Exclusive: Hindawi and Wiley to retract over 500 papers linked to peer review rings | Retraction Watch

After months of investigation that identified networks of reviewers and editors manipulating the peer review process, Hindawi plans to retract 511 papers across 16 journals, Retraction Watch has learned. 

The retractions, which the publisher and its parent company, Wiley, will announce tomorrow in a blog post, will be issued in the next month, and more may come as its investigation continues. They are not yet making the list available. 

Hindawi’s research integrity team found several signs of manipulated peer reviews for the affected papers, including reviews that contained duplicated text, a few individuals who did a lot of reviews, reviewers who turned in their reviews extremely quickly, and misuse of databases that publishers use to vet potential reviewers.

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Scholars’ views on Open Peer Review – Presenting Survey Results – ScienceOpen Blog

“Sometimes publishers are afraid that it will be difficult to get researchers to peer review if they ask them to publish their full name and peer review report. Our survey attempted to look into the issue by asking scholars about their views and attitudes toward open peer review, as well as what they would be willing to do as reviewers….

Peer review reports appear to be very important to our respondents, as the majority of them are willing to get their reports published. Below some results on views and attitudes:

39% are willing to have their name published as a reviewer, but not the peer review report.
58% are willing to have their peer review reports published, but not their names.
59.5% of our respondents are willing to remain anonymous as reviewers and share the peer review report only with the authors and editors.
50% agree with publishing both the peer review report and their names with their article….”

Attitudes, behaviours and experiences of authors of COVID-19 preprints

Abstract:  The COVID-19 pandemic caused a rise in preprinting, apparently triggered by the need for open and rapid dissemination of research outputs. We surveyed authors of COVID-19 preprints to learn about their experience of preprinting as well as publishing in a peer-reviewed journal. A key aim was to consider preprints in terms of their effectiveness for authors to receive feedback on their work. We also aimed to compare the impact of feedback on preprints with the impact of comments of editors and reviewers on papers submitted to journals. We observed a high rate of new adopters of preprinting who reported positive intentions regarding preprinting their future work. This allows us to posit that the boost in preprinting may have a structural effect that will last after the pandemic. We also saw a high rate of feedback on preprints but mainly through “closed” channels – directly to the authors. This means that preprinting was a useful way to receive feedback on research, but the value of feedback could be increased further by facilitating and promoting “open” channels for preprint feedback. At the same time, almost a quarter of the preprints that received feedback received comments resembling journal peer review. This shows the potential of preprint feedback to provide valuable detailed comments on research. However, journal peer review resulted in a higher rate of major changes in the papers surveyed, suggesting that the journal peer review process has significant added value compared to preprint feedback.

 

Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing – OASPA

“The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) are scholarly organisations that have seen an increase in the number, and broad range in the quality, of membership applications. Our organisations have collaborated to identify principles of transparency and best practice for scholarly publications and to clarify that these principles form the basis of the criteria by which suitability for membership is assessed by COPE, DOAJ and OASPA, and part of the criteria on which membership applications are evaluated by WAME. Each organisation also has their own, additional criteria which are used when evaluating applications. The organisations will not share lists of or journals that failed to demonstrate that they met the criteria for transparency and best practice.

This is the third version of a work in progress (published January 2018); the first version was made available by OASPA in December 2013 and a second version in June 2015. We encourage its wide dissemination and continue to welcome feedback on the general principles and the specific criteria. Background on the organisations is below….”

Revised principles of transparency and best practice released | OASPA

A revised version of the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing has been released by four key scholarly publishing organizations today. These guiding principles are intended as a foundation for best practice in scholarly publishing to help existing and new journals reach the best possible standards. 

The fourth edition of the Principles represents a collective effort between the four organizations to align the principles with today’s scholarly publishing landscape. The last update was in 2018, and the scholarly publishing landscape has changed. Guidance is provided on the information that should be made available on websites, peer review, access, author fees and publication ethics. The principles also cover ownership and management, copyright and licensing, and editorial policies. They stress the need for inclusivity in scholarly publishing and emphasize that editorial decisions should be based on merit and not affected by factors such as the origins of the manuscript and the nationality, political beliefs or religion of the author.

 

Postponed, non?competitive peer review for research funding – Dresler – European Journal of Neuroscience – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Receiving research grants is among the highlights of an academic career, affirming previous accomplishments and enabling new research endeavors. Much of the process of acquiring research funding, however, belongs to the less favorite duties of many researchers: it is time consuming, often stressful, and, in the majority of cases, unsuccessful. This resentment toward funding acquisition is backed up by empirical research: the current system to distribute research funding, via competitive calls for extensive research applications that undergo peer review, has repeatedly been shown to fail in its task to reliably rank proposals according to their merit, while at the same time being highly inefficient. The simplest, fairest, and broadly supported alternative would be to distribute funding more equally across researchers e.g. by an increase of universities’ base funding, thereby saving considerable time that can be spent on research instead. Here, I propose how to combine such a ‘funding flat rate’ model – or other efficient distribution strategies – with quality control through postponed, non-competitive peer-review using open science practices.

