Comment Moderation and Freedom of Speech at PubPeer: Challenges and Issues
Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education, 2019, 6(3): 4-10.
PubPeer (https://www.pubpeer.com/) is currently very likely the most visible and coordinated post-publication peer review site for academics and scientists, even more than PubMed Commons, which has now become obsolete because it allows for anonymous comments and critiques. In order for this site to continue to gain the trust and respect of scientists, it needs to display complete transparency and open communication with the public. Little is known about the founders and the management of this organization, California-based The PubPeer Foundation, although two of its founders, Boris Barbour and Brandon Stell, work at French research institutes. It is believed that in November of 2016, The PubPeer Foundation received US$ 412,800 in funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. However, the public would not have been able to glean this information from looking at the “About us” page, even after PubPeer upgraded to version 2.0 on June 15, 2017. This large financial donation is linked to John Arnold’s “war on bad science”. Opacity regarding these facts, compounded by comment removal querying this funding and why it had not been publicized at that time, and how this funding is currently being used, underscores trust in PubPeer, its founders, and its funders. It is unclear who precisely is the comment moderator at PubPeer, and comments come and go, are edited and erased, at the will of the anonymous moderator. If PubPeer hid basic information from the public for almost 7 months, continues to show signs of content (i.e., comment) manipulation and infringement of commentator freedom of speech by impeding the publication of comments, then what moral voice does PubPeer have to request the transparent participation of scientists, editors, and publishers on its site?
The Impact of Teacher Educators’ Professional Ethics Practices on Student-Teachers in Teacher Training Colleges in Tanzania: The Case of Mbeya Region
Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education, 2019, 6(3): 11-20.
Professional conduct among school teachers in Tanzania has a very vital impact on teaching and learning. The purpose of the study was to find how professional code of ethics among teacher educators in teacher training colleges (TTCs) as among teacher training institutions (TTIs) is being practiced with effect to their student-teachers who are prepared to teach in schools as their outputs. The study used a mixed research approaches using the qualitative approach as the dominant approach with explanatory design. About 155 informants were used and data were collected through questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussion. Findings revealed that professional misconduct among school teachers, to a large extent, involve fresh university graduates who have never professionally trained in TTCs than the TTCs graduates. Moreover, findings confirmed that TTCs teacher educators to a large extent maintain the Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct (PCEC) and positively affect their student-teachers. It is then recommended that, in order to help in maintaining PCEC in schools, all responsible employment authorities for professional teachers should introduce the conditions that all fresh university graduate teachers with no professional teaching experiences in lower levels must first undergo ethical professional internship before employment. Moreover, the government should strategically improve TTCs to make them professional training centres for professional teachers who wish to teach at lower levels of education.