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    Citing retracted papers has a negative domino effect on science, education, and society

Citing retracted papers has a negative domino effect on science, education, and society

Once an academic paper is retracted, it is by no means certain it will not go on being cited. Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Judit Dobránszki and Helmar Bornemann-Cimenti use three key examples to demonstrate how the continued citation of retracted papers can lead to the proliferation of erroneous literature, mislead young academics and cause confusion among researchers as […]

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    Submitting to a journal commits you to it for six weeks to six months (or longer) – so choose your journal carefully

Submitting to a journal commits you to it for six weeks to six months (or longer) – so choose your journal carefully

There is plenty to consider when making a decision about which journal to submit your paper to; ranging from basic questions over the journal’s scope, through its review process and open access offerings, all the way to the likelihood your work will be widely read and cited. Patrick Dunleavy has compiled a comprehensive list of these considerations, complete with tips on what […]

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    The impact of article processing charges on libraries and what is being done to help

The impact of article processing charges on libraries and what is being done to help

Following significant growth in gold open access publishing, Katie Shamash looks at the available APC data and picks out some key insights. APCs are now an increasingly significant portion of institutions’ overall spend, with the quickly narrowing gap between gold open access APCs and those of hybrid journals representing an additional concern. Moreover, the administrative difficulties that can lead […]

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    Publishing and sharing data papers can increase impact and benefits researchers, publishers, funders and libraries

Publishing and sharing data papers can increase impact and benefits researchers, publishers, funders and libraries

The process of compiling and submitting data papers to journals has long been a frustrating one to the minority of researchers that have tried. Fiona Murphy, part of a project team working to automate this process, outlines why publishing data papers is important and how open data can be of benefit to all stakeholders across scholarly communications and higher […]

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    The number behind the number: suggesting a truer measure of academic impact

The number behind the number: suggesting a truer measure of academic impact

The limitations of simple ‘citation count’ figures are well-known. Chris Carroll argues that the impact of an academic research paper might be better measured by counting the number of times it is cited within citing publications rather than by simply measuring if it has been cited or not. Three or more citations of the key paper arguably represent a […]

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    The current system of knowledge dissemination isn’t working and Sci-Hub is merely a symptom of the problem

The current system of knowledge dissemination isn’t working and Sci-Hub is merely a symptom of the problem

That Sci-Hub’s activities are illegal is not disputed. However, according to Iván Farías Pelcastre and Flor González Correa the issue at the core of the debate is the current publishing and knowledge dissemination system and how it widens socioeconomic inequalities in academia and constrains its collective progress.

The widespread use of Sci-Hub, the world’s “first pirate website” for research papers, […]

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    What it means to be Green: exploring publishers’ changing approaches to Green open access

What it means to be Green: exploring publishers’ changing approaches to Green open access

The number of publishers allowing some form of self-archiving has increased noticeably over the last decade or so. However, new research by Elizabeth Gadd and Denise Troll Covey shows that this increase is outstripped by the proliferation of restrictions that accompany self-archiving policies. In an environment where publishers may in fact be discouraging preferred models of open access, it’s […]

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    Bias against novelty in science: A cautionary tale for users of bibliometric indicators

Bias against novelty in science: A cautionary tale for users of bibliometric indicators

Novel breakthroughs in research can have a dramatic impact on scientific discovery but face some distinct disadvantages in getting wider recognition. Jian Wang, Reinhilde Veugelers, Paula Stephan present an overview of their findings which suggest an inherent bias in bibliometric measures against novel research. The bias is of particular concern given the increased reliance funding agencies place on classic bibliometric indicators in making funding […]

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    Given frustrations with academic structures, how can we build a more human-centered open science?

Given frustrations with academic structures, how can we build a more human-centered open science?

Open science has finally hit the mainstream. Alex Lancaster looks at the emerging criticisms leveled against how we publish and disseminate science and argues it may be time to reframe the open science project. Rather than relying on instrumentalist language of “carrot-and-sticks” and “rewards-and-incentives” we should instead focus on the actual working conditions for scientists and the political economy in […]

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    Could Blockchain provide the technical fix to solve science’s reproducibility crisis?

Could Blockchain provide the technical fix to solve science’s reproducibility crisis?

Blockchain technology has the capacity to make digital goods immutable, transparent, and provable. Sönke Bartling and Benedikt Fecher look at the technical aspects of blockchain and also discuss its application in the research world. Blockchain could strengthen science’s verification process, helping to make more research results reproducible, true, and useful.

Currently blockchain is being hyped. Many claim that the blockchain […]

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    Developing SocArXiv — a new open archive of the social sciences to challenge the outdated journal system.

