Accelerating access to biomedical evidence

What brings open access to the edge of chaos? The perfect storm of open source, tenure, and economic imbalance

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[Clarification: As you will see in the first comment, T. Scott clarified that Edge of Chaos is the brainchild of Max Michael MD, Dean of UAB’s School of Public Health, with the assistance of the many creative people on his advisory board, The Naked Catfish]

My friend and colleague T. Scott Plutchak has launched a project with interpersonal and physical dimensions which he has named the Edge of Chaos, a phrase inspired by the author Steven Johnson.  Johnson, extrapolating from history,  suggests that  useful solutions to difficult problems occur in collaborative spaces with predictable patterns.  Spaces produce good solutions, provided that we can get vested parties to occupy the space

Plutchak has taken the notion that spaces produce good solutions and created a medical center community space  that can be reserved by collaborative groups (Academia + business + community = real solutions) to bring together competing perspectives that are holding back solutions to “wicked problems.”  In spite of the launch of this space with health problems in mind, there are no preconditions for any collaborative group confronting intractable problems to use the facility on a regular basis.

So you saw in the title of this piece my view of a wicked,  intractable perfect storm that has now begun to change the climate and optimism that open access holds. It wasn’t supposed to end up like this.

Open source software(OSS) is freely available with minimal technical support for use, a collaborative development model which puts early versions in user’s hands and asks for feedback to improve the next release.   Both non-profit and profit communities can easily obtain rapidly improving programs and products and invest resources instead in maintenance and making sure their version stays current, while reporting deficiencies.   ThePublic Knowledge Project (PKP) is an example of the influence and potential of  OSS, as well as where this tale begins.

Public Knowledge Project

PKP was founded at the University of British Columbia in 1998, as a collaboration to increase professional and public access to knowledge resources.  I call myself a supporter of open knowledge as well and have admired the non-profit work that PKP does, and for those that want to demonstrate their admiration in a practical way, attending the Fourth International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference.  The specific output of PKP’s effort that I bring your attention to is called the Open Journals System(OJS).  From their web page:

“OJS assists with every stage of the refereed publishing process, from submissions through to online publication and indexing. Through its management systems, its finely grained indexing of research, and the context it provides for research, OJS seeks to improve both the scholarly and public quality of refereed research.

OJS is open source software made freely available to journals worldwide for the purpose of making open access publishing a viable option for more journals, as open access can increase a journal’s readership as well as its contribution to the public good on a global scale (see PKP Publications).”

The factor that qualifies this noble effort for its part in the perfect storm is that anyone with a basic understanding of downloading, installing, and configuring the software could start a publication, or many publications, without any inhibition or even academic background.  Apparently there is much interest in trying out the OJS.  Here are the statistics they post on their web site for registered downloads:

OJS Registered Downloads

OJS downloads (03/02/2013) Source:

To be fair , OJS may be the best known free and open software for publishing, but there are at least 11 other journal hosting packages that are free, with similar intent (source: Free and open-source journal management software)

The second part of the perfect storm is the survival of the traditional challenge to academic advancement at many institutions of higher learning, the tenure process and inevitable review of evidence to justify a faculty promotion.  One of the strongest criticisms of the tenure process is the need to “publish or perish”, a phrase which describes the pressure to rapidly and continuously publish academic work to sustain or further one’s career ascending career path or faculty profile.  As  public and private universities become more selective in promotion, and with a substantial emerging group of PhD students looking for post-doctoral research positions, the desire and pressure to quantitatively match their peers in meeting promotion or appointment requirements, new, less-experienced scholars must spend more time scrambling to publish whatever they can manage, rather than spending the qualitative time to develop  and report  the original results of a significant experiment.

The ease with which open access publishing allows for rapid consideration, publication and opportunity to have global visibility without a subscription barrier  is certainly attractive to those that feel the pressure and distraction to publish or perish.

By themselves, it would be hard to call either open source publishing software or the well-known pressures to publish for academic advance the critical mass of chaos, but the other ingredient in my thesis is the stagnant global economy and a staggering employment imbalance that we have experienced in the past five years.

