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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

What Constitutes Peer Review of Data? A Survey of Peer Review Guidelines – Scholarly Kitchen (Todd A Carpenter | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 13, 2017
 

The sharing of research data has exploded in the past decade, and a variety of publications and organizations are putting policies in place that require data publication in some form. Over the past decade, the number of journals that accept data has increased, as have the number and scope of repositories collecting and sharing research data. Prior to 2010, data sharing was quite limited in scholarly publishing. A 2011 study of 500 papers that were published in 2009 from 50 top-ranked research journals showed that only 47 papers (9%) of those reviewed had deposited full primary raw data online. During the intervening years, the pace of data publishing increased rapidly. As another study notes, the number of datasets being shared annually has increased by more than 400% from 2011 to 2015, and this pace will likely continue. A culture of data sharing is developing, and researchers are responding to data sharing requirements, the efficacy of data sharing, and its growing acceptance as a scientific norm in many fields.

With the increased publication of datasets (partly in response to the policies of research funding bodies, and partly in response to the policies of journal publishers), what constitutes peer review of those datasets? This Scholarly Kitchen discussion piece from April 2017 examines the policies of the key publishers.

The process is driven in part by both funding and publication policies, which have been encouraging data sharing. The number of titles that explicitly require such sharing in some form is also increasing rapidly. In the past few years, PLOS, AGU, SpringerNature, and the American Economic Association, to highlight just a few, have each put forward policies about data sharing. In addition, data access has been the focus of other efforts, such as the COPDESS Statement of Commitment, which has 43 signatories. A variety of funding agencies, such as the Wellcome Trust, the Gates Foundation, and the Arnold Foundation now include data sharing as part of their funding policies, and a variety of government agencies are covered by the 2013 OSTP memo on increasing access to federally funded research.
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A core element of what distinguishes scholarly publishing from trade publishing is the peer review process. As the availability of research data is increasing, it is important to ask how much of this data is peer reviewed. In a 2014 Study of 4,000 researchers by David Nicholas et al, “[i]t was generally agreed that data should be peer reviewed.” But what constitutes peer review of research data? What are existing practices related to peer review of research datasets? Since a number of journals specifically focus on the review and publication of datasets, reviewing their policies seems an appropriate place to start in assessing what existing practice looks like in the “real world” of reviewing and publishing data.

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All take and no give? Many scientists resist shift to open data – Times Higher Education (John Elmes | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 12, 2017
 

Open data offers a lot of promise, including reducing the burden on over-researched populations, but working through such matters as consent and identification requires time and effort most researchers don’t have available. But then is there perhaps a more significant resistance to someone else benefiting from your labours with little tangible return to you. This Times Higher Education story explores what really is going on.

Significant numbers of scientists do not publish their research data, a survey has found, despite a vast majority believing that having access to other scholars’ raw material would benefit them.
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While 73 per cent of respondents to a global survey of academics conducted by information and analytics company Elsevier and Leiden University agreed that having access to other researchers’ data would be beneficial, 34 per cent admitted that they did not publish their own figures.
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The survey, which attracted 1,162 responses from all scientific fields, found that one in 10 researchers (11 per cent) would never be willing to allow other researchers to access their data. Sixty-four per cent said that they would, while 25 per cent were undecided.
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Pyne: Are universities complicit in predatory publishing? – Ottawa Citizen (Derek Pyne | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 11, 2017
 

As recent articles in the Ottawa Citizen make clear, a growing scourge in universities has been the growth of predatory journals. These journals claim to be peer reviewed but in reality allow authors to buy publication and thereby inflate their publication records. Authors can then use their publication records to apply for research awards, promotions and other benefits.

Some universities have policies against them. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that several Australian universities do not allow them to be used for promotion and even ask academics to identify them in publications reported on their annual reviews. Many higher quality universities may not even need formal policies: their researchers have good reputations that they do not want to damage with publications in predatory journals.

Despite this, publications in predatory journals have been growing. Cenyu Shen and Bo-Christer Bjork, researchers at the Hanken School of Economics, estimate that in 2014, a staggering 420,000 papers were published in predatory journals and all indications are that the number is still growing. This implies the existence of some universities were predatory publications are relatively common. Common enough, that one suspects that universities are aware that their faculty are publishing in predatory journals but are turning a blind eye to it.

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A retraction gets retracted — but the first author’s contract is still terminated – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | June 20170

Posted by Admin in on June 11, 2017
 

One of the lessons from the unfortunate case? In your research outputs be careful how you describe the ethical clearance status of your work. Another lesson? When it comes to media reports of alleged research misconduct it pays to read between the lines.

After issuing a retraction notice May 30 for a biomedical engineering paper, the journal has since pulled the notice, citing “a potential problem.”
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After doing some digging, we’ve learned more about the “potential problem.”
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Apparently, the retraction was requested by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. NTU has been investigating the first author for months, after it received an allegation about an unrelated manuscript. As a result, NTU terminated first author Hamidreza Namazi‘s contract as a research fellow earlier this year.

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