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Predatory Author Services: What Can be Done About it?

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Presented at the 8th Annual North American Conference of the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE) on August 20, 2015, this slide deck represents the slides used in the call-to-action of the Coalition for Responsible Publication Resources (CRPR); www.RPRcoalition.org, #RPRcoalition.

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Predatory Author Services: What Can be Done About it?

  1. 1. PREDATORYAUTHOR SERVICES: WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? Hazel Newton Head of Author Services, Nature Publishing Group Donald Samulack President, U.S. Operations, Editage/Cactus Communications Josh Dahl Head of Publishing & Associations, Thomson Reuters Jeffrey Beall Scholarly Communications Librarian and Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Denver International Society of Managing and Technical Editors 8th Annual North American Conference August 20-21, 2015 | Baltimore, MD Panelists #ISMTE2015 Thursday, August 20 (Breakout Session A) 11:20 am – 12:05 am
  2. 2. Disclaimer PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 The statements and opinions expressed by the panelists are those of the individuals and not necessarily of the companies or organizations for whom they work or represent.
  3. 3. The Chef, The Actor, and the Scoundrel PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015
  4. 4. The Chef, The Actor, and the Scoundrel • On December 30, 2014, Jeffrey Beal posted “Is This a Paper Mill?” on his ScholarlyOA.com blog where he brought to light some irregularities of an otherwise seemingly very sophisticated author services website • This was my personal call-to-action on several levels: • It was very sophisticated • It clearly heavily borrowed elements from Editage, AJE, and Edanz websites; so they did their homework • It was clear to me that an unsuspecting author would never know the difference PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015
  5. 5. The Chef, The Actor, and the Scoundrel • While Jeffrey clearly did due diligence on this site and uncovered a connection to a whole host of sites, at Editage we dug very deep and tested the degree of inappropriate behavior they were exhibiting. • Offer to write a thesis. • Questionable NDA agreements (Texas jurisdiction) • Payment to Dubai • Scholarly recognition certificates • Web traffic focused in Pakistan PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015
  6. 6. The Chef, The Actor, and the Scoundrel • While it appears that PaperMoz (Journal Publishing) and Ace Publication Consultants (The Research Publication), the front companies behind many of the scholarly paper writing and editing website activities targeted at the research community, seem to have gone off the grid, some of their other sites are still up and running, seemingly targeting university and high school students writing essays and term papers. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015
  7. 7. The Chef, The Actor, and the Scoundrel • But those who are looking to buy a manuscript, or buy their way onto a paper should not be dismayed. There are still plenty of websites to facilitate this for you. • For example, SCIpaper.net is a manuscript “Marketplace” in China PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015
  8. 8. The Chef, The Actor, and the Scoundrel • There are plenty of titles for sale! You can buy to own the manuscript, buy your way onto the author by-line, or solicit the writing of a manuscript customized to your specifications (journal, Impact Factor, timeline to final draft, etc.) PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015
  9. 9. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 The Chef, The Actor, and the Scoundrel • If you call the customer service line, you will have access to just about any form of scholarly article you wish • Check out www.scipaper.net/about.php?part=announce#1 (slow loading, but worth the wait, then prompt your browser to translate the page for you)
  10. 10. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 Fraud and Predation in Science Is Mainstream News
  11. 11. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 Fraud and PredationAffect Discovery 1. To evaluate and select the best scholarly content available today for coverage in Web of Science. 2. To provide the publishing community with objective standards for building world-class publications. Journal Publishing Standards Editorial Content International Diversity Citation Analysis 3,000+ 10 ~ 12% Accepted A continual process of evaluation and assessment of existing journals JOURNAL SELECTION: MAIN OBJECTIVES
  12. 12. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 We need a culture of responsibility for the integrity of the literature… it’s not just the job of editors. Ginny Barbour COPE Chair, Tokyo, Japan, 2015 Prevention Is the Responsibility of All Stakeholders *Presented by Chris Graf, Treasurer, COPE at ScholarOne User Conference 2015
  13. 13. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 Call to Action…
  14. 14. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 Call to Action… What is the “common purpose,” exactly? To help preserve the integrity of the scholarly literature by ensuring transparency, discoverability, and accountability of responsible scholarly services to industry norms, guidelines, and best practices, so that academic authors can make informed decisions at point-of-service when seeking publication support and when publishing their scholarly works.
  15. 15. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 The Coalition for Responsible Publication Resources www.RPRcoalition.org #RPRcoalition Potential structure for an industry-wide Coalition: • Participants from all facets of the scholarly landscape • Publishers, journals, academic societies, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, author support services, consultants, freelancers, and academic authors • A tax-exempt non-profit US-based 501(c)(6) organization under IRS tax code • Organized into an “Executive and Committee” structure, eventually reporting to an elected Board of Directors • Establishment of a Code of Practice, and an Audit that encompasses the core and peripheral elements, and that embodies expected norms of responsible conduct • Supported by membership fees, industry grants, donations, and other means • The mission of the Coalition is to ensure transparency, discoverability, and accountability of responsible scholarly services • The Membership is expected to educate authors about the mission of the Coalition • One potential output for the Coalition is the maintenance of a verifiable and dynamic badge at a “point-of-service” as the mark of membership in the Coalition • The burden of proof will always be on the Member to provide evidence to the Coalition of sustained adherence to industry best practices, when requested.
  16. 16. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 The Coalition for Responsible Publication Resources www.RPRcoalition.org #RPRcoalition
  17. 17. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 The Coalition for Responsible Publication Resources www.RPRcoalition.org #RPRcoalition Hyperlinked to a registered certificate and Web form on Coalition server Coalition approval of Membership; point of payment of dues Development and adjustment of Audit Self-report via online Audit achieves Provisional Member status Continued vigilance over ongoing feedback and yearly Audit assessments Collaboration, education, and thought leadership Consideration of past and current knowledge Audit of recognized and sustained best practices
  18. 18. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 The Coalition for Responsible Publication Resources www.RPRcoalition.org #RPRcoalition Open invitation for feedback: Feedback is invited from all interested parties on this proposal. In particular, feedback is welcomed on: • The need for the Coalition • What the Coalition could be named • What should be “in” and “out” of scope of the activities of the Coalition • The necessary stakeholders to have representation, including recommendations of particular people and/or organisations • The concept of a verifiable and dynamic badge at a “point-of-service” as the mark of membership in the Coalition.
  19. 19. PredatoryAuthorServices:WhatCanbeDoneAboutit? #ISMTE2015 The Coalition for Responsible Publication Resources www.RPRcoalition.org #RPRcoalition Question Period / Open Discussion Hazel Newton Head of Author Services, Nature Publishing Group Donald Samulack President, U.S. Operations, Editage/Cactus Communications Josh Dahl Head of Publishing & Associations, Thomson Reuters Jeffrey Beall Scholarly Communications Librarian and Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Denver

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