Tuesday, February 15, 2011

B - Emerging concepts in high-impact publishing

Matarese V. Emerging concepts in high-impact publishing: insights from the First Brazilian Colloquium on High Impact Research and Publishing. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2010;46(4):451-5 doi: 10.4415/ANN_10_04_14 At the First Brazilian Colloquium on High Impact Research and Publishing (14-16 April, 2010), editors of leading biomedical journals discussed aspects of scientific reporting that favor acceptance or lead to immediate rejection. Many of the issues raised at this meeting are relevant to researchers and authors, especially non-native English speakers, who wish to improve the impact of their own scientific writings. This commentary summarizes the editors' debate and uses the discussion that followed as the basis to analyze emerging concepts in high-impact publishing.

B - Women's underrepresentation in science

Ceci SJ, Williams WM. Understanding current causes of women's underrepresentation in science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America February 7, 2011 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1014871108 To better understand women's underrepresentation in math-intensive fields of science and its causes, a review of claims of discrimination in the past 20 years and their evidentiary bases are presented. It is showed that some of these claims are no longer valid. Despite frequent assertions that women's discrimination in science is caused by sex discrimination by grant agencies, journal rewievers, and search committees, the evidence shows women fare as well as men in hiring, funding, and publishing (given comparable resources). Potential interventions to increase gender fairness are suggested.

B - Mimicry in science?

Bornmann L. Mimicry in science? Scientometrics 2011;(86):173-7
doi: 10.1007/s11192-010-0222-8

Scientists apply strategies that should enable them to comply to bibliometric accountability and to secure funds to their own research. Some changes in scientists' publication behaviour have been reported in the literature: they thend to do research in accordance with the mainstream in their fields and avoid unusual research; they pursue short-term rather than long-term research; they provide their paper to low-quality journals as these are indexed by databases used for bibliometric analyses in research evaluation; and they submit their findings to different journals instead of presenting them in a single paper. Many times the pressure to publish has been seen to indicate as causing scientific misconduct.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Wiley Open Access

On 1 February 2011 Wiley announced the launch of Wiley Open Access, a programme of open access journals, publishing primary research in a range of subject disciplines in the life and biomedical sciences, including neuroscience, microbiology, ecology, and evolution.

The new journals are being launched in collaboration with a group of international professional and scholarly societies. Each journal will appoint an editor-in-chief and editorial board, responsible for the peer review process.

The journals will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. A publication fee will be payable by authors on acceptance of their articles.

New social sciences network

Socialsciencespace is a new online network, set up with the objective of enhancing the value and relevance of social sciences. It aims to bring together researchers, funders, societies, think tanks, policy makers and government to explore, share and debate the major issues in social science.

The digital resource, launched by publisher SAGE in association with global professional bodies and learned societies, is intended to act as a hub for all groups connected with social science research. It includes contributions from academia, including the Academy for Social Sciences and the Institute for Education, and also from the Metropolitan Police, the National Institute of Health, and the Institute for Government.

The network will feature blog posts on issues such as funding and “impact”, a forum to share discussion, a resource centre with free videos, reports and slides, and events listings for social science conferences and seminars around the world. All content is freely accessible, and the site is free to join.

Hey, you, get off of my cloud?

Cloud computing is widely seen as the top technological priority for the coming 12 months, with an ever-increasing number of public cloud providers, such as Google and Dropbox. According to a Gartner report of January, 2011 could be the ‘Year of Cloud’.

But Vaultium, provider of online file-sharing solutions, has warned that businesses risk falling foul of UK and European legislation if they store sensitive information in the public cloud. According to the company, public cloud providers do not offer any specific guarantees on the physical location of their servers, which could lead to sensitive data being stored at locations that contravene current legislation, such as the UK’s Data Protection Act. Vaultium is advising caution when choosing a cloud-based storage provider.

The company notes that many cloud providers’ storage facilities could be compromised by uncertainly over location: business data stored in the public cloud can be stored in any number of countries, often in the US, as well as other legal jurisdictions, which can contravene European legislation. In fact the EU has suggested that government agencies should only deploy public cloud services for applications that do not process sensitive data.

UK inquiry into peer review

The UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry into the operation and effectiveness of the peer review process.

Issues it is likely to examine include: peer review’s strengths and weaknesses as a quality control mechanism for scientists, publishers and the public; measures to strengthen it; its value and use in advancing and testing scientific knowledge, and in informing public debate; how far it varies between scientific disciplines, and around the world; the way reviewers are identified, as the volume of multidisciplinary research increases; the impact of IT and the greater use of online resources; and possible alternatives to peer review.

The Committee welcomes written submissions by Thursday March 2011 from scientists whose material has been peer-reviewed, those who commission peer reviews, and those who carry out peer review.

The author–-editor partnership

The Society for Editors and Proofreaders hosts its first-ever seminar at the London Book Fair on 13 April 2011. The seminar, entitled The partnership between author and editor, will explore how the relationship between author, in-house editor and freelance editor can work to mutual advantage.

The panel comprises two trios, one in fiction and the other in general/popular medicine. The authors Mark Newton (fiction) and Bridget McCall (popular medicine) will discuss how they work with their editors, Julie Crisp and Lawrence Osborn, and Dick Warner and Richenda Milton-Daws, respectively.

Details are on the SfEP’s website, www.sfep.org.uk