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.

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 →