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Ginny Barbour's blog

Opinion / Nature Editorial on Publishing Risky Research

There has been much discussion recently on how journals handle risky or "dual use" research - ie research that has the potential to be used for harm. A Nature Editorial (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v485/n7396/full/485005a.html) now discusses where things stand with regard to a pair of papers submitted to Science and Nature of papers reporting mammalian transmissibility of avian flu as a result of artificial genetic manipulation.

Opinion / Publication Ethics in the News - week ending Oct 8

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.

Opinion / Publication Ethics in the News - week ending Oct 1

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.

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.

Opinion / Problems with getting due credit in publishing in academic chemistry

There’s coverage in the Times Higher Education  of a paper on the perception of academic credit among academic chemists in the US, published in the journal Accountability in Research in July 2010.

Opinion / Should editorials be signed?

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?

Opinion / Open peer review experiment at the Shakespeare Quarterly

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.

Opinion / No director in sight for the ORI?

A recent item on the site of the Report on Research Compliance (run by the National Council of University Research Administrators)  discussed the longstanding vacancy at the head of the Office for Research Integrity in the USA.

Opinion / Outcome Reporting Among Drug Trials Registered in ClinicalTrials.gov

A paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week looked at associations between the funding sources of 546 registered trials of drugs in 5 commonly prescribed classes and published outcomes, using data from clinicaltrials.gov.

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