A Multi-dimensional Investigation of the Effects of Publication Retraction on Scholarly Impact

Authors : Xin Shuai, Isabelle Moulinier, Jason Rollins, Tonya Custis, Frank Schilder, Mathilda Edmunds

Over the past few decades, the rate of publication retractions has increased dramatically in academia. In this study, we investigate retractions from a quantitative perspective, aiming to answer two fundamental questions.

One, how do retractions influence the scholarly impact of retracted papers, authors, and institutions? Two, does this influence propagate to the wider academic community through scholarly associations?

Specifically, we analyzed a set of retracted articles indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science (WoS), and ran multiple experiments to compare changes in scholarly impact against a control set of non-retracted articles, authors, and institutions.

We further applied the Granger Causality test to investigate whether different scientific topics are dynamically affected by retracted papers occurring within those topics.

Our results show two key findings: first, the scholarly impact of retracted papers and authors significantly decreases after retraction, and the most severe impact decrease correlates to retractions based on proven purposeful scientific misconduct; second, this retraction penalty does not seem to spread through the broader scholarly social graph, but instead has a limited and localized effect.

Our findings may provide useful insights for scholars or science committees to evaluate the scholarly value of papers, authors, or institutions related to retractions.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1602.09123

Research Articles in Simplified HTML: a Web-first format for HTML-based scholarly articles

Authors : Silvio Peroni, Francesco Osborne, Angelo Di Iorio, Andrea Giovanni Nuzzolese, Francesco Poggi, Fabio Vitali, Enrico Motta


This paper introduces the Research Articles in Simplified HTML (or RASH), which is a Web-first format for writing HTML-based scholarly papers; it is accompanied by the RASH Framework, i.e. a set tools for interacting with RASH-based articles. The paper also presents an evaluation that involved authors and reviewers of RASH articles, submitted to the SAVE-SD 2015 and SAVE-SD 2016 workshops.


RASH has been developed in order to: be easy to learn and use; share scholarly documents (and embedded semantic annotations) through the Web; support its adoption within the existing publishing workflow.


The evaluation study confirmed that RASH can already be adopted in workshops, conferences and journals and can be quickly learnt by researchers who are familiar with HTML.

Research limitations

The evaluation study also highlighted some issues in the adoption of RASH, and in general of HTML formats, especially by less technical savvy users. Moreover, additional tools are needed, e.g. for enabling additional conversion from/to existing formats such as OpenXML.

Practical implications

RASH (and its Framework) is another step towards enabling the definition of formal representations of the meaning of the content of an article, facilitate its automatic discovery, enable its linking to semantically related articles, provide access to data within the article in actionable form, and allow integration of data between papers.

Social implications

RASH addresses the intrinsic needs related to the various users of a scholarly article: researchers (focussing on its content), readers (experiencing new ways for browsing it), citizen scientists (reusing available data formally defined within it through semantic annotations), publishers (using the advantages of new technologies as envisioned by the Semantic Publishing movement).


RASH focuses strictly on writing the content of the paper (i.e., organisation of text + semantic annotations) and leaves all the issues about it validation, visualisation, conversion, and semantic data extraction to the various tools developed within its Framework.

URL : https://essepuntato.github.io/papers/rash-peerj2016.html

Enjeux des « revues hypermédiatisées » pour l’édition scientifique

Auteurs/Authors : Lise Verlaet, Hans Dillaerts

Au sein de cet article nous nous intéresserons aux nouvelles formes de revues scientifiques numériques. Les mutations induites par le numérique ont en effet un impact fondamental sur le secteur de la communication scientifique (Dillaerts, 2012).

Comme nous le démontrerons dans une première partie à travers l’exposé de l’état de l’art, ces dernières se limitent bien souvent dans un premier temps à une simple transposition de la version papier. Toutefois de nouveaux modèles de diffusion sont apparus, notamment le Libre Accès (accès gratuit avec la possibilité de réutiliser et redistribuer l’article) ou encore la science ouverte laquelle prône une démarche scientifique ouverte, des modèles de peer review innovants (open peer review et les méga-revues).

Fort de ces observations et constats, nous développerons ensuite le concept de « revue hypermédiatisée » que nous présenterons au regard du développement de la revue COSSI (Communication, Organisation, Société du Savoir et Information). Inspiré de l’idée de « site médiateur » (Davallon & Jeanneret, 2004), une revue hypermédiatisée propose une redocumentarisation (Pédauque, 2006 ; Salaün, 2007) de son corpus pour en dégager un sens inédit.

