Abstract: This article examines the current difficulties faced in penetrating the world of scholarly communication technology. While there have been large strides forward in the disintermediation of digital publishing expertise—most notably by the Public Knowledge Project—a substantial number of barriers remain. This paper examines a case study in terms of scholarly typesetting and the Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) standard before moving to suggest three potential solutions: (1) The formation of open, non-commercial and inclusive (but structured) organizations dedicated to the group exploration and standardisation of scholarly publishing technology; (2) The collective authoring of as much technological and process documentation on scholarly publishing as is possible; (3) The modularisation of platforms and agreement on standards of interoperability. Only through such measures is it possible for researchers to reclaim the means of (re)production, for the remaining barriers are not difficult to understand, merely hard to discover.
Abstract: Does scientific misconduct severe enough to result in retraction disclose itself with warning signs? We test a hypothesis that variables in the results section of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are associated with retraction, even without access to raw data. We evaluated all English-language RCTs retracted from the PubMed database prior to 2011. Two controls were selected for each case, matching publication journal, volume, issue, and page as closely as possible. Number of authors, subjects enrolled, patients at risk, and patients treated were tallied in cases and controls. Among case RCTs, 17.5% had ≤2 authors, while 6.3% of control RCTs had ≤2 authors. Logistic regression shows that having few authors is associated with retraction (p < 0.03), although the number of subjects enrolled, patients at risk, or treated patients is not. However, none of the variables singly, nor all of the variables combined, can reliably predict retraction, perhaps because retraction is such a rare event. Exploratory analysis suggests that retraction rate varies by medical field (p < 0.001). Although retraction cannot be predicted on the basis of the variables evaluated, concern is warranted when there are few authors, enrolled subjects, patients at risk, or treated patients. Ironically, these features urge caution in evaluating any RCT, since they identify studies that are statistically weaker.
Abstract: When a scientific article is found to be either fraudulent or erroneous, one course of action available to both the authors and the publisher is to retract said article. Unfortunately, not all retraction notices properly inform the reader of the problems with a retracted article. This study developed a novel rubric for rating and standardizing the quality of retraction notices, and used it to assess the retraction notices of 171 retracted articles from 15 journals. Results suggest the rubric to be a robust, if preliminary, tool. Analysis of the retraction notices suggest that their quality has not improved over the last 50 years, that it varies both between and within journals, and that it is dependent on the field of science, the author of the retraction notice, and the reason for retraction. These results indicate a lack of uniformity in the retraction policies of individual journals and throughout the scientific literature. The rubric presented in this study could be adopted by journals to help standardize the writing of retraction notices.
Abstract: In the literature on academic publishing, little attention has been paid to the needs and concerns of non-English-speaking researchers in professional contexts. This paper addresses the gap in that literature by providing insights into the situation with medical doctors in China. Following an overview of the broad picture, I will report a case study, which was conducted at a major hospital in East China and which aimed at exploring how a group of orthopedic surgeons access the English medical literature and to what extent they seek the support of editorial services and training in academic writing/publication skills. The results of the study show that the participant doctors tend to rely on their students or overseas personal connections for access to full-text medical literature, and they have generally had limited experience with language editorial services and academic writing/publication skills seminars. The paper ends by discussing some challenges while proposing recommendations for enhancing Chinese doctors’ access to the full-text medical literature, as well as their understanding of the kind of support that can be provided by editorial services and training in publication skills.
Abstract: Fraud in medical publishing has risen to the national spotlight as manufactured and suspect data have led to retractions of papers in prominent journals. Moral turpitude in medical research has led to the loss of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants, directly affected patient care, and has led to severe legal ramifications for some authors. While there are multiple checks and balances in medical research to prevent fraud, the final enforcement lies with journal editors and publishers. There is an ethical and legal obligation to make careful and critical examinations of the medical research published in their journals. Failure to follow the highest standards in medical publishing can lead to legal liability and destroy a journal’s integrity. More significant, however, is the protection of the medical profession’s trust with their colleagues and the public they serve.This article discusses various techniques and tools available to editors and publishers that can help curtail fraud in medical publishing.
Abstract: This paper is an attempt to review various aspects of the open access divide regarding the difference between those academics who support free sharing of data and scholarly output and those academics who do not. It provides a structured description by adopting the Ws doctrines emphasizing such questions as who, what, when, where and why for information-gathering. Using measurable variables to define a common expression of the open access divide, this study collects aggregated data from existing open access as well as non-open access publications including journal articles and extensive reports. The definition of the open access divide is integrated into the discussion of scholarship on a larger scale.