Academic journals

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Somali university students celebrate their graduation. Universities that fare well on national measures may be ignored by international ranking systems. Feisal Omar/Reuters

Ranking African universities is a futile endeavour

The news that African universities will soon be ranked has generated a great deal of hype. But the initiative seems likely to be doomed from the start.
Pay wall or no pay wall? Students study at the Humboldt University Library in Berlin, one of the most advanced scientific libraries in Germany. Shutterstock

Open access is not free. Someone is doing the work. Someone is paying

Much of what's being said in support of open access publishing misses one key point: that is there is always a value chain and costs are incurred. Someone somewhere is paying for open access.
Journal publishing is changing at a breakneck pace. Loughborough University Library

Hard Evidence: is open access working?

According to Peter Suber open access is academic literature which is “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions". Open access delivered by journals is called…
Publishing a peer-reviewed paper isn’t easy, but new research confirms it’s worth the fight. Cartoon by Nick Kim, Massey University, Wellington

Predicting who will publish or perish as career academics

It doesn’t matter whether or not you think it’s fair: if you’re an academic, your publishing record will have a crucial impact on your career. It can profoundly affect your prospects for employment, for…
It’s time to move past outdated ideas about porn. hansol

Academia needs a porn journal: here’s why

The launch of a new academic journal doesn’t usually grab popular media interest. But the first journal of Porn Studies seems to have bucked the trend. For the most part, media coverage has contained more…
It’s easy to put open-access publishing on a pedestal, but it’s important to consider the ramifications first. smileham

Open-access science: be careful what you wish for

In recent weeks we’ve seen a renewed push to introduce open access to science research publications. The concept is simple: research that is paid for by public funds should be made freely available, not…
Open-access journals are gaining credibility and prestige. rvm_71

Open access will change the world, if scientists want it to

While the Australian Research Council considers its policy on open-access publication and others within the scientific community call for the increased sharing of scientific data, the British are already…
The pressure on academics is becoming too much, there needs to be cultural change. Stressed image from

Cracks in the ivory tower: is academia’s culture sustainable?

The pressure is on. More and more universities and academics are working in a culture that is untenable and cracks in the ivory tower have already begun to appear. The work environment is now characterised…
Academic publishing firms have been all too keen to monopolise a crucial public good: academic knowledge. giulia.forsythe

The great publishing swindle: the high price of academic knowledge

One of the great outrages of academia in the modern age is the privatisation of the profits accruing to publicly-financed knowledge. One form is that of academic journals, a primary method of disseminating…
Vioxx is the quintessential story of what can go wrong when a big pharmaceutical company exerts influence over the evidence base. AAP

Pharma’s influence over published clinical evidence

TRANSPARENCY AND MEDICINE – A series examining issues from ethics to the evidence in evidence-based medicine, the influence of medical journals to the role of Big Pharma in our present and future health…
Acknowledging that things don’t always go right, and trying to figure out what went wrong are hallmarks of a transparent and mature profession. AAP

Clearing the air: why more retractions are good for science

TRANSPARENCY AND MEDICINE – A series examining issues from ethics to the evidence in evidence-based medicine, the influence of medical journals to the role of Big Pharma in our present and future health…

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