A recently published article in The Scientist tells a growingly familiar tale in scholarly publishing: predatory publishers taking advantage of, and often times profiting from, researchers across the globe.

The term “predatory publishers” was coined by University of Colorado Denver librarian, Jeffrey Beall, nearly a decade ago. These publishers disseminate plagiarized or poorly reviewed content, taking advantage of a pay-to-publish open access system by charging authors high prices to disseminate their content while all but eliminating the peer review process. In the case of the article published in The Scientist, these predatory journals even trick established researchers to agree to have their names listed on editorial boards, falsley presenting themselves as credible start-up journals. While this may bolster a journal’s credibility at first glance, it often doesn’t go beyond a name listed on a website, with little to no communication from the journal to the editors.

(RELATED: “For-science or For-profit?”)

And if predatory publishers can’t trick honest researchers, that publisher may just recruit a fake editor. A recent investigation, spearheaded by Nature, found that dozens of academic journals have been recruiting fake editors and offering them a place on their editorial board.

According to reports from the Hanken School of Economics, predatory journals increased their publication volume from 53,000 to 420,000 articles per year between 2010 and 2014. Taking article processing charges into account, the report estimates that all-in-all, the predatory publishing market was worth at $74 million in 2014.

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In May 2017, we sat down with ECS Senior Vice President Yue Kuo and ECS’s newly elected 3rd Vice President Stefan DeGendt at the 231st ECS Meeting in New Orleans. The conversation was led by Roque Calvo, ECS’s executive director and chief executive officer.

Kuo joined ECS in 1995. Since then, he has been named ECS fellow and served as an editor for both the Journal of The Electrochemical Society and the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology. His research efforts have made a tremendous mark on the scientific community, earning him the ECS Gordon E. Moore Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Solid State Science in 2015.

DeGendt is also an ECS fellow and was recently elected to the Society’s board of directors. Since joining ECS in 2000, DeGendt has participated in the organization of several meeting symposia and currently serves as a technical editor of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology.

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ECS OpenCon 2017

By: Delaney Hellman, ECS Development Associate

Open AccessECS is proud to announce that at the upcoming 232nd ECS Meeting, we will be hosting our first OpenCon satellite event! OpenCon is a conference that places a spotlight, produces discussion, and increases collaboration on issues of open access, open science, open data, open source, and open education. Initially hosted by the Right2Research Coalition and SPARC, satellite events can be held by anyone with an interest in the subject matter. As ECS works to advance its Free the Science initiative, we want to be at the forefront of the open discussion in our industry.

The event is completely free to attend on October 1, from 2:00 – 6:00 pm.

Don’t miss speakers from Dryad, The Gates Foundation, SPARC, Center for Open Science, and more.

RSVP as soon as possible: http://www.opencon2017.org/ecs_opencon_2017

By: Delaney Hellman, ECS Development Associate

Sci-Hub launched a few years back when Alexandra Elbakyan of Kazakhstan was struggling to find affordable and relevant research through her institution. Fast forward to 2017 and Sci-Hub serves as one of the most common sites that seeks to circumvent paywalls and provide access to scholarly literature.

While 25 percent of scholarly documents on the web are now open access, thanks to the growing movement, Sci-Hub offers access to around 62 million academic articles. Its unconvincing legality has caught the attention of major proponents of publishing, including Elsevier.

Despite the whirl-wind of controversy surrounding the site’s launch, Sci-Hub data was able to answer some important questions: who needs access to research, what do they need access to, and how much do they lack access to?

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In May 2017, we sat down with ECS journal editors Robert Savinell and Dennis Hess at the 231st ECS Meeting to discuss the future of scholarly publishing, open access, and the Society’s Free the Science initiative. The conversation was led by Rob Gerth, director of marketing and communications at ECS.

In 1978, Savinell became an active member of ECS, serving as an associate editor for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) in 1984. He was appointed editor of JES in 2013, where he began focusing on continuing the tradition of rigorous review, enhancing timeliness of decision and publication, while transitioning JES to full open access. Savinell has recently been reappointed as editor JES for a three-year period, from May 18, 2017 through May 17, 2020.

Hess became a member of ECS in 1974. He has been active in both the ECS Dielectric Science and Technology and Division and ECS Electronics Division, serving as a divisional editor from 1978 through 1990. Currently, Hess is the editor of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology.

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Sharing the Science

Free the Science Week

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In April 2017, ECS celebrated its first annual Free the Science Week, giving the world a preview of what complete open access to peer-reviewed scientific research will look like.

Free the Science Week is part of ECS’s long-term Free the Science initiative, which will provide free access to the peer-reviewed research in the entire ECS Digital Library, not just for a week, but permanently.

Here are just a few insights from the week:

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By: Elizabeth Gilbert, The Medical University of South Carolina and Katie Corker, Grand Valley State University

ResearchWhat is “open science”?

