Research programme explores predatory publishing
The first outputs from Texas Tech University’s new STEPP (STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices) programme have been published, in the form of two articles: Profiting from the paradigm shift in scholarly journal publishing: The case of predatory publishers, and A qualitative content analysis of watchlists vs safelists: How do they address the issue of predatory publishing?
The two articles form a key part of the programme, which is designed to prepare STEM scholars and other stakeholders to navigate the academic publishing terrain. The project aims to extend the work that previous individuals and organizations have undertaken to offer guidance on predatory publishing, addressing the historical, political, and economic aspects of scholarly publishing that are most crucial for maintaining research integrity in STEM disciplines, now and in the future.
The research component of the STEPP program will deepen understanding of the ethical challenges that arise from predatory publishing, through empirical research that solicits input from key stakeholders in the situation.
The training component of STEPP will cultivate ethical STEM cultures by facilitating ethically informed decision-making and practices for authors, gatekeepers, and professionals in the context of the increasingly complex landscape that constitutes STEM scholarly publishing.
The research team includes Dr. Amy Koerber (PI), Dr. Karin Ardon-Dryer, Dr. Glenn Cummins, Dr. Leo Eko, Dr. Kerk F. Kee, and Ms. Jesse C. Starkey.
The project is now in its second phase, interviewing key stakeholders. Transcripts of interviews and focus group discussions will be archived on the project website.
New resource for books added to Think. Check. Submit.
Further to our announcement in October, the Steering Committee of Think. Check. Submit. is delighted to announce a new addition to its resources: a checklist for authors wishing to verify the reliability and trustworthiness of a book or monograph publisher.
Drawing on existing expertise from within the group and from experiences of our newest partner, OAPEN, the checklist for books offers sound advice along the lines of the recommendations already offered by the journal checklist.
The rest of the Think. Check. Submit. website has also been updated to make it more relevant for both books and journals.
Eelco Ferwerda, Director of OAPEN, said: “It is clear that the same issues confronted by authors looking to publish in journals, also confront authors seeking to publish a book or a chapter. What should an author look for when considering the submission of a manuscript of a book or chapter? It is very common for a journal to have its own homepage whereas, for chapter publishing, more careful scrutiny is needed of the publishing entity producing the books. I am sure that the addition of this new checklist will provide a much needed and welcome resource to authors publishing this way.”
Sofie Wennström, Chair of the LIBER Working Group on Open Access, said: “Librarians are often asked for advice about trustworthy publishing outlets. This extension of the Think. Check. Submit. checklist includes solid recommendations for how to choose a publisher for books. It is a welcome addition to the resources a librarian can use when giving advice as it is evident that the book publishing market may offer as many, if not more, pitfalls as journal publishing. We are happy that Think. Check. Submit. offers an opportunity to avoid some of those obstacles.
9 April 2020
Think. Check. Submit. looks forward to collaboration on new research programme
A new research programme at Texas Tech University in the US, funded by the US National Science Foundation, aims to “[prepare] STEM scholars and other key stakeholders to navigate a scholarly publishing terrain that presents more options than ever before, but also greater ethical pitfalls”.
The STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices (STEPP) programme, led by Amy Koerber, Professor in Communication Studies at the university, will research the challenges of dubious publishing practices and develop training materials to help researchers in making informed publishing choices. The programme is expected to run for three years from January 2020.
As part of the STEPP programme, Think. Check. Submit. will be involved in piloting the training modules and making them available to a diverse global audience. The AuthorAID project, from Think. Check. Submit. committee member INASP is also inputting into this work.
The international Think. Check. Submit. survey in late 2018 revealed a strong demand from both researchers and librarians for guidance about where to publish and the need for further educational resources and wider reach for the initiative. We welcome the opportunity to input into the new STEPP programme and the resulting training materials to ensure that they contribute effectively to addressing the many challenges faced by researchers globally in navigating the process of publishing their research.
17 October 2019
OAPEN joins Think. Check. Submit.
OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) has joined the group of organisations endorsing the Think. Check. Submit. (TCS) initiative. This is an obvious yet important strategic development for TCS as there is as much need for the TCS tools and resources in the world of books, as in the world of journals. The addition of OAPEN to the core team allows TCS to broaden its remit and draw directly on the experience of OAPEN Director, Eelco Ferwerda.
