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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2019

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva and Judit Dobránszki

Whistle-blowing, which has become an integral part of the post-publication peer-review movement, is being fortified by social media. Anonymous commenting on blogs as well…

Abstract

Purpose

Whistle-blowing, which has become an integral part of the post-publication peer-review movement, is being fortified by social media. Anonymous commenting on blogs as well as Tweets about suspicions of academic misconduct can spread quickly on social media sites like Twitter. The purpose of this paper is to examine two cases to expand the discussion about how complex post-publication peer review is and to contextualize the use of social media within this movement.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examines a Twitter-based exchange between an established pseudonymous blogger and science critic, Neuroskeptic, and Elizabeth Wager, the former COPE Chair, within a wider discussion of the use of social media in post-publication peer review. The paper also discusses false claims made on Twitter by another science watchdog, Leonid Schneider. The policies of 15 publishers related to anonymous or pseudonymous whistle-blowing are examined.

Findings

Four issues in the Neuroskeptic–Wager case were debated: the solicitation by Wager to publish in RIPR; the use of commercial software by Neuroskeptic to make anonymous reports to journals; the links between “publication ethics” leaders and whistle-blowers or pseudonymous identities; the issues of transparency and possible hidden conflicts of interest. Only one publisher (Wiley) out of 15 scientific publishers examined claimed in its official ethical guidelines that anonymous reports should be investigated in the same way as named reports, while three publishers (Inderscience, PLOS and Springer Nature) referred to the COPE guidelines.

Originality/value

No such Twitter-based case has yet been examined in detail in the publishing ethics literature.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

Thousands of preprints related to Covid-19 have effused into the academic literature. Even though these are not peer-reviewed documents and have not been vetted by medical…

Abstract

Purpose

Thousands of preprints related to Covid-19 have effused into the academic literature. Even though these are not peer-reviewed documents and have not been vetted by medical or other experts, several have been cited, while others have been widely promoted by the media. While many preprints eventually find their way into the published literature, usually through integrated publishing streams, there is a small body of preprints that have been opaquely withdrawn/retracted, without suitable reasons, leaving only a vestigial or skeletal record online. Others have, quite literally, vanished. This paper aims to examine some of those cases.

Design/methodology/approach

For peer-reviewed literature, a retracted academic paper is usually water-marked with “RETRACTED” across each page of the document, as recommended by ethical bodies such as the Committee on Publication Ethics, which represents thousands of journals and publishers. Curiously, even though pro-preprint groups claim that preprints are an integral part of the publication process and a scholarly instrument, there are no strict, detailed or established ethical guidelines for preprints on most preprint servers. This paper identifies select withdrawn/retracted preprints and emphasizes that the opaque removal of preprints from the scholarly record may constitute unscholarly, possibly even predatory or unethical, behavior.

Findings

Strict ethical guidelines are urgently needed for preprints, and preprint authors, in the case of misconduct, should face the same procedure and consequences as standard peer-reviewed academic literature.

Originality/value

Journals and publishers that have silently retracted or withdrawn preprints should reinstate them, as for regular retracted literature, except for highly exceptional cases.

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2021

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

Authorship is the ultimate status of intellectual recognition in academic publishing. Although fairly robust guidelines have already been in place for a considerable…

Abstract

Purpose

Authorship is the ultimate status of intellectual recognition in academic publishing. Although fairly robust guidelines have already been in place for a considerable amount of time regarding authorship criteria and credit, such as those by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors or Contributor Roles Taxonomy, the lack of reliable verification techniques hamper their accuracy, thereby reducing the validity of authorship claims in such statements. This paper aims to focus on the authorship status and responsibilities of co-first authors and co-corresponding authors.

Design/methodology/approach

To appreciate authorship responsibilities in this subset of authors, the broader academic authorship literature, as well as position statements, rules and guidelines, were consulted.

Findings

Academic publishing that relies on metrics is a global multi-billion-dollar business, so strict measures to assess and confirm authorship, which can be intellectually or financially “profitable” among academics that game such metrics, are needed. The current assessment is that there are inconsistent rules for equally credited authors such as co-first authors, co-corresponding authors and co-supervisors. In shared and collaborative authorship, there are also shared authorship-related responsibilities, but these are infrequently discussed, or tend to only be dealt with broadly.

Originality/value

Within the wider, and important, discussion about authorship, which is one of the most central issues in academic publishing, there has been a limited focus on equally credited authors such as co-first authors, co-corresponding authors and co-supervisors. This paper expands and fortifies that discussion.

