Open Access Publishing in China

This is a guest post by Xin Bi, DOAJ Ambassador, China.

29da926Following rapid development in the economy and huge investment in R&D, China is now widely recognised as one of the leading countries of the world in terms of the number of published journals and scientific articles. In 2015, there were over 10,000 journals in China, of which 4983 (49.76%) were in Science and Technology, according to the “Statistical Data of Chinese Science and Technology Papers 2015”.

 

Surprisingly, as of 4 June 2017, only 71 open access journals from China have been registered in DOAJ, which is about 0.75% of the total number of DOAJ indexed journals. If we take 10,000 as the estimated total number of journals in China at this moment, then this suggests only 0.71% of journals in China are open access. From these data people would think the open access movement in China is really lagging behind. Is this true? Does this actually means that Chinese scholars or publishers are not willing to share? The answer is no.

Though it is still in progress, my research on open access publishing in China now means that I have collated a list containing information on more than 1200 journals and I am checking many items of journal information against DOAJ criteria. The findings are quite exciting. I have not finished checking each journal, so I just provide my initial findings here.

Nearly no questionable journals found

In my list there are 1222 journals and the number is still increasing. As only state-owned organizations, such as universities, institutes, academic societies, government bodies and hospitals, are licensed to create a journal, among all the journals in my list, there are no questionable journals found. For any individual it is not possible to register a new journal in China. Some journals are registered overseas, with editorial offices in China, but as they only have one ISSN number and they could not be licensed with a CN series publication number from the Chinese authorities, these journals are not recognized in the academic system in China.

Open as free access

It is surprising to see that many Chinese journals are offering free reading and downloading of their current articles on their website. This could be something we call “free access” rather than true open access according to the BOAI definition and DOAJ practice. In my experience working as a DOAJ ambassador in China, making articles freely available in this way would be regarded as “open access” by many publishers and editors. There could possibly be 1,000 or so journals in my list that are applying this free access practice, as a best estimation at this moment. So we are actually quite open to sharing academic articles in China and editors and scholars are contributing to the open access movement.

Published in Chinese

Due to developments in technology, traditional print journals are now able to release their articles in both print and online format. But, although all the journals studied have a website, nearly all are in Chinese only, both for their website and articles and even abstracts. Making articles online for free access would definitely increase the impact of journals and that is one of the major motives for journal editors. So it is easily understandable that these journals were born in Chinese and their presence online is still in Chinese. However this makes the content only accessible for Chinese speakers in the world.

Some with embargo

Another common misunderstanding of open access in China is the accepted practice of imposing an embargo. As the majority of journals in China still operate under a subscription model for their print version, a period of embargo would certainly be beneficial for the journal, as the editorial office might still rely on the subscription fee of print journals to fund the publishing operation. I could not report an accurate percentage of embargoed free access journals but the feeling is that quite a large number of journals do have embargo policies in place.

Business model exploration

It was interesting to find that, though the number is very small among the 1200 journals in my list, some journals did cease to update their website with full text articles while keeping the site updated with news, announcements and even the table of contents or abstracts of the current issue. This may reflect the exploration of business models in recent years, as people embrace the open access idea but at the same time face financial challenges on sustainability. So some journals have changed back to a pure subscription model, using the website as a way to showcase the journal and increase awareness.

A very small number of journals are collaborating with commercial journal database vendors in China. While these journals provide extensive information online about the journal, for example, editorial boards, instructions to authors, current issue and archive article lists and even abstracts, access to the full text is directed to the commercial journal databases which then generally charge for the downloading of articles. Such commercial agreements would be likely to make a journal hesitate before converting to a free or open access model.

No open access statement and copyright statement

If there could be a clear statement of adherence to the BOAI definition of open access and adoption of Creative Common copyright licenses by Chinese journals, then we would be confident to say that we have quite a large number of open access journals in China, and to be able to increase the number of Chinese journals in DOAJ. However, this will require time and effort to communicate with editors to adopt best practices in academic open access publishing. As only state-owned bodies can be licensed to publish a journal, it generally means that the journals are managed by owners who are not publishers, the editorial office is often quite small and it is hard to make the move to a pure OA model. In fact, having  so many free access journals in China is already quite a big step.

