Trust as an Ethic and a Practice in Peer Review

Posted in Research on September 21st, 2020 by steve

“Trust is the theme of this year’s Peer Review Week, and we can’t think of anything more important or timely. Peer review runs on trust. Trust is both a noun and a verb; both are central to how knowledge develops and is shared through research. And yet trust seems in short supply in our fractured and fraying world …” (more)

[Alice Meadows, Jasmine Wallace and Karin Wulf, The Scholarly Kitchen, 21 September]

Tags: ,

IReL journal backfile purchases

Posted in Research on September 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“IReL has purchased journal backfile collections from Sage, American Medical Association and Wiley. Typically, our publisher subscription agreements do not give us access to all issues of a journal: our so-called frontfile entitlements give us access to issues published from the late 1990s (when journals first became available online) to present. The backfiles, issues published in print format before this date, were digitised and licensed separately …” (more)

[IReL, 16 September]

Tags: ,

Sustainable Open Access – What’s Next?

Posted in Research on August 27th, 2020 by steve

International“Early last year, I interviewed Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-in-Chief of Annual Reviews about the organization’s rationale for pursuing open access (OA) and details of their Subscribe to Open approach. A few months ago, Lisa Hinchliffe offered us an update on Annual Reviews, providing both an expanded definition of Subscribe to Open and an overview of some of the advantages and challenges of the model …” (more)

[Ann Michael, The Scholarly Kitchen, 27 August]

Tags: ,

Women less likely to critique men’s research in academic journals

Posted in Research on August 20th, 2020 by steve

“Women researchers are less likely to comment on academic work, and it shows a subtle gender bias in academia. If women are less likely to comment, they could be excluded from or marginalized in important scholarly debates and networks …” (more)

[Cary Wu, Rima Wilkes and Sylvia Fuller, Academic Matters, 19 August]

Tags: ,

Signs of ‘citation hacking’ flagged in scientific papers

Posted in Research on August 15th, 2020 by steve

“Scientists who get too many references to their own work inserted in others’ papers – whether by prior arrangement or by asking for extra references during peer review – might leave telltale fingerprints in the citation record, say two researchers who have developed a way to detect what they call citation hacking …” (more)

[Richard Van Noorden, Nature, 14 August]


Ten takeaways from ten years at Retraction Watch

Posted in Research on August 4th, 2020 by steve

International“As we celebrate our tenth birthday and look forward to our second decade, we thought it would be a good time to take stock and reflect on some lessons we – and others – have learned …” (more)

[Ivan Oransky, Retraction Watch, 3 August]


Science publishing has opened up during the coronavirus pandemic. It won’t be easy to keep it that way

Posted in Research on July 28th, 2020 by steve

International“Scientific publishing is not known for moving rapidly. In normal times, publishing new research can take months, if not years. Researchers prepare a first version of a paper on new findings and submit it to a journal, where it is often rejected, before being resubmitted to another journal, peer-reviewed, revised and, eventually, hopefully published …” (more)

[Virginia Barbour, The Conversation, 27 July]

Tags: ,

Open-access Plan S to allow publishing in any journal

Posted in Research on July 16th, 2020 by steve

International“Funding agencies behind the radical open-access (OA) initiative Plan S have announced a policy that could make it possible for researchers to bypass journals’ restrictions on open publishing. The change could allow scientists affected by Plan S to publish in any journal they want – even in subscription titles, such as Science, that haven’t yet agreed to comply with the scheme …” (more)

[Richard Van Noorden, Nature, 16 July]

Tags: ,

After Open Access

Posted in Research on July 15th, 2020 by steve

International“We are a collective of intersectional feminist and social justice journal editors. We reject the narrow values of efficiency, transparency and compliance that inform current developments and policies in open access and platform publishing …” (more)

[Critical Legal Thinking, 15 July]

Tags: ,

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals Don’t Really Do Their Job

Posted in Research on June 27th, 2020 by steve

“The rush for scientific cures and treatments for Covid-19 has opened the floodgates of direct communication between scientists and the public. Instead of waiting for their work to go through the slow process of peer review at scientific journals, scientists are now often going straight to print themselves, posting write-ups of their work to public servers as soon as they’re complete …” (more)

[Simine Vazire, Wired, 25 June]

Tags: , ,

Universities Step Up the Fight for Open-Access Research

Posted in Research on June 16th, 2020 by steve

“Five years ago, when Jeffrey MacKie-Mason first joined the University of California team that negotiates with academic publishers, he asked a colleague what would happen if he failed to strike a deal. What if, instead, he simply canceled their subscription? ‘I was told I would be fired the next day’, the UC Berkeley librarian says …” (more)

[Gregory Barber, Wired, 16 June]

Tags: , , ,

What are scientific papers for?

