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US AAAS acquires Peer Review Evaluation service to help promote transparency and public trust in science - 13 Jul 2015

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), publisher of the Science family of journals, has announced the acquisition of 'Peer Review Evaluation' (PRE), a web-based service that promotes public trust in science by making the review of original research more transparent and verifiable.

Offering benefits to readers, publishers, and authors, PRE can be customised to display details about how research articles have been assessed. The technology, launched in 2014 by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. (JBJS), and acquired by AAAS on June 30, 2015, is consistent with the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. These principles, established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), urge participating journals to clearly indicate whether or not articles have been peer-reviewed, and to publicly disclose peer-review procedures.

PRE is already available to users of the JBJS family of journals as well as those published by the American Diabetes Association. PRE will be implemented and made available on the Science journals—Science, Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling and Science Advances—later this year.

PRE will continue to support existing integrations with the HighWire Press publishing platform and with the Aries Systems' Editorial Manager manuscript system. Integrations with other scholarly publishing platforms and manuscript submission systems are already in development.

When integrated with a publisher's manuscript submission system, PRE can be set up to display increasing levels of insight about paper handling—from submission and acceptance dates, to the number of peer-reviewers and their role in the assessment, or even reviewers' comments, if desired.

Moving forward, AAAS plans to further develop the PRE technology so that it can verify whether or not an author has deposited supporting data to an appropriate repository. According to Science Publisher Kent Anderson, AAAS is also exploring leveraging PRE to support open science practices and the feasibility of certification and training services for peer reviewers and publishers as part of PRE's development roadmap.

Anderson commended the pioneering work of PRE Founder Adam Etkin. "We are indebted to Adam Etkin for his innovation and leadership in developing PRE to help promote ethical, rigorous peer review," Anderson said. "His vision and creativity have consistently advanced the highest standards in scholarly publishing, and although he will now step away from his role as PRE managing director, I look forward to watching his continued progress."

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UK BioMed Central launches Archives of Physiotherapy journal in partnership with the Italian Society of Physiotherapy and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland - 13 Jul 2015

Open access publisher BioMed Central has launched Archives of Physiotherapy in partnership with the Italian Society of Physiotherapy and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland. Archives of Physiotherapy is one of the few open access journals specializing solely in the subject of physiotherapy. The article-processing charges (APCs) will be covered on behalf of authors by both organisations for the first four years of publication.

Formerly known as Italian Journal of Physiotherapy, the journal's new name reflects the international reach the journal plans on gaining by converting to the open access model. The journal will publish research articles covering all aspects of physiotherapy, including disability (musculoskeletal, neurological, cardio-pulmonary), diagnostic, measurement-focused, observational, prognostic and qualitative studies. It will also publish systematic reviews, meta-analyses and case reports.

The journal's Editor-in-Chief is Marco Baccini, Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory of the Azienda Sanitaria di Firenze, "Piero Palagi" Hospital, Florence and coordinator for the physiotherapy degree course at Florence University. His research has focused on the areas of geriatrics and neurorehabilitation. He has a special interest in biomechanics and kinesiology and in the development and clinical applications of motion analysis techniques and other measurement tools.

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US Wiley partners with the University of Delaware to support extension of graduate education to new student markets - 13 Jul 2015

Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has announced a new partnership with the University of Delaware that will support the extension of the University's graduate education to new student markets.

The partnership will help grow the current online Master of Education in Teacher Leadership program, and bring the current Master of Public Administration, Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Master of Science in Cybersecurity degrees fully online. The programs will enable online students to receive the same excellent educational resources, faculty teaching, and learning outcomes as their on-campus counterparts.

Through the partnership, Wiley will provide market research and marketing, enrollment and retention, instructional design, online course delivery, and assessment services. These highly targeted services will allow the University of Delaware to attract and support new student populations as well as further the efforts, goals, and initiatives of the institution as outlined in the University of Delaware's new strategic plan, Delaware Will Shine, which stresses student success, affordability, and access.

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US Hindawi concludes in-depth investigation into peer review fraud - 13 Jul 2015

In November 2014 BioMed Central announced that it had uncovered systematic abuse within the peer review process of a number of its journals. This abuse seems to have been coordinated by a number of third-party agencies that were helping authors to get published in well-respected scholarly journals in exchange for a fee.

In the weeks following this announcement, Hindawi took part in a number of meetings with other publishers in order to share information that might help uncover similar kinds of abuse within the peer review processes of their journals. Although the scale of this type of peer review fraud is difficult to measure, similar cases have been reported by at least half a dozen publishers, which have resulted in the retraction of a significant number of articles in recent years.

In response to the concerns that were discussed during these meetings, Hindawi launched an in-depth investigation to uncover any systematic efforts to circumvent the peer review process of its journals. Hindawi decided to analyze the peer review records as well as the log files from its Manuscript Tracking System for each of the over 180,000 manuscripts that were submitted during 2013 and 2014, which includes roughly 57,000 accepted articles, in order to uncover any cases of peer review fraud.

