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Environment Magazine September/October 2008


May-June 2018

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Whose Science Is It Anyway?

When a reader scans a table of contents of a scientific journal and decides to delve further into the methodology, results, and data interpretation, he or she undoubtedly thinks the text reflects the views of all co-authors. In these days of sometimes extensive co-authorship, some authors might disagree about minor details, but at least there should be a shared consensus that the results are presented objectively and that the article has been agreed upon by all authors. One might also assume that journal editors have a mechanism to ensure that all co-authors have seen and agreed upon the final version of an article. Many editors will tell you this is routine or their journal's policy, but rarely do they verify if this is actually the case.


C. Kenneth Dodd, Jr. is a courtesy associate professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.

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