The lack of professional employment opportunities for college graduates on a global scale has been documented, leaving many smart and educated people scrambling to find meaningful work and simply enough income to survive in their society and lifestyle.  Many have superior computer literacy and are simply caught in a global employment imbalance, which McKinsey & Company described in terms of  a tremendous under-supply of workers with certain skills and  a tremendous over-supply of less educated workers, including college graduates, with the wrong skills for available jobs. But there are many under-employed people that think creatively about how to earn income, or just fun trying to earn income, with the internet and technology.

Croatian and Dutch Hackers

Croatian and Dutch Hackers (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) source:

So in my view, the perfect storm of under-employed people with computer skills, pressured academics that need to publish, and software that can make anyone on the internet an academic journal publisher has created a perfect storm…. and 275+ publishers under scrutiny for appearing to solicit academics, librarians, and graduate students with opportunities to fast-track the open access publication of their research for an article publishing charge, most of the time deeply discounted in comparison with publishers that are members of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association(OASPA).

source: Wikimedia Commons

Returning to reserving a room at at the the Edge of Chaos, I believe that the credibility of self supported open access publishing in journals (Gold Open Access) is a tale of two cities:  researchers at select universities that help to launch or nurture the kind of funded open access represented by OASPA membership, and the continued demand and pressure to publish which makes the scrutinized publishers attractive because of perceived or qualitative barriers to higher ranked publications.  So if we go with the model proposed by Plutchak  (Academia + business + community = real solutions) , then we need academic officers responsible for tenure & promotion, members of OASPA, editors or publishers of some scrutinized journals,  representatives academic professional associations, a group of post-docs and junior faculty, and perhaps even a representative of the NIH Public Access Policy to figure out:

  • How academic professional organizations offer sufficient ways and means of documenting the results of research that could be accepted and adopted in many tenure decision processes.
  • How  scholarly publishers adopting open access models can follow guidance already available on documenting their credibility.
  • How to educate faculty on their publishing decisions and research impact, as well as how to scrutinize unsolicited offers to publish in open access.

I don’t think tools like  OJS can be blamed, as there are plenty of legitimate and unquestioned publications created with these tools.  Most of the problems I have identified have human roots in the world of academic performance, expectations, and academic credit models that have not changed as fast as the technology.


Sun, March 3 2013 » Uncategorized » 2 Comments

Canadian Center of Science and Education SLAPPs Jeffrey Beall, but they also publish plagiarized content

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The Canadian Center of Science and Education (CCSE),  established in 2006,  has implemented a version of the Open Journals System and  hosts a number of open access journals.


An article in the February 14, 2013, Chronicle of Higher Education mentioned that CCSE  “is threatening to sue Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver, after he included the center and three of its related companies on his blog’s list of journals he considers to be “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers,” which take advantage of academics desperate to get their work published.

I guess I should state my competing interest in the fate of Jeffrey Beall:

I admire Jeffrey Beall for the free, non-commercial service he provides, the application of scrutiny to the burgeoning number of open access publishers who accept article processing charges (APC) and publish articles without documenting their peer review practices (I don’t mean how they claim to do peer review, but what that actual content of any editorial decision was or what specific changes were required for the original manuscript to be acceptable).  CCSE‘s is threatening an action that falls into a category called a  SLAPP, or “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” litigation that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

On the Media: SLAPP Back

On the Media: SLAPP Back Originally Broadcast April 2, 2010

CCSE should understand that the effect of making a librarian’s opinion potential SLAPP litigation is to invite scrutiny.

I  decided to get to know the publications of CCSE a little better, so I started with the Journal of Molecular Biology Research(JMBR), ” an international, double-blind peer-reviewed, open-access journal, published by the Canadian Center of Science and Education. It publishes original research, applied, and educational articles in all areas of molecular biology,” including molecular gene expression, proteins, and nucleic acids, as well as research methods in these fields.  Authors are encouraged to submit complete, unpublished, original works.


