Frontiers Media


Frontiers Media SA is a publisher of peer-reviewed open access scientific journals[3] currently active in science, technology, and medicine. It was founded in 2007 by a group of neuroscientists,[4] including Henry and Kamila Markram, and later expanded to other academic fields. Frontiers is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, with other offices in London, Madrid, Seattle and Brussels.[5] All Frontiers journals are published under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY).[6]

Frontiers Media
Founded2007; 14 years ago (2007)
FounderKamila Markram and Henry Markram[1]
Country of originSwitzerland
Headquarters locationLausanne
Key peopleKamila Markram, CEO
Publication typesOpen access scientific journals
Nonfiction topicsMedicine, life sciences, technology
No. of employees762 (2021)[2]
Official websitewww.frontiersin.org

In 2015, Frontiers Media was discussed by Retraction Watch and Jeffrey Beall; COPE and OASPA have retained Frontiers as a member after concerns were raised.[7][8] As of 2021, several Frontiers Media journals were selected for inclusion in the Norwegian Scientific Index (most at level 1, standard academic)[9] or MEDLINE.[10]

History


The first journal published was Frontiers in Neuroscience, which opened for submission as a beta version in 2007.[11] In 2010, Frontiers launched a series of another eleven journals in medicine and science. In February 2012, the Frontiers Research Network was launched,[12] a social networking platform for researchers, intended to disseminate the open access articles published in the Frontiers journals, and to provide related conferences, blogs, news, video lectures and job postings.[13]

In February 2013, the Nature Publishing Group (NPG) (now Nature Research) acquired a controlling interest in Frontiers Media.[14]

Frontiers for Young Minds was launched in November 2013 during the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in collaboration with NPG as a web-based science journal that involves young people in the review of scientific articles with the help of scientists who act as mentors.[15][16]

In early September 2014, Frontiers received the ALPSP Gold Award for Innovation in Publishing from the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers.[17]

In October 2015, Frontiers in collaboration with NPG launched Loop, a research network that is open to be integrated into any publisher's or academic organization's website,[18][19] and Loop soon included a collaboration with ORCID to link and synchronize researcher profile information.[20] The Technical University of Madrid was the first university to link their Loop profile to their institutional website.[21]

In 2019, Frontiers joined the Initiative for Open Citations.[22]

In May 2020, Frontiers Media launched its Artificial Intelligence Review Assistant software to external editors.[23] The software helps identify conflicts of interest and plagiarism, assesses manuscript and peer review quality, and recommends editors and reviewers.[23][24] The software does not flag all forms of conflict of interest, such as undisclosed funding sources or affiliations.[23]

List of journals


The Frontiers journals use open peer review, where the names of reviewers of accepted articles are made public.[25] As of 2017,[26] 24 of their journals had impact factors. In February 2016, the series contained 54 journals,[27] a number that grew to more than 80 by 2020.[28] The collection of all the journals in the series is sometimes considered a megajournal, as is the BioMed Central series.[27][29][30] Some journals, such as Frontiers in Human Neuroscience[31] or Frontiers in Microbiology[32] are considered megajournals on their own.

  • Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Agronomy
  • Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence
  • Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
  • Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Big Data
  • Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
  • Frontiers in Blockchain
  • Frontiers in Built Environment
  • Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
  • Frontiers in Chemical Engineering
  • Frontiers in Chemistry
  • Frontiers in Climate
  • Frontiers in Communication
  • Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Computer Science
  • Frontiers in Conservation Science
  • Frontiers in Dental Medicine
  • Frontiers in Digital Health
  • Frontiers in Digital Humanities
  • Frontiers in Earth Science
  • Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
  • Frontiers in Education
  • Frontiers in Endocrinology
  • Frontiers in Energy Research
  • Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry
  • Frontiers in Environmental Science
  • Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Forests and Global Change
  • Frontiers in Future Transportation
  • Frontiers in Genetics
  • Frontiers in Genome Editing
  • Frontiers in Global Women's Health
  • Frontiers in Human Dynamics
  • Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in ICT
  • Frontiers in Immunology
  • Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Marine Science
  • Frontiers in Materials
  • Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering
  • Frontiers in Medical Technology
  • Frontiers in Medicine
  • Frontiers in Microbiology
  • Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences
  • Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Nanotechnology
  • Frontiers in Neural Circuits
  • Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
  • Frontiers in Neuroenergetics
  • Frontiers in Neuroengineering
  • Frontiers in Neuroinformatics
  • Frontiers in Neurology
  • Frontiers in Neurorobotics
  • Frontiers in Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Nutrition
  • Frontiers in Oncology
  • Frontiers in Oral Health
  • Frontiers in Pediatrics
  • Frontiers in Pharmacology
  • Frontiers in Physics
  • Frontiers in Physiology
  • Frontiers in Plant Science
  • Frontiers in Political Science
  • Frontiers in Psychiatry
  • Frontiers in Psychology
  • Frontiers in Public Health
  • Frontiers in Reproductive Health
  • Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics
  • Frontiers in Robotics and AI
  • Frontiers in Sociology
  • Frontiers in Space Technologies
  • Frontiers in Sports and Active Living
  • Frontiers in Surgery
  • Frontiers in Sustainability
  • Frontiers in Sustainable Cities
  • Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
  • Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Toxicology
  • Frontiers in Veterinary Science
  • Frontiers in Virtual Reality
  • Frontiers in Water
  • Frontiers for Young Minds

