Tag: Ethics In Scholarly Communication

How to write an academic review? [Originally published in DADOS’ blog in July/2019]

The purpose of this post is to outline what a reviewer should consider before writing an assessment. In it, we discuss issues such as the importance of writing reviews, the types of possible reviews, what to do when detecting a conflict of interest, etc. Read More →

Pirates of the medical literature – a worldwide bibliometric study

A large volume of medical literature is being illegally downloaded in almost every country in the world. There is a significant relationship between the scientific output of these countries and the density of illegal downloads, especially in middle-income countries. This unequal pattern of legal access to medical literature requires the attention of both the publishing industry and policy makers. Read More →

Find out everything about the WG Institutional journal portals and the transition to Open Science that took place in the SciELO Network Meeting [Originally published in Periódicos de Minas’ blog in October/2018]

The SciELO Network Meeting took place on September 2018, in celebration of SciELO’s 20 years. At the occasion, eight working groups met to discuss topics related to scientific journals. Working Group 7 discussed Institutional Journal Portals and the transition to Open Science. Check out how went the WG experience. Read More →

All journals should have a policy defining authorship – here’s what to include [Originally published in LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog in January/2018]

Scientific research papers with large numbers of authors have become more commonplace, increasing the likelihood of authorship disputes. Danielle Padula, Theresa Somerville and Ben Mudrak emphasise the importance of journals clearly defining and communicating authorship criteria to researchers. As well as having a policy for inclusion, journals should also indicate unethical authorship practices, clarify the order of authors at an early stage, consider recognising “contributorship”, and refer any disputes that do arise to the authors’ institutions. Read More →

Scientific-public interface in times of correction of scientific literature: Contemporary ethical issues

The process of correcting scientific literature becomes increasingly accelerated and reflects, among several factors, a greater scrutiny by scientific publishers. Unlike what happened about two decades ago, when retracting an article was rare, today it has been integrated into the editorial culture. In this context, the way in which this correction process is articulated with the news flow about science deserves attention. In the science-public interface, retractions broaden the spaces to strengthen public understanding about science and its mechanisms of self-regulation. How to extend this space is one of the ethical discussions of our time. Read More →

Open-access books are downloaded, cited, and mentioned more than non-OA books [Originally published in LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog in November/2017]

Open-access journal articles have been found, to some extent, to be downloaded and cited more than non-OA articles. But could the same be true for books? Carrie Calder reports on recent research into how open access affects the usage of scholarly books, including the findings that OA books are, on average, downloaded seven times more, cited 50% more, and mentioned online ten times more. A number of accompanying interviews reveal that authors are choosing open access routes to publish their books not only because of wider dissemination and easier access but also for ethical reasons. Read More →

A statistical fix for the replication crisis in science [Originally published in The Conversation in October/2017]

How should we evaluate initial claims of a scientific discovery? Here’s is a new idea: Only P-values less than 0.005 should be considered statistically significant. P-values between 0.005 and 0.05 should merely be called suggestive, but statistical significance should not serve as a bright-line threshold for publication. Read More →

We have the technology to save peer review – now it is up to our communities to implement it [Originally published in LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog in September/2017]

There has been an explosion in innovation and experimentation in peer review in the last five years. While the ideal of peer review is still needed, it is its implementation, and the present lack of any viable alternative, that must be looked at for improvement, based on three core traits that underpin any viable peer-review system: quality control and moderation, performance and engagement incentives, and certification and reputation. Read More →

What will peer review be like in 2030?

Although the scientific literature has always been reviewed before it was published, current forms of peer review are only a few decades old and from the outset have been subjected to criticism and limitations. Open review and preprints servers have emerged in recent years as possible solutions in a world of growing communication in scientific research. Open reviews, artificial intelligence, collaborative and “cloud” reviews… what will peer review be like in 2030? Read More →

Editorial ethics – other types of plagiarism… and counting

Plagiarism and fraud multiply in a variety of ways. Recently two less frequent types have come up – accidental plagiarism and referee plagiarism. In any case, plagiarism is an ethical breach that erodes public confidence and we must prevent it. Read More →

The editors’ role on peer review: how to identify bad referees

A theoretical peer-review model assesses the effects of referees’ unethical conduct on approving and rejecting articles and how journal editors can mitigate this behavior. What is at stake is the reliability, transparency and efficiency of pre-publication peer review. Read More →

Assessment of reproducibility in research results leads to more questions than answers

The ‘Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology’ initiative that has the purpose of assessing the reproducibility of preclinical research in Oncology was launched in 2013 as the result of a collaboration between the Center for Open Science and Science Exchange. The first results of the replication studies have just been published, however, their interpretation requires a careful approach. Read More →

On the immediate rejection of manuscripts without external peer review

Not all texts received by scientific journals are sent to external evaluation. The arbitration process in the double blind system implies a high liability for editors and reviewers, and the burden of this process ends up expressed in a lengthy evaluation process, with direct effects on authors (who wait too long to receive a decision) and on readers (that may have access to delayed data). We used some data on the management of Revista de Sociologia e Política to think about the benefits and losses by rejecting original articles based on preliminary analysis by the editors (desk review evaluation), without requiring reviews issued by referees external to the editorial board. Read More →

Open Access reviewed: stricter criteria preserve credibility

The most comprehensive index of open access journals, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), reviewed its inclusion criteria, in view of allegations of the presence of predatory journals. This restructuring will lead to more than 3,000 journals to be removed from the database. DOAJ, besides advocating Open Access, established, in collaboration with COPE, OASPA and WAME, a code of principles and good practices in scientific publishing. Read More →

Reproducibility in research results: the challenges of attributing reliability

Recently projects have been developed with the aim to reproduce published research results in psychology, biology and economics to verify their reliability. The results indicate different degrees of reproducibility in each area, however, they served to alert the scientific community about how fragile results considered irrefutable can be and reflect on the role of science in self-correcting. Read More →