Tuesday, April 01, 2014

B - Guidance on research integrity in Europe

Godecharle S, Nemery B, Dierickx K. Guidance on research integrity: no union in Europe. The Lancet 2013;381(9872):1097-1098
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60759-X)

The authors retrieved and analysed 49 national guidelines addressing research misconduct and promoting scientific integrity, published by 19 European countries. They found a highly heterogenous picture within and between European countries resulting in a confusing situation. In addition, they had great difficulty in retrieving the guidelines of 12 countries. The harmonization of those guidelines are therefore necessary.

B - Why growing retractions are a good sign

Fanelli D. Why growing retractions are (mostly) a good sign. PLoS Medicine 2013;10(12):e1001563         

The number of journals issuing retractions has grown dramatically in recent years, but the number of retractions per retracting-journal has not increased. Growing numbers of retractions are most plausibly a sign that researchers and journal editors are getting better at identifying and removing papers that are either fraudulent or plainly wrong, and there is little evidence of an increase in the prevalence of misconduct. Nevertheless, many journals still lack clear policies for misconduct and retraction, and existing policies are applied inconsistently.

B - Cheating in publications

Khan ZH. Cheating in publications - Self or others? Acta Medica Iranica 2014;52(1):1-2

Also using plagiarism, duplicate (redundant) or piecemeal publications, some authors manage to safely escape the barriers and filters the editorial staff of journals and get their papers published. It appears that cross check does little to address plagiarism of ideas.To bring an end to this menace, the author of this article suggests that referees with the necessary expertise of removing cheatings should be selected.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

B - How to be a top journal

Huh S. The new era of Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility: what should be prepared to be a top journal in the category of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility 2013;19(4):419-421
(doi: 10.5056/jnm.2013.19.4.419)   

Starting from the experience of the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, the author explains what the editors of a journal indexed in the Web of Science should do in order to improve all processes of editing and publishing: invitation and arrangement of editorial board members, masthead description including aims and scope, instructions to authors, publication ethics, cover page design, lay-out style of text, manuscript management system, review process, training of reviewers, budget including article processing charge, eISSN, PMC XML or Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) XML, PubReader, CrossRef XML for digital object identifier (DOI), CrossCheck, CrossMark, FundRef, Open Researcher & Contributor ID (ORCID), QR code, journal homepage, journal app for smart phone and smart pad, multimedia data including audio recording or video presentation, and epub ahead of print.

B - Conflict of interest disclosure form

Baethge C. The effect of a conflict of interest disclosure form using closed questions on the number of positive conflicts of interest declared - a controlled study. PeerJ 2013;1:e128.
(doi: 10.7717/peerj.128) 
Conflicts of interest (COI) are often not declared completely and accurately. One of several possible reasons for deficient COI declarations is the lack of standardized and comprehensive COI forms. In this study positive COI statements were analyzed at three German medical journals. Results showed that COI forms employing closed questions based on clear definitions of conflicts of interests, such as those recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and now used by Deutsches Ärzteblatt, seem to be superior to less structured forms.

B - The first scientific journal

Singleton A. The first scientific journal. Learned Publishing 2014;27(1):2-4
(doi: 10.1087/2014101)

On the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the publication of the first scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Phil Trans), the editor of Learned Publishing took a close look at the early issues of this journal to see how much has changed in journal publishing since that time. Surprisingly he discovered many features that we associate with the modern journal, and that today we call: contents lists and indexes, letters to the editor, news and views, FAQs, book reviews, errata, adverts, illustrations, referencing, and peer review.

B - Conflicts of interest in high-impact biomedical journals

Bosch X, Pericas JM, Hernández C, et al. Financial, nonfinancial and editors' conflicts of interest in high-impact biomedical journals. European Journal of Clinical Investigation 2013;43(7):660-667
(doi: 10.1111/eci.2013.43.issue-7/issuetoc)

This study aimed to assess financial, nonfinancial and editors' conflicts of interest (COI) disclosure policies among high-impact biomedical journals. The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of 399 journals and collected information relevant to the disclosure available on journal websites. Results showed that authors' financial COI disclosures were required by about 90% of journals, and that editors are increasingly concerned about nonfinancial competing interests.


