An investigation for Scientific American by MeFi's own cgs06 uncovers evidence of widespread fraud in scientific publishing's peer review system. Alarming signs point to the Chinese government as a source of institutional support and funding for questionable papers and fake peer reviewers. [more inside]
On 4 July, good news arrived in the inbox of Ocorrafoo Cobange, a biologist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara. It was the official letter of acceptance for a paper he had submitted 2 months earlier to the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals, describing the anticancer properties of a chemical that Cobange had extracted from a lichen.
The U.S. House has appointed SOPA architect and climate change skeptic Lamar Smith (R-TX) to chair the House Science Committee. His initial proposal (pdf) would strip the peer-review requirement from the NSF grant process and restrict grants to “groundbreaking” research. [more inside]
With a database of over 5,000 scientists, from Nobel prize winners to postdocs and PhD students, Sense About Science works in partnership with scientific bodies, research publishers, policy makers, the public and the media, to change public discussions about science and evidence. They make these scientists available for questions from civic organizations and the public looking for scientific advice from experts, campaign for the promotion of scientific principles in public policy, and publish neat guides to understanding science intended for laypeople. [more inside]
Something that allows you to easily slice through misinformation online online could make misleading the public a lot tougher. The concept isn't new (previously & many others) but unlike those efforts, Hypothes.is is open, standards-based, and backed by some web heavy-weights.
Libraries and commercial publishers have struggled with each other over the skyrocketing costs of academic journals for years. As costs have increased more rapidly than library budgets, the libraries have had to cut journal subscriptions and other acquisitions. The recent recession has necessitated further cuts. Against this backdrop, Nature Publishing Group told the University of California that next year subscription prices would increase 400 percent, with the average annual cost of a journal increasing to $17,479. UC Libraries fought back with a combative letter to UC faculty suggesting that faculty should consider boycotting the journals, and cease submitting or reviewing articles for these journals. NPG responds, saying that UC currently pays unfairly low rates, and that "individual scientists, both within and outside of California are already suffering as a result of [UC]'s unwarranted actions."
Unvarnished: A Clean Well-Lighted Place For Defamation (from TechCrunch). Operating on top of Facebook Unvarnished "is an online resource for building, managing, and researching professional reputation, using community-contributed, professional reviews. To help reviewers be honest and candid in their reviews, Unvarnished obscures the identity of review authors. This lets reviewers share their true, nuanced opinions without fear of repercussions." [more inside]
These findings are especially taters in the context of the what cancer taters further future investigation into this field.
Research journal accepts a computer-generated nonsense paper, and leads the editor-in-chief to resign his post. The authors write about their hijinks on their blog The Scholarly Kitchen. [more inside]
Some online journals, such as Ecology and Society, operate independently. Others are hosted collectively by interests like Copernicus Publications. Online peer review is becoming popular.