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Black lists, white lists and the evidence: exploring the features of ‘predatory’ journals – BioMed Central Blog (David Moher & Larissa Shamseer | March 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 28, 2017
 

The discussed criteria for evaluating open access publishers are useful suggestions for all researchers, especially higher degree research candidates and other early career researchers. The need for such evaluation has become more obvious post the closing of the Beall’s list, but arguably was good practice even when that list was operating.

New research published today in BMC Medicine looks to identify the features of potentially ‘predatory’ journals: online journals that charge publications fees without providing editorial services or robust peer review. Here to tell us about their work and how it can help authors, are David Moher and Larissa Shamseer, two authors of the research.
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Crime stories are typically portrayed as a fight between good and bad. Publishing biomedical research is similar. A few years ago the (now defunct) Scholarly Open Access website listed journals and publishers presumed to be bad, a ‘black list’.
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To get on the black list, its curator, Jeffrey Beall, used a number of criteria, such as comprehensive instructions for authors that are easily identified on the journal’s website, from the Committee on Publication Ethics and the Open Access Scholarly Publisher’s Association. If he felt the journal and/or publisher did not meet these criteria he added it to his list. He coined the term ‘predatory’ journals and publishers to describe these entities.
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China publishes more science research with fabricated peer-review than everyone else put together – Quartz (Echo Huang | May 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 24, 2017
 

China frequently makes news for being at the forefront of peer-review scandals like this one and this one. And data appears to bear that out, showing China contributed well over half of the papers retracted for compromised peer review from 2012 to 2016, according to data obtained by Quartz.

This discussion piece highlights why China is cracking down on fraud in research. The graphic ‘Retracted papers for fake peer review by country from 2012 to 2016’ provides an interesting international comparison of the number of papers forcibly retracted due to fake peer review.

Peer review by scientists in the same field as someone trying to publish research is supposed to help journals and their readers make sense of how credible and important the work is. Problems with peer review taint that process, and can extend the gamut from reviews that are carried out by someone affiliated with the researcher to entirely made-up reviews.
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Over the past five years, a total of 498 papers have been retracted over peer-review issues, according to the US blog Retraction Watch (papers can also be retracted for other reasons, but those papers aren’t included here). The blog used the nationalities of corresponding authors to reach its tally, since they are responsible for paper submissions. The breakdown by country below totals 502, reflecting papers counted twice because of corresponding authors with affiliations in multiple countries.
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Also see ‘China cracks down on fake data in drug trials

Most citations to retracted papers don’t note they’re problematic, authors say – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 19, 2017
 

We’ve known for a while that too many researchers cite retracted papers. But in what context do those citations occur? Are some authors citing a retracted paper as an example of problematic findings, or do most citing authors treat the findings as legitimate, failing to realize they are no longer valid? In a new paper in Scientometrics, Gali Halevi at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and Judit Bar-Ilan at Bar-Ilan University in Israel examined citations to 15 papers retracted in 2014. Halevi told us why she was surprised to see how many authors don’t realize retracted papers are problematic, and what the publishing community can do to get the word out.

Surprising interview about papers that are cited long after they have been retracted. Such practice isn’t just remarkable it raises concerns about the veracity of some of the knowledge that underpins practice. Definitely a new topic for professional development for HDR candidates and other ECRs. Also might be time to check your own list of references.

Retraction Watch: We’ve noticed that many papers are cited long after being retracted, without notifying readers the paper is problematic. You looked at citations to retracted papers and tracked how the citing authors described the paper – noting that its findings were problematic given the retraction (negative), or treating the findings as legitimate research that affirms the newer paper’s results (positive). The vast majority of post-retraction citations – 83% — were positive. Did that surprise you?
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Gali Halevi: Understanding the context of the citations was one of our main goals. We expected that although retracted articles were still cited these would be negative mentions. It did surprise us to discover that the vast majority of them treated retracted articles as legitimate citations despite of their faults. What’s worrying is that many of the retracted articles were due to faulty data, plagiarism and unethical behavior. Citing these articles as valid presents a danger to the progress and validity of science.
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Continuing allegations of research misconduct require system reform – china.org.cn (Richard de Grijs | June 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 17, 2017
 

It is generally understood that the reputation of an individual is hurt by a forced retraction, and that impact can last decades. Similarly there’s data that points to the impact affecting all the named coauthors of a retracted paper, not just the guilty parties or first author. The potential for impacts on an entire institution are less clear but are definitely reason for executive-level concern, but the possibility of impacts upon an entire country is apparently worrying enough to prompt a firm response. But is a one-size-fits-all response the answer?

Research practices in China recently hit the international headlines again. Springer, the publishing behemoth jointly based in Germany and the U.S., retracted more than a hundred scientific articles authored by Chinese scientists from its journals.
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Apparently, “fake” peer reviews were behind the latest retractions: Scrutiny of research articles undertaken by third parties were not conducted as independently or impartially as appearances may have suggested.
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This kind of news, yet again, is really disheartening to the majority of Chinese scientists who rigorously comply with the requirement for ethical research, and it exasperates me. Admittedly, Springer pointed out that research fraud is a global problem; however, China is often singled out.
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