Open Access Week

International Open Access Week 2013 Poster

International Open Access Week 2013 Poster

Today marks the beginning of International Open Access Week and there are many ways to participate and learn more about OA at the University of Michigan.

Highlights include this afternoon’s Opening Keynote from Brandon Weiner, Executive Director for Creative Rights from 4:00-5:30 in the Hatcher Gallery, Thursday’s health sciences focused discussion ‘Publish or Perish: Learn about new open access mandates‘, running from 7:30-9:00AM in the BSRB Seminar Rooms, and Friday’s closing keynote by Mike Buschman, co-founder of Plum Analytics in the Hatcher Library Gallery from 10:00-11:30AM. 

The recent Science article about a flawed ‘mad-libbed’ experiment that was accepted by over half of the 304 journals to which it was submitted, even with its fatal experimental flaws, has put open access journals under the academic scholarship microscope.  (Some could argue a harsher analogy to it being more like an ant burning under a magnifying glass but that is not for this blog to determine, we just report the news!)  I found this opinion piece helpful in appreciating the absurdity of a flawed article getting accepted by so many open-access journals and the fact that not all open-access journals share the same academic vision of peer-reviewed academic journals. Also this piece appropriately points out that the article was not sent to any peer-reviewed journals, which may have yielded a similarly high acceptance rate.  So, Science’s experiment was also flawed.  Instead of placing blame on Open Access journals for allowing faulty science in, authors need to take a more proactive role in their decisions about which open access and peer-reviewed journals in which to submit their work.

I am hoping Jean Song, the informationist in charge of Open Access week at the University of Michigan, will be able to share her thoughts on open access in a post later this week, so stay tuned!

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