Wednesday, July 22, 2015

B - An open research culture

Nosek BA, Alter G, Banks GC, et al. Promoting an open research culture. Science June 2015;348(6242):1422-1425
(doi: 10.1126/science.aab2374)

The Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Committee met in November 2014 and developed guidelines consisting of eight shared standards for open practices across journals. These guidelines could help promote transparency, openness, an reproducibility of scientific research outputs. As the TOP Committee recognized that not all the standards are applicable to all journals or all disciplines, it defined three levels for each standard.

B - The erosion of research integrity

Ellis LM. The erosion of research integrity: the need for cultural change. The Lancet Oncology July 2015;16:752-754
(doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00085-6)

The success of drug development depends on robust and reproducible preclinical studies. Reports suggest that a high percentage of preclinical studies cannot be reliably reproduced. Causes could be sloppy research and data falsification or even fabrication. The author suggests approaches to improve data reproducibility, and fosters a complete cultural change.

B - Reasons for abandoning clinical trials

Couzin-Frankel J. Researchers seek clear reasons when clinical trials end early. Science July 2015;349(6245):222
(doi: 10.1126/science.349.6245.222)

About 12% of clinical trials are reported to shut down prematurely. Knowing why could help minimize the number of terminated trials going forward. A team of three computational biologists began exploring why clinical trials end prematurely. They looked at all 3122 terminated trials on the registry at the time their study began, and divided the reasons for ending early into "buckets," such as funding, ethical reasons, or business decisions, so they could see the breakdown by category.  but those explanations were often hazy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

B - What motivates researchers to write journal articles

Jubb M. Communication or competition: what motivates researchers to write articles for journals?Learned Publishing 2014;27(4): 251-252
(doi: 10.1087/20140403)

The author presents insights on whether competition or communication motivates researchers to write and publish articles in scholarly journals. He discusses the challenges being experienced by these researchers, the importance of informal communication, the use of social media by researchers and the interest of research institutes and other organizations to promote their works.

B - An effective poster presentation

Developing an effective poster presentation. San Francisco Edit 2015

Poster presentations provide an opportunity for researchers to present their work at scientific meetings and are preparatory for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. This brief document gives some advice to help authors in developing an effective poster.

B - Pharmacovigilance medical writing

von Bruchhausen T, Prechtel K. Pharmacovigilance medical writing: an evolving profession. Medical Writing 2015;24(2):66-71
(doi: 10.1179/2047480615Z.000000000287)

The pharmacovigilance medical writer has a key position in the preparation of documents, leading the whole document creation process. This process includes drafting the document, coordinating the input of the involved functions, providing valuable expertise on the required format and contents and detailed guideline knowledge, and coordinating the review and consolidation of comments.

Friday, June 26, 2015

B - Link rot

Perkel JM. The trouble with reference rot. Nature 2015;521(7550):111-112

Computer scientists are trying to shore up broken links in the scholarly literature. Herbert Van de Sompel and Martin Klein were interviewed by the author of this article on the work of the Hiberlink project. They have investigated the extent of reference rot on scholarly domains and their results show an alarming link rot ratio. They have also explored ways to mitigate it through more systematic web archiving practices and link decoration techniques.

B - The history of typography in Print Magazine

P. Shaw. The history of typography in Print magazine. Print March 26, 2015

The author charts the bold (and at times, bizarre) evolution of typography within Print magazine in timeline format throughout the last 75 years. The magazine's typography has been an uneven barometer of the typographic trends of those years.

B - Antibody problem

Baker M. Reproducibility crisis: Blame it on the antibodies. Nature 21 May 2015;521:274-276

Antibodies are among the most commonly used tools in biological experiments, but they are littering the field with false findings. A few scientists are pushing for change and are calling for the creation of standards by which antibodies should be made, used and described. Several journals (including Nature) ask authors to make clear that antibodies used in their papers have been profiled for that particular application.

B - SciDetect: a hoax-detecting software

Bohannon J. Hoax-detecting software spots fake papers. Science 3 April 2015;348(6230):18-19

Springer announced the creation of SciDetect, a freely available programme to automatically detect automatically generated papers. The tool uses a statistical technique similar to those used by email spam filters to automatically detect papers created with SCIgen and similar programmes.

