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In the Era of Fake News and Misinformation, Can Science be Trusted?

By IGI Global on Sep 18, 2020

Editor Note: Understanding the importance of this timely topic and to ensure that research is made available to the wider academic community, IGI Global has made a sample of related articles and chapters complimentary to access. View the end of this article to freely access this critical research.


In the era of fake news, political agendas, and social media, it is difficult to decipher what is fact and fiction. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, although individuals have a positive view of science and scientists, they are becoming more hesitant in “scientists’ competence, credibility and concern for the public interest – and they are largely skeptical of scientists’ transparency and accountability.”

Due to this trend, those in the academic industry (including IGI Global) are taking part in the Annual Peer Review Week, on September 21-25, 2020, that is focused on the theme is “Trust in Peer Review.” During this week, activities and campaigns are focused on assisting in educating citizens and others within the academic community on the importance of peer review, publishing quality research, and identifying credible resources.  

Senior Director of Marketing and Sales, Mr. Nick Newcomer, and Ms. Caroline Campbell, Marketing Manager, are leading the international outreach subcommittee for the event, as IGI Global understands that a quality peer review is at the core of reputable scholarly publishing and is the driving force behind all of IGI Global’s reference books and journals. Understanding the criticalness of this process, as well as the current climate of academic publishing, Profs. Joe Erickson, Angelo State University, USA, and Kristine Blair, Bowling Green State University, USA discuss how to support researchers in developing and advancing ethos in academic publishing through professional development and the peer review process in their article, “The Ethos of Online Publishing: Building and Sustaining an Inclusive Future for Digital Scholarship,” featured in the Research Anthology on Scholarly Ethics and Publishing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (IGI Global). View the full article below:

Research Anthology on Scholarly Ethics and Publishing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice
Copyright 2019 | Pages: 919 | ISBN: 9781522580577 | EISBN:9781522580584

This publication is ais an essential reference source that discusses various aspects of ethical values in academic settings including methods and tools to prevent and detect plagiarism, strategies for the principled gathering of data, and best practices for conducting and citing research...Learn More.

As Hawisher and Selfe noted (1997), editorial roles on scholarly journals are exceptionally helpful to graduate student professional development in that these future faculty are more successfully able to dialogue with both new and established colleagues in a process that is reciprocal and supportive, enabling a mentoring approach in the development of digital scholarship. Although Hawisher and Selfe were writing at a time when online journals were few and far between, in many ways, the advent of these digital scholarly models have helped to achieve this professional goal. This chapter will address the need to provide meaningful opportunities for mentoring graduate students for roles as faculty who foster multimodal composing in both teaching and research; we argue that developing these opportunities is a necessity for all disciplines, but we will focus on existing models of scholarship found in rhetoric and composition to develop our points. In the spirit of Lisa Ede and Andrea Lunsford’s (1990) collaborative scholarship over the years, we will also argue that collaborative journal administration moves away from isolating hierarchical models of mentoring and publishing within the academy toward a community of scholar-teachers.

As the Modern Language Association Taskforce on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion (2006) initially suggested, despite the recognition of the potential of various digital tools to produce and distribute collaborative scholarship in the field, very often our incentive and reward systems still privilege single-authored alphabetic literacy models, and tenure and promotion committees, as well as department chairs, have little to no experience in assessing online scholarship. Indeed, Purdy and Walker (2010) argued that “While both faculty members using digital tools and committees charged with evaluating tenure-and-promotion cases have tried to create appropriate categories for digital scholarship, their success remains partial” (p. 177). Our chapter will argue that the scholarly collective necessary to sustain online publishing reacts against traditional evaluative models of scholarship that have limited the voices that can speak and the modalities in which they can be heard. Through our perspective as two editors of the journal Computers and Composition Online, we will advocate for the ethos of digital scholarship as a legitimate venue and sustainable source of disciplinary inquiry, and thus a viable professional development opportunity for graduate students as future faculty.

The Ethos of Print

In his influential book Scholarship Reconsidered, Ernest Boyer (1990) called upon the academy to rethink its definition of scholarship in ways that not only break down binaries between research and teaching but also between the individual and collaborative. As Boyer concluded, “professors, to be fully effective, cannot work continuously in isolation. It is toward a shared vision of intellectual and social possibilities—a community of scholars—that the … dimensions of academic endeavor should lead. In the end, scholarship at its best, should bring faculty together” (p. 80). Despite Boyer’s emphasis upon the collaborative and upon a broadened range of scholarly activity that values pedagogy, engagement with the community, and integration as opposed to separation of the disciplines, more than two decades later, Boyer’s ideas are, for many, more rhetoric than reality. While certainly some disciplines in both the sciences and social sciences recognize and value collaborative research, it is not likely to be pedagogical, and still others may continue to privilege single-authored scholarship in print form.

For instance, the 2006 Taskforce of the Modern Language Association’s Report on Tenure and Promotion hailed Boyer’s emphasis on the scholarship of teaching and stated that the “goals of scholarship in the fields represented by the MLA would be better served if the monographic book were not so broadly required or considered the gold standard for tenure and promotion” (p. 26).

