Publishing is one of the most ballyhooed metrics of scientific careers, and every researcher hates to have a gap in that part of his or her CV. Here’s some consolation: A new study finds that very few scientists—fewer than 1%—manage to publish a paper every year. But these 150,608 scientists dominate the research journals, having their names on 41% of all papers. Among the most highly cited work, this elite group can be found among the co-authors of 87% of papers.

The 1% of scientific publishing | Science/AAAS | News

The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published. You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. Now there’s a “peer review ring.”

Scholarly journal retracts 60 articles, smashes ‘peer review ring’ - The Washington Post

The AAU/ARL task force describes its plan as a “prospectus for an institutionally funded first-book subvention” that would shift the burden of payment to authors’ home institutions. That would “address the principal causes and effects of the market failure for monographs,” the prospectus says. It envisions that colleges and universities would agree to pay for an openly available “basic digital edition” of some faculty members’ first books; scholarly publishers could offer those titles for sale in other formats too. The plan also envisions that universities with a high level of research activity would offer subventions for three or four books a year, with an “annual subvention exposure” of roughly $68,000 to $73,000. Small colleges would pay for one or two books a year, and offer more modest subventions.

Who Ought to Underwrite Publishing Scholars’ Books? – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The bottom line, it seems to me, is that for the first time in hundreds of years we have options for how we disseminate scholarship. Instead of calling for more money to prop up a traditional model that was never particularly viable in the first place, we need to embrace a variety of alternatives.

Can Libraries Help Stop this Madness? | Peer to Peer Review

They sounded less worried about whether publishing an open-access book would hurt their careers. Social media have already opened things up, Mr. Schaberg pointed out. “Twitter has had a leveling effect on the economy of prestige and reputation,” he said.

In the Digital Era, Print Still Gets Plenty of Love From Scholars – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Suspecting that some reviewers weren’t doing a thorough job on some conference papers, they put together a random gibberish paper generator for anyone who wanted to test whether reviewers were paying attention. Unfortunately, that software has since been used to get 120 pieces of gibberish published.

Publishing stings find predatory journals, shoddy peer review | Ars Technica

The cost of providing everyone in this country with access to just one major academic publisher’s portfolio would be equal to the size of Russia’s defense budget. Add in Springer, Wiley, and others and maybe we start getting close to half trillion. Knowledge ain’t cheap! But when the cost of journal subscriptions is more than we pay for bombs, tanks, missiles, guns, fighter jets, ships, and so forth… that’s when you that something’s not right.

WHAT IF OBAMA PAID FOR YOUR ELSEVIER SUBSCRIPTION? The Cost of Universal Knowledge Access - The Ubiquitous Librarian - The Chronicle of Higher Education

In the proposed book, Karen L. Dawisha, a professor of political science and a Russia expert, writes about President Vladimir V. Putin’s alleged links to organized crime. Last month she received a letter from John Haslam, the press’s executive publisher for political science and sociology, stating that the press would not proceed with the book. “The decision has nothing to do with the quality of your research or your scholarly credibility,” he wrote. “It is simply a question of risk tolerance in light of our limited resources.”

Citing Libel Fears, Cambridge U. Press Won’t Proceed With Book on Putin – The Ticker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

A study at Indiana University found that “as many as 50% of papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, referees and journal editors.” That same study concluded that “some 90% of papers that have been published in academic journals are never cited.” That is, nine out of 10 academic papers—which both often take years to research, compile, submit, and get published, and are a major component by which a scholar’s output is measured—contribute little to the academic conversation.

Killing Pigs and Weed Maps: The Mostly Unread World of Academic Papers - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

Shareholder activism on ethical grounds is no new thing, and quite effective in certain areas. The $828.9 billion Government Pension Fund – Global of Norway, for instance, the world’s largest pension fund, excludes certain companies from investment on ethical grounds, and publishes a widely followed blacklist of corporations that it condemns, on grounds ranging from environmental damage to violation of the Geneva Convention. Would it be too difficult to envisage an investor as well as an academic boycott of companies that, for example, oppose open access to scientific research? Think about it.

Reed Elsevier realizes restricting research raises revenues TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics