A modest proposal to solve the problem of peer review: Treat evaluation as an in-house publishing function. Peer review is under constant scrutiny due to its failure to adapt to a more effective model in the digital age. Steve Fuller argues that academic evaluation proceeds much too slowly for the quite simple reason that academics are valued mainly for being productive and not evaluative. It may be the job of publishers to rescue the academic brand – from academia itself — by hiring peer reviewers directly. Suppose you’re an executive at a transnational academic publishing firm struggling with the problem of getting academics to referee articles for publication. But the strategy doesn’t seem to work. The solution is pretty simple, really. Image credit: Frederick Taylor’s consultancy applied to practice (Wikimedia, Public Domain) This postmodern strategy of managing the production of knowledge may well prove a ‘win-win’ strategy for the corporate and academic worlds in our neo-liberal system, but it cannot be generalised to the evaluation of knowledge. About the Author
30 ways academic book publishers add value to the process of research communication. What exactly do book publishers bring to the table when academics look to reach wider audiences? Francine O’Sullivan reflects on the shifting priorities of academic book publishers in the digital age and the need to ensure added value to the overall process. She provides a list of things an author or editor should expect a high quality academic book publisher to do in order to help disseminate research, maximise citations and protect authors’ interests. These are interesting times for academic book publishers in the social sciences. Image credit: PublicDomainPictures (public domain) As if this wasn’t enough, fast-advancing technology means that the print book market is sharply declining and the emerging ebook market is far from just a straight swap in format. As a result of these pressures, academic publishers have become smarter, leaner, faster and more innovative in their products. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.
The apparatus of research assessment is driven by the academic publishing industry and has become entirely self-serving Peer review may be favoured as the best measure of scientific assessment ahead of the REF, but can it be properly implemented? Peter Coles does the maths on what the Physics panel face and finds there simply won’t be enough time to do what the REF administrators claim. Rather, closed-access bibliometrics will have to be substituted at the expense of legitimate assessment of outputs. What I want to do first of all is to draw attention to a very nice blog post by a certain Professor Moriarty who, in case you did not realise it, dragged himself away from his hiding place beneath the Reichenbach Falls and started a new life as Professor of Physics at Nottingham University. The first problem arises from the scale of the task facing members of the panel undertaking this assessment. As a rough guess let’s assume that the UK has about 40 Physics departments, and the average number of research-active staff in each is probably about 40. And that’s all just about “outputs”. About the Author
Scientific publishing: The inside track Maxwell MacKenzie/National Academy of Sciences The building for the National Academy of Sciences was completed in 1924 as a “home of science in America”. The academy’s house journal was established a decade earlier, in part, as a home for members’ papers. In April, the US National Academy of Sciences elected 105 new members to its ranks. For many academy members, this privileged path is central to the appeal of PNAS. With PNAS currently celebrating its centenary, the news team at Nature decided to examine the contributed track, both to assess its scientific impact and to see which members use it most heavily and why. Our analysis also suggests that the efforts by PNAS to prevent abuse of the contributed track and to boost the quality of papers published by this route are bearing fruit. A privilege to publish An inside track to publication for academy members rests deep in PNAS's DNA. Having control over the review process brings advantages. Special access
The MLA Tells It Like It Is "We are faced with an unsustainable reality," states the Modern Language Association’s long-awaited report on doctoral study in literature and languages. That reality includes a median time-to-degree of nine years and a weak academic job market that places a deplorably low percentage of Ph.D.’s in tenure-track professorships, often after years of postdoctoral purgatory. There are many positive things to say about this report, but let’s start with the fact that the MLA is saying things that need to be said by the MLA. In particular, the report exhorts us to "validate the wide range of career possibilities that doctoral students can pursue." The MLA gets behind other important positions, too. That is good news coming from the MLA. One might argue that the MLA is late to the party, but it’s not the sort of guest you should expect as soon as you set out the hors d’oeuvres. Berman stressed that "doctoral training can prepare students for lots of things." The MLA report is terse.
Resignations threat over Taylor & Francis ‘censorship’ Editorial board of journal could quit after debate on publishing suffers delay Source: Alamy Silence! Publication delays and unexplained editing have ‘destroyed trust’ between the journal editors and Taylor & Francis A journal’s editorial board has been left on the brink of resignation after an eight-month standoff with its publisher Taylor & Francis over the publication of a debate on academic publishing and the profits made by major firms. The debate, in the journal Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation, was due to appear last September, but was delayed by Taylor & Francis and published only at the end of last month. Its “proposition” paper, “Publisher, be damned! The paper compares academic publishing with the music industry, which, it says, has “booming” sales after lowering prices in the face of widespread piracy. “They never said why. The publisher eventually did so, but insisted on removing all publishers’ names from both the proposition article and the four responses.
The Guardian view on the end of the peer review | Editorial | Commentisfree Nature, the pre-eminent journal for reporting scientific research, has had to retract two papers it published in January after mistakes were spotted in the figures, some of the methods descriptions were found to be plagiarised and early attempts to replicate the work failed. This is the second time in recent weeks that the God-like omniscience that non-scientists often attribute to scientific journals was found to be exaggerated, In June, the BMJ was plunged into a public row over two papers it published last year questioning the benefits of prescribing statins and suggesting that the side effects could outweigh the health advantages. The papers have been under attack for a while, and the Oxford professor of medicine Sir Rory Collins now says the flawed research risks putting people off statins when they could be life-saving.
