September 2010

News / European Association of Science Editors - Short Course February 2011 - How to be a successful journal editor

EASE (European Association of Science Editors) is hosting Pippa Smart's How To Be A Successful Journal Editor course on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 February 2011 in Warsaw, Poland. Pippa Smart will run her very popular course at the National Cancer Centre in Warsaw, kindly hosted by Edward Towpik. More information about course content can be found here: http://www.pspconsulting.org/journals.shtml

Opinion / Chinese government to crack down on 'weak' journals

According to a Nature news item the Chinese government, responding to concerns about the low quality of some local Chinese journals, aims to close 'weak' journals. This raises some interesting ethical questions. Should we be concerned about a government controlling academic publishing or pleased that it is seeking to raise standards?

Opinion / Screening for plagiarism / duplication

 There's an interesting paper in PLoS One about use of the eTBLAST software to screen for text similarity (and therefore plagiarism and redundancy).  See:

Systematic Characterizations of Text Similarity in Full Text Biomedical Publications Zhaohui Sun, Mounir Errami, Tara Long, Chris Renard, Nishant Choradia, Harold Garner http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012704

News / Applications for COPE's Grant Scheme now open!

Have a research project on publication ethics but don't have the funding? Twice a year, COPE offers up to £5000 to any member of COPE for a defined research project that is in the broad area of the organisation's interests.

Opinion / Discussion on self-plagiarism at the Scientist

There's a debate going on over at the Scientist about the thorny issue of self plagiarism, and when/ if it constitutes poor practice. I used to work for someone who started every paper, research or review, with the same short paragraph and we could all recite it like a mantra - and by general agreement it was felt to be the best, most succinct way to introduce the topic, which noone else has yet bettered.

Opinion / New body recommended to take lead on UK research integrity

It’s a rather surprising thing, given the amount of research in the UK, that the UK, unlike the US for example, does not have an established body to oversee research integrity, even that funded by the government.

UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) currently fulfils some of that function but does not have long-term funding and was established to deal primarily with issues in just health and biomedical sciences.