publishing in open access publications, learn about open peer review, or
learn about both! Take your pick.
a great way to increase the discoverability of your work. It has the
added advantage of getting you more citations, views, Mendeley readers and Twitter mentions. What’s not to love about that?
advantages and drawbacks to publishing your work Open Access, and share
tips on how to publish OA.
- Open Access publishing: wins and fails
- Which Open Access approach is best for you?
- Open Access funds & fee waivers
- Find Open Access journals in which to publish
- Learn how to identify predatory publishers
for journals, post-publication peer review, and peer reviews written on
sites like Publons–can help you establish expertise in your discipline.
They turn anonymous service to your field into a standalone scholarly
product, and also communicate feedback on published work to your
discipline much more quickly than letters to the editor can.
by making author and reviewer identities public, more civil and
constructive peer reviews will be submitted, and peer reviews can be put
builds upon that by allowing anyone to publish a review of an
already-published paper, whether on their blog or a standalone peer
review platform like Faculty of 1000 or PubPeer. After all, why should
official reviewers be the only ones allowed to share their views on a
options for writing Open Peer Reviews, talk about ways you can make your
reviews citable and discoverable, and share tips for documenting your
peer reviews on your CV.
- Traditional peer review
- Shades of Open Peer Review
- Write an Open Peer Review
- Get citations and altmetrics for your peer reviews
- Elevate your peer reviews
advantages to it, and also some drawbacks that are important to
consider. Let’s break down some of the arguments.
- More citations: as multiple studies have shown, open access journals can result in more citations.
- More access for those who need it: there are plenty of people who might need access to your studies–scholars from small institutions, developing patient advocates, patients themselves, and citizen scientists. Publishing open access will enable a wide range of individuals to access and learn from your work.
- More readers: A 2008 study showed
that “full text downloads were 89% higher, PDF downloads 42% higher,
and unique visitors 23% higher for open access articles than for
subscription access articles.” These findings have been confirmed for other disciplines, as well. And a recent study by Euan Adie at Altmetric.com showed that Mendeley readers were higher for OA articles, too.
- More altmetrics: The same Altmetric.com study found that OA articles also receive more tweets than toll-access journals.
- Lack of prestige: Some open access journals may
not have yet established the esteemed reputation of traditional
publications and it’s a sad fact that reviewers for tenure and promotion
often judge the quality of articles by the journal of publication when
skimming CVs. Unfamiliar titles in the publications list can sometimes
lead to career consequences. Article-level metrics can be an answer to this problem, though–a highly cited paper is still highly cited, no matter where it’s published.
- It can be expensive: many OA journals charge publication fees that cost anywhere from $75 to $4,300,
making OA publishing a non-starter for underfunded researchers. Fee
waivers are available, though–we’ll talk more about those in a minute.
- Your colleagues might not see your paper: if you
publish in anything but the top journals in your subject area, chances
are that your colleagues won’t be aware of your paper’s existence. It’s
hard nowadays for your colleagues to follow all the new developments in
your field, so if you choose to publish OA, it might take a little legwork on your part
to get them to notice your article. However, there are, of course,
plenty of journals published under a traditional model that may not be
at the top of your colleagues' "to read" list.
the pace with which academia is changing to embrace OA. At the same
time, it’s understandable if you’ve got career concerns and the most
notable journals in your field are not OA. Luckily, you can make your
articles OA without having to publish in a lesser-known OA journal.
Allow us to explain...
popularly-known “gold” OA route–publishing in an open access journal–you
can also self-archive your traditionally published work (“green OA”) or
pay a fee to a traditional, subscription journal to make your paper
open access (“hybrid OA”). Here’s what you need to do for each.
Gold OAMany Gold OA journals like PLOS Biology and BMC Medicine require that
authors pay a publication fee or “article processing charge” upon
acceptance for publication. Not all gold OA journals require a fee however, and some publishers offer fee waivers
for those who need financial assistance. With some careful planning,
you can also cover gold OA publishing fees by writing the expected fees
into a grant budget.
Hybrid OASome subscription journals will allow authors to pay a fee to make
their paper open access, even if other papers in the journal are not.
This practice is known as “Hybrid OA” publishing. Hybrid OA journals
allow authors to both publish in a journal that is recognized by their
peers, while also reaping the benefits of OA publishing. But such fees
can be expensive for authors, and an uptake of 1-2% suggests that hybrid OA publishing isn’t a popular option.
Green OAGreen open access is the practice of publishing an article as you
normally would in a subscription journal, and later sharing a full-text
copy of your article on your website or an institutional repository.