Eelco said: “We’re delighted to join this important initiative to help authors select a reliable publishing venue. Quality assurance is an important part of our work, and by joining
Think. Check. Submit. we can focus on the specific challenges facing authors of monographs.“
Think. Check. Submit. carried out a large survey of its users at the end of 2018 and the resounding opinion was that TCS needed to develop its tools and resources further to accommodate the fast-changing world of scholarly publishing.
Sofie Wennström, representing the founding organisation LIBER & based at Stockholm University Library, said of the addition of OAPEN: “This is a great addition to the team, allowing us to develop Think. Check. Submit. to include good author advice about academic output formats beyond journal articles. Librarians working with scholarly communication support often get feedback from researchers in various disciplines that they want the long-format academic work to count. Providing a tool for sharing knowledge about book publishing was also suggested by users in a recent survey by Think. Check. Submit.”
The OAPEN Foundation was established in 2011 to support the transition to OA books. The OAPEN Library hosts one of the largest collections of freely accessible academic books. OAPEN works with publishers and funders to build a quality-controlled collection of OA books, and provides services for publishers, libraries, and research funders in the areas of deposit, quality assurance, metadata enhancement, dissemination, and digital preservation.
3rd October 2019
Truth and Lies in Academic Publishing
“‘Fake news’ is threatening public discourse and, by extension, undermining trust in academic research. But the current atmosphere of suspicion highlights the need for critical thinking and research evaluation skills. Siân Harris, of INASP and Think. Check. Submit., shares some of the things she spoke about at a recent panel discussion on ‘academic publishing in the era of fake news’ at the London Book Fair in March.”
Think. Check. Submit. committee member Sian Harris has written about the need for the initiative in an age of ‘fake news’ over at knowledge & information management, the e-journal of CILIP’s Knowledge & Information Management Group now.
Why Think. Check. Submit? Watch our new video!
Watch members of the Think. Check. Submit. committee discuss why the initiative is needed and how it can help.
New committee page
To find out more about the committee that runs Think. Check. Submit., visit our Committee Page.
Survey reveals need for good guidance about trustworthy places to publish research
19 December 2018 – A survey carried out by the Think. Check. Submit. initiative has revealed a strong demand from both researchers and librarians for guidance about where to publish and an appreciation of the services that the initiative offers. However, it also revealed a need for further educational resources and wider reach for the initiative.
Launched in 2015, Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications. Central to the initiative is a checklist based on best practices in scholarly communication. The widely used checklist is available in nearly 40 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese.
The survey was carried out by Think. Check. Submit. in September 2018 as a benchmark to guide future work and was completed by 410 respondents from all parts of the world. In-depth analysis of the findings is still ongoing but preliminary analysis points to some clear trends:
• Think. Check. Submit. is welcomed and seen to be fulfilling an important role. 14% said it was “essential” and 42% said it was “very useful”, while less than 7% of respondents said the initiative was “not very useful” or “not useful at all”. More than 75% would definitely recommend Think. Check. Submit. to a colleague.
• The decision on where to publish is complex and dubious publications can take advantage of that. The top reason given by respondents for selecting a journal to publish in was relevance to their field, followed by inclusion in indexes/impact factor; belief that the journal was trustworthy came third and was the top choice for just over 20% of respondents.
• There is still work to be done in building awareness of how Think. Check. Submit. can help researchers address this challenge; 34% of respondents had not heard of the initiative before completing the survey.
• The responses to the survey revealed a sense of community ownership about the initiative, in particular the willingness of many survey respondents to provide more detailed insight and help with development of the initiative, for example by providing translations.
Building on the survey findings, in conjunction with the wider Think. Check. Submit. community, in 2019 the committee will focus on extending the reach of the initiative and further developing educational resources to assist researchers and librarians worldwide.
Take part in the Think. Check. Submit. 2018 Survey
Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications.
The team behind Think. Check. Submit. wants to ensure that the initiative is as useful as possible to researchers, librarians and others around the world so we invite you to complete this short survey about your experiences with Think Check Submit and what would make the initiative more useful to you.
This survey will be open until 28th September 2018 and should take about 10 minutes to complete. Please share with any colleagues who you think might be interested.
Complete the survey here.
Think. Check. Attend – a new initiative announced today by Knowledge E.
