Research integrity revisited

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Science  14 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6334, pp. 115
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan3552

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  • RE: Research integrity revisited
    • David Gurwitz, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

    Publishers have far more power than academia for enhancing research integrity. Simple steps by publishers could include:
    1. Requiring authors to include, as supplementary (online only) files, raw data for the findings presented in the manuscript Figures and Tables.
    2. Allowing readers to comment on manuscripts post-publication.
    The benefit of the former step is self-evident. It will allow others to check data for accuracy and for use of the correct statistics tools (for example, those only allowed for normal distribution). This will not affect publishers operating costs.

    Applying the latter step is more tricky, as publishers will need to screen and supervise the readers comments. Costs for this feature can be reduced by allowing readers to report inappropriate comments, similarly to social networks.

    Applying such simple tools will improve research integrity, and assist academia in its oversight. I urge publishers to incorporate these tools.

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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