New model of creating open access journals in English

Of the 71 Chinese journals already indexed in DOAJ, 25 of them are published by Elsevier and 7 by Springer. This reflects a new model in academic publishing in China where a university, research institute or hospital could create an English-language journal in partnership with a big brand publisher. With platform and technology support from the publisher as well as funding for the publishing operation, these newly established journals can apply standard open access practice from the very beginning, and usually the publisher rather than the editorial office will then apply for inclusion in DOAJ.

In general, the Chinese government is encouraging sharing, innovative, green and sustainable principles in both economic and social development. The open access publishing model is seen as the trend for the future by editors, scholars, librarians and publishers in China. Due to the different understanding of what is truly an open access journal, there is still work to do in the community in China to move forward to achieve our goals.

References

  1. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v528/n7582_supp_ni/full/528S170a.html
  2. http://www.nature.com/press_releases/nature-index-china-2015.html
  3. http://www.economist.com/news/china/21586845-flawed-system-judging-research-leading-academic-fraud-looks-good-paper

 

 

Are you publishing in a proper journal?

This is a guest post by Vrushali Dandawate, DOAJ Ambassador, India.

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All over the world researchers are spending their time in writing research papers, and everyone wants his or her work to be widely recognised. Most of the time researchers are in a hurry to  publish their research papers, so they may not pay attention to whether they are publishing in a proper journal. Unintentionally many researchers are submitting their research papers to questionable  journals (also known as predatory journals).

1. You may get spam emails or marketing materials from the editor inviting you to publish a paper in their journals.

2. These journals give you a guarantee to publish your paper within a very limited time period.

3. No proper information is given on journal peer review policy.

4. No affiliations are provided for editorial board members, and sometimes editors are listed without their knowledge or permission

5. These journals may not be dedicated to one discipline, but instead publish on a wide range of subjects within one journal.

What is the solution?

As a researcher, academician or librarian you must be able to identify questionable publications.

There are guidelines, tools and services available to help you to avoid publishing with questionable  journals, and to choose a proper journal for your paper.

1 Think Check Submit

This website helps researchers to identify appropriate journals in which to publish their research.

2 Directory of Open Access Journals

DOAJ is a curated index of open access peer reviewed journals that is used by institutions all over the world as a guide to trusted journals where you can safely publish your paper.

3  Open Access Journal Platforms

Developing country authors can also choose to publish their article in journals available in aggregation platforms such as African Journals Online (AJOL), SciELO and Redalyc. Journals are evaluated according to a number of criteria regarding their publishing practices before they can be included in AJOL.

4  AuthorAID

AuthorAID is working to increase the success rate of developing country researchers in achieving publication, and to increase the visibility and influence of research in the developing world. AuthorAID achieves these objectives through networking, resources, training and mentoring. Membership is free, and you can find a mentor through the AuthorAID database or by asking the AuthorAID discussion list about experiences of particular journals.

Find a mentor to publish your research

http://www.authoraid.info/en/mentoring/

References

http://www.redalyc.org/

http://scielo.org/php/index.php?lang=en

http://www.inasp.info/en/work/authoraid/

http://www.inasp.info/en/work/journals-online/

http://thinkchecksubmit.org/

https://doaj.org/

We have improved our XML validation

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We are happy to announce that we have improved the features of our xml validation. As an article XML is uploaded to DOAJ from the publisher area we will check to see if the uploaded file meets a number of criteria:

  • Is it actually XML? (have you given us a PDF by mistake?)
  • Does the XML meet the DOAJ article schema requirements?
If your upload doesn’t meet either of those criteria you will get an error message straight away.  It will either tell you we didn’t think the file was XML, or it will give you a message from our validator which identifies the first problem found when validating.
If your file does pass those checks, it will get entered into our upload queue.  You will need to check back on your upload page in a while to see if the upload was processed successfully.  When we process your upload, we carry out some more checks to make sure that the data in DOAJ remains consistent:
  • Do you reference any ISSNs that belong to journals you don’t own?  You can’t attach articles to someone else’s journals.
  • Do you reference any ISSNs that don’t appear in DOAJ at all?  We only take uploads for journals we know about, and your journal records need to contain all the correct identifiers if you want to reference them.
  • Do you reference ISSNs that are owned by more than one user?  Sometimes it’s possible for the DOAJ to think that more than one user has a stake in an ISSN.  In these cases we need to resolve who the true owner is before you can upload.
If any of these situations arise with your file upload, we won’t import any of the articles, and instead record an error against the upload.  When you look at the upload record on the page you will see a link in the Notes column which says “show error details“.  When you click on that it will tell you in what way the articles failed to process, and which ISSNs were causing the problems.
If you see any other error messages on your upload page, you should click on the “show error details” link if it is available.  If not, you should contact us at feedback@doaj.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

 

FOUR DOAJ JOURNALS TO BE INDEXED IN SCIENCEOPEN!

