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Nature Neuroscience on gaps in ethical oversight of research

Nature Neuroscience on gaps in ethical oversight of research

Although institutional review boards are important ethical gatekeepers of human patient research, there is little data to evaluate their effectiveness. More coordination and a more transparent decision-making process is critical if review boards are to make appropriate and consistent decisions – so says the Editorial in this month’s (February) issue of Nature Neuroscience (13, 141; 2010). From the Editorial:  … Read more

Cite well, says Nature Chemical Biology

Cite well, says Nature Chemical Biology

Scientists need to devote more attention to the citation lists of scientific papers—the connectivity and usefulness of the scientific literature depend upon it. The February Editorial in Nature Chemical Biology ( 6, 79; 2009) explores how “citations of published work link together the concepts, technologies and advances that define scientific disciplines. Though information technology and databases have helped us to better manage the expanding scientific literature, the quality of our citation maps still hinges on the quality of the bibliographic information contained in each published paper. Because article citations are increasingly used as metrics of researcher productivity, the citation record also affects individual scientists and their institutions. As a result, all participants in the scientific publication process need to ensure that the citation network of the scientific literature is as complete and accurate as possible.”  … Read more

Nature Methods announces online methods

Nature Methods follows in the footsteps of Nature by ushering in an online methods section, fully integrated with the paper, for all original research articles. Details of the service described in the journal’s current (May) Editorial (Nature Methods 6, 313; 2009), and the editors welcome comments on the service at Methagora, the Nature Methods blog.  Read more

Author contributions audit

As part of our ongoing discussion about the accountability of authors and co-authors (comments are still very welcome), I decided to take a snapshot look at the popularity of Author Contributions statements in Nature. We strongly encourage authors to make these statments, specifying the ways in which the authors contributed to the paper, but we do not make it mandatory. Should that change? Part of the answer to that question lies in how useful authors find the idea. So it is of interest to note that in the past three or four issues of Nature, about half of the Articles and Letters (primary research) carried contributions statements. Here are some examples, all from the same issue of Nature (1 November 2007):  … Read more