Parasitic Relations in Academic Publishing / Parazitické vztahy v akademickém publikování

Parasitic Relations in Academic Publishing / Parazitické vztahy v akademickém publikování

Thu Jun 02 18:00:00 CEST 2016

Under the honorary patronage of the rector of Charles University and the president of the Czech Academy of Sciences

June 2, 2016

Czech Academy of Sciences, Národní 3, Prague 1 (room 206)


The global ecosystem of academic publishing is presently undergoing a dramatic transformation. Increasing number of scientists question its established political and epistemic economy in which major corporate players act as mediators selling (back) results of publicly funded research to publicly funded academic institutions. While the turn to open access publishing represents a number of progressive and creative responses to the established model, it also generates pathologies, such as predatory publications that threaten to further undermine trust both in, and within science. Following lectures of the research librarian Jeffrey Beall (University of Colorado) and the sociologist of science Katja Mayer (University of Vienna) this conference will open space for discussing Czech specificities of the global quest for meaningful and responsible academic publishing.

Globální ekosystém akademického publikování se v současnosti významně proměňuje. Vzrůstající počet výzkumníků se staví kriticky k jeho etablovanému politickému a epistemickému režimu, ve kterém korporátní aktéři operují jako zprostředkovatelé prodávající výsledky veřejně financovaného výzkumu zpět veřejně financovaným akademickým institucím. Otevřený přístup (open access) přináší řadu progresivních a tvůrčích alternativ k tomuto čím dál méně udržitelnému modelu, ale vytváří také patologie, jako predátorské publikace, které ohrožují důvěru uvnitř vědecké obce, stejně jako důvěru veřejnosti ve vědu. Na základě přednášek knihovníka Jeffrey Bealla (University of Colorado) a socioložky vědy Katji Mayer (University of Vienna) se na konferenci budeme věnovat diskuzi o českých specifikách globálního hledání odpovědí na otázku po smysluplném a zodpovědném akademickém publikování.


preliminary programme:

10.10-10.45 press conference (with organizers and speakers)

10.45 – 11.45 brunch

11.45 start of registration


12.15-14.30 bloc I

welcome address: P. Baran or E. Zažímalová (Vice-President, The Czech Academy of Sciences), J. Konvalinka (Vice-Rector for Research, Charles University) 5 min

L. Broz (The Czech Academy of Sciences) Predatory, Symbiotic and Parasitic Relations in Publishing Ecosystems 10 min

J. Beall (University of Colorado) Predatory Publishers are Corrupting Scholarly Communication 45+15 min

Short break 10 min

K. Mayer (University of Vienna) Research Parasites, Freeriders, Predatory Publishers, Gatekeepers, Full Service Providers – lessons from academic publishing in turmoil 45+15 min

14.30-15.00 coffee break 30 min


15.00-17.00 bloc II

M. Komm (Forum Věda žije!, Czech Academy of Sciences) Antipredator (video 5 min)

J. Švelch, T. Krobová and H. Švelch (Charles University) Unbearable Lightness of Academic Publishing: a case study of a predatory journal 10+5 min

T. Stöckelová (The Czech Academy of Sciences) Towards an Ethics of Whistleblowing in Academia 10+5 min

J. Feberová and L. Korhoňová(Charles University) The Way Out? 10+5 min

Panel and plenary discussion



Abstracts of keynote lectures:

J. Beall: Predatory Publishers are Corrupting Scholarly Communication

Predatory journals and publishers are those that exploit the gold (author-pays) model of open-access publishing. While the goals of scholarly open-access publishing are positive and noble, many fake and exploitative publishers have appeared that aim only to make easy profit, destroying the successful implementation of open access. These publishers pretend to operate as legitimate publishers, but they fail to offer the services legitimate publishers offer, such as managing a rigorous peer review. Accordingly, they exploit scholarly authors and pollute science with the almost-immediate publishing of low-quality and unverified research. This presentation will provide an overview of predatory publishers and journals and will help researchers learn how to avoid becoming the victims of these publishers.

K. Mayer: Parasites, freeriders, predatory publishers, gatekeepers: Lessons from academic publishing in turmoil

In my talk I will engage with ongoing debates on the hegemonic structures of academic publishing in the broader context of scientific knowledge production, evaluation, and scholarly communication. The evaluation and measuring of scientific quality and productivity is a key element in this regard. I will first introduce relevant historical fragments of computer assisted scientometric analysis, such as the development of citation indices and Journal Impact Factor. Then I will argue that in recent years, the scene has changed substantially: from once being developed as descriptive methods, we nowadays deal with a multitude of theoretical and empirical approaches designed for normative intervention. The performativity of impact measuring is an apt example of how intervention strategies might conform to a regime's inner logic to the point of subverting it.

Science policy and administration increasingly seek to evaluate research productivity and the effects of academic science on innovation and economic competitiveness. Individual researchers are required to constantly consider their position within certain information markets and meritocracies. The omnipresent pressure to publish or perish leads to strategies of optimization in which new evaluation criteria and alternative metrics are used to game the system. At the same time new business models and markets – like the gold route to open access - are fostering traditional systems of communication and reward. The current public attention to large scale implementations of Open Science creates an opportunity to change our habitual ways of scholarly communication and evaluation. My presentation will feature selected campaigns and recommendations for institutional and national transitions to open scholarship. I will conclude that by learning from the lessons in academic publishing we can create conditions where engaged research can flourish while developing capacity and skills for openness in knowledge production.