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ClinicalTrials.gov not living up to promise

Clinical researchers in the US are required to register trials and deposit trial information at ClinicalTrials.gov. Most, however, don’t. According to several recent study, compliance with this law may be somewhere between around 13 and 22 percent. Which is to say that of the 13, 327 clinical trials conducted between 2008 and 2013, only 1,790 were filed on  ClinicalTrials.gov, leaving 11,537 unreported. Says author Kent Anderson in this March 3,…

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Sci-Hub reveals split in OA community

“Last week in popular media, Alexandra Elbakyan got a lot of screen time (also known as free advertising) and the response has been interesting. For those that have not been paying attention, Elbakyan runs Sci-Hub, a site that provides illegal access to over 47 million scholarly journal articles. You can read about Elbakyan’s mission in her own words here, here, and here. She sincerely believes that she is above the…

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Open Access at a Crossroads

Last week marked the annual celebration/marketing event that is Open Access Week, and this year it seemed something of a mixed bag. Open access (OA) is growing into maturity, and has rapidly become integrated into the scholarly publishing landscape over the last fifteen or so years. We have now reached a point where experiments have been in place for a while and results can be analyzed. Early assumptions can now…

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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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The Changing Nature of Scale in STM and Scholarly Publishing

Image by Clarke & Company, all rights reserved. The American College of Chest Physicians recently announced it would be ending decades of self-publishing: its well-known journal CHEST will soon be published by Elsevier. A society with a single journal deciding to throw in its lot with a large commercial publisher is not atypical, and for many such societies this is a sound decision. A small society publishing program cannot muster…

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Can (should) academia take back scholarly publishing?

A couple of years ago, my fellow Chef Kent Anderson responded (quite strongly) in this forum to an opinion piece by George Monbiot in which Monbiot characterized academic publishers as “the most ruthless capitalists in the western world” and as “parasitic overlords” and called for scholars to “liberate the research that belongs to us.” Kent’s response, for its part, characterized Monbiot’s piece as a “rant” and as “uninformed, unhinged, and…

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Discovery vs. filtering

If you’re like most people, when you want to learn about a new subject, you hop into your web browser and do a Google search. You assume that Google will give you search results that are trustworthy and that best reflect the nature of the question you’re asking. But given Google’s secrecy around their search algorithms, can you trust those results? The Wall Street Journal made a Freedom of Information…

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