Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing

Claire Redhead, Dec 19, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

A number of organizations have come together to draft these principles (The Committee on Publication Ethics, the Directory of Open Access Journals, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, and the World Association of Medical Editors) and while I'm not sure I would consider them definitive, they would definitely carry some weight, within a certain context. The principles include a requirement for peer review, governing body, editorial team, clear policies about fees and access, accurate statement of ownership, and openness about business models, conflict of interest, and avertising policies. I'm goods that they don't define what peer review should look like (this allowing, for example, post-publication peer review) but less sanguine about process elements requiring a committee and reviewers from outside the editorial board - it effectively makes a small (or one-person) operation questionable, and I'm not sure that should follow automatically. Still, good overall principles. Note that it's a work in progress and they're still looking for feedback.

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