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 Assunto da Mensagem: Scientists that mattered in 2017
 Mensagem Enviado: Terça Dez 26, 2017 2:00 pm 
cientista regular
cientista regular

Registado: Quarta Dez 09, 2015 8:17 am
Mensagens: 133
Universidade/ Instituto: Minho

Jennifer Byrne (one of the 10 scientists that mattered in 2017) and computer scientist Cyril Labbé developed a software to detect errors on genetics research papers. Details of their paper below:
Byrne, J. A., & Labbé, C. (2017). Striking similarities between publications from China describing single gene knockdown experiments in human cancer cell lines. Scientometrics, 110(3), 1471-1493.

The fact that she found dozens of Chinese papers with errors has a lot to do with a system mentioned in the email below. Has one can see in the paper "Publish or impoverish: An investigation of the monetary reward system of science in China (1999-2016)" only publication in high impact factor journals can allow Chinese scientists decent wages so no wonder some prefer to forge results that look innovative enough to merit publication in those journals. They are not the only ones that need to be blamed. The impact factor fanatics should also share some of the guilt.

De: F. Pacheco Torgal
Enviado: 26 de Dezembro de 2017 8:38
Assunto: The time has come for authors to show Publisher´s who´s the Boss and who is the helper

Below some extracts of an Editorial authored by Leonard Leibovici, Editor in chief of the journal

"Clinical Microbiology and Infection" published by Elsevier.

It contains several interesting statements trying to explain (but failing to do so) why 60% of the papers in his journal are desk rejected without peer review. What it does not contain is an explanation why they can only published a limited number of articles. This journal publishes less than 400 papers per year.

It would be more honest if he said that publishing more articles could damage their impact factor like it was revealed by Senior Scientist Enrico Traversa in the paper that i recently received from Thomas Pardoen of KU Leuven and share it last week available at

The truth is that this Editor in Chief, as well many other editors are not infallible, so when he says that he reject papers because those are not of interest for the readers of that journal that is just a guessing game at best, and as other editors he will also ended desk reject high quality articles. A study published on PNAS shows exactly that

Not to mention that this posture is indirectly responsible for papers in which authors forged innovative results and also helps to boost the rampant numbers of predatory journals. The idea that in the 21 century editors still have the power decide what readers are interested in is not just condescending but almost insulting.Its an arrogant decision for an editor in chief to come forward revealing that his journals desk rejects 60% of the papers. The time will come when journals will have to search, to ask (and even to pay) authors to publish their work and not the other way around because its authors and not journals (or editors) that generate the most part of the publishing value. I never signed or even agreed with the widely known Elsevier boycott
because its just naïve to think that its possible to boycott a publisher that edits several thousand journals without also causing a lot of damage to the scientific community, especially to young researchers that desperate need to publish in those journals in order to stay in the game.

The only pratical and effective solution is to start a boycott on the journal with the highest impact factor. If the scientific community were able to put that journal out of business that will send a strong message to the Publishers. And if they don´t understand it then the second with the highest impact factor should be the next journal in line to be boycotted. Repeating the process until the Publishers ordered Editors-in-Chief to stop this impact factor related massive desk rejection.

Immediate rejection of manuscripts without peer review at the CMI
“About 60% of the articles that are submitted to CMI are rejected within 1 to 3 days, without being sent to peer review. The great majority are rejected by me, the editor in chief; sometimes it is a common decision of one of the associate editors and the editor in chief. The logic is that articles that have almost no chance of being accepted after peer review should not be delayed... Which articles are these? Some articles are not in the scope of our publication. These are on topics that would not interest our readers, practitioners and researchers in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases. Some (even if within our field) are too preliminary: we expect the material we publish to influence patients’ management, advance understanding of infections that afflict our patients or be of interest to our readers. Some studies display bad methods so bad that the results they show are meaningless; revising the manuscript will not repair the methods. For these articles, especially if performed and submitted by junior researchers, we try and explain our decisions, to help with planning of future research. Studies with glaring ethical problems present special difficulty [4]. Examples of such studies are interventional studies (e.g. randomized controlled trials or the use in clinical practice of an intervention that is outside any frame of accepted practice) that were not submitted to a research ethics committee and not approved by it.We have a duty not only to reject the article but also to inform the institution at which it was performed that a severe infringement of ethical principles occurred. Plagiarism is another issue…As a rule, potential authors should not copy even one sentence or fragment …We expect a certain amount of novelty in the studies we publish. We will publish an excellent confirmative study, but not one that adds little to what is known. The same is true with results that are of local but not of global interest. The detection for the first time of a well-known mechanism of resistance in a hospital where it was not detected before is not of interest to our readers…As a rule we will not publish case reports unless we judge them to be of special value to our readers.For authors, probably the least pleasant reason for rejection is just low priority compared to other candidates for publication. We can only publish a limited number of articles, and by necessity we give priority to articles that might be more interesting or useful to our readers”

De: F. Pacheco Torgal
Enviado: 21 de Dezembro de 2017 6:49
Assunto: Recent article by the Secretary of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Extract of recent article authored by the Secretary of COPE:
"For those who are in a position to do so, teaching and mentoring the next generation of scientists to review manuscripts will have a continuing impact on the future of the profession. According to a Wiley survey of peer reviewers, 77% of respondents wanted additional training and support for peer-review activities"

De: F. Pacheco Torgal
Enviado: 1 de Dezembro de 2017 10:55
Assunto: 30 Nov__Times Higher Education___Fake authorship and the need to change the academic reward system

In the article published yesterday on Times Higher Education a worrying portrait is made on academic authorship. In the article some academics made some recommendations in order to try to solve the problem of fake authorship but none mentions a very simple solution. Its about time academia reduce the importance of papers on career advancement. In a time of rampant papers with fake data, fake authorship and with more and more papers that have hundreds and even thousands of co-authors being impossible to assess the contribution of each one makes little sense that papers checked just by 2-3 reviewers continue to be the holy grail of science. Only papers where its possible to know the contribution of each co-author, papers that were validated by hundreds of academics, or that were highly cited deserve such high credit.

Also some weeks ago Lex Bouter (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Tony Mayer (Nanyang Technological University) and Nick Steneck (University of Michigan, USA), Co-Chairs of Fifth World Conference on Research Integrity provided written evidence to the Science and Technology Committee of UK Parliament that addresses Research Integrity issues where one can read the following:

"the whole system of academic research is currently permeated by perverse incentives (from governments through funding agencies, to institutions and thence to individuals) through the academic reward system that need to be removed or at least diminished"

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