Talk:Nova Science Publishers

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Neutrality concerns[edit]

I am concerned about the neutrality of this article and edits I've done to try and address this have been reverted/modified by Randykitty (talk · contribs):

  • Calling this publisher an academic publisher, with a wikilink to Academic publishing implies total normality. But the source used actually says: "a widely known though controversial and ‘unconventional’ academic publisher". The categorization shouldn't be cherry-picked. BTW, this source looks distinctly iffy anyway: "Frank Truth" as an author name indeed! I propose having no categorization and not using this source.
  • The Bade material (marginally sourced as it is) really needs to be attributed so readers can see where this opinion is coming from. I don't see any reason for keeping this non-specific; we should follow the guidance in WP:INTEXT. I propose restoring the attribution.
  • As mentioned above, using a primary source to mention a citation index is undue, and risks giving a false balance. I propose removing this.

Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 08:24, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

  • I am concerned about the neutrality of this article, too. I found an article in a respectable journal that calls this an "academic publisher", as requested. It walks like a duck (publishes academic journals), it quacks like a duck (they themselves and others call it an academic publisher), it is a duck (an academic publisher). It's not my problem that you don't like the name of this author (who, by the way, is very critical of Nova). I really don't understand why it is problematic to call this an academic publisher. That is just a description of the activities of this company, no endorsement, nothing laudatory, not implying anything, just a neutral description of what they do. The criticism follows and makes clear how they do what they do. As for the long sentence with Bade that I removed, we are not doing this for other sources either. Should we also add "Arno Tausch, an Austrian political scientist... (etc)"? As for the database, I have replied on that above. --Randykitty (talk) 09:02, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Frank Truth is obviously a made up name and the "respectable journal" is just a left-wing website which is not peer reviewed (nothing wrong with that, but let's not pretend it's RS for categorizing publishing houses). You still want to use it?
  • Let me make sure I understand your objection to attributing Bade. You are saying either everything has to be attributed, or nothing; and that we can't just attribute Bade. Is that right?
  • On the database, you haven't explained why we need to take the exceptional step of using a primary source to imply something. Sounds non-neutral to me. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 09:12, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I shall just make a few comments for the moment: the only reliable source that a journal is included in an index is the list of sources covered by that index as published on the index's web site. Everything else is not secondary--it's second hand, merely copied from that, and it is better to go back to the authentic source. This is a totally correct use of primary data, just as a census figure should be cited ffrom the published census. (I've used Ulrich's for a quick check sometimes, but it too is usually out of date a little & not definitive) If it is desired to see how many of a publisher's works, or how many articles from a journal, are in an index, again a search of that index is the only reliable source, since anything else will be derived and out of date. The sort of primary source that is not acceptable is a journal's statement that it is covered by an index, or a similar publisher's statement--this may be out of date, and I have known a few cases of false or misleading statements. But an index has no reason or possibility of lying. (The only question, as I just hinted, is whether the coverage is selective or complete. Some indexes so indicate.)
  • I know most about science publishing--Nova is considered low quality in biology. That implies nothing about any other subject. It;s nonetheless a genuine academic publisher. Trying to avoid calling it such is twisting words outside their usual meaning.
  • There is a misleading statement in the article, that it sells reprinted public domain material and book chapters as books. It has done so in some cases in the past; I would need to check if it is still doing so. But it was never the case that most of its publications were of this nature.
  • There's another misleading statement--about its fees. They are no higher than most of the high quality science open access publishers. Many librarians, including myself, are of the opinion that these fess are in general much too high for the value being added. I cannot immediately find publication fees for Open Access articles in Nova journals-- the only figure in the literature is FT's figure of $450, which by current standards is very low -- some charge ten times that. DGG ( talk ) 10:08, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Notwithstanding the issues about using an index mentioned in section above this, it would certainly be possible to have a secondary source about indexes (in a trade publication company profile, say: "In 2011 Foo Publishing achieved the distinction of have its titles included in Bar's prestiguous index of journals"). What we seem to have trying to get out here is: "Some of the books published by Nova appear in the TR index (so affirming it is a reputable publisher as a whole)". Which seems odd.
  • If there are misleading statements they should come out. Bade is self-published but is given some validation since he is a librarian with expertise and is cited in one reasonably okay source. However, what's here at the moment is a mild version of what his stated complaint was (at least in 2007). At a minimum it should be attributed and dated.
  • Is Tausch an independent source? or is an axe being ground here? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 10:22, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Some comments:
  • JCEPS seems to be peer-reviewed, at least that's what's stated in their homepage: "The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS) is a peer-reviewed international scholarly journal published by The Institute for Education Policy Studies (IEPS)."
  • I came across the "Frank Truth" source while looking for sources for this article and I dismissed it as I considered its reliability questionable. Please see page 80 where this publisher is discussed. The sources quoted are all Nova's site itself and even a blog is mentioned at the end. This is a tricky situation. We have two sources where this publisher is not referred to as "academic" and we have this one where it is. Perhaps requesting advice at WP:RSN would be a good idea?
  • I agree that the statement by Bade should perhaps by attributed as per WP:INTEXT.
  • I also believe, for the same reason as above, that the "evaluation of twenty-one international social-science book" in the 2nd paragraph should be attributed to Arno Tausch. This author has most of his books published by Nova, so there's a clear conflict of interest going on here and we should not obscure this.
Regards. Gaba (talk) 14:56, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