Abstracting and indexing


The National Publication Committee of Norway has assigned Frontiers Media an institutional-level rating of "level 0" in the Norwegian Scientific Index from 2018 to 2021, indicating that the publisher is "not academic" but it's above level "X" (potentially predatory).[9] Individual Frontiers journals have separate journal-level ratings. As of 2021, over 60 Frontiers journals are listed in the Norwegian Scientific Index of which 2 have a rating of "level 2" (top 20% of all journals in their field), over 60 have a rating of "level 1" (standard academic) and 3 have a rating of "level 0" (not academic).[9]

As of 2021, 9 Frontiers Media journals have been selected for inclusion in MEDLINE.[10]

As for broader databases, Frontiers Media has over 80 journals indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) with a DOAJ seal,[33] over 40 journals listed in PubMed Central,[34] and over 50 journals listed in Scopus[35] and the Web of Science.[36]

Controversies


In April 2013, Frontiers in Psychology retracted a controversial article linking climate change denialism and "conspiracist ideation";[37] the retraction was itself also controversial and led to the resignations of at least three editors.[38]

In late September 2014, Frontiers in Public Health published a controversial article that supported HIV denialism; three days later the publisher issued a statement of concern and announced an investigation into the review process of the article.[39] It was eventually decided that the article would not be retracted but instead was reclassified as an opinion piece.[40] It has since been retracted.[41] Collaboration between the Nature Publishing Group and Frontiers ended when the two groups decided in November 2014 "to make a clean separation and never to mention again that [Nature Publishing Group] has some kind of involvement in Frontiers."[42]

In May 2015, Frontiers Media removed the entire editorial boards of Frontiers in Medicine and Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine after editors complained that Frontiers Media staff were "interfering with editorial decisions and violating core principles of medical publishing".[42]

In June 2015, Retraction Watch referred to the publisher as one with "a history of badly handled and controversial retractions and publishing decisions".[43]

According to researchers referenced in a 2015 blog post quoted by Allison and James Kaufman in the 2018 book Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science "Frontiers has used an in-house journals management software that does not give reviewers the option to recommend the rejection of manuscripts" and the "system is setup to make it almost impossible to reject papers".[44]

In October 2015, Frontiers was added to librarian Jeffrey Beall's list of "Potential, possible, or probable" predatory open-access publishers.[45][46][11] The inclusion was met with backlash among some researchers.[45] Daniël Lakens, researcher at the Eindhoven University of Technology, said "articles people have published in Frontiers are no longer judged based on their own quality, but are now seen as less valuable because Frontiers is on Beall's list".[47]

In July 2016 Beall recommended that academics not publish their work in Frontiers journals, stating "the fringe science published in Frontiers journals stigmatizes the honest research submitted and published there",[48] and in October of that year Beall reported that reviewers have called the review process "merely for show".[49] Beall was subject to much controversy[50][51][52] and had to pull down his blacklist in January 2017.[53]

In October 2015, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) said that "there have been vigorous discussions about, and some editors are uncomfortable with, the editorial processes at Frontiers" but that "the processes are declared clearly on the publisher's site and we do not believe there is any attempt to deceive either editors or authors about these processes".[7] Frontiers is a COPE member and one of its employees sits on COPE's council.[7]

In September 2016, Frontiers demanded that the university where Beall worked force him to retract his claims.[54][55] Pressure by Frontiers was reported to be a large factor in the controversial shutdown of Beall's List,[56] something challenged by others associated with the case.[53]

In November 2016, a paper linking vaccines to autism was retracted from a Frontiers journal.[57]

In 2017, further editors were removed, allegedly for their rejection rate being high.[58] In December 2017 Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky wrote in the magazine Nautilus that the acceptance rate of manuscripts in Frontiers journals was reported to be near 90%.[59]

