Tag: Ethics In Scholarly Communication

Scientific rigor and open science: ethical and methodological challenges in qualitative research

The literature demonstrates growing criticism of the reliability of qualitative research, including claims that it lacks rigor and methodological clarity. In the publication system, several actions reflect this increased attention to rigor. Initiatives by major research funding agencies also emphasize rigor. The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), for example, has fostered efforts to promote strategies to increase rigor and transparency in the reporting of results of qualitative research. Here, we offer a brief panorama, permeated by transformations that include increasing initiatives to promote open science. We explore some questions about the current discussion of scientific rigor, not only in publications, but also in proposing qualitative research projects. Read More →

Open but Unfair – The role of social justice in Open Access publishing [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in October/2020]

Stage one of the Open Access (OA) movement promoted the democratization of scholarly knowledge, making work available so that anybody could read it. However, publication in highly ranked journals is becoming very costly, feeding the same vendor capitalists that OA was designed to sidestep. In this Q&A, Simon Batterbury argues that when prestige is valued over publication ethics, a paradoxical situation emerges where conversations about social justice take place in unjust journals. Academic freedom and integrity are at risk unless Open Access becomes not simply about the democratization of knowledge, but the ethics of its publication too. Read More →

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak highlights serious deficiencies in scholarly communication [Originally published in the LSE Impact blog in March/2020]

As research and government responses to the COVID-19 outbreak escalate in the face of a global public health crisis, Vincent Larivière, Fei Shu and Cassidy R. Sugimoto reflect on efforts to make research on this subject more widely available. Arguing that a narrow focus on research published in high ranking journals predominantly in English has impeded research efforts, they suggest that the renewed emphasis on carrying out open research on the virus presents an opportunity to reassess how research and scholarly communication systems serve the public good. Read More →

Sorbonne declaration on research data rights [Originally published in the LERU website in January/2020]

The opening of research data is one of the practices of open science that is progressively being globalized. In November 2019, the Network of Scientific Data Repositories of the State of São Paulo, formed by eight universities and research institutions, was launched. In January 2020, leaders of eight university networks gathered at the International Research Data Rights Summit at Sorbonne Université signed the Sorbonne Declaration on Research Data Rights, which is reproduced in this post in the original English version. Read More →

CRediT Check – Should we welcome tools to differentiate the contributions made to academic papers? [Originally published in LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog in January/2020]

Elsevier is the latest in a lengthening list of publishers to announce their adoption for 1,200 journals of the CASRAI Contributor Role Taxonomy (CRediT). Authors of papers in these journals will be required to define their contributions in relation to a predefined taxonomy of 14 roles. In this post, Elizabeth Gadd weighs the pros and cons of defining contributorship in a more prescriptive fashion and asks whether there is a risk of incentivising new kinds of competitive behaviour and forms of evaluation that doesn’t benefit researchers. Read More →

Peer review is not just quality control, it is part of the social infrastructure of research [Originally published in LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog in June/2019]

The purpose of peer review is often portrayed as being a simple ‘objective’ test of the soundness or quality of a research paper. However, it also performs other functions primarily through linking and developing relationships between networks of researchers. In this post, Flaminio Squazzoni explores these interconnections and argues that to understand peer review as simply an exercise in quality control is to be blind to the historical, political and social dimensions of peer review. Read More →

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 →