For historical perspective, and since Alexbrn asked, Arno Tausch (also known as Arno.tausch, though the account appears to have been deleted) is a major axe-grinder. If you look on the archives of this talk page and elsewhere, you will see that he is prone to long rants with little useful content. Tausch is a partisan in favor of Nova because he has published with them and wants to protect his reputation. The article by Tausch that is currently cited in this article appeared after Arno.tausch failed to gain consensus in a discussion on this talk page. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 21:26, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Currently, the critical section of the article makes it clear that the judgments are not those of Wikipedia, but does not name the specific people making the criticisms. I advocate continuing this approach, the former per WP:NPOV and the latter per WP:UNDUE. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 21:30, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

In light of the information about Tausch, I think both his material and Bade's need to be removed. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 04:48, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Tausch may be questionable, but David W. Bade is rock-solid here. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 05:24, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
"Rock-solid" would be in a peer-reviewed source and preferably recent (for a non-historical claim); Bade's piece is neither of those things. Removing the journal article and leaving in what is effectively self-published material would be odd. One for RS/N maybe? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:32, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Self-published material is perfectly acceptable, as long as it comes from established experts on the topic, which Bade most definitely is. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 05:57, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
WP:SELFPUB says not. Using Bade for a critical judgement of a third-party (without the validation from the peer-reviewed source, which now appears dodgy) is a policy violation. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 06:10, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
From WP:SPS, and I quote, "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 06:23, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Bade is claiming (in effect) that Nova is acting deceptively. Using a self-published source for that strikes me as incautious. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 06:42, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
As Dougweller pointed out below, the Bade article is hosted on the website of Stanford University Libraries. Therefore, even though it is not in a traditional peer-reviewed print medium, it is under some editorial control and thus is not self-published. This has been extensively discussed previously on this talk page, and the consensus was to approve the article as a reliable source without reservations. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 15:35, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

"Academic publisher"[edit]

There is nothing whatsoever that is remotely controversial about labeling Nova as an academic publisher. Our own Wikipedia article writes:

Academic publishing describes the subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship.

We can then ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Does Nova publish academic research and scholarship?

The answer is yes. So Nova is an academic publisher. "Academic" describes what they publish. The quality of what they publish is a completely different question. If you want to call that into question, write something like "bla bla bla... Nova has been criticized for predatory practices / having low peer review standards / focusing on volume rather than quality / ... " or some other variant, but that needs to be supported with reliable sources. Which may make them "a low-quality academic publisher", but an academic publisher nonetheless.

So let's focus on writing the article, rather than try to redefine or remove words because you think they imply more than they do. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 16:53, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

I disagree. I think we do need reliable sources to state that this is in fact an "academic publisher" just like we do with any fact in any article in WP. Right now the only source that refers to it as "academic" is one of questionable reputability (the JCEPS "Frank Truth" source) which also describes it as an "unconventional" publisher. If we use that source to back "academic" then it also is enough to back "unconventional" (which you just removed) The only two clearly reliable sources presented here regarding this issue are the ones I presented above and none of them call this an "academic publisher", just a "publisher". I see no reason as to why we should not stick to the wording in these sources and if we want to use the JCEPS article to source "academic" then it can also be used to back "unconventional" and the "high costs" fact (which you just commented out) Regards. Gaba (talk) 17:20, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
You can disagree if you want, but that does not make you right. Nova publishes articles of academia (mostly sciences and social sciences), therefore they are academic. As for the high cost, a 450$ figure is extremely low. For example, take the Physical Review journals, which have fees of 1700/2700$ per article. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 17:54, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, and you can disagree with me which does not make you right. That's why we are required to base our edits on WP:RS and currently the only reliable sources we have do not call this an "academic publisher", inspite of what you and I would call it. As for the "high cost" I would leave that out since the source is pretty vague on this, mostly listing prices to end with "These charges to authors are quite high, compared with any cost-free online journals." which I don't think it's enough to source that they have been "criticized" for it. Regards. Gaba (talk) 19:36, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

