[Insight-users] Scientific Publishing Standards -- Alberts 321 (5894): 1271 -- Science

Luis Ibanez luis.ibanez at kitware.com
Sun Sep 28 12:47:52 EDT 2008


Burce Albert,
Editor in Chief of 'Science'

"Scientific Publishing Standards"


The publication of a scientific article is less a way for scientists to
earn recognition and advance their careers than it is an engine for
scientific progress. Science continually advances only because many
cycles of independent testing by different scientists allow new
knowledge to be built with confidence upon old knowledge, thereby
creating a repository of reliable understandings about the world. The
publications of those of us who are scientists explain what we have
found in our investigations, and they lay out exactly what we have done
to make each discovery.

Clear, truthful presentations of data, results, and methods are
essential for enabling the findings of one scientist to be confirmed,
refuted, or extended in new ways by other scientists.

Scientists have an absolute obligation to honesty: They must accurately
report how they arrived at their discoveries, as well as the discoveries
themselves. Thus, our journals must insist on detailed descriptions of
all of the methods used, so as to allow other scientists to reproduce
the results in a straightforward manner. The appropriate place for most
of this information is in the easily expandable Supplementary Materials
that accompany each article.

Authors, reviewers, and editors of scientific manuscripts should
therefore constantly ask themselves whether the reader has been provided
with everything needed to both understand and *reproduce* the results.

The increasingly large data sets produced in some studies present a
different challenge; they require deposition in readily accessible,
online archives, supported by stable public funding.


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