July 2009

Opinion / Experience of ORI findings of misconduct

The Scientist carries an interview with 3 scientists who were found guilty of misconduct by the US ORI (Office of Research Integrity). The thrust of the article is the long-lasting effect of such a ruling even after the official time has expired.

The link is http://www.the-scientist.com/2009/07/1/28/1/

Opinion / When is a randomised trial really randomised?

 A new paper published in Trials (currently available as a provisional PDF) asks the question, how many randomised trials published in Chinese journals are actually randomised?

News / COPE officers change

Jeremy Theobald has stepped down as COPE Treasurer. We thank Jeremy for all his contributions to COPE over several years - in particular in developing this website as well as his work as Treasurer and in developing COPE's membership and financial stability. Until formal elections can be held (at the next AGM in March 2010), Richard O'Hagan has agreed to take over Jeremy's role and will be Acting Treasurer and Ginny Barbour will take over from Richard as Acting Secretary.

Opinion / Should all journals have one universal referencing style?

There are thousands of ways of citing source material.  This is confusing for students and tedious for authors and editors (I confess to having a submission sent back to me from a neurosurgery journal last week because I used the incorrect referencing style...yes, I know, I should have checked).  Even experienced authors may puzzle over the correct referencing of a blog, an e-book or a podcast.  In this week's Times Higher Education, Alec Gill asks if journals should have one standard referencing system. He concludes 'the reform of academic referencing is long overdue'. Is it?

Opinion / Concern about UK libel laws

A doctor is being sued for libel because of comments he wrote in a newspaper about the British Chiropractic Association (in particular their alleged promotion of the use of chiropractic for asthma).  Since the case may have far-reaching consequences for journals and publishers, you might like to look at the campaign website which calls for a reform to the British libel laws to ensure they are not used to suppress scientific debate.