sábado, 2 de janeiro de 2016

Figshare received (and deleted) postprints of 'predatory' journals about a 'mystical effect' (updated)

Recently, I've posted about the self-archiving of academic conference posters in Figshare. I've pointed out many advantages of Figshare comparing to similar services that allow the archiving of preprints, conference posters, datasets and other types of academic production. I myself have published posters and postprints in Figshare, and maintain my opinion about this service's versatility and utility. For me, it is still superior in many aspects to other alternative academic publishing venues. However... Well, there seems always to be some catch! Look to what I saw today when I opened Figshare's site:

The blue pointers are showing my recently uploaded postprints. They were published in small, local academic journals, and do not even have a doi number. I have deposited them in Figshare as self-archiving to ensure a wider visibility to them. I retain the author rights of all the papers, so it is strictly legal. But let's see what the red pointers are depicting. They are all papers published in journals of the infamous Omics Group, classified by the librarian Jeffrey Beall as a "predatory publisher". And they are dozens of postprints!!! Even more weird, they are all papers about this "mystical phenomenon" called the "Trivedi effect®". In the words of Mahendra Trivedi, the owner of the trademark, discoverer and "Trivedi Master":

'The Trivedi Effect® is a natural phenomenon that exists within our universe. It is a Divine, intelligent energy that is harnessed by Mahendra Trivedi (or a Trivedi Master) and has the ability to transform all living organisms and nonliving materials at the atomic level so as to surpass the ordinary and function at their most potent and unlimited potential for greatness.'

Well, uh, this is not the usual academic, scientific report of facts. So, I care not about Omics Group being 'predatory' or if the "Trivedi effect®" works this way or that. In my view, Omics journals are of low quality, regardless of being anything else, and these papers seem to be commercial advertising disguised as "academic". I am not very pleased to see my own publications posted alongside this kind of material. I thought Figshare would have an editorial check to ensure the overall quality of their repository. This is the kind of occurrence that makes serious researchers unease to use some online service.

In my previous evaluation, I was too tough with F1000research, and I am aware that it has indeed problems with content and editorial checking, but I bet this kind of stuff would never be accepted by F1000research, let alone be publicized in its main page! An advice to researchers: choose wisely the online channel for your academic material. Some "neighbors" are quite bothersome.

Update (01/17/2016): to my happiness, all troublesome uploads about the "Trivedi Effect" were most likely withdrawn from figshare. A quick search in its repository for these terms has got no results. Thank you, figshare team!

Clique aqui!

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