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You are currently viewing all posts published on August 2015

Science Isn’t Broken

If you follow the headlines, your confidence in science may have taken a hit lately. Peer review? More like self-review. An investigation in November uncovered a scam in which researchers were rubber-stamping their own work, circumventing peer review at five high-profile publishers. Scientific journals? Not exactly a badge of legitimacy, given that the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology recently accepted for publication a paper titled “Get Me Off Your…

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Do Nobel Laureates Create Prize-Winning Networks?

Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine who received the Prize between 1969 and 2011 are compared to a matched group of scientists to examine productivity, impact, coauthorship and international collaboration patterns embedded within research networks. After matching for research domain, h-index, and year of first of publication, we compare bibliometric statistics and network measures. We find that the Laureates produce fewer papers but with higher average citations. The Laureates also…

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Researchers Remain Unaware of Funding Agency Access Policies

According to a recent study, there are now more than 663 funding agency/institutional policies requiring public access to research papers. Last January I wrote about the unexpected consequences of these policies and the administrative nightmare around efforts to keep researchers in compliance. Nature’s recent “Author Insights” survey provides some new evidence of of the scope of the problem. Click here to read more from this August 20, 2015 Scholarly Kitchen…

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Deceptive Publishing: Why We Need a Blacklist, and How to Do It Right

In an earlier posting, I suggested that the term “predatory publishing” has perhaps become too vague and subjective to be useful, and I suggested “bad faith” as a possible replacement term. But in light of the subsequent discussion in the comments section of that posting and after continuing to think about the issue, I’d like to suggest another alternative to “predatory,” one that offers more precision and usefulness: “deceptive.” Deception,…

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Cellular ‘Cheaters’ Give Rise to Cancer

Maybe it was in “some warm little pond,” Charles Darwin speculated in 1871, that life on Earth began. A few simple chemicals sloshed together and formed complex molecules. These, over great stretches of time, joined in various combinations, eventually giving rise to the first living cell: a self-sustaining bag of chemistry capable of dividing and spawning copies of itself. While scientists still debate the specifics, most subscribe to some version…

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50 misused words and phrases in science

The goal of this article is to promote clear thinking and clear writing among students and teachers of psychological science by curbing terminological misinformation and confusion. To this end, we present a provisional list of 50 commonly used terms in psychology, psychiatry, and allied fields that should be avoided, or at most used sparingly and with explicit caveats. We provide corrective information for students, instructors, and researchers regarding these terms,…

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Testing open peer review at Collabra

Earlier this year University of California Press (UC Press) launched a new open access mega journal called Collabra. One of the distinctive features of Collabra is that its authors can choose to have the peer review reports signed by the reviewers and published alongside their papers, making them freely available for all to read — a process usually referred to as open peer review. Since Collabra is offering open peer…

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Dr. Frances Kelsey: American Hero, Government Regulator

Dr. Frances Kelsey passed away last week at the ripe old age of 101. She was a true hero in every sense of the word. How did she achieve this status? She did not pull someone out of a burning building. Didn’t dive into a lake to rescue a drowning child. Never threw herself on a hand grenade to save troops in combat, although she did find herself on a…

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