Monday, October 25, 2010

B - Interactive open access publishing and peer review

Poeschl U. Interactive open access publishing and peer review: the effectiveness and perspectives of transparency and self-regulation in scientific communication and evaluation. Liber Quarterly 2010;19(3/4):293-314

The traditional ways of scientific publishing and peer review do not live up to the needs of efficient communication and quality assurance in today's rapidly developing scientific world. The advantages of open access (OA), public peer review and interactive discussion are demonstrated by the description of the interactive OA peer review practised by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and a number of interactive OA sister journals. They intend to demonstrate that interactive OA peer review with a two-stage publication process and public discussion effectively resolves the dilemma between rapid scientific exchange and thorough quality assurance. Its basic concepts could be easily adjusted to the different needs and capacities of different scientific communities.

B - Author-suggested reviewers vs editor-suggested reviewers

Bornmann L, Daniel HD. Do author-suggested reviewers rate submissions more favorably than editor-suggested reviewers? A study on Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. PLoS One 2010;5(10):e13345
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013345)

The aim of the article is to test whether there is a potential source of bias in the manuscript reviewing in public peer review at the interactive open access journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Public peer review (author's and reviewers' comments are publicly exchanged) is supposed to bring a new openness to the reviewing process. Results have shown that editor-suggested reviewers rated manuscripts between 30% and 42% less favorably than author-suggested reviewers. Journal editors should then consider either doing without the use of author-suggested reviewers or, if the are used, bringing in more than one editor-suggested reviewer for the review process.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

B - Disclosing all data

Baggerly K. Disclose all data in publications. Nature 2010;467,401.
(doi:10.1038/467401b)

Three clinical trials at Duke University, USA, were suspended late last year following a protracted investigation. The problem was the inability to reproduce the 'genomic signatures' used to select cancer therapies. Is it the job of journals to help to maintain reproducibility as a cornerstone of the scientific process?

Friday, October 22, 2010

B - A bibliometric investigation of the Ortega hypothesis

Bornmann L, de Moya Anegon F, Leydesdorff L. Do scientific advancements lean on the shoulders of giants? A bibliometric investigation of the Ortega hypothesis. PLos One 2010;5(10):e13327
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013327)

The hypothesis by the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset says that top-level research cannot be successful without a mass of medium researchers on which the top rests. According to it, highly-cited and medium-cited papers would equally refer to papers with a medium impact. The issue is highly relevant for today's research funding policies: should research funding be focused on elite scientists or rather aim at generating scientific capabilities among the scientific community? In this study the question was addressed from a bibliometric perspective analyzing the field-specific journal sets covered by the Scopus database for the year 2003. It was demonstrated that highly-cited papers more frequently cite highly-cited papers; in other words, the higher a paper's citation impact the stronger it is connected on previous high-impact research. These findings support the so-called Newton hypothesis.