The peer review process used in Hindawi's journals depends in large part on the expertise of its Editorial Board Members as well as its Special Issue Guest Editors, who are responsible for overseeing the peer review process of submitted manuscripts. However, Editors are required to solicit review reports from external peer reviewers before being able to recommend an article for publication, and if the majority of the submitted review reports recommend rejection, the article cannot be accepted for publication. In cases where an Editor recommends that an article should be accepted, their name is listed as the Academic Editor on the final published version of the article.

Prior to the investigation that Hindawi initiated in late 2014, Editors were free to solicit review reports from any reviewer that they felt would be appropriate based solely on their own discretion. As a result of Hindawi's investigation into its peer review process, it became clear that one potential vulnerability was the lack of any independent verification of the peer reviewers who were selected by an Editor to review a submitted manuscript. If an Editor decided to subvert the journal's peer review process they could do so by creating fake reviewer identities and then use these fake identities to submit the positive review reports that are required before the article can be accepted for publication.

In order to identify any cases where Editors may have created fake reviewer accounts, Hindawi conducted a systematic analysis of the log files from its Manuscript Tracking System in order to identify any potentially concerning cases. Any manuscripts that were identified as potentially concerning were then individually reviewed by Hindawi's staff in order to verify the identities of the external peer reviewers who took part in the review process. In cases where review reports were submitted from personal (rather than institutional) email accounts, Hindawi's staff actively verified these email accounts to ensure that they did in fact belong to the intended reviewer.

As a result of this verification process, Hindawi's staff identified three Editors who appear to have subverted the peer review process by creating fraudulent reviewer accounts and using these accounts to submit favourable review reports. Hindawi's staff then investigated all previous manuscripts handled by these Editors in order to look for similar cases of abuse in the past. In total, Hindawi identified 32 articles that were recommended for publication on the basis of review reports from these fraudulent reviewer accounts. Hindawi has not uncovered the motivations for this abuse, and it is not clear whether the authors of these manuscripts took part in, or were even aware of, these fraudulent review practices.

After finalising the results of its internal investigation, Hindawi consulted with COPE in order to determine the appropriate course of action for the 32 articles that had been accepted on the basis of fraudulent peer review reports. After reviewing the details of Hindawi's investigation, COPE's recommended course of action was to have independent Editorial Board Members re-review these 32 published articles, and if the Editors determine that any of these articles are unsuitable for publication they should be retracted. Hindawi is now moving ahead with this re-review process, and will be working with COPE to ensure that any articles that need to be retracted are handled in accordance with COPE guidelines. Moreover, Hindawi will be providing a detailed report about its investigation to the institutions of the three Editors who created these fraudulent reviewer accounts so that they may conduct their own investigations.

Apart from helping to uncover these cases of peer review fraud, Hindawi's investigation has resulted in a number of additional procedures designed to prevent similar cases of abuse from happening in the future. Most importantly, Hindawi's editorial staff now actively verify the identity of every reviewer who takes part in the peer review process for any of Hindawi's journals.

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US ARL promotes Gary Roebuck to Director of Administration and Operations - 13 Jul 2015

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has promoted Gary Roebuck to director of administration and operations, effective July 1, 2015. Roebuck has been with ARL since 2007, most recently as director of information technology. In his new role, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of ARL and will manage IT, fiscal, and human resources.

Prior to coming to ARL, Roebuck served as manager of development operations at the National Park Foundation. Earlier in his career, he held positions at Blackbaud as a fundraising systems consultant and at Chicago's Merit School of Music as director of operations.

The Association of Research Libraries is a nonprofit organisation of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL's mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organisations.

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Library information/solutions provider

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UK Emerald and Kudos extend partnership after authors benefit from record pilot - 13 Jul 2015

Academic publisher Emerald Group Publishing has extended its partnership with Kudos - an online platform that helps increase the impact of published articles - to roll out the value-add service for Emerald authors. The move follows a successful trial period in 2014, the results of which were very encouraging with Emerald authors showing the highest level of activity across the Kudos trial, illustrating the interest of Emerald authors in broadening the reach and impact of their research.

Academics are increasingly under pressure to illustrate the value of their work to wider society and to extend their impact and visibility; the Kudos platform provides a valuable set of resources towards achieving this goal. One indication of the value of the pilot to Emerald authors was that usage of full-text articles for those authors trebled when using the Kudos tools, compared to articles whose authors did not use the service.

Emerald's continued relationship with Kudos confirms its commitment to supporting the author community and driving real world research impact.

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India Latest edition of Blogspeak now online - 13 Jul 2015

The latest edition of Blogspeak is now online. Featured are: Catherine Chimes (Impact and attention: what can the metrics tell us?); Elizabeth Loder (Why medical journals must make researchers share data from clinical trials); Glyn Moody (New Boycott In Support Of Open Access: Third Time Lucky?); and Mark Reed and Anna Evely (How can your research have more impact? Five key principles and practical tips for effective knowledge exchange). Blogspeak includes blog posts relevant to the publishing industry, particularly STM publishing. Subscribers are invited to participate in the latest edition of Blogspeak Here.

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