Friday, August 29, 2008

B - Relationship between Quality and Editorial Leadership of Biomedical Research Journals

Matarese V. Relationship between Quality and Editorial Leadership of Biomedical Research Journals: A Comparative Study of Italian and UK Journals. PLoS ONE 2008; 3(7):e2512

Several organizations draw up statements guiding the quality of biomedical reporting, but not all journals adhere to these guidelines. Those that follow them demonstrate “editorial leadership” in their author community. In this study, research journals from two European countries were studied and compared to identify a relationship between editorial leadership and journal quality.
The data underlying this paper was first presented at the METM07 in Madrid in 2007: “Does editorial leadership (seen in the instructions to authors) determine biomedical journal quality? A case-control study between Italy and the UK”

B - Acquiring or enhancing a translation specialism

Maher A, Waller S, Kerans ME. Acquiring or enhancing a translation specialism: the monolingual corpus-guided approach. Journal of Specialized Translation. 2008. 10: 56-75. (Available at:

This article gives an account of how to go about setting up and using a corpus of model texts to guide editing or translation decision-making. It describes tools and proposes approaches that provide practical solutions for the working translators and editors who work in specialised fields. The article complements a poster that was first presented at the ninth EASE conference in Krakow in 2006.

B - Publishing perils include single-blind review

Williams L. Publishing perils include single-blind review. Physics Today 2007;60(11):12

Letter suggesting single-blind peer review is an important and corrosive impediment to publication as it has a fundamental flaw: it allows reviewers to assess the author(s) of a paper along with the scientific content and thereby allows nonscientific considerations to creep in.

Posted for Jonh Glen

B - Roadblocks deter today's Einstein Physics Today

Aghassi W J. Roadblocks deter today's Einstein Physics Today. 2007;60(10):12.

Letter contributing to the discussion raised by Lee Smolin's comments "Why no new Einstein" ibid. 59(11)10, 59(1)1, 58(6)56. Aghassi says "If a new Einstein, with a revolutionary theory, were to suddenly appear [...] his or her paper would never see the light of day. Imagine it, a person with no PhD, no university affiliation, an unheard-of theory, backed by equations constructed by that person alone, with no lab data to back it up? [...] in today's physics community only credentials and conformity count."

Posted for John Glen

B - Credentials and conformity

Greyber, Howard D. Credentials and conformity. Physics Today. 2008;61(7):8.

Letter supporting the letter by William Aghassi ibid. 60(10)12 but going further saying "Actually credentials also mean little today, unless your research is in a trendy topic like string theory and you write from a famous university like MIT, Cambridge University, Imperial College or Caltech. Gatekeepers and editors shun originality."

Posted for John Glen

Monday, August 18, 2008

B - Scientist to appeal misconduct charge

Gwynne, Peter. 2998 Scientist to appeal misconduct charge. Physics World 21(8)11.

Reports that lawyers for Rusi Taleyarkhan are preparing an appeal over the findings of a panel set up by Purdue University that found him guilty of two charges of scientific misconduct in that he had cited a paper by researchers in his own lab as if it were an independent confirmation of his alleged discovery of bubble fusion in 2002 and also that he added the name of a student who had not contributed to that paper as an author.

Posted for John Glen

Thursday, August 14, 2008

N - UN slates UK libel laws

The United Nations’ committee on human rights has attacked UK libel laws for discouraging coverage of matters of public interest: British libel laws have “served to discourage critical media reporting on matters of serious public interest, adversely affecting the ability of scholars and journalists to publish their work, including through the phenomenon known as libel tourism,” the committee said. In “libel tourism” wealthy plaintiffs can sue in the High Court in London over articles that would not warrant an action in their own country. The UK government has been urged to require a would-be claimant to prove malice by a publisher or author.
(Guardian 2008 Aug 14

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

B - Researchers' writing competence

SMR Vasconcelos, M M. Sorenson, J Leta, MC Sant'Ana, PD Batista. Researchers' writing competence: a bottleneck in the publication of Latin American Science? EMBO reports 9 (8)2008:700-602

Doi: 10.1038/embor.2008.143

Writing a publication for an English language international journal is a linguistic burden for non English speaking countries. The case of Brasilian research output is investigated confirming that poor English language knowledge and poor writing skills often represent a barrier to publish in high rank journals and more generally to reach high scientific productivity. This applies to Latin American as well as European countries.

Thanks to Elise Langdon Neuner

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

B - Institute plans a group for physics communicators

Macdonald A. Institute plans a group for physics communicators. Interactions 2008 July, 4

The Institute of Physics is setting up a new Physics Communicators Group to enable experienced and novice communicators to come together to share good ideas and offer mutual support and advice. Possibilities include a database of ideas that members have found to work, training in communication techniques for different age groups or in how to target different sections of the public with activities they will be keen to participate in. An inaugural meeting took place on 11 July. The contact person is given as Clare Mills.

Posted for John Glen