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Killing Peer Review

(insidehighered.com): When a cadre of international scientific research powerhouses announced last month that they were teaming up to create a top-shelf, peer-reviewed free journal in the medical and life sciences fields, some called it a "triumph of open access" - proof that the tide was turning in favor of a once-radical movement aimed at cutting through the traditional oligarchies and turning scholarly publishing on its head. But to Joe Pickrell, a doctoral student in biology at the University of Chicago, the idea was not groundbreaking enough. It will not do merely to lower the barriers to viewing scholarly articles, he thought; academe must lower the barriers to reviewing them.
   
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Google Antitrust Reviews Said to Be Split by Two U.S. Agencies

(sfgate.com): The U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission ended two years of jockeying to lead an antitrust probe of Google Inc. by agreeing to divide their responsibilities. Under the arrangement, the Justice Department Antitrust Division will review any planned acquisitions by Google for their possible effects on competition.
   
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European Consultation on Scientific Information in the digital age

(blogs.openaccesscentral.com): The European Commission (EC) has announced a consultation on 'scientific information in the digital age'. The consultation is running until September 9, 2011. The EC wants to hear opinion on the issues such as how scientific articles could become more accessible to researchers and society at large; how research data can be made widely available and how it could be re-used; and how permanent access to digital content can be ensured and what barriers are preventing the preservation of scientific output.
   
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Botanists shred paperwork in taxonomy reforms

(nature.com): Botanists will soon be able to name new plant species without ever physically printing a paper, as the code governing botanical taxonomy undergoes a major shake-up. At the ongoing International Botanical Congress (IBC) in Melbourne, Australia, researchers have agreed to drop the requirement for hard copies of papers describing new species.
   
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Ghostwriting can haunt medical journals

(newsworks.org): Drug companies often have a hand in the research that ends up on the pages of medical journals. They pay for the research and often hire medical writers to help draft the stories. Company employees are often listed among the authors. All that, said Dr. John Abramson, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and a frequent expert witness who testifies against drug companies in trials, is kosher. As long as there is disclosure and transparency, he adds.
   
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