As you already know, we are recommending up to 10 journals to be indexed for free in ScienceOpen every month.

We are happy to announce the winners of April:

Desert, published by the University of Teheran. This journal publishes articles in ecology, climate change, drought, and desert.

Revista do Instituto Florestal published by the Instituto Florestal in Brazil. This journal publishes articles in Portuguese, Spanish and English in the fields of ecology, conservation, forests, tropical ecosystems and environmental sciences.

Cardiometry, published by the Russian New University. This journal produces articles from cardiology, including topics in medical equipment engineering, hemodynamics, biophysics and biochemistry.

Tobacco Prevention & Cessation, published by EU European Publishing in Greece. This medical journal publishes articles about tobacco, public health, health policy, smoking cessation, and smoking prevention.

If you run a free to publish Open Access journal, participate in the competition today and get indexed on ScienceOpen for free! See the guidelines for indexing here.

 

India leads in Gold Open Access Publishing – fake or genuine?

This is a guest post by Leena Shah, DOAJ Ambassador, India.

CroppedImage_LeenaIt is interesting to note that since the introduction of new criteria for DOAJ listing in March 2014, we have received the highest number of new applications from Open Access journal publishers in India, followed by those in Indonesia, USA, Brazil and Iran. From around 1600 new applications received from India since March 2014 only 4% were accepted, with 78% of the applications rejected for various reasons and approximately 18% still in process.

Looking at the high volume of new applications from OA publishers wanting to be listed in DOAJ, it would seem that the Gold OA publishing model is well accepted and understood in India. But three quarters of the DOAJ applications from India in the last three years have been rejected – often for being questionable, duplicate applications or for not being a journal at all! Two things emerge from this – firstly that there may be many genuine, small-time publishers who lack knowledge of best practices in journal publishing, and secondly the increasing number of unscrupulous publishers in this region exploiting the gold OA model, claiming to be legitimate journals in order to pocket the Article Processing Charge (APC) from the author but providing little or no editorial services in return. With the new criteria for listing in DOAJ implemented in 2014, OA journal publishers are required to furnish APC information, and out of the 74 new applications that have been accepted from India since then and are currently listed in DOAJ, 52 journals do not charge any APC. A complete list of OA journals published in India and currently in DOAJ that do not charge APC is available here.

India also emerges as one of the top three countries behind USA and Indonesia for generating traffic to the DOAJ website (usage statistics based on number of user sessions). With this being the case, why are researchers still publishing in fake journals?

Many articles have been published about the rise of research fraud in the last few years, with researchers and academicians from major academic institutions in India and national institutes publishing in fake/substandard journals for career advancement. Recently this led to a small but important development in scholarly communication. To nudge researchers towards publishing in peer-reviewed and credible journals, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced in January 2017 an approved list of journals for the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) and the direct recruitment of teachers and academic staff.  This is a dynamic list of 38,653 legitimate journals across disciplines. This list is to be viewed as an evolving document which will need major revisions to make it comprehensive and available in a format that is easier to analyse and interpret. In March 2017, DOAJ submitted a request to UGC to include Open Access journals that are listed in DOAJ in the approved list.

In other developments across the region, Open Access India, an online community of practice with volunteer members, launched in 2011 to advocate Open Access, Open Data and Open Education in India, submitted a proposal in February 2017 to the Ministry of Human Resource Department (HRD) and Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, for a National Open Access Policy to mandate Open Access for all public funded research in the country. In February 2017, an Open Access India community initiative, AgriXiv hosted by the Open Science Framework, was launched to provide free, open access archives for preprints related to agriculture and allied sciences.

Other noteworthy OA resources in India include Listing of Open Access Databases (LOADB)  a portal launched in October 2015, which offers a classified and categorized listing of Open Access databases. This was developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Unit for Research and Development of Information Products (URDIP).

Shodhganga is a national digital repository maintained by INFLIBNET Centre that facilitates Open Access to Indian theses and dissertations submitted to Indian universities. At present 307 universities in India have signed a MoU with INFLIBNET Centre.

