Retraction Watch turns two on Friday (August 3), and while you might be stumped about what to get us, we’ll make things easy for you. All we want to mark the occasion is your … expertise.
In their August 2012 issue, The Scientist published an opinion piece in which we call for a “Transparency Index” for journals that, in the spirit of the impact factor, will signal to the scientific community how willing editors and publishers are to share how they make decisions. For example, we write, the index could include:
- The journal’s review protocol, including whether or not its articles are peer-reviewed; the typical number of reviewers, time for review, manuscript acceptance rate, and details of the appeals process
- Whether the journal requires that underlying data are made available
- Whether the journal uses plagiarism detection software and reviews figures for evidence of image manipulation
- The journal’s mechanism for dealing with allegations of errors or misconduct, including whether it investigates such allegations from anonymous whistleblowers
- Whether corrections and retraction notices are as clear as possible, conforming to accepted publishing ethics guidelines such as those from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) or the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)
Please read the piece, then post your thoughts here about how we can refine the idea. Which of these criteria should stay? Which should go? How should they be weighted?