I'd say the onus is on Gaba_p and Alexbrn to demonstrate that the term "academic publisher" has a definition that is not met by Nova. As has already been pointed out, it is a genre, not an honorific. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 21:16, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

It's a bit simplistic to say the word "academic" carries no value (just ask an academic). This doesn't really matter though I will note that Nova appears to have both fiction and general education imprints. My thought was that since the term "academic publisher" appeared to be the source of contention, why not call Nova something neutral and uncontentious? like a "publishing company" - which is good enough for Elsevier but not, it seems, here. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 04:44, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
That would work. I see my comments on ANI were not necessary. But I will note that Bade's piece was not place on the Stanford website by himself, but by a curator there, so not self-published. I don't think we can call this an academic publishing company and maintain NPOV. Dougweller (talk) 13:01, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Alexbrn and Dougweller, "publishing company" has no implications and is supported by sources. I note that Headbomb just modified the Elsevier article to have it say "academic" publishing company. Regards. Gaba (talk) 13:38, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I am an academic. I work for a university and do scientific research for a living. From his statements, I gather than Randykitty has a similar story. Since you bring this up, Alexbrn, I think the problem here may be that you and Gaba_p are too much inclined to see "science" as something holy and sacrosanct, as a fount of knowledge that should be taken as authoritative simply because it is "science." Rather, I see "science" as a method of searching for knowledge; sometimes it is done well and sometimes it is not, but it is "science" nonetheless. Similarly, "academic" is a genre. "General education" would fit under that genre. I agree that fiction would not, but if Nova publishes fiction (of which I have not seen evidence), I believe it is such a small portion of their portfolio that it is still reasonable to label their output as "academic" in genre. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 15:27, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree completely with BlueMoonlet. "Academic" is not an honorific, it's a description. Suppose Nova's catalog would exclusively list comics, would anybody object to calling this a "comics publisher"? Same here. They publish (admittedly often rather crappy) academic books and journals. Elsevier used to be a less-specialized publisher. They published not only academic journals, but also Elsevier (magazine) (after the merger with Reed moved to that branch of the conglomerate), popular books (including novels), etc. At that time, it would have been incorrect to call them an "academic" publisher, because they did much more. Nowadays, far as I know, they have sold the non-academic activities or moved them to other divisions of the Reed-Elsevier concern, so that "Elsevier" sensu stricto has indeed become an "academic" publisher. So adding or removing "academic" is not a value judgment (which we should not make), but a description, which I think lies within the discretion of editors to phrase, without needing a source for that. Look at it this way, if somebody would have good reason to include the phrase "Jack Nicholson is an American man" in some article, would we really insist on a reliable source stating that he is, indeed, a man and not a woman? --Randykitty (talk) 18:17, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
It's possibly worth pointing out in this discussion (though not in the article itself) that they are *not* on Beall's list of predatory academic publishers. So not are they (obviously) an academic publisher, but (despite their documented misbehavior) they are a lot better than some of the ones out there. —David Eppstein (talk) 17:19, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
That has been my point all along. It's a legitimate publisher, but not a good one. They have misbehaved in the past (I'm referring to the re-publishing stuff), as far as I know, this has stopped. The quality of their books and journals is still low. Their OA fees are in line with the rest of the industry, but not lower or even very low as Headbomb and DGG stated above: the $450 figure is per page, not per article (which would indeed be very cheap). For a long, 10 page article they are expensive, for a short communication of 4 pages, they are cheap, for the "mean article" of 7 or 8 pages, they are in the same ball park as other publishers. --Randykitty (talk) 18:17, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
JCEPS, as far as they can be relied upon, says "It has an open-access option for its digitized journals, but charges authors US$450 per paper for this arrangement." [1] Not really sure where you get that 450$ per page. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 20:24, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I got that figure by reading too fast... Sjeez! Sorry about that, you're absolutely right, it's per paper as you said, not per page as I thought. So their fee is indeed very low (probably among the lowest anywhere). --Randykitty (talk) 12:18, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Well it's clear at this point that although there are dissenting voices about whether to call this "academic" there is clearly no consensus to take it out, so unless somebody else has new arguments I guess this is the end of this issue. Cheers everyone. Gaba (talk) 21:35, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

General thank you[edit]

I fear I stirred the pot by noting that I had seen criticisms of Nova Publishers off-wiki (as I was looking up a source suggested for another article on Wikipedia). I appreciate the work of several editors here in finding more detailed sources about the publisher-as-such, and in discussing the scope of some of the vocabulary that will be used in the article. Thanks for your contributions to the project. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 20:40, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

University of the South Pacific and Nova Science[edit]

