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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Announcement: Where are the data? – Nature0

Posted by Admin in on September 14, 2016

As the research community embraces data sharing, academic journals can do their bit to help. Starting this month, all research papers accepted for publication in Nature and an initial 12 other Nature titles will be required to include information on whether and how others can access the underlying data.

These statements will report the availability of the ‘minimal data set’ necessary to interpret, replicate and build on the findings reported in the paper. Where applicable, they will include details about publicly archived data sets that have been analysed or generated during the study. Where restrictions on access are in place — for example, in the case of privacy limitations or third-party control — authors will be expected to make this clear.

The new policy (full details of which are available at builds on our long-standing support for data availability as a condition of publication. It also extends our support for data citation, the practice of citing data sets in reference lists in a similar way to citing papers. Authors are encouraged to cite data sets that have digital object identifiers (DOIs) assigned to them…

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Seven Things Every Scholarly Publisher Should Know about Researchers – The Scholarly Kitchen (Alice Meadows and Karin Wulf August 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on September 12, 2016

Earlier this year we wrote about the “Seven Things Every Researcher Should Know about Scholarly Publishing”, one of several recent posts seeking to improve understanding of scholarly communications among all stakeholders. These included Charlie Rapple’s post on “Three Things Scholarly Publishers Should Know about Researchers” and an Ask the Chefs forum focused on misconceptions about scholarly publishing.

The start of a new academic year in the northern hemisphere seemed like a good time for us to return to this theme, but from the opposite perspective as our original post, asking this time what scholarly publishers should know about the researchers they serve. We’ve highlighted the same seven themes: ecosystem, scholarly hygiene, business models, peer review, metrics, tools, and licenses and copyright. It was interesting to note which of them smoothly translate from the perspective of researchers versus publishers and vice versa. Mostly we found that sticking with the same themes helped to highlight connections and commonalities.

Many who work in scholarly publishing have little or no research experience themselves; even fewer do so in the field in which they publish. In an Ask the Chefs forum debating the value of research experience for publishers by asking whether publishers benefit from an advanced degree, views on the topic were mixed. Publishing is its own business, requiring a specific set of skills and knowledge, as are other fields in scholarly communication, most significantly libraries. So, while an advanced degree in the discipline you’re publishing in can be helpful in some ways, it may not be necessary, and is often not as important as other types of experience. However, just as researchers need an understanding of how scholarly publishing works, it is also essential that scholarly publishers understand researchers and their research – what they do, and when, why and how they do it…

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We’ve seen computer-generated fake papers get published. Now we have computer-generated fake peer reviews – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky September 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on September 5, 2016

Retraction Watch readers may recall that in 2014, publisher Springer and IEEE were forced to retract more than 120 conference proceedings because the papers were all fakes, written by the devilishly clever SCIgen program and somehow published after peer review. So perhaps it was inevitable that fake computer-generated peer reviews were next.

In a chapter called “Your Paper has been Accepted, Rejected, or Whatever: Automatic Generation of Scientific Paper Reviews,” a group of researchers at the University of Trieste “investigate the feasibility of a tool capable of generating fake reviews for a given scientific paper automatically.” And 30% of the time, people couldn’t tell the difference. “While a tool of this kind cannot possibly deceive any rigorous editorial procedure,” the authors conclude, “it could nevertheless find a role in several questionable scenarios and magnify the scale of scholarly frauds.”

We spoke to one of the chapter’s authors, Eric Medvet, by email.

Read the Retraction Watch interview

Feds Target ‘Predatory’ Publishers – Inside Higher Ed (Carl Straumsheim August 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on September 1, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission is “marking a line in the sand” with its first lawsuit against publishers that take advantage of scholars wishing to publish in open-access journals.

The Federal Trade Commission on Friday filed a complaint against the academic journal publisher OMICS Group and two of its subsidiaries, saying the publisher deceives scholars and misrepresents the editorial rigor of its journals.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, marks the first time the FTC has gone after what are often known as “predatory” publishers. Such publishers exploit open-access publishing as a way to charge steep fees to researchers who believe their work will be printed in legitimate journals, when in fact the journals may publish anyone who pays and lack even a basic peer-review process.

Ioana Rusu, a staff attorney with the FTC, said in an interview that the commission is responding to a growing number of calls from people in academe for some sort of action to be taken against publishers that take advantage of scholars wishing to publish in open-access journals…

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