[Asis-l] So how is OA doing and who is writing about it? - Latest issue of Publications now out

JungWon Yoon jyoon at usf.edu
Thu Apr 7 22:41:20 EDT 2016

Open Access has been around for quite a time now, and it's appropriate that
an OA journal on publishing continues to keep an eye on it. The latest
issue of *Publications: the journal of academic publishing and
communication* certainly does that with a couple of articles. And remember,
they are all OA, and I give the links so you can go straight there and read
them if you wish.

First up we have a review of the literature - what's it about and who's
writing it (using Scopus as source). You will be shocked to know that the
USA is the most prolific country, with over 30% of articles and UK trailing
behind with about 13.4%. All other countries are, a bit, also-rans. No
prizes for guessing the most prolific author - If I tell you his first name
is Bo-Christer?... Steven Harnad comes in fourth.

And then we have an article looking more at content, at least as far as the
Health Sciences are concerned, tracking what evidence has been found, and
in what direction. Although most articles nowadays seem to start from the
premise that OA is necessarily 'a good thing', and these are no exception,
in the body of the article it is careful to point out where evidence is
also either weak or contradictory. On citation impact, for example, it
rather assumes OA is positive but points also to the caveats and studies by
such as Phil Davis et al. *http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/4/1/2/htm*
<http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/4/1/2/htm>*. *

The history and rise of OA seems to have acquired its own mythology - since
I was one of the people responsible for one of the very first substantial
OA (not called that then) journals in the 1990s, and founded for very
different reasons, it's all mildly amusing, but we have to live with it...

There is another pair of articles looking at Non-Native English Speakers
publishing in English. As someone who has now edited or 'polished' getting
on for 200 articles in English by Chinese researchers, I read these with
interest. One is really based on a set of case studies, charting in detail
the trials and tribulations of such researchers as they work their way
through, and trying to draw some conclusions. Interestingly, he raises how
some are questioning the fairness of these systems 'requiring'
English/American English and wanting to 'uncouple' the language from its
native speakers, and talking, without irony, about the 'transformationalist
framework' of that particular school of thought.
<http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/4/1/6/htm>*, *
<http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/4/1/5/htm>*. *These days all major
publishers will at least refer non-native speakers to places where they can
get help. More may be needed, however, and James Cameron and Karen
Englander, based partly on their own experience, make a call for more
properly organised courses within universities, and outline the one in
Mexico as an example. Given my own experience, I feel an editorial coming
on... By the way, I do have an editorial in this issue, on a couple of
aspects of one of my hobby-horses - peer review.
<http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/4/1/8/htm>*. *For some reason it's not at
the top of the contents list - as a new boy here I'll have to have a word
with the publishers about that.

We also have a bibliometric analysis of how co-authorship and exposure to
'international' journals e.g. those from USA and UK, can greatly assist
visibility to authors from devloping countries, in this case, specifically,
Brazil - which may have wider implications for many other other countries.

*. *Lastly, we have a piece which at first sight is less about academic
publishing than creative writing - but it's interesting to see whether
there is any crossover. This explores what it calls 'implicit
collaboration'  or 'appropriation' in the context of the Creative Commons
licence. It recognises that in some fields this would be considered
'plagiarism' but explores how creative works use and build on the works of
others, sometimes with full acceptance, and sometimes controversially. It
makes interesting and thought-provoking reading - although I'm left with
the feeling that, in science, it's fine for someone to 'stand on the
shoulders of giants' but it's not ok for them to falsely pretend to
actually *be *that giant.. *http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/4/1/7/htm*

*. *That's all for now. Hope you enjoy at least browsing the articles. Hope
to see you again in a few months.

Alan Singleton

Email: singleton at mdpi.com

JungWon Yoon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of South Florida
School of Information
4202 E. Fowler Ave, CIS 1040
Tampa, FL 33620
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