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Authorship wars: academics outline the rules for recognition – THE (Holly Else | November 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 23, 2018
 

Holly Else reveals the results of a THE poll seeking to uncover the extent of authorship abuses as well as views on what criteria should generate credit

“The final draft came back and all we had was a red circle around my boss’ name and an arrow that pointed to the front of the authorship list.”

This incident is seared into the memory of a pre-doctoral academic from India, who recently submitted a manuscript for publication. The researcher, who spoke to Times Higher Education on condition of anonymity, says that the principal investigator in the laboratory where he works full-time made a “minimal technical contribution” to the project in question, and merely corrected a few grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in the previous draft, before promoting himself to lead author.

“It’s unfair [but] I don’t really feel like I have much of choice. I am at a junior level…I need to get a bunch of papers out,” the junior academic says, explaining that publications are vital to secure a place on a PhD programme.

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Nature journals tighten rules on non-financial conflicts – Nature (Editorial | January 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on March 18, 2018
 

Authors will be asked to declare any interests that might cloud objectivity

What makes a conflict of interest in science? Definitions differ, but broadly agree on one thing: an influence that can cloud a researcher’s objectivity. For some people, that influence can be money. But there are other influences that can interfere, such as institutional loyalty, personal beliefs and ambition.

Such conflicts are likely to be more common, especially outside of the health-science sphere but aren’t discussed nearly enough

Nature and the other Nature Research journals (including the Nature research and reviews journals, Nature Communications, Scientific Reports, Scientific Data, the Nature Partner Journals and the Communications journals) are taking into account some of these non-financial sources of possible tension and conflict. From February, authors of research articles, reviews, commentaries and research analyses will be asked (and expected) to disclose them (see go.nature.com/2ddg12z).
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For this purpose, competing interests (both financial and non-financial) are defined as a secondary interest that could directly undermine, or be perceived to undermine, the objectivity, integrity and value of a publication through a potential influence on the judgements and actions of authors with regard to objective data presentation, analysis and interpretation. Non-financial competing interests can include a range of personal and/or professional relationships with organizations and individuals, including membership of governmental, non-governmental, advocacy or lobbying organizations, or serving as an expert witness.
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A way to ensure honesty and integrity in research – The New Strait Times (Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid | January 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on March 16, 2018
 

IN science work, a major badge of excellence is the acceptance of original research for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Science or Nature.

Publication of a new scientific breakthrough or insight brings recognition, career advancement, and, in the most exceptional cases, starts a high achiever on a road to the ultimate award — the Nobel Prize.

Given its importance, the pursuit of publication is bound to lead sometimes to over-zealousness and elements of unethical conduct, which in recent years have involved many high-profile cases and personalities.

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Top 10 Retractions of 2017 – The Scientist (Retraction Watch | December 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 12, 2018
 

Making the list: a journal breaks a retraction record, Nobel laureates Do the Right Thing, and Seinfeld characters write a paper 

When it comes to retractions, we at Retraction Watch always have a lot to say. Especially after spending much of 2017 building our retraction database, which now holds just shy of 16,000 entries—more than 1,000 from 2017 alone. That’s an increase from the 650 total retractions counted by MEDLINE in 2016.

We are big fans of Retraction Watch and this story reflects on the most notable retraction stories from 2017. A discussion of such cases are research integrity workshops can be a useful opportunity to talk about missteps and what they can do to academic careers and promising lines of enquiry.

Of course, scientific misconduct involves more than just retractions. This year, we reported on the loss of a frequently cited (but controversial) resource that deemed some journals “predatory,” the ongoing saga between a Harvard graduate student and his mentor that resulted in a forced psychiatric exam and a restraining order, and a university’s decision to pay a researcher found guilty of misconduct $100,000 to leave.
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There are also the stories about decisions not to retract—such as when more than a dozen editorial board members resigned from Scientific Reports after the journal decided to correct, not retract, a paper accused of plagiarism. (The journal eventually decided to add an editor’s note to the story and form a committee to review it.)
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But there were also plenty of retractions that caught our notice this year. Here are our picks of the 10 most notable retractons of 2017, in no particular order.

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