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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
     ISSN (Online) 2304-6775
     Published by MDPI Homepage  [124 journals]
  • Publications, Vol. 2, Pages 61-70: Measuring Scientific
           Misconduct—Lessons from Criminology

    • Authors: Felicitas Hesselmann, Verena Wienefoet, Martin Reinhart
      Pages: 61 - 70
      Abstract: This article draws on research traditions and insights from Criminology to elaborate on the problems associated with current practices of measuring scientific misconduct. Analyses of the number of retracted articles are shown to suffer from the fact that the distinct processes of misconduct, detection, punishment, and publication of a retraction notice, all contribute to the number of retractions and, hence, will result in biased estimates. Self-report measures, as well as analyses of retractions, are additionally affected by the absence of a consistent definition of misconduct. This problem of definition is addressed further as stemming from a lack of generally valid definitions both on the level of measuring misconduct and on the level of scientific practice itself. Because science is an innovative and ever-changing endeavor, the meaning of misbehavior is permanently shifting and frequently readdressed and renegotiated within the scientific community. Quantitative approaches (i.e., statistics) alone, thus, are hardly able to accurately portray this dynamic phenomenon. It is argued that more research on the different processes and definitions associated with misconduct and its detection and sanctions is needed. The existing quantitative approaches need to be supported by qualitative research better suited to address and uncover processes of negotiation and definition.
      PubDate: 2014-07-03
      DOI: 10.3390/publications2030061
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 3 (2014)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 2, Pages 44-50: The Demographics of Deception: What
           Motivates Authors Who Engage in Misconduct'

    • Authors: R. Steen
      Pages: 44 - 50
      Abstract: We hypothesized that scientific misconduct (data fabrication or falsification) is goal-directed behavior. This hypothesis predicts that papers retracted for misconduct: are targeted to journals with a high impact factor (IF); are written by authors with additional papers withdrawn for misconduct; diffuse responsibility across many (perhaps innocent) co-authors; and are retracted slower than papers retracted for other infractions. These hypotheses were initially tested and confirmed in a database of 788 papers; here we reevaluate these hypotheses in a larger database of 2,047 English-language papers. Journal IF was higher for papers retracted for misconduct (p < 0.0001). Roughly 57% of papers retracted for misconduct were written by a first author with other retracted papers; 21% of erroneous papers were written by authors with >1 retraction (p < 0.0001). Papers flawed by misconduct diffuse responsibility across more authors (p < 0.0001) and are withdrawn more slowly (p < 0.0001) than papers retracted for other reasons. Papers retracted for unknown reasons are unlike papers retracted for misconduct: they are generally published in journals with low IF; by authors with no other retractions; have fewer authors listed; and are retracted quickly. Papers retracted for unknown reasons appear not to represent a deliberate effort to deceive.
      PubDate: 2014-03-28
      DOI: 10.3390/publications2020044
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 2 (2014)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 2, Pages 51-60: Editorial Misconduct—Definition,
           Cases, and Causes

    • Authors: Matan Shelomi
      Pages: 51 - 60
      Abstract: Though scientific misconduct perpetrated by authors has received much press, little attention has been given to the role of journal editors. This article discusses cases and types of “editorial misconduct”, in which the action or inaction of editorial agents ended in publication of fraudulent work and/or poor or failed retractions of such works, all of which ultimately harm scientific integrity and the integrity of the journals involved. Rare but existent, editorial misconduct ranges in severity and includes deliberate omission or ignorance of peer review, insufficient guidelines for authors, weak or disingenuous retraction notices, and refusal to retract. The factors responsible for editorial misconduct and the options to address these are discussed.
      PubDate: 2014-04-04
      DOI: 10.3390/publications2020051
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 2 (2014)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 2, Pages 14-26: A Novel Rubric for Rating the Quality
           of Retraction Notices

    • Authors: Emma Bilbrey, Natalie O'Dell, Jonathan Creamer
      Pages: 14 - 26
      Abstract: When a scientific article is found to be either fraudulent or erroneous, one course of action available to both the authors and the publisher is to retract said article. Unfortunately, not all retraction notices properly inform the reader of the problems with a retracted article. This study developed a novel rubric for rating and standardizing the quality of retraction notices, and used it to assess the retraction notices of 171 retracted articles from 15 journals. Results suggest the rubric to be a robust, if preliminary, tool. Analysis of the retraction notices suggest that their quality has not improved over the last 50 years, that it varies both between and within journals, and that it is dependent on the field of science, the author of the retraction notice, and the reason for retraction. These results indicate a lack of uniformity in the retraction policies of individual journals and throughout the scientific literature. The rubric presented in this study could be adopted by journals to help standardize the writing of retraction notices.
      PubDate: 2014-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/publications2010014
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 2, Pages 27-37: A Case-Control Comparison of Retracted
           and Non-Retracted Clinical Trials: Can Retraction Be Predicted'

