News: Academic Publishing Weekly

New listserv on open access, "Purpose-Led Publishing" formation, and connections between authorship patterns and paper mills

By Choice Staff
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Nonprofit Scholarly Publishers Form “Purpose-Led Publishing”

This week, AIP Publishing, the American Physical Society, and IOP Publishing announced the formation of Purpose-Led Publishing, a “coalition with a promise to always put purpose above profit.” The publishers re-affirmed their commitment to research integrity and their nonprofit status, also noting the importance of acknowledging their missteps. As explained by Alix Vance, Chief Executive of AIP Publishing, “Purpose-Led Publishing lets the research ecosystem know what we stand for as publishers: We authentically lead with purpose and we exist purely to give back to science.” [Library Technology]

New Listserv and Coalition Address OA

Following the response to an interview with Richard Poynder on the shortcomings of open access, Rick Anderson has launched a new listserv to further communication on the topic. Anderson described Open Café as a place for “the free, open, constructive, and civil discussion of issues related to open scholarship.” Anderson shared that the listserv has received requests from a range of stakeholders in scholarly communication and gained over 100 subscribers on its launch day last week. Anderson stressed that support for the listserv reveals that there is still interest in open access and that academics appreciate an area where they can discuss issues openly. Next up, eLife announced the Global South Committee for Open Science. The committee aims to support researchers in the Global South, bolster their awareness of open science, and increase their participation in scientific publishing.

“AI Act” Update, House of Lords’ Report, and Insights on AI in Higher Ed

Europe’s “AI Act” will now head to Parliament for a plenary vote after receiving approval from the European Union’s permanent representatives committee. Publishing Perspectives highlighted support from the Federation of European Publishers, also sharing comments from Germany’s publisher and bookseller association, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, on the act’s shortcomings. Publishing Perspectives also surfaced a report from the House of Lords’ Communications and Digital Committee on the dangers of large language models (LLMs) training on copyrighted work. Dan Conway, CEO of the Publishers Association, voiced support for the report, noting, “As the committee states, it is not fair for tech firms to use rights holders’ content for huge financial gain without permission or compensation.” Next, the University of Baltimore surveyed students and staff on AI as part of Ithaka S+R’s Making AI Generative for Higher Education research project. The results revealed that compared to students, faculty took a more guarded approach to AI but had greater knowledge of LLMs including ChatGPT. The survey also addressed AI’s influence on academic integrity and critical thinking, along with how AI can aid scholars with English as a second language.

How Do Authorship Patterns Expose Paper Mills?

Digital Science’s Leslie McIntosh, vice-president for research integrity, and Simon Porter, vice-president for research futures, recently established a process to detect paper mills by investigating the authors of journal articles. Nature’s Dalmeet Singh Chawla noted that researchers can purchase manuscript authorship, creating what Porter explains are “unusual patterns of co-authorship and networks of researchers that are different from those in legitimate research.” For instance, Porter noted that the new approach considers early career researchers with an atypical number of publications or collaborations among researchers from disparate disciplines. Singh Chawla shared that McIntosh and Porter published their code online, and STM Solutions may include it in the STM Integrity Hub. That said, Singh Chawla also shared comments from Springer Nature and paper mill tracker Anna Abalkina on issues with the new identification method. [Nature]

Peer Review and Research Integrity Survey and Preserving the Scholarly Record

Roohi Ghosh, ambassador for researcher success at Cactus Communications (CACTUS), considered the relationship between peer review and research integrity. Looking at a CACTUS survey of over 800 academics during 2022’s Peer Review Week, Ghosh found that the majority of respondents dealt with issues of research integrity and believed that peer reviewers should identify incidents of plagiarism. In response, Ghosh questioned what responsibilities should be given to peer reviewers, how to ensure that “reviewer comments effectively align with the broader goals of peer review,” and how AI will impact the peer review process. Next up, a study from Martin Eve of Crossref found that millions of academic articles are not being preserved. In particular, Eve analyzed “around 7.5 million ebooks and articles for which the organisation provides a fixed identifier, or Digital Object Identifier (DOI),” and discovered that roughly two million articles were not preserved. Eve acknowledged that he did not include green archives in his analysis, however Alicia Wise, Executive Director of the digital archive CLOCKSS, warned that “we urgently need to accelerate the preservation of our intellectual heritage content if we want to secure the huge percentage of scholarship that remains unprotected.”