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Something rotten in the state of scientific publishing

In this article, Jonathan M. Gitlin takes a look at the subject of plagiarism within the scientific literature. According to him, just because plagiarism is bad, doesn't mean that no one will do it, and, as we know from high-profile fraud cases like Woo Suk Hwang, there will always be scientists out there who bend and break the rules. Gitlin serves on the board of the National Postdoctoral Association.
   
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Peer review: the myth of the noble scientist

Peer review is supposed to combat fraud, but it can just as easily hold back radical discoveries, says Terence Kealey in this article. According to the author, less formal arrangements will remind us that new science is always provisional - and that validation comes only after publication, when others try to reproduce the work. Terence Kealey is Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham.
   
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Reinventing Academic Publishing

In this article James Hendler of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute discusses online scientific interaction outside the traditional journal space. The issue is something that's becoming more and more important to academic communication. According to Hendler, we must change our focus from scientific disciplines to scientific "contexts." When looking at the most successful Web technologies, especially in what's known as Web 2.0, we see that many of the most exciting sites exploit a community or context focus.
   
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The cost profiles of alternative approaches to journal publishing

The digital era is having a substantial impact on journal publishing. In order to assist in analysing this impact, a model is developed of the costs incurred in operating a refereed journal. Published information and estimates are used to apply the model to a computation of the total costs and per-article costs of various forms of journal publishing. This article by Roger Clarke, Principal of Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra, provides insights into why for-profit publishing is considerably more expensive than equivalent activities undertaken by unincorporated mutuals and not-for-profit associations.
   
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Citation, Citation, Citation : Bibliometrics, the web and the Social Sciences and Humanities

The use of digital resources and the affirmation of research assessment exercises throw a new light on the issue of bibliometrics. This paper by Christine Kosmopoulos and Denise Pumain, reviews the main data bases and indicators in use. It demonstrates that these instruments give biased information about the scientific output of research in Social Sciences and Humanities. Emerging publishing and editing strategies on the web are also analysed.
   
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