Why are predatory journals flourishing with good content? Are authors really unsuspecting or are they driven by monetary prospects? Why is academic funding drying up today? These are the questions we need to address as the world of scientific publishing builds the future of technology?
Drying federal grants for science
Most people think that science is useless with limited applications; however, they must realize that technology is based on pure science. Without research, no new technologies can be introduced into the market. Now, let’s move onto what exactly is predatory in nature when we talk about scientific publishing.
SCI model of publishing incentives
The present “incentivized structure of academics” lays heavy emphasis on SCI model of publishing. Is SCI model of publishing really ethical in hiring voluntary peer-reviewers who are already stressed out with their daily activity as a researcher/professor in esteemed universities? Nope.
With the names of authors being known to peer-reviewers, the bias against non-native authors is really unethical. To overcome this bias and to prevent wastage of resources, most European authors prefer today to publish in Open Access Journals.
Open Access chaos in scientific publishing
Is Open Access journal really ethical in terms of quality and content? Nope. Authors have to pay a hefty price to get their work published in an open-access journal of high quality. A sting operation reveals that a highly plagiarized paper with wrong citations could be published in most Open Access journals. Does a peer reviewer really commit to the ethics of science and publishing in the open-access model? Nope.
Why we need an ethical publishing model
Where does this leave for the growth of budding researchers? An ethical publishing model can alone solve this problem. How does this model work in academia? Well, corporate organizations can pay governments a piece of their profits.
Aggregation of these resources would help the drying funds of federal grants to be populated with sufficient funds. Corporate biasing for commercial interests would be avoided under such a scenario. An ethical publishing model could be developed by the federal agencies.
The peer reviewer process would be double blinded to prevent bias against authors from non-native English countries. Successful approval of papers would be based on only genuine scientific content, without pressurizing the authors to develop innovative results through statistical data fudging. This would prevent wastage of lab resources by 85%.
Independent publisher chaos
Are independent publishers like ResearchGate really the answer to chaos? Not really as they severely breach the code of ethics in publishing. They do not have a peer reviewer committee to monitor the content. A consensus has not yet been reached between the independent publishing model and the current SCI model, but all these models of publishing are unethical in one form or another.
Although collaboration between international scientists has become easy through ResearchGate, we do not really know the impact on science as there is no moderation of work. Moreover, many researchers who have published their work in SCI journal are re-publishing their work on ResearchGate for greater visibility as it is almost free for use.
Authors want “visibility” at the cost of losing their “credibility” The most genuine reason for this breach of conduct would be the fact that the most cited papers would bring privilege to the authors.
Are authors really stupid to have not understood the code of ethics in publishing? Nope. It is money and prestige that most people seek for, rather than purity of conscience in a highly competitive, materialistic world of the rat race. This must have been the guiding principle for the ongoing proliferation of Open Access model.
Federal authorities must take a critical viewpoint to prevent this chaos. Rallies like “March for Science” aren’t really addressing the problems in academia, which is the building force for future generation innovations.
Beall’s list of predatory journals: how to identify them
How can authors work toward building a better scientific publishing world? Well, they must check this website https://beallslist.weebly.com/ in order to determine whether the current journal to which they are submitting is predatory or not. Quite often, these journals have names that closely resemble a peer-reviewed, esteemed journal. Consider the article that vividly characterizes the features of “predatory journals” https://beallslist.weebly.com/how-to-recognize-predatory-journals.html.
- Strategy for ethical publishing mode: Corporate funding through taxes, which can be termed as “corporate social responsibility
- Federal government using these funds to prevent commercial biasing of technology
- Federal grants to be utilized for the ethical development of science, without researchers being pressurized for statistical data fudging
- Double blinding of peer-review process to prevent bias of peer reviewers against non-native authors
- Rejection on papers to be based only on “wrong science” and “plagiarism”
- Language issues to be overcome by polishing paper services
- The acceptance rate to be fair enough to include papers that present scientifically accurate content
- Megajournal platform to facilitate all sciences and interdisciplinary papers
- Whole papers to be published, and not proceedings