New York Times: The Story of the Student Journalist and the Stanford President. “Absent public scrutiny, journals have been consistently slow to act on allegations of research falsification. In a field dependent on good faith cooperation, in which each contribution necessarily builds on the science that came before it, the consequences can compound for years.”
US Department of Energy: U.S. Department of Energy Releases Plan to Ensure Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research. “Key elements of the new DOE public access plan, as laid out by OSTP, will include elimination of any ’embargo’ period before the public gains free access to journal articles or final accepted manuscripts resulting from federal funding; immediate access to scientific data displayed in or underlying publications and expanded access to scientific data not displayed in publications; and broad adoption of persistent identifiers (PIDs) for research outputs, organizations, awards and contracts, and people.”
Inside Climate News: Rediscovered Reports From 19th-Century Environmental Volunteers Advance the Research of Today’s Citizen Scientists in New York. “After unearthing 200-year-old seasonal observations from across New York, a team of researchers found a window into the past of the state’s natural landscapes, and a key to understanding its future.”
U Today: Scientific articles still not always free of charge. “Last year, three in ten articles by Dutch researchers ended up behind a paywall and cannot be accessed free of charge by outsiders. The Netherlands leads the world, but the objective has not been achieved.”
Wired: Humans Can’t Be the Sole Keepers of Scientific Knowledge. “Writing scientific knowledge in a programming-like language will be dry, but it will be sustainable, because new concepts will be directly added to the library of science that machines understand. Plus, as machines are taught more scientific facts, they will be able to help scientists streamline their logical arguments; spot errors, inconsistencies, plagiarism, and duplications; and highlight connections. AI with an understanding of physical laws is more powerful than AI trained on data alone, so science-savvy machines will be able to help future discoveries. Machines with a great knowledge of science could assist rather than replace human scientists.” I have so many conflicting thoughts about this article that I gave myself a headache. Be warned.
Boing Boing: A web tool that converts PDF scientific papers into HTML. “The folks at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence just released an intriguing tool — ‘Paper to HTML’, which lets you upload a scientific paper and it turns it into an HTML web page. The goal, as they wrote in their email, is to improve accessibility: Screen-readers and accessibility tech usually finds it a lot easier to parse HTML than PDFs.” Ooo!
Ohio State News: Groundbreaking ideas from women scientists get less attention. “Researchers used a novel way of tracing the flow of ideas to find that even some of the most well-known breakthroughs in biomedical research from 1980 to 2008 had a more difficult road to adoption when research teams were dominated by women. Specifically, the five-year adoption rate of new ideas from female-majority teams was 23% lower than that of male-majority teams – even among the top 0.1% of ideas.”
Times Higher Education: The push for open access is making science less inclusive. “To avoid publishing becoming economically prohibitive, the push for open access above all other publication priorities must be substituted by a push for true inclusiveness. Required measures include, at the minimum, the extension of full waivers to lower-middle-income countries and the extension of substantial automatic discounts to upper-middle-income countries such as ours. The scientific community must also ensure fair practice and pricing in academic publishing. Consortia of national funding agencies could collect and analyse publishers’ budgets, comparing them with estimated publishing costs and deciding on a maximum fair price that they are prepared to pay.”
Tech Xplore: Researchers offer standards for studies using machine learning. “Researchers in the life sciences who use machine learning for their studies should adopt standards that allow other researchers to reproduce their results, according to a comment article published today in the journal Nature Methods.”
The Conversation: Excel autocorrect errors still plague genetic research, raising concerns over scientific rigour. “Autocorrection, or predictive text, is a common feature of many modern tech tools, from internet searches to messaging apps and word processors. Autocorrection can be a blessing, but when the algorithm makes mistakes it can change the message in dramatic and sometimes hilarious ways. Our research shows autocorrect errors, particularly in Excel spreadsheets, can also make a mess of gene names in genetic research.”
BuzzFeed News: A Big Study About Honesty Turns Out To Be Based On Fake Data. “A landmark study that endorsed a simple way to curb cheating is going to be retracted nearly a decade later after a group of scientists found that it relied on faked data. According to the 2012 paper, when people signed an honesty declaration at the beginning of a form, rather than the end, they were less likely to lie.”
Techdirt: Juul Rented A Scientific Journal For a Month To Spread Glorified Marketing. “Juul is sparing no expense to try and convince the FDA to keep its products on store shelves. Buried in a New York Times report on the looming FDA decision was an interesting nugget: namely that the company had paid $51,000 for a month of favorable coverage in the American Journal of Health Behavior.”
DND: National Digital Archive of Pakistani journals will be established at PASTIC. “The Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Centre (PASTIC) is a premier organization in the Country established for the Dissemination of Scientific & Technological Information for catering to the information needs of scientists, researchers, academicians, industrialists, entrepreneurs, planners, policymakers, etc. The official launching ceremony of the PASTIC’s PSDP-funded project titled ‘National Digital Archive of research published in Pakistani journals’ was held on June 24, 2021 at Islamabad Hotel in Islamabad.”
Internet Archive Blog: Search Scholarly Materials Preserved in the Internet Archive. “IA Scholar is a simple, access-oriented interface to content identified across several Internet Archive collections, including web archives, archive.org files, and digitized print materials. The full text of articles is searchable for users that are hunting for particular phrases or keywords. This complements our existing full-text search index of millions of digitized books and other documents on archive.org. The service builds on Fatcat, an open catalog we have developed to identify at-risk and web-published open scholarly outputs that can benefit from long-term preservation, additional metadata, and perpetual access.”
Ohio State News: More than 87,000 scientific papers on coronavirus since pandemic. “The researchers searched for coronavirus-related articles in several scientific databases and found that 4,875 articles were produced on the issue between January and mid-April of 2020. That rose to 44,013 by mid-July and 87,515 by the start of October.”