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Misinformation about open access journals

Opposition to open access has largely been from traditional subscription-based journal publishers, whose business model depends upon providing access to research only to those who will pay for journal subscriptions. Many conventional publishers actively oppose open access, fearful that it will cut into their profitability.

Some organizations representing subscription-based traditional publishers in the United States have lobbied the government against open-access publishing. The Association of Research Libraries has stated recently, “This effort is clearly aimed at preserving established publishing conventions and the revenues of established publishers.” Many top university presses are now dissociating themselves with these lobbying organizations of the traditional publishers, and have publicly criticized some of their activities.

Some traditional publishers and a few of their misguided allies in the academia as well as a few spin-doctors in the media are engaged in misinformation campaigns against open access journals.  Disinformation and distortions are also being propagated by a few bloggers. These individuals and organizations try to capitalize on the fact that some people accept spin or misinformation without verifying the accuracy of the information. For example, some of these organizations are spreading misinformation that open access journals do not conduct peer-reviews of articles. Columnist Robin Peek stated “…they are using…the ‘sky is falling on peer review’ as a fear tactic....this is like Microsoft campaigning to make Google go away...(source).

See what the scholars are saying from around the world.


"I know that the publishing industry has a reputation for doing this kind of smear campaign.  They used the same tactics about 15 years ago against the Edwin Mellen Press. Nasty stuff.  But take heart--the press is still running and stronger than ever and I am sure that open access journals will win in the end." -- Dr. Katherine M. Faull, Professor of German and Humanities, Chair, Department of Foreign Language Programs, Program in Comparative Humanities, Bucknell University, Pennsylvania.

"I reject all smears, stereotyping, fear-mongering, and other fallacies spread by the traditional, dirty monopolistic publishing industry.  Open access publishing must and will grow and remain strong." -- Dr. Samuel Sarri, Professor of Economics, Finance, and Philosophy, University and Community College System of Nevada.

"As a reviewer, I would like to express my sincere support for the honest work of diffusion and publishing carried out by SJI and my deeper rejection of the coward campaigns initiated against open access journals." -- Dr. Daniel Moríñigo Sotelo, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Valladolid, Spain.

"I received some suspicious emails several months ago, but just ignored them as I felt that they were clearly misinformed. I have reviewed several papers for SJI and fully support the concept of open-access journals." --Dr. Jimmy Thomas Efird, Director, Data Coordinating Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Ohio.

"I fully support SJI and other open-access journals.  These are envious and perverse actions certainly from people who are jealous." -- Dr. Alfredo Cuellar, Chair, California State University, California.

"Recently, I came to know about the lies and smear campaigns against various open access journals. Such misinformation campaigns are  baseless, unethical and disgraceful. I wish SJI all the best and encourage all open access journals to fight hard against such baseless smear campaigns." -- Dr. Sunil Kumar Joshi, Asst. Professor of Community Medicine, Kathmandu Medical College, Nepal.

"I want to express my support for SJI and other open-access journals, and to reiterate that the misinformation campaigns against open access publishers are baseless, shameful, and dishonorable." -- Dr. Jaume Masip, Department of Social Psychology and Anthropology, University of Salamanca, Spain.

"It is extremely tragic that some unscrupulous individuals or organizations have resorted to unethical means of devaluing the services rendered to the world through open access peer reviewed journals such as SJI.  SJI open access journals are invaluable sources of newly created knowledge. These types of services are extremely beneficial for the readers and researchers particularly in developing countries as most researchers cannot afford to subscribe to expensive traditional journals." -- Dr. Dayaratna-Banda, Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

"It is strange that in the age of information technology-induced globalization that has democratized the processes of useful information for the business community that often helps in the exploitation of less developed regions of the world, some people are busy questioning the authenticity of open access journals. The attacks on open-access journals should remind one of Kuhnian anomaly in the history of sciences literature--celebration orthodoxy without fair hearing for the subaltern." -- Dr. Kelechi A. Kalu, Professor of African-American & African Studies, The Ohio State University, Ohio.

"I strongly support SJI and other open access journals where I serve as an editor or reviewer, and/or have published papers.  Certainly, "open access journals" have diminished the number of manuscripts sent to traditional journals, therefore a loss of revenue for these publishers. This is the real issue, not the scientific value of work published in open access journals." -- Dr. Nsalambi V. Nkongolo, Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Lincoln University of Missouri.

"I would like to express my full support for SJI and strongly denounce the misinformation and smear campaigns against open-access journals. I am convinced that truth, fairness and honesty shall prevail against cowardly dishonest acts." -- Dr. Ognyan Ivanov, Associate Professor, Institute of Solid State Physics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria.

