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UK New 'results free' peer-review process to be piloted for academic publishing - 21 Sep 2016

The open access journal, BMC Psychology, has announced it will launch the first ever randomised controlled trial to find out if a 'results free' peer-review process can help reduce publication bias.

'Results free' means that reviewers of research manuscripts submitted for publication will not be able to see the results or discussion sections until the end of the review process. It is thought that this could ensure the research is judged on the strength of a study's methods, and the question it is addressing, rather than the results or outcome of the study.

It is well established that results deemed statistically significant are more likely to be published than null results – or those that fail to reach significance in a statistical test. However, these null results form an important part of the scientific record and are crucial to develop an accurate evidence base.

The trial will start with an initial pilot phase where the first 10 authors to opt in will go through the 'results free' process to show that the procedure is feasible and efficient. Following the pilot, a randomised controlled trial will start where authors who opt in are randomly assigned to the 'results free' or normal peer-review process.

Evidence shows that unreliable research findings can be found across the biomedical and social sciences. Innovative reforms of the peer-review system, such as the 'results free' trial, could help address these issues.

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Case Studies/Industry study reports

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US Over 750 publisher journals to integrate with Publons - 21 Sep 2016

Publisher John Wiley & Sons has announced that a further 750 journals will be integrated with Publons, the world's leading peer review recognition platform. The partnership is an expansion of a 6-month pilot program that Wiley and Publons ran in 2015.

The partnership allows those who peer review for any of Wiley's participating journals to effortlessly track and verify every review. Publons members can use their verified peer review and editorial records in funding and promotion applications. Publons also offers a suite of statistics and insights showing how reviewers compare to others in their field.

Publons aims to speed up science by harnessing the power of peer review. In a 6-month pilot project, Publons and Wiley observed an improvement in reviewer acceptance rates for the pilot journals, as well as faster review times among reviewers that opted in - effectively speeding up the process for scrutinising and communicating academic research.

Publons provides verified recognition for peer review without compromising reviewer anonymity or infringing upon journal review models.

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STM Publishing

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US EBSCO offers five scholarships to attend 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting - 21 Sep 2016

The American Library Association (ALA) and EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) are partnering to offer five scholarships for librarians to attend the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. The scholarship allows more librarians to take advantage of the opportunities for continuing education, meetings and interactions with colleagues at the meeting, which will take place from January 20 – 24, 2017.

Each scholarship will provide up to $1,500 to defray the cost of conference registration, travel and expenses. One of the five scholarships will be awarded to a first-time conference attendee. The scholarship recipients will be honoured by EBSCO and ALA representatives during the conference at a breakfast on Sunday, Jan. 22.

The application deadline is November 2, 2016, and entries will be judged by a jury designated by ALA. Candidates must submit an essay that answers the questions: What will be the next game changer(s) for your library? How will your attendance at ALA Midwinter 2017 help you to contribute to the future of your library and libraries overall?

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US ProQuest partners with Oxford University Press to make thousands of ebooks available on the UPSO platform via the OASIS system - 21 Sep 2016

ProQuest is teaming with academic publisher Oxford University Press to make thousands of ebooks available on University Press Scholarship Online platform (UPSO) via the OASIS® system.

A groundbreaking online library, UPSO grants access to more than 20,000 monographs in subjects covering almost every area of academia. With an ever-growing family of publishers – including Oxford University Press, University of Chicago Press, Stanford University Press and Edinburgh University Press – contributing their outstanding scholarly lists to the platform, UPSO library is an essential resource, built around high-quality, peer-reviewed academic books. This agreement expands the rich selection of ebook platforms already represented via the OASIS system.

The OASIS search, selection and acquisition system allows customers to select ebooks according to their platform preferences, and uses the broadest print and electronic books database for academic libraries in the industry. It provides access and end-to-end acquisition workflow support to the market's largest selection of ebooks (more than 1.7 million titles) via the Ebook Central, EBL, ebrary, MyiLibrary and EBSCO books platforms. OASIS customers benefit from advanced search and selection capabilities and one consolidated interface for ordering, invoicing and reporting.

