submitted to multiple open access journals.

The article, Who’s Afraid of Peer Review, discusses the results of this project.  The article may not have all the answers, but it certainly helps inform the users about these publications and some of the challenges they may face when using open access journals.

Open-Access Group Sanctions Three Publishers After Science ‘Sting’ (Science Magazine – Nov. 11, 2013)

Selected responses to Who’s Afraid of Peer Review

Critics Say Sting on Open-Access journals Misses Larger Point  (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Science Magazine’s Open Access “Sting” (SPARC)

OASPA’s response to the recent article in Science entitled “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?” (OASPA)

Second response to Bohannon article (DOAJ)

Predatory journals and defective peer review are general academic problems, not just open access problems  (blog post – London School of Economic and Political Science)