Wired: Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals Don’t Really Do Their Job

Wired: Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals Don’t Really Do Their Job. “Instead of showing (once again) that formal peer review is vital for good science, the last few months could just as well suggest the opposite. To me, at least—someone who’s served as an editor at seven different journals, and editor in chief at two—the recent spate of decisions to bypass traditional peer review gives the lie to a pair of myths that researchers have encouraged the public to believe for years: First, that peer-reviewed journals publish only trustworthy science; and second, that trustworthy science is published only in peer-reviewed journals.”

Nature: Hundreds of journals’ editorial practices captured in database

Nature: Hundreds of journals’ editorial practices captured in database. “Funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, and created with the Leiden Centre for Science and Technology Studies, the platform currently hosts a database of 387 journals. It evaluates these journals’ peer-review procedures according to 12 criteria, including: the level of anonymity afforded to authors and reviewers; the use of digital tools such as plagiarism scanners; and the timing of peer review in the research and publication process (see S. P. J. M. Horbach and W. Halffman Scientometrics 118, 339–373; 2019). The platform displays the procedures used by each journal, along with aggregate statistics on the various editorial practices.”

Nature: Highly cited researcher banned from journal board for citation abuse

Nature: Highly cited researcher banned from journal board for citation abuse. “A US-based biophysicist who is one of the world’s most highly cited researchers has been removed from the editorial board of one journal and barred as a reviewer for another, after repeatedly manipulating the peer-review process to amass citations to his own work.”

EurekAlert: Review Commons, a pre-journal portable review platform

EurekAlert: Review Commons, a pre-journal portable review platform. ” Today ASAPbio and EMBO Press launch Review Commons, a platform for high-quality, journal-independent peer review of manuscripts from the life sciences before submission to a journal. Authors can submit preprints or unpublished manuscripts to Review Commons for expert peer review.”

ASAPbio: Launching Transpose, a database of journal policies on preprinting & peer review

ASAPbio: Launching Transpose, a database of journal policies on preprinting & peer review. “Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Transpose (@TransposeSCI), a database of journal peer review, co-reviewing, and preprint policies relating to media coverage, licensing, versions, and citation. These policies can often be difficult to find, unclear, or undefined. Our hope is to bring them to light so that authors, readers, reviewers, and other stakeholders can more easily find journals that align with their values. At the same time, editors can use this resource to draw inspiration from changing practices at other journals.”

PLOS: PLOS Journals Now OPEN for Published Peer Review

PLOS: PLOS Journals Now OPEN for Published Peer Review. “Starting today, ALL PLOS journals will offer authors the option to publish their peer review history alongside their accepted manuscript! We’ve been excited to make this announcement, and make major strides towards a more open publication process, since last fall when we signed ASAPbio’s open letter committing to transparent peer review options.”

Peer-reviewed physics for Wikipedia: PLOS ONE Topic Pages (PLOS One Blog)

PLOS One Blog: Peer-reviewed physics for Wikipedia: PLOS ONE Topic Pages. “Despite Wikipedia’s importance as a resource for both practicing physicists and the wider community, it is rare for professional physicists to contribute, in part because there are few, if any, professional incentives to do so. We’re all in agreement that researchers should receive proper attribution for our work (which is why PLOS ONE supports ORCID); and as credit is not given for submitting or editing Wikipedia pages, only a small fraction of the physicists that I asked about this have edited even a single Wikipedia page. With this in mind, we’re excited to introduce PLOS ONE Topic Pages, which are peer-reviewed review articles written with Wikipedia in mind. These provide opportunities for author attribution and will result in both journal articles and Wikipedia pages of high quality and utility.”

Nature: Huge peer-review study reveals lack of women and non-Westerners

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.”

EurekAlert: PLOS announces new website for peer reviewers

EurekAlert: PLOS announces new website for peer reviewers . “The Reviewer Center is designed to support reviewers working on manuscripts submitted to PLOS journals, with information and resources freely available to anyone–those interested in learning more about how peer review works, those looking for instructional resources, and those reviewing for other journals and publishers. All content is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, meaning it is free and open for anyone to access, regardless of whether they review for PLOS.”

Twitter for Scientists: an Idea Whose Time Has Finally Come? (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Chronicle of Higher Education: Twitter for Scientists: an Idea Whose Time Has Finally Come?. “There’s abundant evidence that widely sharing a research finding in just one or two simple sentences greatly increases its use and effectiveness. But, ugh, that usually means Twitter — in the eyes of many, a low-attention-span cesspool of trolls, political partisans, and amateur comedians known more for braggadocio and snark than reason and facts. Now, with federal backing, there’s another option.”

NPR: Scientists Aim To Pull Peer Review Out Of The 17th Century

NPR: Scientists Aim To Pull Peer Review Out Of The 17th Century. “The technology that drives science forward is forever accelerating, but the same can’t be said for science communication. The basic process still holds many vestiges from its early days — that is the 17th century. Some scientists are pressing to change that critical part of the scientific enterprise.”

Retraction Watch: Can you spot a fake? New tool aims to help journals identify fake reviews

Retraction Watch: Can you spot a fake? New tool aims to help journals identify fake reviews. “Fake peer reviews are a problem in academic publishing. A big problem. Many publishers are taking proactive steps to limit the effects, but massive purges of papers tainted by problematic reviews continue to occur; to date, more than 500 papers have been retracted for this reason. In an effort to help, Clarivate Analytics is unveiling a new tool as part of the release of ScholarOne Manuscripts, its peer review and submission software in December, 2017. We spoke to Chris Heid, Head of Product for ScholarOne, about the new pilot program to detect unusual submission and peer review activity that may warrant further investigation by the journal.”

Chronicle of Higher Education: A Revolt at a Journal Puts Peer Review Under the Microscope

Chronicle of Higher Education: A Revolt at a Journal Puts Peer Review Under the Microscope. “When controversial papers prompt editorial-board mutinies, critics often see examples of political correctness run amok. But this case doesn’t quite fit that narrative. While many scholars who resigned from the board and signed the petition freely admit they find the views expressed by the author reprehensible, their primary concern centers on a matter of editorial process: The paper was rejected by peer reviewers, editorial-board members say, but it was published anyway.”

Science Magazine: China cracks down after investigation finds massive peer-review fraud

Science Magazine: China cracks down after investigation finds massive peer-review fraud. “A massive peer-review fraud has triggered a tough response from the Chinese government. Officials last week announced that more than 400 researchers listed as authors on some 100 now-retracted papers will face disciplinary action because their misconduct has seriously damaged China’s scientific reputation.”