Via UPSO in the OASIS system, libraries can find multidisciplinary research materials, including more than 20,000 titles in 31 subject areas spanning the humanities, arts, social sciences, sciences, medicine and law.

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Library information/solutions provider

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German De Gruyter Mouton and American Psychological Association announce publishing partnership - 21 Sep 2016

De Gruyter Mouton and the American Psychological Association have started a unique publishing partnership which embraces the best contemporary research on topics where psychology and language intersect.

In an unprecedented way, the partnership encourages scholars working on such diverse issues as bilingualism, language learning, autism spectrum disorder or gesture development, among others, to cross and illuminate the porous disciplinary boundaries between psychology and linguistics. In addition, the combined long-term editorial expertise, high-quality production procedures, state of-the-art electronic publishing strategies, and strong sales and marketing infrastructures both organizations jointly offer will be highly beneficial for authors, editors and readers alike.

The publishing partnership finds its first culmination in the launch of the joint book series Language and the Human Lifespan, which features four volumes in 2016.

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Academic publishing

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US Scientific American launches For Science, a freely accessible online version of Scientific American for the Arabic-speaking world - 21 Sep 2016

Scientific American, the oldest continuously published magazine in the US, has announced the launch of For Science (Lel Elm), a new freely accessible online version of Scientific American for the Arabic-speaking world, featuring the latest science news and features of both global and regional significance. The site will provide authoritative insights into and news of the latest developments from the worlds of science, technology and biomedicine, as well as disseminating the voices of the most influential thinkers from the region.

For Science will be regularly updated with breaking news stories, features, slideshows, videos and podcasts, featuring science news and research from Egypt, the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. These will include original content specifically tailored to the interests of the region as well as translated Scientific American articles. Amongst the new and exclusive content are a feature about the rediscovery of Amenhotep's tomb, which had disappeared in the sands over a hundred years ago in the Valley of the Kings, and a profile of Nobel Prize winning Egyptian-American scientist Dr Ahmed Zewail. All material is selected and produced by a dedicated editorial team from Scientific American based in Egypt.

The Editor in Chief of For Science is Dalia AbdelSalam, an experienced science journalist who worked as the head of the environment section at Al-Ahram Hebdo, the leading French-language publication in the Arab world, for 17 years before joining Scientific American.

For Science is published by Springer Nature with financial support from Egypt's Specialized Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research, a partnership championed by Dr Hoda Abou-Shady, Associate Professor of Nuclear Physics, Faculty of Science Cairo University, Assistant Minister of Higher Education, and Member of the Presidential Council for Education & Research.

Sponsorship of For Science is part of a five year agreement between the Council and Springer Nature, which also includes a national access agreement for Springer Nature content and services.

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Scientific publishing

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US CERN in deal with leading scientific publishers and learned societies to extend SCOAP3 initiative for three more years - 21 Sep 2016

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and the 'host organisation' of SCOAP3 has announced that it has signed contracts with 10 leading scientific publishers and learned societies to extend this Open Access initiative for three more years. This was the last step for this unique global Open Access partnership to continue supporting authors worldwide through at least December 2019.

The SCOAP3 partnership comprises 3000 libraries, funding agencies and research organisations from 44 countries and 3 intergovernmental organizations. In cooperation with leading scientific publishers and learned societies, SCOAP3 has supported the transition to Open Access of key journals in the field of High-Energy Physics as of 2014. In the first three years of SCOAP3 operation, 20,000 scientists from 100 countries have benefited from the opportunity to publish more than 13,000 Open Access articles free of charge.

Eight journals will participate in this three-year extension of the initiative, of which five are published by learned societies. All articles will be published Open Access in perpetuity, under Creative Commons CC-BY licenses at no direct cost to any authors. In addition to availability on the publishers' platforms, articles will be also available on the SCOAP3 Repository, enabling partners to build value-added services.

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