Supplemental or detrimental?

Journals debate the value of supplemental materials

Michele Solis
Feb 23, 2011
Last November, Journal of Neuroscience abolished supplemental materials -- the extra figures and tables that appear online, but not in the printed version of a paper. Editor-in-chief linkurl:John Maunsell;http://f1000.com/thefaculty/member/305132154309970 argued linkurl:in an editorial;http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/full/30/32/10599 that the escalating amount of supplemental materials had begun to devalue the peer review process.
Image: Wikimedia commons, Autopilot
The decision highlights a tension between the need for rigorous peer review of scientific research and the desire to provide as much data as possible to the scientific community."More data, in and of itself, is always a good thing -- if there aren't adverse effects," said Maunsell, who is also a neuroscientist at Harvard University. But peer review was becoming less effective because many reviewers failed to evaluate the supplemental materials, which the journal wasn't even required to provide, he explained. "We were taking a hit on peer review for something that wasn't formally our responsibility."Usually embraced as...
Journal of NeuroscienceJournal of NeuroscienceNeuroscience




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