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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Journal retracts paper by controversial Australian journalist – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 30, 2018

The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) has retracted a 2003 paper that resulted from the PhD thesis of Maryanne Demasi, an Australian journalist whose reporting on statins and the risks of cancer from cell phones has been a lightning rod.

The move, for what the journal says was attempts to reuse images to represent different experiments, follows an investigation by the University of Adelaide into allegations of image manipulation in Demasi’s thesis. In the investigation, Demasi

admitted that she had duplicated or probably duplicated the relevant impugned images. However, she understood that duplication was acceptable at the relevant time for the particular category of images at issue. The relevant experts agreed, albeit they considered duplication was not best practice.

Demasi’s work as a journalist — including reporting that cast doubt on cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins and an episode of a science program called Catalyst on possible links between wi-fi and brain tumors — has earned criticism, which she and her co-authors on the JBC paper say have made the study a target of allegations.

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Why Cell Systems is publishing Peer Reviews – Crosstalk (Carly Britton | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 29, 2018

Quincey Justman‘s first editorial as Editor-in-Chief of Cell Systems highlights a new type of article: the Peer Review, which showcases the contributions to science that peer reviewers make every day. The Peer Review is separate from, but complementary to, broader forthcoming experiments with transparent peer review conducted by Molecular Cell, Developmental Cell, and Cell Systems.

The first Peer Review from Cell Systems, by John Doyle, Noah Olsman, and Fangzhou Xiao, evaluates the research article “Cytoplasmic Amplification of Transcriptional Noise Generates Substantial Cell-to-Cell Variability,” by Maike Hansen, Leor Weinberger, and their colleagues. Both pieces were published in the October 24 issue of Cell Systems.

Quincey sat down with Cell Press Press Officer Carly Britton to answer some questions about why she wanted to publish this Peer Review.

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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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