14 Jun 2007

Journalology roundup #8

Sean Eddy Celebrates Open Access in Franklin Speech. "Sean Eddy [editorial board member of BMC Bioinformatics] accepted the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award and then proceeded to poke a few good-natured holes in Franklin’s sterling open access reputation".
I blogged about this in my first post on the official BioMed Central blog.

Peer review in open access scientific journals
. "Open access publications should be at the forefront in experimenting with strategies to foster what might be called an increasingly open science. As the open access movement blossoms, its supporters should continue to critically evaluate the parallel development of openness and transparency in the peer review process. We need to ensure that a commitment to high-quality peer review is maintained... Open access journals are in an ideal position to test the merits of open, unblinded, peer review". Although BioMed Central is open access and our medical journals have open peer review, there's no necessary connection between the two. However, I was surprised to see no mention of us at all in Matthew Falagas' article, considering that we have been consistently running full open peer review on more journals and for longer than any other publisher I know of.

Open journals' records to give reviewers their due. "I ... propose that journals' records should be made publicly available after an adequate lapse of time, including the names of reviewers and the confidential comments exchanged between editors and reviewers".

Diverse journal requirements for data sharing. "Conclusions: kudos to Nature and Science. I’m surprised that the policies of other journals are so lax". Point taken - BMC Bioinformatics was included in this comparison, and although we didn't fare too badly, we'll take another look at our policies

Hwang case review committee misses the mark. "The Hwang committee's report indicates that it is becoming unacceptable for journal editors to hide behind the veil of peer review".

Factors Associated with Findings of Published Trials of Drug-Drug Comparisons: Why Some Statins Appear More Efficacious than Others. "This study examined associations between research funding source, study design characteristics aimed at reducing bias, and other factors that potentially influence results and conclusions in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of statin-drug comparisons....RCTs of head-to-head comparisons of statins with other drugs are more likely to report results and conclusions favoring the sponsor's product compared to the comparator drug".

Modellers seek reason for low retraction rates. How scientific literature is shaped by withdrawn manuscripts.

Clinical trial registration: looking back and moving ahead. "Three years ago, trials registration was the exception; now it is the rule. Registration facilitates the dissemination of information among clinicians, researchers, and patients, and it helps to assure trial participants that the information that accrues as a result of their altruism will become part of the public record". Take your pick where to read it!

Stem cell figure retracted by Nature
. Stem cell research seems dogged by errors and misconduct!

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