Open-access mega-journals (OAMJs), which apply a peer-review policy based solely on scientific soundness, elicit opposing views. Sceptical authors believe that OAMJs are simply an easy target to publish uninteresting papers that would not be accepted in more selective traditional journals. The purpose of this paper is to investigate any differences in scholars’ considerations of OAMJs by analysing the productivity and impact of Spanish authors in Biology and Medicine who publish in PLOS ONE.
Scopus was used to identify the most prolific Spanish authors in Biology and Medicine between 2013 and 2017 and to determine their publication patterns in PLOS ONE. Any differences in terms of citation impact between Spanish authors who publish frequently in PLOS ONE and the global Spanish output in Biology and Medicine were measured.
Results show a moderate correlation between the total number of articles published by prolific authors in Biology and Medicine and the number of articles they publish in PLOS ONE. Authors who publish frequently in PLOS ONE tend to publish more frequently than average in Quartile 1 and Top 10 per cent impact journals and their articles are more frequently cited than average too, suggesting that they do not submit to PLOS ONE for the purpose of gaining easier publication in a high-impact journal.
The study is limited to one country, one OAMJ and one discipline and does not investigate whether authors select PLOS ONE for what they might regard as their lower quality research.
Very few studies have empirically addressed the implications of the soundness-based peer-review policy applied by OAMJs.
Borrego, Á. (2018), "Are mega-journals a publication outlet for lower quality research? A bibliometric analysis of Spanish authors in
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