B - Misidentified cell lines

Announcement: Time to tackle cells' mistaken identity. Nature 16 April 2015;520:264

This Editorial sets out new ways to tackle the problem of misidentified cell lines.  Changes apply to all Nature journals from 1st May 2015. Authors of papers involving cell lines are asked to check their cell lines against publicly available lists of known misidentified cell lines. If the authors use a known problematic cell line, they are asked to provide a scientific justification for its use, and clearly state its identity in the Methods section.
Authors must report on a cell line's source, authentication testing, and Mycoplasma testing status.  For authentication testing, authors are asked to state the test method, test result, and when testing was last performed.

B - Public availability of data sharing

Aleixandre-Benavent R, Vidal-Infer A, Alonso Arroyo A, et al. Public availability of published research data in substance abuse journals. International Journal of Drug Policy 2014;25(6):1143-1146
(doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.07.007)

The aim of this study is to analyse the open-data policies concerning the availability of papers and raw data of the scientific research journals listed in the substance abuse area of the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). It also analyzes the relationship between the journal's impact factor and the storage and reuse policies. Results show that most journals support the possibility of data storage in thematic or institutional repositories. Journals accept additional material and reuse of data, but most of them have no specific instructions for authors to follow and present uncertainty as to the possibility of publishing the data on a website.

B - Head-to-head RCTs and industry sponsor

Flacco ME, Manzoli L, Boccia S, et al. Head-to-head randomized trials are mostly industry sponsored and almost always favor the industry sponsor. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2015;68(7):811-820
(doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.12.016)

To map the current status of head-to-head comparative evidence, the authors analyzed a large sample of recently published head-to-head randomized clinical trials (RCTs) covering a wide range of clinical conditions. They evaluated trials with at least 100 participants and specifically focused on the sponsoring of these trials. The literature of head-to-head RCTs is dominated by the industry. Industry-sponsored comparative assessments systematically yield favorable results for the sponsors, even more so when noninferiority designs are involved.

B - Beyond the impact factor?

Fazel S, Lamsma J. Beyond the impact factor? Evidence Based Mental Health 2015;18:33-35
(doi: 10.1136/eb-2015-102087)

To investigate the possible differences between the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and new journal metrics, the authors ranked the top 30 journals in the clinical neurosciences (ie, psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and general medicine) based on their JIF and compared their JIF ranking with one that was a composite score of their JIF, h5-index, Impact per Publication (IPP), Source Normalised Impact per Paper (SNIP)  and SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) rankings. They recommend researchers and funders should support those journals that aim to increase value and reduce waste and consider a range of impacts, including different journal impact factors, when deciding on journal choice.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

B - Identifying legitimate OA journals

Hill T. Identifying legitimate open access journals: some suggestions from a publisher. Learned Publishing 2015;28(1):59-62
(doi: 10.1087/20150109)

The author provides a set of criteria by which authors and readers can distinguish legitimate open access journals from illegitimate ones. The list is short, but at the same time applicable to a wide range of journals. The criteria refer to the following issues: readers should be considered as customers and should be offered services; journals should be included in databases and indexes (indexing indicates compliance with technical and publishing standards); publishers should be aware of ethical and legal issues and of open access conventions; and integrity of the peer review process and editorial process should be guaranteed.

B - Reporting guidelines

Golub RM, Fontanarosa PB. Researchers, Readers, and reporting guidelines. Writing between the lines. JAMA 2015; 313(16):1625-26
(doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.3837)

Recognizing the potential value of reporting guidelines for the peer review and scientific publication processes, JAMA published several of the initial guidelines, including CONSORT and MOOSE. A guideline checklist assists editors in their assessment of submitted manuscripts; makes it more likely that a published article will include the information to allow a researcher to potentially reproduce a study; helps ensure that the article will include all of the key elements necessary for a reader to conduct a thorough critical appraisal; and helps improve the quality of research and advance patient care.

B - Editorial independence

Bipeta R. Editorial independence in biomedical publishing. Andhra Pradesh Journal of Psychological Medicine 2014;15(2):145-9

The author summarized the published literature related to editorial independence. Editors should ensure that they are not influenced in their decision making. The sole criterion for publication should be merit, and editors should not be biased in their choice. All stakeholders should be careful and feel responsible to ensure editorial independence. These include the editorial team, the authors, the members of associations, and the readers. The author reported the policies by WAME and ICMJE.