Typically, the copy you upload is either a pre-print or a post-print
version of the article. You may remember SHERPA/RoMEO
mentioned earlier in the challenge. You can use SHERPA/RoMEO determine
whether or not the journal(s) in which you published will allow you to
share a version of your article.
This is a good time to mention that Duquesne is about to get very
"green OA"-friendly as Gumberg and the Duquesne Center for Legal
Information (DCLI) have jointly acquired a platform for a new institutional repository at Duquesne.
The institutional repository, Digital Commons, allows for the
collection and preservation of Duquesne’s intellectual output and
provides a platform for showcasing and increasing the discoverability of
the university’s scholarly and creative works. So, Digital Commons will complement access granted by subscription databases by helping your work float to the top of search results in Google/Google Scholar (and other popular search engines). As mentioned yesterday, as a bonus, Digital Commons will also provide information about who's reading your work.
Anyway, back to green OA. Green OA is a popular option for those who
don’t want to pay OA fees, but it has a major drawback: embargo periods.
Often, publisher restrictions mean researchers have to wait a year or
longer to make their work available via green OA, leading to major
delays in the dissemination of their work. Again, SHERPA/RoMEO is a great tool for determining what your journal’s embargo policies are.
Duquesne's Subventions & Page Charges PolicyThe Office of the Provost provides matching support to tenure-track
and tenured faculty whose manuscripts have been accepted for publication
on the condition that they provide an author subvention. This policy
can also be applied to OA fees. Faculty interested in matching support
should consult their department chairs and deans for more information.
Grant budgetsIf you’re the PI on a grant, you can often write in expected
publication fees into your budget. (Or if you’re working with a
forward-thinking PI, you might ask them to foot the bill out of their
grant funds.) Given that more and more funding agencies require public access to the research they fund, they’re becoming increasingly amenable to covering such costs.
Fee waiversSome gold OA publishers will waive their publication fees for authors
who hail from developing countries or who can document financial
hardship. Check with your publisher as to whether such waivers are
available, and what the qualifications are for applying.
Cofactor’s Journal Selector tool and the Directory of Open Access Journals’ listings. Both lists were curated with quality in mind. Our Where to Publish
guide provides a more expansive list of resources to consult in
identifying potential journals in which to publish. In selecting a
journal to publish in, you'll want to consider three questions:
- How does this journal rank in comparison to other journals?
- What are the acceptance rates of this journal?
- What is the availability of this journal?
too good to be true emails
proclaiming you the winner of a generous lottery that you never
entered? You know, the ones that scam people into sending a substantial
sum of money to cover taxes, shipping fees, etc. for a fortune that they will never receive? Unfortunately,
academia now faces an analogous sort of solicitation of its own in
entities referred to as “Predatory Publishers.” These publishers troll
the internet to identify and prey on junior faculty, recent PhD
graduates and others who are eager to publish their work. Predatory
publishers lure authors with flattering emails, praising their work and
inviting them to publish in seemingly prestigious journals. These
journals typically have official sounding names that are similar to the
names of well-established and respected journals. Once the predatory
publisher has an author on the hook, it will likely charge a steep fee
to publish the article.
Another tactic predatory publishers use is collecting metadata from
electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) websites and then inviting new
PhD graduates to publish their dissertations as books. For the new PhD,
this inquiry can seem very flattering and tempting. However, if they
sign the agreement they can be hit with hidden fees, loss of their
dissertation copyright, and loss of the ability to publish future works
based on their dissertation work. Imagine spending all that time
researching and writing your dissertation and then losing your right to
control where and how it’s published, while paying for its publication!
It’s best to be skeptical when you receive an unsolicited inquiry
from a publisher. If you are trying to determine whether an inquiry is
from a predatory publisher take a look at Beall’s List,
created Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado
Denver. It includes the names of publishers and journals engaging in
questionable practices. It’s the best known source of information on
For further information about predatory publishers, see the "Where not to publish" section of this page.
to think about here, so we'll leave you to reflect. Tomorrow, for the
final day of the challenge, we'll focus on getting your research to the
It can be easy for authors to guess the identities of
their reviewers (especially in small fields). And yet, a consequence of
this “anonymous” legacy system is that you, as a reviewer, can’t take
credit for your work.
Sure, you can say you’re a reviewer for Physical Review B, but you’re
unable to point to specific reviews or discuss how your feedback made a
difference. That means that others can’t read your reviews to
understand your intellectual contributions to your field, which–in the
case of some reviews–can be enormous.
increasingly called for an Open alternative to traditional peer review. This
has manifested in journals adopting Open Peer Review (OPR), researchers
taking to their blogs to review already-published work, and the
proliferation of Open and Post-publication Peer Review sites like Faculty of 1000, PubPeer, H-net, and Publons.
