08 December 2010
Giving open access a bad name
I am continually being pestered to review papers for journals that are quite outside the scope of my interests from editorial assistants working for the open access publisher Academic Journals. I imagine that I am not the only one suffering in this way and the publisher ought to understand that this practice is damaging the open access movement. Clearly, the people involved have no idea of how to select referees for papers and are presumably relying on a mailing list developed by the publisher without reference to the range of interests of the people involved. The latest was a request to review for the International Journal of Peace and Development Studies a paper on "Creating space for community-based conservation initiatives (CBCIs) in conventional academics" - I assume that "academies" is intended here. The paper would need an enormous amount of language editing to make it suitable for any Western journal and my impression is (judging from papers in other journals from this publisher) that they do not receive that kind of attention. This serves only to feed the notion that open access = low quality. One can't imagine how these journals (and the publisher's home page lists more than 100 titles) are going to survive.