WIKILETTERS ABOUT RATIONALE USING FAQ

Find and check a number of quality aspects regarding any publication (from production to delivery)

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Using WikiLetters!


You can search the full title of an article you want to check the various aspects of quality. If you do not have a specific title in mind, just submit a few keywords related to the research topic you wish to read about so that WL may provide a few good options. WL helps you to wisely digest scientific information, and without assuming that everything written on paper is true. By default, WL considers all options for quality checking activated, although you are welcome to use the customized search and disable any option if not needed.


WL-Letters: To allow scientists and researchers to anonymously provide potential caveats or critiques that they have identified in published articles. Writing a Letter is quite similar to writing a comment to any scientific journal. However, here you are not required to provide your personal details, and here your submitted letter becomes available online instantaneously.

  • For WL-Letters, consider visiting WL-Letters.

  • Notes: it is a space to anonymously provide the writing of comments, caveats and criticisms about published scientific articles.

  • For Notes, consider visiting PubPeer.com.

  • WikiComments: To provide a list of peer reviewed comments (sometimes called published notes), which are specifically providing caveats or critiques to scientific publications. WL-Comments can be used as a resource to easily find peer-reviewed critiques and caveats about specific publications. This is particularly useful for publications that have a very high citation rate. As this page only contains critiques and caveats, as opposed to every publication that cites the source article, it is much more efficient than using a large search engine and having to sift through all the results to check for any issues.

    For example: Andrew Gelman (2006). Prior distributions for variance parameters in hierarchical models (comment on article by Browne and Draper). Bayesian Analysis, 1(3): 515-534.

    Readers of the Browne and Draper article, may not be aware of this published critique. As Browne and Draper's article is such a highly cited article (391 citations and increasing), it is unlikely that all the listed citations of this article would be read by those intending to reference Browne and Draper as part of their own research. By providing easy access to critical comments about this article, WL increases the likelihood that readers will be exposed to this information. Comments are often relevant and important, but can be hard to find in online-search engines.

  • For WikiComments, consider visiting WikiComments.

  • Retracted: To provide a list of retracted journal articles, conference papers and book chapters. In addition to explaining the reasons.

    Scientific articles are often available for download from a number of different online databases. Although the original publisher will mark an article as officially retracted, articles may unwittingly be downloaded from a source that is not the original publisher and therefore not identified as retracted. Citation of retracted articles is not negligible, and WL can potentially reduce this problem if authors regularly check their reference lists in our database.

    Further reading on this topic:

    Judit Bar-Ilan and Gali Halevi (2017). Post retraction citations in context: a case study. Scientometrics, 1-19. Doi: 10.1007/s11192-017-2242-0. Available at: Link to article
    Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva and Helmar Bornemann-Cimenti (2017). Why do some retracted papers continue to be cited? Scientometrics, 110:365–370. Doi: 10.1007/s11192-016-2178-9. Available at: Link to article
  • For Retracted Articles, consider visiting RetractionWatch.com.

  • WikiCitingRetracted: To provide a list of citing-retracted journal articles, conference papers and book chapters. WL-citing-retracted can be used to check scientific publications that have cited retracted articles, and used information that compromises their quality regarding used data, or methods and even conclusions. In particular, WL recommends that scientists check the status of all publications in their reference list before publishing a manuscript.

    Citation of retracted articles is not negligible (see aforementioned articles), and WL can potentially help researchers to avoid using the piece of information from a retracted article, which is still available in citing-retracted articles.

    Further reading on this topic:

    Paul E. van der Vet and Harm Nijveen (2016). Propagation of errors in citation networks: a study involving the entire citation network of a widely cited paper published in, nd later retracted from, the journal Nature. Research Integrity and Peer Review, 1:3. DOI 10.1186/s41073-016-0008-5. Available at: Link to article.
  • For WikiCitingRetracted, consider visiting WikiCitingRetracted.

  • Classified-citations: To provide excerpts from published literature, which explicitly identify limitations or positive aspects of other published research. The intention of this page is to gain exposure to relevant information in these excerpts, which might otherwise go largely unnoticed. Researchers can use this page in two ways. Firstly, to find potential issues with publications of interest or articles that they intend to reference in their own manuscripts. Secondly, to gain exposure to important critical citations made within their own publications by submitting excerpts of their work to WL for publication on this page.

    For example: the following excerpt is taken from Thomas et al. (2014), Numerical modelling and graph theory tools to study ecological connectivity in the Great Barrier Reef, Ecological Modelling, v 272, 160-174.

    This excerpt shows a limitation regarding mesh-resolution by Luick et al. (2007) and Paris et al. (2007). However, readers of both Luick et al. (2007) and Paris et al. (2007), which are both highly cited articles, are unlikely to know about this important information noted by Thomas et al. (2014). Consequently, researchers using information from Paris et al (2007) and Luick et al (2007) may make errors in their own work, which could have been avoided had they read the comments from Thomas et al. (2014). Therefore, WL strongly encourages scientists to generate links to their own articles in order to gain exposure to important information, which might otherwise go largely unnoticed.

    A simplified visual description of citation-network is provided below:

    Observe that Thomas et al. (2014) has provided a critique concerning two highly-cited articles.

    Consequently, readers of both Paris et al. (2007) and Luick et al. (2007) can benefit from this critique provided by Thomas et al. (2014), and Thomas would no longer have this critique lost among the various citations referring to Paris's and Luick's articles.

    Classified citations commonly fit under the three main categories POSITVE (supporting), NEUTRAL (mentioning), and NEGATIVE (contesting).

  • For Classified Citations, consider visiting Scite.ai.

  • WL-Erratum (also Corrigendum and Improper-citations): To provide rectification regarding Erratum, Corrigendum, and regarding a citation towards any article. On numerous occasions we read a citation that misinterpreted another work, and this database aims to allow corrections of these improper citations. This database integrates Erratum, Corrigendum and Improper Citations under the same umbrella.

  • For Erratum/Corrigendum/Improper-citations, consider visiting WikiErratum.
  • Deceptive Publishers: To provide a list of journals that may be potentially defined as predatory journals, so that the peer-review process may be largely affected and so the quality of an article published in such journal.

  • For Deceptive Publishers, consider visiting BeallsList.

  • "Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool." Plato? George Francis Train?

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