How to avoid questionable OA publications?

There has been much discussion recently about publishing ethics, initiated mainly by the “Bentham affair”. See, for example, Publishing ethics, open access, and OASPA;   OASPA launches a blog, comments on the Bentham affair;   Open-Access Publisher Appears to Have Accepted Fake Paper From Bogus Center;   Editors quit after fake paper flap (news item plus comments);   Fake journal, sham paper accepted. What other breaches of publication ethics have we yet to uncover?.

There was earlier discussion about the same publisher. For example: Black sheep among Open Access Journals and Publishers;   The Open Access Interviews: Matthew Honan;   More on Bentham.

So, how to know whether or not an OA publisher is “skeevy“? Dorothea Salo has posted some initial thoughts at: Opportunity in opprobrium, Caveat Lector, June 13, 2009. An OASPA certification program provides one way to approach the issue of quality regulation.

For individual authors considering the merits of an individual journal in the health sciences, PubMed can serve as a useful preliminary screening tool. Is the journal cited in PubMed? For example, the toll-access Bentham journal Current Cancer Drug Targets is included in PubMed, while the Bentham’s OA Open Cancer Journal isn’t.

The SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) site can also provide useful information. For example, the SJR Journal Indicators for Cancer Research can be used to obtain a rank for Current Cancer Drug Targets. On June 14, it was 18th among Cancer Research journals, when ranked on the basis of SJR. In contrast, Open Cancer Journal can’t, at present, be found via a SJR Journal Search.

The site also includes data for Current Cancer Drug Targets, but, at present, no data for Open Cancer Journal.

Conclusion: Bentham’s Current Cancer Drug Targets is a much more reputable journal, at present, than its Open Cancer Journal.


1 Comment »

  1. Jim Till said

    A search of PubMed on June 15 revealed a total of 409 citations to articles in the toll-access journal Current Cancer Drug Targets. Of these, only 3 were publicly accessible (via PMC).

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