Scholarship and Research

Faculty development in scholarly activity and research. 

Note: From within the University system, direct links to USA Biomedical electronic resources within this site are supported by Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer 10 or higher. Otherwise, you may access ClinicalKey via the USA Biomedical Library using your USAonline user ID and password for login. When accessing some links from outside of the University system, you may need to use the USA Biomedical Library's ClnicalKey and journal search engine using your USAonline user ID and password for login.


Predatory Publishers Will Take Your Article…and Your Dollar

With the explosion of open-access publishing sites over the last decade, opportunists have taken advantage of the desire (and sometimes obligation) for publishing, creating a market for “peer-reviewed” journals which publish articles for a fee. This has been covered in the journals Nature (here and here) and The Chronicle of Higher Education (here) as well as in the New York Times (here). Professor Jeffery Beall began exploring this issue in 2008 and was interviewed by the blog The Scholarly Kitchen (here, 15 min. audio only). Prof. Beall states:

"Predatory open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally exploit the gold open-access model for their own profit. That is to say, they operate as scholarly vanity presses and publish articles in exchange for the author fee. They are characterized by various levels of deception and lack of transparency in their operations.  For example, some publishers may misrepresent their location, stating New York instead of Nigeria, or they may claim a stringent peer-review where none really exists."

Buyer Beware

With the impetus to produce scholarly activity, what is an author to do? Ask yourself…

  • Does the journal/publisher provide verifiable contact information, including physical address? If they only exist on the Internet, beware!!
  • Is the journal/publisher’s policy for author fees readily available? Don’t get sucker punched.
  • Is first contact made via e-mail invitations to submit to journals or to become editorial board members? Are the journal/publisher’s calls for abstracts or papers distributed through standard means such as announcements through reputable professional societies and meetings?
  • Are the members of the editorial board or past authors reputable in their field? What do they have to say about the journal/publisher? Consider contacting them directly for their opinion.
  • Is the journal/publisher’s peer-review process is clearly defined and verifiable?
  • Do the journal/publisher’s published article meet standards for scholarly activity?
  • Is the journal/publisher a member of an industry association, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, which attempt to verify their members’ reputations? But just because they are listed with such an association does not mean that they adhere to the highest standards. Proceed with caution and consider the above suggestions.
  • What do our librarians know about this journal/publisher? Contact the Biomedical Library!


Faculty Development at USA

Innovation in Learning CenterILC Logo.jpg

The Innovation in Learning Center provides professional development workshops for all USA faculty members and promotes coordinated professional development initiatives and integrated instructional technologies for the traditional classroom, blended courses, and fully online learning environments. Workshops can be provided for groups at USAMC, USACW, and USAMCI. Contact Joyce Guest to arrange an onsite workshop. Selected workshops are listed below.

Research Rundown

Concise summaries of educational technology research.

USA Online.png


USAonline contains the project site "The Basics of Research", which includes 13 short articles on writing papers for submission. Also, Basics includes a tutorial for "Assessment of Literature" as well as articles on "A Systematic Guide to Reviewing a Manuscript" and "Simple Method for Evaluating the Clinical Literature." These three resources are helpful in resident and faculty education related to journal clubs. For access to these resources, contact Dr. Joyce Guest.


Online Resources

Directory of Open Access Journals

Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association


Break Line.png

USA with Apron.jpgUniversity of South Alabama Health System
Graduate Medical Education

2451 USA Medical Center Drive, Mastin 212, Mobile, AL 36617  
Phone 251.471.7206  •  Fax 251.471.7875

Email Newsletters

Connect With Us