May 17, 2016 – The Coalition for Responsible Publication Resources (CRPR; www.RPRcoalition.org; @RPRcoalition) is one step closer to its mission to help preserve the integrity of the scholarly literature by sharing industry knowledge of irresponsible and in some cases predatory practices associated with academic publishing. The Coalition is also committed to ensuring transparency, discoverability, and accountability of responsible publishing services to industry norms, guidelines, and best practices, so that academic authors can make informed decisions when seeking publication services and when publishing their scholarly works. The Coalition intends to facilitate communication and collaboration among university, academic society, publisher, scholarly journal, publication services, pharmaceutical, funder, and government stakeholders, worldwide.
Donald Samulack, PhD, President of the US Operations of Editage (www.editage.com), a division of Cactus Communications (www.cactusglobal.com), and who has spearheaded the call-to-action for the development of the Coalition, announced today at the Council of Science Editors (CSE; www.councilofscienceeditors.org) meeting in Denver, CO, USA that five companies have contributed development funds to Editage to begin the formal development of the administrative infrastructure, as well as the Web and software technologies of the Coalition. In alphabetical order, Atlantis Press, Cabell’s International, Canadian Science Publishing, Editage/Cactus Communications, and Wolters Kluwer have all contributed substantively and financially toward building the foundation of the Coalition infrastructure. As Provisional Founding Members, these companies will be ratified as Founding Members upon incorporation of the Coalition as an independent and self-regulating not-for-profit US entity later in 2016.
Dr. Samulack expressed his gratitude for the industry support by stating, “The need for the Coalition was clear to us at Editage, as we’ve watched the continued erosion of trust in the scholarly literature over the past several years, as a result of highly-publicized retractions of published papers generated through the predatory, irresponsible, or fraudulent activities of individuals and corrupt business practices.” He added, “As an industry we’ve discussed the serious need to collectively and collaboratively address these issues, and yet we’ve been stumped on how to effectively pre-empt the corrupt practices that have preyed on the fundamental trust that is the cornerstone of the publication process. As a Coalition, we can build the infrastructure to identify corrupt publishing practices early in the publication cycle, and instruct authors on how to identify publication resources that are acting responsibly and ethically on their behalf, and on behalf of the longevity and integrity of the scholarly literature.’’
At present, irresponsible, and in some cases predatory practices can be identified in almost every facet along the axis of the publication process, from the initial development of an academic manuscript, attribution of authorship, solicitation of submission with promises of publication, and processes of peer review, through to the fraudulent representation of editorial boards at certain journals, as well as look-alike and hijacked journals, journal metrics, and author services.
Zeger Karssen, Director at Atlantis Press (www.atlantis-press.com) says, “With scientific publishing increasingly becoming an industry with a global reach and subject to an ever-expanding community of publishers and author services, a clear path for professional and responsible conduct by all parties involved is needed, in order to maintain trust in what is published.”
From Cabell’s International (www.cabells.com), Lacey Earle, Vice President of Business Development adds, “We are excited about the opportunity to support the initiatives of the Coalition. Through this collaboration, we hope to achieve our mutual goals of serving the academic community and protecting the integrity of global scholarly research.”
Suzanne Kettley, Executive Director at Canadian Science Publishing (CSP; www.cdnsciencepub.com) comments that “Predatory organizations have been functioning actively for a few years now, but they’ve recently become much more sophisticated in their methods of deception and are becoming increasingly more difficult to identify, even for those of us who work in the industry. Industry-wide efforts like the Coalition are a necessary step in ensuring that researchers have a communication system they can trust, which is why CSP is happy to be providing support for this necessary initiative.”
Also, Jayne Marks, Vice President, Global Publishing, Health Learning, Research & Practice at Wolters Kluwer (www.wolterskluwer.com) says, “The rise in predatory activity in scholarly publishing has made it increasingly difficult for authors globally to identify and trust resources with their works. We’re pleased to see the development of this Coalition and fully support its mission to maintain the integrity of scholarly works.”
Together, the Coalition will develop and encourage the development of resources, strategies, and tools to not only help authors identify responsible publication resources and practices, but as an industry resource itself, it will hold Coalition members accountable – as a fundamental principle of membership in the Coalition – to uphold and maintain industry norms, guidelines, and best practices, as they provide services to the scholarly community.