Academic publishing and scholarly communications: Good reads, September 2015
This month witnessed a flurry of activity on the global scholarly communications scene, ranging from the end of sanctions in Iran and a move towards gender equality in Australia to the launch of a one-of-a-kind journal, along with a host of new perspectives and proposals shared by academicians. In this post, we bring you some of the most interesting tidbits of information about the goings-on in academia, handpicked by our editorial team. Happy reading!
1. Journal launch: A new OA journal called "Research Ideas and Outcomes," (RIO) launched on September 1 aims to publish not just research outcomes but also proposals, experimental designs, data, and software. Open peer review and flexible pricing are some of the unique aspects of RIO. Some academics, however, have expressed doubts about researchers openly sharing their ideas, since the field of research is extremely competitive.
2. Media coverage of science: Misinformation in science news is widespread and exists for several reasons. While sometimes it is a result of journalists' misunderstanding of science, at other times, it is the result of fake claims made by researchers. Science Media Center is trying to protect the public from misinformation through a model for responsible science coverage in the media.
3. A new era of research in Iran: With the signing of the nuclear deal and the end of sanctions, new avenues have opened for science in Iran. Earlier, Iranian researchers found it challenging to get published in international journals and collaborate with international researchers. Now with Western science engagement, Iranian researchers are hopeful of a better future for research and development in the country.
4. Predatory publishing: Are publishers and journals solely to blame when it comes to predatory publishing? In Predatory Publishing: A Modest Proposal, Richard Poynder argues that all those researchers sitting on the editorial and advisory boards of predatory journals should also be considered “predatory.” He proposes that the OA movement should create a database containing all the names of researchers who sit on the editorial and/or advisory boards of the publishers on Jeffrey Beall’s list.
5. Retraction: If you don't have enough money to pay to the journal, your paper might be retracted! A group of researchers submitted a paper to the journal Plant Signaling & Behavior and the paper got published online in the "author accepted version." However, the paper did not make it to the "version of record" because the authors were not able to pay the fees to get the paper published.
6. Open access: Rogerio Meneghini and Abel Packer discuss the extent to which the scientific community has adapted English as the lingua franca of scientific communication and how this affects authors from non-English-speaking countries in their paper "Any scientist must therefore master English—at least to some extent—to obtain international recognition and to access relevant publications."
7. Gender equality: The Australian Academy of Science has launched the SAGE Project, Science in Australia Gender Equity, to improve the representation of women in STEM research in Australian universities. The launch of this project marks Australia's commitment to run a pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter.
8. Academic life: The general perception of the free time or holidays academics' enjoy is two-sided. Some believe that academics get a lot more holidays, while some others believe that academics are overworked. But the more interesting question is what exactly do academics do when they get a really long holiday?
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