A University of the South Pacific Library (USP) staff member, Ms. Lara Phillips, has claimed that Nova's books "do not go through a standard academic peer review process despite their academic focus."[1] In December 2012, however, the USP President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra awarded Fiji National University’s new Professor in Economics, T K Jayaraman, the Vice Chancellor’s annual prize for excellence in research for Professor Jayaraman’s study on a single currency in the region, published in 2012 as a book by Nova Science Publishers, New York (From Fiji National University Newsletter, Dec 21, 3(51), 2012, page 5, available at [2] The opinions, expressed by Ms. Phillips, certainly do not represent the official opinions of the USP nor the opinions of the head of its Library, since Nova Science published none the less than 142 titles from authors of that University (see: [3], including three books by the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Biman Prasad (see: [4]) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Franz weber (talkcontribs) 11:56, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Franz weber, you need reliable sources to back your edits and currently you have none. Please give WP:OR and WP:SYN a read. Regards. Gaba (talk) 15:20, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
  • And I'd like to add, per WP:TALK, that talk pages are for discussing changes/improvements to the article, not for posting OR/SYNTH that cannot be presented in the article. --Randykitty (talk) 15:38, 22 November 2013 (UTC)


Sorry, Users Gaba and Randykitty say that there are no sources for my contention that USP President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra i.e. Ms. Phillips University President and Vice Chancellor, awarded Fiji National University’s new Professor in Economics, T K Jayaraman, the Vice Chancellor’s annual prize for excellence in research for Professor Jayaraman’s study on a single currency in the region, published in 2012 as a book by Nova Science Publishers, New York (From Fiji National University Newsletter, Dec 21, 3(51), 2012, page 5 and that Nova Science published none the less than 142 titles from authors of that University including three books by the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Biman Prasad. But my entry above mentions all the websites on which these contentions are based: the Fiji National University Newsletter, Dec 21, 3(51), 2012, page 5, is available from [5]; and the the list of the 142 titles from authors of that University in the publications programme of Nova Science is to be seen at [6]; including three books by the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Biman Prasad see: [7]. So what shouldn't be true can't be true or what? Readers of the Phillips article will note that meanwhile the wording is different (as of November 25, 9:33 Central European time]. On thoughts how to really come forward in the evaluation of international publishers, see my entry on the SENSE publisher ranking below

The SENSE Publisher Ranking and Nova Science[edit]

The Dutch Research Consortium SENSE [8] makes the first international effort at a credible international publisher ranking. The scientific mission of the SENSE Research School is to promote an integrated understanding of environmental change in terms of the mechanisms that cause it and the consequences that result from it. To fulfil this mission, the combined programmes of research and education within SENSE are aimed at the development and further improvement of scientific concepts and methods that are required for an effective disciplinary and multidisciplinary understanding of environmental change. Research and education in SENSE are dedicated to developing high quality scientific results which may be applied to practically and critically inform environmental policy perspectives. The SENSE Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment is a joint venture of the environmental research institutes of ten Dutch universities:

The SENSE Research School has developed and approved its own ranking of scientific book publishers – based on a list used by the research school CERES, which has been adjusted for SENSE in close consultation with the SENSE community.

I refereed book publications:

  • A: Refereed book publications published by the world top of publishers
  • B: Refereed book publications published by the world’s semi-top of publishers
  • C: Refereed book publications published by other publishers

II non-refereed book publications

  • D: published for an academic public (professional publications)
  • E: mainly published for a non-academic (general) public

What they call C-publishers (decent international publishers and excellent national publishers) – 1 credit per book chapter starting with Aalborg University Press and ending with Zed Books includes - on page 4 of 17 Nova Science Publications (Source: [9] ). It would be an absolute distorsion of the SENSE classification system to call category C in a derogatory fashion "lowest class" since the 2010 ranking makes the 5 categories clear - and defines them. C-publishers (decent international publishers and excellent national publishers) – 1 credit per book chapter comprises, apart from Nova Science Publishers, also such well-known book publishing companies in the social sciences as

Colleagues Gaba and Randykitty, let alone all the other passionate Nova-Sience critics on this page, will perhaps now say that this is no source, and "to the hell" with a consortium of a dozen Dutch Universities, and that their blog sources are more credible than serious evaluations of publisher quality, but perhaps to their chagrin and to the delight of hundreds of serious scholars who published their works with Nova the SENSE website [10] also carries their latest EXCEL Table with their evaluation of international publisher quality in 2011, with Nova Science Publishers in Hauppauge NY again being ranked among the "decent international publishers and excellent national publishers" (The WASS-SENSE book publishers ranking list 2011, downloadable from [11]). Perhaps no source, then? Kind regards, User Weber — Preceding unsigned comment added by Franz weber (talkcontribs) 09:03, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Phillips, Lara (17 September 2013). "A list of Print-on-demand publishers and self-publishing "Vanity presses" for librarians and faculty". University of the South Pacific. Retrieved 2013-11-17.