B - Ethical ambiguity in physics

Ecklund E,  Howard J , David R, et al. Study highlights ethical ambiguity in physics. Physics Today 2015;68(6):8-10.
As part of a study entitled "Ethics among physicists in cross-national context" the authors interviewed 170 physicists at US and UK universities and the results suggest that ethical issues in physics are not as black and white as many physicists may think. Some narrowly defined unethical conduct as fabrication, falsification and plagiarism while others also included such things as accepting funding for military research, misusing research funds, abusing the peer-review system, misallocating credit and authorship, practicing cronyism, overhyping research results and exploiting subordinates. They suggest that more needs to be done to teach ethics to students and reaffirm ethical practices for research scientists.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

B - Reporting systematic reviews of IPD

Stewart LA, Clarke M, Rovers M, et al. Preferred reporting items for a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. The PRISMA-IPD Statement. JAMA 2015;313(16):1657-65
(doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.3656)

PRISMA-IPD (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of Individual Participant Data) is an extension of the PRISMA Statement, tailored to specific requirements of individual participant data (IPD). The PRISMA-IPD checklist includes three new items that address: methods of checking the integrity of the IPD; reporting any important issues that emerge; and exploring variation.

B - "Living figures" make their debut

Singh Chawla D. "Living figures" make their debut. Nature 2015;521(7550):112.
(doi: 10.1038/nature.2015.17382)

The living figure concept fits within a central tenet of F1000’s publishing philosophy, that papers can be continually updated. The online-only open-access site publishes articles immediately with the status ‘Awaiting Peer Review’, then invites scientists to review them and post their data. Authors can then update their articles with new versions. Living figures may allow systematic reviews to be updated rather than published afresh each time. New contributors’ names do appear in the legend of updated figures, and the updated data set and paper get their own DOIs.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

B - Plain English in medical writing

Reeves A. Time to make it shorter: plain English in our context. Medical Writing 2015;24(1):4-8
(doi: 10.1179/2047480614Z.000000000268)

This article explores the relevance of George Orwell's six rules for clear writing, that he published in 1946, to medical writing. It makes recommendations how to apply them, and adds further rules to contribute to plain English.

B - Declaration of transparency

Catalá-López F, Peiró S, Hutton B, et al. Declaration of transparency: promoting a more complete, honest and adequate publication of scientific articles. Revista Española de Salud Pública 2014;88(2):181-186
(doi: 10.4321/S1135-57272014000200001)

To prevent and detect inappropriate conduct in scientific research, the authors of this article suggest to include a "transparency declaration" from the correspondent author when submitting papers to a journal. It should report that the manuscript submitted is a complete, honest, accurate and transparent manner of the study being reported, that no important aspects have been omitted and that any discrepancies from the study as planned have been in the manuscript.

Monday, March 30, 2015

B - Bibliographical support on quality of medical care

Pastori MM, Sarti M, Pons, M, et al. Assessing the impact of bibliographical support on the quality of medical care in patients admitted to an internal medicine service: a prospective clinical, open, randomised two-arm parallel study. Evidence-Based Medicine 2014;19:163-168
(doi: 10.1136/ebmed-2014-110021)

Some research studies suggest that library services professionally provided have an impact on health outcomes for patients. This study confirmed the feasibility of bibliographical assistance in daily medical practice in an internal medicine service of a non-university hospital in Ticino Canton (Switzerland) . In particular, it was very useful and effective for patient care to have a dedicated physician that daily sends the bibliographical research results by email to the clinical team within 12 h after asking the focused question.

B - Tweeting at scientific conferences

Ekins S, Perlstein EO. Ten simple rules of live tweeting at scientific conferences. PLoS Computational Biology 2014;10(8):e1003789
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003789)

Increasingly, some scientists are using Twitter as a vehicle to summarize presentations and posters at conferences in real time, which is defined as “live tweeting.” The advantage is that the information tweeted is open and free to anyone around the globe. From the authors' experiences, the success of live tweeting appears dependent on the engagement of conference organizers with Twitter and its active encouragement before, during, and after the meeting. The authors propose ten simple rules to encourage live tweeting.