I also noticed in the Paper Submission Guide that the 2nd step in their manuscript selection system describes their promise to avoid plagiarism by authors:


Step 2: Similarity Check

Please be aware that we check all submitted manuscripts for plagiarism. We use CrossCheck (powered by iThenticate, the leading plagiarism-detection system) to check for similarity to previously published documents. All manuscripts containing plagiarism, including self-plagiarism, and dishonesty are rejected.

Now I don’t have a subscription to iThenitcate’s CrossCheck, but I and a nearly everyone with unfiltered internet have access to Google for searching.  Why not “kick the tires” and just try one phrase  from a randomly selected JMBR article?

I chose a research article published in late December 2012, Atherosclerotic Events: The Role of Air Particulate Matter, Vol. 2, No. 1; by the author Obinaju Blessing Ebele.  I scrolled through the paper and copied this phrase (without the author attribution, though I include it in this illustration):

Mechanisms of PM at cellular level involve free radical production (by transition metals and
organic compounds), oxidative stress, cytokine release, inflammation, endotoxin-mediated damage, stimulation
of capsaicin receptors, autonomic nervous system activity, covalent modification of key cellular molecules and
increased pro-coagulant activity (Brook, 2008; Mills et al., 2008; Bhatnagar, 2006; Nel et al., 1998)

My Google search result identified not only the JMBR article, but at least one other with what seems to be an identical sentence from the BioMed Central Journal Particle and Fibre Toxicology 2009, 6:24,  Particulate matter and atherosclerosis: role of particle size, composition and oxidative stress by Jesus A Araujo and Andre E Nel. In this paper there is a sentence:

At the cellular level, these various mechanisms involve free radical production (by transition metals and organic compounds), oxidative stress, cytokine release, inflammation, endotoxin-mediated damage, stimulation of capsaicin receptors, autonomic nervous system activity, covalent modification of key cellular molecules and increased pro-coagulant activity (followed by the same four footnote references used by Obele in the JMBR article)

There is no reference to the article by Araujo and Nel in the references or footnotes for the reviewed and published Atherosclerotic Events: The Role of Air Particulate Matter, Vol. 2, No. 1; by the author Obinaju Blessing Ebele.   I would think that the originality of other parts of this article could and should be checked.  I uncovered what appears to be plagiarism in the very first passage I checked. I think that if CCSE used CrossCheck and did not uncover this potential plagiarism, they could probably use Google and save some money.

Sun, February 17 2013 » Uncategorized » 1 Comment

What’s wrong with a free sample? Plenty, when a sample is insufficient

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It was brought to my attention by an academic colleague that faculty were receiving an invitation to try out an “Open Access Library” of “125,546 openly accessible articles“:


Sure enough, if you visit the site and try a search for a biomedical topic, you will be rewarded with a search result of articles from open access biomedical publishers, including Hindawi and Public Library of Science (PLos). As far as I can observe, all the retrieved articles are licensed for Creative Commons attribution to copy and redistribute.


So there is nothing wrong with this kind of project as a proof of concept for assembling a searchable database with metadata harvesting tools that link to openly accessible articles.  In a very clean interface, one can rapidly access articles on contemporary research topics.

Yet I still have questions about this website.

  • To a less knowledgeable user, that 147,824 number seems pretty big.   But in fact there are more than 2.5 million biomedical open access articles freely available in PubMed Central, the free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine.
  • The check boxes in the Open Access Library interface do not appear until after an initial search is run. The Open Access Library interface cannot combine facets such as publication type or date, compared to the advanced search capability of PubMed Central.
  • Given the much smaller pool of open access articles in the Open Access Library, what were the selection criteria for including certain journals or publishers?

To do at least one comparison search, I entered ischemic stroke” into the Open Access Library search box.   515 articles were found.  Although I was expecting a reverse chronologic retrieval, the first eight articles were from 2011.  Then two 2012 citations appeared.   So even the search mechanism seems to be a work in progress.

