bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2022‒01‒02
eight papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Synthese. 2021 ;199(3-4): 8187-8203
      We argue that the main results of scientific papers may appropriately be published even if they are false, unjustified, and not believed to be true or justified by their author. To defend this claim we draw upon the literature studying the norms of assertion, and consider how they would apply if one attempted to hold claims made in scientific papers to their strictures, as assertions and discovery claims in scientific papers seem naturally analogous. We first use a case study of William H. Bragg's early twentieth century work in physics to demonstrate that successful science has in fact violated these norms. We then argue that features of the social epistemic arrangement of science which are necessary for its long run success require that we do not hold claims of scientific results to their standards. We end by making a suggestion about the norms that it would be appropriate to hold scientific claims to, along with an explanation of why the social epistemology of science-considered as an instance of collective inquiry-would require such apparently lax norms for claims to be put forward.
    Keywords:  Norms of assertion; Science communication; Social epistemology of science
  2. Ecol Lett. 2021 Dec 26.
      With open-access publishing authors often pay an article processing charge and subsequently their article is freely available online. These charges are beyond the reach of most African academics. Thus, the trend towards open-access publishing will shift the business model from a pay-wall model, where access to literature is limited, to a pay-to-publish one, where African scholars cannot afford to publish. We explore the costs of publishing and the ability of African scholars to afford to publish via open access in top journals. Three-quarters of the 40 top ecology journals required payment for open-access publishing (average cost $3150). Paying such fees is a hardship for African scholars as grant funding is not available and it is not feasible to pay the fees themselves as salaries are low. We encourage funders and publishers to facilitate an equitable publishing model that allows African scholars to make their research available through open-access publishing.
    Keywords:  open-access publishing; pay-to-play; pay-wall; scientific journals; scientific publishing
  3. Front Res Metr Anal. 2021 ;6 787768
      The field of law has retained its distinctiveness regarding peer review to this day, and reviews are often conducted without following standardized rules and principles. External and independent evaluation of submissions has recently become adopted by European law journals, and peer review procedures are still poorly defined, investigated, and attuned to the legal science publishing landscape. The aim of our study was to gain a better insight into current editorial policies on peer review in law journals by exploring editorial documents (instructions, guidelines, policies) issued by 119 Croatian, Italian, and Spanish law journals. We relied on automatic content analysis of 135 publicly available documents collected from the journal websites to analyze the basic features of the peer review processes, manuscript evaluation criteria, and related ethical issues using WordStat8. Differences in covered topics between the countries were compared using the chi-square test. Our findings reveal that most law journals have adopted a traditional approach, in which the editorial board manages mostly anonymized peer review (104, 77%) engaging independent/external reviewers (65, 48%). Submissions are evaluated according to their originality and relevance (113, 84%), quality of writing and presentation (94, 70%), comprehensiveness of literature references (93, 69%), and adequacy of methods (57, 42%). The main ethical issues related to peer review addressed by these journals are reviewer's competing interests (42, 31%), plagiarism (35, 26%), and biases (30, 22%). We observed statistically significant differences between countries in mentioning key concepts such as "Peer review ethics", "Reviewer", "Transparency of identities", "Publication type", and "Research misconduct". Spanish journals favor reviewers' "Independence" and "Competence" and "Anonymized" peer review process. Also, some manuscript types popular in one country are rarely mentioned in other countries. Even though peer review is equally conventional in all three countries, high transparency in Croatian law journals, respect for research integrity in Spanish ones, and diversity and inclusion in Italian are promising indicators of future development.
    Keywords:  content analysis; editorial policy; evaluation criteria; law journal; peer review; publishing ethics; research assessment
  4. Wellcome Open Res. 2021 ;6 230
      Background: Registered Reports (RRs) could be a way to increase the quality of scientific research and literature, such as by reducing publication bias and increasing the rigour of study designs. These potential benefits have led to Registered Report funding partnerships (RRFPs or partnerships for short) between research funders and academic journals who collaborate to encourage researchers to publish RRs. In this study we investigated the research question: "What are the experiences of the stakeholders (authors, reviewers, journal editors, funders) in the various partnership models?". Our companion paper addresses a related, but separate, research question. Methods: We conducted a thematic analysis of 32 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders (funders, editors, authors, reviewers, matchmakers) from six partnerships. Results: Interviewees had highly variable perceptions and experiences, reflecting the complex and nuanced impacts of partnerships. We identified 6 themes: "Importance of communication with authors and reviewers", "Influence on study design", "Appropriateness of partners", "Potential to reduce publication bias", "Impact on reviewer workload", and "Insufficient evidence". Conclusions: This was the first investigation into these novel initiatives. We hope that our findings can benefit and shape current and future partnerships.
    Keywords:  Registered Reports; partnerships; qualitative; research funding; research publishing; thematic analysis
  5. J Appl Psychol. 2021 Dec 30.
      Effect misestimations plague Psychological Science, but advances in the identification of dissemination biases in general and publication bias in particular have helped in dealing with biased effects in the literature. However, the application of publication bias detection methods appears to be not equally prevalent across subdisciplines. It has been suggested that particularly in I/O Psychology, appropriate publication bias detection methods are underused. In this meta-meta-analysis, we present prevalence estimates, predictors, and time trends of publication bias in 128 meta-analyses that were published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (7,263 effect sizes, 3,000,000 + participants). Moreover, we reanalyzed data of 87 meta-analyses and applied nine standard and more modern publication bias detection methods. We show that (a) the bias detection method applications are underused (only 41% of meta-analyses use at least one method) but have increased in recent years, (b) those meta-analyses that apply such methods now use more, but mostly inappropriate methods, and (c) the prevalence of potential publication bias is concerning but mostly remains undetected. Although our results indicate somewhat of a trend toward higher bias awareness, they substantiate concerns about potential publication bias in I/O Psychology, warranting increased researcher awareness about appropriate and state-of-the-art bias detection and triangulation. Embracing open science practices such as data sharing or study preregistration is needed to raise reproducibility and ultimately strengthen Psychological Science in general and I/O Psychology in particular. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
  6. Stroke. 2021 Dec 29. STROKEAHA121035647
    Keywords:  Editorials; checklist; reproducibility of results; stroke