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January 13, 2006

Science Integrity, Fraudulent Data, Plagiarism and Open Access

In an article for BBC News on the Hwang Woo-suk stem cell scandal, Paul Rincon and Jonathan Amos digress from the problem of fraudulent data to the problem of plagiarism, which allows them to make a point about OA.

Some scientists say that one of the benefits of the "open access" business model for journals - where scientific papers are free for all to read in a web-based database - could be beneficial for picking up plagiarism and possibly other forms of misconduct. A great many scientific journals are subscription-based, so that readers have to pay to view research. "We think it would be harder for people to plagiarise work once you can do extensive word searches and access more material free on the internet. You'll be able to spot where someone has lifted their work much more easily," says Robert Terry, senior policy adviser at the UK medical charity, the Wellcome Trust.

Source: P. Suber. OA can reduce one kind of scientific misconduct. OANews Blog (10 January 2005) [FullText]

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