Author: Ernesto Spinak

Colaborador do SciELO, engenheiro de Sistemas e licenciado en Biblioteconomia, com diploma de Estudos Avançados pela Universitat Oberta de Catalunya e Mestre em “Sociedad de la Información" pela Universidad Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona – Espanha. Atualmente tem uma empresa de consultoria que atende a 14 instituições do governo e universidades do Uruguai com projetos de informação.

Scientometrics of peer-reviewers – will they be finally recognized?

ORCID and CASRAI have initiated a project to establish a set of standard procedures to recognize the work of peer-reviewers. In this way the important work of peer-review, almost always anonymous, will be counted in the acknowledgments and be incorporated into scientometric indicators and altmetrics. But this will depend upon a sufficient level of adoption and acceptance of the procedures. Read More →

Ethical publishing – scholars have to make bibliographical references as well

Should top-flight scholars include bibliographic references in their works to sources they have used or is it the case that the bibliographical reference is an archaic technicality? This question became a topic for discussion at the beginning of this month because of the accusations made against Zygmunt Bauman, namely that his latest book includes sections of text copied from web sites and Wikipedia – a procedure known as “mosaic plagiarism”. Read More →

Ethical publishing – Best practices in ethical publishing – Wiley updates its renowned manual and makes it available in Open Access

An updated edition of the renowned manual “Best Practice Guidelines on Publishing Ethics: A Publisher’s Perspective” was recently published in open access. This edition brings together topics which provide updates to the practices of editorial ethics in dealing with situations such as privacy and confidentiality, cultural differences, human rights, clinical trials using animals, and other topics that are sources of heated controversy today. Read More →

In the beginning it was just plagiarism – now its computer-generated fake papers as well

Prestigious publishers had to withdraw more than 120 fraudulent articles that had been generated by computer programs and which managed to fool the peer review process. Learn how it is possible to create fraudulent articles in minutes and also how it is possible to detect them. The question that arises is: why can editorial control systems be fooled so easily. Read More →

Experts give their opinion on Elsevier’s assault

In reaction to the DMCA requests sent out by Elsevier in December of last year to prevent articles which had been published in its journals from being made available on Web sites, the principal leaders in Open Access made their voices clearly heard. Among them were Steven Harnad, Charles Oppenheim and Richard Poynder where, in Poynder’s famous blog Open & Shut, they explain the different options that exist for an author to publish in repositories using the so called “Harnad-Oppenheim” solution. Read More →

Editorial ethics: the detection of plagiarism by automated means

The growth in plagiarism in academic articles requires publishers to have effective plagiarism detection systems, known as PDS, since there are multiple ways that this dishonest practice can be concealed. The issue is of such importance that, since 2004, the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin has been maintaining a specialized site of PDS software evaluations. Read More →

Publishing giants fight back – Elsevier goes author hunting

Last December Elsevier sent out thousands of e-mails to repositories of articles from scientific publications featuring open access articles that had been published in Elsevier journals, requesting that those articles be removed, by invoking the protection given to copyright holders granted by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This raised an alarm in the academic community because it could be the start of similar actions by other commercial publishers. Voices have been raised in defense of the rights of authors, but sooner or later the researchers must decide whether the traditional publishing model is the one that best suits their interests. Read More →

Ethical Editing – Ghostwriting is an unhealthy practice

In scholarly communication, contrary to politics and literature, it is considered unethical to write anonymously (as a ghostwriter) and to put the name of another person to what has been written. This can have legal consequences. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies to use ghostwriters to publish articles that promote their products, often without them having been properly tested in independent clinical trials. Nevertheless, these articles are often published in journals that have international impact. Read More →

Preservation: the construction of our digital continuity

The amount and variety of digital information continues to grow, and this includes academic journals, government records, information for education, and all that is produced and published on the Internet which needs to be preserved. The need for long-term preservation is not an issue of technology, but rather an enormous unplanned challenge for institutions which requires professional skills not commonly found in the professional labor market. This challenge is one of the most pronounced issues in developing countries which are devoting large sums of money to deal with it. Read More →

To blog or not to blog – what academics are doing

When we speak of scientific blogs, we think of them as a means by which importance is given to the dissemination of scientific activities to the public in general. But apparently this ideal of transferring scientific knowledge to the citizens via blogs is not occurring. Instead, the blogs are becoming internal discussion forums amongst colleagues interested in their own professional careers, in other words, blogs by scientists for scientists. Read More →

Open-Data: liquid information, democracy, innovation… the times they are a-changin’

Open data are changing teaching, research and decision making. The Open Government registry registers more than 385 catalogs in 40 countries which offer more than one million open data-sets. Open data joins Open Access, Open Source and Creative Commons in a process of global change. A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute concludes that the availability of Open data could increase trillions of dollars in economic value annually. Read More →

Ethical editing practices and the problem of self-plagiarism

If an author copies a passage from another author without indicating it, it is considered plagiarism, but … what happens if he takes passages from his own previously published works without indicating it? Self-plagiarism is not an offense against intellectual property but it is, however, a significant ethical lapse in scholarly communication. Is it Ok to reuse one’s own material? To what degree can a work incorporate parts of previous works? Read More →

Impact – Nature’s Viewpoint: comments on special issue 502 (7471) 17th October, 2013

The journal Impact Factor as measured by citations is a relevant yet insufficient measure in the evaluation of projects by national research funding agencies. Without denying this objective measure and the importance it has, a consensus is emerging that the social and economic impact of research funded by these agencies must also be evaluated. Read More →

Publication ethics and the problem of plagiarism

Plagiarism in the academic environment not only violates an author’s copyright and moral rights, but is also unethical behavior which may justify the expulsion of the perpetrators from their institution. There are different forms of plagiarism which occur with differing frequencies. A recent report produced by the company iThenticate shows ten of the most common cases and their degree of seriousness. Read More →

Open access articles are here to stay: in less than 10 years nearly 50% of articles worldwide can be accessed this way

Publication sponsored by the European Commission, which highlights the role of SciELO in Brazil and the southern hemisphere, estimates that 50% of scholarly articles in the world are available in open access. Researchers like Stevan Harnad calculate this rate by 32%. Methodological differences explain the discrepancy, but the results achieved in a decade show no reversal on this trend. Read More →