A cross sectional study of retraction notices of scholarly journals of science

Authors : Manorama Tripathi, Sharad Kumar Sonkar, Sunil Kumar

Retraction is the withdrawal of published article after it is found that the authors did not ensure integrity in conducting and reporting their research activities. The bibliometric information of 4716 document categorised as retractions in Science Citation Index, Web of Science was downloaded and analysed to understand trend, pattern and reasons of retraction.

The results showed that retractions had increased during the ten-year period, 2008-2017. The main reasons for retractions were plagiarism, falsified data, manipulation of images and figures. It was also found that just 40 out of 4716 retraction notices had explicitly stated reasons for retracting the published articles.

The open access journals had more number of retractions as compared to subscription based journals. The study will guide library professionals and research scholars towards a better comprehension of the reasons behind retractions in science discipline in the ten-year period.

They would be better equipped to steer clear of inauthentic publications in their citations and references.

URL : A cross sectional study of retraction notices of scholarly journals of science

Alternative location : http://publications.drdo.gov.in/ojs/index.php/djlit/article/view/14000

Ten myths around open scholarly publishing

Authors : Jonathan P Tennant​​​, Harry Crane​​, Tom Crick​​, Jacinto Davila​, Asura Enkhbayar​​, Johanna Havemann​​, Bianca Kramer​​, Ryan Martin​​, Paola Masuzzo​​, Andy Nobes​​, Curt Rice​​, Bárbara R López​​, Tony Ross-Hellauer​​, Susanne Sattler​​, Paul Thacker​​, MarcVanholsbeeck

The changing world of scholarly communication and the emergence of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly-debated topics.

Yet, evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication.

The aim of this article is to provide a baseline evidence framework for ten of the most contested topics, in order to help frame and move forward discussions, practices and policies. We address preprints and scooping, the practice of copyright transfer, the function of peer review, and the legitimacy of ‘global’ databases.

The presented facts and data will be a powerful tool against misinformation across wider academic research, policy and practice, and may be used to inform changes within the rapidly evolving scholarly publishing system.

URL : Ten myths around open scholarly publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.27580v1

Sci-Hub, a challenge for academic and research libraries

Authors : Llarina González-Solar, Viviana Fernández-Marcial

Sci-Hub emerged into the field of scientific communication in 2011 as a platform for free access to scientific papers. It is the most popular of the so-called shadow libraries, systems that overcome the limits of legal access to scientific publications, standing apart from the open access movement.

Besides from the media coverage that has served to boost its popularity, several studies reveal the impact of Sci-Hub among researchers, who have embraced this initiative. Sci-Hub has revealed new forms of access to scientific information, affecting academic and research libraries that cannot remain on the sidelines.

This study addresses the Sci-Hub phenomenon and its implications for academic and research libraries from different points of view, through a bibliographic review and an analysis of examples of action.

URL : http://hdl.handle.net/10760/34165

Can Google Scholar and Mendeley help to assess the scholarly impacts of dissertations?

Authors : Kayvan Kousha, Mike Thelwall

Dissertations can be the single most important scholarly outputs of junior researchers. Whilst sets of journal articles are often evaluated with the help of citation counts from the Web of Science or Scopus, these do not index dissertations and so their impact is hard to assess.

In response, this article introduces a new multistage method to extract Google Scholar citation counts for large collections of dissertations from repositories indexed by Google.

The method was used to extract Google Scholar citation counts for 77,884 American doctoral dissertations from 2013-2017 via ProQuest, with a precision of over 95%. Some ProQuest dissertations that were dual indexed with other repositories could not be retrieved with ProQuest-specific searches but could be found with Google Scholar searches of the other repositories.

The Google Scholar citation counts were then compared with Mendeley reader counts, a known source of scholarly-like impact data. A fifth of the dissertations had at least one citation recorded in Google Scholar and slightly fewer had at least one Mendeley reader.

Based on numerical comparisons, the Mendeley reader counts seem to be more useful for impact assessment purposes for dissertations that are less than two years old, whilst Google Scholar citations are more useful for older dissertations, especially in social sciences, arts and humanities.

Google Scholar citation counts may reflect a more scholarly type of impact than that of Mendeley reader counts because dissertations attract a substantial minority of their citations from other dissertations.

