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Could a New Project Expose Predatory Conferences? – Technology Networks (Paul Killoran, Ex Ordo | September 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 9, 2019
 

By now, predatory conferences should be on your radar. These “scholarly” events are organized on a strictly for-profit basis, pay lip service to peer review, and publish almost anything sent their way — for a fee, of course. (An associate professor submitted a nuclear physics paper written using iOS autocomplete to one such conference. It passed review with flying colors.)

For years, shady individuals have been exploiting early-career researchers’ eagerness to publish. But unless you were desperate  — or painfully naive — fake conferences were pretty easy to spot and avoid. Up till now.

Effective predators adapt, and today’s breed of predatory conference is a much better mimic of the real deal. Their organizers are tech-savvy enough to create counterfeit websites that masquerade as those belonging to learned societies. I know of at least one medical association that had its conference website cloned by scammers and placed online at a web address that was just close enough to the real thing to be believable.

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Q&A Linda Beaumont: Journals should take action against toxic peer reviews – Nature Index (Gemma Conroy | August 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 8, 2019
 

Keep it constructive.

Learning to accept criticism is an important skill for researchers navigating the peer-review process. But what happens when the feedback is unhelpful, rude or downright toxic?

Linda Beaumont, an ecologist at Macquarie University in Australia, is no stranger to a harsh review.

“One reviewer of a submission bluntly wrote, ‘I can’t believe the authors used this approach. This paper shouldn’t be published,’” says Beaumont. “Two sentences. I was gobsmacked.”

But when one of her PhD students received a similarly cutting review, Beaumont knew it was time to speak out.

In August 2019, she published a comment in Nature calling for clear ethical guidelines for peer-reviewers. She adds that editors have a role to play in addressing damaging feedback before it reaches the authors.

Nature Index spoke to Beaumont about how peer reviewers can keep their feedback constructive, and how authors should respond when they don’t.

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How often do authors with retractions for misconduct continue to publish? – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 8, 2019
 

How does retraction change publishing behavior? Mark Bolland and Andrew Grey, who were two members of a team whose work led to dozens of retractions for Yoshihiro Sato, now third on the Retraction Watch leaderboard, joined forces with Vyoma Mistry to find out. We asked Bolland to answer several questions about the new University of Auckland team’s paper, which appeared in Accountability in Research.

Retraction Watch (RW): You “undertook a survey of publication rates, for authors with multiple retractions in the biomedical literature, to determine whether they changed after authors’ first retractions.” What did you find?

Mark Bolland (MB): We wondered whether people continue to publish after they have had more than one of their papers retracted. We identified 100 authors with more than one first-author retraction from the Retraction Watch database (the top 10 from the Retraction watch leaderboard, 40 with at least 10 retractions, and 50 with 2-5 retractions). 82 authors were associated with a retraction in which scientific misconduct was listed as a reason for retraction in the Retraction Watch database.

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Study pulls back curtain on contracts between Coca-Cola and the researchers it funds – STAT (Andrew Josep | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 6, 2019
 

When it funds scientific research, Coca-Cola includes a provision in its contracts with academic institutions that allows the beverage giant to pull its funding for a study at any point, according to a group of researchers who obtained several such agreements.

The policies could pressure recipients of the funding to pursue research that dovetails with Coca-Cola’s goals out of fear of having their project canceled, the researchers said in a paper published Tuesday, though they added that they found no example of that occurring.

The paper, which was published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, comes amid increasing scrutiny of the food and beverage industry’s funding of and influence over academic research. The industry has taken a number of steps to improve transparency and safeguard the independence of studies it sponsors. Notably, Coca-Cola in 2015 started listing on its website the institutions and researchers it funded and the following year outlined principles that would guide its support for scientific research.

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