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Checklists to Detect Potential Predatory Biomedical Journals: A Systematic Review (Papers: Samantha Cukier, et al | Preprint September 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 23, 2019
 

Abstract

Background:
We believe there is a large number of checklists to help authors detect predatory journals. It is uncertain whether these checklists contain similar content.

Purpose:
Perform a systematic review to identify checklists to detect potential predatory journals and to examine their content and measurement properties.

Data Sources:
MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, ERIC, Web of Science and Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (January 2012 to November 2018), university library websites (January 2019), YouTube (January 2019).

Study Selection:
Original checklists used to detect potential predatory journals published in English, French or Portuguese, with instructions in point form, bullet form, tabular format or listed items, not including lists or guidance on recognizing “legitimate” or “trustworthy” journals.

Data Extraction:
Pairs of reviewers independently extracted study data and assessed checklist quality and a third reviewer resolved conflicts.

Data Synthesis:
Of 1528 records screened, 93 met our inclusion criteria. The majority of included checklists were in English (n = 90, 97%), could be completed in fewer than five minutes (n = 68, 73%), had an average of 11 items, which were not weighted (n = 91, 98%), did not include qualitative guidance (n = 78, 84%) or quantitative guidance (n = 91, 98%), were not evidence-based (n = 90, 97%) and covered a mean of four (of six) thematic categories. Only three met our criteria for being evidence-based.

Limitations:
Limited languages and years of publication, searching other media.

Conclusions:
There is a plethora of published checklists that may overwhelm authors looking to efficiently guard against publishing in predatory journals. The similarity in checklists could lead to the creation of evidence-based tools serving authors from all disciplines.

Cukier, S., Helal, L., Rice, D.B., Pupkaite, J., Ahmadzai, N., Wilson, M., Skidmore, B., Lalu, M., Moher, D. (Preprint 2019) Checklists to Detect Potential Predatory Biomedical Journals: A Systematic Review. medRxiv. 19005728; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/19005728
Publisher: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/19005728v1

China strengthens its campaign against scientific misconduct – CE&EN (Hepeng Jia | September 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 21, 2019
 

New publishing standards aim for clarity on plagiarism, fabrication, and authorship

Amid increasing attention to scientific research integrity in China, the country has adopted a new set of standards to more clearly define misconduct in publishing journal articles. Experts hope the new clarity will make it easier to discipline researchers who violate the standards.

The State Administration of Press and Publication, the agency in charge of China’s publishing sector, released and adopted in July the Academic Publishing Specification—Definition of Academic Misconduct for Journals. Other standards developed by the agency cover citation and translation practices and the use of ancient Chinese.

The publishing specification defines and distinguishes plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification. It also addresses inappropriate authorship, duplicate or multiple submissions, and overlapping publications.

What’s next for Registered Reports? – Nature (Chris Chambers | September 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 19, 2019
 

Reviewing and accepting study plans before results are known can counter perverse incentives. Chris Chambers sets out three ways to improve the approach.

What part of a research study — hypotheses, methods, results, or discussion — should remain beyond a scientist’s control? The answer, of course, is the results: the part that matters most for publishing in prestigious journals and advancing careers. This paradox means that the careful scepticism required to avoid massaging data or skewing analysis is pitted against the drive to identify eye-catching outcomes. Unbiased, negative and complicated findings lose out to cherry-picked highlights that can bring prominent articles, grant funding, promotion and esteem.

The ‘results paradox’ is a chief cause of unreliable science. Negative, or null, results go unpublished, leading other researchers into unwittingly redundant studies. Ambiguous or otherwise ‘unattractive’ results are airbrushed (consciously or not) into publishable false positives, spurring follow-up research and theories that are bound to collapse.

Clearly, we need to change how we evaluate and publish research. For the past six years, I have championed Registered Reports (RRs), a type of research article that is radically different from conventional papers. The 30 or so journals that were early adopters have together published some 200 RRs, and more than 200 journals are now accepting submissions in this format (see ‘Rapid rise’). When it launched in 2017, Nature Human Behaviour became the first of the Nature journals to join this group. In July, it published its first two such reports1. With RRs on the rise, now is a good time to take stock of their potential and limitations

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Elsevier investigates hundreds of peer reviewers for manipulating citations – Nature (Dalmeet Singh Chawla | September 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 17, 2019
 

The publisher is scrutinizing researchers who might be inappropriately using the review process to promote their own work.

This week is peer review week, which is a good time to reflect on the professional development your institution provides on peer review.  Hopefully, it includes warning against reviewers directing reviewed authors to cite their work.  This case is a good example of why.

The Dutch publisher Elsevier is investigating hundreds of researchers whom it suspects of deliberately manipulating the peer-review process to boost their own citation numbers.
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The publisher is looking into the possibility that some peer reviewers are encouraging the authors of work under review to cite the reviewers’ own research in exchange for positive reviews — a frowned-on practice broadly termed coercive citation.
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Elsevier’s probe has also revealed that several of these reviewers seem to be engaging in other questionable publishing practices in studies that they have themselves authored. The Elsevier analysts who uncovered the activity told Nature that they “discovered clear evidence of peer-review manipulation” and of academics publishing the same studies more than once. Elsevier said that their investigations will lead to some of these studies being retracted.
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