Thursday, November 19, 2009

For $&%# sake, Bentham Open Journals, leave me alone

For crying out loud, I am still getting crappy spammy mail from various "Bentham Open" journals. The most annoying part to me of Bentham Open is that they try to make it seem that anything published in an Open Access journal is better than anything published in a non Open Access journal. While I personally believe publishing in an OA manner is great, lying about the benefits of OA is not a good thing.

For example they ask and answer the following question "WHY PUBLISH IN OPEN ACCESS JOURNALS? " Their answers include:
  • Your article will obtain more citations.
  • Your article will be peer-reviewed and published very fast.
  • Your article can be read by potentially millions of readers, which is incomparable to publishing in a traditional subscription journal.
  • All published open access articles will receive massive international exposure and as is usually the case for open access publications, articles will also receive high citations.

Yes, that is right, the crappiest, most boring, most idiotic article in an OA journal will receive "massive international exposure" and "high citations."

I know, criticism of Bentham Open may seem biased coming from me, a PLoS insider. So, just in case you were not aware that just about everyone else out there cannot stand them, here are some reading assignments:

And so on.


  1. They must be really digging the bottom of the barrel, as they invited me to be editor in chief of “The Open Biology Journal”

  2. How exactly is their annoying spamming congruent with the felicific calculus? You'd think that a company presumably named after Jeremy Bentham would try to follow its namesake's philosophy -- multiplying the annoyance of spam by the number of spamees would put their value in the negative ranges...

  3. Here's a classic for you reading list:

  4. I am perplexed on how the OA-leads-to-more-citations myth continues to be perpetuated in cyberspace. In the first randomized controlled trial, we find no citation differential. The experiment has been replicated in 36 journals, is now close to three years old and there is still no evidence of an OA citation advantage.

    see: Open access publishing, article downloads, and citations: randomised controlled trial

  5. Bentham's marketing approach for its journals does indeed have the unfortunate effect of making the open access impact advantage seem somewhat crass. The debate and the evidence is actually much more sophisticated that this suggests, however. Phil Davis' is one study among many, most of which have found the case FOR an OA advantage for the best papers. The evidence continues to accumulate

  6. Steve - I agree with you. I think there is now evidence for a general citation benefit for OA publishing vs. non. My point here was that contrary to what Bentham says, OA publishing does not guarantee impact ---

  7. Folks -- they just invited me to be Editor-in-Chief of The Open Communication Journal. Due to my reputation in Biology. (Yeah, right -- I have two articles in that field. *Try* to find me on Web of Science! (Then try to find me on google scholar so I'll feel better.))

    "Just", really some days ago, I don't know why I open their spam at all anymore. Open access is when a real journal doesn't notice (or mind) you post your papers to your website.


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