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In the news: November Digest

Ethical oversight

A revised concordat to support research integrity has been published. This aims to further assure government, business, international partners and the public that they can continue to have confidence in UK research. It calls for research institutions and researchers to ensure their work is underpinned by rigorous high standards.

A first-of-its-kind webinar “Advancing Science in Indonesia: Current Global Research Practices” was streamed by more than 1000 participants in 30  institutions. One of the participants discussed three strategies for promoting research credibility: Preregistration, Registered Reports, and Open Data Badges.

Think. Check. Submit. will be collaborating with the STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices (STEPP) programme, from Texas Tech University, which will research the challenges of dubious publishing practices and develop training materials to help researchers in making informed publishing choices.

Allegations of misconduct

An investigation by King’s College London  has found 26 of Hans Eysenck’s published papers “unsafe”.

However, Eysenck’s biographer, Rod Buchanan, believes that the number of his papers that need to be reassessed is far higher than previous reports.

Data and reproducibility

This recent article looks at the challenges of open data in the light of GDPR, and considers whether disclosing that data will be shared alters the data that is collected

In this preprint, researchers look at the link between data sharing and citation, and suggest that articles which share data have a 25% higher citation count.

The Scholarly Kitchen considers two different visions of research data sharing: from the publishers’ and the research community’s perspectives

A new academy has launched providing free online research data management professional skill development program for librarians, information professionals, researchers, and other professionals who work in a research-intensive environment throughout the world.

Over the past few years, behavioural science has been in the midst of a crisis. A surprising proportion of published studies have failed to replicate when the interventions were repeated. In this session, at Behavioural Exchange 2019, Ben Goldacre and Professor Dean Karlan explore what has happened since the crisis struck and whether we have fully learnt the lessons from this period

Peer review processes

In an attempt to make the peer review process more transparent, and to help authors improve their manuscripts before submission, BioRxiv has started an experiment (Transparent Review in Preprints) to allow journals and independent peer-review services to publicly post evaluations of papers, at the author’s request. The experiment will also test models of “portable” peer review

Ten years on from their 2009 survey, Sense about Science partnered with Elsevier to survey 3000 researchers on their attitudes to peer review and to understand how these have changed over time.

Post-publication discussions

Have libel challenges by researchers dissuaded journals from calling out misconduct. Two former chairs of COPE disagree, suggesting that if anything research institutions and journals are becoming more detailed in their investigations, which may lead to perceptions of slowness in response.  

Other news

David Beer looks at a new AI driven tool which provides digested summaries of the research literature and asks whether these help research efficiency.

Cormac McCarthy shares some excellent tips on how to write a great science paper (in fact, how to write anything)

COPE Council member Deborah Kahn