B - Online-to-print delays and impact factor

Tort ABL, Targino ZH, Amaral OB. Rising publication delays inflate journal impact factors. PLoS ONE 2012;7(2):e53374
(doi: 10.1371/journale.pone.0053374)

In this study the authors used publication records of neuroscience journals to analyze the evolution of publication delay over the last decade, and to study whether this phenomenon can alter journal impact factors. They showed that online-to-print lags (that is, the delay between online availability of an article and its print publication) have risen steeply in recent years, and that they led to earlier citations, and thus to an increase in impact factors. According to the authors, a simple means to avoid distortions such as the one described is the indexing of articles by scientific databases on the date of their online appearance, rather than on that of their publication in print.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

B - New ideas in science

Maqbool F, Bahadar H, Abdollahi M. Science for the benefit of all; the way from idea to product. Journal of Medical Hypotheses and Ideas epub February 2014
(doi: 10.1016/j.jmhi.2014.02.002)

Mutual coordination between academia and industries is extremely important for the growth of science. The spread of ideas is only possible with publication and distribution of information to all in the world. Unpublished new ideas will remain hidden. It is necessary that all scientists share their ideas, opening new opportunities for others to work in the various aspects them. It is important to ponder new ways in science, generate new ideas and share with others, so the concept of “science for the benefits of all” remain alive forever.

B - Conflicts of interest in biomedical publications

Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, NAkazhanov NA, et al. Conflicts of interest in biomedical publications: considerations for authors, peer reviewers, and editors. Croatian Medical Journal 2013;54:600-608
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2013.54.600)

This article overviews evidence on common instances of conflict of interest (COI) in biomedical publications. Financial relationships of research institutions and their investigators is the most conspicuous source of COI. Comprehensive policies on disclosure of financial and non-financial COIs in scholarly journals are presented as proxies of their indexing in evidence-based databases, and examples of successful medical journals are discussed in detail. The article emphasizes the importance of adhering to the guidance on COI from learned associations such as the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). It also considers joint efforts of authors, peer reviewers, and editors as a foundation for appropriately defining and disclosing potential COIs.

B - Salami publication

Šupak Smolčić V. Salami publication: definitions and examples. Biochemia Medica 2013;23(3):237-141
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2013.030)

Salami publication is a distinct form of redundant publication that is characterized by similarity of hypothesis, methodology or results but not text similarity. There is no software application or algorithm for its detection, and therefore it presents a serious threat to publication ethics. This article describes a practical approach, including examples, for dealing with manuscripts suspected of salami publication through the experience of Biochemia Medica journal.

B - Case reports

Barić H, Andrijašević L. Why should medical editors CARE about case reports? Croatian Medical Journal 2013;54:507-509
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2013.54.507)

In September 2013, CARE (CAse REport) guidelines were presented and published in several journals. Even though case reports are indispensable for medical progress since they bring attention to novel entities, in the evidence based era of impact factors and citations, they are often considered to be less valuable and often neglected by both publishers and readers, due to their low citation rates. However, case reports have not only changed and grown more complex in their form, but continue to report on a wide range of topics other than direct clinical experience. Today they play a significant role in medical education and help emphasize ethical predicaments.

B - Peer review simulation

Paolucci M. Grimaldo F. Mechanism change in a simulation of peer review: from junk support to elitism. Scientometrics epub February 2014
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-014-1239-1)

In this work, with an agent-based approach, the authors developed a computational model as an heuristic device to represent, discuss and compare theoretical statements and their consequences. Employing a theoretical approach supported by agent-based simulation, they examined computational models of peer review, performing the replication of simulations using different mechanisms. Plausible changes showed that peer review can withstand a substantial amount of cheaters, causing just a graceful decline in total quality.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

B - Self-correction in biomedical publications

Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, Akazhanov NA, et al. Self-correction in biomedical publications and the scientific impact. Croatian Medical Journal 2014;55:61-72
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2014.55.61)

The authors conducted searches through PubMed, based on the author information, to retrieve errata, duplicate, and retracted publications. A striking increase in the number of corrections appeared in 2013. Duplicate and retracted article types were those most frequently recorded, and a sizeable amount of them came from highly productive countries. In particular, findings revealed an increase of duplicate items, which mostly came to the light in the digitization and open-access era. The study suggests that the increased self-correction in biomedicine is due to the attention of readers and authors, who spot errors.

B - Research misconduct

Farthing MJG. Research misconduct: a grand global challenge for the 21st century. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2014;29:422-427
(doi: 10.1111/jgh.12500)

According to the author, promoting the responsible conduct of research (RCR) alone may not be enough to prevent research misconduct; complementary strategies should be considered to deal with the continuing rise in the number of reported cases of research misconduct. These strategies include enhanced monitoring of research outputs and random audit using the available technology, as should be having a register of “licensed researchers.” In addition, he supports a culture change in the research community in which researchers are encouraged to admit their mistakes, and a greater collaboration between organizations to ensure standards of research integrity.

