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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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    The benefits of open access books are clear but challenges around funding remain

The benefits of open access books are clear but challenges around funding remain

As part of Academic Book Week 2018, last week Springer Nature hosted an event exploring open access books featuring representatives from the researcher, funder, and publisher communities. Mithu Lucraft reports on the presentations and panel discussions which revealed that the benefits of publishing open access books are clear, with more downloads, citations, and online mentions, in addition to an […]

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    The more revisions a paper undergoes, the greater its subsequent recognition in terms of citations

The more revisions a paper undergoes, the greater its subsequent recognition in terms of citations

Is the peer review process simply a means by which errors are identified and corrected? Or is it a process in which a more constructive dialogue can take place and reviewers and editors may actively contribute to the text? John Rigby, Deborah Cox and Keith Julian have studied the published articles of a social sciences journal and found that the […]

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    The proportion of co-authored research articles has risen markedly in recent decades

The proportion of co-authored research articles has risen markedly in recent decades

The proportion of multi-authored papers in the social sciences has risen steadily over recent decades. But what are the reasons behind such a marked increase? Lukas Kuld and John O’Hagan consider a number of explanations, from increased academic specialisation and more affordable communication and travel, to the pressures of publication and an inclination among authors to spread the risks […]

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    Releasing 1.8 million open access publications from publisher systems for text and data mining

Releasing 1.8 million open access publications from publisher systems for text and data mining

Text and data mining offers an opportunity to improve the way we access and analyse the outputs of academic research. But the technical infrastructure of the current scholarly communication system is not yet ready to support TDM to its full potential, even for open access outputs. To address this problem, Petr Knoth, Nancy Pontika and Lucas Anastasiou have developed […]

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    Looming REF deadlines lead to a rush in publication of lower quality research

Looming REF deadlines lead to a rush in publication of lower quality research

The increased significance of research assessments and their implications for funding and career prospects has had a knock-on effect on academic publication patterns. Moqi Groen-Xu, Pedro A. Teixeira, Thomas Voigt and Bernhard Knapp report on research that reveals a marked increase in research productivity immediately prior to an evaluation deadline, which quickly reverses once the deadline has passed. Moreoever, […]

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    Ad hominem attacks on scientists are just as likely to undermine public faith in research as legitimate empirical critiques

Ad hominem attacks on scientists are just as likely to undermine public faith in research as legitimate empirical critiques

Media coverage attacking the character and trustworthiness of a scientist can diminish public faith in the research findings of that scientist. Ralph M. Barnes, Heather M. Johnston, Noah MacKenzie, Stephanie J. Tobin and Chelsea M. Taglang have investigated the degree to which such attacks do undermine trust in that scientist’s research, and the relative impact of various types of […]

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    False investigators and coercive citation are widespread in academic research

False investigators and coercive citation are widespread in academic research

A recent study has revealed widespread unethical behaviour in academic research. Allen Wilhite focuses on two activities in particular; the addition to funding proposals of investigators not expected to contribute to the research, and editors who coerce authors to add citations to manuscripts even though those citations were not part of the scholars’ reference material. Research institutions, funders, rankings bodies, and […]

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    Beyond Impact Factors: an Academy of Management report on measuring scholarly impact

Beyond Impact Factors: an Academy of Management report on measuring scholarly impact

What constitutes scholarly impact? And which stakeholders have importance for research? Usha Haley shares findings of a recent Academy of Management report that sought answers to these questions by surveying its 20,000 members and conducting a selection of in-depth interviews with prominent figures. A majority of respondents indicated journal rankings did not reflect scholarly impact, yet publications in top-tier […]

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statcheck – a spellchecker for statistics

A study has revealed a high prevalence of inconsistencies in reported statistical test results. Such inconsistencies make results unreliable, as they become “irreproducible”, and ultimately affect the level of trust in scientific reporting. statcheck is a free, open-source tool that automatically extracts reported statistical results from papers and recalculates p-values. Following an investigation into its accuracy, Michèle B. Nuijten […]

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    Transdisciplinary PhD programmes produce more high-impact publications and foster increased collaborations

Transdisciplinary PhD programmes produce more high-impact publications and foster increased collaborations

Traditional doctoral programmes require students to gain in-depth knowledge in one subject area. Transdisciplinary programmes aim to foster synthesis across disciplines and focus on translating research findings into real-world solutions, helping students to develop a professional disciplinary identity that is enhanced by multidisciplinary methods and theories. Anna-Sigrid Keck, Stephanie Sloane, Janet M. Liechty, Barbara H. Fiese, and Sharon M. […]

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