Open Peer Review for journalsHere’s how Open Peer Reviews work, more or less: reviewers are
assigned to a paper, and they know the author’s identity. They review
the paper and sign their name. The reviews are then submitted to the
editor and author (who now knows their reviewers’ identities, thanks to
the signed reviews). When the paper is published, the signed reviews are
published alongside it.
Journals including BMJ and PeerJ require or allow Open Peer Reviews.
Participating in journal-based OPR can be a good way to experiment with
OPR as the author, journal, and reviewer alike officially sanction it.
One drawback to this type of Open Peer Review is that journals
sometimes do not provide permanent identifiers for the reviews
themselves, making it difficult to track the reach and impact of your
review rather than for the journal article you’ve reviewed. Luckily, PeerJ is working to change that–they’re now issuing DOIs for Open Peer Reviews, which comprise 40% of their reviews.
Third-party Open and Post-publication Peer Review sitesIn the past few years, a number of standalone, independent peer review sites have emerged: PubPeer, Publons, H-net, and Faculty of 1000 are among the many.
These sites allow you to review both published and under-review papers
on their platform, and in the case of Publons, export your reviews to
journals for use.
These sites also allow you to submit your reviews as Open Peer
Reviews, and to create profiles showcasing your peer reviews. Some sites
like Publons also issue DOIs for reviews, making them citable research objects.
Blogging as Open Post-publication Peer ReviewIn this type of Open Peer Review, academics take to their blogs to
share their thoughts on a recently published paper or preprint. These
reviews can run the gamut from highly technical reviews oriented towards
other scientists (a good example is this post on Rosie Redfield’s blog) to reviews written for a more general audience (like Mike Eisen’s post on the same study).
A major advantage to blogging your Open Peer Reviews is that you
don’t have to have permission to do it; you can just fire up your blog
and start reviewing. But a downside is that the review isn’t formally
sanctioned by the journal, and so can carry less weight than formal
No matter what type of Open Peer Review you opt for, if it’s got your
name attached to it and is available for all to read, you can use it to
showcase your expertise in your area of research.
choose to review for journals that already offer Open Peer Review. A
number of forward-thinking journals allow it (BMJ, PeerJ, and F1000 Research, among others).
To find others, use Cofactor’s excellent journal selector tool:
- Head over to the Cofactor journal selector tool
- Click “Peer review”
- Under "How open would you like the peer review to be?" select
“Fully Open,” "Open to authors," "Open identities" or "Anonymous open"
(Read Cofactor's explanations for each here)
- Click “Search” to see a full list of Open Peer Review journals
And if you choose to do Open Post-publication Peer Review through your blog, just logon and start reviewing!
discover citations, shares, discussions, and bookmarks of them if they’ve got permanent identifiers that are easily trackable. The most common ID that’s used for peer reviews is a DOI.
There are two main ways you can get a DOI for your reviews:
- Review for a journal like PeerJ or peer review platform like Publons that issues DOIs automatically
- Archive your review in a repository that issues DOIs, like Figshare
below), as a link when sharing your reviews with others, and so on. And
encourage others to always link to your review using the DOI resolver
link (these are created by putting “http://doi.org/” in front of your DOI; here’s an example of what one looks like: http://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.603v0.1/reviews/2).
things are changing–and you can help change ‘em even more quickly.
journal-sanctioned reviews on your CV, adjacent to any mentions of the
journals for which you review. By linking to your specific reviews
(using the DOI resolver link we talked about above), anyone looking at
your CV can easily read the reviews themselves.
You can also illustrate for others the impact of Open Peer Review by
including citations and altmetrics for your reviews on your CV. You can
also include other quantitative measures of your reviews’ quality, like
Peerage of Science’s Peerage Essay Quality scores, Publons’ merit scores, or a number of other quantitative indicators of peer-review quality. Just be sure to provide context to any numbers you include.
If you decide to do Open Peer Reviews mostly on your blog or
standalone peer review sites, you’ll likely not want to list them under
Service to journals, per se, but instead perhaps under Outreach or more
general Service to your field.
in openly criticizing senior researchers in their field. What if
they’re retaliated against? Anonymity would protect these ECR-reviewers
from their colleagues.
Yet as Mick Watson argues, any
retaliation that could theoretically occur would be considered a form
of scientific misconduct, on par with plagiarism–and therefore
off-limits to scientists with any sense.
We think that you’re the best judge of whether or not a peer review
could have unintended consequences, and suggest that you go with your
gut when deciding to make your review open or not.
to think about here, so we'll leave you to reflect. Tomorrow, for the
final day of the challenge, we'll work on getting your research to the
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