Rules about coronavirus research have been relaxed.
If expert advice on the pandemic turns out to be wrong, it will have dire consequences for how reliable scientific evidence is treated in other policy areas, such as climate change.
Scientific results are being rushed out quicker than ever to fight coronavirus. Here's what you need to know about preprints, peer review and the difference between the two.
Scientists have wondered what role — if any — air pollution has in the COVID-19 pandemic.
(AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
The link between air pollution and elevated death rates for COVID-19 may be overestimated.
The official advice is to stay at least 1.5m apart from someone else when exercising. One study has challenged that and says we need to move further apart. But does the study stack up?
Science is happening fast and mistakes are being made
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Researchers, scientific journals and health agencies are doing everything they can to speed up coronavirus research. The combination of pace and panic during this pandemic is causing mistakes.
George Christensen and Bob Katter seem to be using the science replication crisis to cast doubt on research findings that farmers don’t like.
Mick Tsikas/AAP Image
Across science, only around half of published results can be successfully replicated. But while this is a serious problem, the proposed public audit looks like a political bid to cast doubt on science.
By opening up academic journals to a broader audience, everyone benefits.
In South Africa, open access publishing should be mandatory and publicly funded data generated by universities, should be freely available.
If it’s fake, it’s not news.
Science is not the absolute truth. Scientific findings are the beginning, not the end, of the quest for truth.
Academic journals rely on peer review to support editors in making decisions about what to publish.
There's peer review – and then there's peer review. With more knowledge you can dive in a little deeper and make a call about how reliable a science paper really is.
Peer review takes time – around seven to eight hours per paper if done properly.
Key areas of focus for tweaking peer review include making journal editors more directive in the process, rewarding reviewers, and improving accountability of editors, reviewers and authors.
The Golden Age of science is in the future.
The only place to find the Golden Age of Science is in the future, but we need some help in getting there.
If journal editors fail to retract or properly flag data revealed as inaccurate, they leave open the possibility that it'll be cited for years to come.
It’s not good if women’s research isn’t in the library stacks.
Redd Angelo on Unsplash
Women are underrepresented in academic science. New research finds the problem is even worse in terms of who authors high-profile journal articles – bad news for women's career advancement.
Locking articles away behind a paywall stifles access.
In our institutions of higher education and our research labs, scholars first produce, then buy back, their own content. With the costs rising and access restricted, something's got to give.
How is a scientific article accepted for publication in an academic journal? What is the role of peer reviewers? Where does the system go astray?
Research must be carefully scrutinised by peer reviewers to ensure its veracity.
Scientific truth is based on a body of research which has been tried and tested by many researchers over time. Peer review filters the good science from the bad.
When academics are pushed to publish and to compete, teaching and research can take a back seat.
More must be done to develop mechanisms based on intrinsic motivations of committed, quality academics. It's important to limit the harms currently being caused by rent seeking.
Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton, who has worked with those who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, spoke to an open committee at the Institute of Medicine in February 2015 about the biomedical nature of CFS.
A study that suggested Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was more psychological than physical has been debunked. How did the data get doctored?
The scientific refereeing process can be tedious, time-consuming and isn’t very rewarding.
There are major systemic problems associated with peer review that are negatively affecting scientific credibility.
Many academics are falling prey to predatory journals.
Everything you need to know about predatory publishers.