Faux peer-reviewed journals: a threat to research integrity

Posted in Research on December 6th, 2020 by steve

“Despite all its imperfections, peer review is one marker of scientific quality – it indicates that an article has been evaluated prior to publication by at least one, and usually several, experts in the field. An academic journal that does not use peer review would not usually be regarded as a serious source and we would not expect to see it listed in a database such as Clarivate Analytic’s Web of Science Core Collection …” (more)

[BishopBlog, 6 December]

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If you can’t be kind in peer review, be neutral

Posted in Research on November 30th, 2020 by steve

International“Like most scientists, we are both regularly asked to serve as peer reviewers: to rank proposals and candidates and to identify flaws that should prohibit a publication of a manuscript or provision of grant support. Journals encourage reviewers to ‘plainly state’ their opinion of a manuscript, and reviews of manuscripts and grants land in authors’ inboxes unfiltered and unedited …” (more)

[Rebekah Baglini and Christine Parsons, Nature, 30 November]


The Economics of Trust in Peer Review

Posted in Research on September 23rd, 2020 by steve

“Close your eyes, and visualize a time before debit cards, or Venmo, or Apple Pay. Imagine reaching into your wallet and pulling out a paper version of money once commonly used for transactions called cash. In your mind’s eye, look at the back of that money. What do you find? …” (more)

[Dawn Durante, The Scholarly Kitchen, 23 September]


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]

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Don’t be a prig in peer review

Posted in Research on September 2nd, 2020 by steve

International“I very much enjoy being a peer reviewer. Reviewing manuscripts allows me to stay up to date on the most-current research in my field, and I feel a sense of accomplishment when helping authors to effectively disseminate their science. However, I have been discouraged by some comments from fellow reviewers that I’ve seen relayed to authors …” (more)

[Jeff Clements, Nature, 1 September]


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]

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To ensure the quality of peer reviewed research introduce randomness

Posted in Research on March 9th, 2020 by steve

“Journals play an important role in signalling the quality of academic research. This quality is often linked to measures such as the journal impact factor. However, these measures often obscure the overall quality of research papers in a journal. In this post, Margit Osterloh and Bruno Frey argue that the overall quality and originality of published academic research can be improved by introducing randomness into the peer review process …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 9 March]


21 Dos and Don’ts for Journal Writers and Reviewers

Posted in Research on April 25th, 2019 by steve

“We don’t like to think of ourselves as old, but – submitting our first publication in graduate school entailed making five photocopies of the manuscript, printing and hand-signing a cover letter on campus letterhead, sealing both into a large manila envelope, and dropping it into a mailbox. The world of academic publishing is far different today …” (more)

[Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan and Wendy Troop-Gordon, Chronicle of Higher Education, 24 April]

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Self-organising peer review for preprints – A future paradigm for scholarly publishing

Posted in Research on April 17th, 2019 by steve

International“Preprints – rapidly published non peer reviewed research articles – are becoming an increasingly common fixture in scholarly communication. However, without being peer reviewed they serve a limited function, as they are often not recognised as high quality research publications. In this post Wang LingFeng discusses how the development of preprint servers as self-organising peer review platforms could be the future of scholarly publication …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 17 April]

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Not all academics are comfortable with the idea of open peer review

Posted in Research on September 14th, 2018 by steve

“There are many arguments in favour of open peer review, from anticipated improvements to the speed and quality of reviews brought about by the greater accountability, through to the likely reduction in unfair or illogical decisions because of the system’s transparency. Despite this, not all academics are comfortable with open peer review and remain fearful of their comments and views being subject to public scrutiny …” (more)

[Jaime A Teixeira da Silva, LSE Impact Blog, 14 September]


Don’t Even Think of Publishing in This Journal

Posted in Research on August 16th, 2018 by steve

“A major higher education research journal is suspending submissions to clear out a two-year backlog. Some see this case pointing to broad problems in academic publishing, such as the unwillingness of many scholars to review papers …” (more)

[Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 16 August]

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Unhelpful, caustic and slow: the academic community should rethink the way publications are reviewed

Posted in Research on June 22nd, 2018 by steve

“The current review system for many academic articles is flawed, hindering the publication of excellent, timely research. There is a lack of education for peer reviewers, either during PhD programmes or from journal publishers, and the lack of incentives to review compounds the problem. Thomas Wagenknecht offers up some solutions to the current system …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 22 June]

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Is peer review bad for your mental health?

Posted in Research on April 19th, 2018 by steve

“Amidst fears of a mental health crisis in higher education, to what extent is the peer review process a contributing factor? It’s a process fraught with uncertainty, as authors try to forge something constructive from often mixed feedback or occasionally downright unhelpful comments. Helen Kara stresses the importance of being aware of the effects of uncertainty and taking steps to reduce its impact. Focus on what you can control, prepare for different outcomes, acknowledge how you’re feeling, and make sure to practise self-care …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 19 April]

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Scientific peer review: an ineffective and unworthy institution

Posted in Research on December 12th, 2017 by steve

“Given the entirely appropriate degree of respect that science has for data, the ongoing discussion of peer review is often surprisingly data-free and underlain by the implicit assumption that peer review – although in need of improvement – is indispensable …” (more)

[Les Hatton and Gregory Warr, Times Higher Education, 9 December]

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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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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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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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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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‘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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