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The Evolution and Critical Role of Peer Review in Academic Publishing – The Wiley Network (Marilyn Pollett | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 6, 2018
 

Did you know that the number of peer-reviewed journals has steadily grown by 3.5% per year for over the past three centuries? In fact, a rigorous peer review process is considered to be an indication of a journal’s quality, and most journals rely on peer review to ensure that only the best research gets accepted for publication. This often results in journals having high rejection rates, for example, as high as 90% in the case of many Wiley journals.

Peer review is considered the pillar that upholds the credibility and integrity of the scientific record. However, in its conventional form, peer review has drawn some criticism for issues like lack of transparency and inconsistency in output. To address these issues, several innovations in peer review have been introduced (new models, reviewer recognition, and more). Let’s take a look at the evolution of peer review and how industry experts see it shaping up in the future.

Challenges associated with peer review

Despite its merits, peer review has some limitations that threaten to weaken the entire scholarly publishing system:

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The Great Leap Fraud: China’s wake-up call on scientific misconduct and fake science on Science Friction – ABC RN (Natasha Mitchell | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 6, 2018
 

You’ve heard of fake news, but what about fake science? The shocking, shady world of the modern scientific marketplace. A special for ABC RN’s China In Focus series featuring Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch and guests.

China’s president wants to turn the country into a scientific superpower, but mass retractions by scientific journals of papers penned by Chinese scientists has exposed a major problem for China and for science globally.

It’s home to a thriving black market for fake papers, fake peer reviews, and beyond.

But is China alone?

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Revisiting: Six Years of Predatory Publishing – Scholarly Kitchen (David Crotty | August 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 3, 2018
 

Predatory publishing has been on our radar for quite a while now, but mainstream media coverage and awareness is rapidly intensifying. We have perhaps finally reached a point where the damage being done to the credibility of research may be enough to move the stakeholders involved — universities, funders, and publishers, to finally take some action. Just what that action will be is unclear — like most of our lingering problems, if there was an easy solution, it would have happened long ago. In light of the increasing debate, I thought it worth revisiting some of our coverage of predatory publishing over the years.

We are planning an item about why we use the term ‘illegitimate publisher’ rather than ‘predator publisher’. We have included here links to the best related items in the Resource Library. Just a reminder the predator image is available, with watermarks via the AHRECS subscribers’ area.

Kent Anderson first wrote about the phenomenon back in 2012, in his post, “Predatory” Open Access Publishers — The Natural Extreme of an Author-Pays Model. It’s interesting to see that even in this early post, the focus was on the author-pays model, rather than a condemnation of open access as a whole. Also interesting to see how much unconditional support there was (particularly in the comments) for Jeffrey Beall’s list, which later fell under so much controversy.
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Speaking of Beall, a trio of posts — two interviews, the first in the form of a podcast from 2013, and the second as a written interview, done after Beall had taken a public swipe at The Scholarly Kitchen. And finally, Joe Esposito’s post entitled, “Parting Company with Jeffrey Beall“, where he tried to come to grips with Beall’s increasingly problematic rhetoric.
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There is little evidence to suggest peer reviewer training programmes improve the quality of reviews – LSE Blog (Shaun Khoo | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 28, 2018
 

In little more than a year a number of peer reviewer training programmes have launched, promising to help early-career researchers learn how to do peer review, review more efficiently, and connect with editors at top journals. This follows an expressed need from graduate students and postdocs for precisely this sort of training. But can these new programmes deliver? And as many providers suggest moves towards a subscription-based model, are they worth individuals or institutions paying for them? Shaun Khoo examines the evidence base and finds that there is little to suggest that peer reviewer training programmes actually improve the quality of article reviews.

Peer reviewer training for graduate students and postdocs is pretty trendy right now. As the number of submissions to academic journals grows, publishers are interested in expanding their reviewer pools. Over the last year we have seen the launch of the Publons Academy, ACS Reviewer Lab, Nature Masterclasses’ Focus on Peer Review, and JNeurosci’s Reviewer Mentoring Program. These training programmes promise to help researchers learn how to do peer review, review more efficiently, and connect with editors at top journals. They also fill a gap in researcher training, as over 90% of early-career researchers express interest in peer review training but few receive any formal training during their PhDs. But can these new training programmes deliver? And if training providers were to make their programmes subscription-based, would it be worth the investment?

What are the training programmes like?

Each training course has its own distinct and useful features. In general, programmes like the ACS Reviewer Lab, Publons Academy, and Nature Masterclass feature text and short video segments on how to do peer review, what to focus on, what not to focus on, and ethical dilemmas. They sometimes also feature online formative assessments, like answering multiple choice questions at the end of the unit.

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