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2018
    Thomas Gaston
Thomas Gaston
   Managing Editor, Wiley

It is a common assumption that papers will be reviewed by two reviewers before a decision is made. In fact, that is the average for most Wiley journals, not least because that is the default setting for the electronic editorial office systems we use. But there is no rule that says this should be the case. It is editors, not reviewers, who make decisions on papers. Reviewers provide expert opinions to help inform editors’ decisions. There is no obligation on editors to consult a specific number of reviewers before making a decision. Editors need the freedom to desk reject papers without external review or to consult additional reviewers if they require further guidance. So why are the majority of papers sent to two reviewers? Here are five reasons why it is a good idea to send papers to more than one reviewer:

  1. Two Heads Are Better Than One – Reviewing a manuscript is not the same as marking an exam paper. Manuscripts should be reporting original research - there is no answers sheet to check whether the authors got the “right answer”. Research is an iterative process and the research presented in recent articles may be falsified or superseded by later research. In any case, the reviewers were not present when the research was conducted, so will never be able to assess whether the reported results are correct. What reviewers can do is judge whether the research methodology is sound, whether the results have been analyzed in an appropriate way, and whether the results have been presented intelligibly. Inevitably two reviewers are going to have a better chance of picking up any errors than just one.
  2. Reducing Subjectivity – While presenting the results of scientific research is an objective exercise, the interpretation of those results inevitably introduces subjectivity. Most scientific papers include a discussion section, where the authors will write about the implications of their research. These opinions are legitimate, and often the most readable part of the article, but risk spinning the results in unjustified ways. The issue of subjectivity is greater in non-scientific disciplines where a larger part of the research is interpretation. Again, articles are not invalid just because they are written from a particular perspective. However, having several people involved in assessing research introduces some measure of objectivity. The more reviewers, the greater the chance of avoiding over-stating significance.
  3. Reducing the Risk of Bias – Reviewers are human and open to all the fallibilities of humanity, including conscious and unconscious bias. There is good evidence from various fields of human behavior that people can be susceptible to bias based on issues including age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and prestige. These forms of bias have no place in scientific and scholarly research – research should be judged on its own merits, not on who conducted it. One way to reduce the risk of bias, conscious or otherwise, is to have more than one reviewer.
  4. Reducing the Risk of Fraud – Unfortunately, there are many documented cases of individuals trying to manipulate the review process to their own advantage. One common example of this is the use of fake reviewers, where authors will recommend reviewers and give contact details for dummy accounts that they have access to, in the hopes that they can review their own paper. Another example is where a reviewer will intentionally try to get a paper rejected because it competes with his/her own research. There are other examples. One way to reduce the risk of such manipulation of the review process is to consult more than one reviewer from as diverse a pool of reviewers as possible.
  5. Maintaining the Perceived Integrity of Peer Review – In an age of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, robust and rigorous peer review has never been more important. The scientific and scholarly literature needs to stand above the morass of internet comment. To do that it must be seen to be maintaining a high standard of pre-publication assessment. Peer review not only picks up errors and improves the quality of the presentation, it also provides a hallmark of quality for the published article. When peer review is compromised, or lacks rigor, it not only risks introducing errors into published articles, it also tarnishes the perceived integrity of peer review. One part of that perceived integrity is that articles are sent for external review before publication and that external review is objective and free from bias. Consulting more than one reviewer for each article is one way to maintain that standard.

 

Photo Credit: Panther Media GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo

    Jackie Jones
Jackie Jones
Journals Publisher, Wiley

 

 

At the end of last year we posed some questions to David Mellor from the Center for Open Science about Registered Reports, Research Preregistration and Why Both Are Important.

 

Matthias Mittner and his co-authors, recently submitted a stage 1 Registered Report to European Journal of Neuroscience.  You can read more about Registered Reports at the European Journal of Neuroscience here.

 

We asked Matthias to share his RR experience as an author with us.

 

Q. Thanks for agreeing to speak with us, Matthias. So, how did you come to hear about Registered Reports?Matthias Mittner.jpg

A. I have been following the Open Science movement for several years now, ever since the first failed replications appeared in our field. The OSC article on the replicability of psychological science was certainly an eye-opener! But maybe the clearest moment for me, that clearly shows that we also face these problems in cognitive neuroscience was when some of my colleagues published a paper where they tried to replicate a set of brain-behavior correlations (Boekel et al., 2015, Cortex). At that time, there was no established RR format and the researchers therefore published their pre-registration document on a blog. This idea of publicly sharing your analysis plan really impressed me and I am glad that the RR format is being picked up by many journals today!

 

Q. What made you want to go through stage 1 peer review in addition to submission of the finished article?

A. When we decided that we wanted to conduct a pre-registered replication of a published study, I anticipated push-back from other researchers in case the replication should turn out to be unsuccessful. This was the fate of many other failed replications and also my colleagues publishing their brain-behavior correlations received some serious push-back in the form of published commentaries. Another concern was whether a failed replication would be publishable. While the situation is certainly improving in recent years, it is not hard to look for stories from scientists trying to publish negative results and being rejected in many places. The concept of in-principle-acceptance counteracts this problem and also has the advantage that we could formerly involve a number of scientists in the form of peer-reviewers. Our hope is that our study will provide a definite "last word" on the matter.

 

Q. There’s been a lot of discussion about how Registered Reports benefits science. But what’s in it for you personally as a researcher and author?

A. I think the most beneficial aspect for myself has been the projectability of this project. Once the in-principle acceptance was obtained, the execution of the study is specified in all details (including pre-written experimenter instructions, software and analysis scripts) and therefore requires only minimal supervision. Having a project that simply goes by itself is certainly a rewarding experience! It is also great to see how smoothly the coordination of the research with the three internationally distributed labs involved in our study has been.

 

Q. How did you find the stage 1 peer review (of your hypotheses and experimental procedures) compared to peer review of a finished study?

A. The experience was nothing less than amazing! The reviewers were incredibly helpful and contributed pages of comments and suggestions. One researcher even went so far as to run custom simulations, augmenting our original Bayesian power-analysis! Our protocol has really been significantly improved through that process, even though we had to bite the bullet of dropping an interesting condition in order to increase statistical power. I believe that the fact that the study has not yet been conducted makes the reviewers feel that they can really contribute to a novel piece of research - instead of simply having to evaluate it when a final paper is submitted for publication.

 

Q. Has the stage 1 peer review helped to improve the quality of your study?

A. It certainly did. All reviewers had interesting and valid additions and objections to our protocol and invested a lot of time and effort to improve our study.

 

Q. Hypothetically, how would you feel about publishing your stage 1 submission? Or pre-registering it in a registry where you can set the embargo?

A. In fact, our stage 1 submission has been public as an OSF repository since the day of in-principle acceptance. We also publish our incoming raw data and everything else in that repository.

 

Q. Your Stage 1 submission has been accepted in principle for publication following adherence to the study as you’ve outlined. Will you come back and publish the finished paper?

A. Definitely! Coordination and data-acquisition took a bit longer than anticipated but we are soon to write up and submit the final paper.

 

Wiley has a Registered Reports toolkit to help launch Registered Reports quickly. Please speak with your publisher so together we can make this option available for researchers in your communities.

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

As the body of scientific knowledge grows with each new discovery, there are still new theories that are not always accepted by the public, policy-makers, or even within the scientific community.

 

Science denialism lingers today, and in order to address denial, we must first better understand it. We have produced the latest in our series of Illustrated History of Science comics in partnership with The New York Academy of Science to support their upcoming event: Science Denialism, Public Policy, and Global Health. To learn more, click here.

 

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    Danielle Chilvers
Danielle Chilvers
Journals Publishing Manager, Wiley

I recently interviewed Richard Gray, Editor of the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and Professor of Clinical Nursing Practice at Latrobe University, Melbourne, who spotted a retracted Clinical Trial which, prior to retraction, had been included and cited in two Review articles. An Editor’s Note has since been published alongside the Review articles to inform readers of the situation, and below, Richard has summed up the reasons why this was important, along with advice on how to maintain the integrity of the published literature.

 

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Q. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Richard. So citations were made to a retracted article which occurred before the article was retracted. You spotted this, investigated, and concluded that the retracted article had no substantial bearing on the conclusions of the two review articles. Why is it important to follow up on this?

A. Thank you for asking me. Your question – I guess – is prompted by an exploratory study our group did that sought to test if systematic reviews ever include retracted papers. The work matters because, in a clinical discipline such as nursing, practice should be informed by the best available evidence, which generally comes in the form of a systematic review. If a review includes a retracted paper then it is possible that conclusions and recommendations for practice may be unsound. In our study we identified 37 systematic reviews that included a retracted clinical trial. Two of these were published in Wiley journals (the Journal of Clinical Nursing and the Journal of Advanced Nursing). The focus of both reviews was on mobile phone interventions to enhance medication adherence. To be clear, the authors of these systematic review articles had probably not made a mistake, the retraction occurred after the review had been published. And you are right, the conclusions of the two reviews in Wiley journals were not substantially affected by the retraction of an included study. However, we did find a number of examples where review conclusions were markedly affected by the removal of a retracted trial. This included one review where recalculating the meta-analysis (minus the retracted trial) changed a non-significant effect to one that was significant. Ultimately, we argue readers should have all the facts about a review to enable them to make an informed judgement about the quality and reliability of the research they are using to inform their clinical practice.      

 

Q. Why all the fuss about transparency?

A. Rigor, replicability and retraction are fundamental to the scientific method. The first two require researchers to be detailed and meticulous in the reporting of their research. If a serious error is made in a study or there is misconduct the paper reporting the results should be retracted (removed from the evidence base). Many readers will be familiar with the efforts of drug companies making well known antidepressants to either distort the reporting of trials to their commercial advantage (the infamous study 329) or avoid publishing inconvenient studies altogether. Although their motivations are different, researchers in academic settings are not immune. Taken together these problems create the various forms of publication bias. Science that is not transparent is bad science. The work of our group on the inclusion of retracted trials in systematic reviews might seem a bit bookish, but I think our work extends thinking about transparent reporting of science in a new and important way.

 

Q: What’s your advice to Editors, Reviewers and Authors? How can they be more vigilant about this sort of thing?

A. I think journal editors, reviewers and authors need to be more vigilant about the issue of retraction and systematic reviews. Certainly, authors and reviewers need to check carefully the status of manuscripts included in reviews. This is a tedious, boring task, butone vital to upholding the integrity of the review. We suspect, but have no definitive evidence, that review authors come across duplicate publications in the course of conducting their research that they do not declare (in their paper or to publishing editors). We have pondered if authors of systematic reviews should have an “ethics” section in their manuscripts, stating how they will respond if they identify duplicate publications or other research misconduct in the course of their reviews.

 

It is not clear who is responsible for alerting journal editors that a citation in a systematic review they published has been retracted. The Cochrane handbook has something to say on the matter, suggesting that review authors are responsible for monitoring the status of included trials. A nice idea, but I suspect that few authors ever do this (I am happy to be proved wrong). In my opinion it is incumbent upon the editor who retracts a paper to alert the authors citing the study that the paper has been retracted. Hard pressed editors may resist having to take on yet another burdensome administrative task. But think about the problem for a few minutes: if they don’t do the work, who will?

 

Thanks Richard, for your thoughts and advice to other Editors on such an important topic. We at Wiley commend you for taking the time to assist us in alerting readers.

Links to the Editor’s Notes can be found here and here.

 

Image Credit: Richard Gray

    Karen McKee

Have you ever read a scientific paper only to find that later you cannot recall what the overall conclusion was? You might have vague memories of where the study was conducted and one or two graphs, but cannot say what the take-home message was. You may be momentarily concerned, thinking you are slow-witted or suffering early dementia. But don’t worry. The reason you cannot repeat the main message of the paper you just read is because the author did not make it clear.

 

Avoid burying the lead

 

I’ve reviewed hundreds of manuscripts over the past four decades and during that time have noticed the same writing mistakes made again and again—mostly by inexperienced writers, but also by those who should know better. One of the most serious errors to make when writing a scientific paper is to fail to clearly articulate what was found and why it’s important. Instead, the writer may offer a laundry list of results and a rambling discussion that doesn’t

pin down a conclusion. The reader is at a loss as to what he/she should remember and, consequently, quickly forgets everything he/she just read.

When I first began writing scientific manuscripts, I was never advised to boil my results down to an overarching message and then ensure it came across loud and clear in the paper. Despite this lack of guidance, though, I somehow intuited that I needed to write my papers so they expressed a clear outcome. Consequently, my early papers were generally written so that the main finding and its importance were readily apparent.

 

The problem was that I did not formulate my core message before beginning to write. I just plunged in, writing my results without first thinking about which ones should be highlighted. I described the outcome of each experiment or analysis in the results section—in no particular order—and then discussed each one in the same order. Not surprisingly, I floundered around as I wrote and rewrote the manuscript. Eventually, I realized that having an overarching message in mind before starting the writing process would save me time and effort.

Answer your reader’s key questions

 

I thus developed the habit of distilling my message before leaping into writing a paper or preparing a conference talk. My distillation process would begin with answering a few questions. Why did I conduct the study? What was the central question driving my study? What were my main findings? Why should people care? What was new or innovative? To answer these questions, I had to spend time pondering my results from every angle, especially if I had conducted multiple experiments and analyses. But this approach made it much easier to write my papers.

 

For example, I wrote a paper in which my main finding was that recovery of a clear-cut mangrove forest in the Caribbean was aided by the presence of coastal grasses and forbs, which acted like nursery plants for the tree seedlings (McKee et al., 2007). This herbaceous vegetation helped the mangrove seedlings get established and promoted their growth by ameliorating harsh environmental conditions. We showed how beneficial traits of nurse plants could be compared with the aid of a new, standardized method. The study not only led to a better understanding of how these coastal forests recover from disturbance, it suggested a practical application: how to select nurse vegetation to accelerate restoration of damaged forests.

 

The next step was to distill this information down to a single sentence, which would be my core message. Even though our study was complex with a series of results, I was still able to condense everything to fit under a single umbrella. Once I could express my message in a single, clear sentence, I knew that I was ready to write the paper and, once written, it would effectively convey that message to the reader. Often, such a sentence can be used with minor modification as the title of the paper, which was the case here:

 

“Mangrove recruitment after forest disturbance is facilitated by herbaceous species in the Caribbean.”

 

Build around the core message (in a bottle!)

 

The process of distilling that sentence made me think harder about my results and what I wanted to get across in the paper. The process also helped me decide how to organize my material and which data to highlight—all before writing a word of the narrative. Whenever I got bogged down or overwhelmed with details, my distilled sentence helped me get back on track.

 

I eventually began thinking of this condensed statement as a “message in a bottle”. What would I write so that a colleague finding the bottle on the beach would understand what my paper was about—and want to read it? The modern version of the message in a bottle is, of course, the Tweet. Being adept at summarizing your information in 280 characters is now a useful skill in the age of social media and electronic publishing. Today, journals often ask authors for a brief summary of their paper, written in everyday language. Such blurbs are then used online in the journal’s table of contents or for promotion through social media.

 

But the main purpose of distilling your message is to make sure you see the big picture before starting to write. You may have multiple points to make in a paper, but having an overall message in mind will keep you focused as you write and will ensure that the reader remembers that message.

 

Image credit: JDe Visu/Shutterstock

    Julia Ballard
Julia Ballard
Society Marketing, Wiley

On a beautiful, autumn day in Melbourne, Australia, three Wiley colleagues—Michelle Head (Journal Publishing Manager),  Sue Huang (Journal Publishing Assistant) and myself—joined more than 60 researchers, students and industry representatives to dance for science. That’s right—we joined a flash mob to celebrate and promote the Day of Immunology!

 

The Day of Immunology events, organized by the Australasian Society of Immunology (ASI), included public lectures on the science of immunology, events to promote understanding of vaccination and public tours of labs around Melbourne. The week culminated in the Vaccination Café, held on Friday, April 27, where the public could receive a free flu shot and a free coffee (it is Melbourne, after all!).

 

With enthusiastic support from the ASI, Jomar Life Research (a Melbourne-based company) organized the flash mob to promote the Day of Immunology events, especially the free flu vaccines. But why a flash mob?

 

Alex Szabo, CEO of Jomar Life Research, summed up the motivation for the flash mob. “Most importantly, we wanted to have fun”, he said. “But in addition, we wanted to dramatically raise awareness of the Day of Immunology, and especially wanted to promote the Vaccination Café where people could get free flu shots as part of a campaign to generally encourage immunization before the flu season”.

 

 

After a flash mob practice session.

 

After some practice sessions (some in the office!), we were ready to take on the city. We danced at 4 locations on two days in the Melbourne city center, with enthusiastic crowd support every time. After each flash mob event, we handed out information about the Vaccination Café and encouraged everyone to take advantage of the free flu shots on offer.

 

By all measures, the flash mob was an overwhelming success. There were more than 40,000 social media impressions (check out #immunomob on Twitter). Public lectures and seminars in the Day of Immunology program sold out and, most importantly, the Vaccination Café had given out more than 600 flu shots by midday!

 

Take a few minutes to immerse yourself in our happy flash mob with this video:

 

 

Wiley partners with the ASI to publish itstwo journals, Immunology and Cell Biology and Clinical and Translational Immunology and we were thrilled to be able to support our partner in this innovative, fun way. We had so much fun dancing for science and look forward to joining with our partners in more events to support the research and publishing community.

Wiley colleagues from left:  Julia, Michelle, Sue

 

Image Credit: Julia Ballard

    Anna Ehler
Anna Ehler
Society Marketing    

Complicated research sharing processes hurt not only the interests of authors but also those of scholarly societies and publishers, argued Oxford University librarian Sally Rumsey in her talk at the 2018 Wiley Society Executive Seminar in London.

 

 

Hear more from Sally on her wish list for better research communication.

 

Listen to the previous podcast episode: How the Power of Social Media Can Work for You

 

You can listen to this episode and others – including American Association for the Advancement of Science CEO Rush Holt’s perspective on the rise of fake news – by going to iTunes and subscribing to the Wiley Society Podcast.4Y2A4752.JPG

 

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

Our panel of judges is pleased to announce the winner of the 2nd annual Women in Research Travel Grant Competition. After much deliberation, and the daunting task of reviewing more than 170 insightful responses on what they would say to young girls interested in science, Luciana Miu, a Research Postgraduate and Faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, London, will be awarded a travel grant of $2,000USD.

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Her winning response took the form of a poem:

 

To you, future scientist

It's warming to my heart to see so much of me in you,
That wide-eyed awe, that eager smile: "What else can science do?"
"What spaceships, cars or nano-bots will engineers design?"
"What next for astrophysics on the history of time?" 
So no matter what they tell you in your college applications,
There is nothing more important than this lifelong fascination.

It's deja-vu to see you look around your college lab,
You've heard the story, yes - it's slightly meaningless and drab:
"Gender balance: 80-20. Yes, of course we strive for more.
But for years now, engineering has been male right to its core."
Yet no matter what you're thinking, as the only girl enrolled,
There is nothing more important than the passion that you hold.

And it's clear in your and my minds that our future generations,
Must stand tall upon the shoulders of our giants' inspiration,
And say: "Diversity in science is no longer just a dream,
Look around you and you'll see us all now working as a team.
Just think back - how many breakthroughs do you think we would have missed
If we'd settled for the "fact" that women study science less?

So no matter if they tell you to rethink your love for science,
Just remember: science needs you, and the future needs its giants.

 

The judges feel that this essay stands out because of its passion, its artistry and creativity, and its innovative approach.

 

This entry for the Travel Grant competition charms with its clever and memorable format, evoking childhood rhymes that will be familiar and enjoyable to the next generation of scientists.

 

Importantly, the key themes in this poem are curiosity and passion. The author emphasizes the personal drive that is needed for a lifetime pursuing science. The author evokes some of the collaboration, teamwork, and discovery that underpin the scientific process with a freshness and vitality that will instantly engage young girls.

 

And though a love for science remains at the heart of the piece, the poem itself is also a call to action for diversity in science: the future needs all of us, the author states in a powerful representation of inclusion. 

 

Congratulations to Luciana Miu, and thank you to everyone who participated in this travel grant competition. Your words and your work are inspiring to us, and selecting a winner was an incredibly difficult task.

 

2018 Women in Research Travel Grant Judges:

 

L. Anathea Brooks
Steering Committee member, STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) project

Dr. Mhairi Crawford
Development Director, Women in Science and Engineering Campaign

Dr. Beth Cunningham
Executive Officer, American Association of Physics Teachers

Dr. Ozak Esu
Electrical Engineer, Cundall, and IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year

Dr. Amanda L. Golbeck
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Biostatistics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Alfredo Grieco
Editor-in-Chief, Wiley Transactions on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies & Internet Technology Letters

Dr. Donna LaLonde
Director of Strategics Initiatives and Outreach, American Statistical Association

Dr. Jeremy Sanders
Deputy Chair, Athena Forum, and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge

Dr. Nadia Thalmann
Professor and Director of the Institute for Media Innovation, NTU, Singapore

 

Image Credit:Hero Images/Getty Images

    Andrew Moore
Andrew Moore
Editor-in-Chief of BioEssays and the Wiley Researcher, Editor and Peer Review Academies

There are many reasons for being rejected, but only one advisable initial reaction: sleep on it for at least one night! Then you can start to analyze the situation, and that’s exactly what you should do. To help you, here’s a simple analysis of the most common reasons for rejection without peer review, so-called “desk-rejection”:

 

  • The manuscript fails the technical screening.
  • The manuscript doesn’t fall within the aims and scope of the journal.
  • The research topic is of little significance.
  • The standard of writing is too low.

 

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If your manuscript is rejected on one of these grounds, you can count yourself lucky in one sense: it will happen quickly, and you will be able to work on potential remedies so much sooner! The first reason is rather basic, and refers to things like missing files, wrongly-formatted files, figures of insufficient resolution, or missing information. The second is more interesting, and it’s arguably the most common amongst manuscripts submitted by inexperienced authors. This means that you haven’t properly matched your manuscript to a journal in terms of one or more of the following: subject area, type of report (e.g. full paper or brief communication), type of research (e.g. basic or applied), significance of the research (does it answer a major open question, or is it the next small step in a developing story?). The third reason is closely related to the second; but the last reason requires a line to emphasize its importance: regardless of the quality of your science, if the writing is not good enough, peer reviewers will be distracted from the science, and not properly assess it. All these failings are relatively easy to remedy, though if you don’t have access to a friendly native English speaker, you might well have to pay for language editing services to brush up your writing.

 

Let’s return to reasons two and three, because these often refer to a mismatch between the “ranking” (partly a matter of impact factor, but also of general public perception) of the journal and the judged “importance” of the paper.  This can be one of the worst disappointments, because you might go away with the feeling that you’re not “good” enough for that journal. Not to worry! If you are convinced that your research is good, and certainly good enough to interest a substantial part of your community, then simply go for a somewhat “less heavyweight”, or perhaps more field-specific, journal and see how you fare.

 

Don’t give up at this stage, because all attempts will teach you invaluable lessons. It’s likely that less “high-powered” journals are not as prominent in the ecology of the Internet, but the interesting thing is that articles these days are increasingly found in complete abstraction from their journals.   This is to your advantage in such a situation, because it means that papers vie for attention amongst each other, on a more journal-neutral playing field, so to speak. By becoming active in social media promotion of your own work (tweets, blog posts, activity on reputable scholarly collaboration networks, for example) you can do a lot to boost attention to your paper, regardless of where you end up publishing it. Remember the only really “wrong” place to publish a paper is in a “predatory” journal…

 

Further reading:

Advice on how to allay your fears about publishing in the “wrong” journal.

More on predatory journals and how to avoid them.

    Lucy Whitmarsh
Lucy Whitmarsh
Marketing Manager, Wiley

Have you ever considered words? Not the plain everyday words, but the ones that have complex meanings. The words that can take entire sentences and shrink them down into a singular group of letters. Some may have crossed language barriers already – schadenfreude (German) is widely understood as a term for delighting in the misfortune of others – but others remain rooted in their original language of origin.

 

So, which of these words are essential for all academic librarians, no matter the language they speak? How many words exist that can help capture the often chaotic days of a librarian and the role s/he plays in his/her institution?

 

1.    TSUNDOKU [tsoon-doh-koo] - Japanese

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At the heart of most librarians is a book lover, a seeker of knowledge and information. At the same time though, librarians are busy people! So tsundoku – the act of buying a book and leaving it unread, alongside other titles you’ll never get time to read – might be quite familiar.

 

2.     DESERNRASCANCO [the-zEn-ros-kan-so] - Portuguese

Moving at such a busy pace means often having to think quickly. If you’ve ever had to improvise or ‘hack’ a creative solution to a problem, you’ll want to learn this word.

 

3.     TAARRADHIN [tAh-rAh-deen] – Arabic

This is a word for all the peacekeepers out there, who are often searching for ways to keep everyone happy. Being at the heart of an academic institution sometimes means offering a happy solution for everyone, a true agreement between all parties involved.


4.     NUNCHI [nUn-chE] - Korean

Similarly, being central to an institution means continually building and working on professional relationships. To communicate effectively you may have learned the subtle art and ability to listen and gauge others moods.

 

5.     VERSCHLIMMBESSERUNG [versh-lim-BESS-air-oong] - German

In times of change, it is inevitable that this might happen. You may have encountered supposed improvements that simply make things worse in the library environment.

 

6.     POCHEMUCHKA [pa-che-'mooch-ka] - Russian

As a source of knowledge for students, faculty and researchers you may come across someone who asks too many questions.

 

7.     TARTLE [tart-uhl] - Scottish

If you work in a large institution or across multiple sites you’ll recognize the panicked hesitation while introducing someone because you can’t quite remember his/her name.

 

8.    SERENDIPITY [ser-en-dip-i-te] – English

When you find something good without looking for it, like when a job opportunity suddenly becomes open or your hard work naturally aligns with a wider project that’s just come to light.

 

9.     ZALATWIĆ [za-wat-vich] - Polish

Sometimes it’s a little harder though, and you might need to use your personal charm or network to just get something done, employing the art of persuasion and connections

 

10.   SENY [sen-j] - Catalan

Academic librarians may be inspired by this ancestral Catalan wisdom, aiming for thoughtful perception of a situation – combining level-headedness, awareness, integrity and taking the right action.


11.   ARBEJDSGLÆDE [ah-bites-gleh-the] - Danish

Quite simply, that feeling of happiness that comes from having a satisfying job.

 

If you know any words that you feel epitomize the life of an academic librarian, let us know in the comments below

 

Special thanks to our European Library Advisory Board members who sparked this idea with conversation and the sharing of interesting words in their native languages over dinner.

 

    Michael O'Riordan
Michael O'Riordan
Editor, Wiley

For the conference issue of Journal of Accounting Research published in April, all articles were published through a registration-based editorial process.  We discussed Registered Reports in an interview with David Mellor from the Center for Open Science late last year.  We recently spoke with Christian Leuz, one of JAR’s Editors, about the journal’s experience putting this process into practice for their conference issue.

 

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Q. Thanks very much for speaking with us, Professor Leuz. So tell me, how did this special registration-based issue of JAR come about?

A. The origin was a conversation between Rob Bloomfield and me a few years ago. We were discussing trends in research practices and concerns about the publication process. During this conversation, we discovered that the JAR Editors and he had all been thinking about how registered reports could address some of these concerns. However, as registered reports had been used mostly in the natural sciences, we thought it would be good to first experiment, and that is why we chose it as a theme and process for the 2017 JAR conference.

 

Q. What was JAR’s goal in using the Registered Reports process?

A. There were several goals and reasons for doing it. In recent years, JAR has been trying to innovate on a number of fronts related to the publication process. We introduced new and, relative to other journals, quite stringent policies on data and code sharing. We also updated policies on conflicts of interest and coercive citations, to name a few. In our conversations about our policies, we have thought extensively about the publication process and its subtle and not so subtle biases, e.g., the incentives to produce significant t-stats. Moreover, over the years, we kept hearing stories about papers with results that do not replicate or are fragile.

 

So, the idea of registered reports was very intriguing to us. We viewed the conference as an experiment to learn about this process, to see how it would work and whether it might provide an alternative way of producing and publishing papers. We were also curious as to whether the papers and the results would look different when produced with a registered report process, e.g., would we see more papers with insignificant findings? Finally, the process was a way to encourage researchers to engage in new research with potentially higher outcome risk that involves gathering new data.

 

Q. Could you describe the process followed by the authors and editors for this issue?

A. We used a twostage editorial process. We followed the core idea that researchers pre-register the analysis and the journal provides in-principal acceptances to the authors for their studies, irrespective of the results of the analysis. The authors submitted proposals to study certain questions and to gather and analyze data to test their predictions. We sent the proposal for review through our normal referee process. After at least two rounds of revision and re-submission, eight proposals received an “in-principle” acceptance, guaranteeing publication as long as authors gathered and analyzed their data as promised, whether or not results supported their predictions.

 

Q. Were authors receptive to the idea and did you face any challenges getting submissions that met the guidelines set out by the journal?

A. The response by authors was fantastic. We received a huge number of proposals from many different areas in accounting using many different methods, including field experiments, lab experiments, and archival analyses. Of course, there were also challenges as the authors and reviewers were less familiar and had little experience with the process. This meant that there was a lot of learning along the way and that we probably had to provide more guidance than with the regular process.

 

Q. What do you see as the benefits to the journal and to your subject community of evaluating articles based on the study design rather than the results?

A. For us, one major benefit was that the experiment opened a discussion about the traditional publication process. It also showed that the journal is open to new ideas and changes. But speaking more generally about publishing registered reports, the biggest benefit is that the process provides additional credibility to the studies and their results. It likely also increases the reproducibility of the findings, which is especially important in light of recent evidence that many fields have very low reproducibility rates. Having said all that, it is important to see that registered reports also change how much authors invest in their projects, and when they do so. A registered report requires a lot of upfront investment in the proposal. But once accepted, there is limited room for adjustments. Thus, authors have fewer incentives to invest in learning about their data and to tease out results that were less predictable upfront. Of course, researchers could simply pursue these opportunities in follow-up research. But it is important to recognize that accounting publishes far fewer papers than the natural sciences. As a result, getting it right with the first paper is more important, hence the concern that authors might invest less once they actually have and analyze the data, is to be taken seriously.

 

Q. What did you learn from your experience and do you have tips for other journals that may be considering Registered Reports?

A. The experience very clearly showed that there are two sides to the discretion that the traditional process gives to researchers. Registered reports basically tie the hands of researchers once they have gathered the data. This increases the credibility and reproducibility of the findings. At the same time, authors learn a lot from seeing and exploring the data. Thus, as mentioned earlier, there is a tradeoff. Interestingly, both effects can explain why we have far fewer papers with significant results in the current JAR issue.

 

We very clearly learned that proposals need exposure, just as working papers need workshops. So I would encourage the authors to present proposals prior to submission. If we were to do it as part of a conference again, I would recommend holding the conference for Stage 1, when authors present their research plans and pilots, rather than Stage 2 when people present their results. We learned that proposals have to articulate very clearly what we learn from the study, irrespective of whether the predictions are supported or not, and that the authors should be encouraged to conduct power analyses so that there are fewer underpowered studies.

 

I would also recommend to other social science journals and editors to be very clear about the kind of papers for which the registered report process is better suited. My sense is that it should be offered for papers that require very big investments in data collection (for which the in-principle acceptance reduces uncertainty); it works well for experiments in the lab or the field; and it provides credibility to studies that later could be unfairly criticized as doing something simply because they found a sensational or unexpected result. It would show that the researchers thought about this outcome ex ante and not after analyzing the data.

 

Q. Do you have plans to use this process again in the future, either for another special issue or as a new publication type for authors interested in using this process?

A. Overall, the experience was positive but it also showed that the process needs tweaking for social science research such as studies in accounting and finance. We are currently discussing what we have learned and how we could design the process so that we could continue to publish registered reports at JAR. So, stay tuned.

 

Q. Any final thoughts to share on JAR’s experience with Registered Reports?

A. Yes, let me provide a recommendation. Rob Bloomfield who kindly helped us as a guest editor for the registered report conference wrote a very interesting paper (published in the same issue) that discusses the pros and cons of registered reports and, more specifically, lessons from the process. They conducted a survey among authors, reviewers and conference participants as well as a survey among researchers on the role of discretion in research. His paper provides many interesting insights on the benefits, but also tradeoffs that I discussed. For further information on the Registered Reports process at JAR, see our website.

 

Thanks, Christian. We appreciate you sharing these valuable insights for editors and authors who are interested in following this process for their own research.

 

And for Wiley journal editors, here’s our closing message. We have a Registered Reports toolkit to help launch Registered Reports quickly. Please speak with your publisher about making this option available to researchers in your subject community.

 

Christian Leuz (pictured above), along with Philip G. Berger and Douglas J. Skinner, is Editor of the Journal of Accounting Research, one of the world’s top Business/Finance journals, that publishes original research in accounting and related areas.

 

Photo credit: Christian Leuz

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