New article published at Prometheus, Critical Studies in Innovation: Academic self-publishing: a not-so-distant future

After a long delay, our debate article “Academic self-publishing: a not-so-distant future” finally appeared at Prometheus, a journal publishing critical studies in innovation. The journal issue hosting our article was originally expected in September 2013, but a series of unfortunate events resulted in an eight-month standoff between the journal’s editorial team and its publisher Taylor & Francis. In short, the debate proposition paper, authored by four academics from the University of Leicester’s School of Management, harshly criticized the large profits made by major publishing firms on the back of academics’ labors and the failure of the Finch report on open access to address this problem.

Our article on University Rankings published in the Journal of Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics

Global university rankings are a powerful force shaping higher education policy worldwide. Several different ranking systems exist, but they all suffer from the same mathematical shortcoming – their ranking index is constructed from a list of arbitrary indicators combined using subjective weightings. Yet, different ranking systems consistently point to a cohort of mostly US and UK privately-funded universities as being the ‘best’. Moreover, the status of these nations as leaders in global higher education is reinforced each year with the exclusion of world-class universities from other countries from the top 200.

Beyond open access: facing academia’s real problems

On Thursday 5th of December, I gave a talk on how to move beyond open access and face academia’s real problems, at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. The talk focused on how the journal monopoly over three of the most basic processes in scholarly communication —validation, evaluation and dissemination— is creating problems even more important than the lack of accessibility to research output. The LIBRE platform was presented as an alternative, free, journal-independent, community-based model of research validation and evaluation where the author is at the center of an open and transparent peer review process.