Sat 28 Jul 2018 12:37PM

How to influence journals towards OA when no leverage

D David Public Seen by 252

I uploaded a preprint (2nd in EarthArXiv, if I remember correctly), which I also submitted to EPSL. Manuscript was rejected after 10 months and 2 rounds of reviews. Based on the review, I’ve split the paper in two, one for EPSL (covering what reviewers asked), one for GEOLOGY (GSA) (covering what I wanted). Even though my original preprint was clearly different from the GEOLOGY submission, the core subject matter was related. I was advised by Patience Cowie, a former science editor aware of the preprint, to make sure it was not available anywhere. Cowie mentioned that a quick screening of any potential reviewer could lead to pose questions on the originality of the work, and that this is a no-no for GEOLOGY.

I truly believe that this makes no sense, but at this point in my career (trying to get out of a lengthy post postdoctorate unemployment), I think it’s not wise to risk a rejection on these grounds. So, I retrieved the preprint. I share while envying @christopherjackson1 stand on this, and the remaining question for me is the following:

What can we, ECR / not (yet) recognised researchers, do to change this attitude towards preprints?


Christopher Jackson Sat 28 Jul 2018 6:03PM

Thanks David, and sorry to hear this. However, this is completely incorrect of Patience, as GEOLOGY just stated they will consider preprints. I tweeted about this the other day. I’d be inclined to take this up with the journal, and I’d be more-than-happy to support you in this, having had several positive exchanges with GSA about this issue last year. I also know Patience very well, so I'd be happy to discuss this with her too.


David Sat 28 Jul 2018 6:18PM

Thanks Chris. I'm happy to hear more about your positive exchanges with GSA. I truly appreciate your support on this. We can discuss this in private. For the thread, though, I imply from your answer that there might be not much to do to push journals forward if one has not leverage... I'd be interested in discussing this with the group, as I think unused "pressuring power" lays in the "bases", i.e. PhDs, ECRs...


Christopher Jackson Sat 28 Jul 2018 7:15PM

OK. Here's the tweet from GSA themselves, in B&W, about their preprint policy (https://twitter.com/geosociety/status/1021419461943877632). So, in short, Patience is poorly informed at best...With your permission, I'll contact GSA about this. At the very least they need to update their SHERPARoMEO entry, which currently still says their preprint policy is "unclear"...