B - Honorary authorship

Rajasekaran S, Li Pi Shan R, Finnoff JT. Honorary authorship: frequency and associated factors in physical medicine and rehabilitation research articles. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2014;95:418-428
(doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.09.024)

This article addresses the persistent, difficult, and unsettled issue of unwarranted authorship as it applies to physical medicine and rehabilitation. It estimates the prevalence of perceived honorary authorship and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)-defined honorary authorship, this latter being much greater. The findings show that its frequency is similar to the 25% to 50% rates reported in other medical specialties.

B - Japanese randomized controlled trials

Yoneoka D, Hisashige A, Ota E, et al. Are Japanese randomized controlled trials up to the task? A systematic review. PLoS ONE 2014;9(3):e90127
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090127)

The number of published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is rapidly increasing worldwide. This study identified the number of all Japanese RCTs published in Japan in 2010, it assessed their general characteristics and quality and analyzed factors related to their quality. Despite a considerable number of RCTs conducted in Japan, their quality is not satisfactory in some domains. On the other hand, there are high-quality, non-indexed RCTs. The full disclosure of trial information and quality control of clinical trials are urgently needed in Japan.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

B - Research design of articles in Brazilian physical therapy journals

Saragiotto BT, Costa Lcm, Oliveira RF, et al. Description of research design of articles published in four Brazilian physical therapy journals. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy 2014; epub
(doi: 10.1590/S1413-35552012005000136)

One important step in accessing high-quality clinical research in evidence-based physical therapy is the identification of the research design used and knowing where the research design is ranked in the hierarchy (or levels) of evidence. This article aims to describe the research design used in articles published in Brazilian scientific journals that are relevant to physical therapy or physical medicine and rehabilitation. Journals that are freely available and have high Qualis rankings were evaluated over the most recent 7-year priod (2005 to 2011).

B - Citation indices of Korean scientific journals

Kim JA, Huh S, Chu MS. Correlation among the citation indices of Korean scientific journals listed in international databases. Science Editing 2014;1(1):27-36
(doi: 10.6087/kcse.2014.1.27)

This article intends to examine the influence of Korean scientific journals and find solutions for future growth by performing a correlation analysis of the indicators of citation indices for 62 Korean scientific journals cross-listed in the Web of Science and Scopus. Journals showed low values in both popularity and prestige-based indicators. The authors suggested to take a strategic approach to improve those values, in particular the impact factor.http://www.escienceediting.org/journal/view.php?number=8

Friday, February 21, 2014

B - Medical writing and ghostwriting

Das N, Das S. Hiring a professional medical writer: is it equivalent to ghostwriting? Biochemia Medica 2014;24(1):19-24
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2014.004)

Several international guidelines including the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines require authors to acknowledge the contribution of medical writers.
This article discusses this acknowledgement and it emphasizes on how acknowledging medical writing support can go a long way in curbing the menace of scientific misconduct including ghostwriting. Some biomedical editors predict a gradual shift from the traditional authorship system to a model of contributorship: even medical writers who do not always qualify as authors would receive adequate acknowledgement for their contribution.

B - Tips for non-native English speakers editors

Murugesan R. Publishing a journal in English: tips for journal editors who are non-native English speakers. Science Editing 2014;1(1):46-48
(doi: 10.6087/kcse.2014.1.46)

Journal editors should make sure that the quality of English in their journal is consistently high. This article is aimed at non-native English speaking journal editors who wish to improve the standard of English in their journals. It describes several types of language professionals who can be involved in preparing a scientific manuscript for publication. Among them, the author's editor is a person who helps an author improve the language and presentation of a manuscript; a copy-editor works for a range of clients (i.e., publishers, universities, individual authors) and is involved in the author's publishing goals.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

B - Gender disparities in science

Larivière V, Ni C, Gingras Y, et al. Global gender disparities in science. Nature 2013;504:211-213
(doi: 10.1038/504211a)

In this paper the authors present a cross-disciplinary bibliometric analysis of: the relationship between gender and research output; the extent of collaboration; and the scientific impact of published papers. They used the following parameters: authorship; co-authorship; and citations.
Their findings confirm that gender imbalances persist in research output worldwide. Globally, women accounted for fewer than 30% of fractionalized authorships of scientific papers; in terms of collaboration, women tended to be more “domestically oriented” (i.e., focused on within country collaborations) than men; and papers with women in prominent author positions received fewer citations (on average) than those with men in the same positions. The authors recommend programmes fostering international collaboration for female researchers.