Topic: Academic Journals

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FUTON bias

Science Academic Journals

FUTON bias (acronym for "full text on the Net") is a tendency of scholars to cite academic journals with open access—that is, journals that make their full text available on the Internet without charge—in preference to toll-access publications. Scholars in some fields can more easily discover and access articles whose full text is available online, which increases authors' likelihood of reading and citing these articles, an issue that was first raised and has been mainly studied in connection with medical research. In the context of evidence-based medicine, articles in expensive journals that do not provide open access (OA) may be "priced out of evidence", giving a greater weight to FUTON publications. FUTON bias may increase the impact factor of open-access journals relative to journals without open access.

One study concluded that authors in medical fields "concentrate on research published in journals that are available as full text on the internet, and ignore relevant studies that are not available in full text, thus introducing an element of bias into their search result". Authors of another study conclude that "the OA advantage is a quality advantage, rather than a quality bias", that authors make a "self-selection toward using and citing the more citable articles—once OA self-archiving has made them accessible", and that open access "itself will not make an unusable (hence uncitable) paper more used and cited".

The related no abstract available bias is a scholar's tendency to cite journal articles that have an abstract available online more readily than articles that do not—this affects articles' citation count similarly to FUTON bias.

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Replication Crisis

Medicine Psychology Sociology Science Academic Journals

The replication crisis (or replicability crisis or reproducibility crisis) is, as of 2020, an ongoing methodological crisis in which it has been found that many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to replicate or reproduce. The replication crisis affects the social sciences and medicine most severely. The crisis has long-standing roots; the phrase was coined in the early 2010s as part of a growing awareness of the problem. The replication crisis represents an important body of research in the field of metascience.

Because the reproducibility of experimental results is an essential part of the scientific method, the inability to replicate the studies of others has potentially grave consequences for many fields of science in which significant theories are grounded on unreproducible experimental work. The replication crisis has been particularly widely discussed in the field of psychology and in medicine, where a number of efforts have been made to re-investigate classic results, to determine both the reliability of the results, and, if found to be unreliable, the reasons for the failure of replication.

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Wells and Wellington Affair

Australia Amphibians and Reptiles Academic Journals

The Wells and Wellington affair was a dispute about the publication of three papers in the Australian Journal of Herpetology in 1983 and 1985. The publication was established in 1981 as a peer-reviewed scientific journal focusing on the study of amphibians and reptiles (herpetology). Its first two issues were published under the editorship of Richard W. Wells, a first-year biology student at Australia's University of New England. Wells then ceased communicating with the journal's editorial board for two years before suddenly publishing three papers without peer review in the journal in 1983 and 1985. Coauthored by himself and high school teacher Cliff Ross Wellington, the papers reorganized the taxonomy of all of Australia's and New Zealand's amphibians and reptiles and proposed over 700 changes to the binomial nomenclature of the region's herpetofauna.

Members of the herpetological community reacted strongly to the pair's actions and eventually brought a case to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature to suppress the scientific names they had proposed. After four years of arguments, the commission opted not to vote on the case because it hinged largely on taxonomic arguments rather than nomenclatural ones, leaving some of Wells and Wellington's names available. The case's outcome highlighted the vulnerability to the established rules of biological nomenclature that desktop publishing presented. As of 2020, 24 of the specific names assigned by Wells and Wellington remained valid senior synonyms.

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