JUFO collects experiences of defects in quality assessment practices of scientific journals

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The JUFO panels will re-evaluate the classification of journals with questionable operating principles at their spring 2024 meetings.

Publication Forum collects the research community’s experiences of defects in the quality assessment practices of scientific journals. The received feedback will be used to support the evaluation work of the JUFO panels. Feedback is collected through the JUFO portal with the Propose level amendment function, with which it is possible to propose a journal with questionable operating principles to be downgraded to level 0. Please justify your proposal by describing the perceived defects in the quality assessment in the justification field.

We hope for feedback on, for example, the following experiences:

  • The journal sends requests to act as an author, reviewer, editorial board member or editor from outside the recipient's field of expertise.
  • The reviewers, authors, or editors have been given too little time, or the publication process has taken an unreasonably long time.
  • The feedback received from the reviewers and/or the editors is of low quality, inappropriate or does not focus on the scientific content.
  • The journal has published articles despite the negative opinion of the editors or reviewers, or without taking into account the revisions required by the reviewers.
  • Several articles have been published in the journal that are scientifically of low quality or against good scientific practice.

In addition to personal experiences with quality assessment, we also hope for feedback on questionable operating principles verified in, for example, scientific articles or blog posts.

Experiences can be submitted within the campaign until March 25, 2024, and they will be discussed at the spring meetings of the panels. However, feedback can also be given after the end of the campaign, in which case it will be discussed in subsequent panel meetings.

An individual researcher can leave feedback also on behalf of a larger community. In this case, the community behind the proposal should be mentioned in the justification field.

When deciding on the level classification of journals, the panels evaluate each journal independently and the publisher of the journal alone does not determine the level.

Feedback is used to help identify gray area journals

Scientific publishing in the so-called gray area journals, i.e. on the borderland of predatory journals and JUFO level 1 journals, is increasing. Behind the phenomenon is the competition of commercial open access publishers for author fees (APC fees). This can drive journals to publish as much as possible with as little time spent on editorial work and quality assessment as possible.

The aim of the Publication Forum is to help researchers find reliable and high-quality publication channels. The challenge for gray area publication channels is that they meet the formal level 1 criteria, so identifying them can be difficult.

The steering group of the Publication Forum decided last year that the research community's experiences of defects in the quality assessment practices of scientific journals will be collected more systematically. The collected feedback will be used to support the work of the JUFO evaluation panels when they try to identify journals with questionable operating principles and, if necessary, make changes to the level classification.

In Norway, level X has been established earlier for the same purpose. Implementation of level X was also discussed in the Publication Forum steering group. However, it was concluded that the collection of feedback can be carried out by using the existing proposal forms in the JUFO portal.

More information: julkaisufoorumi@tsv.fi

Image: Anne Haapanen, TSV

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