Since COPE drafted a discussion paper on the topic of predatory publishing in 2019, many more scholarly papers have been published on various aspects of this issue so there is no lack of research into the practice. However, while research may be necessary, it is not a sufficient response to the problems associated with predatory publishers. Consequently, and more recently, the dialogue has turned to more practice based solutions.
What are the next steps that COPE, or other industry organisations, might consider as a response to the continued flourishing and growth of predatory journals, conferences, and publishers?
As well as considering the questions below, Dr Kelly Cobey will describe the Authenticator Project, being developed by the Centre for Journalology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Canada. Dr Cobey will present the centre’s approach to educating the scholarly community about the nature of journal quality and transparency practices.
Kelly is a Senior Clinical Research Associate in the Knowledge Synthesis Group at the Ottawa Methods Centre at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada. In her capacity as Publications Officer she provides educational outreach on best practice in academic biomedical publishing. Kelly is a member of EQUATOR Canada, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventative Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and an Honorary Researcher at The University of Stirling. She obtained her PhD in Psychology (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) and has an MRes in Biology (University of Liverpool, England) and BSc in Psychology and Biology (McMaster University, Canada). Kelly also worked as a Lecturer at The University of Stirling (Scotland) and held a Fyssen Research Fellowship (University of Paris North, France).
Questions for discussion
Should COPE use its criteria for membership as an instrument to evaluate standards of scholarly publishing vehicles for the purpose of informing authors, peer reviewers, readers, scholars invited to serve on editorial boards, and universities evaluating scholarly productivity?
Should COPE and/or other industry organisations form a global compact of signatories to commit to the practice of research and publication integrity and further to the active marginalisation of predatory publishing within the scholarly communities of universities, editors, and publishers? The Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing may be considered the de facto standards for membership among organisations, such as COPE, OASPA, DOAJ, and WAME, but this would be a proactive advancement of these principles, not just as membership criteria but as global standards for publication integrity.
Should COPE and/or other industry organisations act as a third party retraction service for authors who have unknowingly published with a predatory publisher which will neither withdraw nor retract the articles at the request of the authors? This would include publishers who commit to publications which never appear.
Digital journal authenticator project
“The objective of the project is to develop a ‘Digital Journal Authenticator’ tool that can help stakeholders discern journal quality and transparency practices. We will employ a ‘user centred design strategy’, in which stakeholders such as researchers, journals, publishers, research institutions, and the public work with the research team to iteratively develop a tool that best meets their needs. The tool will provide users with a description of how a journal operates and empower them to use this information to determine whether they should interact with the journal (eg, read content, submit to the journal, or reference articles published there). The tool will be disseminated for free and will be open for others to build upon. This tool will help to safeguard against interactions with low quality journals.”
Register for the Forum
Following the discussion around predatory publishing, COPE members' publication ethics cases will be presented for discussion and advice from the Forum participants.