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Beware of predatory "open access" journals! (and other thoughts)

Open Access (OA) is good for science, good for the library, good for authors. The UCB libraries will help pay the author fees if you want to publish your article in an OA journal. However, a world of pseudo-journals, sometimes labeled "predatory journals," awaits your author payment check. These are journals, with nice sounding titles like Global Journal of Medicine and Public Health or American Journal of Social Issues and Humanities, that are often sham titles. Their major purpose is to collect the author fees, and their content lacks quality. Often they list editorial boards consisting of non-existent people or include scholars on an editorial board without their knowledge or permission. Sometimes they use made-up measures (such as "view factor") to feign standing.

The Scholarly Open Access blog maintains a list of individual journal titles that meet their criteria for determining predatory open-access publishers. It is recommended that you not accept an offer to be on their editorial board, nor pay their author fees to publish in one of these titles! In the most concise terms, if you've never heard of the journal, best to avoid it.

Much has been written on this, including articles in The New York Times, Nature, and The Scholarly Kitchen blog.

BUT - it's easy to pick on these predatory journals (fake conferences also exist). It's also relatively easy to avoid them. Perhaps more important to get upset over is "the $10 BILLION DOLLARS of largely public money that subscription publishers take in every year in return for giving the scientific community access to the 90% of papers that are not published in open access journals - papers that scientists gave to the journals for free! This ongoing insanity not only fleeces huge piles of cash from government and university coffers, it denies the vast majority of the planet's population access to the latest discoveries of our scientists." This quote is from a response by Michael Eisen to the predatory journals fiasco. I think the argument boils down to, let's spend our (limited) energy on the more significant problems in scholarly publishing.

Apr 15, 2013 | Categories: Scholarly Communication, Tips and Updates | msholinb

National Public Health Week is now!

April 1-7 is National Public Health Week.


Each year, NPHW focuses its effort on a different theme, and this year's theme is Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money. The 2013 NPHW theme was developed to highlight the value of prevention and the importance of well-supported public health systems in preventing disease, saving lives and curbing health care spending.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) serves as the organizer of NPHW and develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers and practitioners about issues related to each year's theme. APHA creates new NPHW materials each year that can be used during and after NPHW to raise awareness about public health and prevention.

Check out the NPHW Twitter chat!

Take action on important public health issues!

Apr 04, 2013 | Categories: News, Events and Workshops | msholinb

Public Health Library CLOSED Saturday, April 13

Due to construction activities, the Public Health Library will be CLOSED Saturday April 13. We will be open Sunday as usual, 1-5 PM. Apologies for this incvonvenience!

Mar 07, 2013 | Categories: News | msholinb

DataUp Workshop with Carly Strasser on April 11, 11am-12pm


Do you use Microsoft® Excel to record, store, or analyze your data? DataUp is a free, open-source tool that integrates with Excel to help you:

  • follow data management best practices to insure your data are well-formatted and -organized
  • describe your data in a standard format for archiving and discovery
  • assign a permanent identifier so that your data can be cited
  • upload your data to a repository for archiving and sharing

Carly Strasser, Data Curation Project Manager for the UC Curation Center (UC3) of the California Digital Library, has been working on the development of DataUp since the project's inception. She will be presenting a hands-on workshop on DataUp's features, use, and future plans:

Date: Thursday, April 11
Time: 11 am - 12 pm
Place: Bioscience & Natural Resources Library training room (2189 VLSB)

We hope to see you there.

This post originally appeared on the Science & Engineering Libraries News blog.

Feb 26, 2013 | Categories: Events and Workshops | msholinb

U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health

Americans live shorter lives and experience more injuries and illnesses than people in other high-income countries. The U.S. health disadvantage cannot be attributed solely to the adverse health status of racial or ethnic minorities or poor people: even highly advantaged Americans are in worse health than their counterparts in other, "peer" countries.


A recent report from the National Academy Press, U.S. Health in International Perspective presents detailed evidence on the issue, explores the possible explanations for the shorter and less healthy lives of Americans than those of people in comparable countries, and recommends actions by both government and nongovernment agencies and organizations to address the U.S. health disadvantage.

An interactive graph is located at Drawn from the report U.S. Health in International Perspectives: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health, this chart allows you to explore how the United States compares to 16 "peer" countries--other high--income democracies--on specific causes of death such as heart disease, HIV/AIDS, violence, and traffic accidents.

Jan 23, 2013 | Categories: News, New Resources | msholinb

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