In 2021, a provisionally accepted controversial paper in Frontiers in Pharmacology on COVID-19 and the use of the antiparasitic drug Ivermectin was ultimately rejected by the editors as it contained "unsubstantiated claims and violated the journal's editorial policies". This has drawn anger among the authors of the paper calling the move "censorship".[60] Retraction Watch notes that this is not the first time Frontiers already provisionally accepted and then rejected a controversial paper.[61]

References


  1. Philippe Le Bé, ""Avec Frontiers, les travaux des chercheurs sont publiés rapidement et de manière équitable" (in French), Le Temps, published on-line on Sunday 10 April 2016 (page visited on 10 April 2016).
  2. "Our people". Frontiers Media. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  3. "Members: OA Professional Publishing Organizations". Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). Retrieved 2013-02-04.
  4. Peter Suber, ed. (2007-10-30). "Open Access News: New series of OA journals in neuroscience". Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  5. "About Frontiers | Academic Journals and Research Community".
  6. "Frontiers Copyright Statement". 2018. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  7. "COPE statement on Frontiers". COPE. October 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-12. COPE October 2015 News Index
  8. Claire Redhead (2015-12-24). "Frontiers membership of OASPA". Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.
  9. "Frontiers". Norwegian Scientific Index. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  10. "Journals currently indexed in MEDLINE".
  11. Schneider, Leonid (28 October 2015). "Is Frontiers a potential predatory publisher?". For Better Science. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  12. "Frontiers launches Social Networking for Scientists". Frontiers Media. 9 February 2012.
  13. "Events". Frontiers Media. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  14. P., J. (2013-02-27). "Changing Nature". The Economist. Retrieved 2014-12-17.
  15. "Frontiers for Young Minds Launches at USA Science and Engineering Festival". Frontiers. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  16. "Young Minds on Scientific American". Scientific American. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  17. Page, Benedicte (September 11, 2014). "Frontiers is major winner at ALPSP innovation awards | The Bookseller". The Book Seller.
  18. "Frontiers Loop". Frontiers. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  19. "Frontiers launches Loop social network". The Bookseller. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  20. "ORCID and Loop new researcher profile system". Orcid. 2015-10-07. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  21. "UPM leads way as first university to integrate Loop". loop. 2015-07-07. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  22. "Initiative for Open Citations". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  23. "Do You Have a Conflict of Interest? This Robotic Assistant May Find It First". The New York Times. November 23, 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  24. "Peer Review of Scholarly Research Gets an AI Boost". IEEE Spectrum. July 27, 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  25. Helmer, Markus; Schottdorf, Manuel; Neef, Andreas; Battaglia, Demian (21 March 2017). "Gender bias in scholarly peer review". eLife. 6. doi:10.7554/elife.21718. PMC 5360442. PMID 28322725.
  26. 2016 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Science ed.). Clarivate Analytics. 2017.
  27. Spezi, Valerie; Wakeling, Simon; Pinfield, Stephen; Creaser, Claire; Fry, Jenny; Willett, Peter (2017). "Open-access mega-journals: The future of scholarly communication or academic dumping ground? A review" (PDF). Journal of Documentation. 73 (2): 263–283. doi:10.1108/JD-06-2016-0082. Series, such as the BMC Series ... or Frontiers in [...] Series ... might, taken as a whole, be viewed as a broad disciplinary scope journal. This is particularly the case when series titles seem to be marketed and managed as a coherent set rather than as separate titles.
  28. "Journals A-Z". Frontiers Media. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  29. Domnina, T. N. (2016). "A megajournal as a new type of scientific publication". Scientific and Technical Information Processing. 43 (4): 241–250. doi:10.3103/S0147688216040079. S2CID 17769019.
  30. Binfield, Peter (2013-12-17). "Novel scholarly journal concepts". In Bartling, S.; Friesike, S. (eds.). Opening Science. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 155–163. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-00026-8_10. ISBN 978-3-319-00025-1.
  31. Ware, Mark; Mabe, Michael (2015). "The STM Report: An overview of scientific and scholarly journal publishing" (PDF). International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers.
  32. Schloss, Patrick D.; Johnston, Mark; Casadevall, Arturo (2017-09-26). "Support science by publishing in scientific society journals". mBio. 8 (5): e01633-17. doi:10.1128/mBio.01633-17. PMC 5615203. PMID 28951482.
