Editorial Bias and Nepotism in Biomedical Journals Revealed by Massive Study

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Scientific journals are anticipated to think about research study manuscripts in cold blood and without favor. But in a research study released on November 23 rd, 2021, outdoors gain access to journal PLOS Biology, Alexandre Scanff, Florian Naudet and Clara Locher from the University of Rennes, and coworkers, expose that a subset of journals might be working out significant predisposition and favoritism.

To determine journals that are believed of favoritism, the authors checked out almost 5 million posts released in between 2015 and 2019 in a sample of 5,468 of biomedical journals indexed in the National Library ofMedicine In specific, they examined authorship variation utilizing 2 possible warnings: (i) the portion of documents in a provided journal that are authored by that journal’s most respected author, and (ii) a journal’s Gini index, an analytical step extensively utilized by financial experts to explain earnings or wealth inequalities.

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Their results expose that in the majority of journals, publications are dispersed throughout a a great deal of authors, as one may hope. However, the authors determine a subset of biomedical journals where a couple of authors, typically members of that journal’s editorial board, was accountable for an out of proportion variety of publications. In addition, the posts authored by these “hyper-prolific” people were most likely to be accepted for publication within 3 weeks of their submission, recommending favoritism in journals’ editorial treatments.

Based on a big offered database, this study might not carry out a comprehensive qualitative analysis of the documents released in such journals believed of prejudiced editorial decision-making, and substantial more work will be required to evaluate the nature of the posts released by hyper-prolific authors in journals flagged as possibly “nepotistic.”

Why would this matter? Such “nepotistic journals,” believed of prejudiced editorial decision-making, might be released to video game productivity-based metrics, which might have a major ripple effect on choices about promo, period, and research study financing. To boost rely on their practices, the authors argue that journals require to be more transparent about their editorial and peer evaluation practices and to stick to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) standards.

Locher includes, “To highlight questionable editorial behaviors, this study explores the relationship between hyper-prolific authors and a journal’s editorial team.”

Reference: “A survey of biomedical journals to detect editorial bias and nepotistic behavior” by Alexandre Scanff, Florian Naudet, Ioana A. Cristea, David Moher, Dorothy V. M. Bishop and Clara Locher, 23 November 2021, PLoS Biology
DOI: 10.1371/ journal.pbio.3001133

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