Weekend reads: Speed kills in publishing too; studying blank pages; apologies for the Rosetta Shirt

booksHighlights at Retraction Watch this week included a case of overly honest referencing and the story of how a medical resident flagged up a pseudoscientific study. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

5 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Speed kills in publishing too; studying blank pages; apologies for the Rosetta Shirt”

  1. “Pyrex Journal of Biomedical Research” contradicts its own title in the journal scope section:

    “The primary criteria during the review and selection process of the submitted papers are; sound theoretical basis, valid empirical application and analysis, and contribution to the fields of agriculture [SIC!]. The primary criteria in the final selection of the papers once the review process is complete are quality, originality, and relevance to the international agricultural fields.”


  2. Great stories. A few reactions of my own:
    a) Glen (Always) Wright, (Special) FX Coudert, P (Aston) Martin Bentley, Graham (Stainless) Steel, N Sylvain (Red) Deville, the authorship of the “A systematic literature review of blank pages in academic publishing” can only be accessed by Twitter account. I wonder if this could be a new trend in science publishing: access by Twitter and Facebook accounts? Fortunately, that PDF was open access. However, that cheeky piece indicates a darker reality, the fact that publisher may be making money off PDF files of retracted papers and off blank papers. I am not sure of the accuracy of the claims by that “paper” or by Glen Wright because when one enters “This page is intentionally left blank” as the keywords into Elsevier’s http://www.sciencedirect.com search engine, there are no hits. This suggests that Elsevier may have cleaned up such cases, invalidatng thus the story (at least with respect to Elsevier). A similar search on SpringerLink reveals 1030 hits, but impossible to discern which are valid from which are not. However, if you add the word “retraction” into SpringerLink, the very first and possibly many of the 48,292 hits, indicates that access to “something” costs $39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95 *:
    If true, that seems to be counter to the open access for retractions principle by COPE, of which Springer is a paying member.
    b) The fact that the French government will pay Elsevier 172 million Euros over five years for access to journals is scary and is one more reason why the content of Elsevier journals needs to be even more closely examined by post-publication peer review. This contrasts to the recent boycott by Dutch Universities who are trying to force Elsevier to make all content open access. Maybe the French Government could politely tell that it will pay Elsevier 172 million euros if they make all content open access?
    c) NOtice how Elsevier has expanded its repertoire of “retraction” types to four:
    “•Article Withdrawal: Only used for Articles in Press which represent early versions of articles and sometimes contain errors, or may have been accidentally submitted twice. Occasionally, but less frequently, the articles may represent infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like.
    •Article Retraction: Infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like. Occasionally a retraction will be used to correct errors in submission or publication.
    •Article Removal: Legal limitations upon the publisher, copyright holder or author(s).
    •Article Replacement: Identification of false or inaccurate data that, if acted upon, would pose a serious health risk.”
    d) In response to the THE piece “Can post-publication peer review endure?”, PPPR will not only endure, it will grow.

  3. I’m rather surprised that anyone would run such a wordy slug to fill out a signature; a running head of “Notes” was sufficient for U.S. postal regulations last I checked.

  4. @Rolf, Wageningen University (The Netherlands, http://www.wur.nl ) has digitalised all PhD theses and has added all of them to http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/wda?dissertatie/nummer=* (some of the new theses still have an embargo, all others can be downloaded for free).
    Wageningen University even made a press release when they digitalized the last thesis ( http://www.wageningenur.nl/nl/show/Alle-Wageningse-proefschriften-gedigitaliseerd.htm , in Dutch).
    It is hard for me to imagine that all paper versions of a PhD thesis of a Dutch politician would be ‘lost’, as seems the case for some PhD theses of German politicians.
    http://edepot.wur.nl/205640 is just an example of a PhD thesis of a former member of the Dutch goverment (1983, Cees Veerman). This thesis can be found within a few seconds.

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