  33. "Journals". Directory of Open Access Journals. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  34. "PMC Journals". PubMed Central. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  35. "Scopus Sources". Scopus. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  36. "Web of Science". Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  37. Herndon, J. Marvin (2016-06-30). "Human and Environmental Dangers Posed by Ongoing Global Tropospheric Aerosolized Particulates for Weather Modification". Frontiers in Public Health. 4 (139): 139. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2016.00139. PMC 4927569. PMID 27433467. (Retracted, see doi:10.3389/fpubh.2016.00156, PMID 27453892)
  38. "Chief specialty editor resigns from Frontiers in wake of controversial retraction". Retraction Watch. 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  39. "Publisher issues statement of concern about HIV denial paper, launches investigation". Retraction Watch. 2014-09-26. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  40. Ferguson, Cat (24 February 2015). "Frontiers lets HIV denial article stand, reclassifies it as "opinion"". Retraction Watch.
  41. Goodson, P. (2014). "Questioning the HIV-AIDS hypothesis: 30 years of dissent". Frontiers in Public Health. 2: 154. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2014.00154. PMC 4172096. PMID 25695040.
  42. Enserink, Martin (20 May 2015). "Open-access publisher sacks 31 editors amid fierce row over independence". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aac4629.
  43. Megan Scudellari (2015-06-02). ""[T]hese things can happen in every lab:" Mutant plant paper uprooted after authors correct their own findings". Retraction Watch.
  44. Kaufman, Allison B.; Kaufman, James C. (2018). Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science. MIT Press. p. 292. ISBN 9780262037426. Frontiers has used an in-house journal management software that does not give reviewers the option to recommend the rejection of manuscripts they have reviewed. The publisher's systems are set up to make it almost impossible to reject papers, perhaps to keep potential revenue from jumping to a rival publisher. Increasingly, journal management software is designed to optimize a publisher's revenue.
  45. Bloudoff-Indelicato M (2015). "Backlash after Frontiers journals added to list of questionable publishers". Nature. 525 (7575): 613. Bibcode:2015Natur.526..613B. doi:10.1038/526613f.
  46. Beall, Jeffrey. "LIST OF PUBLISHERS". Scholarly Open Access. Archived from the original on 2017-01-12. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  47. Bloudoff-Indelicato, Mollie (October 2015). "Backlash after Frontiers journals added to list of questionable publishers". Nature. 526 (7575): 613–613. doi:10.1038/526613f. ISSN 1476-4687.
  48. Beall, Jeffrey (14 July 2016). "More Fringe Science from Borderline Publisher Frontiers". Scholarly Open Access. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016.
  49. Beall, Jeffrey. "Reviewer to Frontiers: Your Review Process is Merely for Show — I quit". Scholarly Open Access. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  50. Esposito, Joseph. "Parting Company with Jeffrey Beall". The Scholarly Kitchen.
  51. Bivens-Tatum, Wayne (25 July 2014). "Reactionary Rhetoric Against Open Access Publishing". Triple C. 12 (2). doi:10.31269/triplec.v12i2.617.
  52. Berger, Monica; Cirasella, Jill (2015). "Beyond Beall's List: Better Understanding Predatory Publishers". College & Research Libraries News. 76 (3): 132–135. doi:10.5860/crln.76.3.9277. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  53. Swauger, Shea (2017-12-01). "Open access, power, and privilege: A response to "What I learned from predatory publishing"". College & Research Libraries News. 78 (11): 603–606. doi:10.5860/crln.78.11.603.
  54. Schneider, Leonid (2016-09-14). "Beall-listed Frontiers empire strikes back". For Better Science. Retrieved 26 November 2016. Frontiers disagrees with this librarian's privately held views, the publisher demands of his academic employer to impose disciplinary measures or coercion against Beall.
  55. Basken, Paul (12 September 2017). "Why Beall's List Died — and What It Left Unresolved About Open Access". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  56. Basken, Paul (12 September 2017). "Why Beall's List Died — and What It Left Unresolved About Open Access". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  57. Chawla, Dalmeet Singh (2016-11-28). "Study linking vaccines to autism pulled following heavy criticism". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  58. "Editor sacked over rejection rate: "not inline with Frontiers core principles"". For Better Science. 2018-03-06. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  59. Marcus, Adam; Oransky, Ivan (7 December 2017). "Why Garbage Science Gets Published". Nautilus.
  60. Offord, Catherine (2021-03-28). "Frontiers Removes Controversial Ivermectin Paper Pre-Publication". TheScientist. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  61. "Weekend reads: An apology from JAMA; a call to retract COVID-19 ayurveda paper; the treasure that was a hoax". Retraction Watch. 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2021-03-06.