How Would Science Break the Tyranny of the Luxury Journals?

Scientific discoveries and production of new knowledge involve a long chain of systematic steps where publication of science work in top-tier journals is becoming an essential step. Randy Schekman, a US biologist and Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine 2013, is warning the scientific community about the role of leading academic journals in distorting the scientific process. There have been long-standing debates about assessment of scientific publication especially in terms of originality, quality and credit. Scientific journals have grown in number dramatically in the past decades. However, only few journals, e.g. Nature, Cell and Science, have kept very high reputation through their restricted referee and publication policies, in particular the number of papers they accept. This, however, has promoted high “impact factor” for these well-established journals. “Impact factor” is very widespread for judging the quality, originality and credit of scientific publications, also, in the process of judging the quality/standard of scientific applications for funding. Randy Schekman, and many others, are very critical about the existing rules for judging science as the “impact factor”, which is used for marketing top-tier journals and for ranking scientific applications for funding, can not be regarded as an absolute indicators and a fair instrument in these aspects.

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