Then I searched “ischemic stroke” into the PubMed Central search box36683 articles were retrieved, along with links to refine the search.

So it seems at present time that Open Access Library is really just retrieving a specific sample of free open access articles, compared to the breadth and quantitative depth of PubMed Central. Most clinical decision makers would always prefer to have more material, and as I suggest, the selection criteria used by Open Access Library are neither transparent nor understandable at this time.

My concern is that Open Access Library is beginning to market itself by email as a “premier” collection to  faculty  with no familiarity with true premium open access collections, such as PubMed Central.  I would maintain that their free sample is just a sample, as well as insufficient for clinical practice or accurate accounting of the state of biomedical research.



Thu, February 14 2013 » Uncategorized » 1 Comment

eLife’s ingredient to enhance open access: public decision letter and author responses

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I continue to believe that open peer review is the most unambiguous evidence that an open access publisher can present to document a considerate and careful editorial process has taken place.  None of the journals represented on Jeffrey Beall’s list of questionable open access publishers provide  any visibility to the peer review process or decisions.  In fact, if you visit this questionable publisher‘s website page explaining peer review, you will see…. nothing.

Academic Research Journals Peer Review Page

Image Captured: 9-Feb-2013


eLife, the new open access life sciences journal, has top-shelf foundation support, as well as a desire to  “extend open access to more of the scientific literature by offering an open-access venue for the most significant and influential research.”


I appreciate that eLife understands that visibility into the “black box” of peer review will build confidence  and respect for their editorial process.  In eLife‘s publishing model,

“We’ll post the decision letter and author responses alongside articles published ineLife, subject to author agreement, so readers can assess and comment on the review conversation, too.”

In the article view of Dendritic cells loaded with FK506 kill T cells in an antigen-specific manner and prevent autoimmunity in vivo , I also found further explanation of what the public view entitles us to see:

“An edited version of the letter sent to the authors after peer review is shown, indicating the substantive concerns or comments; minor concerns are not usually shown. Reviewers have the opportunity to discuss the decision before the letter is sent (see review process). Similarly, the author response typically shows only responses to the major concerns raised by the reviewers.”

In the early stage of eLife, it seems like authors of research articles are accepting the opportunity to  publish their peer review and response.   I checked the most recent 10 research articles, and all had a posted decision letter and author response.


Sat, February 9 2013 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Elsevier’s gold, green, and hybrid open access…a triple play to change perception?

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Elsevier's Open Access Logo

Elsevier’s Open Access Logo

I noticed a press-release article announcing a new Elsevier open access journal, Molecular Metabolism, that will feature one of my Yale faculty colleagues, Tamas Horvath,  as an  editor.  Because of the competition with new top tier journals like eLife that have waived article processing charge (APC) for their first three years, Molecular Metabolism  has waived the APC for all 2012 and 2013 submissions. The charge for publication will eventually be $2,000 (USD).

Molecular Metabolism

I also found a page on Elsevier’s website that lists their growing list of more than 30 open access journals. Here are the links and the descriptions provided.

