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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The Rise of Peer Review: Melinda Baldwin on the History of Refereeing at Scientific Journals and Funding Bodies – Scholarly Kitchen (Robert Harington | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 17, 2018
 

I  was recently given the opportunity to read a fascinating paper by Melinda Baldwin, (Books Editor at Physics Today magazine, published by the American Institute of Physics), entitled “Scientific Autonomy, Public Accountability, and the Rise of “Peer Review” in the Cold War United States” (Isis, volume 109, number 3, September 2018). Melinda is an accomplished historian of science, with a special emphasis on the cultural and intellectual history of science and scientific communication. Not only is her writing infectiously entertaining, the story itself is new, or at least it is new to me. It turns out that peer reviewing in scientific journals is a relatively recent construct, first emerging in the nineteenth century and not seen as a central part of science until the late twentieth century.

A great piece reflecting on the history of peer review that nicely contextualises current frustrations and future directions. A worthy inclusion in ‘further reading’ lists when speaking about peer review.

Melinda paints a picture of constant change in peer review, which perhaps provides a lesson for us all. Maybe this should be obvious, but there is no status quo in academic publishing, and while we may feel our moment is more important than those that have gone before, or those ahead of us, expectations and models are fluid, be you author, reviewer, publisher, institution, or funder.
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In this interview I ask Melinda to talk about her article, and provide some more personal views on peer review topics of the moment.
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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?

Listen to the interview and read more and this discussion piece

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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