Are Pseudonyms Ethical in (Science) Publishing? Neuroskeptic as a Case Study

Letter

Abstract

The blogosphere is full of personalities with masks, or pseudonyms. Although not a desired state of public communication, one could excuse the use of pseudonyms in blogs and social media, which are generally unregulated or weakly regulated. However, in science publishing, there are increasingly strict rules regarding the use of false identities for authors, the lack of institutional or contact details, and the lack of conflicts of interest, and such instances are generally considered to be misconduct. This is because these violations of publishing protocol decrease trust and confidence in science and bring disrepute to those scientists who conform to the rules set out by journals and publishers and abide by them. Thus, when cases are encountered where trust and protocol in publishing are breached, these deserve to be highlighted. In this letter, I focus on Neuroskeptic, a highly prominent science critic, primarily on the blogosphere and in social media, highlighting the dangers associated with the use of pseudonyms in academic publishing.

Keywords

Academic publishing Anonymity Blogs Indexing PubMed Social media 

References

  1. Al-Khatib, A., & Teixeira da Silva, J. A. (2016). Stings, hoaxes and irony breach the trust inherent in scientific publishing. Publishing Research Quarterly, 32(3), 208–219. doi:10.1007/s12109-016-9473-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ferguson, C., Marcus, A., & Oransky, I. (2014). Publishing: The peer-review scam. Nature, 515, 480–482. doi:10.1038/515480a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Neuroskeptic. (2012). The nine circles of scientific hell. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(6), 643–644. doi:10.1177/1745691612459519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Neuroskeptic. (2013). Anonymity in science. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17(5), 195–196. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2013.03.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Teixeira da Silva, J. A., & Blatt, M. R. (2016). Does the anonymous voice have a place in scholarly publishing? Plant Physiology, 170(4), 1899–1902. doi:10.1104/pp.15.01939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Miki-choJapan

Personalised recommendations