This paper investigates the extent to which staff editors’ evaluations of submitted manuscripts—that is, internal evaluations
carried out before external peer reviewing—are valid. To answer this question we utilized data on the manuscript reviewing
process at the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The results of this study indicate that the initial internal evaluations are valid. Further, it appears that external review
is indispensable for the decision on the publication worthiness of manuscripts: (1) For the majority of submitted manuscripts,
staff editors are uncertain about publication worthiness; (2) there is a statistically significant proportional difference
in “Rejection” between the editors' initial evaluation and the final editorial decision (after peer review); (3) three-quarters
of the manuscripts that were rated negatively at the initial internal evaluation but accepted for publication after the peer
review had far above-average citation counts.
Authors:Günter Krampen, Ralf Becker, Ute Wahner, and Leo Montada
In reference to the increasing significance of citation counting in evaluations of scientists and science institutes as well
as in science historiography, it is analyzed empirically what is cited in which frequency and what types of citations in scientific
texts are used. Content analyses refer to numbers of references, self-references, publication language of references cited,
publication types of references cited, and type of citation within the texts. Validity of citation counting is empirically
analyzed with reference to random samples of English and German journal articles as well as German textbooks, encyclopedias,
and test-manuals from psychology. Results show that 25% of all citations are perfunctory, more than 50% of references are
journal articles and up to 40% are books and book-chapters, 10% are self-references. Differences between publications from
various psychological sub-disciplines, publication languages, and types of publication are weak. Thus, validity of evaluative
citation counting is limited because at least one quarter refers to perfunctory citations exhibiting a very low information
utility level and by the fact that existing citation-databases refer to journal articles only.
Historical lexicography and etymology fail to examine the validity of words in old dictionaries. This gap is attempted to be filled up with the present study on the five-language dictionary (Latin–Italian–German–Croatian–Hungarian) published in 1595 and compiled by a Croatian author Faust Vrančić. In the paper, seven criteria are used. The analyzed words are equivalent to Latin nouns and adjectives. The Latin lexemes comprise more than half of the entries, which is a substantial sample to draw general conclusions. It is pointed out in the study that the dictionary provided help primarily in understanding Latin texts. It may have been to the greatest use of speakers of the four (non-Latin) vulgar languages with mother-tongue competence or those who were familiar with them. The dictionary seems not to have been adequate in all cases for those interested in these languages to enlarge their vocabulary.
Historical lexicography and history of words fail to examine the validity of the words in old dictionaries. This gap is attempted to be filled up with this present study on the five-language dictionary (Latin, Italian, German, Croatian, and Hungarian) compiled by Faust Vrančić, a Croatian author, published in 1595, which is analysed by seven criteria. The words analysed are equivalent to Latin nouns and adjectives. The Latin lexemes comprise more than half of the entries, which is a substantial sample to draw general conclusions. It is pointed out in the study that the dictionary provided help primarily in understanding Latin texts. It may have been to the greatest use of speakers of the four (non-Latin) vulgar languages at mother-tongue competence or those who were familiar with them. The dictionary seems not to have been adequate in all cases for those interested in these languages to enlarge their vocabulary.
Summary In science, peer review is the best-established method of assessing manuscripts for publication and applications for research fellowships and grants. However, the fairness of peer review, its reliability and whether it achieves its aim to select the best science and scientists has often been questioned. The paper presents the first comprehensive study on committee peer review for the selection of doctoral (Ph.D.) and post-doctoral research fellowship recipients. We analysed the selection procedure followed by the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (B.I.F.), a foundation for the promotion of basic research in biomedicine, with regard to the reliability, fairness and predictive validity of the procedure - the three quality criteria for professional evaluations. We analysed a total of 2,697 applications, 1,954 for doctoral and 743 for post-doctoral fellowships. In 76& of the cases, the fellowship award decision was characterized by agreement between reviewers. Similar figures for reliability have been reported for the grant selection procedures of other major funding agencies. With regard to fairness, we analysed whether potential sources of bias, i.e., gender, nationality, major field of study and institutional affiliation, could have influenced decisions made by the B.I.F. Board of Trustees. For post-doctoral fellowship applications, no statistically significant influence of any of these variables could be observed. For doctoral fellowship applications, we found evidence of an institutional, major field of study and gender bias, but not of a nationality bias. The most important aspect of our study was to investigate the predictive validity of the procedure, i.e., whether the foundation achieves its aim to select as fellowship recipients the best junior scientists. Our bibliometric analysis showed that this is indeed the case and that the selection procedure is thus highly valid: research articles by B.I.F. fellows are cited considerably more often than the “average' paper (average citation rate) published in the journal sets corresponding to the fields “Multidisciplinary', “Molecular Biology & Genetics', and “Biology & Biochemistry' in Essential Science Indicators (ESI) from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA). Most of the fellows publish within these fields.
Authors:K. Kelemen, P. Péczely, Zs. Szőke, and V. Ladjánszky
In a comparative study, a relatively simple and high sensitivity method was developed for analysis of testosterone-equivalent(s) in the faeces of different bird species. To determine the recovery of extractions and purifications, tritium-labelled testosterone was added to the wet samples. Then the samples were treated with sodium dodecil sulphate (SDS), an emulsificator to “open-up” the complex, lipid-coated particles of faecal samples. This emulsification resulted in the decrease of the quantity of interfering substances after diethyl-ether extraction and the linearity of the measured testosterone equivalents from aliquots in the range of 2 and 10 mg of faeces. In the RIA, we applied a group specific polyclonal testosterone antibody which cross-reacted with reduced metabolites and at a certain level with sulphate conjugates as well. The use of Helix enzymes did not modified significantly the results of the analysis relating to a low level of conjugated androgens in the faecal extracts. The biological validity of the method was tested on domestic cockerels, where between the plasma and faecal testosterone values a four hours phase shift was observed, with a correlation of 0.6355. This method is suitable for “non invasive”, behavioural-ethological studies.