An editorial in JAMA announced that beginning November 1 2010 they will request all authors who submit manuscripts to complete and submit the ICMJE disclosure form on competing interests. This new competing interests form has been developed by the ICMJE and was announced earlier this year. It’s not yet clear how widespread its adoption will be – especially given the need for a new version of Adobe Acrobat that many users do not yet have.
The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity was released. As the site notes it was the product of the collective effort and insights of the 340 individuals from 51 countries who participated in the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity. These included researchers, funders, representatives of research institutions (universities and research institutes) and research publishers. Liz Wager and Sabine Kleinert, the chair and vice chair of COPE respectively, participated in this conference.
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?
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
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.
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.
There’s a new post at the Scientist about differing practices among journals on the signing of editorials. The piece only discusses biomedical journals - among those relatively few journals have ones just signed by the journal; more and more are signed directly by the authors and some (like the journal I work at) does something in between. We’d be interested to hear what journals at COPE do, especially those outside of biomedicine – are there differences in tradition according to the journal's speciality?
The New York Times just posted an interesting story of how a group of scholars in the humanities are experimenting with open peer review. The experiment is happening in the Shakespeare Quarterly in a special issue on, appropriately, Shakespeare and New Media.