Friday, July 20, 2018

PUBMET2018 Open Science Conference

The 5th PUBMET2018 Conference on scholarly publishing in the context of Open Science which will be held on 20-21 September 2018 at the University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia, and is organized by the University of Zadar, the University of Zagreb and the Ruđer Bošković Institute, under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Education and OpenAIRE Advance.

This conference provides a platform for researchers, editors, publishers, librarians, repository managers, and policymakers to discuss recent trends in scholarly publishing and metrics, and timely topics related to Open Science.
Please check the PUBMET website at to find more information about speakers, workshops, social events and other information.

There is a special session on Friday - SPARC Europe session - focussing on the management of copyright, moral and exploitation rights, and Creative Commons, discussing how to make these issues work optimally for a range of stakeholders in scholarly communications.

There is still time to submit an abstract for PUBMET2018 and you can also register using the REGISTER link. Special discounts are available for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

A sightseeing trip has been organised to take delegates on a tour of beautiful Zadar, the pearl of Dalmatia and Adriatic sea, with its wealth of cultural, historical, but also modern attractions.

After visiting the conference website, please address any questions regarding registration, accommodation and on-line submission to the organizers at

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Zadar!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

An Introduction to Editing With Macros

From the YouTube channel of Paul Beverley, one our our most active members, comes a new video in which he explains what a macro is and how it can be used to benefit many tasks involved in manuscript editing.

Paul is a master of the macro and regularly provides EASE members with new code to enhance common or repetitive tasks. In this video, not only does he provide excellent tuition on the fundamentals, but he reassures us that opening the code window to start creating macros doesn't have to be as scary as we might think.

If this has whet your appetite for enhancing your daily tasks, Paul has a wealth of Word macros for writers and editors available in a free book titled Macros for Editors, which you can download from his website Archive Publications.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Peer review as a cooperation dilemma

An article assessing the institutional pressures and resource limitations faced by scientists has been published in the journal Scientometrics.

Authored by Federico Bianchi, Francisco Grimaldo, Giangiacomo Bravo and Flaminio Squazzoni, the article shows that a mix of competition and cooperation is possible in peer review, but only if reviewer rewards are improved for a better division of academic labour.

Previous versions of the paper were presented during some PEERE meetings.

Bianchi, F., Grimaldo, F., Bravo, G. et al. The peer review game: an agent-based model of scientists facing resource constraints and institutional pressures. Scientometrics (2018).

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Nature article addresses problems with multiple publication dates

A short letter was published in Nature last week, briefly addressing the topic of publication dates and scientific priority, suggestions that Citations must default to the online publication date.

The aticle suggests the publication date of all articles should be officially recorded as the earliest online publication date when it first appears, rather than the scheduled publication date of the issue they are assigned to.

The increasing sophistication of ways in which research publishing databases communicate, and the way articles are indexed and discovered is arguably beginning to render traditional issue schedules obsolete (an example of which is mentioned in the Nature article).

While there are plenty of sound arguments and reasons in favour of curating content into issues of varying frequency across a year, the increasing normality of early online publication suggests there is perhaps less necessity to enshrine an article with a date associated with the issue itself.

The Nature article raises some of the problems associated with the issue date taking precedence over the online date, but there is an additional controversy associated with this practice too in how citations are counting. 

There is some criticism that journals can ‘bank’ citations in advance of years by publishing articles online towards the end of the current year, with an issue date of the following year. Any citation advantage of this practice could be seen as an artefact of the traditional publishing system. It is in authors and readers interests that articles are published as soon as possible; that the official date of publication is indexed as a date in the future is merely a function of issue schedules.

As far as we can see, there are not any articles indexed for 2019 in Web of Science….yet, and therefore no citations accrued to the year in advance, but as we get closer to the end of the year , for better or worse, articles and citations for 2019 will begin to appear.

In light of this latter predicament and the issues raised in the Nature article, we may start to see more progressive discussions around this detail of the publishing process in the near future.