Journal Title Description
Applied & Translational Genomics
Biomedical journal publishing cutting edge research and new developments in applied and translational genomics.
Case Studies in Engineering Failure Analysis
Rapid publication of short, structured case studies and related short communications.
Cancer Treatment Communications
Publishing communications, case reports and other short form papers that report clinical research or improve clinical practice knowledge in oncology.
Cell Reports
Publishing high quality papers across the entire life sciences spectrum.
Epilepsy & Behavior: Case Reports
Rapid publication of case reports on the behavioral aspects of seizures and epilepsy.
EuPA Open Proteomics
Publishes research on all aspects of proteomics, from basic to translational proteomics, including bioinformatics and data processing.
FEBS Open Bio
Publishing research across all molecular and cellular life sciences in both health and disease.
Gynecologic Oncology Case Reports
Publishes case reports that concern tumors of the female reproductive tract.
International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance
Publishes the results of original research in the area of anti-parasite drug identification, development and evaluation, and parasite drug resistance.
International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
Publishes the results of original research on parasites of all wildlife, invertebrate and vertebrate.
International Journal of Surgery Case Reports
General surgical journal dedicated to publishing case reports.
Journal of Cancer Policy
Publishes research and reviews on global cancer policy encompassing all aspects of cancer policy and public health.
Journal of Pediatric Surgery Case Reports
Publishing case reports which will provide the most current source of information and references in pediatric surgery.
Leukemia Research Reports
Publishing research relevant to all health care professionals involved in basic and (or) applied clinical research in leukemias, lymphomas, multiple myeloma and other hematologic malignancies.
Materials Today
Leading open access journal proving a gateway to materials science.
Medical Mycology Case Reports
Devoted to the publication of case reports that concern unusual medical or veterinary fungal infections.
Molecular Metabolism
Serves as a platform for reporting breakthroughs from all stages of the discovery and development of novel and improved personalized medicines for obesity, diabetes and associated diseases.
Neuroimage: Clinical
Provides a vehicle for communicating important advances in the study of abnormal structure-function relationships of the human nervous system based on imaging.
Perspectives in Medicine
Publication of concise and well-defined medical topics, each delivered as a distinct topical issue.
Perspectives in Science
Publication of concise and well-defined scientific topics, each delivered as a distinct topical issue.
Publishes original research and review contributions within the fast growing field of photoacoustics (optoacoustics) and thermoacoustics.
Physics of the Dark Universe
Focused on the understanding of the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy covering all theoretical, experimental and phenomenological aspects.
Redox Biology
Forum for novel research, methods and review articles in redox biology in the areas of both health and disease.
Respiratory Medicine Case Reports
Respiratory journal dedicated to publishing case reports.
Results in Immunology
Online only journal covering all aspects of immunology.
Results in Pharma Sciences
Online only journal covering all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences.
Results in Physics
Online only journal covering all aspects of physics.
Stem Cell Reports
Publishing research presenting conceptual or practical advances across the breadth of stem cell research and its applications to medicine.
Translational Proteomics
Covering all areas of human proteomics using multi-disciplinary approaches to untangle complex disease processes.
Trials in Vaccinology
This journal guarantees direct public access to the results of vaccine trials in humans and target animals.
Water Resources and Industry
Aims to bridge the existing gap existing in the field of the role industry plays in the exploitation, management and treatment of water resources.

Elsevier is also highlighting opportunities to pay an APC fee in one of 1500 subscription journals, the so-called hybrid option that keeps certain articles available to non-subscribers.  It appears that the unwelcome publicity generated by the Cost of Knowledge petition of 13229 researchers refusing to do editorial work or publish with Elsevier has generated a revised corporate strategy to gain back some hearts and minds.  To its credit, Elsevier remains the largest commercial publisher with an unambiguous green light for any author to self-deposit pre-print and other conditional versions of authored works in open access green spaces.  Here’s the summary, which you can click on to visit the page:




Thu, January 31 2013 » Uncategorized » 2 Comments

eLife explains their fast-track peer review

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Wed, January 16 2013 » Uncategorized » No Comments

PubMed Central provides immediate access to gun control evidence for injury prevention

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Injury prevention is a public health issue.  Injuries caused by firearms in the United States are at epidemic proportions.  You can slice and dice the statistical evidence any number of ways.   For instance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control(CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control provides a lots of data in the Injury Prevention & Control: Data & Statistics (WISQARSTM) system that can be formatted or downloaded.   Here is an example, and you can click on the image to see a slightly larger version of the small print for 10 Leading Causes of Nonfatal Violence-Related Injury, United States, 2011, All Races, Both Sexes, Disposition: All Cases, ages 18-65

10 Leading Causes of Nonfatal Violence-Related Injury, United States

Source: NEISS All Injury Program operated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)


In this one year, there were 48,154  non-fatal Firearm or Gunshot injuries reported.  One year.

