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What is this about?

Publication, in a broad sense, can be defined as the act of making information or stories available to people in a printed or electronic form. Scientific ideas have been communicated in printed form throughout history. Scientific publication in the traditional sense can be traced back to 1665, when the first academic journal was published[1]. Nowadays, the printed form has been extended with electronic forms of communication, and videos are becoming increasingly popular as well[1].

Previously, many scientific articles were only available with paid subscriptions. Recently, the possibilities of digital publication led to the rise of Open Acces publication. This increased the availability of scientific outcomes to those who did not have these subscriptions and also made the results publicly available[2]. Nowadays, one of the hallmarks of 'good publication' is considered to be peer reviewed publication.

Academic publishing is an entire process on its own and what composes 'good publication' is not straightforward. Traditionally, the popularity of a journal and its impact factor also play a role in the consideration of scientific work. However, it has been shown that articles which have been rejected by popular journals with a high impact factor generally have more citations when eventually published elsewhere[3].

  1. 1.0 1.1 Peters, M. A., Jandrić, P., Irwin, R., Locke, K., Devine, N., Heraud, R., ... & Jackson, L. (2016). Towards a philosophy of academic publishing. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 48(14), 1401-1425.
  2. Fyfe, A., Coate, K., Curry, S., Lawson, S., Moxham, N., & Røstvik, C. M. (2017). Untangling academic publishing: A history of the relationship between commercial interests, academic prestige and the circulation of research.
  3. Siler, K., Lee, K., & Bero, L. (2015). Measuring the effectiveness of scientific gatekeeping. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(2), 360-365.

Why is this important?

Although it is nearly impossible to define 'good academic publishing', scientific gatekeeping must always be pursued[1].

  1. Peters, M. A., Jandrić, P., Irwin, R., Locke, K., Devine, N., Heraud, R., ... & Jackson, L. (2016). Towards a philosophy of academic publishing. ''Educational Philosophy and Theory'', ''48''(14), 1401-1425.

For whom is this important?

What are the best practices?

  • Nowadays, ‘good publication’ is considered to be peer reviewed publication. Since 1830 peer review became systematic and operational and is considered essential for academic publishing in present times.
  • Journal editors are responsible for the publication process. Their standards are defined in guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) which were founded in 1997.