Peer-review as a research topic in its own right

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Over the last decade, the topic of scholarly communication has attracted the interest of researchers in all fields of knowledge. One of the most studied topics is the assessment of peer review, including its qualitative and quantitative aspects, its ability to detect and curb unethical practices, the appreciation of its methods of assessment and how technology can facilitate and improve the process, while meeting the challenges brought about by the age of digital publishing.

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Peer review: bad with it, worse without it

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Peer review is seen as one of the pillars – if not the most important – of scientific communication. Despite the difficulties in going through the review process, the authors believe that the process improves the quality of the manuscript, and they want to be published on refereed journals that have a sound evaluation mechanism. Recent cases of attempted manipulation of the peer review process by fake reviews concern the international scientific community, however, it does not undermine its credibility and trust. The peer review crisis can be an opportunity to strengthen and improve the process.

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The Elsevier you know is not the only Elsevier

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The current science publisher Elsevier may have the same name as the venerable publishing house that published the work of great scientists in the 16th and 17th century, but there is in fact no historical connection other than the name.

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Online management of manuscripts is a required indexing criterion of SciELO

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From 2015 on all journals indexed in SciELO Brazil should operate the review of manuscripts with the support of a system or service that records the flow of transactions and produce follow up reports and statistics. The aim is to strengthen the quality and credibility of the journals.

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Peer review modalities, pros and cons

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The double-blind peer review system is chosen by most researchers as an effective and efficient mechanism by eliminating subjective judgment as well as authorship and affiliation biases, allowing to focus on the quality of the manuscript. Nature reports that authors can, from now on, choose this form of review for their manuscripts. Here are discussed the most common forms of peer review, its features, advantages and disadvantages, including those regarding SciELO Brazil journals.

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Could grant proposal reviews be made available openly?

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Researchers have been discussing what would be the impact of making the review process of grant proposals more open and transparent, in order to support the preparation of better proposals and acknowledge the work of the reviewers. A recently published paper in Nature examines the impact of two articles on the open availability of the review of research proposals and the possibility of changing the assessment after publication of the results.

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Study analyzes the use of social networks in the assessment of scientific impact

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The use of social networks in science communication has been increasing on a large scale, and specific platforms have been created for interaction and information sharing among researchers. A study by researchers at the University of St. Gallen, in Switzerland evaluated whether and how scientific impact can be measured by social media data analysis, and how this approach correlates to traditional metrics.

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Gender inequality in science varies among disciplines

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Certain disciplines have a lower percentage of women than others. A study published in Science puts forward the hypothesis that there are proportionately fewer women in fields where it is believed that brilliance and innate talent are required rather than hard work and dedication. The study, which looked at 1,820 researchers in institutions of higher education in the United States, showed an inverse relationship between the fields that value innate talent and the number of women represented in these fields. Read More →

350 years of scientific publication: from the “Journal des Sçavans” and Philosophical Transactions to SciELO

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Is has been 350 years since the first numbers of the first journals of scientific nature were published – Journal des Sçavans and Philosophical Transactions. With the support of the new printing technology handwritten letters used in the communication between researchers and scholars have been replaced. There is much to celebrate in these 350 years in which scientific journals contributed to the record and memory of the advancement of science. Online Web publishing is the most important transformation of scientific journals since that year 1665.

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Editorial ethics – the geography of plagiarism

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A recent study published in PNAS on 757,000 arXiv.org documents about the reuse of text (text overlap) shows that this practice is more common in some countries than others, but the results seem to show that the authors who extensively copy texts from others are also the less cited. Read More →