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2018

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

The purpose of this paper is to assess what the challenges to open peer review (OPR) are, relative to traditional peer review (TPR).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess what the challenges to open peer review (OPR) are, relative to traditional peer review (TPR).

Design/methodology/approach

By examining select issues within peer review, more broadly, and challenges within TPR, the effectiveness of OPR is questioned.

Findings

Although OPR brings an aspect of transparency, by partially eliminating biases, fear of reprisals and of professional blow-back, either by authors who may be criticized or by competitors, limits the expansion of this peer review model, or its adoption as an industry-wide standard.

Originality/value

Open Science 2.0 boasts of greater openness and transparency and OPR is touted as one tool to achieve this. However, that potential is limited. This limitation needs to be recognized.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2019

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva and Panagiotis Tsigaris

The issue of “predatory” publishing and the scholarly value of journals that claim to operate within an academic framework, namely, by using peer review and editorial…

Abstract

Purpose

The issue of “predatory” publishing and the scholarly value of journals that claim to operate within an academic framework, namely, by using peer review and editorial quality control, but do not, while attempting to extract open access (OA) or other publication-related fees, is an extremely important topic that affects academics around the globe. Until 2017, global academia relied on two now-defunct Jeffrey Beall “predatory” OA publishing blacklists to select their choice of publishing venue. This paper aims to explore how media has played a role in spinning public impressions about this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors focus on a 2017 New York Times article by Gina Kolata, on a selected number of peer reviewed published papers on the topic of “predatory” publications and on an editorial by the Editor-in-Chief of REM, a SciELO- and Scopus-indexed OA journal.

Findings

The Kolata article offers biased, inaccurate and potentially misleading information about the state of “predatory” publishing: it relies heavily on the assumption that the now-defunct Beall blacklists were accurate when in fact they are not; it relies on a paper published in a non-predatory (i.e., non-Beall-listed) non-OA journal that claimed incorrectly the existence of financial rewards by faculty members of a Canadian business school from “predatory” publications; it praised a sting operation that used methods of deception and falsification to achieve its conclusions. The authors show how misleading information by the New York Times was transposed downstream via the REM editorial.

Originality/value

Education of academics.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2019

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Kwabena Osei Kuffour Adjei, Christopher M. Owusu-Ansah, Radhamany Sooryamoorthy and Mulubrhan Balehegn

The purpose of this paper is to assess the status of the open access (OA) movement on the African continent, and if there is any financial or moral exploitation by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the status of the open access (OA) movement on the African continent, and if there is any financial or moral exploitation by dominant “foreign” world powers. OA provided the African intellectual community with a tool to prove its academic prowess and an opportunity to display cultural and intellectual independence. OA publishing is prone to abuse, and some in Africa have sought to exploit the OA boom to profit from non-academic activity rather than use this tool to glorify Africa’s image and diversity on the global intellectual stage. These issues are explored in detail in the paper.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors broadly assessed literature that is related to the growth and challenges associated with OA, including the rise of OA mega journals, in Africa.

Findings

African OA journals and publishers have to compete with established non-African OA entities. Some are considered “predatory”, but this Jeffrey Beall-based classification may be erroneous. Publishing values that African OA publishers and journals aspire to should not equal those published by non-African publishing entities. Africa should seek solutions to the challenges on that continent via Africa-based OA platforms. The budding African OA movement is applauded, but it must be held as accountable as any other OA journal or publisher.

Originality/value

African scholars need to reassess the “published in Africa” OA image.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

The purpose of this paper is to assess the relative opacity of the “About” page at PubPeer, which is a whistleblower website, primarily of the academic literature. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the relative opacity of the “About” page at PubPeer, which is a whistleblower website, primarily of the academic literature. The site refers to itself as an online journal club. It is important to assess whether the PubPeer site, organization or leadership display opacity because PubPeer attempts to hold the authors who have published errors in their literature to the high standards of transparency.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examined the statements of the “About” page at PubPeer to assess the aspects of opacity. The “About” page is the face and image of an organization to the public.

Findings

In 2015, The PubPeer Foundation was created as a charitable organization to receive funding in the USA, and at the end of 2016, the PubPeer Foundation received funding (US$ 412,000) from a philanthropic organization, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Several of these details were not indicated in the older version of the “About” page at PubPeer. Other aspects of that page are opaque.

Research limitations/implications

To fully assess the opacity of PubPeer, continual monitoring is needed. The examination of the “About” page gives a limited perspective.

