The peer review system has flaws. But it’s still a barrier to bad science

Posted in Research on September 20th, 2017 by steve

International“Democracy and scientific peer review have something in common: it’s a ‘system full of problems but the least worst we have’. That’s the view of Richard Smith, a medical doctor and former editor of the illustrious British Medical Journal …” (more)

[Brenda Wingfield, The Conversation, 20 September]

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Amidst criticism of the peer review process, the valuable contributions of reviewers should be defended

Posted in Research on September 16th, 2017 by steve

“As flaws in the peer review process are highlighted and calls for reform become more frequent, it may be tempting for some to denigrate and dismiss the contributions of the reviewers themselves. Maxine David has been witness to this and here makes an appeal to give space to recognise those who offer their time and expertise voluntarily and generously …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 16 September]

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Germany’s strategy for life without Elsevier

Posted in Research on September 10th, 2017 by steve

“German universities have coped ‘easily’ when cut off from Elsevier journals and do not need to rely on pirate article-sharing sites such as Sci-Hub, according to a negotiator from Germany’s biggest network of research centres …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 5 September]

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‘Almost half’ of recent research papers now open access

Posted in Research on August 22nd, 2017 by steve

International“Nearly half of all recently published journal articles are freely available online, according to researchers who claim that institutions may be approaching a tipping point where they cancel their subscriptions to paywalled periodicals …” (more)

[Holly Else, Times High Education, 15 August]

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Biology’s Roiling Debate Over Publishing Research Early

Posted in Research on July 8th, 2017 by steve

International“Five years ago, Daniel MacArthur set out to build a massive library of human gene sequences – one of the biggest ever. The 60,706 raw sequences, collected from colleagues all over the globe, took up a petabyte of memory …” (more)

[Megan Molteni, Wired, 8 July]

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Our obsession with eminence warps research

Posted in Research on July 5th, 2017 by steve

International“We can quantify exactly how much faster Usain Bolt is than the next-fastest sprinter. It’s much harder to say who is the best scientist, let alone how much better they are than the next-best scientist. Deciding who deserves recognition is, at least in part, a judgement call. On my optimistic days, I can believe that, despite all the noise, there’s still a reliable signal …” (more)

[Simine Vazire, Nature News, 4 July]

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Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?

Posted in Research on June 28th, 2017 by steve

International“In 2011, Claudio Aspesi, a senior investment analyst at Bernstein Research in London, made a bet that the dominant firm in one of the most lucrative industries in the world was headed for a crash …” (more)

[Stephen Buranyi, Guardian, 27 June]

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My wall of rejection and why it matters

Posted in Research on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

“If I had a magic wand and could change something about academia, I would make it commonplace for people to share their rejections – on blogs, by emailing colleagues, by running to their office neighbours, print-out in hand, saying ‘You won’t believe how awful the review I got this morning was! Come and laugh at it with me over coffee!’ …” (more)

[Nick Hopwood, 21 June]

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Formal recognition for peer review will propel research forward

Posted in Research on June 1st, 2017 by steve

“Academic research has been beset by a number of disturbing problems in recent years; from the reproducibility crisis and long publication delays, right through to article retractions and admissions of researcher misconduct. This has led to increasing public and media scepticism as to the quality and integrity of research …” (more)

[Andrew Preston and Tom Culley, Impact of Social Sciences, 1 June]

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It’s not just you: science papers are getting harder to read

Posted in Research on March 31st, 2017 by steve

International“Modern scientific texts are more impenetrable than they were over a century ago, suggests a team of researchers in Sweden. It’s easy to believe that …” (more)

[Philip Ball, Nature News, 30 March]

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In Praise of ‘B’ Journals

Posted in Research on March 29th, 2017 by steve

“Every university has a list of A journals, those it considers to be the most prestigious in its field. Even the journals that rank institutions have such lists, and many universities use them to measure their impact. As a result, academics establish their credentials by publishing in these journals, and universities grant tenure and promotion for the same …” (more)

[Andrew Hoffman, Inside Higher Ed, 28 March]

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Gender bias distorts peer review across field

Posted in Research on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

International“In many scientific fields, women publish fewer papers than men, are less likely to be listed as first authors and are less likely to receive glowing letters of recommendation from their advisers. These disparities have decreased over time, but they persist. Now, a study finds that some journal editors might be inadvertently taking gender into account when selecting reviewers for papers …” (more)

[Erin Ross, Nature News, 21 March]

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Patchy progress on fixing global gender disparities in science

Posted in Research on March 8th, 2017 by steve

International“Although women are publishing more studies, being cited more often, and securing more coveted first-author positions than they were in the mid 1990s, overall progress towards gender parity in science varies widely by country and field. This is according to a massive report released on 8 March that is the first to examine such a broad swath of disciplines and regions of the world over time …” (more)

[Erin Ross, Nature News, 8 March]

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The peer-review system for academic papers is badly in need of repair

Posted in Research on February 26th, 2017 by steve

International“Peer review, or scientific refereeing, is the basis of the academic process. It’s a rigorous evaluation that aims to ensure only work which advances knowledge is published in a scientific journal. Scientists must be able to trust this system: if they see that something is peer reviewed, it should be a hallmark of quality …” (more)

[Michael Rose and Willem Boshoff, The Conversation, 26 February]

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Discipline tardy journal editors, say scholars

Posted in Research on February 9th, 2017 by steve

International“Editors of academic journals should be investigated for ‘professional negligence’ if peer review at their publications takes too long, says a leading critic of the scholarly publishing industry. Despite many editors being unpaid or poorly remunerated for their work, plant scientist Jaime A Teixeira da Silva believes they ‘should be held accountable’ if authors are made to wait for an ‘excessive or unreasonable amount of time’ before a decision is made on their research …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 7 February]

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Gender imbalance in science journals is still pervasive

Posted in Research on January 26th, 2017 by steve

International“In 2012, this journal admitted its gender bias. Following a complaint from two readers that too few News & Views articles were written by women, we totted up the numbers and realized that they were correct. Moreover, the imbalance was present in other sections of Nature, too …” (more)

[Nature, 25 January]

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‘You never said my peer review was confidential’ – scientist challenges publisher

Posted in Research on January 23rd, 2017 by steve

International“Are peer-reviewers free to openly share the content of their reviews if journal editors haven’t explicitly told them not to? Jon Tennant, a scientist-turned-outreach specialist, thinks so. Tennant had reviewed a research paper submitted to the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology …” (more)

[Quirin Schiermeier, Nature News, 23 January]

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Gates Foundation research can’t be published in top journals

Posted in Research on January 14th, 2017 by steve

International“One of the world’s most influential global health charities says that the research it funds cannot currently be published in several leading journals, because the journals do not comply with its open-access policy …” (more)

[Richard Van Noorden, Nature News, 13 January]

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What Happens to Rejected Papers?

Posted in Research on January 4th, 2017 by steve

International“The pain of rejection is one that every scientist has felt: but what happens to papers after they’re declined by a journal? In a new study, researchers Earnshaw et al traced the fate of almost 1,000 manuscripts which had been submitted to and rejected by ear, nose and throat journal Clinical Otolaryngology between 2011 to 2013 …” (more)

[Neuroskeptic, 3 January]

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A possible future for science publishing

Posted in Research on January 4th, 2017 by steve

“You just finished reading an article published two weeks ago on a preprint server (spoiler alert: traditional journals have decreased in popularity). After closing the article on your favourite paper manager, you receive the following message: …” (more)

[Ben Sutherland, In Between Manuscripts, 29 December]

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