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Latest News and Updates

Latest News and Updates

NEWS: More publishers are honoring requests to update names on published works

As part of the scholarly publishing community’s mission to improve diversity, equality, and inclusion, more publishers and related organizations are accepting requests from authors to change their names on previously published works for reasons that may include gender transition, change of marital status, or religious conversion. ORCID iD allows for such name changes and the Publications Division of the American Chemical Society and PLOS are among the latest publishers to honor requests while bypassing traditional routes of publishing corrections or notices attached to the works and thus maintaining the authors’ right to privacy.


NEWS: New checklist helps avoid predatory publishers

If you have been invited to write a book chapter or a book by a publisher that you don’t know, a new Think.Check.Submit checklist can help you avoid predatory publishers.


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NEWS: Recognizing top reviewers in the physical sciences

The Institute of Physics will award IOP trusted reviewer status to top reviewers, enabling them to be recognized publicly for their important contributions to advancements in the physical sciences.


FEATURED ARTICLE: 5 questions and answers about ORCID iD: Distinguishing yourself as a researcher

In this article, we discuss 5 questions and answers authors may have about ORCID iD, including:

  • What is an ORCID iD?
  • Why sign up for an ORCID iD?
  • What organizations require an ORCID iD?
  • How do I get an ORCID iD?
  • How do I associate my ORCID iD with my work?

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NEWS: Thousands of researchers based in Australian institutions appear as editorial board members for predatory journals

A study in the journal Learned Publishing found that as of mid-2019, over 3,700 researchers at Australian universities (about 7% of the country's academic community) were listed as editorial board members for journals that have been classified as potentially predatory. The author notes that this is likely not a problem unique to Australia. You can read more about this study as well as the difficulty in identifying predatory journals here. Also, check out our previous featured articles on how to avoid predatory journals and predatory conferences.


NEWS: Find appropriate keywords for your medical papers using the new MeSH on Demand tool

Journals will almost always require authors to provide keywords for indexing at the time of submission, and for some medical journals those keywords should be taken from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Browser, provided by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). To help authors select appropriate keywords, NIH now provides a free online tool, called MeSH on Demand, that automatically extracts all MeSH terms from any abstract or manuscript text. Mesh on Demand will also search PubMed for similar articles based on the submitted text.


NEWS: Peer reviewers should check out PLOS's collection of free resources

The PLOS Reviewer Center is an information hub for the peer review community, offering free training, articles, and other resources to help academics become better peer reviewers. The site covers a wide range of topics for those new to the peer review process as well as for veterans. To start, check out PLOS’s tips for getting started as a reviewer.


FEATURED ARTICLE: Preprints: What you need to know before posting your work

Is posting a preprint the right option for your latest manuscript?

To help you decide whether sharing your work as a preprint is a suitable option for you, in this article we cover the following topics:

  • Features of preprints
  • Value of posting preprints
  • Potential pitfalls of posting preprints in certain disciplines
  • Examples of preprint platforms
  • Checklist of 12 considerations to help you decide


NEWS: Beware of bots that create fake responses in online surveys

Melissa Simone explains how bots disrupted her online survey and how researchers can prevent this happening with their own online surveys.


NEWS: Position statement on predatory journals now in Japanese

In March 2020, the official Japanese translation of the AMWA–EMWA–ISMPP Joint Position Statement on Predatory Publishing was published. It includes a helpful list of 11 characteristics of predatory journals. ThinkSCIENCE is pleased to have provided the translation as part of our pro bono services.


NEWS: Changes to researchers’ publishing behavior and evaluation of their research contributions in China

Two policy documents were recently released by the government to help reform how researchers are recruited and promoted and how they publish their findings. Explanations and analyses of the potential implications of the policies both within China and internationally can be found here and here.


NEWS: New editions of style guides

The latest editions of the following style guides are now available for authors to look up the writing conventions used in their fields: AMA Manual of Style, 11th edition (medicine and healthcare); Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition (psychology and related fields); and ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication (chemistry).


FEATURED ARTICLE: 8 questions and answers about predatory journals: Latest updates and warning signs

Academic publishing has changed tremendously with the spread of open access journals and the shift to online publishing. There are now more journals for authors to publish their work in than ever before. This benefits authors by providing more avenues for publication, but it also puts greater responsibility on them to avoid the serious threat of publishing in a predatory journal.

In this article on predatory journals, we provide the latest definitions and updates on predatory publishing, including

  • A new consensus definition of predatory journals and publishers, released in late 2019
  • Recent guidance to help authors protect their research, reputation, and funding from theft and fraud by predatory journals
  • A summary of warning signs that a journal might be predatory


NEWS: Practical tips for creating images with multiple panels

Eric Cain, from PLOS’ Production Team, gives practical tips and a clear step-by-step guide (including screenshots) for using editing software to combine panels into a single image.


NEWS: More Elsevier journals adopt CRediT

The Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT) system recognizes the work of research contributors under 14 different areas: conceptualization; data curation; formal analysis; funding acquisition; investigation; methodology; project administration; resources; software; supervision; validation; visualization; writing – original draft; and writing – review & editing.

These contributions may appear in the Acknowledgment sections of a journal article to describe each author’s role or roles in the research or, for example, in a resume to indicate a researcher’s contributions to the research output when he or she did not qualify as an author of the research paper.

Elsevier announced that it was extending the use of CRediT to 1,200 journals as of December 2019 to provide "fairer recognition of all authors’ contributions to scholarly work [by] supplying a transparent description of the roles of each co-author.” Elsevier plans to extend the use of CRediT to hundreds more journals going forward.


NEWS: Updated author disclosure guidelines and proposed disclosure form for authors in medicine and healthcare

Authors in medicine and healthcare may decide to publish their work in medical journals that follow the "Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals", issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). To publish in ICMJE journals, authors must adhere to these recommendations.

Several key changes to these recommendations were made in December 2019, including the following:

  • AUTHORS should disclose wider “financial and non-financial relationships and activities” (formerly referred to as “conflicts of interest”)
  • AUTHORS should avoid citing articles published in predatory or pseudo-journals and avoid submitting articles to such journals
  • PEER REVIEWERS should acknowledge, in writing to the journal editor, if trainees or colleagues contributed to the peer review process
  • The frequently used disclosure form will also be updated this year as part of these larger efforts to improve transparency and completeness of disclosure statements. The proposed disclosure form is currently under discussion.


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