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    Beyond #FakeScience: how to overcome shallow certainty in scholarly communication

Beyond #FakeScience: how to overcome shallow certainty in scholarly communication

Recent media reports in Germany have brought renewed focus on predatory publishing practices and seen a notably increased use of the term “fake science”. But to what extent is this a worsening problem? Lambert Heller argues that predatory publishing has never really become a big thing, and that it became a thing at all is largely attributable to the simple […]

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    How small open access monograph presses can make the most of an increasingly rich data landscape

How small open access monograph presses can make the most of an increasingly rich data landscape

Until relatively recently the ability to exploit new data for open access books was restricted to large publishers or content aggregators with the resources to invest in its collection, management, and analysis. However, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Alkim Ozaygen and Tama Leaver describe how barriers to engaging with data are falling, with open access monograph publishers now having growing […]

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    A variety of strategies and funding approaches are required to accelerate the transition to open access. But in all, authors are key

A variety of strategies and funding approaches are required to accelerate the transition to open access. But in all, authors are key

More than two decades of work towards liberating scholarly publishing from paywalled constraints has left many within the scholarly community exploring ways to accelerate the transition to open access. Not all institutions or author communities will agree upon which strategies or funding approaches to undertake, and nor do they need to. But whichever strategy is pursued, having university faculty […]

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    Playing the game: academics have bought into the competition and become complicit in their exploitation

Playing the game: academics have bought into the competition and become complicit in their exploitation

The managerialist logic that has permeated universities has had a clear impact on academic work. To Senia Kalfa, Adrian Wilkinson and Paul J. Gollan, academia has become like a game, with academics competing with each other for just a handful of permanent positions and focused completely on accumulating the capital (publications, grant income, etc.) needed to secure one. Rather […]

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    Into oblivion: a closer look at the business, management and accounting research literature in Ibero-America

Into oblivion: a closer look at the business, management and accounting research literature in Ibero-America

Faced with institutional requirements to publish in top-tier, international journals, researchers from Ibero-American countries often express concern that their work is becoming distant from their local communities. The value of participating in international debates and being able to influence the direction of research globally is sometimes provided as justification for this. But does this withstand scrutiny? Julián David Cortés-Sánchez […]

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Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

Funding organisations commissioning their own open access publishing platforms is a relatively recent development in the OA environment, with the European Commission following the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in financing such an initiative. But in what ways, for better or worse, do these new platforms disrupt or complement the scholarly communications landscape? Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt and […]

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    There is a large disparity between what people see in social media about health research and the underlying strength of evidence

There is a large disparity between what people see in social media about health research and the underlying strength of evidence

Our social media feeds are full of articles shared by friends and family that make claims about how something can prevent a particular health condition. But how robust is the scientific evidence base underpinning these claims? Noah Haber, Alexander Breskin, Ellen Moscoe and Emily R. Smith, on behalf of the CLAIMS team, report on a systematic review of the state […]

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    How to compare apples with oranges: using interdisciplinary “exchange rates” to evaluate publications across disciplines

How to compare apples with oranges: using interdisciplinary “exchange rates” to evaluate publications across disciplines

Academic research performance is typically assessed on the basis of scientific productivity. While the number of publications may provide an accurate and useful metric of research performance within one discipline, interdisciplinary comparisons of publication counts prove much more problematic. To solve this problem, Timo Korkeamäki, Jukka Sihvonen, and Sami Vähämaa introduce interdisciplinary “exchange rates”, which can be used to […]

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    Unhelpful, caustic and slow: the academic community should rethink the way publications are reviewed

Unhelpful, caustic and slow: the academic community should rethink the way publications are reviewed

The current review system for many academic articles is flawed, hindering the publication of excellent, timely research. There is a lack of education for peer reviewers, either during PhD programmes or from journal publishers, and the lack of incentives to review compounds the problem. Thomas Wagenknecht offers up some solutions to the current system, including encouraging associate editors to […]

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    Introducing the Free Journal Network – community-controlled open access publishing

