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(China) Quantifying the Impact of the New Chinese Policy – Scholarly Kitchen (Christos Petrou | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 24, 2020

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Christos Petrou, founder and Chief Analyst at Scholarly Intelligence. Christos is a former analyst of the Web of Science Group at Clarivate Analytics and the Open Access portfolio at Springer Nature. A geneticist by training, he previously worked in agriculture and as a consultant for A.T. Kearney, and he holds an MBA from INSEAD.

Amid ongoing industry disruption (Plan S deliberations in Europe, a rumored executive order in the US, and contentious negotiations for PAR/RAP deals with consortia around the world), news of a changing evaluations policy by the Chinese administration is unlikely to have been welcome news for international publishers.

Anything that affects publishing habits in China has the potential to affect domestic and international publishers. According to Clarivate’s Web of Science (WoS), authors affiliated with Chinese organizations contributed to 20% of research articles and review articles (the types of content that matters the most commercially and academically) in 2018 (Figure 1). The share of China exceeds 30% for two of the top eight publishers. Moreover, China has been a key driver of content growth for many international publishers in recent years.

New policy and old habits

This post by Scholarly Kitchen resident Chef Tao Tao, captures the main points of the two documents that were issued in February. The summary sheet below contains key information from that post, hopefully without much misinterpretation.

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(US) Fauci says White House told NIH to cancel funding for bat virus study – Politico (David Lim & Brianna Ehley | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 21, 2020

The White House directed the National Institutes of Health to cancel funding for a project studying how coronaviruses spread from bats to people, the government’s top infectious disease expert said Tuesday.

“Why was it canceled? It was canceled because the NIH was told to cancel it,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in response to a question during a House Energy & Commerce Hearing. “I don’t know the reason, but we were told to cancel it.”

Fauci later told POLITICO that the White House ordered NIH to cut the research grant to the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance.

The backstory: The Trump administration abruptly cut funding for the research in April, with more than $350,000 in grant money remaining in EcoHealth’s 2020 grant.

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Science by press release: When the story gets ahead of the science – CNN (Dr. Sanjay Gupta | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 19, 2020

(CNN) A little more than three months after the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, it has become evident that both the research cycle and the news cycle have accelerated to levels never seen before in our lifetime.

According to the Milken Institute, there are at least 254 treatments and 172 vaccines currently in development to fight Covid-19. I’ve reported on many of them. Some of them are just being developed, like PAC-MAN, a new anti-viral treatment that uses the gene therapy technology CRISPR. Others are drugs finding a new life, like remdesivir, which initially showed effectiveness in treating animals with SARS and MERS, and was even trialed unsuccessfully for Ebola.

The media’s coverage of these developments has also been at “breakneck speed” — because finding any way to stall the spread of this disease is so imperative. For example, several scientists recently called me both on and off the record to relay their optimism that a vaccine could be available by the beginning of next year. It would be a remarkably fast process, given that vaccine development is typically measured in years or decades, not months. So this past week, I took a step back to dig deeper into the studies and look into the source of this optimism. I was surprised at how thin the available data actually is in peer-reviewed medical journals.

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(Australia) UTS loses application to appeal against reinstatement of academic sacked for not publishing enough research – Sydney Morning Herald (Anna Patty | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 18, 2020

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has lost its application to appeal against a Fair Work Commission decision that found it had unfairly sacked an academic for not publishing enough research papers in peer-reviewed journals.

The Fair Work Commission in March found that Lucy Zhao was unfairly sacked from her job as a lecturer in the Finance Discipline Group in August last year for “unsatisfactory performance” after UTS decided she was not publishing enough articles in quality academic journals.

The Fair Work Commission full bench in a judgment published on Wednesday, by a majority of two to one, rejected the university’s request to appeal that decision, which had ordered that Dr Zhao be reinstated.

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