The Taskforce Report acknowledges the lack of progress when reviewing statistical data that suggests the single-authored monograph is considered “a reasonable demand” at a range of colleges and universities with varying missions rather than just the Carnegie doctorate-granting institutions (see “About Carnegie Classification” for details about this classification system). But whether it be a book or an article, individually written or collaborative, what trumps the “tyranny of the monograph” (Waters, 2001) is the “ethos of print.” Such an ethos is built upon the presumption that print is somehow more rigorously imbued with an innate quality that results from a blind peer review process in which rates of acceptance are almost as important to a publication as the contribution to the field.

A significant part of that print ethos is ascribed to the author as creator or, as Martha Woodmansee (1994) suggested, “master.” For Woodmansee, “The notion that the writer is a special participant in the production process—the only one worthy of attention—is a recent provenience. It is a byproduct of the Romantic notion that significant writers break with tradition to produce something utterly new, unique—in a word, ‘original’” (p. 16). Certainly, the emphasis on the construct of individual creativity has long been a subject of critique in rhetoric and composition (Brodkey, 1987), in part as a legitimation of both collaborative writing and postmodern emphases on authorship in order to establish ethos of our academic labor as rhetoric and writing specialists. Woodmansee documented the historical and ideological shifts away from what were clearly collaborative production processes of print books in which the author was one contributor among several, and a precursor, we would stress, to the frequently collaborative production processes for digital scholarship as well.

Interested in Reading the Rest of the Article? Access the Full Article Through IGI Global’s InfoSci-Demo Account, here.

Understanding the need for research around this topic, this research is featured in the publication, Research Anthology on Scholarly Ethics and Publishing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (IGI Global). This title is an essential reference source that discusses various aspects of ethical values in academic settings including methods and tools to prevent and detect plagiarism, strategies for the principled gathering of data, and best practices for conducting and citing research. It also assists researchers in navigating the field of scholarly publishing through a careful analysis of multidisciplinary research topics and recent trends in the industry. Highlighting a range of pertinent topics such as academic writing, publication process, and research methodologies, this publication is an ideal reference source for researchers, graduate students, academicians, librarians, scholars, and industry-leading experts around the globe.

It is currently available in electronic format (EISBN: 9781522580584) through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore at a 50% discount, and the chapters are featured in IGI Global’s InfoSci®-Books database (5,900+ e-books). Recommend this publication and the InfoSci-Books database to your library to have access to this critical research, as well as thousands of other research resources, including the chapters below, in the IGI Global InfoSci-Books database.

Complimentary Research Articles and Chapters on Scholarly Publishing and Ethics

In response to the timeliness and importance of this topic, we have made all of the below articles and chapters complimentary to access. As such, please feel free to integrate these resources into your research and share them across your network.

View All Articles on This Topic

The “View All Articles on This Topic” navigates to IGI Global’s InfoSci-Demo Account, which provides a sample of the IGI Global content available through IGI Global’s InfoSci-Books (5,900+ e-books) and InfoSci-Journals (185+ e-journals) databases. If interested in having full access to this peer-reviewed research content, recommend these valuable research tools to your library.

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Contact IGI Global’s Marketing Team at or 717-533-8845 ext. 100 to access additional peer-reviewed resources to integrate into your latest news stories.

Featured Publications Surrounding This Topic:

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Recommend to Library
Scholarly Publishing and Research Methods Across Disciplines
Prof. Victor C.X. Wang (Grand Canyon University, USA)
Copyright: 2019 | Pages: 372 | ISBN: 9781522577300 | EISBN: 9781522577317

This title is a collection of innovative findings on the methods and applications of research in scholarly publishing, ranging from the analyzation of mixed methods and qualitative/quantitative research, to Dewey’s scientific method and more. Highlighting a range of topics including higher education, digital divide, and model development, this publication applies a cross-disciplinary viewpoint that will appeal to researchers, graduate students, academicians, librarians, scholars, and industry-leading experts around the globe seeking an understanding of the limitations and strengths in research techniques.

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Ethics in Research Practice and Innovation
Profs. Antonio Sandu (Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania), Ana Frunza (LUMEN Research Center in Social and Humanistic Sciences, Romania) and et. al.
Copyright 2019 | Pages: 373| ISBN: 9781522563105 | EISBN: 9781522563112

This title is an essential reference source that discusses current and historical aspects of ethical values in scientific research and technologies, as well as emerging perspectives of conducting ethical research in a variety of fields. Featuring research on topics such as clinical trials, human subjects, and informed consent, this book is ideally designed for practitioners, medical professionals, nurses, researchers, scientists, scholars, academicians, policy makers, and students seeking coverage on the ethical risks and limitations of research practice.
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Recommend to Library
Marginalia in Modern Learning Contexts
Copyright 2019| Pages: 250 | ISBN: 9781522571834 | EISBN: 9781522571841

This title is a collection of innovative research on the methods and applications of interaction between readers and texts through digital means such as commenting or physical annotation such as writing in the margins of a book and how these strategies can be applied in educational settings. While highlighting topics including social annotation, teacher education, and technological expertise, this book is ideally designed for educators, administrators, academicians, researchers, and students seeking current research on digital and physical annotation methods and strategies and their applications in educational environments.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.

About IGI Global: Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is committed to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically advanced publishing process. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 100,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging, peer-reviewed research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. To learn more about IGI Global, click here.

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