Posted in Research on May 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Writing scientific papers and publishing them in academic journals is an essential part of the activity of a researcher. ‘Publish or perish’ is truer now than ever, and an extensive publication list is essential for anyone wanting to have a career in science. But what are these papers actually for? What purpose do they serve? …” (more)

[In the Dark, 30 May]


When to bury an academic paper?

Posted in Research on April 30th, 2020 by steve

“Last November, a paper of mine got an impossible-to-do R&R by an academic (ethics/political philosophy) journal – it amounted to a de facto rejection, except if I was willing to write a very different paper. The paper had been rejected before, and I was at a point where I wasn’t sure what to do with it …” (more)

[Ingrid Robeyns, Crooked Timber, 30 April]


Women academics seem to be submitting fewer papers during coronavirus. ‘Never seen anything like it,’ says one editor.

Posted in Research on April 29th, 2020 by steve

“This was supposed to be a big year for Einat Lev. She planned to do field work in Hawaii and Alaska, submit a major research proposal, then finish writing the last of five papers necessary for her tenure application. In September, she would finally go before the review committee, the final step to becoming a full-fledged associate professor of seismology at Columbia University …” (more)

[Caroline Kitchener, The Lily, 24 April]

Tags: , , ,

First open access science programme signed with Elsevier

Posted in Research on February 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A consortium of publicly funded Irish higher education institutions and Elsevier, the 140-year-old publisher and ‘global leader in information analytics’ specialising in science and health, have agreed to the country’s first open access programme with a major scientific publisher, an important step towards the goal of securing full open access to Irish research publications …” (more)

[University World News, 20 February]

Tags: , , ,

Is Sci-Hub Safe?

Posted in Research on January 17th, 2020 by steve

International“Alexandra Elbakyan, founder of the scholarly piracy website Sci-Hub, is suspected of working with Russian intelligence officials to steal confidential research and military secrets from American universities. According to The Washington Post, Elbakyan, nicknamed the Robin Hood of science, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for suspected criminal acts and espionage …” (more)

[Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed, 17 January]

Tags: ,

Gender neutrality in economics: The role of editors and referees

Posted in Research on January 8th, 2020 by steve

International“Women economists are under-represented across the discipline, from university departments to academic conferences and publishing houses. This column focuses on the editorial process and asks whether the referees and editors of four leading economics journals made gender-neutral publishing decisions between 2003 and 2013 …” (more)

[David Card, Stefano DellaVigna, Patricia Funk and Nagore Iriberri, Vox, 8 January]

Tags: , ,

Predatory journals: no definition, no defence

Posted in Research on December 11th, 2019 by steve

International“Leading scholars and publishers from ten countries have agreed a definition of predatory publishing that can protect scholarship. It took 12 hours of discussion, 18 questions and 3 rounds to reach …” (more)

[Nature, 11 December]

Tags: ,

Bias in Publishing

Posted in Research on November 7th, 2019 by steve

“You’ll have heard the story about women whingeing about how their proudly-submitted papers got rejected by a premier journal without being sent out to referees. Or that the comments they received from referees were unduly harsh, but a male colleague’s paper got through on the nod without multiple resubmissions. Just a bunch of females having a moan wasn’t it because they can’t hack it? Well, no. Turns out they (we) were right …” (more)

[Athene Donald’s Blog, 6 November]

Tags: ,

Two-thirds of researchers report ‘pressure to cite’ in Nature poll

Posted in Research on October 1st, 2019 by steve

International“An online poll answered by more than 4,300 Nature readers suggests that most researchers have felt pressured by peer reviewers to cite studies in their papers that seem unnecessary. Readers were asked, ‘Have you ever felt pressured by peer reviewers to cite seemingly superfluous studies in your work?’, to which 66% responded ‘yes’ and 34% said ‘no’ …” (more)

[Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Nature, 1 October]

Tags: ,