In summary, the new method now makes it possible for research funders, institutions and others to systematically evaluate the impact of dissertations, although additional Google Scholar queries for other online repositories are needed to ensure comprehensive coverage.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.08746

Who Is (Likely) Peer-Reviewing Your Papers? A Partial Insight into the World’s Top Reviewers

Authors : Francesco Pomponi, Bernardino D’Amico, Tom Rye

Scientific publishing is experiencing unprecedented growth in terms of outputs across all fields. Inevitably this creates pressure throughout the system on a number of entities.

One key element is represented by peer-reviewers, whose demand increases at an even higher pace than that of publications, since more than one reviewer per paper is needed and not all papers that get reviewed get published.

The relatively recent Publons platform allows for unprecedented insight into the usual ‘blindness’ of the peer-review system. At a time where the world’s top peer-reviewers are announced and celebrated, we have taken a step back in order to attempt a partial mapping of their profiles to identify trends and key dimensions of this community of ‘super-reviewers’.

This commentary focuses necessarily on a limited sample due to manual processing of data, which needs to be done within a single day for the type of information we seek. In investigating the numbers of performed reviews vs. academic citations, our analysis suggests that most reviews are carried out by relatively inexperienced academics.

For some of these early career academics, peer-reviewing seems to be the only activity they engage with, given the high number of reviews performed (e.g., three manuscripts per day) and the lack of outputs (zero academic papers and citations in some cases). Additionally, the world’s top researchers (i.e., highly-cited researchers) are understandably busy with research activities and therefore far less active in peer-reviewing.

Lastly, there seems to be an uneven distribution at a national level between scientific outputs (e.g., publications) and reviews performed. Our analysis contributes to the ongoing global discourse on the health of scientific peer-review, and it raises some important questions for further discussion.

URL : Who Is (Likely) Peer-Reviewing Your Papers? A Partial Insight into the World’s Top Reviewers

URL : https://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/7/1/15

Guidelines for open peer review implementation

Authors : Tony Ross-Hellauer, Edit Görögh

Open peer review (OPR) is moving into the mainstream, but it is often poorly understood and surveys of researcher attitudes show important barriers to implementation.

As more journals move to implement and experiment with the myriad of innovations covered by this term, there is a clear need for best practice guidelines to guide implementation.

This brief article aims to address this knowledge gap, reporting work based on an interactive stakeholder workshop to create best-practice guidelines for editors and journals who wish to transition to OPR.

Although the advice is aimed mainly at editors and publishers of scientific journals, since this is the area in which OPR is at its most mature, many of the principles may also be applicable for the implementation of OPR in other areas (e.g., books, conference submissions).

URL : Guidelines for open peer review implementation

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-019-0063-9

Production and uptake of Open Access publications involving the private sector: the case of big pharma

Authors : Afredo Yegros-Yegros, Thed van Leeuwen

Over the last years Open Access has been ranked very high on science policy agenda’s both internationally as well as nationally. This resulted in many national mandates and international guidelines on OA publishing of scientific results.

One of the reasons OA has been pushed so strongly by science policy is found in the argument that what is financed publicly, should be publicly available. This argument, also known as the ‘tax payers argument’ is used to support and legitimize the push for open accessibility, not only of scientific publications, but also of the underlying research data, in order to guarantee the nonacademic sector, with lower degrees of accessibility to otherwise ‘behind-the-paywall’ information, access to outcomes of scientific research in the public sector.

In this study we will focus on the developments in the OA publishing in one particular institutional sector, the private sector. Business enterprises represent the main sector in terms of R&D investments.

According to Eurostat, in the year 2016 this sector represented 65% of the total R&D expenditures within the EU28. While objectives and incentives in the private sector might not always been aligned with the disclosure of research results in the open scientific literature, there is no doubt that this is the main actor when it comes to R&D performance.

Within the business sector, we will focus our study in the pharmaceutical sector, by selecting a number of large pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies represent an interesting case of study, given that is it one of the most R&D intensive industries, while it si also known for its shift in R&D orientation, from an in-house focus in the development of R&D towards a model much more open and collaborative, with more interactions with academic partners and other companies.

Despite the importance of industrial R&D, until now it remains relatively understudied how private sector institutions which are active in R&D have embraced the OA movement, hence it remains relatively unknown how the private sector adapts to and can benefit from the new paradigm of open scholarship.

Our objective is to shed more light on the extent to which big pharma both has been publishing in OA and also has been benefiting from OA publications to build their own research.

URL : Production and uptake of Open Access publications involving the private sector: the case of big pharma

DOI : https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/zt6kc