Motherboard: Scientist Published Papers Based on ‘Rick and Morty’ to Expose Predatory Academic Journals. “Scientists have discovered a way to use magnets to fight back against intergalactic parasites. The trick is that it only works in the Zyrgion simulation. In a paper published in several scientific journals, Newer Tools to Fight Inter-Galactic Parasites and Their Transmissibility in Zyrgion Simulation, leading scientist Beth Smith laid out research describing a new method to fight the terrible parasites that live by implanting false memories in their hosts. That is, of course, bullshit.”
Nature: Huge peer-review study reveals lack of women and non-Westerners. “Women are inadequately represented as peer reviewers, journal editors and last authors of studies, according to an analysis of manuscript submissions to an influential biomedical journal. The study looked at all submissions made to the open-access title eLife from its launch in 2012 to 2017 — nearly 24,000 in total. It found that women worldwide, and researchers outside North America and Europe, were less likely to be peer reviewers, editors and last authors. The paper — which hasn’t itself yet been peer-reviewed — was posted on the preprint server bioRxiv1 on 29 August.”
Universidad de Antioquia: Using Google’s Custom Search Engine Product to Discover Scholarly Open Access and Cost-Free eBooks from Latin America*. “Many Latin American scholarly monographs are available for free to read and download in a scattered fashion across the web, hosted on educational, institutional and government websites as well as commercial websites and publishing platforms. There is as of yet no single way to identify all of this content at once, but web-based discovery leveraging existing search engine indexing would seem to be a likely option. This case study suggests and evaluates one such method for discovery of open access and other cost-free scholarly monographs produced in Latin America. One possible configuration of Google’s Custom Search Engine product is proposed and evaluated, and findings suggest its usefulness for a variety of applications, including for collection development, the preparation of thematic research guides with open content, and the enrichment of existing lists of open access eBook sources from Latin America.” This is an embedded, downloadable PDF.
Syracuse University: ORI Grant Funds Automated Tool to Detect Potential Fraud in Scientific Papers. “The Office of Research Integrity in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded funding to a School of Information Studies (iSchool) professor to further automate the detection of fraudulent material in scientific papers. A grant of $149,310 has been awarded to Daniel Acuna, assistant professor. His project aims to advance the detection process by developing tools and systems, including scalable software and infrastructure and statistical feedback, to be used by integrity investigators. The award was presented for his project, “Methods and Tools for Scalable Figure Reuse Detection with Statistical Certainty Reporting.” Acuna plans to develop a data-searching tool that will boost the scale at which articles are automatically searched to detect figure reuse, thus finding cases of potential inauthenticity and inappropriate reuses much more quickly and across broader repositories of information. “
WCAI: Scientist Publishes A List Of Known Harassers in Academia. “Rates of sexual abuse and harassment in academic science are second only to the military. It’s estimated that at least half of women faculty and staff face harassment and abuse and that 20 to 50 percent of women students in science, engineering, and medicine are abused by faculty. Those numbers are generally based on surveys, which are an important way of getting a handle on the problem and how it changes women’s career trajectories. But when it comes to holding institutions accountable and making meaningful changes, naming perpetrators may be even more powerful.”
Science Business: EU and national funders launch plan for free and immediate open access to journals. “The European Commission and a group of national research funders have laid out a controversial and perhaps precedent-setting plan to make thousands of research papers free to read on the day of publication, in a move that could force a major change in the business model of science publishers.”
The Scholarly Kitchen: Mapping Open Science Tools. “Using a generic view of the scientific workflow, I evaluated all open end-user tools or programs — as well as open information standards or other services — that facilitate the delivery of scientific knowledge. This meant looking at largely web-based applications, with or without download requirements. I took up a broad definition of “tools” to encompass both discipline-agnostic services as well as those that were discipline-specific, especially those with a focus on hard-science fields (see more in the Footnote below). I kept educational or advocacy initiatives as well as generic tools aside for purposes of this project, to enable a targeted focus on digital product development opportunities for science-driven software and services.”