Doctoral works published in Institutional Repositories. Plagiarism in journals?

Posted on May 12th, 2019 by Ignacio-Aguaded

Author Ignacio-Aguaded– Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

Undoubtedly, the deposit of doctoral theses in “open” repositories is a very controversial and still unresolved issue that collects conflicting interests between the university institution and the researcher and postdoctoral. The world of open science still has a lot of utopia. In recent years, university repository rankings have been created that have generated a high degree of competitiveness among universities because they have as many and as quickly as possible the articles, books and any digital object of their community of researchers. Also the “doctoral thesis”…reposotorio-380x200

Although these academic works are not properly publications, without doubt, they become publications from the moment they are accessible in the Repositories, since they are digital objects (whether or not they have DOI, whether they have ISBN or not) and are available on the Internet for all the community (and easily found through search engines or the same Google), so they break the premise of the original or in any case of the unpublished (not accessible), basic principles of the rules of a scientific journal and even more in the journals positioned in the first quartiles of the areas that are exclusively devoted to collecting the most relevant, novel and original science. That is its mission, and its visibility and impact is directly linked to this goal. Continue reading

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Writing paragraphs. Three useful tips

Posted on April 18th, 2019 by Rafael Repiso

Author Rafael Repiso – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

An academic text is the argumented exposition of data and ideas in a logical and orderly way, usually with an expository, persuasive and pedagogical intentionality. That is to say, it is the ideas that structure the text, and in turn are represented by the paragraphs that develop each concept through a set of sentences where it is explained, contextualized, in short, it goes deeper into each concept. A good text is characterized because it contains good ideas and data and also presents them properly. Therefore, everything we work on the compositional quality of our paragraphs will benefit the quality of the text. In this post three simple tips are given but with a big load of meaning to improve the quality of the paragraphs.

1. Underline in bold the substantial terms. Each paragraph represents a substantial idea in the context of the document. A trick to visualize these ideas is to underline in black the terms “with weight”. In such a way that we can appreciate in each paragraph the load of meaning that it contains. A paragraph with many underlined words would indicate a high density of important concepts, which may mean that that paragraph has two or more ideas, so it should be subdivided into two or more paragraphs. On the contrary, if after indicating the text in bold text we find paragraphs that do not have words highlighted, we are probably before a paragraph that hardly adds anything new to the document, so it should be eliminated. Logically, before making the work public, we must eliminate the words in bold.

2. Check the connection between the first paragraph and the previous one. The paragraphs represent ideas and these ideas must be related to each other in the natural development of reading the paragraph. That is why you have to check that there is a logical relationship for the reader between the successions of paragraphs. If it stills exists a relationship that is not completely obvious to the reader, a trick is to connect the last sentence of the paragraph with the following one or vice versa, make the first sentence of a paragraph connect to the previous paragraph. Typically, the development of ideas goes from the most general to the most specific.

3. Study the size of the paragraphs. We keep insisting that the ideas are represented in the paragraphs, a paragraph an idea. The size of the paragraphs is a true reflection of the depth with which ideas are developed in the text. Therefore, it is recommended that in order to have a balanced text all the ideas are developed with the same depth, therefore, having similar paragraphs in terms of size is a true reflection of a balanced text. On the other hand, when we find ourselves very bulky paragraphs, we may be finding two scenarios, the first one being the one in which we are developing an idea excessively and the other in a paragraph in which two or more different ideas are presented, so the text should be subdivided into two or more paragraphs.


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The importance of “bringing to light”, instead of hiding, the unexpected or anomalous results

Posted on March 14th, 2019 by Ángel Hernando Gómez

Author: Ángel Hernando Gómez –Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

When we formulate hypotheses or set objectives, it is normal, from the point of view of the human being in general and of the researcher in particular, that we hope to reach our objectives or confirm the hypotheses we propose, it is clear that a confirmed hypothesis is better than one that is not confirmed.

luzAlthough in most of the research designs we propose, we confirm the hypotheses and / or achieve the objectives, it does not always have to be that way, and in fact it is not, so the temptation to “force” (temptation that goes to both the new and the not so inexpert researchers) the analysis or hide the anomalous results that appear – when we make the analysis of our results at the end of the field work – it is great. We can never fall into this temptation for at least three reasons, the first and simple is because it is unethical, the second because we would be missing the truth and the third is because, on numerous occasions, these unconfirmed hypotheses can be more enriching for the subject matter that the simple confirmation of what was considered. If the hypothesis has been confirmed, the conclusion is clear since the research question has been answered, but if it has not been confirmed we have a new opportunity to investigate, to make new questions or to reformulate some of those that we had already done ourselves.