    • Authors: R. Steen, Robert Hamer
      Pages: 27 - 37
      Abstract: Does scientific misconduct severe enough to result in retraction disclose itself with warning signs' We test a hypothesis that variables in the results section of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are associated with retraction, even without access to raw data. We evaluated all English-language RCTs retracted from the PubMed database prior to 2011. Two controls were selected for each case, matching publication journal, volume, issue, and page as closely as possible. Number of authors, subjects enrolled, patients at risk, and patients treated were tallied in cases and controls. Among case RCTs, 17.5% had ≤2 authors, while 6.3% of control RCTs had ≤2 authors. Logistic regression shows that having few authors is associated with retraction (p < 0.03), although the number of subjects enrolled, patients at risk, or treated patients is not. However, none of the variables singly, nor all of the variables combined, can reliably predict retraction, perhaps because retraction is such a rare event. Exploratory analysis suggests that retraction rate varies by medical field (p < 0.001). Although retraction cannot be predicted on the basis of the variables evaluated, concern is warranted when there are few authors, enrolled subjects, patients at risk, or treated patients. Ironically, these features urge caution in evaluating any RCT, since they identify studies that are statistically weaker.
      PubDate: 2014-01-27
      DOI: 10.3390/publications2010027
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 2, Pages 38-43: The Means of (Re-)Production:
           Expertise, Open Tools, Standards and Communication

    • Authors: Martin Eve
      Pages: 38 - 43
      Abstract: This article examines the current difficulties faced in penetrating the world of scholarly communication technology. While there have been large strides forward in the disintermediation of digital publishing expertise—most notably by the Public Knowledge Project—a substantial number of barriers remain. This paper examines a case study in terms of scholarly typesetting and the Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) standard before moving to suggest three potential solutions: (1) The formation of open, non-commercial and inclusive (but structured) organizations dedicated to the group exploration and standardisation of scholarly publishing technology; (2) The collective authoring of as much technological and process documentation on scholarly publishing as is possible; (3) The modularisation of platforms and agreement on standards of interoperability. Only through such measures is it possible for researchers to reclaim the means of (re)production, for the remaining barriers are not difficult to understand, merely hard to discover.
      PubDate: 2014-02-13
      DOI: 10.3390/publications2010038
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 2, Pages 1-13: Chinese Doctors Connecting to the
           English Publishing World: Literature Access, Editorial Services, and
           Training in Publication Skills

    • Authors: Yongyan Li
      Pages: 1 - 13
      Abstract: In the literature on academic publishing, little attention has been paid to the needs and concerns of non-English-speaking researchers in professional contexts. This paper addresses the gap in that literature by providing insights into the situation with medical doctors in China. Following an overview of the broad picture, I will report a case study, which was conducted at a major hospital in East China and which aimed at exploring how a group of orthopedic surgeons access the English medical literature and to what extent they seek the support of editorial services and training in academic writing/publication skills. The results of the study show that the participant doctors tend to rely on their students or overseas personal connections for access to full-text medical literature, and they have generally had limited experience with language editorial services and academic writing/publication skills seminars. The paper ends by discussing some challenges while proposing recommendations for enhancing Chinese doctors’ access to the full-text medical literature, as well as their understanding of the kind of support that can be provided by editorial services and training in publication skills.
      PubDate: 2013-12-31
      DOI: 10.3390/publications2010001
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 87-98: Research Misconduct—Definitions,
           Manifestations and Extent

    • Authors: Lutz Bornmann
      Pages: 87 - 98
      Abstract: In recent years, the international scientific community has been rocked by a number of serious cases of research misconduct. In one of these, Woo Suk Hwang, a Korean stem cell researcher published two articles on research with ground-breaking results in Science in 2004 and 2005. Both articles were later revealed to be fakes. This paper provides an overview of what research misconduct is generally understood to be, its manifestations and the extent to which they are thought to exist.
      PubDate: 2013-10-11
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1030087
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 3 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 99-112: Mandates and the Contributions of Open
           Genomic Data

