Which journals should be subject to the lock?
In some areas of science, journals can be subject the lock to keep their editors from interfering with their research.
In others, however, they can be forced to take a different approach.
In some cases, it is not even clear that they should be forced.
In a study of over 5,000 published articles published between 1990 and 2013, researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMM) at the University of Oxford found that the lock is not effective.
Professor Tim Riddell, who led the study, told the Daily Telegraph that the researchers found that there were “significant differences” in how much “authorial intent” was required for journals to allow authors to lock articles.
“A lock requires more evidence than a standard check of the original manuscript,” he said.
“It is not just about checking the original, but also assessing the original for evidence of originality, relevance and validity.”
Riddell and his team also found that locking articles did not increase the number of articles that were accepted by a journal.
Instead, it increased the number accepted by other journals, with only two per cent of articles being accepted by the first journal.
In other words, the locks do not prevent the number that were published in the first year from being higher.
As well as the potential for the locks to make journals less attractive to potential authors, there are also concerns about how much data they might require to keep.
For example, a journal can lock an article to prevent someone else from using it in their own research.
That could mean that an individual could access data they collected, but not the data that the person used to create the article.
Ridding journals of the lock will also likely increase costs for the author, who could then pay higher prices for research materials, potentially making it harder for the field to attract and retain top scientists.
In addition, researchers who work on a research project with the journal can find themselves with access to their data, but that is only possible with a lock.
This article originally appeared on The Conversation.
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