Open science is a set of practices designed to make scientific processes and results more transparent and accessible to people outside the research team. It includes making complete research materials, data and lab procedures freely available online to anyone. Many scientists are also proponents of open access, a parallel movement involving making research articles available to read without a subscription or access fee.

Why are researchers interested in open science? What problems does it aim to address?

Recent research finds that many published scientific findings might not be reliable. For example, researchers have reported being able to replicate only 40 percent or less of cancer biology results, and a large-scale attempt to replicate 100 recent psychology studies successfully reproduced fewer than half of the original results.

This has come to be called a “reproducibility crisis.” It’s pushed many scientists to look for ways to improve their research practices and increase study reliability. Practicing open science is one way to do so. When scientists share their underlying materials and data, other scientists can more easily evaluate and attempt to replicate them.

Also, open science can help speed scientific discovery. When scientists share their materials and data, others can use and analyze them in new ways, potentially leading to new discoveries. Some journals are specifically dedicated to publishing data sets for reuse (Scientific Data; Journal of Open Psychology Data). A paper in the latter has already been cited 17 times in under three years – nearly all these citations represent new discoveries, sometimes on topics unrelated to the original research.

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March for Science with ECS

ECS is a proud partner with March for Science. On April 22, there will be marches happening around the world as scientists highlight the important role that science plays in improving lives, solving problems, and informing evidence-based policy. The March aligns strongly with ECS’s Free the Science initiative, a key factor of the endorsement.

ECS has fully endorsed the March’s non-partisan, educational, and diversity goals and encourages its members to adhere to these values as they get involved in one of the numerous marches taking place throughout the world.

Here’s how you can help represent ECS’s Free the Science at the March:

  • We’ll be reaching out to the chairs of ECS Student Chapters to make sure that they have the materials and resources available to them to march successfully and with representation. If you’re a student, talk to your chair about getting materials.
  • Use our #freethescience graphic while marching whether you’re printing a poster or making your own. Download it here.
  • Be sure to take a picture of your group and your sign and share it with the tags: #freethescience and #scienceserves.
  • If you received one of our #freethescience t-shirts, bags, pins, or stickers at one of our meetings be sure to bring it with you.
  • The March for Science will be providing a live stream of the main event and speakers in D.C. Take part in the virtual march and be sure to submit photographs and messages that can be shared on their site with ECS’s #freethescience.

Adopting open access and new models of open science is a core competency at the center of the scientific dissemination debate. Don’t let it be left out of the conversation on April 22. Help represent Free the Science while highlighting the importance of your sciences!

ECS celebrates 115 years of academic publishing

Free the Sciecne logoECS is celebrating its 115th anniversary this year by giving the world a preview of what complete open access to peer-reviewed scientific research will look like. ECS will launch the first Free the Science Week, April 3-9, and take down the paywall to the entire ECS Digital Library, making over 132,000 scientific articles and abstracts free and accessible to everyone.

In April of 1902, a group of innovative young scientists sought a new forum to discuss, publish, and disseminate developments in the growing field of electrochemistry. They formed the American Electrochemical Society in Philadelphia, the home of independence and the first free public library in the United States; a history befitting an organization that aims to Free the Science around the globe.

More than 100 years later and operating now as ECS, scientists and engineers worldwide are still engaged in our thriving community. Now, as electrochemistry and sold state science & technology become ever more relevant to the future of our planet, holding the keys to innovation in renewable energy, biomedical, water, sanitation, communications, transportation, and infrastructure sectors, ECS is continuing to find ways to lead and influence our scientific field.

Free the Science Week is part of ECS’s long-term Free the Science initiative, which will provide free access to the peer-reviewed research in the entire ECS Digital Library, not just this week, but permanently.

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All ECS content will be accessible to over 8,200 institutions

Research4LifeECS is partnering with Research4Life to provide accessibility to over 132,000 articles and abstracts published in the ECS Digital Library. All papers published by ECS will be free to access for more than 8,200 institutions in an effort to reduce the scientific knowledge gap between high-income and low- and middle-income countries by providing free or affordable access to critical scientific research.

The ECS Digital Library is home to the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, the flagship journal of ECS, published continuously since 1902, and to the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology, ECS Electrochemistry Letters, ECS Solid State Letters, Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, ECS Transactions, ECS Meeting Abstracts, ECS Proceedings Volumes and the ECS quarterly membership magazine, Interface.

The research published in ECS journals directly addresses the sustainability of our planet, with topics ranging from renewable energy storage and conversation to clean water and sanitation.

“Open access, especially in electrochemistry and solid state science, is an important goal for scientific and technological development and, quite simply, creating a better world.” says Roque Calvo, executive director of ECS. “ECS’s partnership with Research4Life is a step toward ensuring that everyone working on these issues, wherever they are in the world, has access to the latest research.”

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