"Lies and misinformation are easy to throw around by despicable people who claim to be journalists or scholars.  In reality, they are none. The facts reveal how wrong and misguided these individuals are who have undertaken such campaigns of distortions against SJI as well as other open-access journals." -- Dr. Hanan Batarfi, Vice Dean of Post Graduate Studies, KAU, Saudi Arabia.

"There is a huge amount of money made by traditional print journals, so I am not surprised  that they are trying to discourage open access journals like Scientific Journals International." -- Dr. Raymond J. Ballard, Professor, Texas A&M University, Texas.

"Open-access journals like SJI are most beneficial for scholars and researchers around the globe. I strongly object to the smear and disinformation campaigns." --Dr. Dawnmarie DeFazio, Director, Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs Allegheny General Hospital/ Allegheny Singer Research Institute, Pennsylvania.

Fraud Alert

It has come to our attention that a couple of individuals and organizations (motivated by prejudice and jealousy) are propagating libelous, deceptive, misleading and false information and rumors about SJI (as well as other open-access journals) via anonymous emails, blogs, and institutional forums. We are taking legal action against such fraudulent and libelous activities. 

For example, some of these individuals and organizations are spreading misinformation that open access journals do not conduct peer-reviews of articles. If anyone has doubts about whether or not an open-access journal uses a peer-review system, he or she can easily verify this by submitting a paper to see if it goes through a peer-review process.  One can also become a reviewer for an open-access journal to see if he or she is asked to review any manuscripts. Rather than using this simple way to verify the fact, these individuals and organizations are spreading lies, fear, and smear.

If you see any fraudulent and suspicious emails or reports, please forward them to us so that we can collect additional evidence for our legal actions. Thank you for your support. Please read the comments of support we are receiving from scholars across the country and from around the world (comments).

Suppression of new ideas & innovation

Human history is riddled with examples of innovations and research that had been suppressed and derogated by the leading science community and the accepted scientific conventions of the time. Throughout human history, many innovators became the victims of the insults of the skeptical scientific, governmental and corporate power elites.

Many innovators, scientists, and scholars know that disagreeing with the dominant view is risky, especially when that view is backed by powerful interest groups. When someone introduces a new innovation, presents an unconventional scientific view, or comes out with a new way of doing things that threatens a powerful interest group, typically a government, industry or professional body, representatives of that group attack the innovator's ideas and the innovator personally.  Such attacks are carried out by censoring writing, blocking publications, withdrawing or denying grants, taking legal actions, and spreading false information or rumors.

What are the effects of suppression of new ideas, intellectual dissent, unconventional, or unpopular scientific views?  Suppression is not only a denial of the open debate that is the foundation of a free society, it also creates artificial barriers and in effect retard innovation and creativity. Moreover, it has a chilling effect that breeds external censorship as well as self-censorship.  If we can learn anything from the history of science, it is the dissidents and the unconventional thinkers who have spurred science on.

The  following quotes and facts illustrate the initial hostile and trivializing attitude towards new ideas, scientific inquiries, and revolutionary innovations.

“I watched his countenance closely, to see if he was not deranged... and I was assured by other Senators after we left the room that they had no confidence in it." --Reaction of Senator Smith of Indiana after Samuel Mores demonstrated his telegraph before member of Congress in 1842.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
--Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

Nobel Laureate Hans Krebs’ discovery of the metabolic cycle that would eventually bear his name was rejected from the journal Nature.

When Nobel Laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar presented his ideas at the Royal Astronomical Society in January 1935, most famous astronomer at that time, Arthur Eddington, ridiculed his ideas. It took decades before the Chandrasekhar Limit was accepted by all astrophysicists and eventually his idea became the foundation for the theory of black holes.  Forty years later, Chandrasekhar was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in physics.

Galileo’s ideas about the universe were first dismissed as being impossible. The priests and aristocrats feared the worldview that  his ideas were beginning to force upon people. Galileo was placed under house arrest.

Nobel prize-winning biochemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi never got funded for his work on the relevance of quantum physics to living organisms.

As documented by Dr. Brian Martin of University of Wollongong, in his books and articles, many scientists pursuing research critical of pesticides or proposing alternatives to pesticides have come under attack and have been threatened with dismissal and in some cases had been dismissed. Government scientists critical of nuclear power have lost their staff and have been transferred as a form of harassment.

When Nobel laureate Hans Alfven came up with the idea of parallel electric fields he was ridiculed for his work.

When Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius proposed his idea that electrolytes are full of charged atoms, it was considered a crazy notion.

“Mr. Bell, after careful consideration of your invention, while it is a very interesting novelty, we have come to the conclusion that it has no commercial possibilities."  -- J. P. Morgan's comments on behalf of the officials and engineers of Western Union after a demonstration of the telephone.

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." --Western Union internal memo, 1876.

