I made my first New Year’s resolution on December 31, 2013: to only undertake reviews for open access and learned society journals. This I have stuck to well, as I noted a year later for the simple reasons that it makes sense and it frees up my time.
Today I had a request to review a manuscript for Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports, and I realised that I need to clarify my position.
I am on strike.
That is, I withdraw my labour for reviewing requests from:
(i) Commercial closed access journals.
(ii) The large commercial publishing houses regardless of whether the journal is open or closed access.
(iii) Vanity publishers (for some reason called “predatory”, but the old term ‘vanity’ is a much better descriptor).
In addition, on receipt of a request to review, I may request the data sharing/open data policy of the journal. For the time being this will be a carrot, but in due course I am likely to refuse to review if the journal does not have a clear open data policy, regardless of open access/learned society status.
At some point in the future I will request the journal policy on how reader concerns are dealt with. There are far too many valid queries relating to data on Pubpeer that a good many journals are not dealing with in a transparent manner.