I found this very useful CDC resource for crisis identification because I was reading an article I discovered in PubMed, which also was deposited by the journal Injury Prevention in PubMed Central:

Wintemute GJ. Gun shows across a multistate American gun market: observational evidence of the effects of regulatory policies.Inj Prev. 2007 Jun;13(3):150-5. Erratum in: Inj Prev. 2007 Aug;13(4):286. PubMed PMID: 17567968; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2598366.


Injury Prevention

A picture tells a distressing story:

Figure 3 Examples of assault‐type handguns

Figure 3 Examples of assault‐type handguns. (A) AR15‐type pistols. The gun in the rear is equipped with a 100‐round magazine. (B) AK47‐type pistols. (C) A TEC9 pistol. (D) MAC‐type pistols.

There are two areas of causality for gun-related injuries and death in the current U.S. national debate: mental health and access to firearms. You would expect literature corresponding to mental status, depression, and both acute and chronic mental impairment.  Rather than rely on the psychiatry and psychology, access to and availability of lethal weapons were addressed this data-driven study, and evidence was offered that “These findings suggest a basis for action by policymakers to regulate gun shows and prohibit undocumented private party gun sales.”

This 2007 research was available five years before either the Aurora Colorado mass murder or the Sandy Hook School shooting 30 miles from my home, in Newtown, Connecticut.   I hope that future gun control efforts take advantage by open and available evidence for greater control and future prevention.


Sun, January 13 2013 » Uncategorized » No Comments

When you start to expose predators, be prepared for bad behavior

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The flattering offer arrives in your email inbox:

Dear Dr.——————-,
We are glad to invite you as an eminent editor for the Journal of ——————–.

Journal of ——————— is an international, non profit, open access, peer reviewed journal that is being recently launched by Avens Publishing Group with a commitment to serve the scientific community.We are aware of your reputation and distinction in research in some of the fields relating to our journal and that is why you have been chosen as an Editorial Board Member of our Journal of ——————.

Knowing human nature, there follows an appeal to greed and an induction into a system that is gamed for your profit:

Editorial Board benefits:1. We will provide 20% of Journal’s yearly revenue to individual editor, for their valuable service and on fulfilling their responsibilities.

2. Articles suggested by Editors will be provided a 50% discount.

3. We will be conducting conferences yearly; relating to happenings, advancements and breakthroughs in our Journal and editors will be playing a key role in suggesting titles, educating the young scientific community and also promoting our Journal.

4. The article’s fate i.e., both the acceptance or rejection of article is purely dependent on the Editor’s decision and the peer reviewing process will be confidential (so confidential, the managing editor does not want to know about it)

5. We will be providing scientific credits to all the Editorial board members based on their active participation towards our journal.

If you are interested, you can send your details such as: short biography (100 words), C.Vrecent passport size photo (to display at our website), and complete working address (Department, University / institute) for our records.

With regards,
Managing Editor,
Journal of ——————-

Note: This is not a spam message, and has been sent to you because of your eminence in the field. If, however, you do not want to receive any email in future from Avens Publishing Group, then please reply with your request.
Honestly, when someone tells you something is not a spam message, I really begin to worry.
Welcome to the world of predatory open access publishing.
A faculty colleague of mine sought my opinion about this email, unsigned by any human, dripping with flattery and eye-popping incentive.  But we have been through the exposure of all kinds of fraud in financial offers, and very fortunately I was given the opportunity to provide an opinion about the legitimacy of  this publisher.
And I know that when it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, it probably belongs on Jeffrey Beall’s  List of Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers. Jeffrey Beall  has also published his Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers [PDF] .
I happen to think that Avens Publishing Group has met most of Jeffrey’s criteria.  And my faculty colleague accepted my analysis.  Here is the location for their business, according to the address on their site.
877 W 23rd st. Los Angeles, CA 90007
Source: Google Maps Street View
Then again, as this is an electronic publishing outfit, they could conduct business on a smart phone in Starbucks®, and this building is just a mail drop.  I don’t think the mailman is supposed to get to the from door.  I think this is what Jeffrey calls a visual blooper.
Anyway, Jeffrey’s resources are being increasingly cited, much to the consternation of some editors of the roughly 120 publishers on the List of Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers.  At least one decided to plant unflattering lies about Jeffrey, suggesting he was seeking kickbacks to keep publishers off his list.  It was kind of laughable, except that there were other unflattering things said about Jeffrey:

