Which Scientific Research Is Worth Publishing? Why Perceived Impact And Importance Are Flawed Publication Criteria

Which Scientific Research Is Worth Publishing? Why Perceived Impact And Importance Are Flawed Publication Criteria

Open-access (OA) science journals such as PLoS ONE operate under a different model of editorial and peer review than the traditional non-OA journals. Perhaps the biggest difference is that, at the traditional journals, reviewers and editors are usually encouraged to take into account what they perceive to be the potential impact and importance of a given study in determining whether or not it merits publication. In contrast, such judgments are irrelevant at many OA journals, where the focus of review is on whether the science itself is technically sound. At OA journals, whether a given study is important is a determination that is made by research consumers themselves rather than by editorial boards. This difference in focus has led some scientists to view OA journals with skepticism and to perceive that their review process is “watered down.” However, I would argue that by not focusing on perceived impact and importance, OA journals take a lot of the subjectivity out of the review process and, in the end, this is ultimately beneficial to science.

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How Should We Deal With Scientific Fraud in Psychology?

How Should We Deal With Scientific Fraud in Psychology?
It was recently reported that a Dutch social psychologist, Diederik Stapel, published at least 30 papers in reputable scientific journals based on data he had completely faked. The full scope of Stapel’s academic misconduct is still being investigated and could possibly extend much further than this. How such widespread fraud went undetected for so many years has vexed the entire scientific community. As if that weren't enough cause for concern, a journal article just came out showing how easy it is for psychologists to manipulate real data in order to show almost any result they want [1]. Consequently, many people are rightly questioning what we can do to get a better handle on unethical research practices. In this article, I offer my own take on what we should do about this issue.
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