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Integrating with integrity, according to Nature Genetics

Integrating with integrity, according to Nature Genetics

Data worthy of integration with the results of other researchers need to be prepared to explicit export standards, linked to appropriate metadata and offered with field-specific caveats for use. The Editorial in the January edition of Nature Genetics ( 42, 1; 2010) explores the extent to which, to be useful at generating new analyses and hypotheses, data sharing needs to be about standardized formats as much as simply being made ‘available’. For example, the Editorial states, “Sample sizes, selection criteria, statistical significance, number of hypotheses tested, normalization and scaling procedures, read depth and sequence quality scores are all important considerations that can be misunderstood or missed in combining and reanalyzing data. Whether integrative approaches are useful may depend upon whether integration preserves or destroys essential information….  Read more

Nature Cell Biology on research integrity and accessibility

The cell biology literature contains manipulated data that distort findings, usually in an attempt to ‘beautify’ and, rarely, to commit fraud, states the September Editorial in Nature Cell Biology (11, 1045; 2009, free to read online) According to the Editorial, a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, ‘Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age’, “arrives at no hard and fast rules; the panel found that different fields have quite different requirements. In the words of panel chairs Phillip Sharp and Daniel Kleppner, “the report provides a framework for dealing with the challenges to the  … Read more

Nature Materials on access to the literature

Joerg Heber, a senior editor at Nature Materials, announces that access to all Editorials in the journal is now free to registered users of This follows a similar decision taken at Nature some years ago, and more recently, by Nature Cell Biology. The August Editorial of Nature Materials (8, 611; 2009) discusses publishing models more broadly: “As moves towards open-access schemes gain momentum, the choice between ‘author pays’ and subscription-based models may come down to fundamental business considerations rather than limits in access to original research.” In ‘open access’ publishing, authors pay for publication costs, and online access and dissemination of those papers is free for readers.  Read more

Historical microbiology archive made free to all

In its November Editorial, Nature Reviews Microbiology (6, 794; 2008) reports that the archive of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM) has been made available free online: a boon for scientists, historians and the public. The Society for General Microbiology publishes IJSEM on behalf of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes of the International Union of Microbiological Societies. The society has now provided funding for the entire back archive of the journal to be made freely available worldwide without a journal subscription. (The current content, or past two years, remains subject to access controls.)  … Read more