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High-profile subscription journals critique Plan S – Nature (Holly Else | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 23, 2019

Publishers say that the bold open-access initiative rules out proven ways of opening up the literature.

Publishers of highly selective scholarly journals — including Nature and Science — say that they cannot comply with Plan S, a European-led initiative that mandates free access to research results on publication from 2020, unless its rules are changed.

Their appeals come as part of a massive consultation on how the open-access initiative should work, which closed on 8 February and received about 600 responses, including from most of the world’s major academic publishers.

Many publishers told the Plan S coalition that they support the general aims of the initiative, but don’t agree on its details. They also say the timeframe for the transition is too short.

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China to tighten rules on gene editing in humans – Nature (David Cyranoski | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 21, 2019

In the wake of the gene-edited-baby scandal, scientists and institutions could face tough penalties for breaking the rules.

China’s health ministry has issued draft regulations that will restrict the use of gene editing in humans, just three months after Chinese researcher He Jiankui announced that twin girls had been born with edited genomes. The proposal includes severe penalties for those who break the rules. If approved, scientists say the policy could have gains and drawbacks for research.

The draft regulations, issued by the National Health Commission on 26 February, state that gene editing in any type of cell that will end up in humans, including embryos, will need the commission’s approval, as will other high-risk biomedical procedures.

The regulations come in response to He’s claim, in late November, that he used the gene-editing technology CRISPR–Cas9 to alter the genomes of embryos — a process known as germline editing — to make them resistant to HIV. He then implanted the edited embryos into women. News that twin girls had been born as a result of these experiments prompted an international outcry about He’s use of a risky and unproven technology.

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A decade of empirical research on research integrity: what have we (not) looked at? (Papers: Noémie Aubert Bonn & Wim Pinxten | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 20, 2019

In the past decades, increasing visibility of research misconduct scandals created momentum for discourses on research integrity to such an extent that the topic became a field of research itself. Yet, a comprehensive overview of research in the field is still missing. Here we describe methods, trends, publishing patterns, and impact of a decade of research on research integrity.

To give a comprehensive overview of research on research integrity, we first systematically searched SCOPUS, Web of Science, and PubMed for relevant articles published in English between 2005 and 2015. We then classified each relevant article according to its topic, several methodological characteristics, its general focus and findings, and its citation impact.

We included 986 articles in our analysis. We found that the body of literature on research integrity is growing in importance, and that the field is still largely dominated by non-empirical publications. Within the bulk of empirical records (N=342), researchers and students are most often studied, but other actors and the social context in which they interact, seem to be overlooked. The few empirical articles that examined determinants of misconduct found that problems from the research system (e.g., pressure, competition) were most likely to cause inadequate research practices. Paradoxically, the majority of empirical articles proposing approaches to foster integrity focused on techniques to build researchers’ awareness and compliance rather than techniques to change the research system.

Our review highlights the areas, methods, and actors favoured in research on research integrity, and reveals a few blindspots. Involving non-researchers and reconnecting what is known to the approaches investigated may be the first step to generate executable knowledge that will allow us to increase the success of future approaches.

Bonn, N.A. & Pinxten, W. (2019) A decade of empirical research on research integrity: what have we (not) looked at? bioRxiv. 567263; doi:
Publisher (Open Access):

Editorial Mutiny at Elsevier Journal – Inside Higher Ed (Lindsay McKenzie | January 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 18, 2019

Following in the footsteps of linguistics journal Lingua, the editorial board of the Elsevier-owned Journal of Informetrics has resigned and launched a rival journal that will be free for all to read.

The entire editorial board of the Elsevier-owned Journal of Informetrics resigned Thursday in protest over high open-access fees, restricted access to citation data and commercial control of scholarly work.

Today, the same team is launching a new fully open-access journal called Quantitative Science Studies. The journal will be for and by the academic community and will be owned by the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI). It will be published jointly with MIT Press.

The editorial board of the Journal of Informetrics said in a statement that they were unanimous in their decision to quit. They contend that scholarly journals should be owned by the scholarly community rather than by commercial publishers, should be open access under fair principles, and publishers should make citation data freely available.

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