The challenges for scientific publishing, 60 years on

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Abstract

The most obvious difference in science publishing between ‘then’ and ‘now’ is the dramatic change in the communication of data and in their interpretation. The democratization of science via the Internet has brought not only benefits but also challenges to publishing including fraudulent behavior and plagiarism, data and statistics reporting standards, authorship confirmation and other issues which affect authors, readers, and publishers in different ways. The wide accessibility of data on a global scale permits acquisition and meta-analysis to mine for novel synergies, and has created a highly commercialized environment. As we illustrate here, identifying unacceptable practices leads to changes in the standards for data reporting.

In the past decades, science publishing underwent dramatic changes in the communication of data and in their interpretation, in the increasing pressure and commercialization, and the democratization of science on a global scale via the Internet. This article reviews the benefits and challenges to publishing including fraudulent behavior and plagiarism, data and statistics reporting standards, authorship confirmation and other issues, with the aim to provide readers with practical examples and hands-on guidelines. As we illustrate here, identifying unacceptable practices leads to changes in the standards for data reporting.

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