IGI Global, a publisher of books and subscription journals, is experimenting with open-access. The experiment is not going very well.
IGI Global’s open-access effort is located here. The service describes itself this way:
IGI Global Open Access is quick, easy, free, and offers the valuable opportunity for researchers to share their work in an open forum.
The service has this restriction:
No more than five papers may be in review at any given time. Once a paper has been officially posted, it is no longer considered to be under review.
This restriction may be unnecessary, as I can only find two papers in the entire database. However, the website claims, “Immediate access to more than 2,500 free research papers” Where are they? I only see two. The website also says this:
Each paper must receive at least two reviews before an author can request permission from the Administrator for the paper to be posted.
This seems to be patterned after the F1000Research model of post-publication peer review. And what if the reviews are negative? There’s a lot this website doesn’t say — It leaves many questions unanswered.
Both of the papers I saw there appeared to be Word documents that were saved as PDFs. One says it’s an abridged version of the author’s dissertation.
Anyone can apply to be a reviewer. The application is via a simple web form that only asks a few simple questions.
The reviewer application webpage says,
Thank you for your interest in becoming an ad hoc reviewer. As an ad hoc reviewer, you have the valuable opportunity to review some of the most advanced scholarly research papers in the field. The overall success of a refereed journal is dependent on quality and timely reviews. As such, ad hoc reviewers are appointed to serve for one year. Upon completion of this term, ad hoc reviewers will have the potential to be promoted to a full editorial review board member based on exceptional performance. This promotion will be determined on the timeliness and quality of the reviews received.
It appears that the publisher has used copy from its subscription journals’ reviewer application for its open access journal. The language is hyperbolic (“some of the most advanced scholarly research papers in the field”), and the open-access section is certainly not a journal. There’s no ISSN, no DOIs, and no volumes or issues.
I conclude that this is just an experiment that IGI Global is carrying out, or perhaps it’s an effort to deflect possible criticism from open-access advocates by being able to say that they have an open-access option.
Open Science picture by G.emmerich.