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How to better achieve integrity in science publishing

Issue: 39(4) November 2013. Essays Pages 97 – 98

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva
Freelance science writer and consultant, P. O. Box 7, Miki-cho post office, Ikenobe 3011-2, Kagawa-ken, 761-0799, Japan jaimetex@yahoo.com

Abstract

There are clear cases of editor and reviewer bias in the biomedical sciences, which may indicate that not all is well within biomedical science publishing. Consequently, serious reflection and reform is required. Such cases are probably not systemic, and represent the exception rather than the norm. In addition, scientific fraud among scientists is increasing, or perhaps the ability to detect fraud has improved. At the other extreme of the spectrum, there are serious cases of gross negligence of the academic editorial and peer review process by several new and even established open access and traditional print journals. In biomedical journals where there already exist a fair peer review and respect for publishing ethics, three possible ways to achieve positive reform and to reduce possible editor and peer bias, are through: 1) anonymous or blind peer review, 2) open pre-publication peer review, or 3) post-publication peer review (PPPR). PPPR is an excellent way to publically expose weaknesses or gaps in the peer review process by an author, editor or publisher. Greater accountability and transparency, which is lacking in some of the key players in biomedical science publishing, is also required

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