Wednesday, December 23, 2015

B - Hijacking a journal

Bohannon J. How to hijack a journal. Science 2015;350(6263):903-905
(doi: 10.1126/science.350.6263.903)

In the past few years fraudsters are snatching entire web addresses, right out from under academic publishers, erecting fake versions of their sites, and hijacking their journals, along with their web traffic. The usual method is to build a convincing version of a website at a similar address and then drive web traffic to the fake site. Unsuspecting visitors who log into the hijacked journal sites might give away passwords or money as they try to pay subscriptions or article processing fees.

B - Authorship: myths and misconceptions

Menezes RG, Kharoshah MA, Madadin M, et al. Authorship: few myths and misconceptions. Science and Engineering Ethics e-pub Dec 15 2015;1-5
(doi: 10.1007/s11948-015-9742-1)

This article addresses and dispels some of the popular myths and misconceptions surrounding authorship of a scientific publication as this is often misconstrued by beginners in academia especially those in the developing world. While ethical issues in publishing related to authorship have been increasingly discussed, not much has been written about the myths and misconceptions of who might be an author.

B - Storing and accessing biomedical big data

Bourne PE, Lorsch JR. Green ED. Sustaining the big-data ecosystem. Nature Nov 5 2015;527
(doi: 10.1038/527S16a)

Biomedical big data offer tremendous potential for making discoveries, but the cost of sustaining these digital assets and the resources needed to make them useful have received relatively little attention. Funders should encourage the development of new metrics to ascertain the usage and value of data and when we have a better understanding of data usage, we can develop business models for storing, organizing and accessing them. Tools and rewards that incentivize researchers to submit their data to data resources in ways that maximize both quality and ease of access, are also needed.

B - Why scientists decline to review papers

Breuning M, Backstrom J, Brannon J, et al. Reviewer fatigue? Why scholars decline to review their peer's work. PS: Political Science & Politics 2015;48(4):595-600
(doi: 10.1017/S1049096515000827)          

The double-blind peer review process is central to publishing in academic journals, but it also relies heavily on the voluntarily efforts of anonymous reviewers. To evaluate the degree to which scholars suffer from the resulting “reviewer fatigue,” the authors empirically evaluated the reasons scholars offered when declining to review for the American Political Science Review. Just over one-quarter of them declined requests to review. For those who decline, reviewer fatigue is only one of several reasons: scholars are willing to review but they often face many demands on their time and substantial workloads overall.

B - Double-blind review

Menéndez J. More on double-blind review. APS News 2015;24(10):4

Letter that gives reason why double-blind review should not be optional and also thinks it would be valuable in avoiding institutional or country bias.

B - Internet influence on plagiarism

Ison DC. The influence of the Internet on plagiarism among doctoral dissertations: an empirical study. Journal of Academic Ethics 2015;13(2):151-66
(doi: 10.1007/s10805-015-9233-7)

The online environment is accelerating the decline in academic ethics. This study collected empirical data to investigate the potential influence Internet had on significant higher education artifacts by comparing dissertations written prior to widespread use of the Internet with those written in a period in ubiquitous Internet use. It utilized Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) dissertations written in English and published by accredited universities in the U.S. and Canada. A sample of 384 dissertations were analyzed. Results suggest that the Internet may not be significantly impacting the prevalence of plagiarism in advanced levels of higher education.

B - Retraction policies of top journals

Resnik DB, Wager E, Kissling GE. Retraction policies of top scientific journals ranked by impact factor. Journal of the Medical Library Association 2015;103(3):136-9
(doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.103.3.006)

The purpose of this study was to provide updated information on the retraction policies of major science journals. The specific aims were to: (1) determine the percentage of the top 200 science journals ranked by impact factor that have a retraction policy; (2) analyze the content of journal retraction policies; and (3) ascertain whether having a retraction policy is associated with impact factor, scientific discipline, or status as a review journal. Results showed that the majority of journals had a retraction policy, and almost all of them would retract an article without the authors’ permission. COPE’s guidelines appear to have had a significant influence on journal retraction policies.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

B - The end of journals

Krumholz HM. The end of journals. Circulation  e-pub Nov. 10, 2015

According to the author, there are at least 9 deficiencies in the current publication model that fuel the sense that journals as we have known them are approaching their final act. Among them: the publication process is too long; the expense of publishing is growing rapidly; the configuration of articles prohibits a comprehensive and in-depth approach to a scientific question; peer review and the journal decision-making process occur without much external scrutiny and transparency; and so on.