In the course of our investigations, sometimes we find anomalous or unexpected results, these should never be hidden (it may be a serendipity and we are faced with a very valuable finding that we have reached, without looking for it, accidental!) as we are directly opening new research proposals, new lines in which we can design research to try to respond to what we did not expect but that has appeared in our results. These anomalous results have to be brought to light and we have to give them the best possible explanation or, simply, say that we have found them and, for now, we can not give them any explanation. It can also happen that, if we do not show these results, the editor, who in many cases is or must also be a good researcher, will be the one who brings them to light.

We must also learn from the unexpected, what in advance can be considered as a failure or a weakness of our research is not so, we can consider it a strength because it allows us to formulate new hypotheses or propose new research objectives (we or any member of the academic community that works or investigates on this subject) that, in the end, what they will do is to enrich the research on the thematic field. This strength can only be given, obviously, if instead of hiding them or “putting them in a shoehorn” we are able to “bring to light” the anomalous or unexpected results that we find in our researches.

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Future research. Why is prospective important in scientific articles?

Posted on March 9th, 2019 by Luis M Romero-Rodríguez

Author Luis M Romero-Rodríguez– Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

Science advances in steps, not leaps

Thomas Macaulay

Knowledge is, in essence, an evolutionary social construct. It is to say; everything that we know today (from a table, a laptop, a plane or a pill) has been built in progressive advances of the human ingenuity in form of sciences, arts or trades.

Of course, these advances would not be more than isolated and restricted knowledge if there were no means of communicating progress. This is where we go into the subject of the prospective of research, as a recommended way to contribute in the direction of future developments; more specifically to the conclusions section of a scientific article, which more or less standardized structure requires us to: i) Summarize the most significant findings of the research (synthesis of contributions); ii) Check these findings in light of the theories and the state of the matter presented previously (discussion); iii) Present the limitations of the study and; iv) Determine future lines of research (prospective). In this post we will concentrate on this last section of the conclusions.

Where is the future?

When we believed that we had all the answers, suddenly, all the questions changed.

Mario Benedetti.

All research word contributes, in greater or fewer measure, to answer some questions about a topic and to solve some doubts, but in a simultaneous way generates new questions, ideas and emerging lines of work.

Research prospectives are found generally at the end of all scientific text (it is the last section of a conclusion), although there are journals that request that they are found in a part of the abstract or as final notes.

The goal of this part is not another one than the one of facilitating the concentration of investment and research efforts in areas in which researchers have identified new possible ways to get complementary findings or new objects.

Examples of writing of prospective

Roses, S. & Humanes-Humanes, M. (2019). Conflicts in the professional roles of journalists in Spain: Ideals and practice. [Conflictos en los roles profesionales de los periodistas en España: Ideales y práctica]. Comunicar, 58, 65-74.

Among the future developments of this line of research, it is worth mentioning the comparative analysis of the gap with other countries, the replication of the design with a sample of professionals from different media supports (radio, television, digital native diaries and social networks) and observation and analysis of the real gap between the conception of professional roles and their materialization in the contents.

Garmen, P., Rodríguez, C., García-Redondo, P. & San-Pedro-Veledo, J. (2019). Multiple intelligences and video games: Assessment and intervention with TOI software. [Inteligencias múltiples y videojuegos: Evaluación e intervención con software TOI]. Comunicar, 58, 95-104.

Facing future lines of work, it is expected to apply the methodology for the design of games that allow to cover different age groups, as well as to verify the validity and reliability of TOI for the intervention with groups of specific educational needs, such as high-level skills or ADHD.

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The image of the results also matters

Posted on March 3rd , 2019 by Ana Pérez-Escoda

Author Ana Pérez-Escoda – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

How to make good tables and graphics?

The fact that we live in a society highly mediated and deeply marked by the image is not a newness if there was any doubt social networks have emerged as colossus of the image, where the hegemony of the visual does not admit doubts. The latest data from the Annual Report of Hootsuit, 2018 Digital Yearbook, reveal that of the 7,593 billion of the total population, 3,196 billion are social network users, and 2,950 billion are active users of social networks through smartphone.

In February 2018 the New York Times produced a special “Welcome to the Post-Text Future” in which several prestigious journalists: Farhad Manjoo, Nellie Bowles, Mike Isaac or Claire Cain Miller, among many others analyzed the phenomenon of an online society in which the written text falls back as a mean of transmission to give way to sound and image as elements of universal communication.

Why does it affect to researchers?

