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Author Topic: protecting a scoop  (Read 6968 times)
busyslinky
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2012, 6:28:20 AM »

I'd fight to the death before someone took my ice cream.


I concur with others to just give a list to the editor of those reviewers who you feel the manuscript should not be sent to.

But then again, I don't think I've ever had a good enough idea that anyone would care to scoop.  My ice cream has always been plain vanilla, sometimes with a few sprinkles.
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bibliothecula
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like Bunnicula, only with books


« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2012, 10:06:46 AM »

The last thing I want to do is even hint to OtherScholar about what I've found--or that I've found anything.
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snowbound
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2012, 3:37:38 PM »


Long ago, I had a scoop, too--and a nemesis, who, when he could not get me to divulge my source, tried a number of different tactics (contacting my Ph.D. adviser, trying to get to serve as an external reviewer on articles I was submitting) to discover it.  It was a deeply dismaying and unsettling experience.

So, yellowtractor, aren't you going to give us the rest of the story?  Don't leave us hanging!
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2012, 11:23:52 PM »


Long ago, I had a scoop, too--and a nemesis, who, when he could not get me to divulge my source, tried a number of different tactics (contacting my Ph.D. adviser, trying to get to serve as an external reviewer on articles I was submitting) to discover it.  It was a deeply dismaying and unsettling experience.

So, yellowtractor, aren't you going to give us the rest of the story?  Don't leave us hanging!

I was working on my dissertation; nemesis was tenure-track at another school, revising his dissertation into a book.  I'd spent a lot of time mucking around in some out-of-the-way archives and found a critical source that had, as it were, been hiding in plain sight (catalogued in an extremely misleading, if accurate, way).  No one had ever used it before.  It was fantastic.

I stonewalled my nemesis in all kinds of ways.  I also refused to let UMI release or circulate any version of the dissertation for a year or two until my diss. had been accepted for book publication, etc.

I'm sure my nemesis was (is!) a very nice person who is kind to puppies, donates regularly to responsible environmental causes, etc.  But I was not about to hand over the fruits of countless hours of basement research in DingyCity just so that he could round out his t.t. book manuscript on the fly.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2012, 4:21:16 AM »

Everyone is overthinking this.  It is quite common to ask that someone not be a reviewer.  Any editor of a reputable journal will respect your request. - DvF
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hosoi3000
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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2012, 10:38:15 AM »

Hi, everyone,

Iím sorry to hijack this topic, but I have concerns similar to those of yellowtractor.  I am planning to submit an article to the top journal in my relatively small field, and the assistant editor is a friend of a scholar who is working on the topic that Iím currently working on.  I noticed a couple of editors responded in this post, so here are my questions for them and for those who had similar experiences and concerns as mine.  Is there any chance that the said assistant editor might share my work with this other scholar?  Is there an ethical code of conduct that editors, assistant editors, and members of the editorial boards must abide by?  Like yellowtractor, I don't want my hours of research taken away from me.     

Thanks, again, for your help. 
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2012, 12:10:46 PM »

Is there any chance that the said assistant editor might share my work with this other scholar?
They might not even see the paper, depending on the journal's practice.  However, if they see it, they might share it - they shouldn't, but s*** happens.  I know of two famous examples where editors not only shared the results, but held the submitted paper so that their colleague could write something on the same subject and publish paper it alongside the first paper.
Quote
Is there an ethical code of conduct that editors, assistant editors, and members of the editorial boards must abide by?
No. - DvF
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2012, 4:52:34 PM »

DVF is correct on both counts, Hosoi.  When you send completed scholarship out for review, it's a risk you take.
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busyslinky
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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2012, 5:35:58 PM »

Yes, there is a code of ethics losely written in my fields for editors and publishers.

Here is one that I know one of my publishers subscribes to:  http://publicationethics.org/

Professional organizations I am associated with also have editor and publication ethical requirements.

Some ethical issues have been evolving like the issue of editors requiring authors to cite from their journals.

Of course, what is written and what is agreed to and what is practiced can all be different things.


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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2012, 8:22:06 PM »

Yes, there is a code of ethics losely written in my fields for editors and publishers.
The important phrase in the original question was "must abide by".  - DvF
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busyslinky
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« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2012, 9:03:07 PM »

Yes, there is a code of ethics losely written in my fields for editors and publishers.
The important phrase in the original question was "must abide by".  - DvF

Well, 'must' abide can mean various things.  Authors should abide by ethical publishing practices, but there is a lot of grey area, and even though practices vary a bit by discipline.

Here is one from a professional group that gives general ethical (good? required?) practices for editors:  http://www.apsanet.org/media/PDFs/ethicsguideweb.pdf.  See number 16 and 20.   I know of a couple other professional organizations that do this too, their ethical standards are along the same lines.  I bet the more established ones have codes of ethics for editors as well.

Must editors abide by these codes (at least for their professional society)?  I don't know, but if there are enough complaints of unethical editorial practices, I would like to believe that the editor would be removed by the society or the publisher. 

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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2012, 10:24:48 PM »

I don't know, but if there are enough complaints of unethical editorial practices, I would like to believe that the editor would be removed by the society or the publisher. 
Deoending on the definition of "enough", this might be tautological.  - DvF
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busyslinky
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« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2012, 7:03:25 AM »

There are written standards for editorial ethics for many disciplines and overall (COPE).

If an editor does not follow these written ethical standards, then an author has recourse to point to the written standard and say an editor has not followed it to the governing body or the public at large.

What happens afterward is up to the publisher, editorial board, professional society, author, editor, the media, the public, the fora, family members, etc.

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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2012, 7:46:55 AM »

busyslinky, you seem to have great confidence in the enforcement of these guidelines.  Can you point to any examples of actual enforcement, eg where a journal editor lost his/her job because they were violated?  The editorial examples I know from my field did not have any ramifications for the person involved (and we have a code of ethics as well), and the plagiarism/data fudging examples I know are not really what this thread is about. - DvF
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busyslinky
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« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2012, 8:50:40 AM »

busyslinky, you seem to have great confidence in the enforcement of these guidelines.  Can you point to any examples of actual enforcement, eg where a journal editor lost his/her job because they were violated?  The editorial examples I know from my field did not have any ramifications for the person involved (and we have a code of ethics as well), and the plagiarism/data fudging examples I know are not really what this thread is about. - DvF

Actually, my confidence in these is not as great as you assume.  This is why I was trying to downplay the affects of the standards and just point out that some exist. Some standards are written and professional organizations try to publicize them. 

But, in reality, I agree with you, the enforcement may not be as strong as it could be.  That is why I stated that if enough people complained, even about the most minute standard, changes of some kind may occur.

Have some of these changes occurred?  I bet they have, but I'm not really sure.  The issue is whether a publisher, journal, or professional society would want to publicize it if it did occur.   Also, many professional society journals have a revolving editorialship.  Problems with editors may take a while to percolate, by that time their editorial appointment may expire.   These might be a reasons why we know of few editors that are being replaced for 'unethical editorial practices'.  Or maybe all editors are completely ethical?
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