 

Preprints in Chemistry: a Research Team’s Journey** – Ciriminna – ChemistryOpen – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  The benefits of publishing research papers first in preprint form are substantial and long-lasting also in chemistry. Recounting the outcomes of our team’s nearly six-year journey through preprint publishing, we show evidence that preprinting research substantially benefits both early career and senior researchers in today’s highly interdisciplinary chemical research. These findings are of general value, as shown by analyzing the case of four more research teams based in economically developed and developing countries.

 

PsyArXiv Preprints | Paper mills: a novel form of publishing malpractice affecting psychology

“Psychology journals are not immune to targeting by paper mills. Difficulties in obtaining peer reviewers have led many journals, such as this one, to ask authors to recommend peer reviewers. This creates a crack in the defences of a journal against fraud, if it is combined with lack of editorial oversight. This case illustrates the benefits of open peer review in detecting fraud….”

Reflections on a decade using Scholastica at GEP: Interview with Susan Altman

“Since 2000, MIT Press’ Global Environmental Politics journal has been publishing novel research examining the relationships between worldwide political forces and environmental change. In the early days of the journal, GEP’s founding editorial team managed its peer review process via a combination of email and spreadsheets. However, as the publication grew, they realized they needed dedicated software for submission tracking and manuscript management.

In 2013, the journal’s Managing Editor, Susan Altman, began working with Scholastica’s peer review system, which was selected by MIT Press because it offered a centralized place for tracking submissions and communicating with editors, authors, and reviewers. In the interview below, Altman reflects on GEP’s experience moving to Scholastica for peer review management, the editorial team’s experience working with Scholastica over the past decade, and the journal’s evolution up to this point….”

Reflections on a decade using Scholastica at GEP: Interview with Susan Altman

“Since 2000, MIT Press’ Global Environmental Politics journal has been publishing novel research examining the relationships between worldwide political forces and environmental change. In the early days of the journal, GEP’s founding editorial team managed its peer review process via a combination of email and spreadsheets. However, as the publication grew, they realized they needed dedicated software for submission tracking and manuscript management.

In 2013, the journal’s Managing Editor, Susan Altman, began working with Scholastica’s peer review system, which was selected by MIT Press because it offered a centralized place for tracking submissions and communicating with editors, authors, and reviewers. In the interview below, Altman reflects on GEP’s experience moving to Scholastica for peer review management, the editorial team’s experience working with Scholastica over the past decade, and the journal’s evolution up to this point….”

job: Product Manager, PREreview | Code for Science & Society | August 2022

“…You will lead our team in developing a more robust and integrated infrastructure that can better support community engagement and growth, easy third-party site integration, and long-term sustainability within the context of a rapidly-evolving ecosystem. You will be managing the product development and design, working across teams at the intersection between technology, design, partnership and community engagement. You will be working closely with the PREreview development team, the community engagement lead, as well as the PREreview leadership team, particularly the Director. You will also interact on a weekly basis with development, product and community teams at eLife and Sciety, managing our collaboration and ensuring clear and effective communication across teams. Our primary target audience are researchers who belong to groups that have been traditionally marginalized and excluded from conducting scholarly peer review. You will engage with our users, as well as our key partners and stakeholders to ensure the PREreview platform continues to reflect the needs of the communities we strive to serve….”

Take the Open Peer Review Survey! – ScienceOpen Blog

“Expert peer review is the essential component of scholarly publishing and currently the standard mode of validating the results of academic inquiry. Because of its critical role, there are increasing calls to make this part of the process more transparent with Open Peer Review.

There are pros and cons of Open Peer Review, so we would like to hear from you. Do you believe that Open Peer Review will catalyze a culture of open scholarly debate, or do you feel that it will prevent researchers from being completely honest in their critique?

Take our survey and share your experiences and thoughts!…”

Guest Post – Has Peer Review Created a Toxic Culture in Academia? Moving from ‘Battering’ to ‘Bettering’ in the Review of Academic Research – The Scholarly Kitchen

” It seems that many reviewers see their primary role as deflating the arguments and methodologies of the manuscripts they receive, often without any concern for the way the author will receive the comments or whether the critique can be addressed and revised….

A format that might be appealing, not only to authors and reviewers but to publishers as well, takes a page out of the work of HSS book publishers and how they review manuscripts.

 

One of the main differences between the STEM journal and HSS book submission process is that book acquisitions editors get involved in the process before the manuscript is complete (and sometimes before there is a manuscript at all). This process starts at a relatively early stage in the writing process, creating a situation whereby editors are incentivized to help authors and sign them up before other publishers can swoop in and publish it themselves. Consider the potential parallels with the increasing use of journal preprints, as a place where journal editors could hop in and start the process of working with authors at an early stage in the process. (It may also help that you can submit book proposals to multiple publishers simultaneously)….”