Securing money for research is hard for everyone - but then there's the sexism | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional Female academics have to be twice as productive as men to be regarded as equally competent. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images Have you recently been denied promotion due to lack of research grant money? If so, join the club. In my department last month two colleagues were turned down for promotion (one for reader and the other for senior lecturer) because, according to the university, they had not attracted "significant grant income". Once, 4* publications were the holy grail; now we also have to attract research money, regardless of whether or not we actually need the cash to do our research. Getting funding is harder for women As anyone who has ever applied for research funding will know, getting research money is hard. But a growing body of literature suggests that getting research funding may be additionally difficult for women, as the peer review process is rife with sexism. Competing for high stakes This leaves us with one more option: a quota system.
‘Dit bericht is mede mogelijk gemaakt door de UvA’ De effecten van sponsorvermeldingen op televisie Sponsorvermeldingen in televisieprogramma’s – bijvoorbeeld het tonen van de tekst ‘Dit programma bevat product placement’ – zijn lang niet altijd effectief. Maar als ze door de kijker worden opgepikt, heeft dat als neveneffecten een betere merkherkenning, maar ook een minder gunstige houding ten aanzien van het merk. Dit is een van de conclusies die communicatiewetenschapper Sophie Boerman trekt in haar promotieonderzoek naar de effecten van sponsorvermeldingen. Zij promoveert op donderdag 24 april aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Boerman onderzocht hoe kijkers reageren op gesponsorde televisieprogramma’s en de merken die daarin zijn geïntegreerd. Kijkers blijken zich vaak niet bewust te zijn van sponsorvermeldingen, hoewel dit wel een voorwaarde is voor de effectiviteit ervan. Herkenning én argwaan Promotiedetails Mw. Tijd en locatie
The 3 dangers of publishing in “megajournals”–and how you can avoid them | Impactstory blog You like the idea of “megajournals”–online-only, open access journals that cover many subjects and publish content based only on whether it is scientifically sound. You get that PLOS ONE, PeerJ and others offer a path to a more efficient, faster, more open scholarly publishing world. But you’re not publishing there. Because you’ve heard rumors that they’re not peer reviewed, or that they’re “peer-review lite” journals. Well, you’re not the only one. But they don’t have to. 1. Sometimes wanting to publish somewhere yourself isn’t enough–you’ve got to convince skeptical co-authors (or advisors!). Megajournals publish prestigious science Megajournals aren’t for losers: top scientists, including Nobelists, publish there. Megajournals boost citation and readership impact Megajournals can get you more readers because they’re Open Access. Megajournals promote real-world use With more readers comes more applications in the real world–another important form of impact. Megajournals publish fast 2. 3.
Retractions up tenfold - 20 AUGUST 2009 ‘Publish or perish’ factor in withdrawal of science papers. Zoe Corbyn reports The rate at which scientific journal articles are being retracted has increased roughly tenfold over the past two decades, an exclusive analysis for Times Higher Education reveals. Growth in research fraud as a result of greater pressure on researchers to publish, improved detection and demands on editors to take action have been raised as possible factors in the change. The study, by the academic-data provider Thomson Reuters, follows the retraction last month of a paper on the creation of sperm from human embryonic stem cells. The paper, written by researchers at Newcastle University, was withdrawn by the Stem Cells and Development journal following its discovery that the paper’s introduction was largely plagiarised. The Thomson Reuters analysis charts the number of peer-reviewed scientific-journal articles produced each year from 1990 and the number of retractions. email@example.com Research, page 21
Conflict of interest The presence of a conflict of interest is independent of the occurrence of impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs. A widely used definition is: "A conflict of interest is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest." Primary interest refers to the principal goals of the profession or activity, such as the protection of clients, the health of patients, the integrity of research, and the duties of public office. Related to the practice of law Judicial disqualification, also referred to as recusal, refers to the act of abstaining from participation in an official action such as a court case/legal proceeding due to a conflict of interest of the presiding court official or administrative officer. Generally (unrelated to the practice of law) Organizational Types Examples
Toename wetenschapsfraude niet bewezen - Kees Schuyt Conclusies over een mogelijke toename van fraude in de wetenschap kunnen alleen getrokken worden na gedegen onderzoek, betoogt Kees Schuyt. Sinds de affaire-Stapel is er een discussie ontstaan over de vraag of wetenschapsfraude in de huidige wetenschapsbeoefening toegenomen is en wat daarvan de oorzaken zouden kunnen zijn. Diederik Stapel zelf ziet de oorzaak van zijn absurde verzinselwetenschap in de toegenomen prestatie- en publicatiedruk die vanuit het huidige systeem van wetenschap aan onderzoekers opgelegd wordt. Onderzoek Neemt wetenschapsfraude onder de huidige, sterk competitief ingestelde wetenschapsbeoefening dan niet toe? Allereerst is het onbekend hoeveel plagiaat en fraude er vroeger, ongeveer tot aan 1985, onder het tapijt werd geveegd. Ten derde vergt de veel gehoorde uitleg waarom thans wetenschapsfraude toegenomen zou zijn, zelf enige uitleg. Zo waren er in Nederland in 1960 4.000 onderzoekers, in 2010 17.000, van wie ongeveer 6.000 aio’s. Steekproef
Tenfold increase in scientific research papers retracted for fraud | Science The proportion of scientific research that is retracted due to fraud has increased tenfold since 1975, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of how research papers go wrong. The study, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that more than two-thirds of the biomedical and life sciences papers that have been retracted from the scientific record are due to misconduct by researchers, rather than error. The results add weight to recent concerns that scientific misconduct is on the rise and that fraud increasingly affects fields that underpin many areas of public concern, such as medicine and healthcare. The authors said their findings could only be a conservative estimate of the true scale of scientific misconduct. Casadevall and his colleagues examined 2,047 papers on the PubMed database that had been retracted from the biomedical literature through to May 2012.