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Stephen Ginn: The future of academic publishing

22 Sep, 11 | by BMJ Group

Stephen GinnThe first salvo in the Guardian’s recently published series of articles on academic publishing was delivered by veteran agitator George Monbiot. Journals publish government funded research, written and often edited for free by academics says Monbiot. “But to see it, we must pay again, and through the nose,” he says.

The monopolist practices of academic publishers make Walmart “look like a corner shop” and Rupert Murdoch “look like a socialist” he continues. more…

Richard Smith: What is post publication peer review?

6 Apr, 11 | by BMJ Group

Richard SmithI’ve been tramping from stage to stage arguing that pre publication peer is  slow, expensive ($1.8 billion a year), ineffective, biased, and anti-innovatory and should be dumped in favour of post-publication peer review. But what do I mean by post publication peer review? Despite my best efforts, which are clearly not good enough, people are often mystified.

Many people think of post publication peer review as the comments and letters that appear after scientific articles are published. They point out that these are usually sparse or non existent and don’t add much value. How could they substitute for traditional peer review? more…

Andrew Burd on conflict of interest

30 Mar, 11 | by BMJ Group

Andrew BurdFollowing on from my blog on professionalism, I want to discuss conflict of interest. The term has been appearing more and more in the world of medicine.  A 2009 study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine found that orthopaedic surgeons at a large annual meeting were somewhat reluctant to share details of their financial support from industry. more…

Richard Smith: Might copies of PLoS ONE change journals forever?

29 Mar, 11 | by BMJ Group

Richard SmithI continue to be amazed that despite the appearance of the internet, which some have compared with the invention of fire, our methods for disseminating scientific studies are essentially the same as they were 50 years ago. We still have journals, and, although papers have electronic versions, those papers are indistinguishable from those of 50 years ago. I’m constantly searching for the “disruptive innovation” that will change everything. more…

Liz Wager: Journals that dare not speak their name

22 Mar, 11 | by BMJ

Liz WagerThere’s a new species of journal lurking in the medical publishing jungle, but it doesn’t seem to have a name. As a zoologist turned writer (ie somebody obsessed by taxonomy and words) this bothers me so I hope somebody will christen them soon. To launch this campaign, I’ll begin by describing what the new type of journal isn’t and then try to describe what it is. more…

Andrew Burd: Naughty editor, bad editor

28 Feb, 11 | by BMJ

Andrew BurdI have been the human guardian of both cats and dogs over the years. I cannot call myself either a cat person or a dog person. They have such different personalities. Cats are free spirits but are also wonderfully self-indulgent and will be happily stroked for hours. Dogs are more keen on activity and many an hour has been spent wrestling for ownership of old socks or slippers. more…

Trish Groves: Let SPIRIT take you … towards much clearer trial protocols

25 Sep, 09 | by BMJ

Trish Groves
Reporting statements like the CONSORT and STROBE statements are making an important and demonstrable difference to the quality of research papers by helping authors report exactly what happened in their studies. But these statements can’t fix studies that were inadequately designed or poorly conducted. They’re the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, rather than the fence at the top (apologies to Fiona Godlee, from whom I pinched this analogy). more…

Richard Smith: A ripping yarn of editorial misconduct

21 Oct, 08 | by BMJ

Richard Smith In what has been called the age of accountability, editors have continued to be as unaccountable as kings. But stories of editorial misconduct are growing, and another story, nothing less than a ripping yarn, has recently appeared in the Harvard Health Policy Review (2008; 9: 46-55.)
The story is told by Donald Light and Rebecca Warburton, the injured parties, and if vengeance is dish best served cold then this is a frosty but magnificent meal.

more…

Rob Siebers: Inadvertent duplicate publication

17 Oct, 08 | by BMJ Group

Rob Siebers Duplicate or highly similar publications are unethical and unacceptable in the biomedical literature. Déjà Vu, a freely accessible database of highly similar and duplicate publications, is a valuable tool for journal editorial staff to identify whether a submitted article has previously been published and has the potential to be a powerful deterrent to this behaviour. This database also has the potential to check whether reviewers have previously engaged in this type of behaviour. more…

Juliet Walker: Free v. Open Access

15 Aug, 08 | by BMJ

Recent changes to the BMJ’s copyright licence and the information it includes in research articles means that they can be formally listed as open access articles in PubMed Central and other repositories. So should we change the labels of open access research articles on our website from “free” to “open access”? more…

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