From: Alison Mudditt <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2016 11:05:17 -0800
I hate to point out the obvious, but I think you’re putting two and
two together here and getting at least five, Michael. What you have
highlighted is a clear problem with the standard of at least some peer
review for PLoS One, which you then extrapolate to a problem with peer
review across megajournals in general and thus a question about the
sustainability of this form of OA publishing (if not all OA publishing
– I’m not quite clear). The conclusion you draw isn’t supported by all
megajournals at all. And peer review itself is of course an entirely
separate construct to that of the megajournal – there’s good and bad
peer review across all journals and plenty of examples of poor or lazy
“traditional” peer review.
That said, I completely agree that you’ve highlighted a very real
issue that requires our attention and response, but I suspect that the
market will sort itself out on this one. There are now many more OA
publishing options open to researchers, an increasing number of which
are run by scholarly associations who are very protective of their
quality brands. Thus if a journal such as PLoS One cannot maintain
appropriate standards, the community will simply move elsewhere.
Perhaps the declining number of PLoS One publications signals that
this is starting to happen.
Director, University of California Press
On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 3:46 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Michael Magoulias <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2016 16:31:52 +0000
> Readers of this list will be interested in the recent case of a Chicago biology professor who was asked by PLoS One to review his own paper.
> This professor also highlighted the following sentence in an abstract to a separate, published PLoS One article entitled “Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living.”http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0146193
> “The explicit functional link indicates that the biomechanical characteristic of tendinous connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of daily tasks in a comfortable way.”
> Can I get an amen?
> This is simply the most recent example of what many researchers view as the standard m.o. of these megajournals. I was on a panel a few weeks ago with another biologist who had previously been a PLoS editor. He left on the grounds that the site was, and I quote, “a dumping ground for crappy articles.”
> If this is increasingly becoming the view of members of the academic community – and granted, the key word here is “if” – then there is a widening gap between researchers and those who believe that OA on an even more massive scale will be not only the solution to the problem of library budgets, but a boon to the future welfare of humanity.
> Looking at the timeline of this article, it is also worth noting that the period from acceptance to publication was 13 months, which is hardly speedier than what most STM publishers are doing. Clearly, whatever work was going into the article, it wasn’t peer review at its most rigorous. It wasn’t even manuscript editing.
> So if we add to these factors the recent dramatic increase in the APC, one has to ask whether this form of publishing really is any meaningful sense superior to the system it is meant to replace or “disrupt.” It’s also a question whether there can be long-term sustainability to a method of publication that places such a low premium on intellectual quality.
> Michael Magoulias
> University of Chicago Press
> Director, Journals