Academic Publishing Update – July 2020 : 3

Clara Busse & Ella August. “How to Write and Publish a Research Paper for a Peer-Reviewed Journal“. Journal of Cancer Education, 2020. (OA)

Abstract : Communicating research findings is an essential step in the research process. Often, peer-reviewed journals are the forum for such communication, yet many researchers are never taught how to write a publishable scientific paper.

In this article, we explain the basic structure of a scientific paper and describe the information that should be included in each section. We also identify common pitfalls for each section and recommend strategies to avoid them.

Further, we give advice about target journal selection and authorship. In the appendix, we provide an example of a high-quality scientific paper, with annotations identifying the elements we describe in this article.

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Open Access Update – July 2020 : 2

Maximilian Heimstädt and Leonhard Dobusch. “To address the rise of predatory publishing in the social sciences, journals need to experiment with open peer review”. LSE Blog. January 10, 2020.

Excerpt : In this post, Maximilian Heimstädt and Leonhard Dobusch analyse the harmful potential of predatory journals for social science and specifically management research. Identifying key threats posed by predatory publishing, they argue that open peer review could stand to mitigate some of these challenges and foster a more constructive form of knowledge production.

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Publishing / Chinese state censorship of COVID-19 research represents a looming crisis for academic publishers

George Cooper. “Chinese state censorship of COVID-19 research represents a looming crisis for academic publishers.”

LSE Blog. 24 April 2020.

Excerpt : Issues of censorship surrounding the publication of scholarly research in China have been prominent since a series of press reports and publisher statements revealed that works had been removed from circulation that were deemed sensitive by Chinese buyers.

As George Cooper observes, evidence that Chinese authorities are conducting pre-publication vetting of COVID-19 related research, raises new challenges for publishers seeking to distribute open access research papers on this subject, as there is little ground for publishers to remove these papers from their platforms.

As publisher commitments to openness collide with their obligations to operate within the legal frameworks of the countries they operate in, it is argued that COVID-19 presages an overdue discussion on the limits of openness in publishing.

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Resources / Smithsonian Open Access

Smithsonian Releases 2.8 Million Free Images for Broader Public Use.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle, 10 March 2020.

Excerpt : The Smithsonian announced the launch of Smithsonian Open Access (, an initiative that removes Smithsonian copyright restrictions from about 2.8 million of its digital collection images and nearly two centuries of data.

Among museums and cultural institutions, this is the largest and most interdisciplinary open-access program to date. The Smithsonian will continue to add items on an ongoing basis, with more than 3 million images designated as open access by late 2020.

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Open Access Update – March 2020 : 2

Shaun Khoo. “Increasing open access publications serves publishers’ commercial interests.”

The Conversation, June 17, 2019.

Excerpt : Over the past 20 years, there has been a push to make journals freely available to anyone with an internet connection. In response, research funders have announced open access policies in several countries.

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Open Access Update – March 2020 : 1

Smriti Mallapaty. “Popular preprint servers face closure because of money troubles”. Nature, 13 Feb 2020.

Excerpt : Repositories like INA-Rxiv and IndiaRxiv boost regional science, but finding cash to run them is proving difficult.

The rise of preprint repositories has helped scientists worldwide to share results and get feedback quickly. But several platforms that serve researchers in emerging economies are struggling to raise money to stay afloat.

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Open Access Update

13 Feb 2020
Brenda Wingfield and Bob Millar. “How the open access model hurts academics in poorer countries.”
The Conversation. April 11, 2019.
Excerpt : Open access journals come with hidden costs. The open access model merely changes who pays. So rather than individuals or institutions paying to have access to publications, increasingly, academics are expected to pay for publishing their research in these “open access” journals. This is a huge burden particularly in developing countries with weaker currencies.

KSM Academic Publishing + Open Access Update

28 Jan 2020
Jack Grove. “India to train researchers in how to spot predatory journals.” Times Higher Education. January 21, 2020.
Excerpt : India’s decision to require all PhD students to learn how to spot predatory publications as part of mandatory research integrity training has been welcomed by campaigners.