URL : https://archivesic.ccsd.cnrs.fr/sic_01476924


Amending Published Articles: Time To Rethink Retractions And Corrections?

Authors : Virginia Barbour, Theo Bloom, Jennifer Lin, Elizabeth

Academic publishing is evolving and our current system of correcting research post-publication is failing, both ideologically and practically. It does not encourage researchers to engage in consistent post-publication changes.

Worse yet, post-publication « updates » are misconstrued as punishments or admissions of guilt. We propose a different model that publishers of research can apply to the content they publish, ensuring that any post-publication amendments are seamless, transparent and propagated to all the countless places online where descriptions of research appear.

At the center, the neutral term « amendment » describes all forms of post-publication change to an article. We lay out a straightforward and consistent process that applies to each of the three types of amendments: insubstantial, substantial, and complete.

This proposed system supports the dynamic nature of the research process itself as researchers continue to refine or extend the work, removing the emotive climate particularly associated with retractions and corrections to published work.

It allows researchers to cite and share the correct versions of articles with certainty, and for decision makers to have access to the most up to date information.

URL : Amending Published Articles: Time To Rethink Retractions And Corrections?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/118356

Open-access mega-journals: The future of scholarly communication or academic dumping ground? A review


Open-access mega-journals (OAMJs) represent an increasingly important part of the scholarly communication landscape. OAMJs, such as PLOS ONE, are large scale, broad scope journals that operate an open access business model (normally based on article-processing charges), and which employ a novel form of peer review, focussing on scientific “soundness” and eschewing judgement of novelty or importance.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the discourses relating to OAMJs, and their place within scholarly publishing, and considers attitudes towards mega-journals within the academic community.


This paper presents a review of the literature of OAMJs structured around four defining characteristics: scale, disciplinary scope, peer review policy, and economic model. The existing scholarly literature was augmented by searches of more informal outputs, such as blogs and e-mail discussion lists, to capture the debate in its entirety.


While the academic literature relating specifically to OAMJs is relatively sparse, discussion in other fora is detailed and animated, with debates ranging from the sustainability and ethics of the mega-journal model, to the impact of soundness-only peer review on article quality and discoverability, and the potential for OAMJs to represent a paradigm-shifting development in scholarly publishing.


This paper represents the first comprehensive review of the mega-journal phenomenon, drawing not only on the published academic literature, but also grey, professional and informal sources. The paper advances a number of ways in which the role of OAMJs in the scholarly communication environment can be conceptualised.

URL : Open-access mega-journals: The future of scholarly communication or academic dumping ground? A review

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JD-06-2016-0082

Fairness in scientific publishing

Author : Philippa C. Matthews

Major changes are afoot in the world of academic publishing, exemplified by innovations in publishing platforms, new approaches to metrics, improvements in our approach to peer review, and a focus on developing and encouraging open access to scientific literature and data.

The FAIR acronym recommends that authors and publishers should aim to make their output Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. In this opinion article, I explore the parallel view that we should take a collective stance on making the dissemination of scientific data fair in the conventional sense, by being mindful of equity and justice for patients, clinicians, academics, publishers, funders and academic institutions.

The views I represent are founded on oral and written dialogue with clinicians, academics and the publishing industry. Further progress is needed to improve collaboration and dialogue between these groups, to reduce misinterpretation of metrics, to minimise inequity that arises as a consequence of geographic setting, to improve economic sustainability, and to broaden the spectrum, scope, and diversity of scientific publication.

URL : Fairness in scientific publishing

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.10318.2

Joining Networks in the World of Open Science

Author : Riitta Maijala

Whereas the first digital revolution of science by digitisation changed the scientific practices of data collection, analysis and reporting of results, the second digital revolution, i.e. open science, will also challenge the current roles of researchers, research  organisations, libraries and publishers.

From the early days of development, research libraries have joined different networks
and been among the most active stakeholders working towards open science. Cohesive networks are needed for coordinated actions and support, whereas bridging networks can provide new approaches and novel information.

The Finnish Open Science and Research Initiative is presented in this paper as an example of joining networks, motivating individuals and organisations to deliver high-quality services, infrastructures and competence building to promote a transition towards open science.

This paper also presents milestones such as the publication of the academic publishing costs of Finnish research organisations and the maturity level of open science operating cultures in HEIs.

Based on the experience of the Finnish open science initiative, joining different networks at the national level on an open mode of operation can significantly speed up the transition towards the era of open science.

URL : Joining Networks in the World of Open Science

Alternative location : https://www.liberquarterly.eu/article/10.18352/lq.10179/