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Science

Researchers Feel Pressure To Cite Superfluous Papers 107

ananyo writes "One in five academics in a variety of social science and business fields say they have been asked to pad their papers with superfluous references in order to get published. The figures, from a survey published in the journal Science (abstract), also suggest that journal editors strategically target junior faculty, who in turn were more willing to acquiesce. The controversial practice is not new: those studying publication ethics have for many years noted that some editors encourage extra references in order to boost a journal's impact factor (a measure of the average number of citations an article in the journal receives over two years). But the survey is the first to try to quantify what it calls 'coercive citation,' and shows that this is 'uncomfortably common.' Perhaps the most striking finding of the survey was that although 86% of the respondents said that coercion was inappropriate, and 81% thought it damaged a journal's prestige, 57% said they would add superfluous citations to a paper before submitting it to a journal known to coerce. However, figures from Thomson Reuters suggest that social-science journals tend to have more self-citations than basic-science journals."
Australia

Australia Mandates Microsoft's Office Open XML 317

littlekorea writes "The Australian Government has released a common operating environment desktop policy that — among security controls aimed at reducing the potential for leaks of Government data — mandates the ECMA-376 version of Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) standard and productivity suites that can 'read and write' the .docx format, effectively locking the country's public servants into using Microsoft Office. The policy [PDF] also appears to limit desktop operating systems to large, off-the-shelf commercial offerings at the expense of smaller distributions."
Data Storage

Seattle Hacker Catches Cops Who Hid Arrest Tapes 597

An anonymous reader writes "In 2008, the Seattle Police illegally arrested security consultant Eric Rachner for refusing to show ID. After Rachner filed a formal complaint, he was prosecuted for obstructing, and the police claimed that videos of the arrest were unavailable — until Rachner's research uncovered proof that the police had the videos all along." It's an interesting story of how he figured out how the system in use by Seattle police automatically tracks deletion, copying, or other uses of the recorded stream.
Microsoft

ISO Releases OOXML FAQ 185

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The ISO has put out a FAQ concerning OOXML, but it may raise more questions than it answers. For one, it promises to address problems if they arise in the future. PJ of Groklaw said that's akin to 'selling you a car with four different sizes of tires and assuring that that if you see it's a problem, you can always bring it in for maintenance.' It also handwaves the OSP discriminatory patent promise issues, when asked about contradictions states that some 'may still remain', and asserts that duplicate standards are 'something that need[s] to be decided by the market place.' Notably, the FAQ does not answer the question, 'what the hell were you thinking?'"

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