Friday, April 20, 2012

On the changes occurring in scientific publication

I was going to write "On the decline of Science" but I am trying to maintain some hope.

This particular post arises from two sources. The first is the fact that these days I regularly receive email asking me to submit to, or to organize a session of a conference I have never heard of, and which seems to have no particular connection to my field of research. In other words, there seems to be in these days the creation of fake conferences apparently in response to the fake evaluation proceedures which are now being introduced into university systems.
I was amazed to discover looking around that even respected bodies like IEEE have decided not to publish proceedings of conferences organized with their apparent approval.

The second source of this comment is the blog post by Peter Woit in which he describes the sharp rise in the number of "retractions" of articles already published in journals. I have heard of corrigenda but never before of retractions - apparently due to the raffica of fake papers published in respected journals.

On a positive note the recent attempt by Tim Gowers to reduce the stranglehold of commercial publishers on scientific publication seems to be making some tentative progress.



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