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NSF reiterates policy on teaching good research habits despite its limitations – Science (Jeffrey Mervis | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 11, 2017

The National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Virginia, has decided to double down on its implementation of a congressionally mandated policy aimed at reducing research misconduct among NSF-funded scientists, despite a new report that notes problems with the agency’s approach.

The call for research integrity professional development being more than quick online training for students and thinking more broadly about the culture of practice is worth repeating. It is also a useful reminder of limitations of national agencies rather than local practice-based approaches.

In 2007, Congress approved a measure, the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act, that requires every university applying for NSF funding to certify that its students are receiving “appropriate” training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR). Although NSF gave universities great leeway to decide how to provide that training, its 2010 directive also suggested that schools conduct a “risk assessment” to determine who should be trained and what training they should receive.
In 2013 NSF’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), an internal independent watchdog, decided to see how well universities were complying with the requirement. And its new report, based on a survey of 53 institutions, identifies several areas of concern.

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The Future of Peer Review – Scientific American (Andrew Preston | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 9, 2017

It’s very far from perfect, but major changes for the better are underway

The report this item refers to is informative

Virtually all new scientific study that reaches the attention of the public has been peer-reviewed—the process through which experts are commissioned by an editor, often anonymously and almost always unpaid, to cross-examine a manuscript, look for flaws and recommend improvements.
This process, begun by the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London in the 18th century, is central to our ability to trust scientific research. The tradition of peer review has become ingrained in science over the centuries because it is, despite its flaws, the best system we have to evaluate research.

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What Does Transparent Peer Review Mean and Why is it Important? – Scholarly Kitchen (Alice Meadows | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 6, 2017

The theme of this year’s Peer Review Week is transparency in peer review. Many peer review experts will be gathering in Chicago in September for the Peer Review Congress (PRC), an international event that is held every four years. So we will be kicking off this year’s Peer Review Week celebrations with a panel session immediately after the Congress closes, at 5.30pm on September 12. Under the Microscope: Transparency in Peer Review, which I’m delighted to be chairing, will be open for all PRC attendees to join in person, as well as being live-streamed and recorded so others can also participate (register here for free).

To whet your appetites and encourage you to join us there or follow the proceedings online, we invited the four speakers to share their initial thoughts on what transparent peer review means to them and why it’s important. Irene Hames (independent peer review and publication ethics expert), Elizabeth Moylan (BioMed Central), Andrew Preston (Publons), and Carly Strasser (Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation) bring an interesting range of perspectives to the discussion, as you can see from their answers to this question. While they all agree on the importance of peer review, there’s divergence around what we mean by transparency in peer review and, critically, how to achieve it. For example, is there an agreed definition of what peer review actually is? Is it really the case that peer review has to be open in order for researchers to get credit for it? And how open should reviews for rejected papers be?

As moderator, I’m remaining neutral on the topic (at least for now!) but I look forward to your comments on this post and warmly invite you to submit additional questions for the panel either here in the comments or on Twitter, using the hashtag #AskPRW – and, of course, to join the discussion on September 12.

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The Future of Peer Review – Scholarly Kitchen (Alice Meadows | May 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 4, 2017

Timed perfectly to coincide with today’s official launch of this year’s Peer Review Week (hold the date: September 11-17, 2017), BioMedCentral and Digital Science yesterday published a report on “What might peer review look like in 2030?”

Based on last November’s SpotOn London conference (which, sadly, I couldn’t attend myself), the report makes seven recommendations for the research community in the coming years:

  1. Find new ways of matching expertise and reviews by better identifying, verifying and inviting peer reviewers (including using AI)

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