is a group of international stakeholders working collaboratively to address the collective challenge of paper mills in scholarly publishing
United2Act is committed to addressing the collective challenge of paper mills in scholarly publishing.
Paper mills are a real threat to the integrity of the scholarly record. Collective effort is needed because no individual stakeholder can solve this problem alone.
A virtual summit in May 2023 engaged research bodies, publishers, researchers/sleuths, universities, and publishing infrastructure from 15 countries and resulted in a Consensus Statement outlining five key areas of action.
The participants of the United2Act Summit agreed on five key collaborative multi-stakeholder actions to address the problem of paper mills.
1. Education and awareness
To create new educational tools and resources, and to promote education and awareness activities to make researchers, journal editors, reviewers, journals, and publishers aware of the problem of paper mills.
2. Improve post-publication corrections
To investigate and agree ways to improve communication with those who report misconduct to journals, and to agree ways in which the correction of the literature can be speeded up when misconduct is discovered.
3. Research paper mills
To work with interested parties to facilitate and organise research to be carried out on paper mills, with particular attention to regional and subject specific aspects.
4. Enable the development of trust markers
To work with the various suppliers who are developing tools which verify the identity of authors, reviewers, and editors to ensure that the solutions work for the variety of authors and author choices and are fit for purpose.
5. Continue to facilitate dialogue between stakeholders about the systematic manipulation of the publication process
To continue to bring together the many voices in this area through joint projects and initiatives.