2017 SSP 39th Annual Meeting
Concurrent 6C: Open-Access Mega-Journals…
Open-access mega-journals, exemplified by PLOS ONE and Scientific Reports, have given rise to controversy and debate in the publishing and academic communities. They display some major elements of continuity with conventional journal publishing they are recognisable titles, carrying out peer review, and publishing familiar-looking papers but there are also major discontinuities they operate at an unprecedented scale, have unusually wide scope, and focus quality control on scientific soundness only. This session will investigate key aspects of mega-journals and analyse the extent to which they represent the future of scholarly communication, a stepping stone to it, or a less significant (or even negative) variation on conventional publishing. It will report a major international study of mega-journals conducted by Sheffield and Loughborough universities. In particular, the results of 30 interviews with senior publishers and editors on their strategic thinking in relation to mega-journals will be presented, alongside other work by the project: reviewing how mega-journals are discussed in the literature, evaluating their bibliometric profile, and analysing the perspectives of authors and readers. As well as shedding light on the mega-journal phenomenon, these results contribute to broader discussions of key issues such as the role of peer review, journal scope and publisher business models.
The session will also include contributions from mega-journal publishers and sceptics. They will respond to the findings of the research as well as outlining their views on the present and future role of mega-journals. The session will close with a panel discussion, addressing comments and questions from the audience.
Moderator: Stephen Pinfield, University of Sheffield
Twitter Handle: petersuber
Twitter Handle: joergheber
Twitter Handle: simonwakeling