Thursday, April 09, 2015


  1. Susannah Locke in 15 ways to tell if that science news story is hogwash

    The excellent chart ... offers "A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science." It was put together by the blogger [Andy Brunning, a chemistry teacher in the UK] behind the chemistry site Compound Interest. It isn't meant to be an exhaustive list — and not all of these flaws are necessarily fatal.

  2. A bold initiative in France: Ambition in Paris:

    The creation of the University of Paris-Saclay’s campus will cost €2 billion ($2.17 billion), and a government-funded €2.5 billion ($2.72 billion) extension of the Paris Métro will connect the high-tech hub to the center of the French capital in 35 minutes.

    However, Dominique Vernay, president of Paris-Saclay, has bigger concerns than the infrastructure challenges involved in constructing the university’s 1,300-acre campus over the next few years, namely how to get 19 fiercely independent organizations to pull together and move in the same direction. [...]

    “They were not that keen to work together in the beginning, but they have taken steps over the past seven years to come together -- the commitment was to set up a common organization.”

    To this end, nine of France’s most prestigious grandes écoles, such as the École Polytechnique and the École Normale Supérieure, will work with less selective traditional universities, business schools and national research organizations at Paris-Saclay.

    Within 10 years, 12,000 researchers and 70,000 students will be based at the Paris-Saclay campus, with the institution aiming to take its place among the world’s top 10 universities by 2025.

  3. Charles Seife in Slate: Science’s Big Scandal. "Even legitimate publishers are faking peer review."

    It can be read alone, but it's even better to read it with Seife's previous article in Scientific American: For Sale: “Your Name Here” in a Prestigious Science Journal. "An investigation into some scientific papers finds worrying irregularities."

  4. Barbara Fister in Inside Higher Ed: New Predatory Publishing in Old Bottles. "... What worries me far more than these fairly obvious scams are the emerging business practices being used by highly profitable publishers with long and distinguished pedigrees that are treating open access as a new revenue stream that can be both open and closed – earning money through subscriptions and author fees. [...]"