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Pankaj Patel talks Open Access, SOAR & PLOS ONE with Falvey

  • Posted by: Kallie Stahl
  • Posted Date: October 22, 2017
  • Filed Under: Library News

Falvey Memorial Library will be celebrating Open Access Week (October 21st – 28th) with an academic panel discussion entitled Open Your Mind to Open Access on Wednesday October 25th from 12:30-1:30 pm in 205. In anticipation of this event, we sat down with Villanova Professor Pankaj Patel to discuss his recent collaboration with the library’s SOAR committee to publish in the open access journal Plos One.

Interview with Pankaj Patel, Frank J. and Jane E. Ryan Endowed Chair in Strategy and Innovation

Tell me about your research, how do you do it?

I work with fantastic co-authors. I tend to explore topics that may not always make theoretical contributions, but make for contributions to understanding the phenomenon and makes for a interesting reading. I’d say our article on the impact of Taxicab tipping and sunlight published in PLOS One fits this pattern.

Why did you decide to submit this research to PLOS ONE, an open access journal?

PLOS One is a top rated mega-journal, widely respected and broad in scope. It’s best known for publishing research in the physical and life sciences, but also publishes in the social sciences.

Open access journals, at times, suffer from a reputation for “pay for play” and some are simply predatory. However, especially in the sciences this idea is changing, as researchers and institutions recognize that open access journals are respectable vehicles for rapidly disseminating quality research.

What advice would you give a junior faculty considering publishing in an open access journal?

It’s critically important to talk to your department chair about the value placed on open access and mega journals in general. It only makes sense to publish in the journals that enjoy institutional legitimacy.

There are predatory publishers out there and you want to avoid them at all costs. It would be great if there were Departmental lists of unacceptable journals.*

Sage Open and Scientific Reports by Nature are other well regarded open access journals. Sage Open focuses more on social science research. Because Nature and Sage publish many high quality subscription model journals it goes a long way to conferring respectability on these open access journals.

How did the SOAR funding application process go for you?

I’m not being facile when I say the SOAR application process was fantastic. Both the approval and payment process couldn’t have been faster or easier. The entire process took about a day after we received the acceptance letter.

Did the availability of SOAR funding impact your choice to publish in an open access journal?

Definitely, this is the first time I’ve published in an open access journal. I thought PLOS One was a good venue for this research, but the article processing fee would have been a substantial hurdle. Because of the SOAR funding we were able to make our research available to a wider audience not impeded by subscription paywalls.

*Note on Identifying Questionable Open Access Journals.

The Scholarship Open Access Reserve (SOAR) fund page lists resources for vetting open access journals. Notably we subscribe to Cabell’s BlackList, a verified list of journals that engage in predatory, fraudulent practices.


Article by Linda Hauck, Business Librarian, Falvey Library.


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Last Modified: October 22, 2017