SECOND VIRTUAL SESSION
The Organizing Committee of the VI BRISPE thank the panelists (https://www.vibrispe2020.com/c%C3%B3pia-confirmed-speakers) and the audience that participated in the 2nd virtual session, which was in collaboration with the Brazilian Association of Scientific Editors (ABEC), on August 21, 2020.
It was an outstanding panel, and we wish we could have more time for discussion!
As a takeaway message linked to the 2nd warm-up session, we highlight here comments from Glenn Hampson, Michael Kalichman, and Marcelo Bozza, respectively, reflecting their views of almost real-time sharing of research results on COVID-19…
Glenn Hampson, Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI)
Protecting research integrity and reliability are vital, but peer review has never been nor will it likely ever be (without substantial change) the right tool for providing this protection. The questions we need to ask ourselves are what gatekeeping and referee mechanisms will work best for the future of research, and how can we share large quantities of information more effectively (and faster as needed), and also improve “reliability” in science? If we can sever the perception (both public and internally) that peer review is the answer to these questions, we can begin to think strategically about what we need, and what new and emerging best practices might look like. In this sense, the COVID crisis might inspire the kind of peer review reflection and reform that we’ve long needed, but what we end up with may not be reformed peer review at all but something completely different.
Michael Kalichman, University of California, San Diego, USA
A central question about the COVID-19 pandemic, is whether a rush to find a vaccine or treatment will compromise research integrity. On the one hand, such worries are nothing new: This is not the first widespread medical crisis we have faced. On the other hand, the world we now live in is defined by virtually instantaneous communication and the politicization of nearly everything, including science. The result is that the risks of failure are potentiated by public perceptions of urgency in the face of a virus that has clear risks of morbidity and mortality, has spread to nearly every corner of the planet, and is characterized by uncertainty about the resulting disease, the science, and even who is or is not infected or infectious. Science in this case will best serve society by erring on the side of caution rather than rushing to conclusions.
Marcelo Bozza, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil
“Were this world an endless plain, and by sailing eastward we could for ever reach new distances, and discover sights more sweet and strange than any Cyclades or Islands of King Solomon, then there were promise in the voyage.But in pursuit of those far mysteries we dream of, or in tormented chase of that demon phantom that, some time or other, swims before all human hearts; while chasing such over this round globe, they either lead us on in barren mazes or midway leave us whelmed"
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, 1922. Chapter LII The Albatross
The velocity and quantity of scientific publications and the public interest on
biomedical research are unprecedented, and in part justified by the expectation
that those findings and discoveries might in short term contribute to reduce the
transmission, the mortality and the overall impact of the pandemic. This large-
scale published information in a short period of time comes with important
trade-offs, raising concerns about the quality and integrity of the research, the
editorial and peer-review process, the dilution of important findings in an ocean
of useless information and the risk of spreading misleading and harmful
information. We have as scientific community and as society the opportunity
and responsibility to reflect on measures such as supporting good scientific
practices from research design to publication, improving editorial standards and
better training of referees, financing public curated databases and increasing
the access to literature databases and search engines.
During this warm-up period, we plan to have at least one virtual session per month.