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UK Evidence-based characteristics could help authors recognize predatory journals - 16 Mar 2017

A study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine identifies 13 evidence-based characteristics by which potential predatory journals may be distinguished from presumed legitimate ones.

The 13 characteristics identified by researchers at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada include an interest in publishing research on a larger number of topics than legitimate journals; extremely low article processing charges (APCs) - below $150; fuzzy, distorted or potentially unauthorized images on their websites (noted in 66% of potential predatory journals); requests that articles be submitted by email often to non-professional or non-academic email addresses rather than via a submission system; and a lack of policies about retractions, corrections, errata, and plagiarism (more than half of legitimate journals had policies for all four).

The wide scope and low APCs may be a way for potential predatory journals to attract as many submissions as possible, the authors suggest. They caution that an APC below $150 for a biomedical journal while potentially attractive to uninformed authors or those with limited financial resources indicates that the journal may be predatory, as APCs of presumed legitimate journals tend to be 18 to 30 times higher. APCs cover peer review and editorial services that predatory publishers may not provide.

While the characteristics identified in this study may not be sensitive enough to detect all potentially predatory journals, the authors hope that their findings may be helpful to researchers in assessing a journal's legitimacy and quality.

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UK SAGE Publishing and the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons partner to publish two journals - 16 Mar 2017

Academic publisher SAGE Publishing will partner with the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons to publish Plastic Surgery and Plastic Surgery Case Studies. The journals serve as major outlets for Canadian research, society guidelines, and continuing medical education.

This internationally recognised Plastic Surgery journal addresses all aspects of plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. It publishes original reports of clinical and basic research, editorials, review articles, and letters to the editors. The journal also publishes research on health systems, ethics, medical history, political and financial issues affecting practice, and more.

The open access journal Plastic Surgery Case Studies contains numerous case reports involving various procedures within the field.

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Plastic Surgery

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UK The IET launches new OA journal - Engineering Biology - 16 Mar 2017

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has launched a new fully open access engineering journal, Engineering Biology. The new online-only journal is focused on the application of engineering science and practice to the design of biological devices and systems for a wide range of fields and applications including biosensors, medical and plant biology. Covering the key aspects of systematic design using the engineering principles of modularity, standardisation and characterisation, Engineering Biology will include themes of model based design and computational tools; gene circuit automation tools; genome engineering; DNA assembly techniques; and the interface between electronics and biology.

Engineering Biology, which will publish its first issue in May 2017, will become the latest addition to the IET Open portfolio of gold, fully open access journals. The online-only journal joins High Voltage and IET Cyber-Physical Systems: Theory & Applications, which launched in 2016 as well as the IET mega journal, The Journal of Engineering (JOE) and Healthcare Technology Letters, which recently became a fully open access journal.

Engineering Biology will be available on the IET's Digital Library and IEEE XPlore with four issues per year. The Editors are inviting submissions from prospective authors for forthcoming issues.

Prof. Richard Kitney of Imperial College London, UK, and Dr Chueh Loo Poh of National University of Singapore, Singapore, will serve as the Editors-in-Chief of the journal.

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Public Access

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German ScienceOpen announces new partnership with Karger - 16 Mar 2017

Research network ScienceOpen has announced a partnership with Karger, a biomedical publisher of international speciality journals and books covering basic and clinical research. Two of their thematic articles packages, one on Stroke and another one on Diabetes are now indexed on the ScienceOpen platform.

Karger Topical Article Packages aim to support researchers in keeping up with the vast and rapidly growing research literature, and provide the quality assurance of rigorous peer review and editorial selection. Last year alone PubMed tracked 38,000 articles on diabetes and over 18,000 on stroke. With these numbers, editorial selection is a great help for researchers.

A unique feature of these collections is that their scope is not restricted to just one journal. Instead, they provide topical selections from across the entire range of the Karger publishing program. Articles are selected on the basis of a keyword-related semantic search on the abstract level. Such a relevance-based organising principle results in a quick and convenient overview of the latest methodological and technological developments from one of the leading biomedical publishers.

From here, one can apply all the usual enhanced search and discovery filtering options, including sorting content by date, citations, Altmetric score, and readership, as well as discovering related content from across a network of 28 million research articles. This enables researchers to stay in touch with the latest and most relevant research published in their field.

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Partnership programs / consortiums

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Netherland Registrations for 9th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing now open - 16 Mar 2017

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) has announced that registrations and accommodations for the 9th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP) are now open. This year, the annual conference will take place in Lisbon, Portugal at the Altis Grand Hotel on September 20-21, 2017. A pre-conference reception for delegates will be held on the evening of September 19.

Now in its 9th year, COASP is a vital conference for the open access publishing community to gather to develop and advance discussions, relationships, policy and research around open access publishing. As in previous years, delegates from a wide range of backgrounds will be brought together for an exciting range of panels, events, and networking opportunities.

Speakers so far confirmed include Jean-Claude Burgelman (European Commission), Jessica Polka (ASAPbio), Louise Page (PLOS), Robert Kiley (Wellcome Trust), Vanessa Proudman (SPARC Europe), and Mikael Laakso (Hanken School of Economics).

Panel topics this year are: The market for APCs; Open infrastructure in scholarly communications; Research evaluation and assessment; Open peer review in both journal publishing and in open access books and monographs publishing. The preliminary program for the conference will be announced soon.

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Conference proceedings/Debates/Workshops/Seminars

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UK Altmetric releases new version of the Explorer for Publishers platform - 16 Mar 2017

Data science company Altmetric has announced the release of a new version of the Explorer for Publishers platform. Designed to make it easier than ever for publishers to explore and report on the online engagement and academic impact for their own articles, books, datasets and other publications, the platform also offers insights into the competitive landscape.

The newly designed interface contains collated attention data and citations from Scopus and Web of Science for over eight million research outputs. Users have access to extensive search capabilities, colourful visualisations and a variety of export options to enable further analysis to glean competitive insights, helping to drive better informed strategic decision making.

The new Explorer for Publishers is now available.

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Software solutions

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