I like the new Clarivate-Impactstory partnership for several reasons, but...

peter.suber's bookmarks 2017-06-23


"I like the new Clarivate-Impactstory partnership for several reasons....However, the Clarivate PR team...inserted this passage into the press release: "Researchers conducting online searches for scholarly articles frequently get unreliable results that can compromise their work. This is typically because the results omit journal articles behind paid-subscription paywalls or because 'web-scraping' utilities return versions of articles that are not peer-reviewed or are in violation of copyright laws." ...

It's true that search results can be unreliable because they omit paywalled articles. But there are a few problems with the rest of the passage....

* The sentence on web-scraping utilities is obscure. Because it mentions articles that are not peer-reviewed, it seems to be an oblique criticism of preprint repositories. But preprint repositories depend on voluntary author deposits, not web scraping. Moreover, finding preprints in a search is a feature for people who know how to use them, not a bug. It doesn't make the search less reliable. The criticism misses the target. 

* Perhaps the reference to web scraping is an oblique criticism of Sci-Hub. But Sci-Hub focuses on refereed postprints, indeed versions of record, not unrefereed preprints. Moreover, it depends on downloads, even if illicit, not web scraping. The criticism misses the target.

* The final part implies that finding illegal copies of peer-reviewed articles in a search makes the search unreliable. This is false. The writer probably meant to criticize these copies for infringement, but instead criticizes them for unreliability. The criticism misses the target."



From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks


oa.new oa.clarivate oa.impactstory oa.oadoi oa.unpaywall oa.preprints oa.sci-hub oa.versions oa.guerrilla

Date tagged:

06/23/2017, 14:09

Date published:

06/23/2017, 10:09