Practical implications

Academics are under intense scrutiny by a vigilant anonymous and pseudonymous community at PubPeer. Any opacity by PubPeer, as was documented here, reduces trust in its objectives and operations. Reduced trust is at the heart of the replication crisis.

Originality/value

This paper represents the first published critical assessment of PubPeer. Science watchdogs, which watch various science-related organizations, also need to be watched.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2020

Panagiotis Tsigaris and Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

In 2017, one study (Derek Pyne; Journal of Scholarly Publishing; DOI: 10.3138/jsp.48.3.137; University of Toronto Press) in the “predatory” publishing literature attracted…

Abstract

Purpose

In 2017, one study (Derek Pyne; Journal of Scholarly Publishing; DOI: 10.3138/jsp.48.3.137; University of Toronto Press) in the “predatory” publishing literature attracted global media attention. Now, over three years, according to adjusted Google Scholar data, with 53 citations (34 in Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science), that paper became that author's most cited paper, accounting for one-third of his Google Scholar citations.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors conducted a bibliometric analysis of the authors who cited that paper.

Findings

We found that out of the 39 English peer-reviewed journal papers, 11 papers (28%) critically assessed Pyne's findings, some of which even refuted those findings. The 2019 citations of the Pyne (2017) paper caused a 43% increase in the Journal of Scholarly Publishing 2019 Journal Impact Factor, which was 0.956, and a 7.7% increase in the 2019 CiteScore.

Originality/value

The authors are of the opinion that scholars and numerous media that cited the Pyne (2017) paper were unaware of its flawed findings.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 February 2021

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva and Panagiotis Tsigaris

The purpose of this paper is to provide an estimate of the costs of premature mortality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an estimate of the costs of premature mortality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Using COVID-19 pandemic-derived mortality data for November 9, 2020 (globally 1,303,215 deaths) and applying a country-based value of statistical life (VSL), the worldwide cost of premature mortality was assessed. The cost was assessed based on income groups until November 9, 2020 and projected into the future until March 1, 2021 using three scenarios from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Findings

The global cost of premature mortality is currently estimated at Int$5.9 trillion. For the high-income group, the current estimated cost is Int$ $4.4 trillion or $3,700 per person. Using IHME projections until March 1, 2021, global premature mortality costs will increase to Int$13.7 trillion and reach Int$22.1 trillion if policies are relaxed, while the cost with 95% universal masks is Int$10.9 trillion. The richest nations will bear the largest burden of these costs, reaching $15,500 per person by March 1, 2021 if policies are relaxed.

Originality/value

The cost of human lives lost due to the pandemic is unprecedented. Preparedness in the future is the best policy to avoid many premature deaths and severe recessions in order to combat pandemics.

Details

Journal of Health Research, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0857-4421

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 October 2021

Maria Cecília Evangelista Vasconcelos Schiassi, Vanessa Rios de Souza, Nathila Angela Alves, Amanda Maria Teixeira Lago, Sérgio Henrique Silva, Gabriel Ribeiro Carvalho, Jaime Vilela de Resende and Fabiana Queiroz

The purpose of this paper was to study the effect of botanical origin on the characteristics of single-flower honeys (assa-peixe, coffee, eucalyptus, laranjeira and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to study the effect of botanical origin on the characteristics of single-flower honeys (assa-peixe, coffee, eucalyptus, laranjeira and vassourinha), polyfloral (silvestre), extrafloral (sugarcane) and honeydew (bracatinga) during storage.

Design/methodology/approach

The honeys were stored at 14 °C, and the analysis of water activity, color, absorbance, rheological behavior and microscopic analysis were performed during 6 months (T0, T30, T60, T90, T120, T150 and T180 days); quantification of sugars (fructose (F) and glucose (G)), moisture (M), F/G and G/M ratio only at T0.

Findings

All honeys showed changes during storage, and sugarcane honey stood out for presenting greater crystallization, influenced by the high content of glucose and fructose. Coffee honey showed the least crystallization. The crystallization of honeys influenced the increase in water activity, Newtonian viscosity, color and absorbance. The composition of the honeys directly influenced the crystallization process during storage.

Originality/value

Crystallization is a natural process that occurs spontaneously in honey. Thus, the knowledge of the crystallization rate of honeys from different origins (botanical and geographical) during storage, is of great importance and interest for the industry, beekeepers and consumers, since each type of honey crystallizes in different ways and periods.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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