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Research Guides

Issues in Scholarly Communication

Why Is There a Dog on That Editorial Board?

Or, What They Didn't Teach about Scholarly Publishing in Grad School


If you didn’t hear about it, an Australian dog, with research interests including “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines,” ended up on the editorial board of seven medical journals—the result of a joke pulled by her owner to shed light on the nature of predatory publishing.

How does such a thing happen, and how can we identify predatory journals? Are there other open access journals we can trust? And is scholarly publishing moving beyond the traditional model of subscription-based, peer-reviewed journals?  These are some of the questions we’ll consider in Geisel Library’s 2017-18 workshop series on the state of scholarly publishing.  This fall we’ll focus on open access and predatory publishers, and what it means for you as researchers.

Open Access Primer

Tuesday, October, 24, 2017 | 4-5 p.m. Library Classroom

Join us during Open Access Week for an overview of open access publishing. We’ll talk about the different models of open access, the benefits and drawbacks, and the continued movement toward openness (open access, open data, open education resources). What do open access journals like PLOS ONE do that traditional journals don’t, and vice versa?

Predatory Publishing

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | 4-5 p.m. Library Classroom
Thursday, February 15, 2018 | 4-5 p.m. Library Classroom

How did that dog get on seven editorial boards? We’ll talk about the characteristics of predatory publishers, how to identify predatory calls for proposals, and the grey area in between black lists (such as Beall’s now-defunct list) and white lists of journals. Is there any value in what is published in questionable journals? We won’t have all the answers, but we hope for a lively discussion! 

The Future of Peer Review

Thursday, March 22, 2018 | 4-5 p.m. Library Classroom

Preprint servers are on the rise, and the perennial issue of retractions demonstrates that peer review can’t catch all errors or scientific misconduct.  Is traditional peer review a necessary stamp of approval?  Should peer review allow highly controversial ideas to get through to publication?  What advantages/disadvantages do preprint servers, open peer review, and post-publication peer review have, and what role might they play in the future of scholarly communication?  All things peer review are on the table for discussion at this workshop.   

Impact on Student Learning

Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 4-5 p.m. Library Classroom

How do we help students move beyond a “peer-reviewed” checkbox when evaluating sources? Is it important for students to understand the complexities of open access, predatory journals, preprint servers, scientific misconduct, free speech vs. bad science, replication problems, and shifting publishing models? How do we engage students in these conversations? Join us in a discussion of what these current issues in scholarly communications mean for our students learning and the development of their information literacy skills.