Citations must default to the online publication date
Michael Keller & Stanley Prusiner
Nature 558, 519 (2018)
doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-05387-4

Thursday, June 28, 2018

EASE Council Announcement

Following the elections and official appointments at our recent conference in Bucharest, we are pleased to officially announce the new EASE Council for 2018-2021 in full on our website.

The Council, headed by President Pippa Smart and Vice-Presidents Duncan Nicholas and Ines Steffens, features 15 members from different backgrounds in research, journal editing and the publishing industry, who will be giving EASE their expert direction and influence on all aspects of the academic publishing spectrum.

We are very excited for the Association to be led by this new team, look forward to developing our contributions to the science editing profession and providing our members with a wealth of resources, guidance and community experience to enhance their work.

Visit the Organisation pages on our website to meet our new team.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Publication disclosure

Sing Chawla D. Most researchers disclose their results before publication. Physics World 2018 May 17

Over two thirds of researchers have released the results of at least one study they authored before the findings were formally published. A survey of more than 7,000 researchers across nine disciplines found that social scientists, mathematicians, biological scientists and those working in agriculture have the highest disclosure rates, around 75%. Most academics do so to get feedback from peers.

Implicit biases

Berg J. Measuring and managing bias. Science 2017;357(6354):849
(doi: 10.1126/science.aap7679)

Implicit biases - those that we are not consciously aware of - are intrinsic human characteristics that should be acknowledged and managed, rather than denied or ignored. Implicit association tests can be a useful tool for understanding and measuring implicit biases. Even those involved in research should consider randomizing and blinding experiments, including animal and other studies, when feasible.

The phrase "necessary and sufficient"

YoshiharaM, Yoshihara M. "Necessary and sufficient" in biology is not necessarily necessary - confusions and erroneous conclusions resulting from misapplied logic in the field of biology, especially neuroscience. Journal of Neurogenetics 2018;32(2):53-64
(doi: 10.1080/01677063.2018.1468443) 

In this article, the authors describe an incorrect use of logic in current biology (especially neuroscience) which involves the careless application of the "necessary and sufficient" (N&S) condition originally used in formal logic. The words N&S are not only misleading, but the way of thinking of researchers when they use them is often incorrect. In most cases, they propose to use "indispensable and inducing".

Friday, June 15, 2018

Preclinical research reporting

Lightfoot H. Reporting of preclinical research: what do we get told - when and how? Medical Writing 2017 (4):20-23
At present, there are no specific requirements for the reporting of preclinical research, and many studies, particularly those with negative results, never get published. However, routine and reliable reporting of all research – preclinical, clinical, laboratory, animal or human based, and with positive or negative outcomes – is essential to the future of collaborative and successful clinical research. There are several new ideas to promote this.

Publishing gendered system

Lundine J, Bourgeault IL, Clark J, et al. The gendered system of academic publishing. The Lancet 2018;391(10132):1754-56
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30950-4)

Despite growing numbers of women in the research workforce, most authors, peer reviewers, and editors at academic journals are men. This leads to a women's underrepresentation and disadvantage in other areas of the scientific enterprise. Women receive less research funding, and thus they publish fewer research articles, being less visible and less likely invited as peer reviewers and editors. Editors and publishers should address those gender gaps.

B - A new taxonomy of retractions and corrections

Fanelli D, Ioannidis JPA, Goodman S. Improving the integrity of published science: An expanded taxonomy of retractions and corrections. European Journal of Clinical Investigation 2018;48(4):e12898
(doi: 10.1111/eci.12898)

Journal practices for amending publications offer too little incentives for authors and editors to correct or retract articles when errors have been made. The authors present a a unique and expanded set of amendment formats and procedures, each of which addresses a distinct issue. This new taxonomy integrates and unifies the diversity of formats currently deployed and suggests five new ones.


Stark PB. Before reproducibility must come preproducibility. Nature 2018 May 24
(doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-05256-0)

Most papers fail to report many aspects of an experiment or an analysis that are crucial to understanding the result and its limitations, and to repeating the work. The author proposes a new neologism, "preproducibility", meaning that an experiment or analysis is preproducible if it has been described in adequate detail for others to undertake it. It requires information about materials, instruments and procedures; experimental design; raw data; computational tools used in analyses; and other information.