Developing SocArXiv — a new open archive of the social sciences to challenge the outdated journal system.

While STEM disciplines have developed a number of mechanisms to challenge the time-lags and paywalls of traditional academic publishing, options in the social sciences remain few and far between. Philip Cohen of the University of Maryland argues a cultural shift is taking place in the social sciences. He introduces SocArxiv, a fast, free, open paper server to encourage wider open […]

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    What do mathematicians think about their journals? Peer review quality tops list of stated issues

What do mathematicians think about their journals? Peer review quality tops list of stated issues

Cameron Neylon (Curtin University), David Michael Roberts (University of Adelaide) and Mark C Wilson (University of Auckland) have conducted a large-scale survey of what mathematicians think of their scholarly publishing options and what improvements are required. Covering topics like open access, peer review and editorial processes, the survey findings reveal some fascinating insights into the scholarly communication system as […]

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    PaperHive – a coworking hub for researchers that aims to make reading more collaborative.

PaperHive – a coworking hub for researchers that aims to make reading more collaborative.

Managing research material in the digital age is still a widely inefficient process. Alexander Naydenov, co-founder of PaperHive, looks at how this web platform could transform reading into a more social and active process of collaboration. Close to 1.2 million academic articles and books can currently be read and discussed with PaperHive. The platform enables contextual and structured discussions […]

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    SAGE Open five years on: Lessons learned and future thoughts on open access in humanities and social sciences.

SAGE Open five years on: Lessons learned and future thoughts on open access in humanities and social sciences.

SAGE Open is celebrating its 5th birthday. When SAGE Publishing launched SAGE Open in 2010, the humanities and social sciences were still grappling with how to approach open access (OA). Through its mega-journal, well over 1000 articles have now been published OA, and it is one of SAGE’s most-used journals. Dave Ross looks back at the journal’s growth and lessons […]

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    Evidence and innovation in humanitarian assistance: ‘Conference without Borders’ to address Syrian conflict #MSFSci

Evidence and innovation in humanitarian assistance: ‘Conference without Borders’ to address Syrian conflict #MSFSci

The MSF Scientific Days are a round of conferences looking at how humanitarian action can be improved by scientific research and innovation. On behalf of the organisers, Sarah Venis presents an overview. This year will feature a strong focus on the effects of the Syrian conflict and the resultant refugee and migration crisis. Another theme will also look at how […]

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    Elsevier purchase SSRN: Social scientists face questions over whether centralised repository is in their interests.

Elsevier purchase SSRN: Social scientists face questions over whether centralised repository is in their interests.

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN), an online repository for uploading preprint articles and working papers, has been recently acquired by publishing giant Elsevier. Thomas Leeper looks at what this purchase, and for-profit academic services more generally, mean for the scholarly community. Many regular users may not be aware that SSRN has been run by a privately held corporation since its founding […]

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    What are the most-cited publications in the social sciences (according to Google Scholar)?

What are the most-cited publications in the social sciences (according to Google Scholar)?

Drawing on citation data that spans disciplines and time periods, Elliott Green has identified the most cited publications in the social sciences. Here he shares his findings on the 25 most cited books as well as the top ten journal articles. The sheer number of citations for these top cited publications is worth noting as is the fact that […]

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    Are the ‘gatekeepers’ becoming censors? On editorial processes and the interests of the scholarly community.

Are the ‘gatekeepers’ becoming censors? On editorial processes and the interests of the scholarly community.

Questions about the proper role of learned journals and of publishers are brought to the fore in a recent exchange over suggested edits to a book review. William St Clair shares his experience and the review in question and wonders whether some learned journals are becoming afraid to facilitate discussion of academic issues.

In 2015, I was invited by the […]

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    Case method in the digital age: How might new technologies shape experiential learning and real-life story telling?

Case method in the digital age: How might new technologies shape experiential learning and real-life story telling?

The Case Method is a teaching approach popular in business schools that aims to introduce students to a range of real-life scenarios and build decision-making skills. But little evolution has occurred in the style of Case Studies over the years. Tom Clark looks at innovation in the format and its delivery to teachers and students. In the age of digital learning, the route […]

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    How to deal with being “scooped”: The vast majority of science is a process of derivative, incremental advance.

How to deal with being “scooped”: The vast majority of science is a process of derivative, incremental advance.

Researchers are under increasing pressure to deliver novel research findings and as such, it can be incredibly disheartening when another team publishes ahead of you on a similar topic. But is this competitive mentality true to the scientific process? Chris Chambers argues there are several positive sides to being “scooped” and by focusing on these positives, researchers can overcome […]

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