Because academic results are not only read on paper, nor in front of a desktop computer, the penetration trends of smartphones among citizens, the increasing use of these devices to access content and the growing connectivity have changed, also the way in which science is consumed. Not for nothing when we talk of scientific and academic publications, we no longer speak only of traditional metrics but also of the alternative metrics that are produced by the interaction in networks.

It is because of this emerging and growing need that researchers and academics must take care of the way in which they publish their results, to make their work visible, so it will be essential to take into account the aspect in which they show their research results.

Below we propose three free tools for the creation of excellent graphics, images, infographics and personalized images so that the research results are adapted to a 100% visual society.

Access to EASEL.LY Access to VISME Access to CANVA

It is also important that the graphs of the research are attractive and their visualization is appropriate to the digital medium, so we propose these 3 tools for the design of graphics.

Access to Generador de gráficos Access to ChartGo Access to Creately

Web 2.0 and its wide range of free possibilities makes available to the researcher a free repertoire of options with which making better tables, graphs and infographics that will seek, after publication, a diffusion in research networks of high impact and visibility.


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The “ritual phrases” Do we abuse of them in scientific articles?

Posted on February 19th, 2019 by Águeda Delgado-Ponce

Author Águeda Delgado-Ponce– Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

Despite the fact that written communication is part of the academic life of every student, the writing of the scientific article involves a series of requirements that differentiate it from other types of texts and, therefore, make it difficult its elaboration. Among the main aspects that stand out in this type of writing (from which we spoke in another entry) we can highlight: clarity, brevity and precision. Hence, when you start writing scientific articles, the use of specific expressions, of phrases, provides a guide or help that facilitates this work.

laptop-868818_640The “ritual phrases”, those phrases with a concrete or repeated form and of common use, can in certain cases favor the connection of ideas and avoid the blockages that arise when it comes to writing. And even, simplify or speed up the understanding of the text. However, the problem, as in everything, arises when these expressions are abused, something that uses to happen quite frequently in research articles, because of the intention of a writing closer to the scientific, as well as in writing in another language, given the specificity of this literature. On the contrary, what is achieved with this abuse is a lack of precision since we take “precooked” phrases, which are valid for any article and not for the expression of the specific and particular information that we want to communicate. Also, to subtract originality and seem repetitive.

Therefore, to the question of whether we should demonize and contribute to the eradication of these ritual phrases, the answer would be no, given that sometimes, when you are beginning to write these articles or in translations, they may result in help. But it is necessary to reduce its use to achieve the precision and clarity that this type of texts require.

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What is and what is not a scientific article?

Posted on February 11th, 2019 by Ángel Hernando Gómez

Author Ángel Hernando Gómez – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

Without detracting from the rest of types and formats of articles -all of them valuable in their own genre and for the type of readers to which they are intended for- one must take into account that irevista-digital-grammysfoxn order for an article to be considered as scientific it must have a series of characteristics and respond to a reason. Although these do not always have to be experimental, you can try to inform about new knowledge, it is needed to deal with a research report or scientific communication.

The scientific article has a series of characteristics, among them, the fact that it has to be original (it communicates for the first time the result of a research), that is, to contribute something new to the field of study in which the subject matter is inserted. The results presented must be valid and reliable, must be written in a clear and precise language and, above all, use a methodology with instruments and procedures that have been proven to be scientifically valid, regardless of whether the research carried out follows a quantitative, qualitative or mixed methodology.

The scientific article must pass through a review process, so the journal in which it is published must be a peer-reviewed scientific journal that uses an external review system by experts (peer-review), prior to acceptance and publication of the manuscript, which helps guarantee the relevance of the article and the value of its contribution.

We also should take into account that the scientific article has as a main objective to share the obtained results, through the research carried out, with the scientific community so that these can be known and contrasted. To do this, all the necessary information must be clearly stated in the body of the manuscript, which allows us to reproduce the results that have been found.

The scientific article reports the results of a research; therefore, it must follow a standardized structure of scientific manuscripts (standard of scientific writing), as set out in the IMRyD format (Introduction, Method, Results and Discussion) for the organization of the scientific article between the researchers. This standard of scientific writing must be followed in all its aspects both regarding to the structure and the content and references of the manuscript, since what is done is to expose a research report that has writing standards that are very explicit within the academic world.

In short, there are many types and formats of articles: theoretical, opinion, review articles, studies, reviews, intervention reports, replies to previously published articles, interviews, research reports, etc. But for an article to be considered as scientific it has to fulfill the characteristics that previously have been exposed and be a research report or scientific communication.

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