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I left the following answer (mirror) to the question Asked to be part of Editorial Board. How to evaluate journal?:

If the journal is paywalled, I recommend to refuse so that you don't become one of the parasites that slow down research by sucking up funding and making research output inaccessible to all.

The answer was deleted by one mod. The mod's comment was:

Franck, please do not make self-promotional posts on Academia.SE to draw attention to your other posts. You aren't answering the question here which is about how to evaluate journals and respond to an invitation to an editorial board, you're just using this as an opportunity to complain about journal paywalls. There's a place for that, it's not here. Bryan Krause

I don't understand the comment, since I did answer the question "how to evaluate journals". My answer is "If the journal is paywalled, I recommend to refuse". Also, there are no rules against linking to one's question. It's a perfectly fine piece of advice to the OP, which would annually save billions of USD to the taxpayers if all of us follow it.

So why was my answer deleted by one mod?

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    I believe my comment was clear. Your answer is not specific to OP's situation, it does not address how to evaluate an unknown journal that has sent an invitation to participate in the editorial board. It does link tangentially to another post of yours that does not help answer this specific question.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 18:58
  • @BryanKrause I believe my reply to your comment was clear: My answer is "If the journal is paywalled, I recommend to refuse". Why isn't that an answer in your mind? Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 19:03
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    It is not specific to OP's situation, it does not address how to evaluate an unknown journal that has sent an invitation to participate in the editorial board. You could post the very same answer to any post involving any interaction with a journal.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 19:05
  • 1
    @BryanKrause It does address the OP's question on how to evaluate an unknown journal. My answer is: If it's paywalled, don't work for them. "You could post the very same answer to any post involving any interaction with a journal." no, it's specific to the case where the OP wonders if they should work for them. Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 19:07
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    You blatantly called academics that don't abandon pay-walled publications in favor of open source options "parasites". I'd hold that this is a direct violation of the "Be Nice" code of conduct. Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 19:56
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    @ScottSeidman I don't see any infractions to academia.stackexchange.com/conduct but I didn't read it very carefully and I can change "become one of the parasites" with "work for a one of the parasites" I thought the "Be Nice" code of conduct was to be nice between SE users, not toward behavior outside SE. Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 20:12
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    So, SE users uniformly share your fairly extreme views on open source publishing? There are no pay-journal editors here? No parasites to be seen? Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 23:16
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    @ScottSeidman it's neither personal nor specifically against SE users. But anyway I don't make the rules here, I get your point, I don't know what the SE policy is in that case. With Thai being said, the question here is about the deletion. If the deletion is due to the term I used, I'm ok to change it. Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 0:27
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    On top of what has been said, the question makes it clear that the asker is interested in reputation as recognised by academia in general – which judges paywalled journals differently than you, whether you like it or not. As always, this site is about how academia is, not how it should be.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 11:25
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    @Wrzlprmft "the question makes it clear that the asker is interested in reputation as recognised by academia in general" exactly, that is why my response "If the journal is paywalled, I recommend to refuse" is an answer to the question. Many researchers are against paywalls, this is not at all an extreme, isolated opinion. Many researchers do not like that some other researchers are supporting paywalls. I'd like my answer to be undeleted so that the OP considers the aspect when evaluating the journal. Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 17:23
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    @FranckDernoncourt: We are going in circles. I already addressed this in my first comment.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 15:49
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    Your sentence appears to be broken. Taking an educated guess: The question is not a vote on what users of this site think should be relevant criteria to evaluate a journal (and if it were, it should be closed as opinion-based). It’s about how to evaluate whether a new journal is reputable as seen by academia in general, with clear focus as to whether it’s predatory or otherwise scammy. Whether others agree with your answer is irrelevant here. An example for an answer that would only be wrong is: “Hiring committees tend to evaluate editorship of pay-to-view journals worse than no editorship.”
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 16:48
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    Unless you ignore all context, I don’t see how that quoted sentence expands the scope of the question to all sorts of opinions about journals – and even if it did, the question would be too broad or opinionated for this site.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 6:57
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    No, you have not (satisfyingly) addressed all my concerns. And if that’s how you understood this conversation, I don’t think there is any point in continuing it.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Aug 12, 2023 at 6:58
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    @Wrzlprmft which concern did I miss? Or which concern didn't I address satisfyingly? I can't read your mind. I am trying to make my arguments explicit and clear. Commented Aug 12, 2023 at 7:00

