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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

B - Retractions of scientific publications

Katavić V. Retractions of scientific publications: responsibility and accountability. Biochemia Medica 2014;24(2):217-222
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2014.024)

This evidence-based opinion piece gives a short overview of the increase in retractions of publications in scientific journals and discusses various reasons for that increase. Also discussed are some of the recent prominent cases of scientific misconduct, the number of authors with multiple retractions, and problems with reproducibility of published research. Finally, some of the effects of faulty research on science and society, as well as possible solutions are discussed.

B - Asian science and technology journals

Jang H, Kim H. Research output of science, technology and bioscience publications in Asia. Science Editing 2014;1(2):62-70
(doi: 10.6087/kcse.2014.1.62)

This paper aims to examine science and technology journals in Asia and to find ways to enhance the visibility and frequency of citation of articles. The research output of twelve countries in science and engineering over the last five years is studied, using the Scopus database. Approximately 90% of science papers come from four countries: China, Japan, India, and Korea. The authors find that a predominant number of research papers produced in developing Asian countries are in technology, and that most papers appear to have lower citation rates and are often devaluated.

B - Code share

Code share. (Editorial). Nature 2014;514:536
(doi: 10.1038/514536a)
A core element of many papers is the computercode used by authors in models, simulations and data analysis. In an ideal world, this code would always be transportable and easily used by others. Nature editorial policy now mandates that when code is central to reaching a paper’s conclusions, it requires a statement describing whether that code is available and setting out any restrictions on accessibility.

B - F1000 postpublication peer review service

Waltman L, Costas R. F1000 recommendations as a potential new data source for research evaluation: a comparison with citations. Journal of the Association for Informations Science and Technology 2014;65(3):433-445
(doi: 10.1002/asi.2014.65.issue-3/issuetoc)

Faculty of 1000, abbreviated F1000, and recently renamed F1000Prime, is a commercial online postpublication peer review service for biological and medical research. Reviews are produced by more than 5,000 peer-nominated researchers and clinicians. This article presents a large-scale analysis of F1000 recommendations, focusing in particular on comparing recommendations with citations: about 2% of the publications in the biomedical literature received at least one F1000 recommendation.

B - Data sharing

Yozwiak NL, Schaffner SF, Sabeti PC. Data sharing: make outbreak research open access. Nature 2015;518:477-479
(doi: 10.1038/518477a)

In an increasingly connected world, rapid sequencing, combined with new ways to collect clinical and epidemiological data, could transform our response to outbreaks. But the power of these potentially massive data sets to combat epidemics will be realized only if the data are shared as widely and as quickly as possible. Sharing data is especially important and especially difficult during an outbreak. Currently, no good guidelines exist to ensure that this happens.

B - Features of top-rated gold OA journals

Ennas G, Di Guardo MC. Features of top-rated gold open access journals: an analysis of the scopus database. Journal of Informetrics 2015;9(1)
(doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2014.11.007)

This study aimed to identify the features of top-rated gold open access (OA) journals by testing seven main variables: languages, countries, years of activity and years in the DOAJ repository, publication fee, the field of study, whether the journal has been launched as OA or converted, and the type of publisher. Significant results have been found for all variables, except for the types of publishers, and for born or converted journals.

B - Health care's big data

White SE. A review of big data in health care: challenges and opportunities. Open Access Bioinformatics 2014;6:13-18
(doi: 10.2147/OAB.S50519) 

Health care is a high-data volume industry. A literature review was conducted to identify recent articles about the use of big data in health care. These data has the potential to revamp the process of health care delivery in the US and inform providers about the most efficient and effective treatment pathways. The biggest challenge is determining the proper balance between protecting the patient's information and maintaining the integrity and usability of data.

B - Medical writer learning

Guillemard M. What every medical writer needs to know. Medical Writing 2014;23(2):134-135
(doi: 10.1179/2047480614Z.000000000215)

A medical writer is never done with learning. Learning means getting involved in the digital environment and using tools like social media, websites, and blogs to enhance online presence and develop career. Medical writers should have a strong online presence such as: websites with a portfolio of work, a professional profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts.

