Author: Misha Gajewski

Peer Review: Nuts & Bolts

Professor John Gilbert, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Science Education and Alice Ellingham, Director of the Editorial Office Ltd. discuss the nuts and bolts of peer review at the Sense about Science Workshop on April 25, 2014.

This video was filmed by Lindsay McKenzie and edited by Misha Gajewski.

Retractions Over Time

As the pressures on academics to publish increase it may seem logical that academics would be more inclined to ‘fudge’ the numbers in order to make the results look better. Many journalists and academics have brought up this point and are concerned that fraud and academic misconduct are becoming an increasing problem within the academic community and peer-review is failing to catch it. But are the concerns justified?

Below is a graph showing the number of retractions from PubMed. In 2011 retractions peaked at 373. Since then there has been in a decline in the number of retractions. However, the number of retractions seem to be on the rise again in 2013.

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Timeline: History of Peer Review

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From the church trying to control everything to open access, peer review has seen some major changes and worn some interesting hats. It has taken a long time for peer review to become what it is today.  Click on the photo to navigate through the history of peer review and find out how peer review developed into the gold standard of science we know today.

Most of the data is thanks to Thomas H.P. Gould’s wonderful book Do We Still Need Peer Review? An argument for change.  For more history on the first academic journal check out the Liveblog: (Re) Inventing Science Publishing.

Liveblog: (Re) Inventing Science Publishing at The Royal Society

The Royal Society hosted a lunch time lecture about science publishing. More specifically about the first scientific journal the Philosophical Transaction.

People were excited… well as much as history and science academics can get excited.

So off I went to liveblog it, even though you weren’t supposed to have phones. (more…)

Inside the Mind of a Peer Reviewer

Interview with Professor Peter Ayton

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Associate Dean of Research for the Department of Psychology at City University London.

An interview examining what goes through the mind of a peer reviewer when they are asked to look at a paper and some top tips for Postgraduates who may be going through the process themselves. Have a listen and let us know if this is what goes through your head when you’re asked yet again to peer review. Tweet us @peerrevwatch or the author @mishagajewski or leave a comment below.

Is Groupthink Ruining Peer Review?

6842682139_0b9cf529fe_ophotograph: Luc Melanson

Groupthink could be the crack in the corner stone of science, peer-review, and open access may be a possible solution, suggests one expert.

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon where more emphasis is placed on consensus than free thought when making a decision. The result is often poor decisions as everyone is so focused on conformity they forget to consider the caveats of their choice. Irving Janis, the father of groupthink theory, outlines that there are eight symptoms of groupthink, which make it more likely for the phenomenon to happen, such as the group is small and defined with unified decision-making powers.

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Access To Research Launch Event

Access To Research initiative is a free service that began January 2014 and is available in UK public libraries. It allows you access to over 1.5 million academic articles from various academic journals such as Wiley, Nature, SAGE Publications and more.

For more information visit their website: http://www.accesstoresearch.org.uk