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(US) JetBlue’s Founder Helped Fund A Stanford Study That Said The Coronavirus Wasn’t That Deadly – Buzzfeed News (Stephanie M. Lee | May 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 22, 2020

A Stanford whistleblower complaint alleges that the controversial John Ioannidis study failed to disclose important financial ties and ignored scientists’ concerns that their antibody test was inaccurate.

A highly influential coronavirus antibody study was funded in part by David Neeleman, the JetBlue Airways founder and a vocal proponent of the idea that the pandemic isn’t deadly enough to justify continued lockdowns.

That’s according to a complaint from an anonymous whistleblower, filed with Stanford University last week and obtained by BuzzFeed News, about the study conducted by the famous scientist John Ioannidis and others. The complaint cites dozens of emails, including exchanges with the airline executive while the study was being conducted.

The study — released as a non-peer-reviewed paper, or preprint, on April 17 — made headlines around the world with a dramatic finding: Based on antibodies in thousands of Silicon Valley residents’ blood samples, the number of coronavirus infections was up to 85 times higher than believed. This true infection count was so high that it would drive down the virus’s local fatality rate to 0.12%–0.2% — far closer to the known death rate for the flu.

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There is no black and white definition of predatory publishing – London School of Economics (Kyle Siler | May 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 20, 2020

The nature and extent of predatory publishing is highly contested. Whilst debates have often focused defining journals and publishers as either predatory or not predatory. Kyle Siler argues that predatory publishing encompasses a spectrum of activities and that by understanding this ambiguity, we can better understand and make value judgements over where legitimacy lies in scholarly communication.

We have become accustomed to approaching the problem of questionable publishers as a binary situation.  A publisher is either questionable, or it isn’t.  This London School of Economics blog post suggests it really is placing a publisher on a continuum between these poles.

Predatory publishing has emerged as a professional problem for academics and their institutions, as well as a broader societal concern. As these journals have proliferated, they have brought to the fore a debate over what constitutes legitimate science, which has been centred on attempts to define and demarcate predatory from non-predatory publications. However, given the complexity of academic publishing – and what constitutes legitimacy – establishing a concrete definition has proved challenging. There is considerable diversity in the types, combinations and degrees of illegitimacy in questionable academic journals, which ultimately raises the question: is it possible to define predatory publishing in such a binary way?

Predatory publishing bug or feature?
A key feature of many open access business models is the Article Processing Charge (APC). Whereby, publishers instead of receiving flat subscription fees, are remunerated for each published article. This provides a ‘predatory’ incentive for less scrupulous publishers to publish articles quickly and without appropriate quality control, as, after all, rejected articles consume publisher resources but yield no revenue.

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Demarcating Spectrums of Predatory Publishing: Economic and Institutional Sources of Academic Legitimacy (PrePrint Papers: Kyle Siler | June 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 20, 2020

The emergence of Open Access (OA) publishing has altered incentives and opportunities for academic stakeholders and publishers. These changes have yielded a variety of new economic and academic niches, including journals with questionable peer review systems and business models, commonly dubbed ‘predatory publishing.’ Empirical analysis of the Cabell’s Journal Blacklist reveals substantial diversity in types and degrees of predatory publishing. While some blacklisted publishers produce journals with many severe violations of academic norms, ‘grey’ journals and publishers occupy borderline or ambiguous niches between predation and legitimacy. Predation in academic publishing is not a simple binary phenomenon and should instead be perceived as a spectrum with varying types and degrees of illegitimacy. Conceptions of predation are based on overlapping evaluations of academic and economic legitimacy. High institutional status benefits publishers by reducing conflicts between – if not aligning – professional and market institutional logics, which are more likely to conflict and create illegitimacy concerns in downmarket niches. High rejection rates imbue high-status journals with value and pricing power, while low-status OA journals face ‘predatory’ incentives to optimize revenue via low selectivity. Status influences the social acceptability of profit-seeking in academic publishing, rendering lower-status publishers vulnerable to being perceived and stigmatized as illegitimate.

economic sociology, institutions, legitimacy, #O3S18, publishing science

Siler, K. (2018, June 30). Demarcating Spectrums of Predatory Publishing: Economic and Institutional Sources of Academic Legitimacy.

No raw data, no science: another possible source of the reproducibility crisis (Papers: Tsuyoshi Miyakawa | February 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 11, 2020

A reproducibility crisis is a situation where many scientific studies cannot be reproduced. Inappropriate practices of science, such as HARKing, p-hacking, and selective reporting of positive results, have been suggested as causes of irreproducibility. In this editorial, I propose that a lack of raw data or data fabrication is another possible cause of irreproducibility.

As an Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Brain, I have handled 180 manuscripts since early 2017 and have made 41 editorial decisions categorized as “Revise before review,” requesting that the authors provide raw data. Surprisingly, among those 41 manuscripts, 21 were withdrawn without providing raw data, indicating that requiring raw data drove away more than half of the manuscripts. I rejected 19 out of the remaining 20 manuscripts because of insufficient raw data. Thus, more than 97% of the 41 manuscripts did not present the raw data supporting their results when requested by an editor, suggesting a possibility that the raw data did not exist from the beginning, at least in some portions of these cases.

Considering that any scientific study should be based on raw data, and that data storage space should no longer be a challenge, journals, in principle, should try to have their authors publicize raw data in a public database or journal site upon the publication of the paper to increase reproducibility of the published results and to increase public trust in science.

Raw data, Data fabrication, Open data, Open science, Misconduct, Reproducibility

Miyakawa, T. (2020) No raw data, no science: another possible source of the reproducibility crisis. Molecular Brain 13(24)
Publisher (Open Access):