HHS Plans to Delete 20 Years of Critical Medical Guidelines Next Week | US Department of Health and Human Services

“Experts say the database of carefully curated medical guidelines is one of a kind, used constantly by medical professionals, and on July 16 will ‘go dark’ due to budget cuts.

The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate a vast trove of medical guidelines that for nearly 20 years has been a critical resource for doctors, researchers and others in the medical community. Maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the database is known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse [NGC], and it’s scheduled to “go dark,” in the words of an official there, on July 16. Medical guidelines like those compiled by AHRQ aren’t something laypeople spend much time thinking about, but experts like Valerie King, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Research at the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University, said the NGC is perhaps the most important repository of evidence-based research available. “Guideline.gov was our go-to source, and there is nothing else like it in the world,” King said, referring to the URL at which the database is hosted, which the agency says receives about 200,000 visitors per month. “It is a singular resource,” King added. Medical guidelines are best thought of as cheatsheets for the medical field, compiling the latest research in an easy-to use format. When doctors want to know when they should start insulin treatments, or how best to manage an HIV patient in unstable housing — even something as mundane as when to start an older patient on a vitamin D supplement — they look for the relevant guidelines. The documents are published by a myriad of professional and other organizations, and NGC has long been considered among the most comprehensive and reliable repositories in the world. AHRQ said it’s looking for a partner that can carry on the work of NGC, but that effort hasn’t panned out yet. “AHRQ agrees that guidelines play an important role in clinical decision making, but hard decisions had to be made about how to use the resources at our disposal,” said AHRQ spokesperson Alison Hunt in an email. The operating budget for the NGC last year was $1.2 million, Hunt said, and reductions in funding forced the agency’s hand.”

Guest Post: An Open Letter from the Former HAU Staff 7 – Footnotes

“We do not want people to think that HAU [Journal of Ethnographic Theory] failed because it was unviable as an Open Access model. HAU failed because of the misconduct of one key individual and because senior staff and colleagues did nothing to stop him, effectively enabling his misconduct and abuse….HAU is now a new kind of project. It is no longer OA and it belongs to the University of Chicago Press….

GDC [Giovanni Da Col] failed to consult the EAB [External Advisory Board] on key decisions affecting HAU and its future direction. Of most concern to us is his decision to ask authors, after their manuscripts have been accepted to HAU, to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs). This was a major policy change that deeply affected the principle of Open Access with which HAU began, and yet the EAB was in no way consulted. GDC took it upon himself to decide that HAU would no longer be Open Access and consulted no one before implementing this new policy direction….”

 

 

“We don’t want to be caught napping:” Meet Hindawi’s new head of research integrity – Retraction Watch

“I’ve been in publishing since 2003 and although we have always seen some individual authors, reviewers and editors behaving badly, the scale and nature of the problem has changed. Some of this is down to technology and openness enabling detection of poor practices – such as better plagiarism detection and more content being online and thus easily searchable, particularly when it is not hiding behind a paywall – but we’re also seeing an industrialization of misconduct.”

Paywall Watch

“Paywall Watch is a website dedicated to monitoring and documenting notable problems at academic publishers.

TL;DR we are like Retraction Watch, but we focus on incompetent errors made by academic publishers. 

 

Unlike most multi-billion dollar industries there is virtually no regulation in the academic publishing market. Publishers can get away with seemingly anything. Poor service, poor ethics, and outrageous prices are a common feature of the market. We hope the aggregation of content on this website will empower funders, authors, readers, subscribers, research institutes and libraries to make better choices in future when it comes to entrusting scholarly research outputs with digital service providers.

Specific types of incompetence to be documented here include:

  1. Paywalled open access articles (whereby the original publisher should be making the article open access, but instead is observed to be charging people to use or read the article)
  2. CopyWrong (whereby a publisher incorrectly claims copyrights that they do not have) 
  3. Other Significant Errors in Service Provision (e.g. losing the full text of articles, losing supplementary data, missing article content such as mathematical equations or figure images)…”

The Seven Deadly Sins of Psychology: A Manifesto for Reforming the Culture of Scientific Practice / AvaxHome

“In this unflinchingly candid manifesto, Chris Chambers draws on his own experiences as a working scientist to reveal a dark side to psychology that few of us ever see. Using the seven deadly sins as a metaphor, he shows how practitioners are vulnerable to powerful biases that undercut the scientific method, how they routinely torture data until it produces outcomes that can be published in prestigious journals, and how studies are much less reliable than advertised. He reveals how a culture of secrecy denies the public and other researchers access to the results of psychology experiments, how fraudulent academics can operate with impunity, and how an obsession with bean counting creates perverse incentives for academics. Left unchecked, these problems threaten the very future of psychology as a science–but help is here.

Outlining a core set of best practices that can be applied across the sciences, Chambers demonstrates how all these sins can be corrected by embracing open science, an emerging philosophy that seeks to make research and its outcomes as transparent as possible….”

Chambers, C.: The Seven Deadly Sins of Psychology: A Manifesto for Reforming the Culture of Scientific Practice. (eBook and Hardcover)

“Outlining a core set of best practices that can be applied across the sciences, Chambers demonstrates how all these sins can be corrected by embracing open science, an emerging philosophy that seeks to make research and its outcomes as transparent as possible….”

‘Pay to publish’ offers rampant in some scientific journals

“Pisanski and three colleagues concocted the fake application—supported by a cover letter, a CV boasting phoney degrees, and a list of non-existent book chapters — and sent it to 360 peer-reviewed social science publications.

In the peer-review process, journals ask outside experts to assess the methodology and importance of submissions before accepting then.

The journals were drawn equally from three directories: one listing reputable titles available through subscriptions, with a second devoted to ‘open access’ publications.

The third was a blacklist — compiled by University of Colorado librarian Jeffrey Beall — of known or suspected ‘predatory journals’ that make money by extracting fees from authors.

The number of these highly dubious publications has exploded in recent years, number at least 10,000.

Indeed, 40 of the 48 journals that took the bait and offered a position to the fictitious Anna O. figured on Beall’s list, which has since been taken offline.

The other eight were from the open-access registry. No one made any attempt to contact the university listed on the fake CV, and few probed her obviously spotty experience.

One journal suggested ‘Ms Fraud’ organise a conference after which presenters would be charged for a special issue.

‘Predatory publishing is becoming an organised industry’, said Pisanski, who decided not to name-and-shame the journals caught out by the sting.

Their rise ‘threatens the quality of scholarship’, she added.

Even after the researchers contacted all the journals to inform them that Anna O. Szust did not really exist, her name continued to appear on the editorial board of 11 — including one to which she had not even applied.

None of the journals from the most select directory fell in the trap, and a few sent back tartly worded answers.”

The science ‘reproducibility crisis’ – and what can be done about it

“The solution to the scientific reproducibility crisis is to move towards Open Research – the idea that scientific knowledge of all kinds should be openly shared as early as it is practical in the discovery process. We need to reward the publication of research outputs along the entire process, rather than just each journal article as it is published.”