Monday, December 28, 2015

ACS Omega

The American Chemical Society (ACS) introduces a new open access journal, ACS Omega. ACS has another purely open access journal called Central Science but they are very selective and will publish only 200 papers a year, unlike PLOS One that publishes ~200 papers in 2 days.

In the press release, it is stated, "ACS Omega will publish articles on the basis of rigorous technical review rather than subjective editorial or reviewer opinions of the work’s significance or impact. .....are introducing an agile and seamless manuscript transfer system that will enable authors submitting to one ACS journal to be easily referred for review and publication in another suitable ACS journal, should their paper not be accepted by their first-choice forum. "

Thus, if your manuscript is rejected by any of the other 50 journals of ACS due to poor novelty or impact, you will be asked to transfer it to ACS Omega. You can pay and publish (assuming, of course, that your manuscript is scientifically sound). Read about the discussion here.

This is similar to other journals (megajournals) such as Scientific Reports by the Nature publishing group, AIP Advances, IEEE Access, Springerplus, Heliyon of Elsevier and the forerunner to all of them, PLOS One.

I am sure that many authors from India will pay from the CPDA grants for these open-access journals. After all, they are published by Nature and ACS. 

This is not to be confused with RSC advances, which requires significant advance and impact. RSC advances started as a transfer journal for RSC but immediately rose up the ranks. In 2015, it received more than 50000 submissions and accepted around 25000 papers and published 100000 pages. The reason for the large number of submissions to RSC advances is because it is NOT open access.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. It seems many academics in India (maybe outside as well) do not even know the difference between Science versus Science Advances OR between Nature, Nature nanotechnology, materials versus Nature Communications or Scientific reports.

Anonymous said...

Forget knowing the difference between nature materials versus nature communications. In fact, a senior professor in IISc avers that since communications journals have a higher impact factor than regular journals, nature communications is bound to have a higher impact factor than Nature !!

There is a difference between nature materials and nature also. The former may have higher impact factor than nature but the key in world rankings is that papers published only in Nature. Science and Cell are counted,

Vijay Sethuraman said...

I hope people realize that impact factor is only an average measure of citations. For those of you who have access to Web of Science, try the following experiment:

Search for 'Science' under 'Publication Name' and restrict the search to two years (say, 2013 and 2014) and filter out any record that is not an article. This search will give you the total number of research articles published in Science in 2013 and 2014. Now, sort the list by "number cited -- lowest to highest". Take a look at the number of papers that have zero citations (that's right, not even self-cited)! You would be amazed to learn that there are many papers published in these "high impact" journals that do not influence anything (at least in the immediate future). One could always argue that the value of such papers may be felt much later but then it is irrelevant here because impact factor is a weighted average on a 2-year citation count. Essentially, few papers with thousands of citations carry the impact factor forward making it a very skewed distribution. This is like an extreme version of Pareto principle in operation, if you will.

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with a librarian who sent me the following blog-post that has a good analysis of what I just said above:

The scenario is not very unlike the following: If Bill Gates walks into a bar, on average, everybody in the bar is a millionaire. Ranking world universities using an average measure such as impact factor of a few select journals is not a very good idea.

Giri@iisc said...

Dear Vijay,

I am not a fan of impact factor and, in fact, I am clear that impact factors should not be used to judge the quality of the article or even worse the researcher. Some people even denounce the number of citations that are nowadays field-adjusted. Therefore, if some feel that a researcher with 10 citations is better than someone with 10,000 citations, so be it, though this is something I do not agree with.

However, my grouse is the data is you present. Have you done the above search? It is well known that a 5 year span is better than 2 years and now you have 5 year impact factors. Then please do it for 2010 and 2011 and then restrict it to "Research articles" How many of the 1600 articles are not even cited once? Yes, you guessed it..ZERO. The minimum each article has been cited is 5.

The reason your link shows many articles are uncited because there are 1500 news items, 1000 editorial comments, 300 corrections and they will remain uncited. They are not research articles.

Anyway, my point here is not defend impact factor or quality or any such thing. Just do not believe in data thrown at you by librarians who want to project a viewpoint. Do the calculations and analysis yourself and come to your conclusions.

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Anonymous said...

About 90% of paper published in RSC advances are from India and china. There are more than a dozen of associate editors of RSC adv from India. Similar is the case with other "advances".
Regarding nature communication: One of our colleague from IISER Trivandrum published a paper in nat. commun (kudos to him). Our director announced everywhere that we have published a communication in Nature. later it was understood that the director did not know nature communication is a journal from NPG but not letter in nature.

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