It’s one of life’s curiosities that once you learn a new word, it afterwards appears everyone is using that word and you wonder how you ever managed before! Something similar happened to me this week regarding my OA publishing questions. I had a meeting with the library of our hosting institution this week concerning the measurement of the institute’s scientific outputs. First on the list of measurable outputs was “peer reviewed articles published in journals”. This means the traditional journals and not OA ones. We had a short chat about the question of quality regarding OA journals. Then today, whilst researching for the blog I see the lead link “Open Access; the question of quality” – bingo!
The lead link post from Richard Poynder’s “Open and Shut?” blog makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the merits of OA publishing, particularly in relation to measuring impact/quality. In fact it reads like a mini-essay covering the key aspects of impact factor (IF) – how they work, quality, citation impact & advantage and tools being developed for the future.
One thing the post doesn’t mention is peer review – although this is brought up in a comment to the post. The comment suggests that the peer review process in OA journals are either absent or flawed. Peter Suber has included some analysis of the peer review process in the OA world in his blog/newsletters. See links below.
Of course these articles are clearly in the “Pro-OA” camp – but the arguments are such is seems, to me at least, difficult that anyone working in a “public goods” environment such as the CG could justify why OA isn’t standard policy? Note: blogs were designed as a forum to be able to make such bold statements, so please, if you disagree, post a comment! But whilst institutional performance measurement (and inevitably with it grant renewals, promotions etc) remain hinged upon publishing figures in traditional journals, embracing the new online community and its opportunities is going to be all but impossible.