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Open-access megajournals lose momentum

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Science  13 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6458, pp. 1067
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6458.1067

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Summary

Megajournals such as PLOS ONE and Scientific Reports—which publish large volumes of open-access articles offering technically sound science without consideration of novelty—experienced early, rapid growth, but, more recently, sharp declines in the number of papers published. Other concerns include slower publication and softening citation measures. The two biggest, oldest brands blame rising competition from other open-access (immediately free to read) journals and other factors, and say they are making adjustments that are helping them rebound. Newer, smaller journals using this publishing model have made gains. Some analysts say megajournals still occupy a unique and important niche in scientific publishing by allowing authors to publish valuable findings, such as replication studies and negative results, that might otherwise face rejection by traditional selective journals.

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