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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

A new publishing approach – retract and replace – is having growing pains – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | March 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 29, 2018
 

Many journals are adopting a recently developed mechanism for correcting the scientific record known as “retract and replace” — usually employed when the original paper has been affected by honest errors. But if an article is retracted and replaced, can readers always tell? To find out, Ana Marušić at the University of Split School of Medicine in Croatia and her colleagues reviewed 29 “Corrected and Republished Articles” issued between January, 2015 and December, 2016, noting how they were marked by Web of Science, Scopus, and the journals themselves. They report their findings today in The Lancet.

Retraction Watch: You found some inconsistencies in how articles are handled by journals and other databases. What were the most surprising and/or troubling to you?

Ana Marušić: The most troubling were a few cases of articles that were retracted because of an error and for which a corrected version was published. The journals published an accompanying notice about the reasons for retraction and republication, and some even published the article with the changes indicated. However, they kept the same DOI as for the retracted article. According to the indexing specialists, this is not the proper way of marking different versions of the published record. Therefore, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) considers such articles as retracted, instead of “corrected and republished articles,” which is one of the standard tags in PubMed. This means that, when you search for these articles, you will see them as “retracted articles” (written on a big pink banner at the top of the page), although the version that is recorded presents a valid piece of research.

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Publish AND perish: how the commodification of scientific publishing is undermining both science and the public good – Learning for Sustainability (Arjen Wals | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 19, 2018
 

“Everybody is writing, nobody is reading, everybody is writing for nobody.”

Academics are spending hundreds of hours a year, getting their work published, in peer-reviewed journals, providing free labor to commercial publishing companies.

The pressure to ‘produce’ and grow is huge, both in academia and in the publishing industry; this undermines quality and the university’s ability to serve the public good and, indeed, public trust in science.

Open access journal Sustainability publishes over 4000 contributions in its current Volume 10 – where most contributors will have to pay 1400 US Dollars* to have their work published. Its publisher MDPI has close to 200 journals working in a similar vein.’

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Oh, What A Tangled Web! Citation Network Underscores Editorial Conflicts of Interest – Scholarly Kitchen (Phil Davis | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 18, 2018
 

The separation of powers is as important in academic publishing as it is in government.

If readers are to trust the integrity of the editorial and peer review process, editors need to be insulated from the business of publishing, which often means keeping them away from their colleagues in marketing, sales, and advertising.

So important is the separation of powers that some publishers physically separate editorial offices from business operations and place them in different cities. If they can’t separate these divisions physically, they will often develop strong internal policies to minimize influence. For example, PLOS does not disclose to the editor whether a submitting author has applied for article processing fee assistance when reviewing a manuscript.

Similarly, many publishers have explicit rules that prevent editors from handling their own paper or the papers of authors very closely associated with them. None of these separations of roles and powers guarantee that the decision to publish is entirely free of bias, but they do demonstrate a seriousness in building an institution, a process, and a product that can be trusted.

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Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation? – LSE Impact Blog (Tony Ross-Hellauer, et al | July 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 15, 2018
 

Funding organisations commissioning their own open access publishing platforms is a relatively recent development in the OA environment, with the European Commission following the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in financing such an initiative. But in what ways, for better or worse, do these new platforms disrupt or complement the scholarly communications landscape? Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt and Bianca Kramer examine the ethical, organisational, and economic strengths and weaknesses of funder OA platforms to scope the opportunities and threats they present in the transition to OA. While they may help to increase OA uptake, control costs, and lower the administrative burden on researchers, possible unintended consequences include conflicts of interest, difficulties of scale, or potential vendor lock-in.

The link here to research integrity may not be obvious, but we are fans of open access, believe publically funded research should be accessible to the public not locked behind a paywall and the Plan S talk is a bit of hot topic globally in academia (albeit less so than CRISPR and the birth of modified babies).

In the age of open access (OA), research funding organisations have taken a more active interest in academic publishing. They are increasingly mandating their beneficiaries to publish OA, supporting infrastructures and directly funding publishing (via article processing charges).
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A step-change in this engagement is the recent phenomenon of OA publishing platforms commissioned by funding organisations. Examples include those of the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation, as well as recently announced initiatives from public funders like the Irish Health Research Board and the European Commission. As the number of such platforms increases, it becomes critical to assess in which ways, for better or worse, this emergent phenomenon complements or disrupts the scholarly communication landscape.

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