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Elsevier Mutiny: Cracks Are Widening in the Fortress of Academic Publishing

A prestigious academic journal has just experienced the closest thing to outright mutiny: All six editors and the entire editorial board of the well-respected linguistics journal Lingua resigned en masse last week. And the reason says a lot about the ongoing disruption taking place in the formerly sleepy world of academic publishing. In many ways, academic publishers are going through the same kind of wrenching change that traditional media companies like newspaper and magazine publishers are. Subscription-based business models that worked for decades are coming apart at the seams, thanks in part to the web's ability to distribute content much more cheaply and broadly. And academia itself is becoming much more open as well.
   
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Peer Review Fraud on the Rise at Scientific Journals

Biomedical fraud is not uncommon, either, and can have dire consequences. Most such frauds involve the fabrication of results, and even when it leads to no disaster for patients, it leads other researchers up the garden path, wasting time and resources. But a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine draws attention to a relatively new form of fraud. Before accepting a paper for publication, reputable scientific journals send it out to peer review, that is to say to other workers in the field who criticize it, make suggestions for improvement, and recommend either acceptance or rejection.
   
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Publish Or Perish Culture Encourages Scientists To Cut Corners

The intense pressure of academic research drives some scientists to breach ethical codes. There was a public case of a journal article being retracted as a result of academic misconduct. This time it was in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), with the lead author-Dr. Anna Ahimastos, working at Melbourne's Baker IDI-reportedly admitting she fabricated data. But this is not to say that science is imperiled, only that we need to ensure the reward and support structures in academia promote the best practices rather than corner cutting.
   
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Predatory Journals Lure In Arab Researchers

Predatory publishers that do not take science seriously are exploiting those eager to climb the academic career ladder. Universities rely on publishing as a measure of a researcher's success. Predatory publishers charge the researchers to publish their papers without providing genuine peer review. Some researchers are victims and others are willing accomplices. Some publishers seem to be aware that what they are doing is wrong and others say they are just trying to make money by doing what big-name publishers do, but faster and more cheaply.
   
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Publishers Embrace Social Platforms, Mobile

In line with the classic advice to 'fish where the fish are,' publishers are embracing social platforms and mobile media along with their audiences, but remain wary of some potential pitfalls associated with these channels, fast on their way to dominating media consumption. Many publishers are entering into distribution partnerships with social platforms and technology firms, and even companies that haven't signed up for services like Facebook Instant Articles find themselves dependent on giant online firms to reach their audiences.
   
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