    • Authors: Jingfeng Xia
      Pages: 99 - 112
      Abstract: This research attempts to seek changing patterns of raw data availability and their correlations with implementations of open mandate policies. With a list of 13,785 journal articles whose authors archived datasets in a popular biomedical data repository after these articles were published in journals, this research uses regression analysis to test the correlations between data contributions and mandate implementations. It finds that both funder-based and publisher-based mandates have a strong impact on scholars’ likelihood to contribute to open data repositories. Evidence also suggests that like policies have changed the habit of authors in selecting publishing venues: open access journals have been apparently preferred by those authors whose projects are sponsored by the federal government agencies, and these journals are also highly ranked in the biomedical fields. Various stakeholders, particularly institutional administrators and open access professionals, may find the findings of this research helpful for adjusting data management policies to increase the number of quality free datasets and enhance data usability. The data-sharing example in biomedical studies provides a good case to show the importance of policy-making in the reshaping of scholarly communication.
      PubDate: 2013-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1030099
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 3 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 113-139: The Open Access Divide

    • Authors: Jingfeng Xia
      Pages: 113 - 139
      Abstract: This paper is an attempt to review various aspects of the open access divide regarding the difference between those academics who support free sharing of data and scholarly output and those academics who do not. It provides a structured description by adopting the Ws doctrines emphasizing such questions as who, what, when, where and why for information-gathering. Using measurable variables to define a common expression of the open access divide, this study collects aggregated data from existing open access as well as non-open access publications including journal articles and extensive reports. The definition of the open access divide is integrated into the discussion of scholarship on a larger scale.
      PubDate: 2013-10-17
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1030113
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 3 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 140-145: Combating Fraud in Medical Research:
           Research Validation Standards Utilized by the Journal of Surgical
           Radiology

    • Authors: Bhavin Patel, Anahita Dua, Tom Koenigsberger, Sapan Desai
      Pages: 140 - 145
      Abstract: Fraud in medical publishing has risen to the national spotlight as manufactured and suspect data have led to retractions of papers in prominent journals. Moral turpitude in medical research has led to the loss of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants, directly affected patient care, and has led to severe legal ramifications for some authors. While there are multiple checks and balances in medical research to prevent fraud, the final enforcement lies with journal editors and publishers. There is an ethical and legal obligation to make careful and critical examinations of the medical research published in their journals. Failure to follow the highest standards in medical publishing can lead to legal liability and destroy a journal’s integrity. More significant, however, is the protection of the medical profession’s trust with their colleagues and the public they serve. This article discusses various techniques and tools available to editors and publishers that can help curtail fraud in medical publishing.
      PubDate: 2013-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1030140
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 3 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 49-55: The Importance of Free and Open Source
           Software and Open Standards in Modern Scientific Publishing

    • Authors: Michael Wilson, Vakhtang Tchantchaleishvili
      Pages: 49 - 55
      Abstract: In this paper we outline the reasons why we believe a reliance on the use of proprietary computer software and proprietary file formats in scientific publication have negative implications for the conduct and reporting of science. There is increasing awareness and interest in the scientific community about the benefits offered by free and open source software. We discuss the present state of scientific publishing and the merits of advocating for a wider adoption of open standards in science, particularly where it concerns the publishing process.
      PubDate: 2013-06-26
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1020049
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 2 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 56-77: Open Access and the Changing Landscape
           of Research Impact Indicators: New Roles for Repositories

    • Authors: Isabel Bernal
      Pages: 56 - 77
      Abstract: The debate about the need to revise metrics that evaluate research excellence has been ongoing for years, and a number of studies have identified important issues that have yet to be addressed. Internet and other technological developments have enabled the collection of richer data and new approaches to research assessment exercises. Open access strongly advocates for maximizing research impact by enhancing seamless accessibility. In addition, new tools and strategies have been used by open access journals and repositories to showcase how science can benefit from free online dissemination. Latest players in the debate include initiatives based on alt-metrics, which enrich the landscape with promising indicators. To start with, the article gives a brief overview of the debate and the role of open access in advancing a new frame to assess science. Next, the work focuses on the strategy that the Spanish National Research Council’s repository DIGITAL.CSIC is implementing to collect a rich set of statistics and other metrics that are useful for repository administrators, researchers and the institution alike. A preliminary analysis of data hints at correlations between free dissemination of research through DIGITAL.CSIC and enhanced impact, reusability and sharing of CSIC science on the web.
      PubDate: 2013-07-19
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1020056
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 2 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 78-86: The Normalization of Citation Counts
           Based on Classification Systems

