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Cracking down on predatory science journals?


From Megan Molteni at Wired:

n the last five years, open-access journals have cropped up all over the Internet, their websites looking like those of any typical scholarly publisher: editorial boards filled with bios of well-respected scientists, claims of rigorous peer review, indexing in the most influential databases. The looks of these publishers have deceived thousands of young and inexperienced researchers all over the world, costing them millions of dollars—and for many, their reputations.

So it is with good reason that the US Federal Trade Commission has taken an interest in these “predatory” publishers. Specifically, they’ve honed in on OMICS Group, a global conglomerate based in India and incorporated in Nevada that boasts more than 700 “leading-edge, peer reviewed” open access journals on its website. In a historic first for the FTC, the agency is suing the company, alleging that it misrepresented the legitimacy of its publications, deceived researchers, and obfuscated sizeable publication fees. The lawsuit, filed last month, will set a precedent for how the academic publishing industry is regulated, and how the body of scientific work that constitutes our collective understanding of the world is created and shared in the age of open access information. More.

All good as far as it goes, but we need to grasp the extent of the changes as we go about developing new laws and policies. Otherwise, science journals could be in the position of the New York Times squawking that local bloggers with handhelds are scooping it. Right. Gray Lady down. So?

Recommended reading: Timothy Garton Ash’s Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World

See also: Hold science journals accountable – or just scrap the system? All these clarion calls for reform are stirring but they dance around the issue: Science need no more depend on journal structure as it is now than newsgathering need depend on the daily paper. What replaces it will be more suited to our times, for better or worse.

Fakes, science journals Fake reviews, sure… but fake science journals? The internet doesn’t provide the physical cues and clues that help us spot scams.

Fakes, science, fake journals Artificial intelligence Even a machine can get a degree if no one reads any more Or, as one tech mag put it, “Essay generator can spew out BS, still get you an ‘A’”. And it’s still B.S. And that’s a problem.

Fakes, Even science journals can be fooled into publishing gibberish.

Fakes, bafflegab, Generating science bafflegab for fun

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Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista


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