Introducing the Free Journal Network – community-controlled open access publishing

Discontent with the scholarly publishing industry continues to grow, as the prevailing subscription model appears increasingly unsustainable and open access big deals, one mooted alternative, unlikely to lead to optimal outcomes either. The Free Journal Network was established earlier this year in order to nurture and promote journals that are free to both authors and readers, and run according […]

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    Journal data sharing policies are moving the scientific community towards greater openness but clearly more work remains

Journal data sharing policies are moving the scientific community towards greater openness but clearly more work remains

Data sharing is a key part of the drive towards greater openness in scientific research, allowing readers to reproduce and confirm an article’s findings, or even reuse its data as part of a new study. Many journals have policies requiring researchers to share their data in full, with PLOS being a forerunner in this area. But how effective has […]

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    Making visible the impact of researchers working in languages other than English: developing the PLOTE index

Making visible the impact of researchers working in languages other than English: developing the PLOTE index

As outlined in the Leiden Manifesto, if impact is understood in terms of citations to international publications, a bias is created against research which is regionally focused and engaged with local society problems. This is particularly critical for researchers working in contexts with languages other than English. Peter Dahler-Larsen has developed the PLOTE index, a new indicator which hopes […]

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    To save the research literature, get rid of the literature review

To save the research literature, get rid of the literature review

The literature review is a staple of the scholarly article. It allows authors to summarise previous work in the field and highlight what makes their own contribution an original or novel one. But when those previous studies are misrepresented by an author, or even dismissed altogether amid claims of a “paucity of research”, isn’t the knowledge base in fact […]

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    Software updates: the “unknown unknown” of the replication crisis

Software updates: the “unknown unknown” of the replication crisis

The replication crisis is largely concerned with known problems, such as the lack of replication standards, non-availability of data, or p-hacking. One hitherto unknown problem is the potential for software companies’ changes to the algorithms used for calculations to cause discrepancies between two sets of reported results. Anastasia Ershova and Gerald Schneider encountered this very problem in the course […]

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    Don’t let publication be the end of the story – transforming research into an illustrated abstract

Don’t let publication be the end of the story – transforming research into an illustrated abstract

Publishing research that can be accessed as widely as possible is clearly crucial, but ensuring that research is accessible to similarly large groups of people is an altogether different challenge. The CC BY license, required by many funders when publishing open access, permits users to transform and build upon the licensed content, creating something new and original. Lucy Lambe […]

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    Alphabetical name ordering is discriminatory and harmful to collaborations

Alphabetical name ordering is discriminatory and harmful to collaborations

When multiple authors collaborate on an article, book, or report, the order in which they are listed is important. How this is done may vary by scientific discipline, with most determining the order according to the authors’ respective contributions. But some fields continue to follow the convention whereby authors are listed in alphabetical order. Matthias Weber argues there is […]

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    There is little evidence to suggest peer reviewer training programmes improve the quality of reviews

There is little evidence to suggest peer reviewer training programmes improve the quality of reviews

In little more than a year a number of peer reviewer training programmes have launched, promising to help early-career researchers learn how to do peer review, review more efficiently, and connect with editors at top journals. This follows an expressed need from graduate students and postdocs for precisely this sort of training. But can these new programmes deliver? And as […]

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    Announcing LSE Press – a new open access publishing platform for the social sciences

Announcing LSE Press – a new open access publishing platform for the social sciences

LSE Press launches today, the latest in a succession of new university press initiatives and one that will support the development of high-quality, academic-led, open access publications in the social sciences. Kieran Booluck provides details of the first LSE Press journal and outlines plans for the press to pursue more innovative publications and experiment with new types of content.

Today […]

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    Conflicting academic attitudes to copyright are slowing the move to open access

Conflicting academic attitudes to copyright are slowing the move to open access

Where previously authors would typically assign rights in a scholarly work to an academic publisher, the open access movement has prompted a shift towards retention of rights and the use of creative commons licenses to control how works are used by publishers. This shift has the support of research funders, whose policies seek to ensure the widest possible readership. […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.