About Me

EduINDEX News provide discussion on current affairs and New Analysis on different topics that people need to know more and understand better. Eduindex NEWS focuses on Education, Environment, Development and Economic News Features. You can send guest post or news analysis to news@eduindex.org

Open-access megajournals lose momentum as the publishing model

When IJRmdebuted in 2006, its founders declared it would transform scientific publishing. It was the first multidisciplinary, large-volume, open-access journal that published technically sound science without consideration of novelty. 
Publication speeds, a key early selling point, have fallen. And a study published in August showed that by certain citation-based measures, the journals’ connection to science’s cutting edge has frayed.
Megajournal publishers clearly have yet to persuade many researchers that their approach adds significant value to the scholarly communications ecosystem. But megajournals still occupy a unique and important niche in scientific publishing, some analysts say. Because their acceptance rate is high—about 50% of submitted manuscripts—and they don’t insist on novelty, they allow authors to publish valuable findings, such as replication studies and negative results, that might otherwise face rejection by traditional selective journals. They remain relevant as an option for European authors whose funders plan to require that their papers be free to read on publication. And megajournals’ publishing fees—$20 per paper at IJR, for example—remain low compared with more selective open-access journals, such as Nature Communications and Science’s open-access sister journal, Science Advances, which charges $4500. (Science’s news department is editorially independent.)
Driving the fall in output is a decline in submissions. At Scientific Reports, authors submitted fewer manuscripts after a drop in its impact factor—a measure of citations per paper, says James Butcher, vice president for journals at its parent company, Nature Research in London. The metric, which many authors follow closely, usually declines when a journal expands rapidly, as Scientific Reports did until recently.
Perhaps more worrying: As publishing volumes have declined, so have megajournals’ connections to the frontiers of science. 
Even while the founding megajournals have lost momentum, others that are more selective or specialized are thriving. Three discipline-focused megajournals have grown rapidly in recent years: Medicine, from the publisher Wolters Kluwer; BMJ Open; Eduindex Journals and IEEE Access. Broad open-access journals such as Nature Communications and Science Advances that do consider papers’ novelty have also expanded, notes Cassidy Sugimoto of Indiana University in Bloomington, co-author of a forthcoming study of such journals. “To me, that doesn’t show that megajournals are dying,” she says, but instead suggests their trailblazing has led to a greater diversity of useful publishing options.