The person attempting to amplify the kickback story (by repeating it) is a Ashry A. Aly, who claims to be the publisher for  Talk is cheap on free blogs, but most sane open access advocates have closed ranks around Jeffrey and vouched for his integrity.  After all, he works in an academic health sciences library and provides all these possible predators with explicit directions for creating the kind of authentic open access publisher that serves academic writers, rather than exploiting them.


Wed, January 9 2013 » Uncategorized » No Comments

PLOS ONE : Leading Emergency Medicine Journal?

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Having a good deal of contact with the Department of Emergency Medicine at my institution and their scholarly and information needs,  I took a look at SCImago for the top 10 Emergency Medicine journals with at least 30 published articles in the past three years:

SCImago Journal and Country Rank

SCImago Emergency Medicine  Top Ten Journals

SCImago Emergency Medicine Top Ten Journals (10/31/2012)

Knowing the PLOS ONE publishes research from many disciplines, I decided to see what was published with any of the following terms/phrases:  emergency services, emergency medicine, emergency room, or emergency hospital services.


I was honestly not prepared for the result: 799 (click to see the result as of today). 211 of those articles are from 2011, the last complete year we can compare to any of the journals identified in the SCImago list.

Annals of Emergency Medicine

Using SCOPUS to find the 10 most-cited 2011 articles from Annals of Emergency Medicine, I counted 132 times-cited in those 10 articles.   Taking the 10 most-cited 2011 articles in PLOS ONE on some aspect of emergency services, I counted 116 times-cited in those 10 articles.  Not a clear citation advantage for PLOS ONE in this sample, yet each PLOS ONE citation provides article metrics, including number of actual view and downloads,  times-cited data,  and social networking notice:

Evidence from the CRASH-2 Trial. PLoS ONE 6(5): e18987

Guerriero C, Cairns J, Perel P, Shakur H, Roberts I (2011) Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Administering Tranexamic Acid to Bleeding Trauma Patients Using Evidence from the CRASH-2 Trial. PLoS ONE 6(5): e18987.  Metrics captured 10/31/2012.

There is simply nothing like this real-time detailed metrics portrait of usage to lend social and professional credibility, on top of the citing  publication evidence.  There is already evidence of a significant amount of Emergency Medicine research being published and cited, downloaded, shared, and mentioned in the social networking world and conveniently tracked by article metrics.


Thu, November 1 2012 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Help SPARC clear up confusion

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As I am teaching library science this semester, blogging time seems to evaporate. But I saw this announcement, and you should see it too:

SPARC has developed a document to delineate various levels of open access.  They are seeking comments on the document.  More information in the message below from SPARC:

Not all Open Access is created equal. To move beyond the seemingly simple question of “Is it Open Access?” PLoS, SPARC and OASPA have collaborated to develop a resource called “HowOpenIsIt?” This resource identifies the core components of open access (OA) and how they are implemented across the spectrum between “Open Access” and “Closed Access”. We recognize there are philosophical disagreements regarding OA and this resource will not resolve those differences.

We are seeking input on the accuracy and completeness of how OA is defined in this guide. Download the open review draft and provide feedback below in the comment form on SPARC’s website: In its final form, this guide will provide an easily understandable, comprehensive, and quantifiable resource to help authors make informed decisions on where to publish based on publisher policies.

With this guide we aim to provide greater clarity regarding its definition and components. All suggestions will be considered and a final version will be released during Open Access Week (October 22 -28, 2012). The comment period will close on Monday, October 8, at 5:00pm (EST).


Fri, October 5 2012 » Uncategorized » No Comments