Invited speech at the conference ‘Technologies Transforming Research Assessment’ on March 19, 2014 in Vilnius, Lithuania
Journals quality enforcement: An approach to support publishing in developing, transition, emerging, and small countries
Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science, Belgrade, Serbia
Abstract: The concepts of Quality Control and Quality Assurance have found its application in various production domains including journal publishing. Quality Enforcement (QE) is a recent extension of the same basic idea. The Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science (CEON/CEES), a Belgrade-based R&D observatory, made this concept a guiding principle of its efforts to assist the development of locally published journals.
QE was envisaged as a set of instruments embedded in the process of preparing journal issues that enforce actors to comply with international publishing standards and good practices. Monitoring journals impact and usage were understood as a strong integral components of QE.
In CEON/CEES’s operationalization, QE include:
- a tool for automatic extraction of keywords from thesauri at editors choice;
- an application for cross-checking citations given in reference lists with in-text citations;
- a system for normalization of cited references according to citation style selected by the editor;
- the support for plagiarism detection;
- a service for citation legitimacy surveillance to prevent impact manipulation:
- the routines for transforming manuscripts to XML to ensure publishing in both PDF and HTML format; and
- a device for monitoring manuscript selection and reviewing.
The concept o QE, as well as the design of instruments to support it, were derived from the results of a long-term monitoring of the impact and quality of journals published in Serbia and surrounding countries. The low formal, bibliometric quality resulting in low visibility and trustfulness, as evidenced by minor coverage by international databases and indexes, were recognized as their main weaknesses. It was our assumption that these can be efficiently amended by strict application of QE approach.
After the two-year experience with about 50 national journals the QE model was recently implemented within a service called SEESAmE: South East European Science Ameliorated through Evaluation.
The model seems to be promising not only for the region, but for DTES countries in general.