    • Authors: Lutz Bornmann, Werner Marx, Andreas Barth
      Pages: 78 - 86
      Abstract: If we want to assess whether the paper in question has had a particularly high or low citation impact compared to other papers, the standard practice in bibliometrics is to normalize citations in respect of the subject category and publication year. A number of proposals for an improved procedure in the normalization of citation impact have been put forward in recent years. Against the background of these proposals, this study describes an ideal solution for the normalization of citation impact: in a first step, the reference set for the publication in question is collated by means of a classification scheme, where every publication is associated with a single principal research field or subfield entry (e.g., via Chemical Abstracts sections) and a publication year. In a second step, percentiles of citation counts are calculated for this set and used to assign the normalized citation impact score to the publications (and also to the publication in question).
      PubDate: 2013-08-02
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1020078
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 2 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 5-15: Open Access—Are the Barriers to
           Change Receding?

    • Authors: Bo-Christer Björk
      Pages: 5 - 15
      Abstract: The move from subscription only publishing of scholarly articles to open access has been much slower than previously anticipated by many Open Access (OA) advocates. Despite the many advantages that OA offers, this particular branch of E-commerce imposes several formidable barriers to change. A framework conceptualizing these barriers that was developed over a decade ago was revisited to see if the significance of these barriers has changed. Nowadays, building the IT infrastructure, support from indexing services and finding a sustainable business model are no longer important barriers. For gold OA publishing the academic reward system is still a major obstacle, whereas more marketing and critical mass is needed for both gold OA and green OA. Green OA self-archiving is still also strongly affected by what subscription publishers allow. In the overall balance the situation has nevertheless improved significantly.
      PubDate: 2013-04-12
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1010005
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 1 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 16-26: Types of Open Access Publishers in
           Scopus

    • Authors: David Solomon
      Pages: 16 - 26
      Abstract: This study assessed characteristics of publishers who published 2010 open access (OA) journals indexed in Scopus. Publishers were categorized into six types; professional, society, university, scholar/researcher, government, and other organizations. Type of publisher was broken down by number of journals/articles published in 2010, funding model, location, discipline and whether the journal was born or converted to OA. Universities and societies accounted for 50% of the journals and 43% of the articles published. Professional publisher accounted for a third of the journals and 42% of the articles. With the exception of professional and scholar/researcher publishers, most journals were originally subscription journals that made at least their digital version freely available. Arts, humanities and social science journals are largely published by societies and universities outside the major publishing countries. Professional OA publishing is most common in biomedicine, mathematics, the sciences and engineering. Approximately a quarter of the journals are hosted on national/international platforms, in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia largely published by universities and societies without the need for publishing fees. This type of collaboration between governments, universities and/or societies may be an effective means of expanding open access publications.
      PubDate: 2013-05-06
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1010016
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 1 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 27-29: Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical
           and Economic Aspects. By Neil Jacobs, Chandos Publishing, 2006; 264 Pages.
           Price £42.50 / US $70.00 / €50.00, ISBN 978-1-84334-203-8

    • Authors: Shu-Kun Lin
      Pages: 27 - 29
      Abstract: The following paragraphs are reproduced from the website of the publisher [1]. This book brings together many of the world’s leading open access experts to provide an analysis of the key strategic, technical and economic aspects on the topic of open access. Open access to research papers is perhaps a defining debate for publishers, librarians, university managers and many researchers within the international academic community. Starting with a description of the current situation and its shortcomings, this book then defines the varieties of open access and addresses some of the many misunderstandings to which the term sometimes gives rise. There are chapters on the technologies involved, researchers, perspectives, and the business models of key players. These issues are then illustrated in a series of case studies from around the world, including the USA, UK, Netherlands, Australia and India. Open access is a far-reaching shift in scholarly communication, and the book concludes by going beyond today’s debate and looking at the kind of research world that would be possible with open access to research outputs.
      PubDate: 2013-05-24
      DOI: 10.3390/publications1010027
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 1 (2013)
       
  • Publications, Vol. 1, Pages 1-4: Publications: A Journal Marking a
           Changing Time

    • Authors: John Regazzi
      Pages: 1 - 4
      Abstract: Publishing, and by extension publication, is in a state of rapid flux. This has become evident in recent years, and some have now even characterized the domain as unstable, with the traditional forms of publication no longer being sustainable.[...]
      PubDate: 2012-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/pub1010001
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 1 (2012)
       
 
 
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