So how is OA doing and who is writing about it? - Latest issue of Publications now out, April 18, 2016 09:27

Open Access has been around for quite a time now, and it's appropriate that an OA journal on publishing continues to keep an eye on it. The latest issue of Publications: the journal of academic publishing and communication certainly does that with a couple of articles. And remember, they are all OA, and I give the links so you can go straight there and read them if you wish.

First up we have a review of the literature - what's it about and who's writing it (using Scopus as source). You will be shocked to know that the USA is the most prolific country, with over 30% of articles and UK trailing behind with about 13.4%. All other countries are, a bit, also-rans. No prizes for guessing the most prolific author - If I tell you his first name is Bo-Christer?... Steven Harnad comes in fourth.

And then we have an article looking more at content, at least as far as the Health Sciences are concerned, tracking what evidence has been found, and in what direction. Although most articles nowadays seem to start from the premise that OA is necessarily 'a good thing', and these are no exception, in the body of the article it is careful to point out where evidence is also either weak or contradictory. On citation impact, for example, it rather assumes OA is positive but points also to the caveats and studies by such as Phil Davis et al.  


The history and rise of OA seems to have acquired its own mythology - since I was one of the people responsible for one of the very first substantial OA (not called that then) journals in the 1990s, and founded for very different reasons, it's all mildly amusing, but we have to live with it...

There is another pair of articles looking at Non-Native English Speakers publishing in English. As someone who has now edited or 'polished' getting on for 200 articles in English by Chinese researchers, I read these with interest. One is really based on a set of case studies, charting in detail the trials and tribulations of such researchers as they work their way through, and trying to draw some conclusions. Interestingly, he raises how some are questioning the fairness of these systems 'requiring' English/American English and wanting to 'uncouple' the language from its native speakers, and talking, without irony, about the 'transformationalist framework' of that particular school of thought., These days all major publishers will at least refer non-native speakers to places where they can get help. More may be needed, however, and James Cameron and Karen Englander, based partly on their own experience, make a call for more properly organised courses within universities, and outline the one in Mexico as an example. Given my own experience, I feel an editorial coming on... By the way, I do have an editorial in this issue, on a couple of aspects of one of my hobby-horses - peer review. For some reason it's not at the top of the contents list - as a new boy here I'll have to have a word with the publishers about that.

We also have a bibliometric analysis of how co-authorship and exposure to 'international' journals e.g. those from USA and UK, can greatly assist visibility to authors from devloping countries, in this case, specifically, Brazil - which may have wider implications for many other other countries.

Lastly, we have a piece which at first sight is less about academic publishing than creative writing - but it's interesting to see whether there is any crossover. This explores what it calls 'implicit collaboration'  or 'appropriation' in the context of the Creative Commons licence. It recognises that in some fields this would be considered 'plagiarism' but explores how creative works use and build on the works of others, sometimes with full acceptance, and sometimes controversially. It makes interesting and thought-provoking reading - although I'm left with the feeling that, in science, it's fine for someone to 'stand on the shoulders of giants' but it's not ok for them to falsely pretend to actually be that giant..

That's all for now. Hope you enjoy at least browsing the articles. Hope to see you again in a few months.


Alan Singleton


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Axioms, Behavioral Sciences, Photonics, Separations and Toxics added to the Emerging Sources Citation Index in Web of Science, March 31, 2016 15:32

We are pleased to announce that the journals Axioms, Behavioral Sciences, Photonics, Separations and Toxics were recently accepted for inclusion in the newly launched Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) in Web of Science.

ESCI serves to highlight promising journals which are still under consideration for the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) or the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI).


The Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE), Social Sciences Citation Index
(SSCI), and Web of Science™ (WoS) are Thomson Reuters products.

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New Editorial Office in Barcelona, Spain, March 24, 2016 11:19

We are excited to announce the opening of our new editorial office in Barcelona, Spain. The launch team is led by a Senior Editor and comprises further staff holding doctoral degrees with several years of research experience. The new editorial team will help us to get closer to European research communities and progress Sciforum, the platform to support the scientific community via conference hosting and other functions. They will also help spread the word about Open Access and meet academics at scientific events.

We are in the process of hiring more doctoral and masters graduates to join the editorial team and welcome applications via For contact details about the office, see our contact page.

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Alan Singleton joins Publications’ Editorial Board as a Editor-in-Chief, February 29, 2016 09:33

We are pleased to announce that Alan Singleton is joining Publications’ Editorial Board as the new Editor in Chief.

Singleton originally qualified in physics from Oxford University. This was followed by a couple of years in the electronics industry and then by a Masters in Information Science. He worked at the IoP (Institute of Physics) for a few years in the 1970s on a grant, studying communication in physics before a short spell as a commissioning editor at Elsevier. This was followed by five years at Leicester University as a Research Fellow in Research Communication, and then by a period working for an arm of the subscription agent, Faxon. Then, from 1985–1998 he was at IoP Publishing, initially as a research officer, but ending his time there as Journals Director. He was science, medicine (books) and electronic publishing director at OUP (Oxford University Press) for three years and, in 2001, became Managing Director of the publishing arm of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Professional Engineering Publishing) in the UK. He retired from full-time publishing in 2009—since then he has been a consultant (mostly managing and assisting bid processes for learned societies seeking a journal publisher), and was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Learned Publishing from 2010 until the end of 2014. Over the years he has published more than 50 papers and articles on many aspects of academic publishing and information.

Publications (ISSN 2304-6775) is an international, peer-reviewed open access journal which provides an advanced forum for studies related to all aspects of academic, scholarly, and professional publishing. The journal is indexed by ESCI - Emerging Sources Citation Index (Thomson Reuters) and Web of Science.

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Membership Established with the Max Planck Society, February 22, 2016 17:14

We are pleased to announce that the Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) has signed an agreement with MDPI to support authors associated with the Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft). As of 22 February 2016, corresponding authors will receive full funding from the MPDL for articles published in MDPI journals, with a 10% discount applied to the Article Processing Charges. Additional details can be found at our institutional membership page.

Founded in 1948, The Max Planck Society is one of Germany’s leading research organizations, and is currently made up of 83 institutes conducting basic research in natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences and humanities. 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from its ranks of scientists and the society has more than 15,000 publications in scientific journals each year.


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New Institutional Memberships Established with Tsinghua University, the Chinese Society of Micro-Nano Technology, Ruhr University Bochum and the University of Ulm, January 7, 2016 10:47

We are pleased to announce that the following institutions have joined MDPI's institutional membership program as of 1 January 2016:

Authors affiliated with these institutions will benefit from a 10% discount on the article processing charges.

Additional details can be found on our institutional membership page.



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