Library Talk - Maynooth Open Research Inaugural Lecture by Prof. Dorothy Bishop: Open Research Practices in the Age of a Papermill Pandemic

Thursday, October 27, 2022 - 11:00 to 12:30

Professor Bishop has been a longstanding supporter of open science and research integrity, and in this lecture will discuss challenges facing open science, focussing in particular on the problem of "academic paper mills”. 

Over the past decade, pressure has been growing for researchers to adopt open practices, which have been gradually growing in acceptance. The starting point was open access publishing, but now there are moves to require open data, open analysis scripts and open reviewing. In addition, there is growing interest in pre-registration, which involves openly committing to a research question and analysis plan prior to data collection. One factor that might encourage adoption of open practices is the astounding growth in fake papers produced by so-called academic paper mills.

These are organisations whose business model involves selling authorship of publications. The publications may be plagiarised or computer-generated, and they vary in terms of how easily they can be detected. Papermills have become a serious problem and they threaten to inundate some journals. I will discuss the factors that motivate the use of paper mills and consider what we can do to defend against them. I conclude that open practices can play a major role in depolluting the literature.

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