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Peer Review

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New data reveals no evidence of gravitational waves in the early universe, as observed by the BICEP2 radio telescope (pictured) near the South Pole. teffen Richter, Harvard University

Gravitational wave discovery still clouded by galactic dust

One of this century’s greatest potential discoveries concerning the origins of the universe has now fallen to galactic dust. That’s according to a new joint-analysis of all the existing data – including…
Do all authors listed on any published work actually contribute to the research? Shutterstock/alexskopje

Tackling unethical authorship deals on scientific publications

The research excellence of academics is often measured by the quantity and quality of their scholarly publications. But how do we know that all authors listed on a publication have actually been involved…
Sunlight is the best medicine. rishibando

What counts as an academic publication?

What is it that sets academic publications apart from articles on The Conversation? Peer review might be your first answer. While The Conversation is built around a journalistic model, there is a big growth…
Pollies don’t have the expertise to pick the right researchers for the job - leave that to the experts. AAP

Gifting of research funds by politicians undermines quality

I have worked as a health researcher for over 30 years. During that time I have made numerous applications for funding. The majority of these have, to my frustration, been rejected. This does not mean…
Oh no – not that mistake again. Flickr/Alex Proimos

The 10 stuff-ups we all make when interpreting research

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? Understanding what’s being said in any new research can be challenging and there are…
Things can and do go wrong when some announcements are mad ahead of time. Flickr/Narshada

The risks of blowing your own trumpet too soon on research

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? Today a cautionary tale of why you should be careful of some new announcements made…
Normal day for a scientist at work. Offices in the United States

How science can beat the flawed metric that rules it

In order to improve something, we need to be able to measure its quality. This is true in public policy, in commercial industries, and also in science. Like other fields, science has a growing need for…
What exactly is peer review? Flickr/AJ Cann

Explainer: what is peer review?

We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean? How does it work? Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s…
This has been replaced by one number, sadly. cifor

Time to discard the metric that decides how science is rated

Scientists, like other professionals, need ways to evaluate themselves and their colleagues. These evaluations are necessary for better everyday management: hiring, promotions, awarding grants and so on…
Peer review? No thanks. thierry ehrmann

Hate the peer-review process? Einstein did too

Most academic papers today are published only after some academic peers have had a chance to review the merits and limitations of the work. This seems like a good idea, but there is a growing movement…
Randy Schekman: I will not publish in Nature, Science and Cell. James Kegley

Schekman’s ‘luxury journal’ boycott doesn’t go far enough

Recipients of this year’s Nobel Prizes converged on Stockholm to receive their medals, dine with the King and Queen, and be treated like the scientific royalty. For most this time is, understandably, about…
Isn’t open access better? fuzzcaminski

Flawed sting operation singles out open access journals

In a sting operation, John Bohannon, a correspondent of Science, claims to have exposed dodgy open access journals. His argument seems to be that, because of their business model, some journals are biased…

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