Scholarly Publishing Round-up May 2017

Learn about our new guide for authors to help select a journal for publication, changes in Scopus, and readings that discuss preprints, peer review, dissemination of research findings, to name a few.

Scholarly Publishing Round-up May 2017

See our new guide for authors: Selecting a Journal for Publication. The guide contains resources targeted for authors who are considering submitting a manuscript for peer review to a journal or have received an invitation to publish in a journal.


1. Review journal articles published in the journal (at least two years).

  • Do the articles follow established principles for reporting of research?
  • How is the scientific rigor of the articles?
  • How is the editorial quality of the articles?
  • Is the journal suitable for your area of research?

2. Review the journal website.

  • Are the scope and aims of the journal clear?
  • Who is the Editor-in-Chief?
  • Who are the members of the editorial board?

3.  If in doubt, ask your mentor or librarian.


Brian Nosek

Brian Nosek was at WU in March and presented two talks. Dr. Nosek  is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, and the co-founder and director of the Center for Open Science.



Scopus has a new look! See: Get to the right information faster with Scopus search results page improvements.

SCOPUS  has discontinued indexing nearly 300 journals since 2013, including multiple journals published by OMICS Publishing Group. See the Scopus Discontinued Sources List.


PubMed Enhancements

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce upcoming enhancements to PubMed:

  • Conflict of Interest Statements (COIS)

PubMed will include conflict of interest statements below the abstract when these statements are supplied by the publisher.

  • Editorial Expressions of Concern

NLM is adding editorial expressions of concern as a new pair of linking elements in the Comments/Corrections suite in PubMed. Expressions of concern, previously handled as comments, will be labeled explicitly in the abstract display.



Shanseer L, et al. Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: Can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison. BMC Med. 2017 Mar 16;15(1):28. "From our findings, we have developed a list of evidence-based, salient features of suspected predatory journals (Table 10) that are straightforward to assess; we describe them further below. We recognize that these criteria are likely not sensitive enough to detect all potentially illegitimate, predatory journals. However, we feel they are a good starting point."

Table 10: Salient characteristics of potential predatory journals

  1. The scope of interest includes non-biomedical subjects alongside biomedical topics
  2. The website contains spelling and grammar errors
  3. Images are distorted/fuzzy, intended to look like something they are not, or which are unauthorized
  4. The homepage language targets authors
  5. The Index Copernicus Value is promoted on the website
  6. Description of the manuscript handling process is lacking
  7. Manuscripts are requested to be submitted via email
  8. Rapid publication is promised
  9. There is no retraction policy
  10. Information on whether and how journal content will be digitally preserved is absent
  11. The Article processing/publication charge is very low (e.g., <$150 USD)
  12. Journals claiming to be open access either retain copyright of published research or fail to mention copyright
  13. The contact email address is non-professional and non-journal affiliated (e.g. or

Table 10: Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


“Paging Dr. Fraud”: The fake publishers that are ruining science. The New Yorker. Alan Burdick. March 22, 2017. For years, spurious journals have proliferated online, promising academic credibility in exchange for cash.

Predatory journals recruit fake editor. Piotr Sorokowski,  Emanuel Kulczycki, Agnieszka Sorokowski and Katarzyna Pisanski. Nature. March 22, 2017. An investigation finds that dozens of academic titles offered 'Dr. Fraud' — a sham, unqualified scientist — a place on their editorial board.

In referees we trust? Melinda Baldwin. Physics Today.  February 2017. The imprimatur bestowed by peer review has a history that is both shorter and more complex than many scientists realize. Many thanks to Ruth Lewis for the reference.

Origins of the journal impact factor. Melinda Baldwin. Physics Today.  January 17, 2017.

Biomedical journals and preprint services: Friends or foes? Moderators: Thomas Annesley and Mitchell Scott. Clinical Chemistry. 2017:63:2. Dr. Mitchell Scott from the Department of Pathology and Immunology is one the paper’s moderators.

Reviewers are blinkered by bibliometrics. Paula Stephan, Reinhilde Veugelers and Jian Wang. Nature. April 26, 2017.

The applied value of public investments in biomedical research.  Danielle Li, Pierre Azoulay, Bhaven N. Sampat. Science. March 30, 2017.

Assessing the importance of scientific work. The Economist. March 23, 2017.

The findings of medical research are disseminated too slowly. The Economist. March 27, 2017.