Blogs selected for Week August 17 to August 23, 2020 -

1. How to best approach COVID-19 research

Author: Joshua Z. Rappoport

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many people to directly engage with biomedical research studies—often for the first time in their lives—in the search for answers, understanding, and hope. The official guidelines provided by national, state, and local governments and health officials are critically important, but generally do not include much beyond rules, regulations, and recommendations. These in turn are informed by relevant epidemiological information such as case counts that are regularly reported by news outlets and can be directly accessed on academic and government websites. Finally, the swirling cesspool of dangerous conspiracy theories presented in various online forums can serve as a harmful distraction for those grasping for a feeling of control in the uncertain times.

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. ‘Beggers’ can’t be choosers as another meta-analysis is retracted

Author: Retraction Watch blog

The Scientific World Journal has retracted the article titled ‘VEGF Genetic Polymorphisms May Contribute to the Risk of Diabetic Nephropathy in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus: A Meta-Analysis’. The article is one of a series of very similar meta-analyses written by different authors that were published in 2014 and 2015, characterised by searching the complementary and alternative medicine database CISCOM despite the topic not being about CAM. The article also mentions ‘Begger’s test,’ which is a mistaken combination of ‘Begg’s test’ and ‘Egger’s test’ and is also characteristic of the series of articles.

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Agile journal management: An overview for editorial teams

Author: scholastica blog

During the 2020 virtual International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE) conference, Scholastica Co-Founder and CEO Brian Cody and Editorial Client and Systems Support Project Manager at J&J Editorial Lindsey Struckmeyer presented a session on Agile project management for editorial teams. The session covered how editorial teams can apply Agile principles to journal planning to make continuous incremental peer review and publishing improvements. This blog post presents an overview of what Agile project management is and how it can be applied to journal editorial planning, including some key takeaways from their presentation.

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. COVID-19: Can the scientific ecosystem fight off the virus?

Author: Jennifer Goodrich

The pandemic is bringing past challenges into sharper focus, highlighting the issues and creating new urgency for change. The scientific ecosystem is resilient, and like other systems in nature, adapting itself to the heightened urgencies of the disruptive breach brought on by COVID-19. While peer review is clearly an area of focus, more innovation and change in other areas should be expected, as the scientific publishing ecosystem responds and adapts in the months to come.

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Revisiting: The problem(s) with credit for peer review

Author: David Crotty

Offering career credit to researchers for performing peer review seems like a no-brainer, right? Peer review is essential for system of research, and study after study confirms that researchers consider it tremendously important. Funding agencies and journal publishers alike rely on researchers to provide rigorous review to aid in making decisions about who to fund and which papers to publish. On the surface it would seem to make sense to formalise the activity as a part of the career responsibilities of an academic researcher. But as one delves into the specifics of creating such a system, some major roadblocks arise. One such problem falls into the realm of volunteerism and motivation. Most academics see performing peer review as a service to the community.

The full entry can be read: Here.

6. Changed priorities ahead: scholarly publishing and Covid-19

Author: COPIM blog

The ongoing Covid-19 crisis poses a significant financial risk to the UK higher education sector. Universities are facing big losses across a range of income sources and investments. These losses could cause serious financial problems, including – in the extreme – insolvency. The blog is discussing how Covid-19 has affected human interaction in scholarly publishing (conferences, sales reps, meetings, book launches etc.); the future of print; and the future of subsidised university presses.

The full entry can be read: Here.

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