News: Academic Publishing Weekly

The stumbling blocks of Controlled Digital Lending, the future of audio-visual tools, and the adaptive nature of predatory journals

By Sabrina Cofer, digital media assistant, Choice
Academic Publishing Weekly: the latest curated news from around the industry. Purple background, white lettering.

Let’s Talk About Controlled Digital Lending

Library staffers Nathan Mealey, Michael Rodriguez, and Charlie Barlow dig into why Controlled Digital Lending (CDL)—which “enables libraries to lend the digitized version of a print copy of a work under controlled conditions”—has faced an uphill battle. They believe that CDL’s struggle to gain ground reveals the lack of innovation in the library technology market, most likely due to increased consolidation and a “mixed track record of library-led open source software initiatives.” They propose a successful path forward though ventures like the Boston Library Consortium’s (BLC’s) Controlled Digital Lending Working Group and Project ReShare. More broadly, Mealey, Rodriguez, and Barlow underscore the significance of library-led technology, which “offers a means for libraries to take back some measure of ownership of their core technologies and fix the technology market.” [Scholarly Kitchen]

The Midas Touch of Open Access

Springer Nature released yet another white paper on gold open access, finding that OA articles in hybrid journals experience greater impact, use, and reach when compared to non-OA articles. Further, green open access “is not sufficient to match the benefits of gold OA given that the version of record (VOR) of the article it is attached to remains behind a paywall.” The report also includes specifics on citation rates, Altmetric scores, and article download data. Steven Inchcoombe of Springer Nature concluded, “Not only is green OA not a sustainable OA option, with its continued reliance on library subscription payments, it is less desirable to researchers by offering less utility and reliability, and less beneficial to authors.” This white paper comes after a similar study earlier this year (“Stay Golden—Not Green), which revealed that authors prefer the VOR while conducting research. [Research Information]

The low marginal costs of online publishing allow scam journals to operate from anywhere, particularly where their business practices can operate with impunity. To fight them, it is essential to know how they attract researchers and avoid detection.

Kyle Siler, Philippe Vincent-Lamarre, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Vincent Larivière

A “Determined and Adaptable Foe”: The Predatory Journal Problem

In time for Halloween, Nature looked at the persistent (spooky) problem of predatory journals—how do they keep coming back? The article offers background on the issue, including a 2018 ruling the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) won against publisher OMICS for “deceptive business practices.” In the wake of the lawsuit, OMICS proved an adaptable adversary; the publisher removed its name from publications, rebranded journals under new titles, and bootlegged articles from other publishers. Proposed solutions to this “hydra” of a problem include greater transparency in peer review and institutions limiting funding to trustworthy journals that follow transparent practices. Will the industry ever slay this monster? [Nature]

Are Audio-Visual Formats the Future of Scholarly Publishing?

Shane Rydquist and Minhaj Rais of Impact Science walk through the benefits of audio-visual tools when disseminating scholarly information. They touch on recent changes in strategy from scholarly organizations and publishers—sharing scientific data via video or infographics often increases engagement on social media and within academic associations. Rydquist and Rais also discuss the pandemic’s impact on the scientific community’s audience; “newer audio-visual formats that help in engaging lay audiences can be highly effective in combating misinformation, enabling policymakers to take informed decisions, and getting people at large to universally trust scientific rigor.” Have you created a company TikTok yet? [Research Information]

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Welcome New President

Mitzi Angel, current publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, will soon become the publishing house’s first female president come January 1st. Angel will assume the role from Jonathan Galassi, who will move to chairman and executive editor. Angel’s resume includes editor at FSG, as well as publisher of Faber & Faber. FSG has an impressive catalog of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including the work of acclaimed author Sally Rooney. Angel stated, “It’s really wonderful to have a great legacy to honor, but my attention is also on the future. I don’t want FSG to be fusty or dusty.” [New York Times]