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Free editors and peers: squeezing the lemon dry

Abstract

In this opinion piece, some of the practices of academic publication in the biomedical field related to the rewarding, or the lack thereof, of peer reviewers are described and discussed. The role and possibly exploitative relationship of mainstream, established publishers of prestigious journals towards their contributors (authors), and peer reviewers is considered. In addition, the role and accountability of publishers and contributors in “predatory” journals is assessed. Professionals who are recruited by the publishing industry, especially the for-profit industry, either as peer reviewers or editors, to complete a professional task, should be rewarded financially as professionals, as for other sectors of the economy, and not simply exploited for free. Points systems or discounts off a publisher’s products do not constitute sufficient, or fair, compensation.

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Specifics of introducing a code of ethics into the academic environment

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