Finally, some of the national research institutes such as:

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Science & technology (DST) have adopted an Open Access mandate. According to the mandate, researchers funded by these organisations are required to submit the final accepted version (without publisher formatting) of the paper to their institutional repository after verifying the archiving policy of the journal publisher. This Green OA model has its challenges in implementation and building awareness of OA, but for a large country like India where scientific output is high there is room for both Green as well as Gold OA.

References

Arunachalam, S., & Muthu, M. (2011). Open Access to Scholarly Literature in India—A Status Report (with Emphasis on Scientific Literature). Centre for Internet and Society.

Seethapathy, G. S., Kumar, J. S., & Hareesha, A. S. (2016). India’s scientific publication in predatory journals: need for regulating quality of Indian science and education. CURRENT SCIENCE, 111(11), 1759.

Pushkar (2016, June 21). The UGC deserves applause for trying to do something about research fraud. The Wire. Retrieved from https://thewire.in/44343/the-ugc-deserves-applause-for-rrying-to-do-something-about-research-fraud/

 

Three DOAJ journals win free indexing in ScienceOpen!

We recently partnered with ScienceOpen to help them to offer free indexing to Open Access journals with no APC, as part of our mission to enhance open scholarship. 

Last month, we recommended 10 journals to ScienceOpen so they could take part in the free indexing competition.

In the latest round of the free indexing competition, we are pleased to announce three new journals from across Europe that will be integrated into and promoted on SienceOpen platform. These are:

  • Management: Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, from Croatia
    • Published by the University of Split, this journal publishes articles from the Social Sciences, including topics in industries, land use, labour, and industrial management.
  • Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, from Spain
    • Published by the Universidad de La Laguna, this journal publishes articles in Spanish, Castilian, and English in the fields of Language and Literature, Linguistics, Communication, and the Mass Media.
  • Studia z Filologii Polskiej i Słowiańskiej, from Poland
    • Published by the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences, this journal publishes articles from the field of Linguistics in Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and English.

These join other recent successful applicants to the competition, and help to increase the visibility of important Open Access research.

If you run a free to publish Open Access journal, participate in the competition today and get indexed on ScienceOpen for free! See the guidelines for indexing here.

 

Nordic Research Organizations support DOAJ!

We are very happy to welcome a number of Nordic research organizations as members of DOAJ.

These organizations maintain the Nordic list of authorized research publication channels. Several have open access policies and mandates in place and would like to pave the way for (new) open access journals to be visible in the directory.

“In three Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland and Norway — national lists of authorized research publication channels are used for indicators in the national performance-based research funding systems. Each country has significant running costs in maintaining and updating the bibliographic data in their databases. Sweden, Iceland and Faroe Islands do not have such a funding system but are planning to use similar lists.

The Nordic countries are therefore cooperating on a common registry of research publications channels. Although there are some policy differences between each country in how the lists are compiled and used – for example, the number of levels used in each country differs – collaboration on the underlying bibliographic data is both possible and desirable without the need to harmonize policy at all levels.”

The objectives of the Nordic collaboration on publication channels are:

  • to reduce and share the burden of maintaining bibliographic data concerning publications channels,
  • to improve and refine the data quality contained in each national database and provide for greater comparability,
  • to facilitate and improve analysis of research output at national level and comparatively between Nordic countries.

The following stakeholders are cooperating in this project:

Denmark

FI – Styrelsen för Forskning og Innovation, Uddanelses- og Forskningsministeriet (The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry for Education and Research)

Finland

TSV – Tieteellisten Seurain Valtuuskunta (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies)

OKM – Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö (Ministry of Education and Culture)

CSC – Tieteen tietotekniikan keskus (IT Center for Science)

Norway

NSD – Norsk senter for forskningsdata (Norwegian Centre for Research Data)

UHR – Universitets- og Høgskolerådet (The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions), Det nasjonale publiseringsutvalget (The National Publication Committee)

Sweden

VR – Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)

KB – Kungliga biblioteket (The National Library)

Iceland

RANNIS – Rannsóknamiðstöð Íslands (The Icelandic Centre for Research)

Faroe Island

Nordic level – NordForsk

Read more about the Nordic cooperation on research publications: https://dbh.nsd.uib.no/publiseringskanaler/Forside?request_locale=en