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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The Mess That Is Science Publishing – The James G. Center for Academic Renewal (John Staddon | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on April 15, 2020

The rumored proposal will require free, immediate access to all reports of government-funded scientific research. The rumor is credible enough that an association of 210 academic and research libraries has written to the president in support of the idea. The research-publication system is a mess, and open access would be one small step toward a fix.

But first, a little history. When scientific publishing began, scientists were few, many were amateurs, being a scientist was not a career, and publishing costs—copyediting, printing, distribution—were high. In 1800, only about thirty scientific and medical journals existed; by 1900, the number had grown to 700. Now, there are estimated to be more than twenty thousand. And they cost! Not the $100 or so per annum you can expect to pay for People magazine or Scientific American, but sometimes thousands of dollars. Although the most prestigious science journals, the weeklies Science (published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science) and Nature (published by Macmillan) cost less than $100, more obscure journals can cost much, much more. The Taylor & Francis Journal of Co-ordination Chemistry (just what is that, one wonders?), for 24 issues, costs $18,041 per year. That is an institutional rate. Many Elsevier journals do not even advertise rates for individuals and their website makes it pretty clear that the institutional rate often involves negotiation.

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Insights into Publication Ethics: An interview with Professor Michael V. Dougherty – Brill (December 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 14, 2020

In cooperation with its community of authors, editors, and peer reviewers, Brill safeguards the quality and integrity of its publications. We recently corresponded with Michael V. Dougherty, Professor of Philosophy at Ohio Dominican University and publication ethics expert, as part of our ongoing effort to deepen our understanding of publication ethics and of some of the most pressing challenges faced by the publishing community today.

This great discussion is a recommended read for ECRs and indeed all researchers.

Please tell us about your interest in publication ethics, the professional path that led you to becoming a leading voice on these matters, and the current direction of your work.

While writing a book on medieval ethics in 2009, I noticed the verbatim identity between a well-regarded journal article and portions of an older, somewhat obscure Finnish dissertation by a different author. I was in a bind: citing the article would commend fraudulent work to readers, but ignoring it would make my book appear unengaged with the relevant published research. I decided that I had a professional obligation to seek a retraction. Since then, with several colleagues, I have been requesting retractions for plagiarizing books and articles in philosophy and related disciplines. These requests have generated dozens of retractions, and some have been covered by the journalists at Retraction Watch. I have come to understand that this kind of work is unusual, so I wrote a book on post-publication responses to academic plagiarism in humanities disciplines. Right now, I am finishing a book on disguised forms of plagiarism. Some varieties of plagiarism are extremely subtle, so I am setting forth a typology with case studies that I hope will be useful to researchers, editors, and publishers.

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(US) Science groups, senator warn Trump administration not to change publishing rules – Science (Jeffrey Brainard & David Malakoff | December 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 14, 2020

More than 125 scientific societies and journal publishers, as well as an influential U.S. senator, are urgently warning the Trump administration not to move forward with a rumored executive order that would make all papers produced by federally funded research immediately free to the public. In three separate letters, they argue such a move would be costly, could bankrupt many scientific societies that rely on income from journal subscriptions, and would harm the scientific enterprise.

The White House won’t comment on whether the administration is considering issuing an executive order that would change publishing rules, and society officials say they have learned no details—nor been asked for input. But if the murmuring is accurate, the order would represent a major change from current U.S. policy, which allows publishers to keep papers that report the results of federally funded studies behind a paywall for up to 1 year. That 2013 policy was the compromise result of a fierce battle between open-access advocates, who wanted free immediate public access to the fruits of federally funded research, and scientific societies and publishers, who argued such a policy would destroy a long-standing, subscription-based business model that has well served society and scientists.

The new letters restate that argument. “Going below the current 12 month ‘embargo’ would make it very difficult for most American publishers to invest in publishing these articles,” argues a letter to President Donald Trump released today by the Association of American Publishers in Washington, D.C., and signed by more than 125 research and publishing groups.

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Grant reviewer perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of panel discussion (PrePrint Papers: Stephen A. Gallo, et al | December 2019 )0

Posted by Admin in on April 13, 2020


Funding agencies have long used panel discussion in the peer review of research grant proposals as a way to utilize a set of expertise and perspectives in making funding decisions. Little research has examined the quality of panel discussions and how effectively they are facilitated.

Here we present a mixed-method analysis of data from a survey of reviewers focused on their perceptions of the quality and facilitation of panel discussion from their last peer review experience.

Reviewers indicated that panel discussions were viewed favorably in terms of participation, clarifying differing opinions, informing unassigned reviewers, and chair facilitation. However, some reviewers mentioned issues with panel discussions, including an uneven focus, limited participation from unassigned reviewers, and short discussion times. Most reviewers felt the discussions affected the review outcome, helped in choosing the best science, and were generally fair and balanced. However, those who felt the discussion did not affect the outcome were also more likely to evaluate panel communication negatively, and several reviewers mentioned potential sources of bias related to the discussion. While respondents strongly acknowledged the importance of the chair in ensuring appropriate facilitation of the discussion to influence scoring and to limit the influence of potential sources of bias from the discussion on scoring, nearly a third of respondents did not find the chair of their most recent panel to have performed these roles effectively.

It is likely that improving chair training in the management of discussion as well as creating review procedures that are informed by the science of leadership and team communication would improve review processes and proposal review reliability.

Gallo, S. A., Schmaling, K. B. Thompson, L. A., Glisson, S. R. (2019) Grant reviewer perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of panel discussion.