Blogs selected for Week September 23, 2019 to September 29, 2019 -



1. What's in a name? How false author affiliations are damaging academic research

When reading a research paper, can you be certain that the institution the author claims to be affiliated with is actually the institution that was responsible for supporting the research? In this post Vivienne C. Bachelet in the LSE Impact Blog presents findings from a recent study suggesting that a significant proportion of author affiliations are unverifiable. Highlighting how a lack of editorial guidance in this area has presented an opening for institutional malpractice, she argues that now is the time to more clearly regulate how authors attribute their research to different research organisations.

The Blog post says (quote): Journals should be made aware that potentially one-third of reported affiliations are not truthful, a finding to be confirmed with further multi-country studies. To address this, ranking houses could punish universities who breach research integrity standards by tweaking indicators, much like how journals found harbouring citation cartels were punished by being stripped of their impact factor. International neutral bodies like COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) or the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) could also act and start working on guidance documents and specific recommendations on the proper and ethical reporting of author affiliations .........(unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. A growing number of universities are exploring the use of open access text books. Are they the future teaching and learning materials?

A growing number of universities are exploring the use of open access text books. Are they the future teaching and learning materials? A number of universities and academics have set up their own presses in an attempt to take back control and autonomy away from the large commercial publishing houses. Many of these presses are considering adding open textbooks to their journal and monograph portfolios in a bid to open up scholarly information outside publisher’s subscription paywalls, notes Caroline Mackay, in this post in the JISC Blog.

The Blog post says (quote): However, institutional cultural attitudes and author motivation to write open textbooks can seem insurmountable hurdles. But now is the time to utilise the expertise within the UK HE sector, to capitalise on the current interest in the growing new university press movement, to start having serious sector wide discussions and action towards the creation of UK-wide open and affordable textbooks..........(unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Opinion: Why It Is Time to Make Conferences worth It

Conferences are popular events for scientists to meet in person and share results and ideas. Over the last couple of decades, the number of meetings has grown at a rate of roughly 10 percent year over year, and they are clearly not going to go away. The material presented at conferences is rarely available after the event in its original form, being mainly relegated to abstract or title mentions and often only available to restricted audiences, notes Nicholas Rowe, in this post in TheScientist Blog.

The Blog post says (quote): When I mention the idea of "value" or "return on investment" to academics, there is often an offended refutation that defends conference practices to be of immense value, but the evidence (or rather its lack) suggests otherwise. The idea that conference activities should have some form of measurable benefit may be viewed as being neoliberal, and people often refer to less tangible benefits such as participating in professional networking, accessing "cutting edge research," getting feedback on projects, learning about career opportunities, etc.........(unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. Fighting Citation Pollution — The Challenge of Detecting Fraudulent Journals in Works Cited

As citations to articles in fraudulent journals increasingly appear in article manuscripts, vexing reviewers and editors alike, the scholarly communications community needs to develop an automated shared service to assess works cited efficiently and ensure that authors are not inadvertently polluting the scholarly record. While the extent of the fraudulent and deceptive journal publishing practices in scholarly publishing is not fully known, it is perceived as a substantial and growing problem, notes this post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog by Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe and Michael Clarke.

The Blog post says (quote): If a journal does not appear on any whitelists — or if it appears on any blacklists — a query to the author could be automatically generated (as a component of the author submission or proof review process) asking the author to justify the citation. Journals might adopt a simple editorial policy: If a reference is not included on certain whitelists (which might vary by journal and might include publisher-maintained regional lists), then authors must justify the citation to the satisfaction of the editor. For example, in writing about fraudulent publications, it may be necessary to cite them!..........(unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Which Publications Matter at Which Stages of Your Career?

Publishing is highly individual. Some academics are prolific throughout their careers and even into their retirement. Others write less and less after tenure and focus on teaching or administration. Ultimately, there should never be a time when you don’t have an "in progress" project. But as you advance through the various stages of an academic career, so should your research — such that you move from applying knowledge, to creating knowledge, to evaluating knowledge — making the types of contributions that are expected of a scholar across time, notes Manya Whitaker in this post in the Chronicle of Higher Education Blog.

The Blog post says (quote): To complement your scholarly productivity you should also have scholarly activities: presenting papers at conferences and symposia (poster presentations in the social sciences and humanities are not desirable at this stage), serving as a peer-reviewer for journals/presses, and being active in your disciplinary society. Again, tenure will depend on the actual publications, but you need some sign of scholarly activity, too........(unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

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