17th May 2018, Oxford and Dubai
Think. Check. Attend, a new initiative, is announced today by Knowledge E, a Dubai based information and service provider to the academic community. Based on Think Check Submit—launched by a coalition of several organisations across the scholarly communications community in response to mutual challenges for publishers, service providers and universities alike—the new initiative follows the same structure and pattern and provides a set of easy, practical steps for academics all over the world who want to check the suitability of a conference before submitting an abstract or agreeing to attend.
While each initiative was developed independently, the two have mutually endorsed each other and both campaigns encourage scholars to use the services as a complement to disseminating academic research via journal publishing and research conference activities.
Researchers who want to determine the credentials of a conference are guided through a process whereby they will ‘Think’ about the risks posed by the increasing number of conferences lacking rigour, ‘Check’ the conference against criteria shared by legitimate academic events and ‘Attend’ only if the conference passes the checks and is deemed trusted.
Philip J. Purnell, Director of Services at Knowledge E welcomed the move saying: “We regularly field questions about the prestige and suitability of conferences and Think. Check. Attend seems a natural progression to the corresponding Think Check Submit for which Knowledge E also provided the Arabic and Persian versions.”
Matt McKay, Director of Communications at the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers said: “Think. Check. Submit. was launched in 2015 to help researchers understand their options, and the key criteria they should check before making an informed decision about where to submit their research. We now warmly welcome the Think. Check. Attend campaign as a sister initiative designed to help researchers recognise the characteristics of trusted conferences and events.”
About Knowledge E
Knowledge E was established in 2012 and has quickly become synonymous with collaboration, innovation and progression. Based in Dubai, UAE, at the centre of a region of vision and ambition, Knowledge E works passionately with all types of organisations and government entities within research and education to support their continued innovation and development by providing them with leading expertise, information resources and software solutions. This does for example include the KnE eLibrary Solution for research literature discovery and the KnE Publishing Platform for open access journal and conference proceedings publishing and indexing, along with associated research and publishing services for capacity building within academia.
Think. Check. Submit. now available in Chinese!
We’re delighted that Think. Check. Submit. is now available in Chinese, thanks to Yanhong Zhai. More languages will be made available in the next few weeks. And don’t forget to get in touch with us, either by email or via Twitter, if you’d like to offer a translation of your own.
Think. Check. Submit. now available in Indonesian!
We’re very pleased to be able to offer Think. Check. Submit. in another language – Indonesian! Many thanks to Dasapta Erwin Irawan of the Applied Geology Research Group, Faculty of Earth Sciences and Technology at Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia, for this translation.
Think. Check. Submit. now available in Arabic and French!
Think. Check. Submit. now available in Czech!
Help your colleagues find the right journal with our new video
Identifying the best journal to submit your research to can be a difficult process. To help you make the choice of where to submit, we’ve produced a new video:
If you think your colleagues would benefit from the video, share a link via email or Twitter with the hashtag #thinkchecksubmit.
Posters now available
To help encourage colleagues within your organization to Think. Check. Submit., three new printable posters are now available for download:
Think. Check. Submit. at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair
Siân Harris (INASP) discussed Think. Check. Submit. at the Copyright Clearance Center’s Frankfurt Book Fair Town Hall meeting on the subject of open access. See the recording here:
New study highlights need for researcher support
Launching today, Think. Check. Submit. is a new industry-wide initiative that provides a checklist of quality indicators that can help researchers identify if a journal is a trustworthy place to submit their research.
The launch of the campaign coincides with the publication of a new longitudinal study in BMC Medicine by Cenyu Shen and Bo-Christer Björk which highlights the increasing number of publications that fail to meet many of the characteristics outlined in the Think. Check. Submit. check list. The study can be read here.
Think. Check. Submit. at PUBMET2015
Lars Bjørnshauge (SPARC Europe & DOAJ) presented the new cross-industry initiative, Think. Check. Submit., at PUBMET2015, Zadar, Croatia September 25th: http://ozk.unizd.hr/pubmet2015/
Think. Check. Submit. at COASP 2015
Lars Bjørnshauge (SPARC, DOAJ) presented the new cross-industry initiative, Think. Check. Submit., at COASP 2015 today. The campaign aims to provide researchers with the tools to assess individual journals to see if they are reputable places to publish their research.
Think. Check. Submit. introduced at ALPSP 2015
Think. Check. Submit., a new campaign that helps researchers evaluate journals prior to submitting their work for publication, was introduced by Tom Molam of Ubiquity Press during a showcase of publishing industry initiatives at the ALPSP conference. You can watch Tom’s presentation on the ALPSP YouTube channel here: