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Scientific publishing – an unfair playing field

  • Jonathan Pimm (a1)
Summary

Standards and the pursuit of excellence are vital in healthcare and scientific investigation. Researchers must seek the most efficient, rigorous and robust methods available. Scientific journals acting as information distributors should only publish quality studies; such an ideal has become increasingly difficult to attain. To compete in the imperfect market of scientific publishing, The Psychiatrist will be open access from January 2014 and articles will be freely available ahead of print. There will be no publication costs to authors for at least the first 12 months and the journal will be re-launched under its old familiar name – the Psychiatric Bulletin.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Jonathan Pimm (tp@rcpsych.ac.uk)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. ICMJE, 2010 (http://www.icmje.org/urm_main.html). Accessed July 2013.
2 Council of Science Editors. CSE's White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications, 2012 Update. CSE, 2012 (http://www.councilscienceeditors.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3331). Accessed July 2013.
3 European Association of Science Editors. EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles to be Published in English. EASE, 2013 (http://www.ease.org.uk/publications/author-guidelines). Accessed July 2013.
4 Maruišíć, A, Maruišíć, M. Small scientific journals from small countries: breaking from a vicious circle of inadequacy. Croat Med J 1999; 40: 508–14.
5 Maruišíć, M, Maruišíć, A. Good editorial practice: editors as educators. Croat Med J 2001; 42: 113–20.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Scientific publishing – an unfair playing field

  • Jonathan Pimm (a1)
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eLetters

Unfair playing field

Michael Fitzgerald, Psychiatrist
29 January 2014

I fully agree with the change of the name of the Psychiatrist to the Psychiatric Bulletin (1). The phrase "unfair playing field" is very important. For the past 50 years in psychiatric publishing it would appear that there were serious conflicts of interest not declared. For example, an editor and reviewers have reviewed papers where they are competing for research funds in the same areas as the papers submitted. In addition, many of these same people have been on committees deciding onfunding for research in the same area as the paper that is being submittedor have other associations with the authors of the paper of one kind or another. Serious conflicts of interest particularly related to the "golden circle" of people who are both editors, submitters of papers and on funding bodies. This controls what's allowed to be published and what topics are allowed to be funded and has damaged research and publication in the past 50 years. In a way it seems as if "might is right" - the mighty being inside the golden publishing circle. It would be interestingfor somebody to do a review of publications in psychiatry journals for thepast 50 years to see where these conflicts of interest occurred and were undeclared. It's probably a more sociological task.

References:

1. Pimm J. Scientific publishing- an unfair playing field. Psychiatric Bulletin 2013; 37: 281-282.

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Conflict of interest: None declared

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