Luigi Galvani's experiments were ridiculed because they countered established views. He was called the "frogs' dance instructor." His innovative experiments eventually became the basis for the biological study of neurophysiology.

When Scanning-tunneling microscope was invented in 1982, it was met by hostility and ridicule from the specialists in the microscopy field. In 1986, the inventors won the Nobel prize.

George Ohm's initial publication was met with ridicule and dismissal and it was called "a tissue of naked fantasy."  Ten years later, scientists recognized its great importance.

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" --David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" --H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
--Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'" --Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

Stanford Ovshinsky's invention of glasslike semiconductors was attacked by physicists and ignored for more than a decade.  Finally he got funding from the Japanese for his work. Consequently, the new science of amorphous semiconductor physics was born.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented." --Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

When Sherwood Rowland, Mario Molina and Paul Crutzen first warned that chemicals called cholorofluorocarbons or CFCs, were destroying the ozone layer they were ridiculed for their work.  In 1995, Rowland, Molina and Crutzen, won a Nobel Prize.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable man." --G. B. Shaw.

In 1908 Billy Durant, in trying to raise money to create an automobile trust, boasted to J.P. Morgan & Co. "that the time would come when half a million automobiles a year will be running on the roads of this country." This annoyed Morgan partner George W. Perkins who said "If that fellow has any sense, he'll keep those observations to himself." Unable to raise capital in Wall Street, Durant went home and put together something called General Motors.

When Warren and his team introduced a new facet to MRI theory, his colleagues at Princeton told him that his insane ideas were endangering his career. They held a mean-spirited bogus presentation mocking his work.  After seven years, Warren was vindicated. His discoveries are leading to the development of new MRI techniques.

During 1903 to 1908, Wrights' claims about their airplane invention were not believed. Most American scientists discredited the Wrights and proclaimed that their mechanism was a hoax. 

The inventors of the turbine ship engine, the electric ships telegraph, and the steel ship hull were initially met with disbelief and derision for their work.

When Thomas Edison became successful with a light bulb filament he invited members of the scientific community to observe his demonstration. Although many from the general public went to witness the lamp, the noted scientists refused to attend. Sir William Siemens, England's most distinguished engineer said "Such startling announcements as these should be deprecated as being unworthy of science and mischievous to its true progress."  Professor Du Moncel said "The Sorcerer of Menlo Park appears not to be acquainted with the subtleties of the electrical sciences. Mr. Edison takes us backwards."

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." --Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology, 1872.

"Airplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value." -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

Famous quotations on innovation

"If at first, the idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it." -- Albert Einstein.

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."--Arthur Schopenhauer.

“At their first appearance innovators have always been derided as fools and mad men.” -- Aldous Huxley.

"Every great advance in science has been issued from a new audacity of the imagination" --John Dewey.

"That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next" --John Stuart Mill.

"Problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which the problems were created" --Albert Einstein.

"No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess"
--Isaac Newton.

"That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of our time" --John Stuart Mill.

"The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false."--Paul Johnson

"Concepts which have proved useful for ordering things easily assume so great an authority over us, that we forget their terrestrial origin and accept them as unalterable facts. They then become labeled as "conceptual necessities", etc. The road of scientific progress is frequently blocked for long periods by such errors." --Albert Einstein

"All great truths began as blasphemies." --George Bernard Shaw


Facts about success & failure

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall." --Confucius

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4 and did not read until he was 7. His teacher described him as "mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams."  He was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

Sigmund Freud was booed from the podium when he first presented his ideas to the scientific community of Europe. He returned to his office and kept on writing.

Thomas Edison's teachers said he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive."

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.

French acting legend Jeanne Moreau was told by a casting director that her "head was too crooked and she was not beautiful enough to make it in films." She said to herself, "I guess I will have to make it my own way." After making nearly 100 films her own way, in 1997 she received the European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sidney Poitier was told by a casting director, "Why don't you stop wasting people's time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?" It was at that moment, recalls Poitier, that he decided to devote his life to acting.

Beethoven's teacher called him "hopeless as a composer."  We all know that he wrote some of his greatest symphonies while completely deaf.

Van Gogh sold only one painting during his life. This did not stop him from completing over 800 paintings.

An art dealer refused Picasso shelter when he asked if he could bring in his paintings from out of the rain.

Stravinsky was run out of town by an enraged audience and critics after the first performance of the Rite of Spring.

A young reporter asked Pablo Casals when he was 95  "Mr. Casals, you are 95 and the greatest cellist that ever lived, why do you still practice six hours a day?" Mr. Casals answered, "Because I think I'm making progress."

Leo Tolstoy flunked out of college. He was described as both "unable and unwilling to learn."

Emily Dickinson had only seven poems published in her lifetime.

English crime novelist John Creasey had 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books.

John Milton wrote Paradise Lost 16 years after losing his eyesight.





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