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Incentivizing Peer Review: The Last Obstacle for Open Access Science

The alternative vision - of "open science" - has two key properties: the uninhibited sharing of research findings, and a new peer review system that incorporates the best of the scientific community's feedback. Several groups have made progress on the former, but the latter has proven particularly difficult given the current incentive structure. The currency of scientific research is the number of papers you've published and their citation counts - the number of times other researchers have referred to your work in their own publications. The emphasis is on creation of new knowledge - a worthy goal, to be sure - but substantial contributions to the quality, packaging, and contextualisation of that knowledge in the form of peer review goes largely unrecognised.
   
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Academics Anonymous: scientific publishing is a licence to print money, not the truth

For scientists, a publication in the big three is basically a licence to print money. Easily impressed by journals' respectability, the funding bodies throw cash after the big name authors, mistaking their talent for storytelling for great science. In the end, science publishers, combined with eminence- and applicability-obsessed funding agencies, have created a rather unhelpful climate for dishonest and greedy scientists to thrive in.
   
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The Future of Book Publishing - some predictions

The rate of change means that the future remains highly uncertain, but then, as the cyberpunk writer William Gibson commented, 'The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed.' Gibson's point is well made. The trends that will determine the future are here today. Making predictions about that future really comes down to a judgement about how those trends are going to play out.
   
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Science joins push to screen statistics in papers

The journal Science is adding an extra round of statistical checks to its peer-review process, editor-in-chief Marcia McNutt announced today. The policy follows similar efforts from other journals, after widespread concern that basic mistakes in data analysis are contributing to the irreproducibility of many published research findings. Working with the American Statistical Association, the journal has appointed seven experts to a statistics board of reviewing editors (SBoRE). Manuscript will be flagged up for additional scrutiny by the journal's internal editors, or by its existing Board of Reviewing Editors (more than 100 scientists whom the journal regularly consults on papers) or by outside peer reviewers. The SBoRE panel will then find external statisticians to review these manuscripts.
   
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Open publishing can improve access to knowledge

There have been increasing demands for more transparency in the reporting of research findings, which has built up pressure on all those involved in making and testing potential new drugs, biologics and medical devices. The lack of systematic reporting of both positive and negative results and the resulting 'publication bias' is not only pertinent to research carried out by industry: it is also being hotly debated throughout academia.
   
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