Is scientific misconduct increasing? Retraction rates may present more questions than answers.

By R. Grant Steen in The Impact Blog

Drawing on the research from his recent study into rising retraction rates R. Grant Steen argues retractions alone may be a poor surrogate measure of scientific misconduct. Science cultures are shifting to become more aware of certain “crimes” and publishing cultures may also be more willing to take immediate action. Nevertheless, there is reason to suspect that misconduct may really be increasing in prevalence and it is important to consider how best the community can measure and address this.

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Altmetrics could enable scholarship from developing countries to receive due recognition.

Juan Pablo Alperin in LSE Blog:

The Web of Science and its corresponding Journal Impact Factor are inadequate for an understanding of the impact of scholarly work from developing regions, argues Juan Pablo Alperin. Alternative metrics offer the opportunity to redirect incentive structures towards problems that contribute to development, or at least to local priorities. But the altmetrics community needs to actively engage with scholars from developing regions to ensure the new metrics do not continue to cater to well-known and well-established networks.

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Social Sciences converging strongly with STEM disciplines

From the LSE ‘Impact of Social Sciences’ Blog:

Much less is known about the development of the social sciences as a complete discipline group than about the previously dominant STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) discipline group. Patrick Dunleavy, Simon Bastow and Jane Tinkler set out some key findings from their new book ‘The Impacts of the Social Sciences’, identifying five key trends that are causing the old social sciences versus physical science divide to dissolve. With the advent of ‘big data’ and e-science across the board, the social sciences are converging strongly on a ‘rapid advance/moderate  consensus’ model previously characteristic only of the STEM disciplines.

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