Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, January 25, 2008

Discovering and deterring duplicate publications

A study in the January 24 issue of Nature turned up 200,000+ duplicate articles in journals indexed by Medline.

Charles Bailey draws an OA connection:

Open access advocates have pointed out that one advantage of OA is that it allows the unrestricted analysis and manipulation of the full text of freely available works. Open access makes it possible for all interested parties, including scholars and others who might not have access to closed duplicate verification databases, to conduct whatever analysis as they wish and to make the results public without having to consider potential business impacts.

Comment.  Here's another OA connection.  As the OA percentage of the literature continues to grow, journals wishing to avoid publishing a duplicate or plagiarized article will find it easier to discover potential problems in advance of publication.  Likewise, journals that don't care, or with the opposite desire, will find it harder to publish duplicates undetected.  OA advocates have long argued that OA will reduce duplication of effort, allowing researchers to focus on new questions.  For example, see how this point has been made by Jean Collins, B. Gitanjali, Leslie Pack Kaelbling, Edward Mills, Vinita Salvi, Sukhdev Singh, a pseudonymous blogger, the Applied Economics Research Bulletin, the European Commission, the Medical Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust.  For the same reason, OA will reduce duplication of publication, at least for journals which make it a goal.  This is a variation on the theme that OA deters plagiarism or, as Louis Brandeis put it, that sunlight is the best disinfectant.