Relationships among cost, citation, and access in journal publishing by an ecology and evolutionary biology department at a U.S. university [PeerJ]

peter.suber's bookmarks 2024-01-14


Abstract:  Background Optimizing access to high-quality scientific journals has become an important priority for academic departments, including the ability to read the scientific literature and the ability to afford to publish papers in those journals. In this contribution, we assess the question of whether institutional investment in scientific journals aligns with the journals where researchers send their papers for publication, and where they serve as unpaid reviewers and editors. Methods We assembled a unique suite of information about the publishing habits of our Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, including summaries of 3,540 journal publications by 35 faculty members. These data include economic costs of journals to institutions and to authors, benefits to authors in terms of journal prestige and citation rates, and considerations of ease of reading access for individuals both inside and outside the university. This dataset included data on institutional costs, including subscription pricing (rarely visible to scholars), and “investment” by scholars in supporting journals, such as time spent as editors and reviewers. Results Our results highlighted the complex set of relationships between these factors, and showed that institutional costs often do not match well with payoffs in terms of benefits to researchers (e.g., citation rate, prestige of journal, ease of access). Overall, we advocate for greater cost-benefit transparency to help compare different journals and different journal business models; such transparency would help both researchers and their institutions in investing wisely the limited resources available to academics.


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

Tags: oa.costs oa.citations oa.impact oa.journals oa.ecology oa.biology oa.universities oa.usa oa.prestige oa.economics_of oa.negative oa.recommendations oa.benefits oa.transparency oa.u.kansas

Date tagged:

01/14/2024, 11:45

Date published:

01/14/2024, 06:45