Monday, March 23, 2015

B - Academic career

Austin J. What it takes. Science 2014;344(6190):1422
(doi: 10.1126/science.344.6190.1422)

Science Careers posted a widget that lets early-career scientists calculate the probability that they will someday become principal investigators. Four factors are indicated as the most important ingredients of academic career success: be male, be selfish, be elite, publish in journals with high impact factors. They are linked to rigorous, serious, and significant research, and demonstrate the wide gap between science's ideals and incentives. Discovery and solutions to society's most compelling problems should really matter and be rewarded consequently.

B - High-impact-factor syndrome

Caves C.M. High-impact-factor Syndrome. APS News 2014;23(10):8,6

The author discusses the use of the bibliometric high impact factor used as a proxy for assessing a scientist's work, the malign influence this is having. He suggests a number of ways to try to prevent this and to conform to best practices for conducting and evaluating research.

B - Authorship matrix

Clement TP. Authorship matrix: a rational approach to quantify individual contributions and responsibilities in multi-author scientific articles. Science and Engineering Ethics 2014;20:345-361
(doi: 10.1007/s11948-013-9454-3)

The author proposes a rational method for assessing the responsibilities of an author of a  scientific multi-authormanuscript. This new paradigm conceptually divides an article into four basic elements for which individual responsibilities can be assigned: ideas, work, writing, and stewardship. The outcome is an authorship Matrix, that provides all necessary information for deciding the rank of an author.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

B - Peer review in the digital age

Nicholas D, Watkinson A, Jamali HR, et al. Peer review: still king in the digital age. Learned Publishing 2015;28(1):15-21
(doi: 10.1087/20150104)

The article presents one of the main findings of an international study of 4,000 academic researchers that examined how trustworthiness is determined in the digital environment when it comes to scholarly reading, citing, and publishing. The study shows that peer review is still the most trustworthy characteristic of all. There is, though, a common perception that open access journals are not peer reviewed or do not have proper peer-review systems. Researchers do not trust social media.

B - Identifying legitimate OA journals

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

The author outlines a set of criteria by which authors and readers can identify legitimate publishers. These criteria are based on the following considerations: readers should be regarded as customers and they should be offered a variety of services; journals should be included in databases and indexes, that indicates compliance with technical and publishing standards; publishers should ensure that authors meet ethical and legal obligations to maintain the integrity of the literature; they should also demonstrate awareness of open access conventions, and provide information on the nature of the peer-review process and of the editorial process.

B - Gender differences in conference presentations

Jones TM, Fanson KV, Lanfear R, et al. Gender differences in conference presentations: a consequence of selof-selection? PeerJ 2:e627
(doi: 10.7717/peerj.627)   

Women continue to be under-represented in the sciences, with their representation declining at each progressive academic level. The authors compared gender differences in exposure and visibility at an evolutionary biology conference for attendees at two different academic levels: student and post-PhD academic. Women presenters spent on average ∼20% less time presenting their research than men of an equivalent academic level. This highlights important gender differences in conference strategy. Potential underlying reasons for this gender bias are discussed, with recommendations to avoid similar gender biases at future conferences.

B - NIH plans to enhance reproducibility

Collins FS, Tabak LA. Policy: NIH plans to enhance reproducibility. Nature 2014 Jan. 27

The authors discuss the significant initiatives that the US National Institutes of Health is exploring to restore the self-correcting nature of preclinical research. They share the concern that the complex system for ensuring the reproducibility of biomedical research is failing. This has compromised the ability of today’s researchers to reproduce others’ findings demanding immediate and substantive action. The NIH is firmly committed to making systematic changes that should reduce the frequency and severity of this problem.

B - CoBRA: Citation of BioResources in journal Articles

Bravo E, Calzolari A, De Castro P, et al. Developing a guideline to standardize the citation of bioresources in journal articles (CoBRA). BMC Medicine 2015;13:33
(doi: 10.1186/s12916-015-0266-y)

Evaluating bioresources' use and impact requires that scientific publications accurately cite such resources. This article proposes for the first time a guideline for reporting bioresource use in research articles: the CoBRA, Citation of BioResources in journal Articles. Adopting this guideline will improve the quality of bioresource reporting and will allow their traceability in scientific publications, thus increasing the recognition of bioresources' value and relevance to research.

