Coalition for Responsible Publication Resources

Last modified: October 25, 2017

This website represents a first phase in an industry-wide call-to-action to discuss, develop, ratify, and launch a coalition of stakeholders representing the publishing community (publishers, journals, academic societies, academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, scholarly services companies,  freelancers, and academic authors) under the structure of a US-based non-profit 501(c)(6) corporation called the Coalition for Responsible Publication Resources, yet to be formed.

This initiative was first formally presented by Donald Samulack, PhD (President, U.S. Operations, Cactus Communications and Editage ) during a panel session titled “Predatory Author Services: What Can be Done About it?” that included Hazel Newton (Head of Author Services, Nature Publishing Group), Josh Dahl (Head of Publishing & Associations, Thomson Reuters), and Jeffrey Beall (Scholarly Communications Librarian and Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Denver) at the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE) Annual North American meeting in Baltimore, MD (USA) on Thursday, August 20, 2015.

An outline of the call-to-action for feedback:

Despite the name of the original panel session at ISMTE, this call-to-action is not exclusively about predatory author services, but about how the needs of authors and the rest of the scholarly community can best be served by addressing current and future industry-wide issues related to professional services and resources provided to authors.

While there are many organizations, such as the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), ORCID, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and contributions such as those by Retraction Watch, Jeffrey Beall (Scholarly Open Access blog), and others, which deploy efforts to set norms of scholarly conduct and to identify, curtail, curate, and mitigate suspected breaches of appropriate scholarly conduct, none are specifically tailored to hold providers of author services and other resources in the publishing community accountable to industry-expected norms of conduct.

The intent of the Coalition is to supplement the ongoing efforts of other organizations by providing a means for academic scholars to identify, at “point-of-service”, vendors that are recognized as conducting themselves and providing services in alignment with current publishing guidelines and ethical practices, as certified through an audit process and follow-up periods of validation and verification of adherence to a core set of sustained industry best practices, as identified by the Coalition.

It is proposed that this Coalition will accept responsibility to develop and maintain a verifiable and dynamic badge for placement on an organization’s website, at point-of-service, to identify an entity (freelancer, commercial vendor, scholarly organization, publisher, journal, etc.) as having been vetted by the Coalition, and determined to meet or exceed the minimum standards of responsible conduct in the offering of publication services at time of application for membership, and on an ongoing dynamic basis from year to year. While the mandate of the Coalition is to ensure transparency, discoverability, and accountability of responsible scholarly services, the burden of proof will be on the Member to provide evidence to the Coalition of sustained adherence to industry best practices, when requested.

Membership in the Coalition would be voluntary and would be achieved through an application process that involves the completion of a standardized audit of accountability statements expressing responsible business conduct and adherence to industry guidelines, best practices, norms, and standards. The Coalition, through mechanisms of committees of peers, industry feedback, and governance oversight, supported by membership fees and donations, will monitor membership in the Coalition and will prohibit attainment of membership status by persons or entities that do not exhibit, or continue to uphold or operate under industry norms of relevant responsible conduct in scholarly publishing.

NRIN devotes a great deal of attention to the website’s content and would greatly appreciate your suggestions of documents or links you believe to belong on this website.

This selection is an incomplete convenience sample, and does not reflect NRIN’s vision or opinion. Including an item does not necessarily mean that we agree with the authors nor does it imply we think unmentioned items are of poorer quality.

Please report any suggestions, inaccuracies or nonfunctioning hyperlinks etc. that you discover. Thanks in advance!