1 Answer 1

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I'll summarize the answers that the question received in the comments on why the answer was deleted by one mod: 1) the answer is not specific to OP's situation 2) the answer's stance isn't shared broadly by the research community.


Relevant comments:

  • I believe my comment was clear. Your answer is not specific to OP's situation, it does not address how to evaluate an unknown journal that has sent an invitation to participate in the editorial board. It does link tangentially to another post of yours that does not help answer this specific question. – Bryan Krause Aug 7 at 18:58
  • On top of what has been said, the question makes it clear that the asker is interested in reputation as recognised by academia in general – which judges paywalled journals differently than you, whether you like it or not. As always, this site is about how academia is, not how it should be. Wrzlprmft Aug 8 at 11:25
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    Downvoter: please let me know which argument i forgot, or how I could improve this answer otherwise. Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 1:53
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    You're missing the "be nice" violation, which seems important here too.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 9:24
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    @jakebeal I asked "is the deletion due to the term I used?" but I didn't get a clear answer, so I have no ideas. I'd think that if 1 word is the issue, then write a comment and see if the author is ok to change before deleting the answer. I don't recall any answers being deleted for just 1 word without any comments first. Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 14:38
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    It's not about a single word. When I read your one-sentence answer in its entirety, I see something I'd expect to see from somebody looking to stir up drama on Twitter, not somebody providing a well-grounded answer on StackExchange. You might not have intended it that way, but that's how a number of people, including myself, appear to be perceiving it, and you might want to ask yourself why that is.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 15:33
  • @jakebeal the "be nice" violation, if any, solely comes from the use of "parasites" imho. I don't see how the remaining "that slow down research by sucking up funding and making research output inaccessible to all" since it's a statement of fact (it is an obvious and well-documented consequence of paywalls. I even linked to supporting evidence). Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 15:37
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    You appear to be continuing to argue that your perception is correct, rather than reflecting on why others might have experienced your words differently.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 16:04
  • @jakebeal I am not surprised that a few other researchers may dislike reading that sentence, given the amount of paper submissions that paywalls still receive, but I fail to see any violation to the be-nice policy. Which other term is the issue? "sucking up"? If so, I can replace it with a more neutral/formal term. Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 16:10
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    @FranckDernoncourt Perhaps your belief that everyone with a criticism of your answer is just a fan of paywalled journals is preventing you from understanding the actual criticism. I think jakebeal has made a great effort here to help you understand.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 13:04
  • @BryanKrause I wrote "a few other researchers" and you claim that I think it's "everyone". Anyway, is there any violation to the be-nice policy? If not, is that a reason to delete the answer? Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 13:45
  • I explained the reasoning multiple times. You got it right in part A of this answer. Others have pointed out additional issues with the post.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 13:52
  • @BryanKrause are the other issues a cause for deletion? Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 13:54
  • They were not the cause for deletion in this case, though it's certainly not helpful for a post when it has multiple issues.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 14:01
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    I don't see what value there is in always pointing out "deleted by one mod" - it seems to imply some sort of rogue action, otherwise it is merely redundant. This is how the system works: if one mod clicks the "delete" button, the post is deleted. There is no way for more than one mod to delete a post, unless we each undelete it, then delete it again.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 15:30
  • @BryanKrause But there is also a way for the non-mod users to delete an answer. Therefore, it's not redundant. And there is nothing implied. Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 15:32

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