Friday, February 06, 2015

N - DOAJ - Fully Functional Now for Application and Reapplication

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is fully functional since 2015-01-23. On this day, publishers were informed via e-mail to reapply now with all their journals which are already in the directory.

DOAJ is already using its new Journal Application Form since 2014-03-19 which grew from 6 to now 58 questions. So far this form was only opened to be used by journals that had not been in the directory before and applied now for the first time. "The simple fact that we now request more information from a publisher upfront means that our editorial team is able to assess a journal’s honesty, transparency and value more effectively than before." (DOAJ 2014a

DOAJ's aim is to become the White Lister for Open Access journals and to end the present dominance of the legally questionable practice of blacklisting Open Access journals. (DOAJ 2014b)
Lot's of work lies before DOAJ's team. Presently, there are a little under 10000 unchecked journals in the directory. 560 new journals were checked based on the new application form since March 2014 (56 journals per month) and included into the directory with the "tick" (Figure 1). For the 10000 journals "there will be a grace period of 12-15 months, depending on how all this will work out." (Bjørnshauge 2014) Journals not having reapplied after the grace period will be kicked out. Until the end of the foreseen grace period the team will have to check 740 journals per month to get it done in time, but it is "depending on how all this will work out".

Figure 1:   Journals checked based on the new application form get this "tick" in the directory

DOAJ is especially keen on six Open Access characteristics (Journal Application Form):
  1. Archiving (Portico, ...)
  2. Article identifier (DOI, ...)
  3. Delivery of metadata to DOAJ
  4. Machine-readable CC licensing information
  5. Either CC BY, CC BY-SA, or CC BY-NC
  6. To have the deposit policy registered (Sherpa/Romeo, ...)
If all six characteristics are given, the journal obtains the DOAJ Seal (which is not yet designed). Up to 2015-01-23, 82 journals of the 560 journals checked got the seal (14.6%). So, the application or reapplication check can have three outcomes:
  1. failed
  2. included without seal
  3. included with seal

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

B - Big data and public health

Khoury MJ, Ioannidis JPA. Big data meets public health. Science 346(6213):1054
(doi: 10.1126/science.aaa2709)

The term “Big Data” refers to volumes of large, complex, linkable information. Beyond genomics and other “omic” fields, Big Data includes medical, environmental, financial, geographic, and social media information. This swell of data will continue to grow. Big Data can improve health by providing insights into the causes and outcomes of disease, better drug targets for precision medicine, and enhanced disease prediction and prevention. But "Big Error" can plague Big Data. The combination of a strong epidemiologic foundation, robust knowledge integration, principles of evidence-based medicine, and an expanded translation research agenda can put Big Data on the right course.

B - A social media trial

Fox CS, Bonaca MA, Ryan JJ, et al. A randomized trial of social media from Circulation. Circulation e-pub November 18, 2014
(doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.013509/-/DC1)

In order to determine whether social media exposure to original articles improves article impact metrics, the authors conducted a randomized trial of social media with a focus on short-term impact. Articles from Circulation were randomly assigned to be promoted through the official journal's social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter feeds). The results showed that this social media strategy did not increase the number of times an article was viewed.

B - Post-publication culture

Bastian H. A stronger post-publication culture is needed for better science. PLoS Medicine 2014;11(12):e1001772
(doi: 10.1371/

The author states that both improving research quality and reducing waste in science require a stronger post-publication culture. Today post-publication evaluation is highly fragmented. Dedicated websites have been developed for discussing and sharing research among authors, and PubMed Commons (for which the author is editor) enables post-publication commenting and linkages by the PubMed authorship community. Skill developments should be considered in critiquing research, and capturing post-publication intellectual effort more rigorously is essential for better science.

Monday, January 05, 2015

B - Writing publications for advisory boards

Whereat A. Writing publications for advisory boards. Medical Writing 2014;23(4):277-279
(doi: 10.1179/2047480614Z.00000000252)

Medical communication publications are designed to raise awareness of medicines, cosmetics, and technology. These publications ensure that doctors are informed about the role of new and existing medicines and the literature concerning appropriate prescription for specific patient groups. Advisory boards, consisting of clinicians, are well placed to provide this advice. The pharmaceutical industry often supports independent advisory boards to consider current issues in patient care and communicate their opinions on how to best deal with these problems.