The dodgy side of open access publishing

6 10 2013

A phenomenal report in Science this week showed that a fictitious paper deliberately riddled with flaws was accepted by more than half of the 300 journals it was sent to. I am proud of PloS One for not being one, and for criticizing its alleged animal use (if the paper had been real, I’m on the ethical panel that the journal would have asked to scrutinize it for real!). Many of the accepting journals were zero-impact open access ones that essentially will publish anything for a fee. Click here to read the whole story.

The journalist, John Bohannon, has an impressive & colourful track record, including creating the fabulous “Dance your PhD” competition. I actually met him about a decade ago: he interviewed me & my then student Naomi Latham about how standard lab cages make mice abnormal (see below from the 20 Dec 2002 edition of Science). I remember liking him, but wish I’d appreciated just how awesome he was: I’d have got his autograph.
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